Skip to Content

12 Best Things to Do in Amsterdam, New York

We take pride in providing authentic travel recommendations based on our own experiences such as unique images and perspectives. We may earn a commission when you purchase a product or book a reservation. Learn more ›

Are you planning a visit to this beautiful city? Well, whether the plan is for a day trip or a two-week vacation, there are plenty of things to do in Amsterdam, New York. Here’s a complete list of incredible options you should consider.

For a city that began as a center for carpet manufacturing in the twentieth century, Amsterdam, New York, has come a long way.

After a lengthy period of dormancy, the city has grown to be a reputable travel destination, thanks to a series of programs put into place with an aim for arterial roadway construction and urban renewal.

Named after the Netherlands capital, Amsterdam is nestled within the original town of Caughnawaga, now Montgomery County in New York.

The city has dozens of historic sites to visit and numerous fun things to do for tourists. But to narrow down your search, we’ve compiled a list of the best things to do in Amsterdam, New York, for your next trip.

Things to Do in Amsterdam, New York

Mountain Ridge Adventure

Mountain Ridge Adventure

Address: 300 Weatherwax Rd, Schenectady, NY 12302, United States

If you are looking for adventure, one of the most exciting things to do in Amsterdam, New York, is zip lining at Mountain Ridge Adventure. Also known as aerial runways in the UK or the flying foxes in Australia and New Zealand, zip-lining involves riding down a load-bearing cable linked at two points between different heights.

At Mountain Ridge Adventure, you’ll experience the thrill of the Zombie Zip Line Terror. The line starts at Weatherwax Road from Johnson Road – 1/3 mile of uphills and steep turns at Schenectady.

This tour is not for the fainthearted, though. From the corpse-riddled path through a forest haunted by a serial killer to the hundreds of feet of screaming steel cable along the magnificent Zip Line Park, Mountain Ridge Adventure is an experience to remember. The event is held every Friday and Saturday night in October from 7-10 pm. There are food/concessions and free parking.

See Related: Where to Stay in New York City with Family

Adirondack Animal Land Tour

Adirondack Animal Land
image by brownpau is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Address: 3554 NY-30, Gloversville, NY 12078, United States

Adirondack Animal Land is the place to be for those looking for fun children’s things to do in Amsterdam, New York. Adirondack Animal Land is a wildlife park that is family-owned and operated. It provides a natural home to over 500 animals on an 80-acre land surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains.

The park is a great destination for families as it offers an incredible opportunity for everyone to connect with animals. A vintage sign and gigantic paddocks traditionally designed for horses can distinguish the parking lot.

The zoo includes a safari tour and a walking tour in the base ticket, but the safari tour is the highlight of the adventure. The tour takes you through multiple intermingled paddocks where you get to see several different animal species. These include zebras, camels, elands, pot-bellied pigs, rheas, and ostriches.

See Related: Best Travel Accessories

The Wildlife and Sports Museum

Exhibit at the Wildlife Sports & Educational Museum
The Wildlife Sports & Educational Museum / Facebook

Address: 3747 NY-30, Amsterdam, NY 12010, United States

Located at the foothills of the spectacular Adirondack Mountains, the Wildlife and Sports Museum is a museum without an equal. If you are wondering what to do in Amsterdam, New York, on weekends, you should definitely check out this museum.

Kids of all ages will be awed by the full-size mounts of mountain lions, buffalo, wolves, bears, birds, and fish. If you are a hunter, you will love the wall of more than 160 whitetail deer mounts, including some of the most famous bucks in the world.

Walter Elwood Museum

Walter Elwood Museum

Address: 100 Church St, Amsterdam, NY 12010, United States

Still can’t figure out what to see in Amsterdam, New York? The Walter Elwood Museum is a great place to start. This history museum has been moved to different locations and is now in the building that previously housed the noteworthy complex.

Founded in 1939 by a local history teacher named Walter Elwood, the museum started as a collection of local artifacts. Today, the Walter Elwood Museum features interactive displays of local history, including:

  • Natural history
  • The Victorian era
  • Politics
  • Textile mills and area industry
  • Art

Collections include shells and fossils, political buttons, glass teaching slides, handmade doll clothes, objects created by the village, and buttons.

Museum of Innovation and Science

Museum of Innovation and Science Exhibit
Management / TripAdvisor

Address: 15 Museum Dr, Schenectady, NY 12308, United States

The Museum of Innovation and Science is based in Schenectady, New York. It is both a museum and a planetarium designed to appreciate science and technology in this region of upstate New York.

So, if you have time to visit sites near Amsterdam, NY, this should be on your list. The museum boasts an educational focus on Art, Mathematics, Engineering, Science, and Technology. The spectacular Suits-Bueche Planetarium is inside the museum, which contains one of the only sixteen “GOTO Chronos Star Machines” in the US.

The machine can display a staggering 24 constellation outlines and 8,500 stars.

Plotter Kill Preserve

Plotter Kill Preserve

Address: Mariaville Rd, Rotterdam, NY 12306, United States

The Plotter Kill Preserve is a forest packed with a combination of conifers and hardwood, but its main attraction is probably the Plotter Kill Gorge. The gorge, formed at the end of the ice ages about 10,000 years ago, is a favorite among the top things to do in Amsterdam, NY.

It is a 3.5-mile-long Mohawk River tributary stretching from the Rynex Corner. The preserve contains three waterfalls: the Rynex Creek Falls, the Lower Falls, and the Upper Falls.

It is ideal for families looking to study nature, as it features several species of trees, such as oak, pine, maple, and birch. It also contains 600+ species of plants, including clubmosses, ferns, lilies, violets, and trilliums. Children like chipmunks, garter snakes, and amphibians will also enjoy abundant bird and animal life.

See Related: CityPass New York vs. New York Pass

Imperial Lanes Bowling Center

Things to do in Amsterdam, NY

Address: 249 Wallins Corners Rd, Amsterdam, NY 12010, United States

The Imperial Lanes offer open bowling every day of the week except for the winter sports season. This time, they are used by the in-house bowling teams.

With 80 bowling lanes and 40 accommodating bumper bowlers, this place is indeed one of the best Amsterdam, New York attractions for family and friends.

The center offers leagues for people of different ages every week. For instance, a league for men, women, youth, and seniors, as well as mixed leagues.

See Related: Chicago vs New York

The Howe Caverns

Howe Caverns

Address: 255 Discovery Dr, Howes Cave, NY 12092, United States

This cave, located in Howe, Schoharie County, is named after its discoverer – Lester Howe. It is a popular destination for families looking for fun and interesting things to do in Amsterdam, New York.

It is the second most popular natural attraction in the Amsterdam area after Niagara Falls. The cave provides a sense of spelunking without the need for advanced training and equipment associated with these types of adventures.

Geologists believe the cave, which is 156 feet below the ground, was formed millions of years ago. It comprises two types of limestone – Manlius and Coeymans – that were deposited during the plate tectonics movement.

The tour through the cave is about 80 minutes long, from the elevators at the entrance to the end of Lake Venus. The extended tour includes:

  • A display of the remains of Lester Howe’s original boat
  • A spectacular music hall
  • Signatures inscribed by early cavern adventures.

Weddings are held deep inside the cave over a calcite formation with a heart shape.

See Related: Tentrr Review

High Rollers Family Fun Center

High Rollers Family Fun Center

Address: 4313 NY-30, Amsterdam, NY 12010, United States

Have a blast with your family at the High Rollers family fun center, with a regular skate rental for at least $20 a person. If you’re looking to make new and exciting memories while on your tour of Amsterdam, NY, this is the ideal place.

They offer roller skating throughout the year, whether in summer or winter. Whether a novice or a professional skater, the center has something for you. This is one of the best things for families to do in Amsterdam, New York.

See Related: Where to Stay Outside New York City

Shuttleworth Park

Aerial view at Shuttleworth Park
Shuttleworth Park /

Address: 65 Crescent Ave, Amsterdam, NY 12010, United States

Hidden in a picturesque setting in Amsterdam, New York, Shuttleworth Park was originally launched on Memorial Day in 1914. Back then, it was referred to as Crescent Park, but it was later renamed Jolly Land and Mohawk Mills Park in the late 30s after the Mohawk Carpet Mills acquired it.

It was subsequently donated to the city in 1964 and has since been known as Herbert L. Shuttleworth II Park. This green space is a great spot for families searching for interesting things to do in Amsterdam, NY, for various reasons.

First, it is home to numerous local small-league softball teams and provides a lively outdoor playground for the whole family. You can also enjoy ice skating during winter, and there are tables along the Chuctununda Creek for a lovely family or group picnic.

Moreover, you can connect with the Amsterdam Mohawks – as Shuttleworth is the home of the Perfect Collegiate Baseball League Champions.

Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine

Our Lady of Martyrs Shrine
image by Frbrs70/TripAdvisor

Address: 136 Shrine Rd #2, Fultonville, NY 12072, United States

This is a famous shrine nestled in Auriesville, Fultonville, NY. Originally known as the “Mohawk Village of Ossernenon,” the site is now the shrine of the Roman Catholic. It is dedicated to three missionaries who died as martyrs here.

Also, it serves as a tribute to a Mohawk woman known as St. Kateri Tekakwitha, who was born in the shrine. It was owned and directed by the Jesuits (Society of Jesus) for over 130 years, but it is now under the leadership of the “Friends of Our Lady of Martyrs.” Every part of the shrine tells a story about the martyrs.

There are bright red crosses over several trees representing the crosses St. Isaac would have carved into the trees, along with the word “Jesus.”

The word is still inscribed on a few crosses, but most are missing some words. Checking out Amsterdam, New York would be incomplete without a tour of this site.

See Related: Things to Do in Hudson Valley, New York

Kirk Douglas Falls

Address: 1 Guy Park Ave, Amsterdam, NY 12010, United States

Amsterdam, New York, is home to numerous beautiful waterfalls, but only one is named after an actor – the Kirk Douglas Falls. These Falls are located inside Kirk Douglas Park. This urban green space features two dazzling waterfalls, picnic tables, and playground equipment.

Amsterdam is home to the decorated actor, born at Issur Danielovitch in 1916. He grew up around Main Street along Eagle Street with his four sisters and immigrant parents.

The home is a private residence, but it is still among the best things to do in Amsterdam and New York. Before his demise, Douglas had starred in several films, including “Lust for Life,” “Champion,” and “Spartacus.”

He is regarded as one of the biggest Hollywood stars of the Golden Age. At the entrance of Kirk Douglas Park is a small plaque that resembles the iconic actor. The highlight of the community green space is undoubtedly the Kirk Douglas waterfalls, which empty into the Mohawk River and make for excellent kayaking.

Although you cannot see the two waterfalls from one view, they are close together. Lower Falls lies further downstream and consists of a series of slides about 15 to 20 feet tall.

You can get a great view of this waterfall from the bridge at Guy Park Avenue on the south side. This is a great place to take in the views of the Mohawk Valley.

See Related: Best Parks in New York


What is in Amsterdam, New York?

There are many things to do in Amsterdam, New York, from museums and historic buildings to sports to family entertainment. Amsterdam resides on the banks of the river and is a great place for travelers looking to explore a region of upstate New York.

What happened in Amsterdam, New York?

The city of Amsterdam began to be inhabited in the 17th century, partly because of the proximity of the Erie Canal. Long-term population declines have been as steep as the current population, which has dropped nearly every decade since the Great Depression.

Where in New York is Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is a town in Montgomery County, New York. At the 2010 census, the town’s population was 1,861. The city was named after Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

What county is Amsterdam, New York, in?

Amsterdam is a city in Montgomery County, New York, USA. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Michael James Joseph Sargalis says:

    Alot to be desired here. I was researching the martyrs at Auriesville Shrine; for giving the sign of the cross as witchcraft, to cause their deaths. Amsterdam looks interesting to visit. Is there a visitor’s center there for more information? What kind of transportation is there? Can I take a train and a bus; stationed there and stay at a nearby hotel? Is there public transportation throughout the day to include night? What kind of resteraunts are there and are they easy to get to? What forms of entertainment is there to attend to at night? Is it a safe environment at the pick-up and drop off points?

↑ Top