I’m trying to be better about capitalizing on the many many many local gems I take for granted in this area.


Living in Corning, and in the Finger Lakes Region in general, it can be easy to get complacent about local travel and sightseeing.

Which is a shame because there really is so much to see and experience!

That’s one reason I really like being a member of the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce.

I find out about so many great little events and exhibits and places I have meant to check out. Sometimes it’s just that one member news email announcing a special exhibit to get my butt in gear and head over to that museum I’ve been meaning to take the girls to for over a year.

It’s a true story; that’s literally what happened!

A few weeks back I opened up my inbox and scrolled through the Chamber newsletter.

And I found out that the National Soaring Museum in Elmira is currently hosting a special miniatures exhibit through March!

I know, it’s a bit odd that dollhouses are what finally got us to the museum about soaring, but whatever it takes, right?

My little ladies were ironically more impressed with the gliders than the dollhouses. Just another reminder to hold gender stereotypes loosely. (Or just throw them out in general, ha!)

In the long list of things this region is well-known for, I sometimes forget that we’re also the Soaring Capital of America and that there’s a really rich soaring history up on Harris Hill. People come from all over the world to compete and learn and fly soar here.

The museum is great and full of everything you need to know about gliders. It’s kind of amazing to contemplate that humans really haven’t been in the air all that long.

The director of the museum really likes collecting miniatures. So right now he’s hosting this special exhibit featuring a lobby full of cool little houses. We really liked the spooky haunted house one. And I liked the mini pueblo home.

You can see some of the miniatures through the museum on a permanent basis. But the exhibit in the lobby ends in March.


The director also has a huge Victorian house that he’s fixing up and you can go right into the renovation room and check on his progress!

There were tiny working lamps! 



So the miniatures exhibit is pretty fabulous and a fun “I’m bored please get me out of the house” winter activity…



…but the glider museum has plenty of stand-alone, kid-friendly fun. My girls loved climbing inside the gliders, reading about how soaring works, and they played for almost 40 minutes in this yellow glider.

It was really a perfect winter weekend afternoon. My boyfriend and I chatted on cozy chairs near the gift shop while the girls played and pretty much had the place to themselves. 



I also really enjoyed the last room of the exhibit because the afternoon sun was just pouring in. I am a solar-powered gal so I tend to just linger in pockets of sunshine, even if they’re coming through frosty windows and I will have to go put my huge down jacket on before going back out into the cold.

I’ll take any kind of sunshine I can get these days. 



So if you’re looking for some local activities during midwinter break next week, consider the National Soaring Museum as a part of your staycation!

Here’s the information for the miniatures exhibit.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! There’s something for everyone right now!


Like this post? Please tell me in the comments if you have a chance to check out this exhibit. And let me know if you have another favorite local museum that I probably have yet to try! 😉