Corning, New York, recently voted the Most Fun Small Town in America by Travel expert Rand McNally, is located in the Finger Lakes region of the state. While the area as a whole is mostly known for its top-notch vineyards, majestic waterfalls, and gorgeous gorges, Corning has something of its own. The Corning Museum of Glass. A museum dedicated to the art, science, and history of glass. It’s a must-see attraction that will make you look at one of society’s most-used materials in a whole new light.
Hours and Admission
The museum is open seven days a week year-round, from 9 am to 8 pm May 26 through September 4. In addition, they’re open from 9 am to 5 pm the rest of the year. Tickets are available for purchase online or at the museum. However, the museum offers many discounts, so make sure to check your eligibility before you go. Each one is good for two consecutive days, and while not refundable, should something come up, you can use your ticket on a different day by presenting your confirmation email.
What Not to Miss
We recommend that you allow at least 3 hours for your self-guided tour through the weird and wonderful world of glass. Since most visitors mention that they wished they’d planned more time, here are a few of the most exciting offerings. Be sure to check online for the ever-changing exhibits and events the museum hosts throughout the year, too!
Seeing how glass is made will give you a great jumping off point for your tour since you’ll see the techniques to create the objects firsthand. Today’s master glassmakers will create anything from bowls to sculptures before your eyes at the Hot Glass or Flameworking Demos.
GlassApp Scavenger Hunt
Launched with the opening of the Contemporary Art + Design Wing in 2015, the GlassApp features information of works of art, artist bios, and more. But it lets your internet-enabled smartphone or tablet turn the museum into an interactive game. You can find objects and answer trivia to win trophies.
Paperweights of the World
While on the surface, this might not sound like the most exciting exhibit, you’ll be sure to have fun. The museum hosts the largest and most comprehensive collection of paperweights in the world. Featuring examples ranging from beautifully breathtaking to the one weighing in at an astounding 107 pounds.
Glass in America
Glassmaking was America’s first industry, started in Jamestown, Virginia, in the early 1600’s. This exhibit gives crystal-clear examples of America’s changing skills and tastes from the industry’s onset to modern times.
Glass in Nature
While much of the glass we use today is man-made, many forms of it are actually found in nature. Objects on display include volcanic obsidian and the skeletons of some marine life that are made out of silica, a type of natural glass
Make Your Own Glass Experiences
The museum offers opportunities for any age and skill level to experience a hands-on glassworking adventure. The lessons last from 20-40 minutes and are overseen by experienced glassworkers. Tickets are sold separately from regular admission, and spaces tend to fill up fast, so booking online before your visit is highly recommended.