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8 Great Things to Do in Ballston Spa & Malta

Searching for something fun to do in the Saratoga area? Look no further than Malta and Ballston Spa, located to the south and west of Saratoga Lake. Full of history, fun activities, and great dining options, these towns aren't as well-known or popular with tourists as Saratoga Springs, but they're the perfect spot for a day out.

Explore History in Ballston Spa

exterior of the brookside museum

Although Saratoga Springs may be more famous, Ballston Spa's mineral springs made it a fashionable destination and "watering hole" in its own right in the nineteenth century. The town is actually the seat of Saratoga County and was founded several years earlier than the Spa City, in 1771.

The Brookside Museum & Saratoga County Historical Society

The Brookside Museum began its life as a resort hotel in 1792, hosting many notable figures during the early nineteenth century, such as James Fenimore Cooper. The building is now home to the Saratoga County Historical Society and documents the history of not only Ballston Spa, but also the surrounding towns and villages. They also feature special temporary exhibits and often host special events.

National Bottle Museum

Located in downtown Ballston Spa, the National Bottle Museum highlights Saratoga County's role in bottle making, one of America's first major industries. Visit the museum to view the vast collection of glass bottles in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Exhibits cover mineral water, decorative bottles, glass paperweights, and methods of accurately dating bottles.

Enjoy Some Family-Friendly Fun

kids mining for gemstones at ellms family farm

Ellms Family Farm

For autumn fun, Ellms Family Farm in Ballston Spa is the perfect place for a day in the outdoors. Solve your way through a corn maze, go pumpkin picking, mine gemstones, visit animals at the petting zoo, take a train ride, and have fun on slides, jump pads, and pedal carts.

The Malta Drive-In Theater

Pack everyone into the car and go see a movie at the Malta Drive-In, which first opened in 1949. The theater's two screens show current releases, with half of them usually being rated PG or under. There's a full snack bar on-site, but you can also bring in your own food for a small fee.

Stop for Some Great Local Eats

stools at a counter at nomad coffee and crepes

While you're out exploring the area, don't forget to stop for a bite to eat. There are tons of options, regardless of what kind of meal or cuisine you're looking for.

Carson's Woodside Tavern

A popular hotspot overlooking Saratoga Lake in Malta, Carson's is perfect for lunch or dinner. Dine on American fare with Italian, Mexican, German, Cajun, and French influences in their dining room or out on the cliffside patio.

Dunning Street Station

Dunning Street Station in Malta looks like a diner with its classic Fodero Dining Car, but it's so much more. Enjoy a lunch or dinner of comfort food with unique twists or international-inspired cuisine. They also serve a large drink and coffee menu.


If you're craving Italian food, you can't go wrong with Augie's. This local favorite offers a huge selection of family-style dishes that are great for sharing around the table or taking home in doggie bags.

Nomad Coffee & Crepes

Relax with a nice cup of coffee or tea and a delicious crepe! Nomad in Ballston Spa offers both sweet and savory crepes, an array of pastries, and hip retro atmosphere. Don't forget to browse their vinyl records while you're there.

You don't need to spend the day in Saratoga Springs for a fun day out. The next time you're looking for something new to do, stop at some of these fun attractions that will give you a great taste of everything the Ballston Spa and Malta areas have to offer. Need more ideas?

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