Recreation and the Performing Arts

The Performing Arts Center and Saratoga’s Revival

Aerial View of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center The new Saratoga Performing Arts Center helped the city recover from its post-WW II doldrums.

In 1961, a bold proposal to offer the New York Philharmonic a summer home in Saratoga Springs galvanized community leaders and residents into action.  Fundraising efforts generated spectacular results, as the project came to life around a visually exciting signature design for an outdoor amphitheater. 

In the summer of 1964, Governor Nelson Rockefeller climbed aboard a bulldozer to break ground for this new venture.

The Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York City Ballet ultimately agreed to become SPAC’s official summer residents, and presented their first season of performances in 1966.

Popular musicians performed as well, as the Saratoga Performing Arts Center drew nightly audiences in the thousands all summer long.  Soon, summer was not complete without at least one visit to this exciting venue.

Summer visitors helped to revive Saratoga’s economy and fuel the renaissance that has taken place during the decades since SPAC’s debut.

Four Seasons of Fun

Biking by Mineral Hill Saratoga Spa State Park offers a wide array of activities.

During the summer, it’s time to sit on the lawn at SPAC, swim and picnic at the park, play golf, and generally enjoy the warm weather.

Winter brings a quieter, calmer environment perfect for cross-country skiing, a quiet walk on a sunny day, or a trip to the Spa proper for a bath and a massage.

A Wide Variety of Popular Entertainment Options

Kiddie Pool at Peerless Pool Saratoga Spa State Park offers a diverse and eclectic menu of year-round fun and activity.

Even as work was underway on the performing arts center, other new attractions began to appear on the grounds of the park. 

Chief among these was the Peerless Pool complex, which offers swimming, water slides, and a children’s wading pool.  New picnic pavilions and walking trails opened the south end of the park to public use.  During the 1960s the park also opened its 18-hole championship golf course and added new tennis courts. 

A restored bath house and Saratoga’s renowned mineral springs are still available to strollers and spring-tasters.  These attractions offer a wealth of recreational opportunities that continue to draw visitors to the park today.

Saratoga Spa State Park now welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year who enjoy the park’s wide variety of four-season recreational activities.

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"It was a lovely and gracious resort and I wished that I had more time there. It was very convenient to the town of Saratoga Springs and the Victorian street festival was a bonus. I live in an area that has mostly national retailers and it was refreshing to be able to shop in so many unique local retailers."  ”

– Eileen