I never get tired of visiting the New York State Museum in Albany.  I have been going there for more than 50 years, even back when it was located across the street from the Capitol.

No matter how many times you visit you will always find something new to view.  Yes, the museum is packed with great and epic historical items and documents dating back to the birth of our state.  And some items go back to the edge of time (we have all admired the gigantic dinosaurs and mastodons in the dioramas there.  Unforgettable).

But, for me, it is the little things.  The fun and quirky things they have on display.  You know like the world's oldest eggnog cup.  Or Don Larsen's signed baseball from his World Series perfect game.  Or even the story of some vintage products first sold on TV (Barbie!  Grasshopper Shoes for Mom!, etc.)   And Oscar the Grouch is here in his garbage can.

And do not miss two of my favorite stories and items.  The "Exploding Guitar" which was a country music hit; and the story of the "Newspaper-Weight King of Upstate New York!"  (yes he sold over a million of these clever things.)

All of these stories and more are in this gallery.  We highlight 25 of the most fun and odd and quirky things you can find at this fantastic museum.

We love the New York State Museum!  And thanks for being a free museum!

Is This the Best Museum in Upstate New York? Here Are 25 Reasons Why We Say YES!!

The rarest military medal in the U.S. (given only once). The story of the "Newspaper Weight King" of Upstate New York. A vintage Lion costume from The Wizard of Oz. Who remembers "Grasshopper Shoes" from the 1950s? The Most Famous "Exploding Guitar" in Music History.

In this writer's opinion The New York State Museum in Albany is without a doubt the best historic museum in the state. With an uncountable number of items in its collection, one could easily spend a couple of days visiting here (and it is free!). Topics range from the dinosaurs and wooly mammoths that crawled our state in the Ice Age, all the way up to the largest and most comprehensive exhibit about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. And there is a lot of fun stuff along the way. Check out this list for some great and weird surprises you can find at this treasure in our state's capital.

As you peruse this list of 25 of (maybe) the most interesting things in the museum, you might say to yourself "Wait, it is just an old cup," or "OK, so we all had little Kewpie Dolls," and what's the big deal? You will see that they (and all of the others) have fantastic back stories to them and all indeed really were big deals.

With tens of thousands of items to choose from, this writer really likes these 25. I mean, really likes them!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

17 Upstate New York Dog Parks for Your 'Good Boy' or 'Good Girl'

Lets face it, when the family dog is happy the whole family is happy! Dog parks are popping up in more and more communities across Upstate New York every day. Check out these 17 which cover every region of Upstate. Some are big, some are small. Some are basic running places, and others are elaborate dog playgrounds. And some even serve a glass of wine or craft beer for Mom and Dad to enjoy while Rover plays! Keep your furry friend happy at one of these dog parks today.

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio