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How To Visit The Corning Museum Of Glass In Upstate NY

How To Visit The Corning Museum Of Glass In Upstate NY

The Corning Museum of glass is an extremely popular thing to do in the NY Finger Lakes because it is appropriate for visitors of any age.

With interactive exhibits, glass blowing and a stunning museum gift shop, a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass is not easily forgotten.

In this detailed guide, we will show you:

  • What is the Corning Museum of Glass
  • How to get to the museum with parking options
  • Ticket options for your visit
  • 10 things to do at the Corning Museum of Glass
  • Our own personal photos for our visit
  • Tips only a local would know

Now, let’s explore the Corning Museum of Glass!

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Our Corning Museum Of Glass Experience

Man reading an informational plaque about a glass sculpture in upstate New York
Mark looking at an exhibit in the Corning Museum of Glass

Kristen grew up in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of upstate New York and we also temporarily lived in the area in 2019 when Mark officially immigrated to the US.

While we no longer live in the area, Kristen’s family still lives in upstate New York so we typically return to the area multiple times a year.

The photos in this guide are from our April 2023 visit and we spent an entire day exploring the best things you can do at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Growing up Kristen visited this museum many times as a child so we can tell you from experience, if you are planning to visit with kids, they will make memories to always remember!

Planning to visit the Finger Lakes? Don’t miss your chance to find the best Finger Lake waterfalls.

What Is The Corning Museum Of Glass?

The Corning Museum of Glass was established in 1951 by Corning Glass Works (now known as Corning Incorporated) on the companies 100th anniversary as a gift for the sole purpose of exploring glass.

Each year almost half a million visitors are welcomed at the Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) which now features one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of glass as well as a top glass working school.

Why Should You Consider Visiting?

Glass is an ancient and versatile material that is still bring understood by scientists and artists. The Corning Museum of Glass aims to helps us understand about glass through art, culture, science, craft and design.

Inside the museum, you will find over 50,000 objects spanning over 3,5000 years. But we think the best part about the museum is the live and narrated glass working demonstrations.

If that doesn’t peak your interest, you can also attend a make your own glass class so you can bring home your very own glass masterpiece.

Sound cool right?! Just keep reading to learn everything you need to know…

Where Is The Corning Museum of Glass?

The Corning Museum of Glass is located in the stunning Finger Lakes region of New York State nestled between Niagara Falls (150 miles) and New York City (about 250 miles).

Address: 1 Museum Way Corning, NY 14830

Corning Museum of Glass Google Maps location.

You will find the museum just off exit 46 on I-86 if you plan to drive, but you can also consider air or bus options.

Arriving by Air:

The closest regional airport is Elmira/Corning Airport and the museum is only a 15 minute drive away. Airline options include Delta and Allegiant Air with flights from Detroit and Orlando-Sanford.

Terp’s Enterprises can also arrange transportation from the airport to the museum. Call +1 (607) 795-4426 to make arrangements at least 24 hours before your flight arrives.

Entrance and museum shuttle sign for visitors
Main entrance to the Corning Museum of Glass

Where Should You Park When Visiting?

We like the Corning Museum of Glass because they offer free parking in a very large fully-accessible main lot. The museum entrance is only a short walk or free shuttle ride from this lot.

Here is a parking map for the museum.

Inside the main parking lot, you will also find the Welcome Center which provides information for new visitors as well as restrooms and heat if needed (gotta love the snow in upstate New York).

Travel Tip: If you are traveling with an RV, the museum has several large spaces in the back of the main lot for you to safely park.

Admission ticket prices for the Corning Museum of Glass
Admission prices for the Corning Museum of Glass

Corning Museum Of Glass Tickets

The Corning Museum of Glass is open year round from 9:00am to 7:00pm daily.

But you are planning to visit the library, hours are 10:00am to 4:00pm Monday to Thursday by appointment only.

You will need a ticket to visit the Corning Museum of Glass and there are three main ticket options:

  • Adults – $22
  • Discounted Admission – $18.70
  • Local Residents – $11

Discounted admission is available to visitors age 62+, AAA members and military. The Blue Star Museums Program offers free admission for active duty military from May 20th to Labor Day.

Kids aged 17 and under can visit the Corning Museum of Glass for free. Members are granted free admission.

There are many ways to purchase Corning Museum of Glass tickets. You can buy directly from the official website as well as onsite at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Or you can purchase an entry ticket through:

Compare prices on all platforms before purchasing to find the best deal.

Travel Tip: Museum admission tickets are valid for TWO consecutive days.

Two Museums For One Deal

If you want to visit the Corning Museum of Glass and the Rockwell Museum, you will receive a discount you purchase a combination ticket. The Rockwell Museum is located in Corning’s Gaffer District.

Here are the prices with the discount:

  • Adults – $30.30
  • Discounted Admission – $28.15
  • College Students – $23.85
  • Local Residents – $16

Members and kids under 18 are free at the Rockwell Museum as well. A free shuttle runs between the two museums all day.


Best Things To Do At The Corning Museum Of Glass

There are numerous activities to explore at the Corning Museum of Glass and we recommend spending an entire day at the museum so you can experience everything.

However, most people typically spend 3-4 hours at Corning Museum of Glass.

Below we will show you everything you can do when you visit the museum so you can plan out how much time you will need.

1). Make Your Own Glass

Red and green ornament being made at the Corning Museum of Glass in the shop
Mark’s Christmas ornament from our Make Your Own Glass class

We have to start this list of things to do at the Corning Museum of Glass with the make your own glass class. This is a really fun way to learn about glass and take home an amazing souvenir.

Location: Studio

Class options including hot glass working, fusing and even sandblasting with the help on an experienced glassworker. No experience is necessary and opportunities are available for all ages.

If you want to make your own glass, you will have to book ahead here. spots fill quickly so we recommend you book your experience online before your visit to secure your spot.

During our last visit, we made a glass flower and an ornament.

Kristen made the glass flower. With this project you can choose two colors and then form the flower petals as well as the stems. Additional PPE was provided with this project.

Mark made a round Christmas ornament for our tree. He chose two colors and then helped blow the glass into it’s round shape. No additional PPE was required with this project.

Travel Tip: Book a Make Your Own Glass class then schedule the rest of your visit around your class time.

Numerous displays in the Contemporary Art and Design Gallery
Numerous pieces in the Contemporary Art museum

This museum is located adjacent to the admissions lobby. These galleries are home to more than 70 works from the museum’s permanent collection.

Location: Second Floor

There are 4 main galleries representing nature, history, design and material. Many of the objects also coordinated with recent events and we liked this gallery because it make you think.

If you read about every object, you could probably spend about 1-2 hours in this area.

3). Stop By The Amphitheater Hot Shop

Birds eye view of the Amphitheater Hot Shop
Birds eye view of the Amphitheater Hot Shop stage

If this is your first time visiting the Corning Museum of Glass, you need to stop into the Amphitheater Hot Shop because this is where you will find the live and narrated glass blowing demonstrations.

Location: Second Floor

The demonstrations in the hot shop are offered every day multiple times a day and last for 30 minutes. The best part is demonstrations are free because they are covered in the cost of admission.

Be sure to stop in to see a master glassmaker sculpt a glowing blob of hot glass on the end of a pipe into a stunning vase, bowl or sculpture.

Travel Tip: For demonstration times, check with the admissions desk, look at the official website or visit the board located outside the amphitheater.

4). Take A Guided Glass Through The Ages Tour

Another great thing to do at the Corning Museum of Glass is joining a guided tour. The Glass Through The Ages tour will give you an overview of the museum’s collection.

Location: Admissions Lobby

Guided tours at the Corning Museum of Glass are offered free to visitors. Tours are offered at the top of the hour throughout the day and start in the admissions lobby. Allow 50-60 minutes for a guided tour.

5). Learn About The 35 Centuries of Glass

The popular 35 Centuries of Glass Gallery at the Corning Museum of Glass
Exhibits in the 35 Centuries of Glass gallery

History buffs will love the 35 Centuries of Glass exhibit at the Corning Museum of Glass. This is the section of the museum where you can easily lose hours.

Location: Second Floor

The 35 Centuries of Glass is one of the most comprehensive galleries in the world. It features 13 unique exhibits including:

  1. Ancient
  2. Roman
  3. Islamic
  4. Nature
  5. Venetian
  6. European
  7. Asian
  8. American
  9. Crystal City
  10. Paperweights
  11. Tiffany Studios
  12. Modern
  13. Study Gallery

This section of the Corning Museum of Glass is an absolute muse see because it tells the story of how glass began as well as showcasing the triumphs of glass making throughout history.

We thought the paperweight displays were fascinating! Who knew paperweights could be so intricately detailed with such vibrant colors.

Travel Tip: If visiting with kids, let them be a glass detective and find specific objects throughout the gallery. Pick up a pamphlet with instructions as you enter this exhibit.

6). Grab A Bite To Eat In The Café

On the ground level adjacent to the Museum Shop, you will find the Café at the Corning Museum of Glass. The café in museum is a good place to take a break and pick up a quick coffee or snack.

Location: First Floor

We like the café because you can take your food outside to enjoy in the courtyard or find a picnic table somewhere on campus. Indoor seating is also available.

Menu items include coffee, a noodle bar, pizza, soup, salads, sandwiches as well as grab and go hot options such as chick tenders, cheeseburgers or black bean burgers.

7). Visit The Shops

Glass objects for sale in the shops at the Corning Museum of Glass
Glass pieces for sale in the shops

The Shops at the Corning Museum of Glass can be a little overwhelming because this space spans an impressive 18,000 square feet.

Location: First Floor

Here you can find artisan made jewelry, holiday ornaments, hand made glass art, bakeware, home goods and even garden finds.

Travel Tip: Check out the $1000 Monopoly set made completely from glass!

8). Play In The Innovation Center

Man looking through a glass scope to see the points of interest in Corning
Mark looking through the scope in the optics gallery

Located on the third floor, the Innovation Center at the Corning Museum of Glass is easily the coolest part of the entire museum.

Location: Third Floor

A 300-ft bridge connects the three sections of the Innovation Center. In this exhibit, visitors can experience the Innovation Hot Shop, Flame working Demo and Glass Breaking Demo.

Be sure to visit all three galleries inside the innovation Center:

  • Optics Gallery – Discover how glass interacts with light
  • Vessels Gallery – The history of fiberglass and storage containers
  • Windows Gallery – Learn the basics of the windows we use today

This is a great place for kids to run around and meet the inventors who helped change the world through interactive displays.

9). Discover The Innovation Hot Shop

Artist at the Innovation Hot Shop making a red glass vase
An artist molding hot glass into a beautiful vase

If you liked the demonstration in the Amphitheater hot shop, you might like to attend another demonstration in the innovation hot shop.

Location: Third Floor

We attended both demonstrations during our visit and thought they were very similar. However, each demonstrations was provided by a different glassmaker so the technique was slightly different.

If you are short on time, we recommend picking one demonstration, but personally, we enjoyed both and appreciated watching two different glass products being made.

10). Special Exhibits

Informational exhibit about the 1972 Chemung River Flood
Special exhibit in the Corning Museum of Glass

Last but not least, another thing you should do at the Corning Museum of Glass is visit one of the special exhibits located in the Westbridge or Gather Gallery.

Location: Third Floor

There were three special exhibits when we visited in spring 2023:

  1. Fire and Vine: The Story of Glass and Wine
  2. Blown Away Season 3
  3. Reused Restored Rethought: Glass After The 1972 Chemung River Flood

The 1972 Chemung River flood devastated Pennsylvania and southern New York because the surrounding communities were inundated with several feet of water.

We visited the museum with Kristen’s parents who experienced the 1972 Chemung River flood and they remembered photos that were shared in this exhibit.

Travel Tip: Look for the water line from the 1972 Chemung River flood in the museum so you can see just how high the water levels were during this time.

Best Time To Visit The Corning Glass Museum

Since the Corning Museum of Glass is open everyday, you have the luxury to visit any day of the week.

We visited right when the Museum opened at 9:00am on a Wednesday in April. There was only one other set of people waiting in line with us. However, when we left around 2:00pm, the museum was very full.

So if you want to avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting early in the morning on a weekday.

The museum is quite large so you can spread out from others quite easily, but the glass blowing classes may be sold out if you do not book those ahead of time.

A red hot oven burning bright orange in the Ampitheater Hot Shop
Red hot oven with molten glass ready to be used

Is The Corning Museum Of Glass Worth It?

Yes, the Corning Museum of Glass is worth visiting because you can experience one of the most extensive collections of glass objects in the world.

The live glass demonstrations and the interactive exhibits also make this museum worth it because you can make your own glass souvenir to bring home from your trip.

We love how interactive this museum is for all ages. The museum often selects a certain glass piece that you need to find somewhere on campus.

When we visited, we had to find a glass umbrella which was a fun game and it honestly, took a us a long time to find.

So make sure you find the selected object when you visit for a prize!

Corning Museum Of Glass Photos

We loved visiting the Corning Museum of Glass and took many photos. Below you will find our favorite photos from our visit:

Exhibit showcasing the size of countries with glass pieces
Interesting exhibit with world populations represented in glass
Yellow flower and red ornament from the Corning Museum of Glass
Our yellow flower and Christmas themed ornament from the glass making class
Man smiling and pointing to a glass umbrella, one of the hidden objects at the Corning Museum of Glass
Mark smiling because he found the hidden umbrella in the museum
Woman walking on the sidewalk towards the Corning Museum of Glass
Kristen standing at the entrance to the Corning Museum of Glass
Sign indicating the temperature of glass
The temperature required to make this glass dish
An optical illusion made from a brick of glass
An optical illusion made from glass
Many glass cups and vases sitting on a shelf
Glass pieces sitting on a shelf
Main entrance with glass sculpture and Willys jeep at the Corning Museum of Glass
Dale Chihuly sculpture which is featured with the Seattle CityPASS
Man taking fun perspective shots with his camera
A perspective shot with our camera and glass
Close up intricate details of a glass paperweight
A close up view of a glass paperweight
Broken blue and white vase laying on a steel table
A broken vase on a table in the Amphitheater Hot Shop
A popular chess set at the Corning Museum of Glass depicting Christians and Jews
A very popular chess set on display at the Corning Museum of Glass
Woman posing for a photo in the Innovation Center at the Corning Museum of Glass
Kristen taking a photo in the Innovation Center
Old glass beaker exhibit showcasing many years of history
A history exhibit featuring old glass beakers

Corning Museum Of Glass FAQ’s

Let’s take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding Corning Glass Museum in Corning, New York:

How much time should you spend at the Corning Museum of Glass?

Visitors spend an average of 3-4 hours at the Corning Museum of Glass, but you could easily spend an entire day at the museum if you had time to spare.

Why should you visit the Corning Museum of Glass?

You should visit the Corning Museum of Glass because there are interactive exhibits, amazing glass blowing demonstrations and an extensive collection of glass art.

What can you do in Corning, New York?

After visiting the Corning Museum of Glass, you can visit Corning’s Gaffer District, visit the Rockwell Museum and stop at one of the many wineries or craft breweries nearby.

More New York State Guides

Want more New York content? Head over to our New York Travel Guides to explore the Finger Lakes, Adirondacks and the best of NYC.

We hope our guide to the Corning Museum of Glass helps with planning your visit!

Please let us know if you have any questions about the Corning Museum of Glass or the New York Finger Lakes region in the comments below.

Happy Glass Blowing,

Mark and Kristen

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