Our Family Getaway to The Chautauqua Harbor Hotel and The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York

It was Christopher’s third birthday and, unlike Dylan’s birthday, which is in the summer where we can swim and do all the fun summer outdoor activities, it was October and getting a little gloomy.  We wanted to make Christopher’s birthday super special despite the changing weather.   So we decided to take a little road trip to Chautauqua and go on “vacation” for his birthday. 
The brand new Chautauqua Harbor Hotel hosted our stay with their Hilarious Getaway Package, which includes tickets to the The National Comedy Center and Lucy/Desi Museum in Jamestown, New York.  Chautauqua Harbor Hotel is only 1.5 hours from Buffalo, and is the perfect destination at any time of year!  Sitting right on Chautauqua Lake, the property has the most gorgeous waterfront view and sunsets.  The kids loved exploring around the hotel property, walking along the water, playing mini golf, sitting by the fire and getting all their energy out on the playground at the park across the street.  I’m sure in the summer, they would have enjoyed swimming in their outdoor pool, however, the indoor pool and hot tub were perfect for an evening swim. 

Our accommodations were perfect.  We stayed in the hotel’s two room suite, which I would highly recommend for families; it is just so much more comfortable than sharing a single room with two beds.  Our suite had everything we could have possibly needed: two bathrooms- one with a walk in shower that could fit our whole family, sitting area with a fold out couch, patio with lakefront views, two refrigerators, a wet bar, fireplace, king sized bed, bathrobes for comfort, even two TVs (and yes, we designated one room for kids shows and the other room for “adult TV”… aka the news, lol!)    The boys were so cute when we walked into the room and they saw the modern fireplace along the wall and how classy everything was.  Dylan even suggested we take off our shoes when we arrived because it looked so fancy!  I love when my kids notice elegant things and show respect, it is definitely something we try to teach them.
For bedtime, Matt and I slept in the Master suite with Charlie in her KidCo peapod tent, which we would definitely recommend for travel.  It folds up so small and my babies have always loved sleeping in them.  I remember when Dylan was little, he used to go into it himself when he was tired.  We requested a pack & play for Christopher (which we put in the living space) and Dylan slept on the pullout couch.  I’m sure that both boys could have slept on the pullout couch, but we notice they fall asleep faster and sleep better if they are not in the same bed.  The separate rooms were perfect. It is definitely nice to not have to all go to bed at the same time and worry about waking up the kids at night. 

One of the convenient features about staying at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel is eating meals at the Lakeview Lounge and Grille right inside the hotel property.  We noticed many local residents eating there as well because the food was just that good.  We ate there both days for breakfast and dinner, it was so yummy. And kid friendly!  We were able to sit at the same table each day with a gorgeous view of the lake. It was fun to watch boats come by and see birds and people outside.  The kids loved coloring at the table and Matt took them outside to play mini golf and walk along the water while we waited for our food.  We kept Charlie in the stroller and fed her from there because it’s just easier, even though we were offered a high chair.  
The kids loved getting chocolate chip pancakes off the kids menu (served in the shape of a Mickey Mouse face) and Matt and I loved the various egg dishes.  Some of our favorite dinner entrees were the goat cheese bruschetta, miso salmon dinner, fish fry and the harvest salad with shrimp.  Also, as a part of the hilarious getaway package, if you wear your Groucho Marx glasses to dinner, you get a free dessert, which we definitely did and would highly recommend their cheesecake!

National Comedy Center: The new National Comedy Center museum was a big draw for us in planning this trip and also one of our first stops after we arrived.  Although geared for adults and older kids, the whole family loved the interactive and comedic exhibits.  When you arrive, they give you a wristband that has a sensor in it.  Before entering the first exhibit, you set up your profile according to what stand-up comics, TV shows and movies best fit your personality.  Then as you walk around the museum, you scan your wrist band to help personalize each exhibit according to what you would think is funny.  It also saves photos and work (ie memes) you did throughout the museum to create a personalized digital portfolio that you can have emailed to you.  One of our favorite things was a booth that would have you tell jokes to each other.  If you could get the other person to laugh, you would get a point, best out of 6 wins.  It was so fun!  It wasn’t the type of museum were you just looked at things behind glass, you were engaged the whole time; it was so well done and we were very impressed. Tickets are $30 per person (for the combo ticket with the Lucille Ball museum) and children under 6 years of age are free.
Jamestown Children’s Museum:  We knew the kids needed some time to play so we spent an hour or so here, which is right down the road from the National Comedy Center.  It was so fun for the kids and we were pleased to find out that a number of the exhibits were donated from our very own Explore & More Museum before they moved to downtown Buffalo.  Tickets are $5 per kid, parents free.  The kids liked it so much they asked us to go back the next day!
Southern Tier Brewery:  This is Matt’s favorite brewery and something he’s wanted to visit for years now!  There are tours of the brewery on the weekends, and plenty of “brewery-only” items you can purchase.  Matt bought a fresh growler of “Pumking”, a cool can-glass, and a bottle of a small batch brew that they don’t distribute to stores.  There is a tasting room and a pub where you can buy food as well, so it’s worth the visit.
I’d say Christopher’s birthday was a success.  Yes, he opened presents and got toys for his birthday, but what was even more special was having his daddy take off a day of work to get away and make memories together as a family, because #experienceoverthings is really what he will cherish the most.


  1. That's a great review. Haven't been to the hotel but the town is so quaint and special.

    1. So quaint!! We absolutely loved everything about it!! 💗

  2. Worth looking into. Excellent review.

  3. Amazing and lovely family. Love your blog and much love for your child.


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