Chautauqua Institution – Jamestown Does It All…

If you are looking for a vacation spot to help you relax and experience new things, you must visit the Chautauqua Institution. The Chautauqua institution doubles as an education center and a summer resort. The institution has a rich history and has been listed on the National Register of Historic places.

Read here to learn more about the institution and the things you can do at the Chautauqua institution.

The Chautauqua Institution

In 1874, Lewis Miller and John Vincent, an inventor, and a Methodist Bishop, found Chautauqua, which started as a teaching camp. Initially, the camp taught Bible study and the geography of the Holy Land. However, soon it expanded to education, religion, music, arts, and recreation.

The resort now covers 2070 acres of land in Chautauqua, New York. Now, it offers many public events such as theatre, opera, and visual art exhibits.

Offering various educational programs in the fine arts, the institution gives diplomas to students that have completed their courses.

Other things you can do at the Chautauqua Institution include a CHQ trail, golf club, tennis, dining, and more.

Arts Education

Chautauqua promotes learning in performing, literary, and visual arts from grades pre-K to grade 12.

Young Playwrights Project

Chautauqua institution offers a three-part playwriting opportunity for younger students. The three phases of the project include:

  1. Phase 1: Phase 1 teaches the students how to write and includes a 30-minute assembly, a 60-minute in-class session, and a 20 minutes video, and then students are given a chance to write a play.
  2. Phase 2: Phase 2 allows students to hear and see their play read out and involves a 90-minute session with other community members.
  3. Phase 3: Students can see different plays that were chosen. The plays are played at the Chautauqua Theater Company.

School Residencies Programs

The program consists of a class meeting lasting 25 minutes per week over a ten-week residency. The program provides a learning opportunity for younger students interested in arts education. The program is divided into two:

  1. Feelin’ the Beat: Develops musical skills through drumming in grades pre-K to four.
  2. Sing Me a Story: Develops musical skills through singling and drumming, as well as lectures on rhythm and melody in grades pre-K to second.

Opera in the Schools

The program allows students the opportunity to experience an opera. The program is divided into two parts:

  1. Grade four and Five: Teaching artists deliver a 45-minute lesson on music skill development, and students will try out the “So You Think You’re Louder Than an Opera Singer” play.
  2. The Whole Elementary School: Students see the 45-minute opera play “Abraso de Oso.”

Professional Development for Teachers

The year-round training program teaches educational techniques to teachers. The Chautauqua Institution is certified by the New York State Education Department and offers Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) certification. The program includes an active session where teachers interact with elementary school students.

Battle of The Books

The competitive academic program consists of teams of five students and one coach that are assigned 12 books to read over five months. Then, during the competition finale, the teams must answer 50 trivia-style questions about the books, either a quote, event, or character.

Field Trips

The “Explore Chautauqua” field trip allows students to explore the institution for a day filled with learning, fun, adventure, and lunch.

Chautauqua Music Camps

The day camp allows students to explore Orchestra, Band, and Jazz. Four programs are offered in the camp:

  1. Chamber Ensemble: Grade nine to twelve students play woodwind and percussion instruments.
  2. Jazz Ensemble: Students of grades nine to twelve play the chamber ensemble and brass, guitar, drums, and piano.
  3. String Ensemble: students in grades six to twelve with experience in string instruments focus on large-scale ensembles.
  4. Instrumental: Grade six to nine students play basic woodwind and percussion instruments.

Things You Can Do at the Chautauqua Institution

Chautauqua is more than a learning institution and offers a wide range of recreational activities for all ages. Below are just some things you can do at the Chautauqua institution.

Health & Fitness

The Chautauqua health and fitness center helps you achieve your desired body health through personal training and group exercise. The center accommodates health goals, including weight loss, sports training, rehab, stress release, and general fitness.

Sports Club

The sports clubs offer many outdoor activities you can do at the Chautauqua Institution in the summer. These include:

  • Pontoon Boats
  • Kayaking
  • Paddleboards
  • Fishing
  • Shuffleboard
  • Softball
  • Ping Pong
  • Beach-to-Beach Sprint


With the option of swimming in the lake, Chautauqua also offers a 25-yard year year-round indoor pool at the Turner Community Center. The center offers lap swimming, private rentals, and family swims.

Golf Club

One of the most popular things you can do at the Chautauqua Institution is experiencing the quality-built golf course, consisting of two to four-star courses. Chautauqua also holds golf tournaments and the NJCAA Gold Championship.

Tennis Center

The tennis center at Chautauqua n route 394 consists of eight courts with a hydro grid system and clay playing surface. Additionally, two of the eight courts are illuminated at night.


The Chautauqua trail is a family-friendly recreation activity that includes education, hiking, bird watching, and other fun things for families to do together.


Chautauqua Sailing apartments offers a one-week sailing course that teaches beginner and advanced sailing techniques to all ages. The sailing program includes classroom lectures and hands-on activities.

The Must-Visit Chautauqua Institution

The Chautauqua Institution is a must-visit education center and resort for people visiting New York, with or without families. Some things you can do at the Chautauqua Institution include learning, sports, dining, shopping, exploring, and more. If you want a relaxing and stress-releasing vacation, Chautauqua is your go-to destination.

The Chautauqua Institution lies 17 miles Northwest of Jamestown. You can visit the interactive maps here for a detailed guide to getting to Chautauqua.

The McClain Family

We hope we helped. Please let us know of any place that you want to know about in NYS or if we did a poor job with any part of this. Our goal is to help as many people as possible.

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