For those of us who live in the Village of Ballston Spa, downtown is less than a five minute walk - which gets us into the middle of everything: whether it's a cafe or restaurant, the library (or post office), or just because we're in the mood to sit in the park or along Front street and people-watch. This is a different way of doing things from getting into one’s car and heading out to the mall...

Ballston Spa today includes businesses that have been around for decades - O'Brien pharmacy, for example. Front Street and Milton Street (and side streets) contain shops in buildings erected well over a hundred years ago. A park or town square (Wiswall Park) complements the shops and restaurants with century oaks and benches. This gives the Village a unique blend of old and new:

Old - an architecture and layout that preserves that village feel, evoking a sense of continuity between past and present. New - all these vibrant, independently owned businesses that meet the needs of today's villagers and visitors, not just for goods and services, but for that hard-to-define sense of belonging and community.

The businesses have changed with the times, certainly. It's not the village grocer or a Five & Dime you'll find there now (although there’s some of that too). Today it's restaurants from casual to fine, antique shops, tea houses and coffee houses, a growing artist community, health food purveyors, and a spa & Healing Arts center among many others. Even the National Bottle Museum resides downtown, and its mission is to preserve the history of our nation’s first major industry: Bottle Making.

But there’s more to downtown than shopping, antiquing, or dining. Downtown businesses themselves, under the umbrella of the Ballston Spa Business and Professional Association, participate directly in creating and sustaining village life: Parades, Farmer’s Markets, Car Shows, Concerts in the Park, First Fridays and Sidewalk Sales, are among a few of these. The Village in turn sponsors community events like Family Fun Day, and the Winter Festival.

So this is Ballston Spa Downtown: it's about community – not just the word, which we hear thrown about so much these days; but about community in action. And this in turn is both an old, and a new way of the heart of old town charm...with new excitement.