Bear Mountain Zoo– There are four museums and a zoo along the trail at Bear Mountain. The zoo is home to many birds, mammals and reptiles. They also offer tours and special events throughout the summer. In addition to the zoo at Bear Mountain, take a walk around the lake or rent a paddle boat, take a ride on a horse in the carousel house or enjoy a picnicnear the lodge! Bear Mountain, NY (845) 786-2701(845) 786-2701.
Belleayre Mountain– The Belleayre Beach is the place for boating, swimming and summer fun! Rte. 28, Highmount. 845-254-5600845-254-5600.
Bounce! Trampoline Sports– There is always a chance for a rainy spring break so keep a list handy of some of the great indoor play spots in the area for little ones to get their energy out while having a great time with the whole family. Bounce is one of the many places that kids of all ages could have a great time at! Valley Cottage, NY (845) 268-4000(845) 268-4000.
Castle Fun Center– An indoor/ outdoor amusement park packed full of fun for the whole family. Some of the many attractions include, roller skating, laser tag, bowling, mini golf, go karts, arcade, batting cages and more. Also hold events and parties! Chester, (845) 469-2116(845) 469-2116.
Catskill Animal Sanctuary– Meet the animals: cows, goats, horses, sheep and more that have all been rescued by the sanctuary. 316 Old Stage Rd., Saugerties. 845-336-8447845-336-8447.
Catskill Mountain Railroad– An entirely volunteer run company, the CSM takes you on a scenic ride aboard a vintage train through the Catskills. They also hold multiple family- fun events throughout the year including a visit from Chuggington and friends this summer! Kingston,845-688- 7400845-688- 7400.
Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck– Enjoy Broadway caliber performances in Rhinebeck! Summer series includes Seussical The Musical, The Producers, The Me Nobody Knows, and many more. Rhinebeck, 845-876-3080845-876-3080.
Fair Oaks Drive-In– Apr.-Sept. newly released films; two features per night. Rte. 17M, Middletown. 845-361-5774845-361-5774.There are a number of awesome drive- ins in our area. Check them out here.
Falcon Ridge Equestrian Center– A safe, family friendly environment where you can learn grooming, saddling & bridling, shoes & hoof care, and of course, horseback riding. Walden, 845-778-0250845-778-0250.
Forestburgh Playhouse– The oldest, continuously operating, professional summer theatre in New York State, bringing the best of Broadway to the Catskills. Forestburgh, 845-794-1194845-794-1194.
Forsyth Nature Center– Low cost programs for adults and kids: nature walks, pond walks, beekeeping, paddle trips, turtle talk, hikes and more special events and programs. Lucas Ave., Kingston. 845-331-1682845-331-1682.
Francis A. Hanofee Park, Swimming pool, picnic areas, row boat/paddle boat rentals, hiking trails and more. Sunset Lake Rd., Liberty. 845-292-7690845-292-7690.
Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS)- Equestrian hunter/jumper shows May-Sept. Free shows Wednesday-Friday; fee on weekends. 454 Washington Ave., Saugerties. 845-246-8833845-246-8833.
HudsonHighland Nature Museum- Offering a spring break camp for ages 6-9. Weekend programs for the entire family and mid- April, Grasshopper Grove, an all- natural playground for the children will re-open for the season. Cornwall, 845-534-5506845-534-5506.
Hudson River Maritime Museum– Indoor and outdoor exhibits on Hudson River maritime history, a gift shop, waterfront special events, and boat rides to the historic Rondout Lighthouse. 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston. 845-338-0071845-338-0071.
The Hudson Valley Rail Trail: One of the Hudson Valley’s treasures is the many rail trails that wind through the woods, over rivers and through the mountains. We have the Walkway over the Hudson, The Dutchess Rail Trail, Harlem Valley Trail, The Catskill Scenic Trail, The Mohonk Preserve, Orange Pathways, and the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail.
Hudson Valley Renegades Baseball– New York-Penn Leagues affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. June-Sept. 1500 Rte. 9D, Dutchess Stadium, Wappingers Falls. 845-838-0094845-838-0094.
Hunter Mountain– In the summer Hunter Mountain is host to many festivals and events but they also have zip line and canopy tours, sky ride, 4×4 adventure, fly fishing, hiking, golf, and disk golf can also be enjoyed all summer long. Hunter, (800) 486-8376(800) 486-8376FREE.
Hurds Family Farm– Apple picking, gem mining, hayrides, jumping pillow, hay maze, corn maze, kids’ activities and more. Modena, 845-883-7825845-883-7825.
John R. Kirk Planetarium– Visit the planetarium and take your family to the stars. With shows year- round you will get an up- close experience of the galaxies, stars, planets and more. New Paltz.
Lake Superior State Park– Swimming, boat rentals, boating, fishing, picnic facilities, food concession. Dr. Duggan Rd., Bethel. 845-583-7908845-583-7908.
Locust Grove– The grounds and gardens are open to the public from 8am until dusk. The views are spectacular and the grounds are beautiful all year round. If warm enough, pack a picnic lunch and visit locust grove for a wonderful afternoon. Poughkeepsie, 845-454-4500845-454-4500.
Mid Hudson Children’s Museum– New and exciting exhibits kids will have a great day exploring at the museum. If the weather cooperates you can combine your trip with the walk over the Walkway over the Hudsonand/ or a walk down the waterfront. Poughkeepsie, 845-471-0589845-471-0589.
Motorcyclepedia Museum– Over 450 motorcycles from 1897 to Present. Rare vintage bikes and more! Newburgh, 845-569-9065845-569-9065.
Museum Village– A unique open- air museum which gives visitors a chance to learn and explore 19thcentury American life. A large collection of artifacts and exhibits, hands- on learning experience and events for the entire family. Monroe, (845) 782-8248(845) 782-8248.
Neversink Valley Area Museum– 300-acre park and museum with children’s activity center, trails, narrated boat rides. 26 Hoag Rd., Cuddebackville. 845-754-8870845-754-8870.
Olana State Historic Site– Hudson. Home of Hudson River School artist Frederic Church. Children’s summer programs, hiking trails, and more. Grounds open year-round. 5720 State Rte. 9G, Hudson. 518-828-0135518-828-0135.
Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome– Weekend air shows June through October. Children under 6 free. Norton Rd., Rhinebeck. 845-752-3200845-752-3200.
Orange County Arboretum– Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens or a closer look at the plants and wildlife here. The arboretum serves as a fun place families can explore, learn or simply enjoy. They also offer programs, some child friendly so take a peek at the calendar for more info. Campbell Hall, 845-615-3824845-615-3824.
Poet’s Walk– We could go on for days listing all the great state parks and landmarks in and around the Hudson Valley (and maybe we will in another article!) but to keep this list to only 50, we are pulling out a beautifully romantic spot in Rhinebeck the whole family can play and explore. You can bring your dog, hike or picnic on the grounds. Rhinebeck.
Poughkidsie– An all- in- one indoor destination for toddlers through pre- teens. Kids can easily spend hours playing and exploring the village and creating in the enormous art studio. Poughkeepsie, (845) 243-3750(845) 243-3750.
Rocking Horse Ranch– An all inclusive family resort right here in the Hudson Valley. The ranch offers many indoor and outdoor activities including water park, boating, horseback riding and more! Plus dining, kids programs and entertainment. Highland, (845) 691-2927(845) 691-2927.
Rock Ridge Alpaca Farm– Enjoy an educational free farm tour every weekend, “Shop the Shed,” and more! Chester, 845-469-6196845-469-6196.
Rondout Lighthouse- Historic 1913 Lighthouse. Tour guides on site. Access only by tour boat at Hudson.
Saugerties Lighthouse– An 1869 Hudson River landmark, the lighthouse is a beautiful day out for the whole family. Many easy walking trails along the banks of the river, plenty of picnicking spots and an easy walk right up to the lighthouse. Plus, if you are lucky enough to go kid free for the night, the lighthouse is also a wonderful bed and breakfast! Saugerties, (845) 247-0656(845) 247-0656.
Shaupeneak Ridge– Another of the Hudson Valley’s many treasures is the amazing family- friendly hiking spots throughout our region. From spots overlooking the Hudson River like the Shaupeneak Ridge to spots in the mountains or even just a quick trip around a lake like at Bear Mountain State Park. Other great hiking spots here.
SplashDown Beach– Wave pool, water slides, “lagoons,” bumper cars and boats, mini golf. 16 Old Rte. 9 West, Fishkill. 845-897-9600845-897-9600.
Sprout Creek Farm– Go visit the cows, goats, chickens and other animals on this working farm. Plus taste the delicious award winning cheeses and take it from me, the homemade ice cream is to die for! Educational programs and summer camps too. Poughkeepsie, NY (845) 485-8438.
Storm King Art Center– One of the world’s leading sculpture park open to visitors to explore. There are also special events and kids’ days throughout the summer as well. New Windsor, (845) 534-3115(845) 534-3115.
Trevor Zoo– A wonderful little zoo open year round. You can spend a few hours visiting with the animals and exploring the zoo, pack a picnic lunch and eat near the llamas and then take a short drive over to Millbrook Tribute Gardens and playground. Millbrook, (845) 677-3704(845) 677-3704.
Trolly Museum of New York– Ride along the majestic Hudson River. See antique trolleys and our Visitors Center. 89 East Strand, Kingston. 845-331-3399845-331-3399.
Vanderbilt Mansion– Families can easily spend the day exploring the mansion, cottages, gardens and grounds. Bring a picnic, hiking shoes or just take a stroll along the river. There is so much to see and do, Vanderbilt Mansion quickly becomes a local family favorite. Hyde Park,(845) 229-7770(845) 229-7770.
Wilcox Memorial Park- Camping, lake swimming, picnicking, fishing, hiking, athletic fields, miniature golf. Rte. 199, Stanfordville. 845-758-6100845-758-6100.
Yogi Bear Jelly Stone Park– Not just a campground, but a resort. Don’t miss the new Interactive Splash Pad that features an exciting water playground with 100 foot waterslides, kiddie slides, water forts, water cannon and more! Gardiner, 845-255-5193845-255-5193.
Greater New York
Air Rock Gym– A large indoor climbing gym has a course for all skill levels. Floor to ceiling tracks, overhangs, caves, glass features and a 60ft. zip line. Albany, (518) 459-7625(518) 459-7625.
Billy Beeze– A 26,000 square foot play arena with twisty slides, trampolines, obstacle courses and so much more. Also a giant slide and sports court for added fun. West Nyack, NY (845) 535-9277(845) 535-9277.
Bronx Zoo– You can easily spend a day or two explore each animal exhibit at one of the best zoo’s on the east coast. In addition to the animals, families can enjoy a 4-D theater, carousel ride, penguin and sea lion feedings, camel rides, monorail and zoo shuttle.Bronx, NY (718) 367-1010(718) 367-1010.
Central Park Zoo– A wonderful zoo for families, especially with small children. A 4-D theater, penguin and sea lion feedings, a children’s zoo, rainforest, sea lion pool, bear over look, snow leopard, polar circle, temperate territory and hundreds of animals! New York, (212) 439-6500(212) 439-6500.
FASNY Museum of Firefighting– Learn the story of the American firefighter though exhibits that take a look back in time. Complete a Jr. Firefighter course, experience a real call to the scene in a virtual fire truck ride, learn all about fire safety, join in on the parade and play on a life size firetruck! Hudson, NY (518) 822-1875(518) 822-1875.
Great Escape Lodge & Water Park– Of course you can plan an overnight trip to Great Escape Lodge including the water park but if you are up for a daytrip, grab a day pass to the water park for a little under $30 and splash away all day long! Queensbury, (518) 824-6000(518) 824-6000.
Greenburgh Nature Center– A 33 acre nature preserve filled with trails, a garden and pond and dozens of natural wildlife calling this space home. The center offers a variety of programs and events as well as an indoor animal museum. Scarsdale, NY (914) 723-3470(914) 723-3470.
Howe Caverns– Take an exciting tour deep into a cave! There are a variety of tours to choose from including lantern tour, photo tour, adventure, traditional or more. Families can also enjoy one of the many activities at the adventure park like zip lines, rock wall, air jumper, or gemstone mining. Howes Cave, NY (518) 296-8900(518) 296-8900.
Lego Land– Let your creativity and imagination run wild as the family plays, builds and learns at this cool, Lego themed amusement park. Great for all ages, there is an area for little builders, master builders and everyone in between. Take your chances at the race track, catch a 4-D movie, take a factory tour, a laser quest ride, giant play structure and that’s just a sampling of the fun! Yonkers, NY (866) 243-0770(866) 243-0770FREE.
Museum of Natural History– A museum that really has something for everyone. For the history buffs in your family to the kids, the museum has a hands-on discovery room for the kids and lots of programs for the whole family all year long. New York, (212) 769-5100(212) 769-5100.
The National Museum of Play– Hands- on imaginative play exhibit featuring life- sized doll house, teddy bear check-ups, action adventure and dress up. Visit the butterfly garden, supermarket and even Sesame Street! There are super heroes, the Bernstein Bears, discovery garden, aquarium, carousel, toy hall of fame and even more! Rochester, NY (585) 263-2700(585) 263-2700.
NYS Museum– For families with kids of all ages, there is something for everyone including archeology excavations from NY state, an interactive map of NY, fire engine hall, plenty of history and a large carousel from 1912! Albany, NY (518) 474-5877(518) 474-5877.
Palisades Center– The Palisades center is filled with great family fun! From the IMAX theater to the world’s largest indoor ropes course, bowling alley, comedy club, carousel, ice rink and Ferris wheel there is something to do for everyone. West Nyack, (845) 358-4629(845) 358-4629.
Zoom Flume Water Park– Large water park in mountain setting. Snack bars, gift shop, free parking. 91 Shady Glen Rd., East Durham. 800-888-3586800-888-3586FREE.
Danbury Railway Museum– Take an inexpensive ride through the yard on a vintage train. Inside you can control the large model train exhibits, visit the gift shop and toy train area. Danbury, CT (203) 778-8337.
Dinosaur State Park– One of the largest dinosaur track sites in North America. A large display of early Jurassic dinosaur fossil tracks, and over two miles of nature trails along with an arboretum housing more than 250 varieties of trees and plants. Kids can also meet animals, and explore a variety of hands- on activities, cast a track or mine for gems and minerals. Rocky Hill, CT 860-529-5816860-529-5816.
Maritime Aquarium– Meet a dragon, touch a Jelly Fish, touch a shark, visit lots of fish and other sea life and learn all about the Long Island Sound! A wonderful family aquarium within driving distance of the Hudson Valley! Norwalk, CT (203) 852-0700(203) 852-0700.
Monster Mini Golf– A unique game of mini golf under neon lights and black walls, complete with monsters and lots of fun. Arcade games too. Danbury, CT (203) 744-4653(203) 744-4653.
Mystic Aquarium– Indoor/ outdoor aquarium in a fun Ct. town. Explore fish, beluga whales, reptiles, jelly fish, penguins and lots more. Experience the 4-D theater, wildlife shows, the Pacific North West and feeding times. Mystic, CT (860) 572-5955(860) 572-5955.
Stepping stonesmuseum for children- A fully hands- on museum with a focus on learning through play. Over a dozen interactive exhibits and a solar train complete your visit. Norwalk, CT (203) 899-0606.
Adventure Aquarium– Create memories at the aquarium this summer! The Adventure Aquarium houses thousands of species, hands- on exhibits, play at the unique “uner the sea” playground perfect for kids, and get up close and person with sharks in the 40ft. shark tunnel! Camden, NJ (856) 365-3300(856) 365-3300.
Diggerland USA– A theme park dream for construction truck and big machine fans of all ages! This construction themed amusement park give families the opportunity to ride, drive and operate heavy machinery. Families will also have a blast at the many fast- paced attractions and rides! West Berlin, NJ (856) 768-1110(856) 768-1110.
Liberty Science Center– Over 300,000 square feet of learning and fun! There are 12 exhibit halls, a large live animal collection plus aquarium, 3D theater, IMAX, and so much more at the Liberty Science Center. They truly make science and learning fun for the whole family. Jersey City, NJ (201) 200-1000(201) 200-1000
Sahara Sam’s Indoor Water Park– The sister to Diggerland, Sahara Sam’s is NJ’s first free standing indoor water park complete with 58,000 square feet of water fun for everyone. West Berlin, NJ (856) 767-7580(856) 767-7580.
The Crayola Factory-Get your creativity on with 4 floors of Crayola fun! The Factory features 25 attractions, café and official Crayola store! Easton, PA (610) 515-8000(610) 515-8000
Great Wolf Lodge– From spray features for toddlers to thrilling tube rides and beyond. There is plenty for everyone to enjoy. In addition to water rides, you can also enjoy a kid’s spa, arcade and adventure game. Scotrun, PA (570) 688-9899(570) 688-9899.
Please Touch Museum– The leader in purposeful play, the Please Touch Museum is filled with fun, learning and plenty of hands- on play. Philadelphia, PA (215) 581-3181(215) 581-3181.
Sesame Place– A childhood favorite comes to life as soon as you walk into Sesame Place. Meet and greet all your favorite furry characters, sign and dance with live shows and parades, enjoy many rides and attractions and cool down with water slides and pools. Langhorne, PA (215) 752-7070(215) 752-7070.