Spring Into Adventure at These Kid-Friendly Hudson Valley Spots
Keep your little ones entertained and off their smartphones this spring at local indoor and outdoor destinations.
Photo provided by The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum
Get your hiking boots, swim trunks, camera, or sleeping bag ready to go and cross off some adventures on your family bucket list this season in the Hudson Valley. If you love the great outdoors, make a point to take that hike or fishing trip your family always dreamed about or dare them to an adrenaline rush on a sky-high waterslide. If moving and grooving isn’t your thing, then stroll on over to the region's historic sites, bookstores, and museums. Wherever you go, you and the kids are bound to have a blast!
Hop off the trolley and grab a quick bite before or after a show at the iconic Palace Theatre. Families can wander around the Downtown Albany Entertainment District and stop into local shops. Tickets for musical performances and films are on sale online or at the box office. The Palace features Family Fun Days, during which kids can kick back with flicks like Hocus Pocus, The Princess and the Frog, and Frozen.
Slip on your hiking boots and take a walk down the many trails at Wilton Wildlife Park. Little ones can explore the land’s treasures during youth programs that take them on pond explorations, butterfly walks, wellness walks, and more. Look out for the Wilton Wildlife Festival, which offers tours, programs, walks, and a BBQ for the community, in June.
Let loose and participate in hands-on activities like Afternoon ABC 123 and Making Masterpieces, which allow kids to be creative and learn from others. Attend a Family Free Night at the museum on the third Saturday of each month. Parent supervision is required, and children ages 0-6 are welcome to attend.
SplashDown Beach has waves suitable for any age. Take your family to the park to experience the swirly rides and monster wave pool, and even float down the lazy river. Or, if rides are not for you, hang out at the coconut pool and rock beach.
Preschoolers can listen and learn at storytelling readings from Briars & Brambles employees. Explore the shop after and pick up a few books to take home.
Ride the wave pool, swirl along the typhoon twister, fly down the 600-foot Wild River Ride, and race your way through the Grand Prix Splashway at the East Durham water park. Take on the rides with friends and family, or challenge yourself to go it alone. Large coolers are acceptable in Zoom Flume’s new picnic pavilion, although a variety of concession options are also available onsite.
Outdoor Discovery Center, Cornwall
Wildlife Education Center, Cornwall-On-Hudson
Swing by the center for a few family fun events and watch out for nature along the many hiking paths. Spend the afternoon meeting the animals at the Stomping Grounds at the Wildlife Education Center to learn more about the habitats and creatures in the Valley.
Travel back in time and see artifacts from wheelmakers and blacksmiths along with old school and salt box homes. Take a tour of the log cabins and pottery shops along with educational programs where you can churn butter or watch how brooms are made.
Breathe the fresh air, take in the area, and bring your camera for a great photo opportunity at historic Boscobel in Garrison. Beginning in April, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival arrives to charm audiences with iconic performances that vary each year and spotlight some of the Bard's most noteworthy works. Throughout the summer, a farmers’ market also makes its way to the grounds with fresh vegetables and yummy treats. Take a tour around the blossoming gardens and stop in the Design Shop for a memento.
Are your family members bookworms or museum fans? This local library hosts programs for younger children who are interested in having fun and learning. For little ones who want to explore beyond the Valley, the Kent Lakes spot offers museum passes for the Gugggenheim, Intrepid, Firefighting Museum, MOMA, and Storm King.
Discover the science behind how things are made at The Children’s Museum of Science + Technology, which offers workshops, camps, and activities around science and technology-based topics. Each exhibit focuses on themes like construction, nature, energy and motion, and engineering, which means kids can get a taste for a range of fascinating subjects all in one place.
Grab your picnic blanket and pack a lunch for your family to celebrate the arrival of spring. Don’t forget to bring your binoculars to the bird conservation area, where you could spot a bald eagle, cerulean warbler, and blue heron. Other activities include canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and going for a bike ride.
Take a dip in the swimming pool and go for a picnic afterwards at Bear Mountain State Park. Families can visit the merry-go-round and pavilion, then adventure onto the numerous hiking trails, basketball courts, and the Perkins Tower. This park hosts more than three million visitors annually. For more information about the pool dates and times, call 845.786.2701
Want a place to fish, swim, boat, and camp? Then visit this sandy beach in the hills of the Ramapo Mountains. Swimming is available beginning in mid-May until September. Hike and picnic at the Beaver Pond Campground in the park and remember to grab your swim trunks and sunscreen for a day in the sun.
Calling all painters and artists! Here’s your chance to immerse yourself in the world of art. Don’t forget the family days at the Dorsky, where kids can see the featured art and make something hands-on afterward.
Take your kids for a picnic and let them run free at this 300-acre park. Nature centers, a playground with slides and swings, and a splash area make for a great couple of hours. Admission to Bowdoin is free, and the park offers handicap accessibility and a dog-friendly environment.
Everything is awesome! Explore the LEGO factory on a tour, see if you have ninja skills at Ninjago City, or sit back and enjoy a 4D movie. Gape at the 1.5 million pieces it took to build the Miniland city, then try to spot the Miniland figures hidden in the attraction. After that, take the rest of the day to learn some new building tips at LEGOLAND’s master builder workshops.
These Mexican gray wolf pups look like they’re posing for a group photo, but a bit reluctantly - a familiar holiday scenario for many of us! Photo by WCC Curator Rebecca Bose #SonyAlpha #BeAlpha #lobos #wolfpack #wolf #mexicangraywolf #endangeredspecies #wolfconservationcenter #nature #conservation #familyportrait
Want to sleep among the wolves? The Wolf Conservation Center offers an overnight sleepovers with up to four people per tent. Pre-registration is required for programs including Winter Wolves for Kids, Evening Howl for Pups of All Ages, Full Moon Wolf Walks, and more. Learn more about the conservation of wolves with the educational programs and activities at the center.