Fun Family Activities and Places to Go in the Hudson Valley, Upstate NY

Let’s take the kids! Former Hudson Valley editor Joanne Michaels gives us some tips on where to delight kiddies of all ages — from tots to teens


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Making a family excursion with kids has never been more fun. In fact, it’s likely to lead to fewer refrains of what many parents dread hearing most: “Are we there yet?” With so many petting zoos, parks, farms — some with pick-your-own fruit, vegetable, or flower options; museums and historic mansions; athletic facilities; and amusement parks — there’s something for almost any age group and price point. Many activities are free or available for minimal cost, and facilities often have cafes and restrooms right on their premises. Here, we outline eight great outings for different age groups taken from Let’s Take the Kids, the updated version of the beloved classic from former Hudson Valley Editor in Chief Joanne Michaels. You’ll find that many of the choices will appeal to parents, even without a child in tow. Just don’t tell the younger set.

Ages 3 and under

Jumpin’ Jakes, Middletown & Fishkill
Open year-round. This is a great stop to let kids blow off steam after spending time in the car traveling. The inflatable play structures here give children the chance to climb walls, crawl through obstacles, bounce, and zoom down enormous slides. There are toddler zones, video games, music, and a light floor. Facilities: restrooms, snack bar.
360 Rte. 211 E., Middletown; 845-343-5867
982 Main St., Fishkill; 845-897-1744
2600 South Rd., Poughkeepsie (Poughkeepsie Plaza); 845-849-1075.

Petting Zoo at Love Apple Farm, Ghent
This is truly a special place that kids will love. In addition to the petting zoo (children may feed the baby animals from bottles and cups of dried food), there are dozens of varieties of apples to pick in season — along with peas, strawberries, cherries, and peaches. The doughnuts and home-baked fruit pies are first-rate and are for sale at the beautiful market on the premises. There is also a tree forest playground where children will enjoy running around freely.
1421 Rte. 9H, Ghent 518-828-5048;

» See more farms and sites for apple-picking


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