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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Zipping along: Take an exhilarating ride on Hunter Mountain’s Zipline
Photograph courtesy of Zipline Adventure Tours
Hudson River Maritime Museum & Rondout Lighthouse, Kingston
For almost 200 years, the Hudson has been a major water highway linking Manhattan to Albany. One of the ports of call along the way was the Rondout Landing, once a bustling area of boatyards and rigging lofts that echoed with steam whistles and brass ships’ bells. But when shipping on the Hudson fell into decline, so did the fortunes of the Rondout. In 1980, the museum was opened and has since restored several riverside buildings and historic vessels; kids will enjoy seeing a working part of the Hudson’s legacy here. An exhibit hall features shows on maritime history. Outside there is a changing display of river vessels, including the 1899 steam tug Mathilda and the cruise boat Indy 7. Visitors to the landing have included the presidential yacht Sequoia and the sailing ships Clearwater and Woody Guthrie. Special weekend festivals are a great time to visit; they are usually held during the summer. The season opens in early May, and there is usually a harvest festival in October, with lots of local color and fun activities for children. Check the Web site for a complete schedule. Facilities: restrooms, gift ship.
50 Rondout Landing, at the foot of Broadway, Kingston. 845-338-0071; www.hrmm.org
Zipline Adventure Tours at Hunter Mountain, Hunter
This is the longest and highest zipline tour in North America and it opened at Hunter Mountain in 2010. Starting from the summit of Hunter, the most daring in the family can zip to seven platforms on over 10,000 feet of cable at 50 miles per hour. If this is too intense a recreational experience, there is an excellent alternative for the majority of families — the ecological canopy tour. Short zips, suspended walking bridges, and other wooden features to climb on and over are an exciting part of the tour that lasts over two hours. Afterward, kids can play on the 60-foot Adventure Tower filled with obstacles and fun climbs. This is definitely a unique attraction in the Catskills and will appeal to all ages. Facilities: restrooms, cafeteria, gift shop, snack bar.
Rte. 23, Hunter. 518-263-4388; or www.ziplinenewyork.com