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5 must-dos in Phoenicia

Family-friendly activities we recommend

kid friendly things to do in ulster county new york phoenicia

I have to admit, I’m not originally from the Hudson Valley.  Sure, I have lived here for six years, but when I was searching for a new town to explore I almost skipped over Phoenicia because I wasn’t sure how to pronounce it (try not to laugh at me too much). Thankfully, our newest editorial intern Jacqueline stepped in and assured me that I WAS pronouncing Phoenicia correctly. She also knew some great must-visit spots in the “Heart of the Catskills High Peaks Region.” So pack up the family this weekend and head over to Phoenicia. While you’re there check out these great spots.

1. Start your day with legendary pancakes at Sweet Sue’s Restaurant
With this popular restaurant due to reopening this spring, locals are salivating and patiently waiting for the return of Sweet Sue’s legendary pancakes. Customers are served huge plates with pancakes peeking over the edge. We recommend a Sweet Sue’s classic, the Red Monkey. The Red Monkey comprised of delicious pancakes filled with strawberries and bananas.

2. Take a ride on a mini train at The Empire State Rail Museum
Back in the day, the Hudson Valley was the Mecca of train transportation and the Empire State Rail Museum has preserved that piece of Hudson Valley history with the renovation of the Phoenicia Station. The Phoenicia Station was first built in 1899 by the Ulster & Delaware Railroad. Today the station is home to the Empire State Rail Museum and is an exhibition gallery for the museum’s collection of photographs and railroad memorabilia. After you’ve taken a gander at the museum’s collection, head out on a 45 minute railroad excursion!

3. Experience Whitewater Tubing at Town Tinker Tube Rental
What better way to enjoy summer than whitewater tubing down the Esopus Creek? Go on a fun and challenging adventure through the tides as you maneuver your way down the river. Depending on the water height, trips down the Esopus can range from 1.5 to 2 hours long. This is a great activity for your tweens and teens… remember, the Esopus can have 1 to 3 foot waves and rapids, so those enjoying the creek should be able to maneuver themselves and have the ability to keep calm if tossed from the tube.

4. Shop at Homer & Langley’s Mystery Spot Antiques
The Catskill’s most unusual vintage odditorum is a must-visit if you and your kids love treasure hunts or just love seeing weird stuff. The shop is divided into different kingdoms and sub-kingdoms, which actually (believe it or not) organize their massive collection of antiques. Our favorite exhibit is the collection of creepy dolls!

5. See a show at Shandaken Theatrical Society
Help Shandaken Theatrical Society celebrate its 40th anniversary this year! Playhouse visitors have seen several amazing shows over the year including The Sound of Music, Nothing Lasts Forever Anymore, and of course The STS Annual Christmas Show, which has become a Phoenicia family tradition. Tickets are just $10, so why not stop in to see Oklahoma in July?!


Let us know what your favorite things to do in and around Phoenicia are by commenting below! Be sure to let us know what towns you want to learn more about!

Brittany L. Morgan the web editor and executive assistant to the publisher at Hudson Valley Parent. Jacqueline Kavana is an editorial intern at Hudson Valley Parent and a senior at Mount Saint Mary College.