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Turkey Mountain Nature Preserve - Experience nature and enjoy the amazing views of the Hudson Valley with a family fun hike! This hike takes less than a half hour to get to the top and take in the breath-taking views. Get your children active with hiking up this mountain and take a look at the different trials if you want to take an easy or challenging route. Make sure to take lots of picture of your kids with the beautiful view in the background!
Washington Irving’s Sunnyside - Do your children love the story of the Headless Horseman? They are in for a treat because now they can learn about the history of the author, Washington Irving, and take a tour through his riverside home. This historic home has spectacular views of the Hudson River and has the personality of Irving when he expanded on the cottage. You will be taken back in his time as your guide directs you while wearing the clothing of the times.
Muscoot Farm - Experience the farm life by taking your children to the nice and small Muscoot Farm! Your children will get to see various animals such as pigs and chickens at a free charge. Learn about the farming history by going through the historical farm buildings. You will love the gardens and farmers market that they open on the weekends. Enjoy a nice picnic with your family at this fun farm!
Bear Mountain State Park - Hiking, a carousel, a zoo, and more? What more can you get from spending a day at this family filled park. The options are endless here where you can hike up the mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Hudson River and Bear Mountain Bridge. Take your kids on the carousel that only costs a dollar filled with animal characters. The zoo is filled with beautiful animals such as the Otters who usually like to put on a show for their visitors by swimming around in their water. The lake has great access for fishing and boating for your family. Make sure to have a nice picnic at one of the picnic tables!
Nyack Farmers Market - Try some fresh foods and take a look at some beautiful crafts with your family at this Farmers Market! This is a great place for your family to grab a bite to eat and try different foods. The Market runs every Thursday from 8am-2pm until Nov. 23rd.
West End Beach - Have a beach day with your family! Take a swim in the Delaware River on a beautiful hot day. This is the perfect spot to go fishing while you are teaching your child how to fish. Your children will love the playground and the softball field that is available.
Emerald Point Restaurant - Need an affordable but delicious restaurant to eat at after a whole day of fun activities? The Emerald Point Restaurant has a variety of options for food as well as a children’s menu for your hungry kids. Take a seat in the indoor or outdoor seating area and enjoy the beautiful views of Greenwood Lake.
NY Renaissance Faire - Take your children on an adventure back in time to the Renaissance at the NY Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo Park! Get your children to show off their skills in Archery and the Test O’Strength games. Eat some fun and delicious food, such as the talked about turkey leg, as you watch jousting and various comedy shows. A day besides Halloween where you get to dress up? Your child will love dressing up in the time periods clothing before going to the faire. This faire is occurring from Aug. 6- Oct. 2 on Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day.
Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site - What better way to learn about George Washington than by visiting his own headquarters? Take your child on an interactive and fun history lesson about George Washington and his headquarters during the Revolutionary War located in Newburgh. You will learn some interesting facts and information as you are touring throughout the building and museum. The view of the Hudson River from this site will leave you speechless.
Blueberry Festival - Are you a blueberry fanatic? Then this festival is the one for you! Come participate in the 17th annual Blueberry Festival in Ellenville. Start the day with their delicious blueberry pancakes from 7:30-11am and then get involved in the celebratory attractions occurring from 9am-4pm. Purchase some delicious blueberry pies while seeing the results for the best homemade blueberry pie contest. Your child will love the attractions that are presented including face-painting and bouncy houses!
Awosting Falls - Take your children to Minnewaska State Park on an easy hike to the beautiful Awosting Falls! This hike is less than a mile’s stroll which is perfect on a hot day. Your children will love going into the water and seeing the beautiful falls. The views surrounding the hike and waterfall are spectacular and picture perfect.
Phoenicia Festival of the Voice - Starting Aug. 2-5th, celebrate music at this festival as it puts on various shows ranging from rock and roll to Broadway. Come together with music lovers as you hear the incredible voices of the singers and the soothing strum of the instruments. Your child will love the chance to sing along with you and enjoy the music. Is your family Beatles obsessed? On August 4th, the festival is putting on a “Rock the Beatles!” night that your Beatles loving family will enjoy.
Rail Trail Café - Take a stroll with your children on the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail until you get to the Rail Trail Café. This food cart is located between New Paltz and Rosendale. It is the perfect place to have a picnic while you are enjoying your time in the outdoors. Your children will love riding their bikes while stopping for a quick bite to eat. The Rail Trail Café has healthy and organic options such as salads, empanadas, and wood-fired pizzas.
Hunter Mountain Scenic Skyride - Want to experience the beautiful views of the Great Northern Catskills? Take a trip on the six-passenger Kaatskill Flyer chairlift as it takes you on a journey up Hunter Mountain. The peace and quiet of this journey will give you and your children a moment to be amazed at the beautiful scenery. Appreciate the nature around you and how lucky you are to experience nature in this moment.
Hudson-Athens Lighthouse - Tour this historical lighthouse and learn about its history in the 1930s as well as the history of the Hudson River through the last civilian lighthouse keeper. Visitors will arrive by boat from the Henry Hudson River Park in Hudson or the Athens Village Riverfront Park. Your child will love the chance to learn about the history of the lighthouse while touring it in person and hearing from the resident who lives there. Tours will be conducted on the second Saturdays from July to October.
Columbia County Fair - Rides, games, and cotton candy? Sounds like a dream come true to your children. Take your children for one of the days at the Columbia County Fair running from Aug. 31- Sept. 5th. Your children will love the petting zoo but mostly the sugar. Keep an eye out for a live performance from country group, Lonestar!
Hand Hollow State Forest - Take a bike ride with your children through this beautiful forest! View the beautiful wildlife and take lots of pictures. The summer time is meant to be spent outdoors during beautiful weather. Have a nice family picnic and reflect on the fun times that you have had together so far on this road trip throughout summer. Play some fun games together such as Kan Jam or a simple game of catch.
Dutchess County Fairgrounds - Have you ever seen a pig race? Well now you can at the Dutchess County Fair located in Rhineback! This fair runs from Aug. 23-28. You can browse and shop around at the craft stands and pet the animals in the livestock section. Your children will love the rides and games that are offered there. The part that everyone seems to be raving about is the food. Make sure that you try their milkshakes and cheese fries!
DC Sports - Who’s up for a round of mini golf? Check out DC Sports in Wappinger Falls where they offer a variety of family fun activities including mini golf, indoor golf, sand volleyball, and bumper boats. This place is fun not only for the kids but for the adults as well. Get active while having fun by playing these fun activities!
Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum - Need somewhere to take your young ones in safe place where they can explore and play? The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is the place for you! Your children will never get bored with all the endless activities and play areas where your child can dress up, climb, and play in interactive games. This is a great place where your children’s imagination can go wild as they can play pretend in the grocery store, dig for dinosaur bones, bake in the bakery, and so much more!
Fishkill Farms - Pick your own fruits at the Fishkill Farm! The month of July consists of delicious cherries and berries while in late July to August consist of juicy peaches and nectarines. Your family will love picking these fruits for themselves and then having it as a snack too! Enjoy the views and the farm animals but keep in mind that it is not a petting zoo so keep an eye on the little ones. They offer delicious foods on the weekends including hamburgers and hot dogs with their fresh fruit straight from the farm. Don’t forget to try the delicious apple cider donuts!
Cold Spring Farmers Market - Shop for some fresh produce with your family at the Cold Spring Farmers Market! Your family will love the fresh fruits and vegetables as well as the pastry selections. These vendors are extremely knowledgeable about their products and your children can learn a lot about their produce. Make sure you check out this Farmers Market occurring every Saturday until October!
Green Chimneys Farm and Wildlife Center - Enjoy summer at Green Chimneys for a weekend with your family! There are a variety of different animals that you can see such as ponies, sheep, chickens, and rabbits. The farm also has a swimming pool, kayaking, and a country store full of fresh products and treats. Your children will learn a lot about farms and nature through this educational facility!
Jacqueline Kavana is a student at Mount Saint Mary College and the editorial intern at Hudson Valley Parent