Here’s a sampling of Hudson Valley day trips that will provide some inexpensive fun for kids. No need to go far away for a little getaway. keep it local and keep it fun. (We threw in a special destination for parents — get a sitter!)
The Hudson Valley Rail Trail-
One of the Hudson Valley’s treasures is the many rail trails that wind through the woods, over rivers and through the mountains. We have the Walkway over the Hudson, The Dutchess Rail Trail, Harlem Valley Trail, The Catskill Scenic Trail, The Mohonk Preserve, Orange Pathways, and the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. 12 Church St., Highland. 845-691-2066.
For a more lavish--and parent-friendly--getaway, this place is luxurious and romantic. An all-inclusive hideaway replicated as an early twentieth century Tuscan villa, the mansion boasts acclaimed restaurants, a spa, bocce and tennis courts, croquet, and a library, all running on geothermal energy. 634 Pine Hill Rd., Chester. 845-469-1900.
Castle Fun Center- Enjoy everything from themed mini-golf to go-cart races and batting cages! If it's rainy, check out the extensive arcade, complete with a ballocity, and grab a bite to eat at Jesters Restaurant & Pub before hitting the rock wall, roller rink, or laser tag arena. 109 Brookside Ave., Chester. 845-469-2116.
Colonial Lanes Bowling Center-
32 state-of-the-art lanes with automatic scoring, kid-friendly bumpers, cosmic lighting and sound system. Full service restaurant and arcade. 78 Brookside Ave., Chester. 845-469-3005.
Converted rail bed of the Erie Railroad. Walk, jog and bike on this scenic route. Trail entrances located in Goshen, Chester and Monroe. 845-294-8886.
Fishing, boat rentals, children's playground, 4-mile walking/running trail around the lake, and pavilion rentals. Rte. 300, Newburgh. 845-564-7815.
Bear Mountain Zoo-
There is and a zoo along the trail at Bear Mountain that is homes to many birds, mammals and reptiles. In addition to the zoo at Bear Mountain, take a walk around the lake or rent a paddle boat, take a ride on a horse in the carousel house or enjoy a picnic near the lodge! 55 Hessian Dr., Highland Falls. 845-786-2701.
Over 500 motorcycles from 1897 to Present. Rare vintage bikes and more! 250 Lake St., Newburgh. 845-569-9065.
A unique open- air museum which gives visitors a chance to learn and explore 19th century American life. A large collection of artifacts and exhibits, hands- on learning experience and events for the entire family. 1010 State Rte. 17M, Monroe. 845-782-8248.
Neversink Valley Area Museum-
300-acre park and museum with children’s activity center, trails, narrated boat rides. 26 Hoag Rd., Cuddebackville. 845-754-8870.
Orange County Arboretum-
Take a leisurely stroll through the gardens or a closer look at the plants and wildlife here. The arboretum serves as a fun place families can explore, learn or simply enjoy. 211 Rte. 416, Montgomery. 845-615-3828.
Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum-
A nice alternative to walking around in the mall, with hands-on exhibits, toddler activities, and seasonal celebrations year-round. Arrive weekday mornings to avoid crowds. 75 North Water St., Poughkeepsie. 845-471-0589.
Walkway over the Hudson-
Take a stroll on the new Walkway over the Hudson — 212 feet over the river! It’s 1.3 miles of magnificence, offering Hudson Valley views second to none. Picnic benches and restrooms can be found at either end and children can be easily watched. 87 Haviland Rd., Highland and 61 Parker Ave., Poughkeepsie. 845-454-9649.
FDR Mansion –
This mansion and library is a wonderful and historical place to learn about a piece of our country's history. Admire the park around the house and a cliff with a picnic area where you and your family can view the beautiful scenery of the Hudson Valley. 4097 Albany Post Rd., Hyde Park. 845-229-9115 Ex. 2010.
Culinary Institute of America, CIA
Enjoy a 5 star meal at one of four restaurants located on CIA’s campus for great prices. Taste exotic foods, home style foods, sweet foods, or just for food, prepared by aspiring chefs. 1946 Campus Dr. (Rte. 9), Hyde Park.
Bounce! Trampoline Sports-
Bounce is 10,000 sq. ft. of interconnected trampolines to play slam dunk basketball, trampoline dodgeball, or jump into foam pits. Separate Bounce Jr. Zone for kids 6 and under. 2 Neptune Rd., Poughkeepsie. 845-206-4555.
Center for Performing Arts at Rhinebeck-
Enjoy Broadway caliber performances in Rhinebeck! 661 Rte. 308, Rhinebeck. 845-876-3080.
The grounds and gardens are open to the public from 8am until dusk. The views are spectacular and the grounds are beautiful all year round. If warm enough, pack a picnic lunch and visit locust grove for a wonderful afternoon. Poughkeepsie. 845-454-4500.
Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum-
New and exciting exhibits kids will have a great day exploring at the museum. If the weather cooperates you can combine your trip with the walk over the Walkway over the Hudson and/ or a walk down the waterfront. 75 N. Water St., Poughkeepsie. 845-471-0589.
A beautifully romantic spot in Rhinebeck the whole family can play and explore. You can bring your dog, hike or picnic on the grounds. 776 River Rd., Red Hook. 845-473-4440.
Get racing action every Friday night along with Mid Week Madness throughout the summer. 299 Whitefield Rd., Accord. 845-626-3478.
Emerson Place- America’s Largest Kaleidoscope-
Visit America’s largest kaleidoscope complete with 3 different themed moving images set to a beautiful musical score. 5348 NY- 28, Mt. Tremper. 845-688-5800.
Catskill Mountain Railroad- Our seasonal excursions through the historic City of Kingston allow you to experience a time when train travel was the only way to access the scenic beauty of the Catskills. Friendly Catskill Mountain Railroad volunteers are ready to welcome you aboard! CMRR Kingston Station Kingston Plz., Kingston. 845-688-7400.
Catskill Animal Sanctuary-
Meet the animals: cows, goats, horses, sheep and more that have all been rescued by the sanctuary. 316 Old Stage Rd., Saugerties. 845-336-8447.
Bike rentals, sales & repair within feet of the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and New Paltz; a flat, linear picturesque trail that is family and recreational rider friendly with breathtaking Valley views. 15 Main St., New Paltz. 845-255-3859.
Cantine Veterans Sports Complex-
127 acre Sports Complex featuring 11 baseball / softball fields, 4 soccer fields, a fully enclosed refrigerated ice arena, 3 playgrounds, 4 pavilions, trails, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, indoor and outdoor shuffle board courts with many other year-round recreational services. Pavilion St., Saugerties. 845-246-5890 ext 16.
Big Indian Park-
Swings, jungle gym, merry-go-round, baseball, and a small pavilion that can be reserved for parties. Rte. 28 Big Indian. 845-688-7165 or 845-688-2041.
Forsyth Nature Center-
Low cost programs for adults and kids: nature walks, pond walks, beekeeping, paddle trips, turtle talk, hikes and more special events and programs. Lucas Ave., Kingston. 845-331-1682.
Hudson River Maritime Museum-
Indoor and outdoor exhibits on Hudson River maritime history, a gift shop, waterfront special events, and boat rides to the historic Rondout Lighthouse. 50 Rondout Landing, Kingston. 845-338-0071.
John R. Kirk Planetarium-
Visit the planetarium and take your family to the stars. With shows year- round you will get an up- close experience of the galaxies, stars, planets and more. Coykendall Science Building at SUNY New Paltz, 1 Hawk Dr., New Paltz. 845-257-7869.
Time and Valleys Museum-
A living and interactive resource that preserves the past, educates the present, and ensures the uniqueness of the Rondout and Neversink watersheds for all generations. Educational and interactive guided tours available upon request. 332 Main St., Grahamsville. 845 985-7700.
Apple Pond Farm & Renewable Energy Education Center-
Learn how to lighten your carbon footprint, see how to make goatcheese, and have kids who love animals enjoy hands on programs. 80 Hahn Rd., Callicoon Center. 845-482-4764.
The oldest, continuously operating, professional summer theatre in New York State, bringing the best of Broadway to the Catskills. 39 Forestburgh Rd., Forestburgh. 845-794-1194.
Come pet and feed our clean and friendly farm animals in a peaceful environment. Pony rides available. 161 Anawana Lake Rd., Monticello. 845-794-4543.
Fort Delaware Museum of Colonial History-
Come see what life was like in colonial times. A tour of the facilities includes demonstrations of early settlers' lifestyles and craft-making. A gift shop, vending area and picnicking facilities are located on the grounds. 6615 Rte. 97., Narrowsburgh. 845-807-0261 (September-April), 845-252-6660 (May-August).
Lake Superior State Park-
Swimming, boat rentals, boating, fishing, picnic facilities, food concession. Dr. Duggan Rd., Bethel. 845-583-7908.