Home     Home and Family     Family Fun     PlacesTo Go Guide    

5 things to do before summer ends

Have you crossed off everything from your summer bucket list?

As the new school year approaches, you may feel like you are rushing to check off left over items on your bucket list while quickly filling your back-to-school shopping cart.

If it seems the summer has flown by (again), don't worry, there is still enough time to enjoy with the kiddos before the turn of the calendar. The Hudson Valley regularly has an abundance of activities to choose from, but the summer season brings every corner to life. There are plenty of ways to wind-down the summer.

Plan a day trip
Maybe you have already scoped out all of the fun things to do in your hometown, but what about hopping a town or two over? There are new Main Streets waiting to be discovered, food to try and sights to see. Find great places to act like a tourist at MyFamilyTripPlanner.com. Just type in your zip code, or the zip code you are interested in visiting and pull up a list of go-to, tried and true places to explore.

Visit a water park like Splashdown Beach or Zoom Flume for a chance to cool off. Pack a lunch or buy lunch there and spend the whole day splashing around. Everyone will wear themselves out running through the sprinklers and slipping down the slides.

Stay local
Take the kids along on a hyper local adventure by following the Stick to Local Farms map. Simply pick up a fold out map at a participating farmer's market and plan out a route.

You can also download a map at Stick2Local.com. Gloria Darmanin of Saugerties completed the adventure with her three young sons, "The reward of filling it in is a bonus compared to the fun and memories you make along the way!" she says about the experience. Your family will receive a sticker for each stand they visit and collect a prize for each group of stickers they collect.   

Tried and true traditions
For some it just doesn't feel like summer until they race down a gigantic slide on a burlap sack, ride a merry-go-round, pet a farm animal and wash down a funnel cake with a freshly made milkshake.

Noel McKenna of Newburgh takes her young son Steven to the fair each year, "The Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck is always on our summer family fun list because of the great rides, food, animals and entertainment. We always have a blast," she says.    

Show some local pride at a Renegades baseball game and enjoy an evening cheering on your favorite players. Goretti Benca of Poughkeepsie has several summer traditions with her kids.

Besides local water parks and historical mansions she says, "Every summer we go to at least one Renegades game." A fun night out at the old ball game singing along as a family and dancing in the stands is a great way to wind-down a summer evening. Each summer, Hudson Valley Parent partners with the Hudson Valley Renegades to provide families with awesome tickets and even skyboxes. Check out Contests.HVParent.com for opportunities to win.

READ MORE: The best national park day trips

Try something new
Try the newest craze hitting the Hudson Valley and explore the railways by pedal car. Reserve a rail car in advance to enjoy an eight mile round trip along the Esopus creek. Bring along a picnic to enjoy at the turnaround before heading back. Bring your fur baby along as this is hailed as pet and family friendly.

Have a backup plan
A rainy day can dampen summer pursuits but having a backup plan can ensure making warm memories. Pull out the board games and popcorn, and go for gold with board game Olympics. You can even borrow new-to-you board games from the library. While you are there, see if your library has tickets to children's museums, historical sites or other indoor tours for more indoor fun. Or declare the day a family craft day and make some super easy Oobleck!

No matter what lies ahead this summer, those last few weeks are reserved for making as many memories and family connections as possible. Once the demands of the school calendar takes over we are all off in separate directions again. At least, until next summer anyway.

Oobleck Recipe:

  • 1 Cup of cornstarch
  • 1 Cup of water
  • Several drops of food coloring (green is the most fun)
Place cornstarch in a bowl, slowly add water while stirring and then add food coloring. Mix completely. When you attempt to pick up the mixture with your hands, it will stay solid for a few seconds before melting through your fingers. So simple and the kids love it.

Roxanne Ferber is a freelance writer and blogger living in Saugerties. When not writing she is busy schlepping two kids and a dog throughout the Hudson Valley.