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Storm King Art Center

Discover, enjoy, spend the day!

mountainville, orange county, newburgh, new windsor, art, sculptures, hiking, picnicking, open-air, museum, things to do, places to go, family friendly, kid friendly, weekend, adventures, day trip, hudson valley

People come from all over the world to visit this unique open-air sculpture park! Storm King Art Center, located just outside of New Windsor is one of the most amazing places to take a hike or have a picnic!  Larger than life art installations are nestled among rolling hills, wildflower fields and hidden in forests. My daughter loves it so much that we accidentally went on a day it was closed and she cried for hours! It is a little bit outside of the Hudson Valley but it is, hands down, worth the drive!

Down a side road, feeling like you are in the middle of nowhere, Storm King Art Center has made its home. As you pass through the ticket booth you will see a parking lot to the left but I suggest you park at the top of the hill. The hilltop is where the public bathrooms are located as well as the visitor's center. This area overlooks the fields and property of the art center and it's the perfect place to plan your adventures. Feel free to leave your car and explore on foot, almost all the trails are stroller friendly and appropriate for all ages.

After exploring the hilltop, taking in the views and stopping into the visitor's center my family likes to take the elevator down to the "sculpture train" stop. It is almost impossible to see all of the 500 acres that Storm King Art Center has to offer so trolley rides are a perfect way to see the most. They make various stops allowing riders to hop on and off at your favorite spots and see sculptures that interest you close up. The rides include a guide, narrating details and histories of each installation.

The "sculpture train" circles the majority of the art center and we always take it all the way around and pick the sculptures that we want to see again. After our ride on the trolley we get off back at where we started and walk over to my daughter's most favorite installation, The Buddha. A gigantic metal Buddha, standing on his head, limbs askew and positioned perfectly in a large wildflower field.

The path from the Buddha leads through a forest that is bordered by a beautiful rock wall sculpture, doors to nowhere, a mirrored fence and a pond complete with a mermaid boat! Circling around and heading back up toward the visitor's center, this is the perfect little hike that your family will absolutely love!

We always make our way back up the hilltop, walking back through the wildflower fields with the colorful and geometric sculptures of Alexander Calder looming in the distance. The Calder hill is such a magical place, filled with very fun sculptures and lots of space for children to run and play!

After your fill of Calder, head back to the hilltop, where my family loves to picnic! We spread out a blanket at the edge of the hill overlooking the fields and enjoy lunch, al fresco, with an amazing view! Bellies filled, it's time to head down the other side of the hill! A large, overgrown field holds even more art, that seems to defy gravity. One large lightning strike looks as if it came right out of the sky!

There is no way to see all of Storm King in one day, so hopping on and off the trolley is a great way to see a lot of the park without having to hike miles and miles. The areas that are our favorite, we feel, are a perfect amount of walking for a family with children. There is so much to see and take in that even this small tour takes a whole day! We have been 5 or 6 times and still haven't seen everything!

Tips for this visit:
  • The trails are mostly stroller friendly but we often bring a hiking backpack because there are a lot of hills.
  • The park is open April-November
  • Hours are: Wednesday-Sunday 10am-5:30pm
  • You can rent bikes, but no personal bikes are allowed.
  • Animals are not allowed on the grounds.
  • There are public bathrooms located at the visitor's center.
  • Make sure to spray for ticks and check yourselves well, we always get ticks on us at the park because a lot of the property is left unmowed in order to created dramatic landscapes.
  • Parking and trolley rides are included with admission.
  • They have small cafe that serves very light lunch fare.
  • There are porta potties located at the lower parking lot.
  • Do not touch the sculptures, they are not there for climbing or playing on.
  • The last Thursdays of the month for June, July and August are free!

For more information check out Storm King Art Center online!

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