Family Travel

Quick No-Fly Getaways for Burned-Out Parents in the NYC Area

There comes a time in every parent’s life...when you’re afraid you’re going to lose your mind if you don’t get a break.

At first, the idea of leaving your newborn baby might seem impossibly out of the question. But as parenthood rolls on year after year, getting away becomes essential. A lengthy overseas vacation of your pre-kids years might be out of reach, but a quick overnight? Yesssss!

So when your mini-me is driving you up the wall, you feel the need for quiet to collect a thought or two, or you just want to reconnect with your partner, check out these seven destinations for those in the greater New York City metro area. No need to hop on a plane. These trips are all within a 2 1/2-hour drive of Midtown Manhattan, and several are reachable by public transportation. Many offer R&R perks, including in-house spas.

Find more weekend getaways, including those of the family variety, in our travel section, including Hudson Valley resorts for families.

Exploring the Cape Cod National Seashore

Wondering where you can sink your toes into a 40-mile stretch of sand featuring some of the most beautiful beaches in the world? Look no further than Cape Cod. Of course, as a New Englander, I may be biased, but only slightly. Without dispute, the waves, ponds, marshes, and dunes that comprise the Cape Cod National Seashore are magnificent. Add biking and hiking trails, historic landmarks, old lighthouses, wild cranberry bogs, miniature golf, and delicious ice cream parlors, and you have a recipe for coastal adventure and lifelong memories.

Sleep in a Lighthouse and More Hudson Valley Family Resorts

The Hudson Valley is an easy weekend getaway for those in the New York City vicinity. Its proximity makes getting there a breeze, even with a car full of kids.

Once you’ve arrived, natural possibilities abound. In fall, leaf peeping is spectacular and farms are ripe with pick-your-own fruit options and stands selling warm donuts and sweet cider. The Hudson Valley is history heavy, with names such as Roosevelt and Vanderbilt prevailing. Pedestrian-friendly towns such as Hudson, New Paltz, and Saugerties attract hip New Yorkers and their kids like bees to honey. There are a variety of overnight accommodations at a range of prices, from an all-inclusive dude ranch to a stately Grand Dame hotel to a farm stay.

Get packing for a quick getaway to this wide-open region just north of NYC.

Dolphins, Plus 30 Other Things To Do in the Florida Keys with Kids

When talking Florida Keys with kids, it's best to point straight at the dolphin in the room. Swimming with dolphins is without question one of the biggest draws in the Keys for families, and while the experience is not cheap, it is the stuff that bucket lists are made of. I confess that I grew up watching Flipper (I say "confess" because a few of you just worked out how old I am), and I've harbored a secret desire to catch a ride from a dolphin ever since. My kid got to live that dream a whole lot younger than I did when I discovered that Key Largo is barely an hour's drive from Miami and an easy add-on to a Florida vacation. Continuing to Key West adds another three hours along the Overseas Highway, a drive touted as one of the most beautiful in the country, stretching over water for seven straight miles at one point.

100 Things to Do in New York State with Kids Before They Grow Up

We might be biased, but we think New York state has it all for families. From the gorgeous Hamptons beaches to the rugged state forests, serene lakes, and deafening Niagara Falls to the culture and arts found in New York City on up through the river towns and beyond—we feel pretty lucky.

Plus, we’re pretty good at making delicious food items from ramen burgers and bagels to ice cream, and even wine at family-friendly vineyards on Long Island and through the Finger Lakes. There are children’s museums galore. Kids have no shortage of water and theme parks, cool playgrounds, zoos, outdoor art, and nature, of course.

And yet, the thing about childhood is that it’s finite. The kids grow up, maybe move away. Sniff, sniff. We want to soak up every moment. So we put together this list of 100 of our favorite things to do around New York, from upstate and the Adirondacks to Long Island and NYC. We collected suggestions from the many Mommy Poppins contributors, past and former, to fuse it all together just for you (OK, for us, too). Whether you're planning a long-weekend getaway or a family day trip, you're sure to find some ideas here. Enjoy!

Corn Maze, Apple Picking and More Farm Fun at Lyman Orchards

Lyman Orchards is one of those places where sprawling vistas, orchards brimming with fruit, and a deliciously stocked country store will make you feel like you are splurging on a vacation; however, given its 30-minute proximity to Hartford, New Haven, and Waterbury, chances are you’re probably still very close to home. Throughout the year, this Connecticut landmark is a favorite family-friendly destination, but the views are especially spectacular in the fall.


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