Camping trips are great for kids, especially NYC kids. They get to spend time outside in green spaces that might seem to go on forever for city kids and learn esteem-building skills, including how to canoe, fish, chop wood, cook over a fire, pitch a tent, and more. Camping trips are low-tech—although I have seen electrified tents—so they allow families time to unplug and reconnect with each other. Plus, pitching a tent is an affordable alternative to a hotel.
My family and I are camping enthusiasts. In fact, our basement storage unit in NYC is packed with tents and backpacks and my son has been sleeping outside since age 2. We plan an extended camping trip every year, and recently enjoyed an amazing trip to Letchworth State Park in upstate New York. We plan to pitch our tents in the Adirondacks later this summer.
Camping can be dirty and difficult, requiring plenty of equipment, including a car. That alone can make an overnight trip to the great outdoors a challenge for many NYC families. But it doesn't have to be that way. There are at least 11 sites in the tristate area perfect for first-timers and families. These sites, within a few hours travel time, are packed with things to keep kids busy and two of these campgrounds are within city limits. A number of these prime destinations are accessible via mass transit, and one campground even provides nearly everything you need.
There's no excuse not to hit the woods for a family vacation this year.