Weekend Trips

10 Easy New York State Park Hikes for Families

Late spring is the perfect season for hiking, before the sweltering summer heat takes hold. The beautiful Hudson Valley is home to 18 New York State Parks that offer tree-lined trails, stunning panoramic views, and lots of special features like waterfalls, swimming lakes, and sandy beaches. With so many parks and trails to choose from, it's hard to know where to start!

To help, we've picked 10 of of our favorite kid-friendly hikes in the Hudson Valley. In addition to opportunities to enjoy nature and wildlife, some of these parks—like Bear Mountain and Franklin D. Roosevelt—boast additional attractions such as a zoo, playgrounds, pedal boats, and even a giant swimming pool. Best of all, these hikes are just a quick day trip away from NYC or southern Westchester.

Awesome Amusement Parks on Long Island

Feeling the need for speed and splash? Long Island amusement parks are ready for you and your thrill-seeking family. If your kids are eager to check out the latest rides and attractions, or you can’t wait to make new memories with your family at parks you enjoyed as a child, now is the perfect time to explore these local amusement centers.

For more entertainment inspiration, see our guide to Long Island amusement and water parks or our roundup of children's sports centers and fun zones in Nassau and Suffolk. Our guide to family fun on Long Island is loaded with reviews of local and regional destinations sure to delight your child.

Let's Go Camping! Family-Friendly Campgrounds Near Philadelphia

Who's up for camping this summer? It's a wonderful way to make family memories and enjoy the outdoors together, and there is no shortage of great campgrounds within a quick drive from Philadelphia. Regardless of experience level -- first-timers or veterans, bare-bones campers or real-deal glampers -- the suggestions below have you covered. 

All campgrounds on the list are 2.5 hours or less from Center City, and they range from "primitive" (pretty much just a clearing in the woods with a fire pit) to moderate (campsite, fire pit, basic bathroom nearby) to "luxury" (campsite, fire pit, electric and water hook-ups, bathrooms and showers nearby, campground with amenities such as a pool, playground, even wifi). The good news is, you don't need to drive all day or sacrifice the basic comforts of home for a scenic, unforgettable camping adventure with your kids.  

Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals in the Hudson Valley

With spring in full swing, it's almost time to head out to the Hudson Valley's pick-your-own farms to gather some sweet, sun-ripened strawberries. There are plenty of places throughout the Hudson Valley where kids of all ages can try their hand at picking, and we've rounded up a few of our favorites here. 

The season usually starts around the beginning of June, but be sure to call ahead first. Not into picking them yourself? We've also included a few strawberry festivals you can check out instead! 

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50 Fun Things To Do in Las Vegas with Your Kids

Once America's playground for adults, in the last decade Las Vegas has become one of the most popular family vacation destinations. While it is possible to book a sitter to enjoy some grown-up time on the strip, it would be a shame to visit this desert town and not experience the great natural attractions, museums, and family fun you can find a little further afield.

We took a recent trip to Vegas with our young children (aged two and six) and really had a blast exploring kid-friendly activities both on and off the beaten track. Here are my recommendations for the top things to do with kids in Las Vegas.

Pick Your Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals Near NYC

One of my favorite things about late spring and summer is the plethora of fruit in season, especially the berries. Picking your own makes it even sweeter. As we move into the height of strawberry season, there are a slew of festivals and farms with fruit ripe for the picking. Many are just a short car ride away from New York City, making for a great day trip of strawberry picking and seasonal festival fun with additional perks for kids like carnival rides, petting zoos, and outdoor performances.

Read on to discover nearby strawberry fests and more than a dozen pick-your-own strawberry spots, all under two hours away.

For more day trip inspiration, check out our Family Getaways Guide, and find more local u-pick opportunities in our Farm Guide, or on our Long Island or New Jersey sites.

Upstate NY Day Trip: 25 Things To Do with Kids in New Paltz

Similar in spirit to nearby Woodstock, New Paltz is laid-back college town in the shadow of the Shawangunk Mountains that offers plenty of outdoor and indoor attractions for all ages, especially in warmer months. Families can swim in a mountain lake, enjoy a hike amidst beautiful scenery, pick produce at local farms, visit quaint shops and restaurants, and explore a historic 17th-century community.

While New Paltz is just 90 minutes away by car from NYC and even closer to Westchester, the scenery suggests a faraway land. Adding to this appeal are the many festivals and other annual events that readers might consider timing their visit to coincide with.

Read on for 25 ways to enjoy New Paltz with kids. You'll find plenty of reasons to stay more than a day!

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