The quaint hamlet of Cold Spring in Putnam County has much to offer Westchester families looking for a day trip, including outdoor activities, a strip of antiques stores, artsy boutiques and welcoming restaurants. Situated along the Hudson River, Cold Spring is easily accessible via Metro North Railroad—a great option if you prefer to leave your car at home and enjoy the scenic ride. Most highlights are within easy walking distance.
The village was designated a Federal Historic District in 1973 and is replete with numerous historic buildings and Victorian houses. Both the business district and the surrounding area offer all the charm of a historic area and back-to-the-garden appeal of a community where you’ll want to turn off your electronic devices.
We've taken a closer look at Cold Spring and all it has to offer residents and visitors alike, starting with 25 things to do with kids in the area. Cold Spring is a place to enjoy the outdoors, browse through distinctive shops, linger over a meal, and soak up the vibe from local artisans.
- Take your kids antiquing at Bijou Galleries, Downtown Gallery and the other shops along Main Street, where you’ll find historical artifacts of interest like retro lunchboxes, antique toys, old-fashioned phones and furnishings, Matchbox cars, Pez dispensers, comic books and more.
- Browse the artsy boutiques or pick up toys, trinkets and accessories at The Gift Hut or The Country Goose.
- Bring your special friend to get her boo-boos fixed at the doll hospital at Once Upon a Time Antiques.
- Hop aboard the Cold Spring trolley, Friday through Sunday in season.
- See the train pass just a few feet away from you as you dine indoors or out at Cold Spring Depot.
- Watch the old-timers’ Dixie bands on warm weekends by the depot.
- Enjoy the echo in the passageway that runs under the train tracks leading toward the Hudson River.
- Linger in Foundry Dock Park—see the fishermen cast their lines, count the boats passing by, do some bird watching and play in the gazebo.
- Follow an Audubon naturalist on a canoe trip through Constitution Marsh.
- Rent a kayak, canoe or paddleboat with Hudson River Expeditions.
- Visit Bannerman Island and the majestic castle at its center.
- Take a hike!
- Attend the annual Hoot on the Hudson or Maple Sugar Day at Little Stony Point, part of the Hudson Highlands State Park.
- Take a short jaunt up to Cornish Estate to see ruins without having to fly to Pompeii.
- Yet more ruins are worth exploring at the West Point Foundry Preserve.
- Debate whether to get ice cream at Moo Moo’s Creamery (homemade, inventive flavors), Go-Go Pops ("wow" artisanal ice pops) or Cup-o-ccino (Jane’s “Killer Chocolate”)—it’s a tough call!
- Explore the flora at Stonecrop Garden (children under 12 are admitted FREE).
- Pick up fresh produce, baked goods and more at the Cold Spring Farmers’ Market (indoors in winter).
- Go on a Family Farm Tour at Glynwood.
- Catch a free flick—indoors or outdoors—courtesy of the Cold Spring Film Society.
- Get discounts or freebies (like complimentary dessert) at restaurants participating in First Fridays.
- Soak up the holiday spirit with historic house tours, caroling, evening shopping, a visit from Santa and more at Cold Spring by Candlelight.
- Cozy up with a good book or enjoy the children's programming at Butterfield Library.
- Sign up for a one-week Junior Fifefighter Academy summer program with Cold Spring Fire Department.
- Spend the night at the Pig Hill Inn or Hudson House Inn and use Cold Spring as a base to explore other Hudson-region sites, like West Point, Bear Mountain, Rhinebeck and more.