Family-Friendly Hotels for a New York City Staycation
This hip but family-friendly downtown hotel is ideal for exploring all that Lower Manhattan has to offer. You can explore the High Line, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Hudson River Park with its bike paths, walkways, and playgrounds all within walking distance. The hotel's amenities and facilities are top-notch and include a heated rooftop pool, which is open year-round (reservations currently required). The hotel offers complimentary sofa beds (for those under 13) and even baby supplies, such as cribs or pack-and-plays, wipes, diapers, and baby lotion.
Hotel Beacon is perfectly situated to explore all the Upper West Side's top family attractions, including Central Park, the Children's Museum of Manhattan, and the American Museum of Natural History. One- and two-bedroom suites are available with a sofa bed in the living room. There are also small kitchens, so you can save money by preparing your own meals with groceries from the nearby Fairway Market or Trader Joe's. Hotel Beacon is currently offering a number of specials, including a "Work from Beacon" package for families who want to combine a vacation with school or work, and it includes private workspaces and high-speed internet.
The Loews Regency offers a slew of family-friendly services and perks to make your staycation as relaxing as possible. Parents of wee ones appreciate the child-proofing kits; there are lending libraries with everything from board games to video game consoles and DVD players. Concierges can arrange family-friendly outings and babysitting, too. The Lowes Regency puts you just steps from some of our favorite Central Park playgrounds, the iconic Central Park Zoo, and The Met. After exploring the city, head back to the hotel with its refurbished rooms, ranging in size from a standard hotel room to expansive suites meant for long-term stays. Kids under 18 stay for free.
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Book a bunk bed room at the NU Hotel for a fun staycation.
NU Hotel – Boerum Hill, Brooklyn
Brooklyn is a great place for a family staycation, and the NU Hotel is perfectly situated near four family-friendly areas—Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens, and Cobble Hill. Families can choose the Bunkbed Room, which comes with a queen bed, twin bunk beds, an eat-in area, and a chalkboard in the bathroom. Other perks include FREE breakfast and Wi-Fi, loaner bikes, and toddler step stools, baby bathtubs, and high chairs upon request, plus a Brooklyn-themed coloring book. The hotel is close to the A, C, F, and G subway lines, so you can get to Manhattan (or Queens!) fast.
Pack your bags and head to JFK, not to board a flight but instead to enjoy a staycation at the '60s inspired TWA Hotel. Families can choose to stay in one of 512 mid-century designed rooms and enjoy museum exhibits curated by the New-York Historical Society, Jean-George restaurants, a "sunken" lounge, and a rooftop infinity "pool-cuzi" heated to 95 degrees. The rooftop pool is open only to hotel guests. You can request a room with views of the runway, and "Daytripper" reservations can also be made if you just want to step back in time for a few hours.
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Go for an old-fashioned trail ride at Pine Ridge Dude Ranch.
Family-Friendly Hotels for a Hudson Valley Staycation
Editor's note: Pine Ridge Dude Ranch will shutter following Memorial Day weekend 2022.
One of our favorite all-inclusive family resorts, Pine Ridge Dude Ranch features tons of activities for families, including a rock wall, swimming (indoor and outdoor, seasonally), a petting zoo, sports, and of course, horseback riding. There’s also a slew of camp-style activities, like scavenger hunts and campfires. For larger families, some rooms sleep up to seven, with great-for-kids bunk beds in some. All meals and most entertainment is included, though the massage and fitness center are currently closed.
For a unique staycation, how about a farm stay? Tim Ganon and his wife, Beth, run one of the oldest farm stays in the Hudson Valley, renting different parts of their farm for guests to enjoy. You can choose to rent the Roundhouse (a solar-powered 1-bedroom yurt with a skylight), the Hen House, the Cowboy Cabin, a Teepee, or the Outpost (a campsite with a trailer). There are plenty of things to do on the farm with horses and other farm animals, or you can explore all that Hudson Valley has to offer.
Less than two hours from Manhattan, this uber family-friendly resort has activities to keep everyone occupied and stimulated. Activities include ice skating, horseback riding, mountain tubing, outdoor water sports, mountain climbing, archery, an arcade, and a weatherproof indoor water park. There are also nightly games and entertainment. Rocking Horse Ranch has implemented new safety protocols and distancing measures. Rates are all-inclusive, so there are no surprises when it comes time to pay. Meals, activities, and entertainment don’t cost an extra dime. It's the ideal place if you’re seeking rambunctious, good, clean fun in a non-pretentious environment.
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Mohonk Mountain House is a stunning property that's a National Historic Landmark.
This Victorian-style castle is an old-world resort with charming accommodations and stunning grounds all year round. Mohonk has many family-friendly activities, including archery, boating on the lake, hiking, tennis, and more entertainment options. The heated, indoor pool is a big draw for families. Currently, all activities are offered at reduced capacity with social distancing measures in place. Three meals a day are included, though you must book dining reservations for the on-site restaurants. The dining room has been modified to operate at reduced capacity to allow distancing between tables, and all meals can be prepared to takeout. The spa and fitness centers are also open at reduced capacity. A stay here is not particularly budget-friendly, though keep an eye on its specials, which include deals for kids to stay and eat free. You can also experience some of the resort's magic as a day guest. If you don't want to drive, take a bus from Port Authority to New Paltz, where, with a 24-hour notice, the resort will pick you up.
Formerly a textile factory, The Roundhouse is a beautiful, modern boutique hotel located steps away from Beacon's town center. It overlooks a rushing creek that flows into a stunning waterfall. While not a family resort per se, it's perfect for a getaway to bond with an older child or tween. You'll find plenty of shopping, entertainment, and restaurants in the town of Beacon, including world-class art at Dia Beacon and Storm King Sculpture Park, which are both nearby.
Whistlewood Farm Bed & Breakfast is another great option for a farm stay. Located in Rhinebeck, there are four rooms to choose from in the Main Lodge, each with its own unique character. The Main Lodge rooms accommodate 2-4 people and also include breakfast. You can also rent the Carriage House, a renovated barn with two bedrooms and its own kitchen, ideal for families. Guests can take advantage of miles of hiking trails, shop for antiques in Rhinebeck or stay on the farm and hang out with the horses, donkey, and chickens. There's a lot to explore—wineries, beautiful state parks, restaurants, historic mansions, museums, and rail trails, just to name a few. Children ages 7 and up are allowed in the Main Lodge rooms but incur a $25 surcharge. If you rent the entire property, younger children are allowed.
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Whiteface Lodge puts you in the middle of the action in Lake Placid, but offers a spa-like retreat, too.
Family-Friendly Hotels for an Upstate New York Getaway
Explore the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains all year round with a stay at the rustic Whiteface Lodge. It's great for families offering a wide range of rooms and suites, many outfitted with common areas and kitchens. While Lake Placid is known for its winter sports, you can still enjoy the Adirondack Mountains when the weather warms up. Whiteface Lodge offers many activities, including swimming, tennis, skating, hiking, games, and canoeing. Or you can relax at its award-winning spa. Explore the town of Lake Placid, where the Olympic Museum is located, and Adirondack Park, the largest protected area in the US mainland.
The Greek Peak Mountain Resort boasts the first indoor water park in the Finger Lakes Region. The Cascades has a spacious wave pool and three-story tube slide and features Big and Little Bear Falls, where kids of all ages love splashing and exploring, and the Cove, a 22,000-gallon, 1,000-square-foot area designed for shooting hoops. Currently, the wave pool, small indoor pool, and kiddie pool are open by reservation, but slides, hot tubs, and splash zones are temporarily closed. There are several activities to choose from at the Adventure Park, which vary by the season. You can stay at the Hope Lake Lodge that offers luxury condominium-style suites complete with fully equipped kitchens. Do note, however, most activities require an additional fee.
Family-Friendly Hotels for a Long Island Staycation
Montauk on Long Island's East End is a perfect spot to enjoy the sand and water any time of the year. Stay at the elegant Gurney's, the only four-season beachfront resort in the Hamptons. There are various rooms, suites, bungalows, and cottages to choose from, some with dramatic ocean views. If it's too cold to catch a wave, climb the Montauk Point Lighthouse (tours resume in spring 2021), charter a boat, ride bikes, eat fresh seafood, or take a hike through one of Montauk's state parks. Seal watching season is currently in full swing, too. No car? No problem. Montauk is also accessible via the LIRR.
Bonus Pick: Coming Soon
The first theme park to open in the Northeast in four decades, Legoland has finally gotten the green light to open. The amusement park, geared toward ages 2-12, features seven themed "lands" with more than 50 rides, attractions, and shows—including a brand-new ride exclusive to the New York location. Brick fans young and old will go crazy for the on-site, 250-room hotel with Lego-themed rooms and plenty of space to build with the iconic blocks. Breakfast is included daily, and every room has separate sleeping quarters for the kids. Choose themed rooms honoring your favorite Lego characters and enjoy in-room scavenger hunts, daily entertainment, and a heated pool. An exact opening date has yet to be announced, but we'll share it as soon as we learn it!
All photos courtesy of the resorts and hotels