Nestled next to the Hudson River, the bustling little city of Poughkeepsie, NY, is packed with family-friendly destinations. This Dutchess County destination is located an hour’s drive from White Plains, around 90 minutes from the George Washington Bridge, and it’s easily accessible via Metro-North.
We’ve rounded up some of our favorite things to do in Poughkeepsie, with both indoor and outdoor options to suit any type of day trip.
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Best Things To Do in Poughkeepsie, NY with Kids
1. Visit A Children’s Museum
Bring your preschoolers to the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum. With its standby RiverTown play area, regularly updated exhibits, and ongoing events, this hands-on museum is perfect for the younger set.
2. Get Your Jump On
Bounce off the walls at Bounce! Trampoline Sports, which offers toddler and open bounce times—a great choice for rainy day visits.
3. …Or Your Climb
Bring the family to a walk-in climbing session at The Gravity Vault.
4. Head to the Drive-In
Catch a flick with the entire family—including Fido—at the Overlook Drive-In Theater.
5. Go for a Swim
Cool off at Pulaski and Spratt Parks in the summer, with season pass deals that can’t be beat.
6. See a Show
Check out what’s on at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, which often features kid-friendly shows and performances, like the Royal Hanneford Circus.
7. Stay for a Skate
Also at the Civic Center is the McCann Ice Arena, where the family can rent skates and head out onto the ice during the public skating sessions.
8. Play All Day
At Spins Bowl, families can do everything from bowling—there are 26 “family lanes”—to playing in the arcade, and families with teenagers in tow may even try their hand at ax throwing.
RELATED: Getaways and Day Trips from Westchester & Hudson Valley
Bike, walk, or scoot over the Walkway over the Hudson. Photo by Fred Schaeffer
Fun Free Things to Do in Poughkeepsie, NY with Kids
9. Walk Across An Elevated Bridge
Trek the 212-foot-high Walkway over the Hudson, hailed as the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Open year-round, the 1.28-mile Walkway provides stunning views of the Hudson River and surrounding landscapes.
10. Hit the Farmer’s Market
From May to October, take a stroll through the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market on Tuesday afternoons. Don’t miss the cooking demonstrations!
11. Visit Greenvale Park
Kids can run and play at the Greenvale Park playground or on the baseball field—and if you visit in the summer, you’ll be able to catch their free summer concert series.
12. Check out Colleges
While your kids might be too young to think about college at the moment, you can stroll through the campuses of Vassar and Marist, both of which are located in Poughkeepsie.
13. Grab a Book
If you’re in town in March, don’t miss the free Poughkeepsie Book Festival.
Family-Friendly Restaurants in Poughkeepsie, NY
Adults will love the locally brewed beer and classic eats, while kids can pick from favorites like pizza and chicken tenders from the specific kids’ menu.
For a quick sandwich or salad stop, check out this cafe, which also offers bowls, wraps and more.
While they don’t have a dedicated kids’ menu, there are options that will appeal to kids, like the burger and wings. There’s a great outdoor patio for the warmer weather, too.
With flavors like peanut butter craze, cookie monster, and birthday cake, you can’t go wrong with a stop at this cute ice cream shop.
Indulge in the totally delicious treats and gourmet ice cream at The Pastry Garden.
Family-Friendly Poughkeepsie Hotels
For an easy stay, consider the DoubleTree, which is a quick ride to attractions like the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum and restaurants.
For a closer-to-the-river option, consider this hotel, which is also a 10-minute drive to Walkway Over the Hudson
For a high-end option, this property over the river in Milton is a good choice—and in particular, the private houses work well for families, with room to spread out and pet-friendly options, too.
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