It’s getting cold outside, but falling temperatures don’t necessarily translate to falling prices when it comes to family vacations. Luckily, we’ve rounded up a dozen well-priced family getaways that are all either driving distance or a short nonstop flight from New York City. Whether you’re in the mood for New England seaside charm, an urban weekend in New Orleans, Carolina comfort, or tropical heat, we’ve got plenty of budget-friendly suggestions for a quick winter weekend away with the kids.
Allison Tibaldi - Writer
Allison is a native New Yorker who's been lucky enough to have lived in Italy, Australia and Canada. She is fluent in Italian and Spanish, and
believes that language is a key to understanding other cultures. She frequently contributes travel pieces to Family Travel Forum, using her own children as guinea pigs as they journey around the globe. She's also a senior writer at offManhattan.com, contributing car-free vacation ideas. Her background as an Early Childhood Educator gives her an added understanding of what it takes to travel with kids in tow, and she firmly believes that the most important part of education takes place outside of the classroom on the road. Her love for travel goes hand-in-hand with her love for food and wine.
Latest posts by Allison Tibaldi
Ready to ditch your winter blues for a family-friendly vacation in climates warmer than here?
From perpetually wet feet to relentlessly bundling (and unbundling) your kids with layer upon layer, the need to escape grows for many parents as the winter season drags on—and on. Even those families who don't live with the finicky four-season cycle might prefer their vacation with a side of palm trees, rather than fur-trimmed snow boots. So whether you're seeking to escape the cold or just don't want to vacation in it, we've rounded up more than two dozen of our favorite warm-weather destinations that beckon you to shed your parka and bask in the sun.
Fall in the Northeast is a lovely time of year as the trees explode in a kaleidoscope of red, orange, and gold. The crisp air and outdoor activities are hard to resist for most kids (and grown-ups). New Yorkers can experience that magic right in the city's gorgeous parks, some of which feel almost like a countryside retreat during a foliage walk. But for a weekend away, perhaps over those fall school holidays, consider a weekend trip to fully immerse the family in fall fun.
We’ve rounded up 11 options, from a luxury retreat in Connecticut to glamping in New Hampshire to an Adirondack wilderness retreat where you can really unplug.
Do you feel as if you've memorized every inch of the American Museum of Natural History? As mammoth as it is, we've visited so frequently I think I could find even the most remote corner of it blindfolded. We've also explored every inch of the New York Hall of Science in Queens and liberated all the science at New Jersey's Liberty Science Center.
If your family's looking for new, fun universes to discover, now is the perfect time for a family-friendly day trip. Here are four science and natural history museums outside of New York City that make great day or overnight trips. Car-free families take note: You can reach all of them by bus or train.
Starved after your visit to one of the top kid destinations on the Upper West Side? Home to the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) at 79th Street and Central Park West and the Children's Museum of Manhattan (CMOM) at 83rd Street, between Amsterdam and Broadway, few Manhattan neighborhoods scream kid-friendly quite like the UWS, and that means the area's restaurants are overwhelmingly welcoming to families.
So while you really can't go wrong, we've rounded up 12 of the best spots where you can grab a quick bite or even sit down for a full meal. For more family-friendly eateries, check out our NYC Restaurant Guide.
For New York City area families, it only takes a few hours to arrive in the bucolic countryside, where the landscape seems thousands of miles away from the crowded subways and packed playgrounds. Farm stays are an increasingly popular vacation option to enjoy that countryside and a back-to-nature experience. For children who’ve never been around livestock, farm stays provide a firsthand way to learn about the animal world in a casual fashion. It also often comes with a few more amenities when compared to camping.
If you're interested in the source of your food, farm holidays offer a fine way to connect with what you eat and sometimes even pick your own fresh fruit, veggies, and eggs. You're not required to work during your farm stay, but many visitors find farm chores so different from their regular routines that they are eager to participate. Curious kids should relish the opportunity to gather eggs, watch cows be milked, and pick fresh peaches off the tree.
Newport, Rhode Island has a reputation as a summer playground for the elite, but in truth it makes for a great family vacation. Yes, you will see fabulous Gilded Age mansions and expensive sailing yachts in the harbor. But coastal Newport is an egalitarian town that can even be a bargain during the off-season.
In summer there are lots of low-cost public boating opportunities, free beaches, a rich line up of outdoor concerts, and easy hikes that exploit the area’s natural beauty. In winter months the public skating rink, free holiday festivities and the annual Winter Festival provide cold weather fun. There are casual restaurants and hotels that cater to families. Newport’s manageable size makes it a wonderful walking town, so if you don’t have a car, keep this in mind.
See our Rhode Island Fun Guide for more Rhode Island family activity ideas. Here's what to do, where to eat and stay in Newport for families:
As a born and bred New Yorker who is raising children here myself, my out-of-town friends always ask my advice when planning their NYC family vacation. They want to know everything: the best things to do, places to eat, museums to explore and, perhaps most importantly, where to stay.
New York City is, of course, loaded with hotels, many of which are kid-friendly. And while it's nice to have options, there are so many it can feel overwhelming. That's why we've compiled this list of 16 NYC hotels for families based on a combination of personal experience, trusted recommendations from friends and great reputations. Some have pools, others offer gratis strollers, while a number of our choices are located smack next to top kid attractions; some are more budget-friendly and others a splurge.
Our picks aren't all in Midtown Manhattan. We included places to stay with kids in downtown Manhattan, the Upper West Side, and Upper East Side, and even hotels that are in hot neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.