The start of August sets me in a panic every year: Have I made summer fun enough? How will we squeeze in all the great outings I had hoped to take my kids on? Below are some pointers for maximizing fun through Labor Day, with an emphasis on activities that sing summer. Then, when it’s time for “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” the responses will make any parent proud!
Be sure to check out our Summer Activity Guide for more ideas, along with our August GoList for our top picks for the month. As always, our Event Calendar is full of many more ideas, and you can sign up for our newsletters to keep on top of our top picks and new finds.
An amusement park and beach make Rye Playland a perfect way to spend a summer day. Photo by Mommy Poppins
1. Celebrate Rye Playland’s 90th birthday and take advantage of discounted-admission days.
2. Climb to new heights at the new treetop adventure park in Purchase...
3. …then compare it with the Treetop Adventure at the Bronx Zoo.
4. Go jump in a lake (or a river)!
5. Flit over to Butterfly Weekend August 25–26, and while you're there, check out Grasshopper Grove, the nature-themed playground.
RELATED: Splash Pads and Water Playgrounds in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
6. Bring a blanket and take in an outdoor summer concert or bring some popcorn and watch a movie outdoors—for FREE.
7. Go retro and watch an outdoor movie old-school style at a classic drive-in theater.
8. Float your boat (or tube).
9. …or try the tamer tubing and other aquatic fun at “The Brook.”
10. Go fro-yo hopping and pile on the toppings.
11. Check out the New York Renaissance Faire, especially fun (and cost-effective) during kids’ weekend, August 11–12. Game of Thrones fans will be particularly interested.
RELATED: Summer Fairs and Festivals in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
CORNucopia is the place to be the get your fill of sweet corn at its peak. Photo courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley
12. Get corn-y at either of two maize-themed festivals: CORNucopia or the Beacon Corn Festival.
13. Choose your own harvest of fruits and vegetables right off the plant at a local farm.
14. Whether you’re looking to get pampered, you want complete solitude, or you’d like a place with a few “extras,” there are plenty of camping options for every camper’s comfort level.
15. Get in the zone with a little outdoor sunset yoga.
16. Tee up for a round of mini-golf.
RELATED: 50+ FREE Things To Do this Summer for Westchester and Hudson Valley Families
Two different air shows take place each Saturday and Sunday through mid-October at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. Photo courtesy of the aerodrome
17. Watch an antique-plane air show—or fly in one yourself—at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome.
18. Head up to Bear Mountain State Park for swimming, hiking, and a trip to the zoo.
Take a trip to Sesame Place for its rides and water park. Photo courtesy of Sesame Place
19. Venture beyond the borders to out-of-state theme parks like Sesame Place, Diggerland, or Quassy.
20. Get hands-on at the Touch a Truck event in New Rochelle on Saturday, August 11.
21. Bring the kids to a fireman’s carnival, Wednesday, August 8 – Saturday, August 11 in South Salem.
Stroll through the lush gardens at Kykuit. Photo by the author
22. Visit Kykuit and tour the grand gardens.
23. Go day-tripping in Dutchess County.
24. Ahoy, matey! Go on an interactive Pirate Quest with Historic Hudson Valley.
25. Hit the rides, see the animals, catch the live shows, and lots more at New York’s second largest county fair.
Bonus: Check your progress on tackling our roundup of 50+ FREE summer events and activities for families—and get to as many as you can!