There are only so many weekends left in December left to celebrate the holiday season, which can put some pressure on parents. Just which family fun is worth the trip and your time? Fret not, for Mommy Poppins has come up with a list of our 10 favorite things to do with kids in the Lower Hudson Valley during the holiday season.
We’ve already told you our favorite things to do with kids in Westchester during the holidays, and now we’re going to turn our attention to the rest of the area. All of these family-friendly attractions are worth the drive and are a great way to explore the counties around Westchester. Check out our Holiday Guide for more Christmas and Hanukkah fun, or our Event Calendar for the latest doings. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to share what you’ve done!
Frosty Fest – Ulster Park
Sure, Santa might be Big Guy Numero Uno, but you can pay homage to the most cheerful snowman of all at Frost Fest. Watch stage shows and marvel at light displays in Ulster Park on weekends—and make sure you count the number of times you see Rudolph in the Enchanted Forest!
Kevin McCurdy's Holiday Spirit Festival – Wappingers Falls
This holiday fest extravaganza has everything: visits with Santa, a 60-foot long holiday train display, live entertainment, meet and greets with holiday characters, and an excess of Christmas lights. New for 2016: a scavenger hunt to find the Frost Fairies!
Saratoga & North Creek Railway – Saratoga Springs
Head up to Saratoga for a trip on a real Polar Express. This immersive holiday experience has dancing chefs, treats, a reading of the story and, of course, Santa and his elves. Looking for another Polar Express? There is also the Catskill Mountain Express in Kingston.
Bear Mountain State Park – Bear Mountain
You can bring your own skates or rent them at the picturesque outdoor rink at Bear Mountain. Santa has also been known to make an appearance!
Holiday Lights in Bloom – Montgomery
This annual light show at the Orange County Arboretum in Thomas Bull Memorial Park has nature-themed Christmas decorations and free hot cocoa!
Image courtesy of Devitt's Nursery
Eggbert at Devitt’s Nursery – New Windsor
Yes, it’s a talking egg—and he knows your name! Visiting Eggbert at Devitt’s is an Orange County tradition, and a kitschy, odd one at that. You can also indulge in holiday treats and stock up on Christmas decorations while you’re there. New for 2016 is a giant train display!
Chopstix Chanukah – Chester
Latkes with chopsticks? Why not? Celebrate Hanukkah with this party at Colonial Lanes in Chester—featuring doughnuts and dreidels and a sushi menorah lighting!
The Center for Performing Arts – Rhinebeck
Get your kids in the holiday spirit—and perhaps ignite an interest in theater—by bringing them to this family-friendly performance of A Christmas Carol.
Cut Your Own Christmas Tree – Multiple Locations
Whether you want to saw it yourself or have someone else do the heavy work, the Hudson Valley has dozens of Christmas tree farms, with locations in every county. Many of them add in extra fun like visits from Santa, hot cocoa or other holiday treats to make the trip even more worth your while.
Watt Christmas Wonderland – Goshen
With nearly a mile of Christmas lights and hundreds of holiday inflatables, there’s nothing quite like the overwhelming Watt Christmas Wonderland on Scotchtown Road in Goshen. This spectacle, which is celebrating its 11th year in 2016, is open until December 30. (This is a weather-permitting activity, so save it for a dry night.) Looking for more holiday lights? We've got you covered.
Top image courtesy of Frosty Fest.