Goshen with Kids: Legoland New York and More Things To Do in the Hudson Valley Town
Located in the heart of Orange County, Goshen is now well-known as the home of Legoland New York. However, the town of Goshen is a family-friendly destination in its own right. In 2021, Smithsonian Magazine named it one of the 15 best small towns to visit in America. Goshen boasts a vibrant downtown and arts community, and it is surrounded by the natural wonders of the Hudson Valley.
Goshen is also home to the oldest active harness racing track in the world. It is surrounded by picturesque horse farms, and horses are a recurring theme in the town's activities and artwork. Visitors can take a stroll through the quaint downtown, which is festively lit in the evenings, and check out one of the many restaurants and gastropubs. Or take the kids for some thrill rides at the nearby Castle Fun Center or Urban Air Adventure Park. For outdoorsy adventures, get out and explore the local nature on the Heritage Trail or at the Stewart State Preserve.
Read on for our favorite things to do with kids in this historic Hudson Valley town, conveniently located off Route 17 and just south of I-84. And for more family fun ideas in the Hudson Valley and Westchester, check out our Family Day Trips Guide.
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Learn about the sport of Harness Racing at the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame in Goshen.
Best Things To Do in Goshen with Kids
1. Visit the Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame
Visit the interactive (and FREE!) Harness Racing Museum & Hall of Fame to learn the history of this American pastime.
2. Watch a Harness Race
Bring the kids to a horse race at the Harness Racing Track, the oldest active trotting track in the world.
3. Go Horseback Riding
4. Walk or Bike the Heritage Trail
Bring the bikes, scooters, or strollers for a trip on the 11.5-mile paved Heritage Trail, which runs from Goshen to Monroe. Bring along a picnic lunch and take a break at one of the many benches along the way. Take an ice cream pit stop at Trailside Treats Creamery, located at the Goshen end of the trail.
5. Watch a Horse Show
Not ready to jump on a horse yourself? Watch the professionals jump and gallop at Hudson Valley Horse Shows.
6. Go to the Goshen Farmer's Market
Visit the Goshen Farmer's Market held every Friday from May through October, featuring approximately 40 vendors selling Hudson Valley products, from veggies to local wine to handmade soaps.
7. Drive through the Watt Christmas Wonderland
Marvel at the holiday spectacle of Watt Christmas Wonderland, a stunning drive-thru Christmas village with lights going on for nearly a mile. The lights go up in November and can be seen all through December.
Find all of the 40 beautifully painted trotters scattered around town.
Fun Free Things to Do in Goshen with Kids
8. See the Trotters
Explore the town and find all of the 40 beautifully painted trotters, and horse statues decorated annually by various artists, on display throughout the town in the summer, and auctioned off in the Fall.
9. Relax at a Summer Outdoor Concert
Grab folding chairs or blankets and take in a concert on the village green. Sponsored by Illuminate Goshen, the concerts are held on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer.
10. Explore the Historic District
The Church Park Historic District is located just next to the central shopping district of Goshen and boasts several buildings of interest. The distinctive First Presbyterian Church, with a spire that dominates the village's skyline, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
11. Explore Stewart State Forest
Located near Stewart International Airport, Stewart State Forest includes more than 22 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding, skiing, and snowmobiling. The property also features several large ponds and many small ones ideal for fishing.
12. Great American Weekend
Celebrate July 4th in a big way at Great American Weekend, featuring over 150 vendors, live music, food galore, a carnival, and more. Admission is FREE.
13. Mid-Hudson St. Patrick's Day Parade
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at the annual Mid-Hudson St. Patrick’s Day Parade, with festivities both before and after the march.
Legoland New York draws visitors from the tri-state area to Goshen. Photo by Jody Mercier
Top Attractions in and around Goshen for Families
This mega theme park features seven lands all with Lego-themed rides and stage shows, and a water park to cool off on hot days. The park also has its own kid-centric Lego-themed hotel to keep the fun going nonstop.
This sprawling park includes a large pond, golf course, dog park, and playing fields. In winter, the park features the best snow tubing facilities in the area, with five groomed lanes and stadium lighting for evening tube rides. The park also has facilities for ice skating, sledding, and cross-country skiing.
16. Orange County Arboretum
Located inside Thomas Bull Memorial Park, Orange County Arboretum is a destination by itself, featuring 35 acres of wooded areas, ponds, and gardens with rock and water features. At Christmastime, the garden comes alive at night with festive nature-themed lights and displays.
Hang out with llamas at Noah's Ark Retreat. Photo courtesy of the retreat
17. Noah's Park Retreat
Get up close and personal with some exotic animals at Noah's Park Retreat, a not-for-profit zoo featuring several exotic animals, including wallabies and marmosets, as well as farm animals. To visit, make an appointment for a guided tour where you will be able to meet and feed the animals.
18. The Castle Fun Center
Less than 10 minutes from downtown Goshen is The Castle Fun Center, featuring an inflatables park, bumper cars, laser maze, rock climbing walls, zip lines, and much more.
Burn off energy any time of year at the indoor Urban Air Adventure Park. Photo courtesy of Urban Air
19. Urban Air Adventure Park
Catch some thrills at Urban Air Adventure Park located in the nearby Galleria at Crystal Run. The park features trampolines, a ropes course, climbing walls, go-karts, and more. Plus, the Galleria has a BillyBeez play area and a huge game room, with games, bowling, pool tables, and a bar, in addition to numerous shops and food options.
20. Soons Orchards
Visitors can take a tour of the farm and orchards, shop local produce at the farm store, or pick their own peaches, apples, or pumpkins depending on the season. The farm also features a taproom with craft beverages and a restaurant.
Meet calves at Wagon Wheel Farm. Photo courtesy of the farm
21. Wagonwheel Farm
Visit Wagon Wheel Farm for fresh, local produce and eggs. Visitors can book a hayride or go pumpkin picking in the fall.
22. Goshen Green Farm
Try out the farm-to-truck food trucks at Goshen Green Farm. The farm offers tours as well as weekly workshops, including yoga in the barn every Saturday and Sunday.
23. Hambletonian Marathon
Join as a spectator or give it a go yourself. The Hambletonian Marathon runs through 26.2 miles of scenic roads, farmlands, and trails through Goshen and nearby Orange County communities. The event is held in October, with the fall spectacle of colors at its peak.
The decor caters to kids, but the beds at the Legoland New York Hotel are seriously comfy. Photo by Jody Mercier
Where to Stay in Goshen with Kids
Located just steps away from the theme park's entrance, Legoland Resort features 250 rooms and suites all styled in popular Lego themes, ranging from Lego Friends to Pirates, Kingdom, and Ninjago-themed rooms. Amenities include an outdoor pool, arcade, nightly events, and character visits.
25. Stagecoach Inn
This immaculately decorated inn is a popular wedding venue located in downtown Goshen just a few minutes walk from the Harness Racing Museum. The inn also features a gourmet restaurant.
This modern hotel features an outdoor pool, gym, and free breakfast and is less than 5 minutes from downtown Goshen.
Best Restaurants for Kids in Goshen
27. Sweet Tymes
Indulge in homemade fudge, retro candy treats, and locally made ice cream at Sweet Tymes.
28. Amore's Pizzeria and Restaurant
Offers a variety of pizzas and other kid-friendly options in a family environment.
29. Hacienda Restaurant
Dine on the deck of Hacienda, enjoying some of the best Mexican food in the county.
30. Delancey's Bar & Restaurant
Grab lunch or dinner at Delancey’s, with a view overlooking the race track.
Originally published in 2017; Lisa Johnston contributed additional reporting.