Lower Hudson Valley

5 Day Trips with Water Features: Lakes, Beaches and Water Parks Close to NYC

As the city hits a full summer boil, many of us are looking for a little escape, preferably one where we can dunk our roasting selves in some sort of body of water. Whether you prefer cool beach waves, an afternoon of kayaking or tubing along the river or maybe dashing down a winding water slide, water features provide instant relief to sweltering summer heat.

While I love getting out of the city for a weekend trip, sometimes all the planning, packing and finagling of kids' sleep schedules can really take a toll. Instead of an extended stay, why not sneak away for a quick day trip? Luckily you don't have to go far. We've rounded up five destinations under two hours from NYC by car, so you'll be back before bedtime!

Music Under the Stars in West Point: Kid-Friendly Summer Concert Series for Westchester Families

Outdoor concerts are one of the surest signs that summer has arrived. For our family, West Point’s Music Under the Stars series at Trophy Point is a summer night non-negotiatble. Set on a small point of land extending out into the Hudson, these FREE pack-a-picnic events are a full sensory experience. The music, played by the Unite States Military Academy's West Point Band, is always amazing, the view overlooking Cold Spring is breathtaking as the sun sets, and a breezy wind cools off the point on even the hottest evenings.

Summer Camps in Lower Hudson Valley That Offer Transportation

We know that transportation is often a highly ranked amenity when scouting out summer camps. That's why last week, we rounded up programs throughout Westchester County that offer busing. This week we're turning our attention to the many summer camps throughout Lower Hudson Valley that offer this same convenient service.

Read on for camps in the area that provide transportation, whether it’s door-to-door or from a central location. Looking for more camp ideas? Be sure to check out our Summer Camp Guide and Camp Directory.

Pick-Your-Own Farms in Westchester and Lower Hudson Valley

Pick-your-own is not just for apples and pumpkins! Westchester and neighboring counties offer many options for getting down in the dirt (or up in the trees) to pick all kinds of fruits and veggies. This can be a great way to show kids where their food comes from--you might even get them to try a new vegetable or two. Plus, it just doesn't get any fresher than when you pick it yourself. It's been a long winter, but the taste of spring is finally here.

Read on for more about our top "picks" in the area. Also be sure to check out our post on strawberry picking farms in lower Hudson Valley.

Places to Play in Cold Spring: Where Kids and Families Can Play and Learn

In January, we highlighted the village of Cold Spring including the area's top attractions and some suggestions on where to eat. Now we'll wrap up our tour of this cozy village with a look at the best places for kids young and old to play and learn.

Whether you're looking for quiet indoor activities or death-defying outdoor adventures, there's something for everyone--most within easy walking distance of the village's MTA station. 

Kid-Friendly Restaurants in Cold Spring: Top Picks for Family Dining & Dessert

We continue our month-long coverage of Cold Spring with a look at restaurants and other eateries. Though Cold Spring is small, there's a reliable cadre of restaurants to choose from, most of which are on Main Street and all of which are within walking distance of the MetroNorth station. Outdoor seating is a staple.

You won't find changing tables in the bathrooms or kids-eat-free deals, but the places we've highlighted are all welcoming of children and very laid back. For those craving sweets, your best bet is ice cream, but be forewarned, there are several excellent spots for that, so you'll have to try them all! 

Read on for our top picks for dining with families in Cold Spring. Also, be sure to check out our Winter Fun Guide and Indoor Activity Guide for ideas to keep kids busy all season long. And if you haven't already, sign up for our FREE newsletters to have our latest content delivered right to your inbox. 

Apple Picking with Kids in Orange and Dutchess Counties

Apple picking is a fall tradition in the northeast. In Westchester, we're lucky to have so many local orchards to choose from. In addition to options in Westchester and Rockland, Dutchess and Orange counties offer many more apple picking farms and orchards. Here we gathered our top 5 picks for a day of family fun.

In addition to apple and pumpkin picking, these orchards offer lots of activities including petting zoos, puppet shows, haunted houses, corn and apple mazes, rides, even wine tasting! In addition, some offer other pick-your-own options including nectarines, plums, eggplant and peppers.

For more seasonal fun, check out our September Go List and our roundup of local fall festivals

Smithsonian Museum Day Live: FREE Admission to Museums in Westchester and Hudson Valley

If you’ve ever visited Washington, D.C., you’ve probably felt the pang of jealousy that entry to the Smithsonian Institution is free. Who wouldn’t want to see great art and rotating exhibits without opening their wallet? Well, now’s your big chance. Saturday, September 27, marks the 10th annual Museum Day Live! On this day, hundreds of museums nationwide offer free admission to visitors, orchestrated by Smithsonian Magazine. Of course there are many fantastic NYC museums participating in this event but we are happy to report that there are also several museums throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley that are also partaking--and we've got all the details! Read on to find out which museums are participating, how to get your FREE tickets and other fun perks.  

NYC Labor Day Weekend Trips: 8 Car-Free Family Getaways Near New York City

The (unofficial) final weekend of summer is just a few days away and with the kids going back to school, the three-day holiday is the perfect time for one last family getaway.

Over on our Travel site, we posted about a bunch of cool last-minute travel deals, most involving plane or car rides. But for those looking to vacation without having to hit an airport or rent a vehicle, we've rounded up some of our favorite family destinations that are less than three hours from New York City and accessible via public transportation. From gorgeous beaches to ride-filled amusement parks to out-of-town culture spots, here are eight great Labor Day weekend trips for NYC families.

Cooking Classes for Kids in Westchester

Cooking is a favorite pastime in our house, so my daughter has been in the kitchen since day the day she came home--first in a sling, then in a bouncy seat and, eventually, on a stepstool at the kitchen counter. I’d like to say she’s willing taste everything she cooks, but she’s willing to at least touch it.

Whether your kids are just getting started on their culinary adventures or ready to step out of the home kitchen and work with the professionals, Mommy Poppins has you covered. Westchester County is chock full of classes for the littlest helpers, seasoned sous chefs and talented teens.

Looking for more fun ideas? Check out our Spring Activity Guide

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