Open Near NYC

Get some much-needed space and nature with these adventures near NYC (ps podcast suggestions for the ride).

Also see our open in NYC  (with some country-feeling spots in the Bronx) and best of virtual NYC guides.

Plus our holiday guide for safe festive fun.

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Westchster/Hudson Valley

Lasdon Park & Arboretum


This 234-acre public park has extensive formal gardens, an arboretum with a number of tree collections and a number of walking trails including a stunning veteran’s memorial trail. Highlights include a Chinese Friendship Garden and the dinosaur garden with life-size statues (sometimes closed due to weather, call ahead to confirm. Use your smart phone to…

Greenburgh Nature Center


From dawn till dusk, explore 33-acres of hiking trails, native meadow and vernal pond, and say hello to outdoor animals including goats, bunnies and eagles. Play on a large nature-inspired playground with lots of equipment for all ages.

Indoor exhibits and manor house currently closed. Schedule private fun and educational Naturalist-led hour-long programs for $125…

Bear Mountain Ice Rink

Bear Mountain

Skate on a large outdoor, uncovered rink framed by trees and rugged mountains. Lots of hiking nearby and spectacular views.

Refreshments available, lockers are not this year.

Also visit the Trailside Museums and Zoo (open 10L39 am – 4 pm). Small stone museums and fenced areas along a self-guided trail house bears, coyotes, turtles,…

Muscoot Farm


Experience farm animals, agriculture, wildlife, and history in a family-friendly atmosphere. The buildings are closed but see cows, goats, donkeys, turkeys and sheep outside plus explore hiking trails.

Shop the Farmer’s Market Sundays  9:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Hudson River Museum


* See paintings and drawings, prints and photographs, collage and sculpture from local arts, explore Landscape Art and Virtual Travel, relax in the outdoor courtyard (bring your own mat or blanket if you’d like to lounge) and walk along a large lawn overlooking the Hudson River.

* Friday-Sunday at 1, 2, & 3 pm, tour…

Pop-up Ice Skating Rink


Ages 5 and up can skate in the courtyard of a mall with music, theme nights and other fun events. The synthetic ‘ice’ is easier to glide on for young and first time skaters – and the rink is tiny so best for beginners. Skates are provided with admission or bring your own.



The Maritime Aquarium


Explore 75 live exhibits featuring more than 2,700 marine animals of 300 species at this aquarium devoted to Long Island Sound (which is right outside, boat rides available). See big and small sharks, stingrays, harbor seals, sea turtles, game fish, jellies, crabs, lobsters, mollusks and more. Plus non marine animals including tamarins and meerkats.

Mill River Park Skating Center


Take a spin on our outdoor ice skating rink, featuring more than 9,000 square feet of ice that can accommodate up to 150 recreational skaters.

A limited number of visitors will be admitted to the ice rink every 30-minutes. All visits must be reserved in advance by purchasing timed tickets online.

Skate to funky…

The Maritime Aquarium Cruises


Explore the Norwalk Island chain by water on a 64-foot all-aluminum catamaran that runs virtually silently on electric power. Spot migratory birds and pass by Norwalk’s three historic lighthouses. IN winter, try to spot some of the seals that come into Long Island Sound.

Passengers must be over 42 inches tall. Masks required at all…

New Jersey

South Mountain Fairy Trail


Discover dozens of tiny fairy houses made of natural materials like twigs, acorns and moss dotted along part of the Rahway Trail.

* Enter at the Locust Grove entrance across from the Millburn Library. Look for the Rahway Trail sign near the large blue recycling bin in the midway in the parking lot.

* The…

American Dream

East Rutherford

This indoor mega-mall hosts a range of over-the-top, entirely indoor activities. Prices vary by day.

* Ride thrilling roller coasters and family-friendly rides plus meet favorite characters like Dora The Explorer, SpongeBob SquarePants and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at indoor theme park Nickelodeon Universe ($59–$85).

* Swim, splash and slide with DreamWorks Animation’s memorable…

High Exposure


Join rock climbing, ninja courses and nerf battles in a 26,000 square ft. facility extreme sports facility for ages 3+.

* Sit on a toilet 38 feet in the air or walk the plank and jump into the abyss below. Play on warped walls, salmon ladders, vaults, swings and ropes.

* Ages 6+ can play…

Liberty Science Center

Jersey City

Lots to explore throughout this large, interactive museum.

*  Follow along with Daniel and his friends in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood: A Grr-ific Exhibit, based on the PBS Kids television series. Through immersive experiences, collaborate to solve problems, use their imaginations to transform their surroundings, and play along with Daniel’s singable strategies as they learn…