Open Near NYC

Get some much-needed space and nature with these adventures near NYC.

See the map view to plot your route (some podcast suggestions for the ride).

Also see upcoming events plus our NYC guide  (with some country-feeling spots in the Bronx and Queens).

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Westchester

Lasdon Park & Arboretum

Katonah

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. Use your smart phone to follow Lexi the T-Rexi through your experience. The Shop…

Greenburgh Nature Center

Scarsdale

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.

Inside the historic manor house (open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm), find two floors of live…

Untermyer Gardens

Yonkers

Find gorgeous flowers, stunning views and picturesque architecture (including a Temple of Love) in a historic 43 acre park, located in Yonkers on the Hudson River.

Closes one hour before sunset. Lots of nearby dining.

Katonah Museum of Art

Katonah

A distinctly modernist building in the scenic hamlet of Katonah hosts three to four exhibitions annually, covering a broad range of art and humanities topics. Explore the peaceful sculpture garden and surrounding Norway spruce trees.

Current exhibitions include ARRIVALS, featuring some 50 works spanning the 16th century to the present, exploring arrivals to America –…

Legoland Discovery Center

Yonkers

This Lego extravaganza located in a nice outdoor mall features two rides, LEGO car racing, LEGO models of NYC landmarks, Star War lands, a NINAJO climbing area, a 4D cinema, karaoke and more.

* Much much smaller than theme parks, but still lots of opportunities building and playing.

* Limited menu and beverages available at…

Hudson River Museum

Yonkers

Learn about the connections between arts, sciences, and history on a family-friendly museum situated on the banks of the Hudson River.

* Explore African American Art in the 20th Century in an exhibit drawn from the permanent collection of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. See works ranging in style from modern abstraction to stained…

Winter Wolves

South Salem

Learn about the mythology, biology and ecology of wolf families and discover why this season is such a magical time for packs in North America. Visit gray wolves Alawa, Nikai, and Zephyr as well as potentially behold some of the WCC’s critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves.

Dress for cold weather – this…

Hudson Valley

Mohonk Mountain House

New Paltz

Explore an iconic Victorian castle resort surrounded by 40,000 acres of pristine forest.

* Tons of family-friendly seasonal activities to try including snow shoeing, ice skating in a covered outdoor rink, marshmallow roasting, cross-country skiing and more.

* Head indoors for craft kits, afternoon tea (and cookies), special evening kids’ entertainment, and family fun

*…

Dia Beacon

Beacon

See site-specific  art from the 1960s to the present as well as special exhibitions and new commissions in a former Nabisco box-printing factory on the banks of the Hudson River.

* Each gallery of the 300,000-square-foot sunlit space was designed specifically for the installation of one artist’s work, making for striking, unique installations. like Dan…

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 are available from vending machines.

Also visit the Trailside Museums and Zoo (open 10:30 am – 4 pm). small stone museums and fenced areas along a self-guided trail house bears, coyotes, turtles, snakes, frogs,…

Winter Wolves

South Salem

Learn about the mythology, biology and ecology of wolf families and discover why this season is such a magical time for packs in North America. Visit gray wolves Alawa, Nikai, and Zephyr as well as potentially behold some of the WCC’s critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves.

Dress for cold weather – this…

Storm King Art Center

New Windsor

Experience large-scale sculpture and site-specific commissions under open sky at a gorgeous 500-acre outdoor museum in New York’s Hudson Valley (about a 1-hour drive from Manhattan).

* Currently an outdoor-only experience with limited amenities. Bathrooms available via a separate entrance behind the Museum Building and Porta Johns are located throughout. A warming station is located…

CONNECTICUT

Stepping Stones

Norwalk

This recently re-opened award-winning children’s museum features exciting interactive exhibits and STEAM-infused programming in beautifully-renovated spaces.

* Play with giant games, make noise with household objects, test your balance and get fresh air in a giant open-air tent in Celebration Courtyard.

* Be mesmerized by  ColorCoaster is a 27-foot kinetic sculpture and a non-stop giant…

Stamford Museum & Nature Center

Stamford

Try a variety of seasonal indoor and outdoor activities at this large museum & nature center.

* Walk over 80 acres of walking nature trails – including a universally accessible Wheels in the Woods Trail. Follow  a brook with pretty waterfalls, look for abundant wildlife (including an otter pond), and learn with interpretive educational signs.…

Got Your Goat

Washington Depot

Interact with adorable goats with a range of experiences. Visit the farm to bottle feed and snuggle with baby goats ($50/person) or play with the babies, feed the older goats and take a walk with 10 goats ($100), book 1-2 hour hike on local trail within 30 miles in Connecticut and Northern Westchester ($100) or…

The Maritime Aquarium

Norwalk

Explore 75 live exhibits featuring more than 2,700 marine animals of 300 species at this aquarium devoted to Long Island Sound.

* See big and small sharks, stingrays, harbor seals, sea turtles, game fish, jellies, crabs, lobsters, mollusks and more. Plus see no- marine animals including tamarins and meerkats.

* Touch tanks are open with…

Seal-Spotting & Birding Cruise

Norwalk

Cruise out with the Maritime Aquarium on  a 64-foot all-aluminum catamaran that runs virtually silently on electric power in hopes of spotting some of the seals that come into Long Island Sound each winter. Seek out the seals to observe them near the Norwalk Islands as they “haul out” to rest on rocks exposed at…

New Jersey

South Mountain Fairy Trail

Millburn

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 has towns over-the-top, entirely indoor activities. Prices vary by day. Gets crowded, so go early and mask up.

* 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…

Essex County Turtle Back Zoo

West Orange

See over 200 species representing animals from around the world including tigers, lions, exotic birds and many more. Indoor areas like Reptile House, Touch Tank, Sea Turtle Recovery, and Penguins are open with one-way traffic patterns and limited capacities.

* Also ride an endangered species carousel, play Safari-themed mini golf ($10-$12), climb the Prehistoric Playground…

High Exposure

Northvale

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…

LONG ISLAND