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

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Westchster

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 (sometimes closed due to weather, call ahead to confirm. Use your smart phone to…

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.

Indoor exhibits and manor house currently closed. Schedule private fun and educational Naturalist-led hour-long programs for $175+…

Untermeyer 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.

Timed entry reservations required Friday–Sunday. Lots of nearby dining.

Muscoot Farm

Katonoah

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.

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.

* Border Cantos | Sonic Border, a unique and moving collaboration between American photographer Richard Misrach and sculptor and Mexican composer Guillermo Galindo, addresses the humanitarian situation at the wall between the US and…

Boundless Adventures

Purchase

Swing, climb, balance, traverse and zip-line at this aerial adventure park in Westchester.

* Combines a variety of high ropes courses with zip lining.

* With 110 platforms in the trees, 15-20 feet apart, and limited capacity, great sop for social distancing (and safe, birthday parties).

* Nine courses for all skill levels – low…

Signs of Spring Scavenger Hunt

Yonkers

Walk around the Lenoir Preserve exploring and checking off a scavenger hunt list. Knock on door of  the nature center to receive list.

Explore a 40-acre nature preserve comprising woodlands and field habitats adjacent to the Old Croton Aqueduct on slopes overlooking the Hudson River, providing spectacular views. Unusual specimen trees and shrubs imported from…

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 activities to try including hiking, boating, archery and an indoor pool.

* Dine on delicious farm-to-table cuisine in the historic dining room with gorgeous Catskill Mountain views or in the privacy of your room.

* Most activities and…

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…

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).

* Prepare for lots of open air walking. Wear comfortable shoes and weather-appropriate layers. Go early to get the…

Apple Blossom Festival

Modena

Take a 1/2 mile ride through an apple blossom orchard in bloom. Complete a Scavenger Hunt Challenge to win a prize.

Play in a farm-inspired playground, take a ride on a Cowtrain ($4), mine for gems, race rubber ducks ($2) and ride ponies ($12).

Shop a pop-up market with lots of local vendors selling…

CONNECTICUT

Got Your Goat

Washington Depot

Lots of options for interacting with adorable goats. 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 book…

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 (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.

The Maritime Aquarium Cruises

Norwalk

Explore the Norwalk Island chain by water on a 64-foot all-aluminum catamaran that runs virtually silently on electric power. Study marine biodiversity from the water’s surface down to the bottom and learn Long Island Sound’s interdependent marine life. Watch sampling techniques such as a plankton tow, trawl net and biodredge that generally bring up a…

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…

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…

U-Pick Tulips

New York

Tiptoe through millions of rainbow blooms at a family-owned flower grower and flower farm in central New Jersey, and pick some tulips to bring home ($1/stem).

Also take a free hayride around the farm, check out a small museum with Dutch tulip planting artifacts, get treats from the bakery barn and food trucks, shop for…

American Dream

East Rutherford

This indoor mega-mall hosts a range of over-the-top, entirely indoor activities among pretty seasonal decor. 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…

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, take a ropes course/zip line through the trees (ages…

Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure

Jackson

Drive (slowly) through 1,200 animals from six continents including elephants, rhinos, tigers, giraffes and lions a 350-acre preserve in Jackson, New Jersey (about 1.5 hours from Manhattan). The safari takes about an hour or two depending on traffic (and animals crossings – they can get very close).

The audio guide is mostly safety instructions. Download…

LONG ISLAND

Long Island Tulip Festival

Manorville

Walk through more than 500,000 tulips and other spring bulbs on a large family owned farm with a Dutch windmill.

Activities include enjoy mini golf, a jumbo jump pad, barnyard animals, tractor pedal cars for tots and barnyard animals.

Enjoy live music and food trucks ​on weekends.

Pet-friendly (leash required).

The Adventure Park at Long Island

Wheatley Heights

Climb and swing in trees with 11 trails, 22 ziplines & 148 treetop platforms.

* Ages 3+ can play in the a miniature course set up right above the ground (24 inches) with balance beams, a slide, nets to climb through, and a suspended house that sways.

* Ages 7+ can try self-guided climbing adventures…