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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See American art of the 20th century, traditional African art and contemporary art in the tree-filled campus of Purchase College. In Then and Now: Modern and Contemporary Selections from the Permanent Collection, the museum celebrates the return of some of its most precious treasures after being on national tour across the country for over…
Westchester Children’s MuseumRye
Visit a vibrant, interactive learning and play space for kids toddler to teen. Creative, energizing, unique STEAM programs and exhibits, wide open, sunny space, and a welcoming environment enable kids to make connections with ideas and each other; take risks and problem solve, and have fun.
Exhibits include Toddler Beach, Wind Tunnel Design Challenge, Build…
Try guided kayak tours, lessons and rentals throughout Westchester County. Single and double kayaks as well as stand up paddle boarding available to ride the Hudson River and Tarrytown Lake.
The calmest kayaking (or canoeing) experience is in Tarrytown Lakes (home to a wide variety of wildlife including ducks, herons and turtles).
Adventurous kids can…
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.
Inside the historic manor house (open Tuesday–Sunday, 10 am–4 pm), find two floors of live animals from…
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. Use your smart phone to follow Lexi the T-Rexi through your experience.
Experience farm animals, agriculture, wildlife, and history in at a former working dairy farm.
Visit 50+ animals, including cows, horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and pigs, by walking up to their pens or inside their barns. View historic buildings such as the milk house, the ice house, the brooder house, and the carriage house.…
Legoland Discovery Center
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 smaller than theme parks, but still lots of opportunities building and playing.
* Be prepared to exit through the gift…
Hudson River MuseumYonkers
Learn about the connections between arts, sciences, and history on a family-friendly museum situated on the banks of the Hudson River.
🪐 See a Planetarium show (+$4)
📕 Go inside whimsical sculpto-pictorama Red Grooms’ The Bookstore
🏠 Admire a large luxurious dollhouse in Glenview Historic Home
Hommocks Park Ice Rink
Mamaroneck’s popular enclosed public skating facility offers public skating sessions throughout the week October through June.
Although the spectator area is (sort of) heated, dress warmly on the ice. Snow pants and gloves are a good idea, and so are layers for when you get moving. No outside food is permitted; a concession stand…
Katonah Museum of Art
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 The Rothko Room, two masterpieces in a room designed for individual reflection.
In The Learning Center,a welcoming exhibition…
Mohonk Mountain House
Explore an iconic Victorian castle resort surrounded by 40,000 acres of pristine forest.
* Tons of family-friendly seasonal activities to try including kayaking, archery, hiking, fly-fishing, lawn games and more.
* Head indoors for craft kits, afternoon tea (and cookies), special evening kids’ entertainment, and family fun.
* Dine on delicious farm-to-table cuisine in the…
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…
LEGOLAND New York
Explore seven themed LEGO lands featuring pirates, castles, Ninjago and more. There are only about a dozen rides that work for each age/height (and some are only open in the summer), but lots of hands-on activities, interesting playgrounds and fun theming to explore. The rides are mild so not a lot of thrills for older…
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
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.…
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…
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.
* See big and small sharks, stingrays, harbor seals, sea turtles, game fish, jellies, crabs, lobsters, mollusks and more. Plus see non-marine animals including tamarins and meerkats.
* Touch tanks are open with stingrays,…
Got Your Goat
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…
Greenwich Point Park
This pretty beach in a large green park with lots of trees and paths is super kid-friendly – gentle waves, lots of animals including geese and small crab to collect and covered wood pavilions for shade not far from the water. Clean up at bathrooms with outdoor showers and changing stalls.
From May 3 to…
Great Captain Island
Ferries start on June 10
Greenwich is home to two islands situated roughly two miles off of Greenwich Harbor, Great Captain Island and Island Beach. It’s a bit of expense of effort to get to the islands, but worth it.
* The islands are preserved in their natural state, no cars or stores, with many…
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.
Liberty Science CenterJersey City
Lots to explore throughout this large, interactive museum.
∞ Explore multiple routes in the massive suspended Infinity Climber
🔬 Step inside a giant microscope lens
🧱 Engineer with foam blocks and wooden shapes, get creative with a giant wall installation made of 952 pixel dials and try more hands-on science
This indoor mega-mall has towns over-the-top, entirely indoor activities. Prices vary by day. Gets crowded, so go early.
* 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…
Wild Safari Drive-Thru Adventure
Drive (slowly) through 1,200 animals from six continents including elephants, rhinos, tigers, giraffes and lions a 350-acre preserve. 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 a printable safari guide in advance and listen…
The Adventure Park at Long Island
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…
The Big Bounce
The largest touring inflatable event in the world comes to Long Island. Play in the world’s largest bounce house, a 900 feet long inflatable obstacle course, a giant maze, slides, ball pits, a bouncy sports arena and climbing walls galore. Tickets for three hour time slots broken down by age.
Entry is free for…