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

Dinosaur Safari

Bronx

Travel back in time and get up close with 52 life-sized animatronic dinosaurs and pterosaurs in the Bronx Zoo’s a ¼ mile-long walk-through Dinosaur Safari. Look for the new-this-year 110-foot Argentinosaurus, the 40 foot long Tyrannosaurus rex and the largest known pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus. At the ADA-accessible dig site, dig up ancient fossils, compare them 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.

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.

Westchester Children’s Museum

Rye

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…

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 –…

Neuberger Museum

Purchase

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…

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.

* Be prepared to exit through the…

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.

* Celebrate the culture, style, and persona of visionary Mexican painter in The World of Frida.

* Join weekend family art projects as well as other special events for all ages.

* Choose…

100 Acre Wood Exhibit

Katonah

Winnie the Pooh and friends come to life in an enchanting tale that teaches children about the importance of  forests and the inhabitants that live there. Explore a storybook adventure featuring the original characters of A.A. Milne and art of E.H. Shepard, with an array of colorful flowers, plants and shrubs filling the Conservatory with…

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 lines on every course.

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

* Nine courses for all skill…

Hudson Kayak

Tarrytown

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…

Untermyer Gardens Family Adventure Tour

Yonkers

Explore a historic 43 acre park in Yonkers with gorgeous flowers, stunning Hudson River views and picturesque architecture. Guides engage kids in a lively exchange about plants, mythology, architecture, sculpture and ruins. Learn about a new part of the garden each week.

Intended for children between 7-12 accompanied by at least one adult.

Animal Moms: A Mommy and Me Program

Larchmont

Learn about animal moms near and far and make a craft for mom. Walk the beautiful Sheldrake trail to find signs of busy animal moms at work.

Geared for pre-school families. Older siblings welcome. Not a drop-off program.

Advance registration is required; space is limited.

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 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…

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.

* 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 under the picnic pavilion near South…

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…

LEGOLAND New York

Goshen

Explore seven themed LEGO lands featuring pirates, castles, Ninjago and more (and a water park opening this summer).

* Join madcap Professor Brick on the Factory Adventure Ride, and shrink to Minifigure size and witness the colorful creation process of a LEGO brick.

* Board a LEGO boat and shoot water cannons from at passersby…

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…

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…

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.…

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…

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

Minecraft: The Exhibition

Jersey City

Step inside the world of Minecraft, the best-selling video game of all time.

Both fans and those who haven’t played yet will enjoy this incredible immersive experience. Encounter life-size characters from the game, learn the skills to become a Minecraft expert, and embark on a quest to build a better world–both digitally and in real life.

See…

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.

* 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…

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…

Liberty Science Center

Jersey City

Lots to explore throughout this large, interactive museum.

* Step inside a giant microscope lens, create your own engineering challenge using foam blocks and wooden shapes, get creative with a giant wall installation made of 952 pixel dials and try more hands=on science.

* Explore multiple routes in the massive suspended Infinity Climber (surrounded by…

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…

Paddle Boats at Orange Reservoir

West Orange

Paddle a swan-shaped boat on the Orange Reservoir. Boats seat 2 or 4. For ages 2+. Tickets sold on a first come, first served basis. No advanced sales. Weekends only

Also play on the Children’s Regatta Playground with a wave-like rubberized safety surface and a series of play equipment designed to look like boats. A…

LONG ISLAND

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…