Open Near NYC

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

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

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Westchester

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, find two floors of live animals from all over the world. A…

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…

Rye Playland

Rye

This charming beach-side amusement park, in operation since 1928, has lots of cute rides for little ones and a few roller coasters for those taller and more daring including the historic wooden dragon coaster.

* Small enough that it can all be done in one day. Colorful, creative decor include giant toy soldiers and…

Rye Beaches & Kayaking

Rye

Swim in the calm Long Island Sound at two adjacent white sand beaches.

Stroll the quarter-mile boardwalk at Playland Beach, next to an old-time amusement park.

Beach is open 11 am to 6:30 pm; parking $10/car, beach $4/ages 12+, $3/ages 5–11. Play mini-golf for $5/person.

Oakland Beach, run by the town…

Harbor Island Park & Beach

Mamaroneck

This lovely marina in the suburbs has a small harbor beach with calm water (don’t expect waves), swan sightings, fishing on a pier, crabs & clams, fun spray showers and lots of greenspace. Swimming allowed when lifeguards on duty (10 am-5 pm).

Concessions available and lots of food options on nearby Mamaroneck Ave; we recommend…

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.

* Look for cool patterns in Wall Power: Spectacular Quilts from the American Folk Art Museum. Monumental compositions in color, geometry and representation made (mostly) by women over more than three centuries are colorful…

First Friday at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Bronx

The Greek Revival period rooms of this splendid 19th century home close to the bay are currently only open 12 – 3 pm Saturdays & Sundays ($15/adults, $10/seniors & students), but the gorgeous grounds including specular formal, terraced gardens can be explored any day. Situated within a 60-acre New York City Landmark Historic District and is surrounded by a “forever wild” zoned forest. Look for a circa 1840 Carriage House, a Children’s Organic Garden, climbable sculptures, a colonial graveyard, an authentically fabricated Lenape wigwam and lots of nature.

Enjoy outdoor music the first Friday evening of each month and other interesting programming for all ages.

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…

Bicycle Sundays

New York

During Bicycle Sundays (May-September), the Bronx River Parkway is open exclusively for bicyclists, in-line skaters, scooters, walkers and joggers from Exit 22 at the Westchester County Center to Exit 4 at Scarsdale Road in Yonkers.

The round-trip distance is 13 miles (but you ca stop anytime). A fun tradition for all ages.  Parking available at…

Hudson Valley

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.

* Some roads are paved…

CONNECTICUT

Greenwich Point Park

Old Greenwich

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. The concession stand sells an array of hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, ice cream and…

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…

Great Captain Island

Greenwich

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 different species of birds. Visible…

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…

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…

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…

Spring Lake Beach

Spring Lake

This beautiful beach with a long boardwalk in a small seaside community manages crowds with daily online ‘Beach Badges.’ Select a date and area on the website, then pick up at the Spring Lake Train Station (Mon-Fri 8 am–3 pm & Sat-Sun 8 am–5 pm).

* Lifeguards on duty 9 am-6 pm daily.

* No…

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…

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

Robert Moses State Park

Babylon

Swim and play on a lovely five-mile Atlantic Ocean beach on the tip of Fire Island. Choose from four “Fields.” Field 2, bordering a golf course, tends to be the least crowded. Fields 3 and 4 are radio-free zones. Field 5 has a boardwalk nature trail that leads to the iconic Fire Island Lighthouse, look…

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…

Harbes Family Farm Barnyard Weekends

Mattituck

Explore 8 acres of family fun with farm animals, chicken and bee observatories, a Gnome Hedge Maze, Canna Bulb Flower Field, Gnome Hedge Maze, Canna Bulb Flower Field and more. Weekends, holidays, and summer Fridays, enjoy pig races, singing hayride tours and hosted interactive activities.

Get donuts, farm fresh produce, fresh baked pies and other…