New York State is a fantastic destination for families with children of all ages. From the bright lights of New York City to the natural wonders of the Adirondacks, the state is full of exciting and educational experiences that kids will love. Whether you’re a local looking for new ideas or a visitor planning a trip, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in New York State.
In this blog post, we’ll share some of the best activities and attractions that will keep your little ones entertained and engaged. So pack your bags, grab your kids, and get ready for a memorable adventure in the Empire State!
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Fun Things To Do In New York State, Sorted By Region
Albany, the state capital, is home to historical landmarks such as the New York State Capitol and the Albany Institute of History and Art. The nearby city of Troy boasts unique shops and restaurants, as well as the vibrant Troy Waterfront Farmers Market. In Saratoga Springs, families can sample the famous mineral springs and attend a race at the historic Saratoga Race Course.
The Capital Region also offers outdoor activities such as hiking and biking on the Mohawk Hudson Bike-Hike Trail, as well as winter sports at nearby ski resorts. Whether you’re a history buff or an adventure seeker, the Capital Region of New York State is a wonderful place to explore with kids.
The Adirondack Park is a vast wilderness area that offers a wide range of outdoor activities and natural wonders to explore. Visitors can hike some of the region’s 46 High Peaks, go fishing or boating on one of the many lakes, or take a scenic drive along the Adirondack Northway.
Dotting the forest are a couple of delightful towns and villages, like Lake Placid, famous for hosting the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics.
Families can visit attractions such as the Adirondack Experience Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, which showcases the region’s cultural and natural history, or the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, where visitors can learn about the area’s diverse wildlife.
In the winter, the Adirondacks transform into a winter wonderland, with opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, the Adirondacks offer a perfect escape into nature.
The Catskills offers a variety of activities and attractions for families looking for a getaway in nature. Visitors can hike to stunning waterfalls and scenic overlooks in the Catskill Mountains, or take a scenic drive along the winding roads.
For more adventure, families can go ziplining or whitewater rafting on Esopus Creek. The region also offers cultural attractions such as the Woodstock Museum, which celebrates the 1969 music festival, and the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which hosts concerts and events.
In the winter, families can hit the slopes at one of the area’s ski resorts or go ice skating on a frozen lake. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure or cultural experiences, the Catskills has plenty to offer.
The Hudson Valley in New York State is a wonderful destination for families, offering a range of family-friendly activities and attractions for all ages. Visit the Walkway Over the Hudson, the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world, for spectacular views of the Hudson River and surrounding mountains.
Explore the charming towns of Rhinebeck and Hudson, with their unique shops and restaurants, or visit the Dutchess County Fairgrounds for fun events and festivals throughout the year. Take a trip to the Storm King Art Center, an outdoor sculpture park with stunning works of art set amidst beautiful gardens and fields.
Families can also visit historic sites such as the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, or take a tour of the Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site.
- The Roosevelt Story In Hyde Park, New York
- Storming the Castle on the Bannerman Island Tour
- Dancing the Walkway Over the Hudson
New York City
New York City is a thrilling destination for families with kids of all ages. Stroll through the bustling Times Square, where bright lights and exciting street performers await. Take a walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and take in the breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.
Visit the Museum of Natural History and marvel at the dinosaur exhibits and planetarium shows. Take a ferry to see the iconic Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and learn about the history of immigration to the United States.
Don’t forget to visit the Top of the Rock for panoramic views of the city from above, and experience the thrill of visiting the world-famous Empire State Building. With so much to see and do, NYC with kids offers endless opportunities for family fun and adventure.
On Long Island, just outside New York City, families can enjoy the pristine beaches of the Hamptons, take a walk through the lush gardens of Old Westbury Gardens, or visit the Long Island Aquarium to see a variety of marine life up close.
History buffs will love exploring the Old Bethpage Village Restoration, where they can step back in time to experience life in a 19th-century farming village. Families can also take a ferry to Fire Island National Seashore, where they can hike through sand dunes and see a variety of bird species.
- Bridgeport Port Jefferson Ferry Sweetens Family Road Trip
- Champagne and Lobster, Port Jefferson’s Steam Room and Steamboat
- Weekend in Montauk for Two
The Niagara Frontier is a region in Upstate New York that includes the world-famous Niagara Falls, one of the most spectacular natural wonders in the world. Visitors can witness the awe-inspiring power of the falls up close, with a boat tour that takes them right up to the base of the falls.
In addition to Niagara Falls, the region is also home to Bridal Veil Falls, a smaller but equally breathtaking waterfall located just a short distance away. Families can also visit attractions such as the Niagara Falls State Park, which offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and scenic viewpoints.
The region also boasts the Niagara Wine Trail, where visitors can sample award-winning wines from local wineries.
The Thousand Islands region of New York State is a beautiful archipelago located on the Saint Lawrence River, consisting of over 1,800 islands that offer a wide range of activities and attractions.
Families can explore the picturesque villages and towns that dot the region, such as Alexandria Bay and Clayton, where they can find unique shops, restaurants, and museums. Visitors can take a boat tour of the islands and see historic mansions, lighthouses, and castles, or go fishing and kayaking on the river.
Don’t miss seeing Boldt Castle, a stunning example of Gilded Age architecture, or the Antique Boat Museum, which showcases the region’s maritime heritage. With its scenic beauty and endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation, the Thousand Islands region is a perfect getaway for families.
New York State’s Central Region is a picturesque area located in the heart of the state, known for its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and cultural attractions. The region includes the Finger Lakes, a stunning collection of glacial lakes that offer opportunities for boating, fishing, and hiking, as well as wine tasting at the many local wineries.
Families can visit the Corning Museum of Glass, which showcases the art and history of glassmaking, or the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, which features a variety of exotic animals.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the region is home to two of the state’s most spectacular parks, Watkins Glen State Park, known for its stunning waterfalls and gorge trail, and Letchworth State Park, nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” which offers breathtaking views of the Genesee River and its waterfalls. With its natural beauty, cultural attractions, and abundant recreational opportunities, the Central Region of New York State appeals to everyone in the family.