Gas prices need not daunt, nor car ride distress— just cross the river or drive alongside it to some of theMid-HudsonValley’s most playful hot spots for kids.
When posed the question, “Where do you guys day-trip?” moms and pops responded with answers offering options exercising everything from the body to the noggin to the funny bone: rollerblading on the Walkway Over the Hudson, bike-riding on the New Paltz Rail Trail, touring Newburgh’s George Washington’s Headquarters or a day at West Point, Rocking Horse Ranch’s new indoor water park, or outdoor water park’s Splashdown in Fishkill.
Some parents visit working, educational farms like the 200 acre-splendor which is Sprout Creek inPoughkeepsie, which informs kids of our region’s rich agricultural heritage — past and present — with hands-on and hands-in demonstrations available during the week and weekends by visits or workshops. Sprout Creek, at34 Lauer Road, houses free-ranging cows, sheep, goats, wild turkeys, guinea fowl, pigs and chickens. They also produce and sell cheeses and farm-produced meats which have become increasingly available at grocery stores and farmers’ markets. See sproutcreekfarm.org for more information.
Other folks opt to jump on the tracks and shake off the suburban blues for a trip to theBigTown. “My favorite day trip to do with my boys is hopping a train toNew York city,” said Traci Kluge of Marlboro, mother of 11- and 12-year-old sons. “There are so many options of things to do, depending on how much money we have to spend while there. If we have the money, catching a Broadway show is great. If not, just walking around exploring is fun. We have taken some great pictures of oddities, found little hole-in-the-wall places to eat, and enjoyed a lot of performers in the parks.”
New York Cityfirefighter and single dad of two teens Peter MacDougal of Tillson said that he packs up the kinder and drives to different towns to tour historical churches and cemeteries, and regularly sees stones dating back to the 1700s. MacDougal and his family, originally fromWestchesterCounty, enjoy seeing the repetition of family names among the churches and stones, and described it as giving their new residence in theHudsonValleya sense of longevity and permanence.
Kathy G. Knee of New Paltz explained that she likes to run around with her boys. “I try to take my boys out to do something adventurous on a regular basis,” said Knee. “During the week we usually go to Gold’s gym in Lagrangeville where they have a great Kidz Zone with an area rock wall, rope ladder for kids to climb, and staff who actively involve my little fireballs to be active.” Knee’s weekends are also devoted to kid fun. “During the weekend we try to do at least one fun thing. Sometimes it can be as simple as going to a playground and bringing a picnic lunch. Other days it can be bowling, movies, roller-skating, and even to Fun Central [in Fishkill] to play miniature golf. Sometimes we enjoy going up to the Walkway Over the Hudson with our dog Bandit and taking the camera so we can take pictures.”