Looking for a day trip away from New York City? One that involves stimulating and unique options to get your kid’s minds and bodies moving during these cold months? There are plenty of options that are close and affordable for the entire family. Here’s our short list of fun day trips from NYC:
Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania is filled with museums, restaurants, antique shops and things to do. Kids will love the Crayola Factory dedicated to some of their favorite creative tools on earth: crayons and markers. Then head for lunch at the Pearly Bakery, located directly across from the Crayola Factory, which has both pub fare and more upscale entrees. End your day at the Da Vinci Science Center. With 10,000 square feet of science and technology activities for children of all ages, this museum is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon.
Stone Barns Agriculture Center for Food and Agriculture, located in Westchester’s Tarrytown, is a bucolic farm with trails and barns. They practice sustainable agriculture, and it’s the perfect spot for long walks around the farm, watching the animals in the barns, visiting the vegetable and herb gardens, and exploring the trails. Best of all, all the food in the cafe is homegrown and you can have the most delightful lunch on the premises. This makes for a delightful day out for the family.
If you have a child who loves trains, Essex Steam Train is the perfect spot for you. You’ll travel through scenic Connecticut and take a trip back in time riding on an authentic steam train. Kids can enjoy special events like a “Day Out with Thomas the Tank Engine,” while parents can take in a romantic dinner for two. Check the site for details and rates.
Tucked inside Northern New Jersey’s Liberty State Park is a comprehensive science museum where you could easily spend an entire day with the family. The Liberty Science Center features nine permanent exhibits, a 3D movie theater, and live science destinations. For the younger set, they offer “I Explore” and an interactive environment that’s both safe and engaging. Older kids can choose from “Wildlife Challenge,” “Breakthroughs,” “Communication,” and many others. It’s a big museum—be sure to give yourselves a lot of time.
Philadelphia is a great city to be a tourist in—there’s so much to do within the city limits and it’s perfect for getting out and walking. There’s enough to keep you busy for a long weekend, but if you have just one day, head right to the Franklin Institute, a terrific science museum named after its namesake, with a huge focus on interactivity and exploration. It’s fascinating to walk through a “human heart,” learn about the history of electricity, play in the Sports Challenge, which uses virtual-reality technology to illustrate the physics of sports, hop into the Train Factory’s climb-aboard steam engine, explore the Space Command’s simulated earth-orbit research station, or ride a Sky Bike.
– Holly Rosen Fink
Holly Rosen Fink is a mother, marketing consultant, writer and blogger for a number of sites, as well as her own, The Culture Mom.