Summer is Here; Bring the Family for Some Hudson Valley Fun
The Hudson Valley, an area rich in history, the arts, nature and culinary experience, is home to some of New York State's best destinations for family-friendly summer activities. Whether diving in at a water park, catching a baseball game, taking a historic cruise or riding a merry-go-round, the region provides fun and adventurous offerings for kids, grandparents and every age in between.
Extending 150 miles from the northern tip of Manhattan all the way to Albany, on either side of the majestic Hudson River, the Hudson Valley was recently chosen by National Geographic Traveler as a Top 20 Destination on its "Best of the World 2013" list.
There's no better place to start summer fun than the beautiful Hudson River, the region's namesake waterway. Bring the whole family on a tour of historic Albany from the Hudson aboard Dutch Apple Cruises. The fun and knowledgeable staff of this triple decker vessel will provide a narrated cruise along Albany's striking skyline before heading south and giving passengers a look at some of the local wildlife, including a bald eagle! To soak in more sights from the river, jump aboard a scenic cruise from Hudson Cruises, Inc., featuring charter services and lighthouse tours out of Hudson, Athens, Poughkeepsie, Rhinecliff, Catskill, Highland and Coxsackie.
To cool off on a hot summer day, visit one of the region's many family fun parks. SplashDown Beach in Fishkill features water rides for all ages, including a 700-foot action river, waterslides and lazy river. Nestled in the scenic northern Catskill Mountains, Zoom Flume Water Park in East Durham, called "New York's #1 Family Water Park," offers safe water fun, excitement and relaxation for all ages in a beautiful natural setting. Historic Playland Amusement Park in Rye is home to over 50 adult and kiddyland rides, lake boating, miniature golf, fireworks, free entertainment, boardwalk and beach. The Castle Fun Center in Chester offers indoor activities for kids of all ages such as roller skating, mini bowling, rock climbing, laser tag and outdoor attractions including go-karts, mini golf and batting cages. For thrill-seekers ages 7 and up, Catamount Aerial Adventure Park in Hillsdale is an exciting aerial forest with over 50 zip lines and 12 ropes courses for all ability levels.
Sports enthusiasts of all ages can enjoy Minor League Baseball at Hudson Valley baseball stadiums. Provident Bank Park in Pomona, home of the Rockland Boulders, serves as a multipurpose venue that hosts local college, high school and amateur baseball, as well as special events. The Joseph L. Bruno Stadium in Troy, home of the Tri City Valley Cats, includes a "Kids Zone," featuring fun and exciting games for children of all ages. The Hudson Valley Renegades play at Dutchess Stadium in Wappingers Falls, which holds close to 5,000 seats.
There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, such as Bear Mountain State Park. In this beautiful forested setting is a scenic lake, playing field, swimming pool, several picnic areas, winter season outdoor skating rink, and a Merry-Go-Round with hand-painted scenes from the park and hand-carved seats made to look like native animals. In the park, the Bear Mountain Trailside Museum and Zoo, open seven days a week, hosts a number of kid-friendly events and programs and allows visitors to get up-close with some of the region's endangered species. Veteran's Memorial Park in Carmel is home to a variety of memorials and statues, such as the U.S. Navy Anchors, Victory Gardens and Boy Scout Memorial. The park also has a swimming pool, basketball courts, and hiking trails, and is the venue for events such as the 4-H Fair, dog and horse shows.
Finally, for a fun educational experience, bring the kids to one of the Hudson Valley's many museums, such as The Trolley Museum of New York in Kingston. The museum offers 1.5 mile excursion rides from downtown Kingston to the shore of the Hudson River at Kingston Point. Whether spending the summer days indoors or out, the Hudson Valley region has family-fun activities to offer in every area of interest.
For more summer fun visit, http://www.travelhudsonvalley.com. Hudson Valley Tourism, Inc. is the 10-county region designated by I LOVE NEW YORK to promote tourism for the area. Counties include Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Ulster and Westchester. Regional information can be obtained from the county tourism offices, or call 845-615-3860.