Family Vacations to New York

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New York – Family Vacation Guide

I love New York. There’s a reason you see this saying across t-shirts, bumper stickers and Instagram posts. New York state is as diverse as the people who live here. From metropolitanites to thru-hikers to lakeside loungers, this is the place to be for all of your adventures.

Families will want to break the state up into multiple trips. It’s impossible to get through everything in one go. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the Niagara region, Adirondacks, Catskills, the Big Apple and more!

Why Go

  • History

    Everywhere you go in New York state is steeped in history, whether it be civil rights, colonial, cultural, sports or entertainment related. There are over 500 historic sites to visit! Head to the Vanderbilt’s summer and winter house at Camp Sagamore, the great architecture of the Capital-Saratoga region, or the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in the Hudson Valley.

  • Arts and Culture

    There are hundreds of museums to explore across the state. Whatever your family is interested in, there is a place to go, from the Corning Glass Museum in the Finger Lakes region to the MoMA in New York City.

  • Outdoor Adventure

    There are 22 national parks and over 200 state parks to explore. Make sure to pack your running shoes no matter where your vacation. You’ll have the opportunity to hike, kayak, paddle board, canoe, bike, zip line and more.

  • Food and Drink

    The diversity of the people here means all cuisines are represented. Grab a hot dog from a street cart or dine at Michelin-star restaurant. Even the pickiest of kids will find something to eat!

  • Seasons

    New York state is lucky enough to experience all four seasons, and each one gives the area a whole new list of things to do. You can float down the Catskill’s Esopus Creek in the summer and ski down the Adirondack’s Gore Mountain in the winter.

Where to Go

Pretty much anywhere in New York. You’ll have an activity-packed schedule no matter where you choose to go. We’ve broken the state into five distinct areas with different offerings for your family.

Niagara Region

Make a trip up to the Canadian border. This city is full of more than the crushing waters of Niagara Falls; it is also full of natural beauty and history. Many people may be surprised to find out crossing the Niagara River was the last obstacle in the Underground Railroad. Take your kids here for a mix of family fun and important history lessons.

  • Niagara Falls State Park: The first U.S. state park established in 1885. Go here to see the Falls.
  • Made of the Mist: Ride the boat to experience the Falls up close.
  • Niagara Power Vista: The kids will love the views they can get from the observation deck.

Take Me to Niagara Falls



There are over six million acres in the Adirondacks of New York. Yes, six million acres! The area is lush and full of people who appreciate all that nature has to give. Take the family here for farming, fishing, and of course, hiking. If you’re craving a city environment, the Adirondacks has that too!

Take Me to the Adirondacks


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The Catskills are one of the most popular weekend destinations for those travelling from New York City. The laid-back, casual environment is the perfect place for a getaway from busy city streets. Go for the growing farm to table food trend to teach your kids where their dinner comes from.

  • Rocking Horse Ranch: This all inclusive ranch lets your family unwind with unlimited horseback riding, waterpark admission and s’mores nights.
  • Woodstock: Although the kids may not know about this town, we’re sure you parents have! Take a stroll through the 1960’s hub of peace and love. You’ll appreciate the history and the kids will appreciate the small craft shops.
  • Lazy Crazy Acres: Saturday night is pizza night! Join in with the community for a weekly pizza party using fresh ingredients straight from the farm.
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New York City

This is the city that never sleeps. Get ready to go, go, go! With over 250 museums, 2,000 restaurants and a never-ending line-up of events for kids, you’re vacation will be jammed packed. New York City’s energy will keep you going. There are five boroughs to explore in the city, and each has plenty of activities to almost require a separate trip!

Take Me to New York City

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Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes region includes 11, narrow lakes nestled in the hills of upstate New York. Known for its natural beauty, cultural heritage, food and wine, the Finger Lakes are perfect for a family vacation on the water. Formed by glaciers, these stone bottom lakes are filled with some of the clearest water you can find.

Take Me to the Finger Lakes

What to Do

  • Niagara Falls
    The three waterfalls that make up this iconic tourist spot are not to be missed. Ride the Maid of the Mist to feel the full power of the crushing water.
  • Hiking in the Catskills
    Explore the marvelous mountains in the Catskills before renting a tube and floating down the Esopus for some earned relaxation.
  • Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
    Book well in advance and take the iconic New York cruise to visit Lady Liberty and nearby Ellis Island – pay the extra to climb into the statue’s crown, it’s worth every cent.
  • Central Park
    The huge green space right in the centre of Manhattan is a must-do in New York. To see as much as possible in a short space of time, you can hire bikes in the park.
  • Ausable Chasm
    This gorge, carved by the Ausable River, is the “Grand Canyon” of the Adirondacks. Definitely stop here to marvel in nature’s power and then try an adventure trail with the kids.
  • Hunter Mountain
    Head here for all of your outdoor fun. You can ski and snowboard in the winter and hike in the summer.For the adrenaline junkies in the family, don’t miss North America’s longest zip line.
  • Rocking Horse Ranch
    Located in the Catskills, this all inclusive ranch has unlimited horseback riding, waterpark admission and s’mores nights for the entire family to enjoy.

Getting around with Kids in New York

You’ll want a car in pretty much every area of New York state, except New York City. Driving times can be long in between major cities and attractions, so pack some car snacks. Take the I-90 throughout most of the state for breathtaking mountain views.

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