After a long week of school, work, activities, homework and a routine that seems never-ending, there is nothing better than jumping in the car to take advantage of the many places in the Tri-State area. Here are our picks for the six best day trips for families in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. By Holly Rosen Fink.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
630 Bedford Road
Pocantico Hills, NY 10591
Located in Westchester’s Tarrytown, Stone Barns is a bucolic farm with trails and barns which practice sustainable agriculture. Stones Barns is perfect for long walks around the farm and there are animals to look at in the barns, vegetable and herb gardens and trails to explore. Best of all, all the food in the cafe is homegrown and you can have the most delightful lunch on the premises. Their homemade muffins, quiche, cheeses, salads, cakes and cookies are the most fresh and tasty morsels you’ll ever consume. While you’re eating lunch, your kids can either join you or run around the courtyard nearby.
381 North Broadway
Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591-1806
One of the most popular attractions in Westchester is Philipsburg Manor, a National Historic Landmark that makes a wonderful, educational experience for the whole family. It’s a working 18th-century farm that includes an old-fashioned grist mill and teaches about life in the 18th century. Costumed interpreters re-enact life in pre-Revolutionary times, doing chores, milking the cows, and grinding grain, all of which offer children participation.
639 Bedford Road
Pocantico Hills, NY
If you’re feeling brave and your kids are on extremely good behavior, add on a trip to Kykuit. The classic home of the Rockefeller family proudly displays subterranean art galleries, a Coach Barn with its collection of antique motor and horse-drawn equipment, and magnificent gardens. From Phillipsburg Manor you can take the Metro North One-Day Outbound Getaway.
Essex Steam Train
1 Railroad Avenue
Essex, CT 06426-1516
If you have a child who loves trains, this is the perfect trip for you. Travel through scenic Connecticut – it’s a trip back in time for a child 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.
Catskill Mountain Railroad
5401 Route 28
Mt. Tremper, NY 12457
The Catskill Mountain Railroad Scenic Train is a popular activity for visitors to the Catskills, famed for its scenic beauty and great fishing. Since Hurricane Irene, the 12 mile ride has been shortened to 5, but it still offers a unique old-time experience. It’s also a unique way to explore the area’s scenery. Kids will love the vintage feel of the ride. Even the conductor is dressed in old-time garb and stays in character throughout the ride. After the ride, if your kids are hungry, head to Sweet Sue’s in the town of Phoenicia, on the Main Street, for scrumptious home made pancakes and french toast.
Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Boulevard
Jersey City, NJ 07305
Located in Northern New Jersey’s Liberty State Park is a very large science museum where you could easily spend an entire day with the family. The museum features nine permanent exhibits, a 3D movie theater, and live science destinations. For the younger set, they offer “I Explore”, and interactive environment that’s safe and engaging. For the older kids, they can choose from “Wildlife Challenge,” “Breakthroughs,” “Communication,” and many others. It’s a big museum, give yourselves a lot of time. Check the web site for fees.
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Holly Rosen Fink is the founder and managing editor of The Culture Mom.