16 Family- Friendly Summer Road-trips to Take this Season!

16 Family-Friendly Summer Road-trips to Take this Season!

16 Family Friendly Summer Road-trips to Take this Season

Looking to take a trip with your family this summer? Getting out of the city may be just the thing you need! If you’re not looking to go too far, try a summer road trip. Skip the hustle and bustle of the airport, and make memories on the road towards your destination. 

But before you get in the car or train, let’s create your perfect road trip itinerary. Finding a vacation that all of your kids will enjoy isn’t always the easiest task. That’s why we rounded up our favorite summer road trips this year. Read on to find the best destination for your family this summer!

The Dutchess County Fair is world famous

Dutchess County Fair

Whether this is your first time visiting this famous fair or the one your family has waited for all year, the Dutchess County Fair is among the world’s best fairs. It is family-friendly, with activities and adventures for all, and it is only a car or train ride away. This year’s 177th fair runs from August 22nd through 27th in Rhinebeck, NY. As the largest agricultural six-day fair in NY, there’s plenty for every member of the family to do– go on rides, eat great food and listen to entertaining music. The fair’s goal is to give visitors an appreciation for agriculture while educating them on where the food we eat comes from, all while having a blast!

Your kids will love meeting farm animals like cows, horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, rabbits and goats. With over 1,000 individual exhibitors, your family won’t know what to do first. Explore 12 acres of livestock, milking demonstrations and sheep shearing, meet costumed storytellers from the early 1900’s, and shop artisanal goods and handmade crafts and quilts. Younger kids (ages 3-10) can visit a hands-on mock farm in the AgVenture Activity Tent while adults will appreciate the horticultural beauty of dozens of themed garden displays. 

Be sure to purchase advance discount tickets to secure your spot at a great deal! Dutchessfair.com.

 

Massachusetts is one of the best states to take a family road trip

Discover Central Massachusetts 

Central Massachusetts offers its warmest welcome to visitors each summer! A road trip to the region will be full of outdoor fun, animal sightings and scenic views. 

Kids enjoy New England’s largest zoological experience at Southwick’s Zoo, home to 850+ animal residents in the heart of the Blackstone River Valley. 

A few towns over, travelers find sheep, pigs, oxen and cows roaming Old Sturbridge Village, the immersive regional attraction that depicts life as it stood in an early 19th-century village.

For families who truly love nature, this is the roadtrip for you! There’s the New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, designed to ignite children’s imaginations through educational opportunities in a naturalistic setting. 

And let’s not forget The Farm at SummitWynds each summer which has workshops, retreats and festivals spotlighting the stunning floral covered grounds. 

Start planning your trip today!

 

so many adventures await families in Maryland

Frederick County, Maryland 

In need of a peaceful, relaxing and scenic getaway? Frederick County, Maryland can provide just that! History lovers will enjoy learning about Frederick’s part during the American Civil War, including battlefields, Monocacy National Battlefield and South Mountain State Battlefield. Families can take beautiful hikes through Chimney Rock in Catoctin Mountain Park or Cunningham Falls State Park. 

You could even spend the day with animals at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve, or ride a themed train on Walkersville Southern Railroad. And with 20 nationally-branded hotels and camping sites nearby, it’s easy to book a stay. 

For families traveling in June, check out the Frederick Festival of the Arts on June 10th. There will be outdoor dining, specialty shops and 150+ exhibitors featuring their art. If you’re planning a July visit, don’t miss the National Clustered Spires High Wheel Race on July 15th. The only race of its kind in the nation, this high wheel bike race features racers from all over speeding through the streets of Downtown Frederick. Visitfrederick.org.

 

The Catskills is one of the most beautiful places to visit

Great Northern Catskills of Greene County 

Whether you’re looking to chill, seek adventure or both, you can find it all in the Great Northern Catskills of Greene County, conveniently located about two hours north of New York City and a half hour south of Albany. 

There’s something for everyone here! Thrill seekers can spend an afternoon at one of North America’s longest, fastest and highest zipline canopy tours – New York Zipline Canopy Tours in Hunter. Outdoor adventures are a given in the Catskills, with 700,000 acres of wilderness and 120 miles of mountain bike trails, there is always something for the entire family.

To cool off after a bike ride, head over to New York’s #1 family waterpark—Zoom Flume Water Park in East Durham. Once your family tires out, take a breathtaking scenic skyride to the top of the Hunter or Windham Mountains. On a clear day, the summits offer panoramic views of the Catskill Mountains and beyond.

And if you’re looking to stay a few days, head over to one of the classic Catskill all-inclusive family resorts! 

 

head to this resort for adventure and family fun

The Kartrite Resort

Want an all-in-one destination that will guarantee endless family adventures this summer? The Kartrite Resort located in the Catskill Mountains is home to NY’s biggest indoor waterpark and much more. Spend an entire day at the 11 waterpark attractions just a 90-minute drive from the city, then check into one of the new and modern resort suites to get some rest. All suites (available as 1, 2 or 3 bedroom) come with 4 passes for the waterpark for the day of check in and check out. Beyond the water fun, enjoy The Kartrite’s 7 eclectic eateries and bars, arts & crafts, archery, goat yoga, pony rides and hiking. Plus, if you want to escape the heat, head indoors to endless fun at Playopolis arcade, laser tag, ropes course, rock climbing, bowling, virtual reality and more. You could even plan your trip around one of the themed weeks: June 15-19: Adventure Week, July 2-8: Independence Week, or August 20-26: Superhero Week. And if you have a special occasion coming up like a summer birthday or bar/bat mitzvah, exciting promotions and packages await!

 

New Jersey is one of the most gorgeous states in US

New Jersey 

New Jersey summers are action-packed and full of family-friendly activities, especially for the beach lovers! With 130 miles of the Jersey Shore, your family can walk the boardwalk, build sand castles and enjoy delicious food by the water.

Take a trip to one of the zoos in the area— Cape May County Park & Zoo, Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange and Cohanzick Zoo in Bridgeton. 

Get active by kayaking, horseback riding, hiking and biking at New Jersey’s recreational hot spots and calm waterways. 

You can even get your dose of arts and culture at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City and Newark Museum of Art. 

Paterson Great Falls Historic Park and Liberty State Park offer a glimpse into the past and Black Heritage itineraries stop at must-see sites running through the heart and soul of the state. New Jersey has a lot to offer families, especially being so close to NYC! 

 

Not far from the city and so much to do
Photo: Peter Saluk

Nyack 

Only 24 miles north of NYC on the banks of the Hudson in beautiful Rockland County, the village of Nyack is perfect for your next family road trip. Nyack offers hundreds of experiences and events that make for great day trips, weekend getaways and longer stays – a treasure trove packed into just over one walkable square mile.

Take a walk on one of the many local hiking trails, bike across the Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge, and take in all of the incredible views of the river. If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the boat charters and water sports in the river itself. For a more peaceful itinerary, enjoy the arts by visiting the Edward Hopper House Museum, theaters, music and comedy shows. 

You may even want to plan your trip around one or more of Nyack’s many signature events, including street fairs, classic and exotic car nights, the African American Day parade, LGBTQ+ promenade, 4th of July fireworks, outdoor concerts and food tours. Your family will also love the weekly Farmer’s Markets, which feature live music, fresh goods from local farms and artisans, and plenty of kid-friendly activities. Make memories this summer in Nyack!

 

Plan to spend the entire day at this ultimate fun destination

Playland 

The name “Play” land should say it all! Not too far from Manhattan, Westchester’s top park for the last 94 years says: “It’s time to play.” There is something for all ages, from the littlest ones to tweens and teens. With famous rides, midway games and new thrills, you’re guaranteed a day filled with fun, laughs, and unforgettable memories. 

In addition to regular live entertainment and shows, this season the brand new Fountain Plaza will bring even more excitement to the park, where families can dance along with synchronized lights and music. 

Once your family gets tired of the rides, head to the famous boardwalk -shop for souvenirs, and visit the Westchester Children’s Museum. Grab a bite at one of the many restaurants, like burgers at Jack Burger or yummy tacos at Taco Casa. Cool off at Playland Beach, featuring a new waterfront slide, at the Playland Pool or even hop on a paddle boat. Your kids will be plotting their next visit to Playland! 

 

This County fest is fun and educational for the entire family

Putnam County Country Fest & 4-H Showcase

Don’t miss out on the country festival families love, happening July 29th to 30th at Veteran’s Memorial Park this summer!

Just an easy car drive away, the 4-H fair brings thousands of locals and visitors to enjoy this eclectic mix of traditions where little and big kids will have fun adventures at the Putnam County Country Fest & 4-H Showcase.

There are food trucks, treats, country-themed vendors, games, demos, exhibits, magic shows, inflatables and more. Listen to live music, watch the classic car show, and even attend the Duck Derby fundraiser.

Kids will leave with full stomachs, mini artistic masterpieces and many memories to last a lifetime. There’s free parking and admission, so grab your sunscreen and get going!

By car or by train, take a day trip to Putnam County, where there’s always another reason to say “I Love New York.” Be sure to visit iloveny.com for more information about a New York State getaway.

 

Rhode Island

Plan a summer family getaway and see why they call Rhode Island “The Ocean State!” Here are some top family-friendly attractions throughout each of the state’s six regions. 

Blackstone Valley. Blackstone Valley is home to the fastest indoor karting track in the country. Head to Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket for a mix of art studios and retail shops. Blackstone Valley’s hiking and biking paths are perfect for exploring this beautiful region.

Providence. Rhode Island’s beautiful capital features can’t-miss attractions like WaterFire Providence, where one hundred bonfires blaze majestically on downtown rivers, and Roger Williams Park Zoo and Carousel Village, home to exotic species from across the globe. 

Block Island. Take a short ferry ride to Block Island for natural beauty and small-town charm. Families can join the Block Island Glass Float Project, part art installation, part scavenger hunt, then check out 1661 Farms and Gardens, a small hobby farm with lemurs, kangaroos and more.

Warwick and West Bay. Warwick and West Bay feature incredible shopping and scenic beauty. At Goddard Memorial State Park, active families will find a golf course, horseback riding, game fields and more. Head to Oakland Beach to enjoy a public waterfront, fishing and swimming.  

South County. Hit the beaches in South County for a sun-soaked afternoon of swimming, relaxation and fun. Adventureland in Narragansett features go-karts, batting cages and bumper boats. In Charlestown, The Fantastic Umbrella Factory is a go-to for adventurous shoppers. 

Newport County. At Historic Newport, tour the Newport Mansions and lighthouses and watch centuries of history unfold, then visit Rail Explorers for a scenic ride on a custom-built rail bike. Visit Bristol County for stunning coastal views at Colt State Park and see wildlife at the Audubon Society of R.I. Nature Center and Aquarium.

Find more ideas for your family summer vacation today at VisitRhodeIsland.com.

 

Rochester

As the third largest metro area in NY and just under 6 hours by car from NYC, Rochester is an ideal destination for families. Rochester is one of the most family-friendly cities in the country, with more than 75 experiences for families. 

Kids of all ages love The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester. The Strong Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated to play, and is home to the National Toy Hall of Fame, the Toy Industry Hall of Fame, and the World Video Game Hall of Fame. 

There’s also the Rochester Museum and Science Center, which features a planetarium and nature center, and the oldest photography museum in the world, the George Eastman Museum.  

Plus, your family can visit the largest living history museum in New York at the Genesee Country Village and Museum, which depicts a 19th century village brought to life. 

At Rochester’s Seneca Park Zoo, you’ll see Red Pandas, Masai Giraffes and Zebras! 

With more than 12,000 acres of parkland, 100+ miles of trails, and extensive waterways, Rochester is a great destination for active families who enjoy hiking, biking, fishing and more. 

 

Not far from the city you can find so much to do in Rockland

Rockland County 

Rockland County is a hidden New York gem that’s only 30 miles north of New York City. Offering stunning views of the Hudson River as well as access to quaint villages, outdoor activities, a bustling craft food and beverage scene, rich history, and non-stop shopping and entertainment, there’s something for everyone in Rockland County.

Start your day by walking or biking across the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. With access and parking points in Nyack and Westchester, you and your family can enjoy six scenic overlook points, public art across the path and historic touchpoints. At 3.6 miles and the longest biking and pedestrian path in the county, the path is also a great way to get in some exercise. For a connection to nature, enjoy access to over 200 miles of trails and parks. Great for hiking, exploring, and swimming as well as boating, kayaking, watersports, and fishing in Nyack, Piermont, Haverstraw, or Stony Point.

Take in a game and enjoy some baseball fare by watching the New York Boulders, a professional minor league baseball team with a stadium right in Rockland. Add some history to your trip by checking out the Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site. This is the location of the last major Revolutionary War battle in the north with a museum, interactive programs, reenactments of battles, cannon musket firing, and more.

This is also the location of the Stony Point Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on the Hudson River. For some indoor fun, visit Palisades Center and enjoy tons of activities and entertainment, such as Space Adventure Glow in the Dark Mini Golf, Palisades Climb Adventure, Autobahn Raceway, 5 Wits Escape Room, the Palisades Climb Adventure Ropes Course, ice skating, movie theater, bowling at Lucky Strike, and tons more.

Make sure to include walking through one of Rockland’s many waterfront villages as a part of your trip as you check out a waterfront restaurant, breweries, boutiques, and Torne Valley Vineyards, Rockland’s only winery. Located in the Ramapo Mountains, this quaint winery offers tastings, live music and Friday night concerts in the summer. Complete your stay with a great night of sleep at one of the area’s sweet bed and breakfasts, hotel, or local inn. Explorerocklandny.com.

 

A waterpark will soon be at Showboat, Atlantic

Showboat Resort, Atlantic City 

Take a splash this summer at Showboat Resort, Atlantic City, home to the world’s largest beachfront indoor waterpark with 12+ slides, a 1,000 square-foot surf simulator, nightlife entertainment for adults, a retractable roof for year-round fun and much more.

The famed Atlantic City boardwalk will enter a new era this summer with the early summer debut of The Showboat Resort, an expansion and re-imagining of the existing Showboat– and your family is invited! “There is nothing I love more as a grandfather than watching my grandkids play and have fun. That’s really the inspiration behind the mind-blowing experience that Showboat Resort brings to the boardwalk,” said Bart Blatstein, Tower Investments CEO and Showboat owner.

There are adult and kid areas, making it easy for both parents and children to have fun this summer. Plus, a fan favorite among all ages, Showboat Resort includes Lucky Snake Arcade–the largest arcade in the world. The more than 200,000 square-foot venue features the 40,000 square-foot Raceway Go Kart Track and more than 600 games, including pinball, virtual reality, and bowling. There will be even more activities this year, like disco-themed roller blading, a state-of-the-art, classic movie-themed miniature golf course, a 40-foot-tall climbing wall, and the largest Zoltar fortune teller in the world.

Want to stay after a long day at the resort? Not to worry– the transformation into The Showboat Resort will also mark the completion of the iconic Showboat’s first phase of hotel renovations, including 477 guest rooms, among which are 36 Balcony Suites. 

 

head to Vermont for beauty and water fun

Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont

Those looking for more than a day trip the mountains of Vermont may be the adventure you need. Smugglers’ Notch, Vermont is worth the drive, with plenty of scenic spots to stop along the way.

Spend a few days in the mountains biking, swimming and zipping through the trees. There are mountain waterslides, pools and reservoirs, and even the Kids Day Camp which has mountain biking, arts & crafts, STEM, wildness & survival, or high adventure.

Let your kiddos enjoy a day at one of the specialty camps while you relax or go on an outdoor date.

Families enjoy taking a turn through the treetop obstacle course or two world-renowned Disc Golf courses, and kids love the FunZone, which has indoor climbing, inflatables laser tag, arcades and more.

You don’t want to miss family fun in Smugglers’ Notch! Mountainside lodging packages with all the resort amenities fill up quickly for summer fun so plan your vacation at www.smuggs.com.

 

Sweet Summertime in Westchester County

As summer vacation begins, travelers will be ecstatic to find there is so much to see and do in Westchester County. Bordered by the Hudson River and Long Island Sound, Westchester has more than 500 square miles of space, ensuring families can maximize their time and budgets while making memories that are priceless.

Families looking for epic play will find it in abundance at Rye’s very own amusement park, Playland, featuring exciting rides like the iconic Dragon Coaster and 108-year-old Grand Carousel. For more adrenaline, Boundless Adventures in Purchase is where adults and kids can crawl, swing and climb over obstacles at this aerial adventure park. Other fun attractions to consider include a visit to Legoland, Westchester Children’s Museum, and Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts for incredible outdoor performances and picnics.

Boasting 24,000 acres of parkland spread over more than 25 parks, Westchester is the perfect place for fresh air beyond the city. Visit Lasdon Park with its Dinosaur Garden and Chinese Friendship Pavilion. Croton Point Park offers expansive parkland and outdoor swimming in the summer, and Muscoot Farm’s Sunday Farmer’s Market is always a family favorite.

Eating is one of the wonders of Westchester County with an abundance of dining options. For breakfast, fuel up near the Long Island Sound shore at Stanz Café in Larchmont. Lunch at Walter’s Hot Dogs is another can’t-miss experience, and dinner at River Outpost Brewing will have the perfect something for both kids and adults. For dessert, the Bigfoot Creamery in Ossining offers tasty flavors and unique floats.

When the time comes for rest, Westchester offers a variety of hotels, allowing families to choose accommodations based on budget and proximity to their plans. Parents will find all the tools they need to plan the perfect itinerary by visiting www.visitwestchesterny.com.

 

Wild West City 

Wild West City is a western theme park located in the beautiful, scenic Skyland’s Region of Sussex County, New Jersey. Your family will love this unique 1880’s theme park, a place where guests can step back in time, disconnect from the modern world and reawaken the spirit of the American West. Live action shows and reenactments of the west are performed on the ‘Main Street’ in town throughout the day.

There are plenty of things for families to see and do here, from popping into town shops and museums, to riding the Stage Coach through town, to boarding the Wild West City Train. Enjoy new and special events happening in 2023, like the latest Billy’s Great Escape production! And don’t miss out on Wild West City’s National Day of the Cowboy and Cowgirl, Civil War reenactments, and Native American events. 

Wild West City is one of the most unique things to do in New Jersey, making it the perfect day trip for families, friends, couples and groups. 

Purchase tickets in advance online, or consider a membership if you’ll be visiting often. Memberships include unlimited visits throughout the 2023 season, admission to all special event days, bring a friend ticket, souvenir WWC Cup, discounts at food and retail shops and more!

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