A Day Trip to Poughkeepsie: Three Activities for the Perfect Visit

Annie Hoffnung, a resident of Riverdale, in the Bronx, is spending this period in between the end of camp and the beginning of school with her husband and three children, “taking advantage of all that New York and the surrounding areas have to offer.” She will be writing about some of their staycation adventures for NYMetroParents. The first of her dispatches is from last Sunday’s trip to Poughkeepsie.   

In an attempt to do something a little different, we decided to take a drive north to Poughkeepsie. The drive was a breeze, away from downstate congestion and towards the scenic tapestry of upstate New York.

First stop: Walkway Over the Hudson

Since we live in Riverdale, my kids are very much attuned to the fact that we live near the Hudson River, so giving them an opportunity to see that same river more than an hour from home was exciting–not to mention walking right over it. The Walkway Over the Hudson is a great pedestrian bridge, though you do need to watch for the power walkers and cyclists. We didn’t walk the bridge in its entirety, since my children love to complain after seven minutes (I am sure you can’t relate!), but we went far enough for them to get the full experience.

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Instead of parking in the general parking lot (which is free), you might want to consider parking in the lot next to the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum ($5 for parking, but free if you also go to the museum) and take a short walk to the enormous elevator that will take you right up to the middle of the bridge. Doing so will also help you avoid the bright and colorful ice cream truck that you’ll pass on your way from the general parking lot, which has magical powers of drawing kids in before they’ve even stepped foot on the bridge. If you want to bring lunch and treat the kids afterwards (or before!), there are a few picnic tables available before you reach the bridge. The whole experience: free.

Next stop: Lunch at The Mill House Brewing Company

Yes, I have three kids age six and under and went to a bar for lunch–and it was awesome! A four-minute drive from the Walkway’s general parking lot, the Mill House Brewing Company offers a balance of great options for both kids and grown-ups alike. The restaurant also has plenty of vegetarian options which was an added plus for us. Bonus: Kids’ food comes with ice cream cones, so no need to make a special trip anywhere else. In summary: not cheap, but worth it.

Final stop: The Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum 

A small but mighty museum that is great for the six-and-under-set. As I mentioned above, there is a $5 fee for the parking lot, but if you visit the museum, it will be validated (and they’ll remind you, which I appreciated). Directly on the Hudson River, the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum is the perfect spot to cool off (or warm up in the colder months) for a couple of hours while your kids roam free throughout the exhibits. My six-year-old loved it as much as my two-year-old. If you prefer to bring your own food rather than go out to eat, there’s a covered outdoor area right on the water where you can eat, or if the weather isn’t great, there are a few tables indoors designated for picnicking. All in all: $8/ticket and a great way to entertain the little ones.

The entire day was a win, and if asked if we’d go back, the answer is unequivocally yes.

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Photo at top of the Walkway Over the Hudson credit: Fred Schaeffer.