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The Best Fun & Leisure Activities in the Hudson Valley

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Camp for Families

Frost Valley YMCA

The nation’s oldest YMCA camp is so much more than one of the region’s best sleepover camps for your kids. It’s the perfect place for a local family getaway, whether you are participating in a Family Weekend or, for a longer stay, Family Camp. With traditional camp activities like swimming, fishing, arts & crafts, and campfires, and more modern-day fun like rocket building, ziplining, and 3D archery, there are plenty of opportunities for family bonding and pursuing individual interests.

Claryville, www.frostvalley.org

Photo courtesy of Howe Caverns

New Activity

Howe Glassworks Studio

The latest addition to Howe Caverns brings the delicate, centuries-old technique of glassblowing to the region. At the studio, which opened in February, artists of all experience levels are guided by professional glassblowers through hands-on workshops and leave with their masterpiece in hand.

Howes Cave, www.howecaverns.com

Old-Fashioned Fun

Ashokan Center

The Ashokan Center has been providing outdoor environmental education for more than 50 years now, teaching kids, school groups, and adults about the region’s natural wonders. They also host plentiful weekend-long (some longer than a weekend) arts events, from an August bluegrass camp to introductions to the musical cultures of Quebec, the Northeast, and the American South.

Olivebridge, www.ashokancenter.org

Place for Education and Exercise

Mohonk Preserve

Everyone needs a place to exercise both the body and mind, and here you get just that. Hike more than 75 miles of carriage roads and trails or climb the world-renowned Gunk cliffs. When your body needs a break, flex your mind’s muscles with the Preserve’s environmental education programs to learn how you can aid in the conservation effort.

New Paltz, www.mohonkpreserve.org

Photo courtesy of 360 media ventures

Place to Test Your Endurance

Survival of the Shawangunks Triathlon

Each year, nearly 200 athletes take to the scenic highways of the Shawangunk Mountains and Minnewaska State Park to compete in the combination run/swim/bike journey. This heart-pounding competition, created in 1983 by veteran triathlete Don Davis, founder of the New York Triathlete Association, consists of an eight-stage adventure race with one cycling segment, four trail-running portions, and three open-water swims. Are you up for the challenge?

New Paltz, www.sostriathlon.com

Ropes Course for Adults

Catamount Aerial Adventure Park

Every adult wants to unleash their inner child once in awhile, so how about swinging through the trees? This 12-course aerial adventure, located in the Berkshire Mountains, features more than 170 elements that will have you climbing ladders, maneuvering through obstacles, and soaring on zip lines. Don’t forget to take in that view as you fly through the sky.

Hillsdale, www.catamounttrees.com

Street Festival (Lower Hudson Valley)

Nyack’s Famous Street Fair

Perhaps the best thing about this enormous festival in Nyack is that it happens five times a year. With more than 300 vendors attending from throughout the Northeast, this lively event spans Broadway, Main Street, and Cedar Street with phenomenal food, crafts, artisanal products, and music.

Nyack, www.visitnyack.org

Street Festival (Upper Hudson Valley)

LarkFest

For one day a year, an estimated 50,000 people descend upon Lark Street to hear both local and national headlining musical acts, indulge in food truck fare, and explore the work of local artisans. The kids will enjoy creating sidewalk art while parents shuffle between the two performance stages and sip on local brews.

Albany, www.albanylarkfest.com

Zipline for Kids

The Castle Fun Center

The Castle’s 130-foot-high, 700-foot-long zipline flies high over Orange County, strapping pairs into a seat-belted chair fit to accommodate just about any age. With a minimum height limit of only 42 inches, it is much more accessible for children than just about any other comparable ride. Enjoy!

Chester, www.thecastlefuncenter.com


Readers’ Picks

Bike/Rail Trail

Walkway Over the Hudson

Poughkeepsie

www.walkway.org

Bowling Alley

Spins Bowl

Carmel, Poughkeepsie, Wappingers Falls

www.spinsbowl.com

Drive-In Theater

Hyde Park Drive-in Theatre

Hyde Park

www.hydeparkdrivein.com

Fair

Dutchess County Fair

Rhinebeck

www.dutchessfair.com

Festival

Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Saugerties

www.hvgf.org

Girls’ Night Out

Cedar Lakes Estates

Port Jervis

www.cedarlakesestate.com

Golf Course

McCann Memorial Golf Course

Poughkeepsie

www.mccanngolfcourse.com

Hudson River Cruise

The River Rose

Newburgh

www.riverrosecruises.com

Park

Walkway over the Hudson

Poughkeepsie

www.walkway.org

Place for a Picnic

Vanderbilt Mansion

Hyde Park

www.nps.gov/vama

Pro or Semi-pro Sport Teams

Hudson Valley Renegades

Wappingers Falls

www.hvrenegades.com

Ski Area

Belleayre Mountain

Highmount

www.belleayre.com

Trivia Night

Moonlight Café & Caterers

Brewster

www.moonlightcaterers.com

U-Pick Farm

Dubois Farms

Highland

www.duboisfarms.com