Summer is fun, but only if you do it right. Put down the PS4 controller, turn on “airplane mode,” and enjoy these family friendly outdoor day trips that make summer memories the best they can be. Below are some of the most entertaining stops in the Hudson Valley for summer fun, from water slides to paintball to nature hikes and more.
All facilities are open by reservation
Adventureland is the perfect day trip for thrill seekers and adventurers alike. This paintball enclosure is full of fun for everyone, with a paintball field that houses interesting obstacles and shelters. The large ropes course, meanwhile, is ideal for those who want to challenge themselves mentally and physically. A pool and a large inflatable area are suitable for kids as well.
Batting cages, driving range, and mini golf are open to the public
The Castle Fun Center is a one-stop shop for all kinds of indoor and outdoor fun. At CFC, visitors can find roller skating, laser tag, zip lines, mini-golf, go-karting, and more. The location is ideal for the whole family and is a day trip that’s packed with activity. After a full day of excitement, stop into Jester’s Restaurant and Pub, located on the premises, for a tasty bite to eat.
Closed until further notice. An audio tour is available online.
Forsyth Nature Center creates a hands-on environment for people of all ages to learn about animals and nature. A wide selection of programs allows visitors to approach animals face-to-face, hear from educators, and experience the outdoors. A turtle and reptile house, wild bird sanctuary, and mammal exhibit make for quite the afternoon trip.
New Paltz, 800.777.2546
Outdoor climbing only
High Xposure is a rock climbing guide service with a focus on inclusivity. The highly trained instructors are excited and capable of teaching total beginners, longtime experts, and everybody in between. Indoor sessions, introductory courses, and specialty classes such as “Learning to Lead” and “Self-Rescue” are ideal for folks with any level of climbing expertise. Day camps are also available for kids looking to learn the ropes.
Open beginning July 4 for scenic chairlift rides and hiking
At Hunter Mountain, it’s easy to spend the day in the mountain air participating in a host of activities. These include a scenic skyride on the ski lift, zipline canopy tours, 4×4 off-road adventures, fly fishing, disc golf, hiking, and more. Hunter Mountain is just as fun in the summer as it is in the winter and provides the perfect opportunity for people to enjoy the mountain in ways they never thought possible.
Open with social distancing protocol in place and reduced trip sizes
Catamount is a great place for adventurers to spend the day in the treetops. Try any one of the Hillsdale spot’s 12 thrilling courses, which feature over 170 challenging elements, or whiz your way along the 50 ziplines on the grounds. There are height and weight requirements, so make sure to read the general rules online before planning a getaway to the high-flying destination.
Open beginning July 1 with social distancing protocol
For a wholesome day with the family, head to Pine Ridge Dude Ranch. The Kerhonkson ranch offers horseback riding, rock wall climbing, a petting zoo, paddle boats, fishing, and more. For overnight guests who want to dine onsite, the ranch also serves a country-themed breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With a wide selection of events like BBQ and Brews and Cowboy Camp, Pine Ridge is a true summer treat.
Open with social distancing protocol
When searching for your next local family getaway, consider the short excursion to Rocking Horse Ranch. Parents and children both love taking horse tours around the Ranch’s 500 acres of trails. Bring an appetite for lots of food, live music, and games. Don’t forget to bring bathing suits for water activities like kayaking and swimming.
Closed until further notice
Splashdown Beach is a classic summer stop, with 15 main rides and attractions. Splashdown is home to some of the most impressive rides on the East Coast, such as the Humunga Half-Pipe, the only zero-gravity half pipe in New York, and the Arctic Mammoth, the largest raft ride in the Northeast. Do you dare?
High Falls, 845.256.9830
Summer camps and trips open from June 29 to August 20
Wild Earth is perfect for people of all ages who enjoy creating a bond with nature. Many of its programs focus on kids, though there are a handful of family friendly and adult options as well. Some of the kid-oriented camps, such as Raven, Kestrel, and Artemis, are designed for youths in different age groups to teach wilderness skills, outdoor appreciation, and team-building.
The activities that focus more on adults or families, meanwhile, include building canoes and edible landscaping. Wild Earth has a lot to offer for anybody with an interest in the large variety of forests and wildlife that surround the Hudson Valley.
Wild Earth is a private facility. In order to enjoy its programs, sign up in advance.