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Offering kid-friendly activities all year long, the Hudson Valley is a great place to bring the family. Whether you’re playing in the park or learning at the museum, your children will stay busy. Here are our picks of the five best things to do with kids in the Hudson Valley:
1. Play at Bear Mountain State Park. Located on the west bank of the Hudson River, Bear Mountain State Park is a glorious getaway for kids of all ages, with a swimming pool, zoo and a large play field to tucker them out. There’s also a 42-seat merry-go-round, which eschews the equine for black bears, wild turkeys and bobcats, in line with the park’s natural habitat.
2. Discover the Hudson River Museum. Your kids will be seeing stars at the Hudson River Museum, thanks to its glittering planetarium. The museum’s schedule also includes a number of child-friendly activities, like a magic show and art classes.
3. Experience The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze. If you’re visiting in the fall, you’ll want to check out the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at the Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, where more than 4,000 hand-carved pumpkins are illuminated in celebration of the Halloween season. And these aren’t just your run-of-the-mill jacks—expect to see King Kong, dinosaurs and figures of Greek mythology carved into these pumpkins.
4. Visit Lawrence Farm Orchards. Keep little hands occupied picking their own fruit at this Newburgh farm. A duck pond and “Little Village” play area finish off the bucolic tableau. Pick strawberries and peaches in the summer, while gathering apples and pumpkins in the fall.
5. Have fun at Playland. Kids have been flocking to this Westchester County amusement park for the better part of eight decades (though the attractions have been updated just a bit since then). Playland is not only home to rides galore, but boasts miniature golf, a boardwalk and beachfront real estate.