Camp In New York
New York state offers a wealth of recreational opportunities. Whether you’re ready to tackle the pastoral pleasures of the Hudson Valley, take a family surfing excursion on the beach or drink in the sites and sounds of the Manhattan skyline, these top five New York state vacation spots should be on your must-see list.
Mohonk Mountain House
This National Historic Landmark resort in the Hudson Valley region offers families 19th-century charm and a renewal of body and spirit in a natural setting. It features a spa, solarium, outdoor heated mineral pool, indoor heated pool with an underwater sound system, fitness center, yoga/motion studio and ice skating rink. Families can also take advantage of 85 miles of trails for seasonal hiking, mountain biking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. If that's not enough, you can also climb cliffs, play a nine-hole golf course, play tennis on red clay courts, go horseback riding and go on horse-drawn carriage rides. Children ages 2 to 12 like the Kids' Club, which features activities such as hiking, pony rides, swimming, sports and nature exploration, as well as eco-arts and crafts that will have your kids making kaleidoscopes, bean and seed mosaics, decoupage tea lights, seashell picture frames and beaded jewelry.
This year-round 143-room beachfront escape property revolves around "bringing the beach indoors," with rooms bathed in seaside motifs, luscious blues and ivory tones against the backdrop of ocean views. Families can take advantage of the hotel's beach concierge, who can provide private beach access, beach chairs, umbrellas, towels and refreshments, as well as assist with surf rentals, volleyball games and other beach activities. Hotel guests can also make use of the rooftop fitness center L'onda Lounge (both with ocean views) and check out the town's waterfront seafood shacks, two-mile beachfront boardwalk, eclectic shopping and local art galleries.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
This non-profit working farm and education center offers families the opportunity to connect with their food through creative hands-on programs and tours that teach them how it gets to their plates. Families can take part in tastings, farm chores and kitchen classes. Kids enjoy getting down and dirty for harvests, behind-the-scenes tours and the inner workings of a farm. The Visitor Center also offers maps for self-guided tours. Profits of the Blue Hill Cafe, the on-site restaurant, benefit the center through offerings of farm-fresh sandwiches, salads, brownies and adult cooking classes. While the farm doesn't offer lodging onsite, there are lots of local options.
The Whiteface Lodge
This Adirondack-style facility, with its hardwood furniture, cast-iron gas fireplaces and rustic accents, is reminiscent of an old-world lodge with modern amenities. Families can take advantage of its spa, canoes, kayaks, boats, heated indoor-outdoor swimming pool, ice skating rink, 56-seat surround-sound theater and family game room with pool, shuffleboard, air hockey, foosball, 10-pin bowling alley, and nightly bonfire with s'mores. Recreational opportunities such as snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, hiking and mountain biking are available nearby. Lodge families have the option of enrolling their kids in Kamp Kanu, a nature-oriented skill-building program that teaches compass reading, campfire building and cooking, tent building, trail map reading, hiking, fishing, canoeing, swimming and kayaking at its private lakefront beach area.
70 Park Avenue Hotel
This hotel in the heart of midtown Manhattan is also just a stone's throw from Fifth Avenue, Times Square and other iconic NYC attractions. With its living-room-style lobby and spacious guestroom, it offers a family their very own stylish Park Avenue apartment. Upon arrival, kids are given comment cards just for them to write what they thought about their stay. Child-sized animal print robes (matching the adult versions) are available for loan or purchase. Adults enjoy the hotel's complimentary yoga accessories for use during their stay, as well as in-room spa services, gourmet and organic treats in the rooms' honor bars. In-room child safety kits include outlet covers, toilet latches and nightlights. Pets are welcome.