All Ages

5 Weekend Trips From NYC With Kids

See recent posts by Hilarey Wojtowicz

Weekends are the perfect time for short getaways with kids, especially for those in New York City. With rolling countryside, exciting theme parks and seaside towns so easily accessible, quick getaways from NYC are a must. Hop in the car and head to one of these five destinations for a day trip or weekend getaway with kids from NYC, each within three hours of the city.

Written by Hilarey Wojtowicz


Pocono Mountains, Pa.

An autumn drive to the Poconos is awe-inspiring with the mountains and colorful foliage all around, and a weekend in the area will surely see your family spending days on a lake or mountain and evenings around a campfire or in front of a fireplace. Outdoor adventures like hiking, canoeing and archery will keep everyone entertained, too. Located just 1.5 hours northwest of New York City, the Poconos is a great place for a quick weekend getaway from NYC with kids.

Must-See Attractions and Activities
Bushkill Falls
Known as “The Niagara of Pennsylvania,” Bushkill Falls is a must for every family visiting the Poconos. Hike to the top of the 1,000-foot falls—there are eight in total—and snap a few photos of the breathtaking views. Fishing, mini-golf and a snack bar are also available. The Falls are open April through November.

Steamboat Railroad
All aboard the trains at the Steamboat Railroad! Before or after a short trip, check out the onsite museums, which are educational and fun with exhibits on the history of the railroad industry and steam engines, plus movies and photos. Trains run April through early December.

Pocono Snake and Animal Farm
Feed wild animals like monkeys and pigs at the Pocono Snake and Animal Farm. Kids can get up close and personal with them, learning about the various species. Admission is under $10, too!

Kid-Approved Restaurants
Alaska Pete"s Roadhouse Grille
You can"t miss signs for Alaska Pete"s Roadhouse Grille – they"re on every road throughout the Poconos! Stop in for lunch or dinner and enjoy American favorites. A kids" menu is available and the daily happy hour (Saturday and Sundays, too!) will make parents even happier from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Gem and Keystone BrewPub
Parents will enjoy craft beer while the kids color their own menu at the Gem and Keystone BrewPub, located on the property of the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort. Options include sandwiches, burgers, pasta, seafood, steak and more; open daily for lunch and dinner. Take a walk around the Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort when you"re done.

Sweet Creams Café
Homemade ice cream is a must on any trip. Stop by Sweet Creams Café and enjoy the chocolate truffle sundae or one of the other decadent dessert items.

Hotel Picks
Budget: Comfort Inn Pocono Lakes Region
Moderate: Shawnee Inn & Golf Resort
Luxury: Woodloch Pines

Cooperstown, N.Y.

Fill a weekend with America"s favorite pastime in Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Doubleday Field. It doesn"t have to be baseball season for your family to enjoy the museums because the attractions are open year-round (though there"s really no better time than around the World Series). And if you get tired of hearing about homeruns, check out the other attractions in town, like the Farmers Museum. The 3.5-hour drive from New York City will offer views of mountains and beautiful foliage if visiting during the fall, but Cooperstown is a great place for a weekend getaway with kids from NYC any time of the year.

Must-See Attractions and Activities
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
You can"t go to Cooperstown without visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. With exhibits centered around famous baseball players like Jackie Robinson and videos about women as the star athletes in the 1940"s, everyone will find the history of baseball interesting.

Otsego Lake
Get outdoors during your trip with a visit to Otsego Lake. With nine miles of shoreline, families can dip their toes or hop in a canoe and cruise across the crystal-clear water. Fishing is abundant here as the lake deepens to almost 160 feet at some places, but families don"t have to leave land if that"s their preference. Relax on a blanket, have a picnic or play volleyball or Frisbee and enjoy the views.

Fly Creek Cider Mill
Kids can climb on the large wooden tractor while parents sip on cider at the Fly Creek Cider Mill. The grounds are beautiful during the fall and offer picnic areas for dining on snacks from the onsite bakery.

Kid-Approved Restaurants
Doubleday Cafe
With a prime location on Main Street, the Doubleday Café serves up classics like burgers and hot dogs, but offers seafood and steaks. Open for breakfast, lunch or dinner, it might be best to stop in before or after your visit to Doubleday Field.

Cooperstown Diner
The Cooperstown Diner is a local favorite. Enjoy everything from omelets and pancakes to chicken, burgers, steaks and more.

Brooks House of BBQ
Stop in for ribs and BBQ chicken at Brooks House of BBQ. A gift shop and ice cream shop are onsite for sweet treats after dinner.

Hotel Picks
Budget: Lake N Pines Motel
Moderate: Holiday Inn Express Cooperstown
Luxury: The Otesaga Resort Hotel

Bucks County, Pa.

Although Sesame Place may come to mind when families think of Bucks County, the Pennsylvania area has so much more to offer for guests of all ages. With history at every turn and kid-friendly activities strewn throughout quaint villages that are fun for all, Bucks County could be one of the best quick getaways from NYC. Drive the two hours from New York City and escape to a place that will become a new favorite for you and the kids.

Must-See Attractions and Activities
Peddler"s Village
With more than 70 shops and eateries, Peddler"s Village in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, is a must on your trip to Bucks County. From Giggleberry Fair, an entertainment and activity venue for kids, to year-round festivals, Peddler"s Village has it all.

Kids" Castle
Located in Doylestown, Kids" Castle is an eight-story, wooden playground surrounded by a park that is perfect for picnics. Weave through the maze, fly through the air on the swings or try the sliding board -- this playground will truly impress your children (and you).

Sesame Place
The TV-show-themed amusement park is great for younger kids, with Cookie Monster Land, Elmo"s World, the Sunny Day Carousel and more. Families can stop here for a few hours or a whole day. Be sure to sign up for a dining experience with your kids" favorite Sesame Street characters, too!

Kid-Approved Restaurants
Langhorne Coffee House
Fuel up with breakfast at the Langhorne Coffee House any time before 2 p.m., as your family"s favorite morning meals are always available. Lunch options like salads, sandwiches and wraps are also on the menu, as is a separate list just for the kids. Be sure to try the Bedrock Cakes!

Buttonwood Grill
Stop in for a burger at the Buttonwood Grill -- a favorite amongst Bucks County residents. Indoor and outdoor seating is available and warm chocolate chip cookies are served for dessert!

Dilly"s Corner
Classic American fare is on the menu at Dilly"s Corner in New Hope, Pennsylvania. Bring cash as cards aren"t accepted here, and be ready to share -- portions are plentiful!

Hotel Picks
Budget: Holiday Inn Express Philadelphia NE - Bensalem
Moderate: Sheraton Bucks County Hotel
Luxury: Residence Inn Philadelphia Langhorne

Mystic, CT

For a historic, seaside weekend getaway, head north from the New York City area to Mystic, Connecticut, where maritime history abounds and famous pizza awaits. The coastal town is home to Mystic Seaport, which offers large sail boats for exploring, an aquarium for discovering and costumed interpreters for interacting. Kids will love the living history in the area and parents will find the quaint shops and family-friendly eateries unique. Only 2.5 hours from New York City, visit Mystic, Connecticut for a quick weekend getaway from NYC with kids.

Must-See Attractions and Activities
Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration
Take your kids to the Mystic Aquarium and watch their eyes widen as they peer through a window or look down into the water at the baby beluga whales. The playful creatures will surely put a smile on everyone"s face before you move on to the other exhibits, like the African Penguins and Ziggy Star, the special Northern Fur Seal.

Children's Museum of Southeastern Connecticut
Whether it"s on your way to Mystic or on your way home, stop at the Children"s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut for hands-on fun with your little ones. Enjoy scavenger hunts, outdoor play areas and an indoor Imaginative Playground.

B.F. Clyde's Cider Mill
Look on during the cider-making process and then sip some hot apple cider in your own cup at the B.F. Clyde"s Cider Mill. Take home cider donuts, kettle corn and more apple-inspired treats.

Kid-Approved Restaurants
Mystic Pizza
Known for the movie, Mystic Pizza is an iconic spot for a slice in the area. Grab lunch or dinner here while watching the movie on a flat-screen TV. Enjoy classic plain, or add toppings to your pie. Souvenirs are sold in the shop, too.

Burgers, pasta, ribs, steak -- it"s all on the menu at Azu. Smaller portions of everything are available in place of a kids" menu.

Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream
For lunch, dinner, a snack or dessert, stop by Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream, which serves up flavors like Creamy Coconut, Sticky Fractured Finger, Mystic Turtle, SeaportSaltySwirl and more. Sandwiches and wraps are available, but this place is known for its homemade ice cream and treats, some of which you"ll want to take home with you.

Hotel Picks
Budget: Hyatt Place Mystic
Moderate: Hampton Inn & Suites Mystic
Luxury: Taber Inn & Suites

Hershey, Pa.

A weekend in the Sweetest Place on Earth is always a good idea, and Hershey, Pennsylvania, is less than three hours from New York City. Make the drive over the rolling hills of Pennsylvania and arrive in the town known for its chocolate and theme park. Hersheypark has rides, thrills and spills for the whole family and can be accomplished in one day. And even when the coasters are closed for cold weather, families can enjoy the attractions and special events in the areas, like Hersheypark in the Dark and the Hershey Sweet Lights. Visit for a sweet weekend getaway with kids from NYC.

Must-See Attractions and Activities
Hershey Gardens
Before or after the excitement of Hersheypark, stop at the Hershey Gardens with your family for a peaceful stroll through the arboretum and play with the hands-on exhibits at the Children"s Garden. Kids can climb and run around the 23-acre area while the weather is still nice.

The Hershey Story
Hershey, Pa., is the Sweetest Place on Earth because of Milton Hershey. Hear the story about his life and success, along with his hardships, at the Hershey Story Museum. Check out the Hershey Chocolate Lab, where families can learn the science behind making the sweet stuff. Make your own and take some home to share with friends and family, too.

See more than 200 animals from five regions of North America at ZooAmerica -- alligators, crocodiles, elk, owls, mountain lions and more! And if you plan on visiting Hersheypark, pay one price for both -- guests visiting Hersheypark receive free, same-day admission to ZooAmerica!

Kid-Approved Restaurants
The Cocoa Beanery
Located at the Hershey Lodge, the Cocoa Beanery is great for parents in need of coffee before a day of activities with the kids. Breakfast sandwiches, bagels, pastries, muffins and more are served every morning.

The Bears' Den
Visit Hotel Hershey one day for some history on the area and stop for lunch or dinner at the Bears" Den. Enjoy burgers, sandwiches and other casual meals. A kids" menu is available and the setting is like a sports bar, but not as loud.

The Fountain Café
Enjoy steaks and seafood at the Fountain Café, located at the Hershey Hotel. Lunch and dinner are served daily and live music often entertains in the evenings.

Hotel Picks
Budget: White Rose Motel
Moderate: Homewood Suites by Hilton Harrisburg East – Hershey Area
Luxury: The Hotel Hershey

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