20 Great Spring Break Day Trips

by & filed under Family Time : New Jersey, Family Time: New York, People and Places We Love.

Spring BreakWith Spring Break just around the corner  I’ve been looking at day trips that might be fun for the final transition of winter into spring. I found some ideas that I wanted to share with you, none more than an hour and a half away!

Especially for Littles Spring Break

Legoland Discovery Center in Philadelphia Like a cool children’s museum this center woos little Lego fans with building contests, short 4-D movies, soft play areas, and building workshops. This newest location features an interactive LEGO themed ride, a LEGO 4D Cinema, and 10 LEGO themed play areas

At the Crayola Experience in Easton PA kids can create digital works of art and project them to a bigger screen, use computers to print their crayon labels (with the name of their choice), and generate an image of themselves as a coloring page using a Photobooth.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk CT offers exhibits and activities for littles: birth -12 months engaging them in playful explorations of interactive learning experiences and shared moments of discovery. Bonus in Norwalk is the Maritime Aquarium

Take a ride back in time at the Whippany Railway MuseumSaturday, March 24, Sunday, March 25, Saturday, March 31  hop on the  Easter Bunny Express. The Easter Bunny and train crew will be on board greeting everyone during the 45-minute round-trip ride along the Morristown & Erie Railway’s historic Whippanong Trail. Passengers can combine the thrill of riding the Springtime Streamliner along with touring the Museum site, with its outstanding collection of Historic Railroad Locomotives, Rolling Stock, Operating Model Train Layouts and Vintage Farm Tractors.

Moooo-ve to a local farm! Spring Break

Take a tour at the 80-acre non-profit Stone Barns Center in Pocantico Hills with sustainable gardens, livestock pastures and planting fields (chef Dan Barber’s award-winning Blue Hill restaurant is also here).

You may have bought Valley Shepherd Creamery, cheese at NYC Greenmarkets but you can actually visit this working sheep dairy in Long Valley, New Jersey for tours and cheesemaking classes.

Visit Alstede Farms in Chatham for their Easter and Springtime Family Festival  March 24th-March 31st Enjoy scenic hayrides around the farm, visits with barnyard animals, a meet-and-greet with the Easter Bunny, Easter egg hunts, games, pony rides, moon bounce, roast marshmallows by a campfire and lots more.

Museums Out of Doors Spring Break

Discover the works of 100 renowned sculptors including Louise Bourgeois and Isamu Noguchi at Storm King Art Center, a 500-acre sculpture park and museum in the Hudson River Valley.

In Hamilton, New Jersey (midway between NYC and Philly), the Grounds for Sculpture is a 42-acre sculpture park with more than 200 contemporary works by both American and international artists.

The Cloisters, in Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan is a mash-up of 5 European medieval cloisters . Highlights include inner courtyards, stained glass windows and the famous Unicorn tapestries. Perfect picnicking can be had on the grounds of Ft. Tryon Park just outside the Cloisters.

Take a trip back to the 18th century at Philipsburg Manor, a living history museum in Sleepy Hollow with a 300-year-old house plus barns, gardens and a working grist mill as well as the super cool Sleepy Hollow cemetary.

Glorious Greenery Spring Break

At 28-acre Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills, New Jersey, take an hour-long tour to discover its beautiful sycamore tree allee, the sloped terraces of its formal gardens and its wildflower-filled meadows.

The grounds at Lyndhurst, a National Trust Historic Site in Tarrytown, are an example of 19th century landscape design complete with sweeping lawns, a rose garden and the nation’s first steel-framed conservatory.

The New York Botanical Garden is a magical 250-acre floral wonderland right in the Bronx with everything from old-growth forests to the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. Don’t miss the Orchid Show (until April 22).

Get your Sports on Spring Break

Hike amid hardwood forests and waterfalls to beautiful Lake Minnewaska in 14,500-acre Minnewaska State Park Preserve, near the arty town of New Paltz in upstate’s Ulster County.

The Catskill Scenic Trail, a 19-mile rail-to-trail in the Western Catskills is the perfect spot for weekend biking. As you pedal along the easy-going trail, you’ll pass small streams, wildflowers and rolling farmland.

Take in the unspoiled beauty of Cattus Island County Park, which spans 530 acres and 7 miles of trails. Walk the beach, or  a trail for vistas of Barnegat Bay. At the Cooper Environmental Center enjoy hands-on displays like a live view osprey cam, habitat tree and tunnel, bird viewing area, children’s activity corner and a spectacular collections of live reptiles and fish. The park also contains a beautiful Butterfly Garden where you can view native plants and pollinators.

If you’re keen on kayaking, sign up for the Hudson River Recreation’s Sleepy Hollow Tour, a three-hour excursion on the Hudson that takes in the 1883 Tarrytown Lighthouse and the Tappan Zee bridge.

Ready for some adventure? Try ziplining at Hunter Mountain where the adrenaline-pumping ride is four miles long, 600 feet off the ground and reaches speeds up to 50 mph.

Another hair-raising activity is white water rafting—and springtime is the best time to do it. Beaver Brook Rafting offers rafting trips on the Moose and Sacandaga rivers in the Adirondacks.

Let me know if you enjoyed any of these trips- or what else you have planned!

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