Best Family Vacations in New York

11 Best Family Vacations in New York [for 2023]

If you’re considering planning a memorable family vacation, look no further than the captivating state of New York. While New York City dazzles with its iconic skyscrapers and renowned attractions, the state’s offerings extend far beyond the city’s vibrant energy.

Drawing from my own firsthand encounters with these remarkable destinations, I can confidently affirm that New York is a veritable treasure trove of family-friendly escapades. From idyllic beaches where children can craft intricate sandcastles to tranquil mountain hideaways ideal for enriching hikes and bonding, the state boasts an array of experiences awaiting discovery.

Allow me to serve as your virtual tour guide as we delve into the best family vacations New York has to offer. Whether you’re in pursuit of exhilarating adventures, serene relaxation, or enlightening educational opportunities, this diverse landscape caters to every preference.

Prepare for an indelible expedition through the marvels of the Empire State, replete with experiences that promise to leave an indelible mark on your family’s collective memory. Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to the best family vacations in New York!

1. Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Best Family Vacations in New York

Photo by Junior Ceranor Nelson:

Gurney’s Montauk earns its reputation as one of the finest and most opulent family resorts in New York for good reason.

For families yearning for a serene beach retreat, Gurney’s Montauk stands as an exceptional choice. The resort seamlessly caters to both parents seeking relaxation and children seeking excitement.

Parents can luxuriate in the rejuvenating treatments of the full-service spa while the little ones engage in captivating activities at the dedicated kids’ club.

Adventurous spirits will find satisfaction as well, with a plethora of on-site water sports to choose from.

The pinnacle of their accommodations is the 3-bedroom cottage, tailor-made for sizable groups and cherished family reunions. Boasting two bedrooms and an array of amenities, this cottage comfortably accommodates up to 8 adults and 4 children.

Gurney’s Montauk epitomizes a harmonious blend of relaxation, adventure, and family bonding, making it a coveted haven for families seeking an exceptional getaway.

2. Hope Lake Lodge & Indoor Waterpark

Hope Lake Lodge seamlessly melds captivating family entertainment with luxurious accommodations, establishing itself as an irresistible choice for one of the premier family vacations in New York.

For families enamored with aquatic adventures, a retreat to Hope Lake Lodge promises a splendid experience. Beyond its indoor water park, the lodge boasts an adventure center and a rejuvenating spa.

Adding to its allure, the lodge features a dedicated kids’ club, an array of on-site water sports, a pristine beach, and even a ski facility.

Our resounding recommendation lies in selecting the resort’s deluxe suite for your stay. With two separate bedrooms and a spacious living room, this suite provides parents with a well-deserved slice of privacy during their vacation.

Moreover, the suite offers the indulgence of a spa bath, catering to both adults’ and children’s delight. By selecting the deluxe suite at Hope Lake Lodge, families are guaranteed a truly remarkable and memorable experience, solidifying it as one of the best family vacations in New York.

3. The Whiteface Lodge

Best Family Vacations in New York

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Is your vision of the ultimate family vacation in New York synonymous with relaxation and laid-back yet enriching experiences?

Look no further than the Whiteface Lodge, where a wealth of opulent amenities and engaging activities await, tailor-made for the entire family’s enjoyment.

Nestled in tranquil surroundings, the Whiteface Lodge epitomizes a luxurious escape, offering a plethora of amenities designed to captivate visitors of all ages.

Introducing Kamp Kanu, the resort’s dedicated children’s program, brimming with thrilling games and engaging activities to keep young minds entertained and delighted.

The lodge also boasts a seasonal ice skating rink, a state-of-the-art movie theater, inviting pools, and even an on-site bowling alley to ensure endless moments of joy.

For an exceedingly comfortable stay, our recommendation is the 2-bedroom suite, the epitome of relaxation and convenience.

Beyond its spacious rooms and expansive living area, this suite offers the allure of a plush king bed and a cozy queen bed.

Notably, it also features a convertible sofa that transforms into an additional bed, accommodating the family’s needs with ease.

4. Cooperstown

Cooperstown emerges as a paradise of delight for families encompassing both ardent baseball enthusiasts and fervent outdoor adventurers.

Exuding an alluring aura of quintessential American charm, Cooperstown stands as an exceptional haven for families with a penchant for sports and camaraderie.

Remarkably, this charming town garners renown as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, a veritable treasure trove brimming with artifacts and captivating interactive exhibits that transcend generations.

Adding to its allure, Cooperstown plays host to seasonal baseball clinics, offering an immersive experience for budding athletes.

Yet Cooperstown’s appeal extends well beyond baseball, boasting an array of family-friendly attractions including the enchanting Farmers’ Museum and an array of captivating outdoor escapades.

For astute budget-conscious travelers, The Inn at Cooperstown emerges as a prudent choice for accommodations.

The inn not only presents reasonable rates but also provides generously spacious suites and a delectable continental breakfast to kick-start your day.

Nestled in an enviable location, the inn stands mere minutes away from a plethora of engaging activities and attractions, ensuring a seamless fusion of comfort, convenience, and an enriching family retreat.

5. Albany

The capital of New York unfolds as a diverse tapestry of attractions tailored to captivate visitors of every age and inclination.

Albany, with its urban allure and aesthetic charm, stands as an enchanting destination replete with cultural gems and indoor wonders, ensuring delight for every member of your family.

Embarking on an unforgettable vacation in this splendid city warrants visits to iconic landmarks including the New York State Capitol, the verdant expanse of Washington Park, and the architectural marvel that is the Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza.

Beyond its intrinsic attractions, Albany serves as a gateway to a myriad of family-friendly getaways nestled near New York.

For a culinary journey that satiates both appetite and curiosity, a visit to Grappa ’72 Ristorante is a must.

This well-kept city gem beckons with a tantalizing array of authentic Italian classics, inviting guests to savor an assortment of mouthwatering delights.

Unveiling itself as one of Albany’s best-kept secrets, this sophisticated establishment doesn’t merely indulge palates but also enchants it with its tasteful décor and an impressive selection of Italian wines, ensuring that your family’s culinary adventure is nothing short of extraordinary.

As you traverse the cultural tapestry of Albany, the memories you weave will undoubtedly be enriched by the delectable offerings of Grappa ’72 Ristorante, cementing this escapade as one of the best family vacations in New York.

6. Niagara Falls

Best Family Vacations in New York

Photo by Chait Goli:

Compiling a list of the most enjoyable activities for families in New York would be incomplete without highlighting the magnetic allure of Niagara Falls.

With its towering, jaw-dropping 188-foot waterfall, Niagara undeniably stands as a breathtaking natural spectacle that rightfully earns a coveted spot on every family’s must-visit roster.

The experience of witnessing this awe-inspiring wonder is nothing short of a privilege and should be a cornerstone of every family’s adventures.

But the splendors of Niagara Falls are not limited solely to its monumental cascade. This destination offers a wealth of family-friendly attractions that promise to deepen your appreciation for this mesmerizing region.

Among our cherished picks are the Niagara Gorge Discovery Center, the captivating Aquarium of Niagara, and the enthralling Cave of the Winds.

A definitive highlight of any Niagara Falls journey is the Maid of the Mist boat tour. This immersive adventure sees you donning ponchos alongside fellow explorers as you embark on a steamboat voyage to the very base of the falls.

A visit to Niagara Falls crafts a narrative of wonder and amazement, etching memories that will be treasured for generations to come. It undoubtedly secures its place as one of the most fun things to do in New York with kids, an experience that resonates far beyond its cascading waters.

7. Rochester

Abundant in outdoor adventures and enriched by captivating museums, Rochester unquestionably reigns as one of the premier destinations for families in New York.

The allure of Rochester is particularly pronounced for families with young children, offering an urban haven that seamlessly blends urban sophistication with family-friendly charm.

Within Rochester’s vibrant landscape, a treasure trove of kid-approved museums awaits exploration, including the iconic George Eastman Museum and the dynamic Strong National Museum of Play.

As the mercury rises, Rochester transforms into a playground of outdoor delights, with an array of attractions that cater to every taste and preference.

Remarkably, Rochester’s appeal extends to its budget-friendliness, making it an ideal haven for families seeking a cost-effective vacation without compromising on experiences.

While in Rochester, make sure to carve out time for an exhilarating visit to Seabreeze Amusement Park.

This vibrant park, resplendent with an array of classic kid-friendly rides and thrilling roller coasters, promises hours of joy-filled diversion for all members of the family.

With its harmonious blend of cultural enrichment, outdoor pursuits, and affordability, Rochester effortlessly secures its position as one of the best places to visit in New York with kids, an urban retreat destined to create cherished family memories.

8. New York City

New York presents an overflowing bounty of captivating family vacation ideas, spanning the gamut from historical educational marvels to mind-bending indoor attractions.

The allure of the Big Apple is virtually boundless, delivering families a cornucopia of big-city enjoyment characterized by world-renowned museums, cutting-edge attractions, and iconic landmarks.

The city’s cultural offerings are exceptionally enriching, with landmarks such as the American Museum of Natural History and the Statue of Liberty serving as veritable educational treasures.

For parents, the mesmerizing cityscape and diverse shopping centers offer their own set of delights.

New York City caters to all age groups, whether you’re exploring with teenagers or little ones; the city ensures a continuous stream of thrills for everyone.

Complementing the adventure, family-friendly accommodations are readily accessible, guaranteeing a seamless and enjoyable stay.

Yet, navigating the plethora of top sights in the city can pose a challenge. Opting for a guided tour proves to be a wise choice, offering an array of experiences from informative walking tours to immersive boat and food tours, tailor-made to suit your family’s preferences.

And as a budget-savvy tip, don’t overlook the delectable and affordable options presented by street vendors, particularly those adorned with Vendy Awards.

New York beckons as an unparalleled playground of possibilities, uniting education, adventure, and culinary discovery, crafting a family vacation that’s certain to be etched in cherished memories.

9. Buffalo

Buffalo emerges as a dynamic urban destination boasting a diverse range of experiences, catering to visitors of all ages and preferences.

Within Buffalo’s vibrant cityscape lies a treasure trove of family-friendly venues and attractions, ensuring an enriching adventure for every member of your group.

The captivating Canalside district stands as a particular delight for kids and teens, offering a vibrant canvas of public art perfect for Instagram moments, as well as the thrill of cruises and paddle boat rentals against a picturesque backdrop.

Adding to the allure, the Buffalo Museum of Science promises to captivate all ages with its captivating assortment of Egyptian mummies and towering mastodon skeletons, sparking curiosity and wonder.

For families seeking comfortable accommodations, the Hampton Inn & Suites Buffalo Downtown presents an exceptional option.

Guests can revel in the convenience of a complimentary hot breakfast, the inviting allure of an indoor pool, and the central advantage of its location.

Upon wrapping up a day filled with Buffalo’s myriad attractions, families can reconvene in the welcoming embrace of a spacious hotel room, furnished with a pair of cozy queen beds, ensuring a restful retreat that complements the day’s adventures.

Buffalo beckons with a symphony of experiences, weaving together art, science, comfort, and excitement to craft an unforgettable family sojourn.

10. The Catskills

In search of captivating, outdoorsy, and family-friendly weekend getaways in New York? Look no further than the enthralling embrace of the Catskill Mountains.

The Catskill Mountains beckon families with a promise of exhilarating outdoor escapades against a backdrop of breathtaking natural wonders.

During the warmer months, this idyllic setting transforms into a playground of excitement, where families can engage in invigorating activities such as zip-lining, boating, and hiking, forging unforgettable memories amidst the picturesque landscape.

As winter blankets the mountains, the Catskills continue to enchant abundant opportunities for thrilling snowboarding and skiing experiences, ensuring year-round family enjoyment.

Yet even amidst the non-stop outdoor excursions, the Catskills offer respite with a diverse array of non-outdoorsy activities certain to gratify the entire family.

For the enthusiasts of cultural exploration, the area is replete with museums, including the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts and Galerie BMG, each offering unique insights and creative inspiration.

Music aficionados are also in for a treat with live performances at venues like Colony Cafe and Levon’s Midnight Ramble, promising soulful melodies and enchanting rhythms to complement your Catskill sojourn.

The Catskill Mountains stand as an embodiment of the best family vacation in New York, weaving together nature, culture, and recreation into a harmonious tapestry of experiences that will forever resonate in your family’s memories.

11. Long Island

Best Family Vacations in New York

Photo by Nicole Avagliano:

Trade the urban hustle and bustle for a serene and splendid beach retreat on the alluring Long Island.

Long Island unfolds its charm with miles of pristine white sand beaches, offering an idyllic haven where families can unwind and rejuvenate.

An absolute must-experience is the family-friendly Jones Beach State Park, an oasis of delight featuring a mini golf course, inviting pool, and engaging shuffleboard areas.

For those with a penchant for riding the waves, Ditch Plains Beach beckons as a must-visit destination, catering to the desires of surf enthusiasts.

Long Island’s allure extends beyond its sandy shores. Wine enthusiasts are in for a treat, as the island boasts a remarkable collection of over 70 tasting rooms and wineries.

Among the highlights, the North Fork Wine Trail presents an exceptional journey through some of Long Island’s most charming wineries, indulging your palate and your senses in a tantalizing tapestry of flavors.

Long Island beckons as a picture-perfect escape, where the tranquility of its beaches, the thrill of its activities, and the sophistication of its wineries seamlessly blend, crafting an unforgettable retreat for families seeking respite and delight.


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