Your kids need a break from the norm as much as you do. And what better way to mix things up than by going on a day trip? Luckily, the Northeast provides more than enough activities and venues catering to all kinds of interests.
Whether they want to crack a baseball bat or are interested in how things work, these day trips for kids in the Northeast are sure to provide not just a fun vacation but also memories that will last a lifetime.
Fun Day Trips for Kids in New York
You could plan several day trips for kids in New York City. For the theater lovers, take them to a kid-friendly Broadway show they won’t forget. (Check out our guide on how to get the best tickets and other theater tips.) And for the curious, museums abound. From the Brooklyn Children’s Museum to the American Museum of Natural History (where the novel and film “Night at the Museum” is based!), kids will find all sorts of exhibits that will fascinate them.
If your kids are big baseball fans, you can’t miss Cooperstown. They will love seeing the greats in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and will get a kick out of seeing life-sized wax figures in the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum. Let them test their pitching speed and batting prowess at Doubleday Field, which is built on the site of the first game, legend has it. With baseball-themed eateries, stores and entertainment options as well as two customized bat stores, Cooperstown is a baseball lover’s heaven.
If the kids would rather play with toys than baseballs, bring them to the Strong National Museum of Play, where they can interact with hands-on exhibits, view the world’s largest collection of toys, dolls and games, and explore the National Toy Hall of Fame.
And who says Christmas only has to come once a year? Visit Santa’s Workshop in North Pole. Yes, that’s the actual name of the Essex County hamlet! This Christmas wonderland is open in the summer and a couple of weekends before Christmas.
Long Island is a beach paradise for kids who can’t get enough of the sand in between their toes or the water rushing around their ankles. But, there’s more day trips for kids on the island than just the beaches. Allow them to explore under the sea at the Long Island Aquarium (save on tickets with your AAA discount). Or, if the kids have their sights on the stars and the sky, take them to the Vanderbilt Museum, where they can watch the many scheduled sky shows throughout the year as well as concerts, performances and workshops during the summer.
Watch jellyfish, beluga whales, sea lions and other creatures of the deep at Mystic Aquarium, while the bravest and boldest of your clan test their courage by touching a shark. That sounds a little scary, but ticket prices aren’t. For the T. rex and Stegosaurus fans, there’s Dinosaur State Park. This expansive park has one of the largest dinosaur track sites in the country and more than two miles of nature trails.
Atlantic City might be called America’s Playground for adults, but it’s just as much of a playground for the kids too. After all, the state houses the largest theme park in the New Jersey and New York area – aka Six Flags Great Adventure (save on tickets!) – as well as other noteworthy theme parks, such as Storybook Land, Steel Pier and Gillians Wonderland Pier. But, if the kids are bugging you for an indoor adventure, take them to the Insectropolis. They can look at thousands of bug displays and touch some of them in this creepy-crawly museum.
This state offers world-class activities, vibrant scenery and history come to life in the present. From museums to historical trails to a delicious food scene, kids have no shortage of things to do. They can get up close and personal with a 65-million-year-old Triceratops fossil, witness an indoor lightning storm or explore the galaxies at the Boston Museum of Science. And, at the Whydah Pirate Museum, they can express their inner pirate and examine the world’s only assembled pirate treasure.
Rhode Island is perfect for families who want the attractions of the bigger states, but still want to feel like they’re getting away from it all. While there’s always the beach, the Roger Williams Park Zoo & Carousel Village is great for a memorable day trip with kids. Enjoy the animals at the zoo, then take the quick trip up the road for pony and train rides, a fully-accessible playground and more. For kids interested in life under the water, they can get a close-up and maybe even a hands-on look at the marine wildlife at the BIOMES Marine Biology Center.
Are the kids screaming for ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tours will satisfy that sweet tooth. Here they’ll get to see how the company’s famous ice cream flavors are made and taste the newest frozen concoction at the Scoop Shop. Another cool factory to visit is the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, where stuffed animals are handcrafted and delivered.
If your kids can’t get enough of the world of fairy tales, Story Land is the place for them. They can watch an eye-popping magic show, meet storybook characters and even sit with Cinderella. In the winter, take them to seasonal ice castles in North Woodstock. The kids will feel like royalty in this cold kingdom, filled with slides, thrones, tunnels, fountains and towers – all made of ice. Dress warmly!
What are your favorite day trips for kids in the Northeast? Tell us in the comments!