Home Amtrak Getaways 7 Mommy Bloggers Pick Top Family Getaways Near NYC

7 Mommy Bloggers Pick Top Family Getaways Near NYC

Family getaways

We asked our favorite New York-based family travel writers where they like to go for weekend getaways. These travel experts shared some great destinations and terrific tips that they’ve learned through extensive travels with their own children. Read on to get some ideas on how to ease the anxiety and boost the fun level on your next vacation.

Kyle McCarthy | Family Travel Forum
“My favorite family weekend getaway would have to be Washington, D.C.  We are fans of Megabus and Bolt, and these services are so cheap and easy that they make it a pleasure to travel to nearby cities. As it’s a business city, you can often get a good hotel deal on the weekend. We like to eat at Ben’s Chili Bowl, the very colorful old hot dog place that President Obama likes. It’s on U Street NW in a funky neighborhood filled with thrift shops. We like to thrift shop together because you can usually find something cheap to buy and it makes a good souvenir. Another great area for shopping and eating is Eastern Market, which has lots of unique craft vendors.”
Travel Tip:
“Since we travel with our teenaged son (and you have to bribe teens to go anywhere with their parents), we try to book ahead for one good restaurant meal, or reserve tickets to a ball game or other teen-friendly event.”

Kim Orlando | TravelingMom | TravelingDad 
“One of my favorite weekend getaways is Lancaster, PA. It is truly a world away from New York and packed with fun things to do. The drive is easy and the many farms along the way make it scenic. In the fall, we enjoy the five-acre corn maze and festival at Cherry Crest Farm. Pretzel making, carriage rides and chatting with the Mennonites are all memorable cultural experiences.” 
Travel Tip:
“Always stay in a hotel that has an indoor pool if traveling with kids, teens or tweens. It is a great place to burn off end of day energy.”

Train travelAnna Fader | Mommy Poppins | Mommy Poppins Travel
“Lately we’ve been trying out some of the different family resorts. My family loved Malibu Dude Ranch near Milford, PA. The people who work there are really nice. They take great care of the horses and there’s good trail riding plus other activities. You can get to the resort by bus in about two hours and they will pick you up at the bus station.”
Travel Tip: “The great thing about NYC is you can do almost anything within a few hours of the city, from beaches to skiing to huge destinations—it’s impossible to pick one favorite. Whatever destination you choose, spending time out of your usual setting is a great way to connect with your family.”

Nancy Friedman | From Hip to Housewife | fromhiptohousewife.com
“Though it is a bit pricey, we love Mohonk Mountain House. There’s nothing high tech about Mohonk, and therein lies the beauty. Excitement is tea and cookies on the wrap around porch. Snow shoeing or ice skating in the winter, or just jumping in the lake in the summer. Time seems to have stood still there since the days when President Taft vacationed there. There are great hikes at every level, an indoor swimming pool in the winter, and a spectacular new spa you can use while your littler kids participate in their camp. All of it nestled in a stunning natural setting.”
Travel Tip:
“As the kids have gotten older, they do tend to get a bit jaded.  I’ve found that the new KidzVuz app is a great way to keep them engaged. It lets them make videos from wherever they are, keeping them thinking about what they are seeing, and experiencing it with an eye to reporting. The app lets them make videos on site and submit them directly to the KidzVuz site. They love it.”

Judy Antell | Veggie Mom 
“We love car-free getaways to Philadelphia. You can take Amtrak, Bolt or Megabus, or NJ Transit to SEPTA. The city’s small size makes it manageable for families with little kids, and there’s an Embassy Suites right near the museum district. The Franklin Institute and Philadelphia Museum of Art are always on our list, as is eating our way through Reading Terminal Market. When the kids were little, we always went to the Please Touch Museum. Now that they are older, we’ve gone to the Constitution Center, galleries in Northern Liberties and the new National Museum of American Jewish History.”
Travel Tip:
“As a family of avid bikers, we always try and rent bikes wherever we travel to. It is a great way to get to know the city.”

Charu Suri | Butterfly Diary | butterflydiary.com
“One of my favorite weekend getaway destinations is Cape May, NJ. We took baby Erika there when she was just three months old. Stay in a bed & breakfast right in Cape May and visit the Victorian Homes, five-and-dime stores or walk along the beach and you’ll be pleasantly transported into another era.”
Baby Travel Tips:
“Make sure you pack the familiar comfort toys, have bottles of formula or milk ready in the diaper bag, and of course, your stroller and car seat all prepared before the trip. Call the hotel in advance and ensure a crib is waiting in the room. Always take 3-4 extra sets of clothes with you when you travel. Start with small trips and expose the child to being flexible, but make sure that the temperature of your destination is not too far off from your origins, especially if the little one doesn’t have all the immunizations yet.”

Kimberly Coleman| Foodie City Mom 
Rocking Horse Ranch in Highland, New York is our current favorite destination for a family weekend getaway. There really is something to entertain everyone. We went during the winter, so we primarily enjoyed the cold weather activities. While my husband and I went horseback riding, we checked the kids into day camp (which is included with their “all-inclusive” package). Skiing, snow tubing and an impromptu snow fight were other highlights. You don’t need a car to get there. You can reach it by Metro North or Amtrak and if you call Rocking Horse Ranch 48 hours in advance they provide guests with complimentary pickup service from the nearby Poughkeepsie train station.”
Travel Tip:
“Don’t overschedule. While it is helpful to have a loose “to do” list, be certain to leave yourself some “wiggle room.” Honestly, the most memorable moments tend to happen in those unplanned moments. Have a sense of humor about family travel. There is no need to stress out about everything being perfect. Inevitably, something will probably go contrary to your well laid out plans. That is life. However, if your mindset is that you are going to enjoy this special time with your loved ones, then you will!”