8 Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC

Two kids sit together on an overturned tree, reaching into the waters of a river at Gillette Castle State Park in Great Barrington, one of the Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC.
Photo Courtesy: Shannon Broadbent

Some of the weekend trips from NYC with kids await your next family adventure! With so many New Yorkers searching for their next family-friendly destination, why not consider an adorable vacation town within driving distance? New York’s convenient location puts you within hours of amazing gems in New England, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut, ideal to visit with children during the summer! From these cute towns to visit with kids near NYC, we’ve also included the best day trips to take, depending on how much time you spend exploring. Next time you’re ready to plan a road trip from New York, check out our list of the 8 Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC to arrange your itinerary! 

Saratoga Springs, NY

The "Welcome to Saratoga Springs" sign, atop of which sits a horse and rider statue in Saratoga Springs, one of the Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC.
Photo Courtesy: Beth Lehmann

Saratoga Springs is a summer destination for all ages! Famed for its summer horse racing season, the town is also known for its amazing restaurants, walkable center, and quaint antique shops. Saratoga Race Course is a must-visit for any horse racing fan! Every August, it holds the “Travers Stakes,” the most popular day of the Saratoga summer racing meet. 

For more family fun, drive to a local stable, like Old Friends Horse Farm, home to retired racehorses! Putnam Market is a must for tasty lunch options and sweets from the bakery, as is Mrs. London, known for its sweet pastries, fire bread, and lavishly decorated cakes! Keep in mind hotel prices are usually higher than average from July through September. Certainly, families seeking quick weekend getaways from NYC with kids will adore Saratoga Springs!

Easy Day Trips From Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs is also famous for its namesake mineral baths and stunning natural scenery. Definitely save some time to visit Saratoga Spa State Park to fuse both elements, as this massive protected area encloses natural springs, two golf courses, and nature trails.

If you plan to stay overnight, consider glamping at a treehouse nestled up in the canopies, surely a fun experience for kids! Or, visit John Boyd Thacher State Park near Albany, which offers easy hiking trails and panoramic views of the Green Mountains. At the Howe Caverns, explore amazing rock formations, take a boat ride in an underground river, or even visit a zip-lining adventure park!

Parents who want some alone time can also take a drive to Ballston Spa, a small town nearby comprising hundreds of rare antique stores. Nearby Lake George or Lake Placid also makes a great day trip with the entire family! These are surely some of the best cute towns to visit with kids near NYC.

Litchfield, CT

An adult holds the hands of two small children while standing on the edge of a cliff overlooking an incredible fall scene on a brilliantly sunny day in Litchfield, one of the Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Take a trip to Litchfield for a tranquil escape from the city! As one of the best weekend trips from NYC with kids, its darling town center is popular with locals due to its family-friendly restaurants, antique shops, and natural agriculture. Splurge on accommodations at the Winvian Farm, which even features special themed rooms like “Treehouse” or “Helicopter.”

In addition to a variety of boutiques to explore, kids can enjoy Litchfield’s nearby farms! Animal enthusiasts will love the goats at March Farm, featuring berry-picking and an animal yard. If you’re searching for riding lessons, Litchfield also boasts various horse stables. Afterward, satisfy your sugar cravings at the nearby Winter Winds Farm to sample sweet homemade maple syrup. Or, head to Peaches N’ Cream, which serves fresh homemade scoops from the nearby Arethusa Farm.

Easy Day Trips from Litchfield

Father and son pose together on top of a mountainside in Litchfield, Connecticut, with an expansive view of lush greens behind them.
Photo Courtesy: Gunjan Prakash

Litchfield also puts you within driving distance of more of the best cute towns to visit with kids near NYC! Stroll through scenic nature trails at Kent Falls to see a picture-perfect waterfall. Visiting during July or August? You’re also in luck! Check out the Goshen Country Fair for carnival events, the unique Goshen Stampede, and an annual hot air balloon festival!

Action Wildlife is also a kid-friendly sanctuary park filled with exotic animals, perfect for younger children. Consider escaping to Lake Waramaug for a more extended getaway, a stunning State Park to rent canoes, picnic, or camp. Kids can also ride a vintage roller coaster at Lake Compounce, the oldest amusement park in the country! With so much to offer, no wonder this is a family favorite for quick weekend getaways from NYC with kids.

Cold Spring, NY

The main street of Cold Spring, New York, , one of the Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC, featuring lovely buildings along a street lined with trees.
Photo Courtesy: Scullymike via Wikimedia Commons

Cold Spring is a historic village located along the Hudson Seaport. Once a center for the American Civil War, it’s now a picturesque town near Bear Mountain, Storm King, and the West Point Museum. Nature meets creativity on Main Street, with a variety of boutiques and restaurants. Le Bouchon is also a family favorite for its inventive kid’s menu. Afterward, treat yourself to some dessert from Moo Moo’s Creamery!

Split Rock Books, an indie bookstore, also hosts occasional story readings for little ones. Or, soak up the Hudson River’s splendor at Dockside Park, overlooking Storm King Mountain. Younger kids will especially love a trip to Cold Spring Tiny Tots Park while older children try hiking nearby Breakneck Ridge Mountain

Whether you’re looking for day trips from NYC or weekend getaways with kids, check out our Ultimate Guide To Family Resorts Near NYC For A Summer Getaway!

Easy Day Trips From Cold Spring

A young girl sitting on the bench facing the lake and the hills of Cold Spring.
Photo Courtesy: Ananda Vartak

Cold Spring is one of the best cute towns to visit with kids near NYC for a reason! Foodie families will definitely want to make a trip to New Paltz, renowned for its world-class restaurants. Among the best family-friendly restaurants in town is A Tavola Trattoria, a rustic farm-to-table restaurant showcasing some of Italy’s best regional cuisine.

Parents with younger children shouldn’t hesitate to visit Rocking Horse Ranch, a dynamic complex featuring horseback riding, hot springs, exotic wildlife exhibits, and more. Woodbury, another New York town, also showcases premier shopping outlets if you’re more into searching for discount designer brands. The actual town of Woodbury also has incredible landscape panoramas if you visit Trail View State Park!  

Rhinebeck, NY

Street with building in Rhinebeck, NY, one of the Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC.
Photo Courtesy: Juliancolton via Wikimedia Commons

Rhinebeck is an adorable place to explore The Hudson Valley! Two hours from NYC, it’s reachable by Amtrak for a comfortable vacation. Here, you’ll find supermarkets, pharmacies, and a selection of family-friendly restaurants, like The Matchbox Cafe.

Travel back in time at the Hyde Park Drive-In, an old-timey movie theater fifteen minutes from Rhinebeck. Or, pick your own fresh fruit at Greig Farm, featuring blueberry picking and goat feeding. (Parents can have a treat at Alison Vineyard right next door!) Also, venture toward Ferncliff Forest Park for non-strenuous hiking (Burger Hill is perfect for beginners!). Don’t miss the Rhinebeck Aerodrome, with air shows to entertain every age. Lastly, end your day at the legendary candy store Samuel’s Sweet Shoppe!

Easy Day Trips From Rhinebeck

Two kids look at a goat through a fence, while exploring a farm in Rhinebeck.
Photo Courtesy: Michelle Munenzon

For more cute towns to visit with kids near NYC, the Upper Hudson Valley has plenty near Rhinebeck! Take a day trip to Poughkeepsie or Hudson, a historic town turned recently trendy haven. Future firefighters can visit the Hudson Firefighter Museum!

In Poughkeepsie, younger children will love the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, perfect for budding minds. Combine this with The Walkway Over The Hudson for an amazing view of the valley! Or, try the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, where kids can hunt for bugs, explore natural playgrounds, and more! Older kids may also fancy a trip to South Salem to visit its Wolf Conservation Center. Afterward, curb your sweet tooth with a visit to a local institution, Daddy’s Donuts & Bake Shop!

Woodstock, NY

A covered bridge in Woodstock, Vermont, one of the Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC, surrounded by vibrant fall foliage.
Photo Courtesy: Anthony Quintano

Take a trip to Woodstock to unwind among greener pastures! Families love this vibrant community focused on nature, artistic culture, and farm-to-table cuisine. In Woodstock’s Town Center, stroll quaint boutiques, ice cream shops, and restaurants. On some Sundays, residents even gather for a drum circle turned dance party. If you’re looking for a place to stay overnight, families adore Woodstock Inn and Resort.

To experience Woodstock’s scenery, head to Woodstock Waterfall Park, a stroller-friendly trail overlooking a cascading waterfall. Other popular trails include Overlook Mountain and Ashokan Reservoir, providing dramatic views of the Catskill Mountains. When you’re hungry, Woodstock Village is also a great place to stop for dinner! Oriole 9 boasts a healthy kids’ menu and pressed coffee for parents, and Catskill Mountain Pizza has pies fresh from the oven! 

Easy Day Trips From Woodstock 

Left Image: A charming cover bridge stands over an empty road. Right Image: A Vermont river snakes through fall foliage in hues of red, orange, and brown.
Photo Courtesy: Vanessa Garza

Woodstock’s location in The Catskills also puts you near some other best cute towns to visit with kids near NYC! Don’t miss the long route to the iconic Saugerties lighthouse, crossing through the town’s best nature trails. Or, teach kids more about rescued animals at the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, which houses adorable goats, horses, and chickens. Art lovers may also want to visit the nearby Opus 40, an outdoor sculpture park and an open-air museum! 

In nearby Windham, another one of the best overnight trips from NYC for families, get active by hitting the Windham Adventure Park, a ski and summer destination for all ages. For a more relaxing vacation, Phoenicia, a sleepy town along the Catskill Mountains, may be your answer. Stoll the town center, take an easy hike, or a more daring plunge tubing down Esopus Creek. Tannersville, a small village community within Catskill State Park, also boasts family fun at Rip Van Winkle Lake!

New Hope, PA

Spring time in New Hope, PA, featuring a colorful shop with a flowering tree out front.
Photo Courtesy: Shinya Suzuki

New Hope is Bucks’ County Pennsylvania’s shining jewel! Unhurried and unassuming, it’s one of the best cute towns to visit with kids near NYC. It’s also filled with quaint boutiques – like the once East Village staple Love Saves the Day – seasonal-focused eateries, such as The Landing Restaurant, and forget-all-your-troubles B&Bs galore.

Between hopping from one interesting activity to the next, get back to nature, which is far and wide in New Hope! Rent a bike to cruise down the Delaware Canal Towpath and take the opportunity to make it a historic visit, too. Up the road from Washington Crossing Historic Park, tell kids all about The Delaware River and the role it played in the American Revolution! 

Easy Day Trips From New Hope

Group of kids sitting on the rocks holding hammers in New Hope PA
Photo Courtesy: Missi Dunham

Use New Hope as a starting point to explore more weekend trips from NYC. Little ones will probably love The Bucks County Children’s Museum, where immersive installations fill each room with a new scientific theory. Or, try the Bucks County Playhouse, a recreation center where kids can burn some energy. Music Mountain Theater is also a great children’s theater to visit with kids.

At the Howell Living History Farm, enjoy a fantastic educational visit, as it doubles as an agricultural museum too. Then, the whole family will have a fun time exploring Peddler’s Village, a colonial-style settlement that boasts cute shops and occasional events. Of course, to see a bigger city, Philadelphia is also within driving distance of New Hope! 

Planning any family weekend getaways this summer? You’ll love these Best 4th Of July Weekend Getaways From NYC For Families To See Fireworks!

Mystic, CT

A large American flag flies overhead near the seaport at Mystic on a sunny day.
Photo Courtesy: This is Mystic

Head to Mystic to explore a walkable town! This outdoor retreat boasts natural adventures and rainy-day activities alike. Stroll by shops and ships in the famous Mystic Seaport on a warm day, though remember you’ll have to pay. Kids will appreciate the Mystic Aquarium and eating ice cream or browsing toy shops at Olde Mystic Village.

For an indoor activity, visit the Children’s Museum of Southeastern Connecticut in Niantic. The Essex Train Museum is also a hit with younger children, twenty minutes outside of Mystic. When you’re hungry, pies at Mystic Pizza are a favorite amongst local and visiting families. Stop by the landmark Mystic Drawbridge, then grab ice cream at Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream. For date night, visit Engine Room or S&P Oyster Bar!

Looking for more cute towns to visit with kids near NYC? Check out these Best Things To Do In Mystic With Kids This Summer!

Easy Day Trips From Mystic

A teenage girl peers through sightseeing binoculars over the river at Mystic River Park.
Photo Courtesy: Jasmine Borron

Visiting Mystic also puts you close to other adorable family weekend getaways near New York City! Escape to a seaside oasis to nearby Rhode Island beaches with just a short drive. Visit Newport, for example, known for its sailing culture and picturesque landscapes.

Or, consider taking a trip to Norwalk in Connecticut, where you can also spend your summer days lounging at the kid-friendly Calf Pasture Beach for a non-resident fee. Or, get some exercise in Westport at Compo Beach Skatepark! Glen Keen Farm, located a few miles away, is also a good option for a family bonding trip to greener pastures. For something in closer proximity to Mystic, you could also visit Mohegan Sun, a premier dining, shopping, and entertainment complex. 

Great Barrington, MA 

Street view from window with lights on window in Great Barrington, one of the Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC.

Great Barrington is definitely one of the best cute towns to visit with kids near NYC. Stroll past restaurants, cute cafes, and quaint shops when you visit its downtown Main Street. Stop in town for some wood-oven pizza at Baba Louie’s while you’re at it! Then, satisfy your sweet tooth at Soco Ice Cream, one of the best dessert places in town. Berkshire Mountain Bakery is amazing for fresh bread, pastries, and pizza baked daily! Great Barrington also has accessible public beaches and swimming holes along the Green River, with opportunities to kayak, paddleboard, etc. For a flat hike with younger kids, head to Housatonic to stroll right along the river.

Beartown State Forest also offers various trails and activities on Benedict Pond like swimming, boating, or fishing. Adventurers will also race to Catamount Aerial Park, featuring zip-lining and obstacle courses. In Lee, hike the Appalachian Trail through October Mountain State Forest. In addition to summer activities, Great Barrington is also great to visit for winter skiing. No wonder this is one of the best weekend getaways with kids from NYC!

Easy Day Trips From Great Barrington

Great Barrington also puts you near other quick weekend getaways from NYC for families. Take a day trip to Westfield to visit the Amelia Park Children’s Museum or Stanley Park. In North Adams, older kids can visit the art museum Mass MoCA. Drive through the historic Hoosac Tunnel!

During the summer, Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort showcases ways to stay cool, including a Mountain Adventure Park! In Stockbridge, tour the pristine estate and gardens at Naumkeag, featuring views overlooking Monument Mountain. Or, visit the Edith Wharton Mansion in Lenox, once home to a famous American author. By the Connecticut border, you can also visit Bish Bash Falls in Mount Washington State Park, one of the tallest waterfalls in Massachusetts!

Happy Travels!

Left Image: A young boy smiles with delight as he hikes along the Clarendon Gorge. Right Image: Two boys sit at the entrance of a suspension bridge at Clarendon Gorge, an Appalachian trail.
Photo Courtesy: Jenifer Cozzolino Annis

We hope you liked our list featuring the 8 Best Cute Towns To Visit With Kids Near NYC! From Connecticut to Massachusetts, no matter where you choose to travel, your kids will have a great time in these fantastic overnight trips from NYC for families. Enjoy these cute towns to visit with kids near NYC!

*Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the attractions, accommodations, or things to do on this list may be closed. Please ensure availability before making your decision. 

*This post may contain affiliate links that may earn us a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Affiliate links in no way inform the hotels, sights, products, or other recommendations included in our articles. All opinions and recommendations expressed here are compiled from submissions submitted by the generous members of our Families Who Love To Travel community.

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The Families Love Travel Team has a zest for life and an even bigger passion for globetrotting! Comprised of real-life travel professionals, we work hard behind the scenes to provide dynamic solutions for adventuring with children. Our enthusiastic team understands the challenges that often accompany traveling with kids and is committed to making Families Love Travel an inclusive space to convey these experiences.