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Close-up view of mighty Niagara Falls in New York

New York

7 Family-Friendly Vacation Ideas In New York

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    New York

In New York, there is something fun for every age group.

Here are seven vacation ideas that will turn your family trip to one you will never forget.

1. Go for the Gold

Lake Placid has become a prime year-round training ground for athletes thanks to facilities built for the 1980 Winter Olympics. Throughout the year, your budding Michelle Kwan or Brian Boitano can work at perfecting their own triple Lutz on the indoor Olympic Center rink and watch the next crop of champion hopefuls practice their soaring jumps on simulated snow at the  Olympic Jumping Complex.

2. Create Your Own Fish Stories

The Thousand Islands-Seaway region offers rare opportunities to catch trophy-sized fish, including lake trout, king salmon and walleye on Lake Ontario and Muskie, northern pike, native wild carp, bass and the renowned Lancaster Perch on the St. Lawrence River. Go with a local guide, or better still, rent a fishing skiff, pontoon or runabout and stop at secluded beaches, restaurants, resorts, campgrounds, museums and parks, many accessible only by boat.

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3. Ride America’s Longest, Fastest Zipline

The SkyRider at Hunter Mountain in Hunter traverses about eight kilomters of Catskills forest at speeds of up to 88 kilometers per hour and heights up to 183 meters off the ground. The five ziplines run in pairs, encouraging participants to interact and race. The zipline course takes about three hours from start to finish. Families who haven’t tried ziplining before may prefer the mid-canopy tour, which includes six shorter ziplines, rope bridges and a thrilling rappel and runs at about 18 meters off the ground.

4. Make Like a Monkey

In the Central New York town of Howes Cave, Howe Caverns, known for bringing visitors 47 meters below the Earth’s surface to witness a fantastic world of stalactites and stalagmites, also has above-ground thrills. The Sky Trail, a ropes course resembling a giant 9 meters tall jungle gym, challenges kids  and fit parents to scramble like monkeys through more than 25 challenges. Less challenging physically, but equally thrilling is a four-station zipline.

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5. Attend a Real Pow Wow

Every third weekend in July, dancers come to the Chautauqua-Allegheny region from across the country to compete in authentic and colorful Native American Dance and Drum Competitions at the annual Marvin “Joe” Curry Veterans Pow Wow in Salamanca. Native American art, craft and food vendors are also featured. Nearby, the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum displays traditional clothing, a reproduction of a traditional longhouse and paints a picture of early Native American life in the region.


6. Feel the Power of Niagara

The thunderous power of these renowned falls is astounding. Children will enjoy cruising right up to the cascade on the Maid of the Mist and walking to the base on the Cave of the Winds. They’ll rave about the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tour, which leaps, pirouettes and bounces its way to the Niagara Falls whirlpool and through the Class V rapids of the Niagara Gorge at speeds up to 88 kilometers per hour. A covered jet boat accommodates smaller and less adventurous travelers.

7. Feed the Chickens, Milk the Cow

In the Hudson Valley, less than an hour by car from midtown Manhattan, tenant farmers and other residents of Philipsburg Manor in Sleepy Hollow transport families to the year 1750 to help with chores such as milking cows, collecting eggs, threshing wheat and shelling beans. 

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