Good ideas for kids on vacation

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

(Photo by Dion Ogust)

“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn’t show.”
– Andrew Wyeth


What can we do during vacation this week?

Since it’s winter break, I thought that you might be interested in cool multi-age activities for your kids to do with visiting cousins, grandparents and friends. Here’s my roundup of local Hudson Valley winter vacation fun!


Special events this week

Children’s Winter Arts Program: Winter crafts, hula-hooping, kickboxing and more! The program runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from December 30 through January 3 for $190, including reduced rates for siblings and a shorter option for those returning to school earlier. Registration is required. Cornell Street Studios, 168 Cornell Street, Kingston; (845) 331-0191,

Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum: Winter break offerings include the “Wild World of Animals!” live animal presentation on Monday, December 23 at 10 a.m.; “A Day of Winter Stars” astronomy show on Monday, December 30 at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 noon and 2 p.m.; and the “New Year’s at Noon” party on Tuesday, December 31 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Reservations are required for each event, and show fees vary. 75 North Water Street, Poughkeepsie; (845) 471-0589,

Holiday Lights in Bloom: Garden-themed light features, free cocoa and holiday crafts for sale at the Orange County Arboretum, from 5 to 8 p.m. through December 29. Grove Street entrance to Thomas Bull Memorial Park, Route 416, Montgomery; (845) 615-3828,

Holiday Open Hours, Meet-the-Animals Presentations and Mini-Camps: Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, in Cornwall and Cornwall-on-Hudson;

Talk to the Animals: Friday, December 27 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Meet turtles Spot and Tripod, who live at the Center. Admission is free, but registration is required. For more animal fun, check out “Thursday Tales” at 10 a.m. every Thursday! Mohonk Preserve, 3197 Route 44/55, Gardiner; (845) 255-0919,

Winter Holiday Train: It’s the last weekend of the year for this short-and-sweet ride in a real train right in Kingston, with departures hourly from 1 to 4 p.m. Admission for adults costs $6, for children age 2 to 11 $4. Catskill Mountain Railroad, 149 Aaron Court, Kingston; (845) 688-7400,

Holiday Hunt at Locust Grove: It’s the final Sunday for this holiday scavenger hunt, from 12 noon to 4 p.m. with the last hunt at 3 p.m. Admission costs $10 for adults, $8 for children. Locust Grove Estate, 2683 South Road, Poughkeepsie; (845) 454-4500,

Blow Your Own Ornament: For $30 and only 15 minutes per ornament, this is an experience like no other. For ages 6 and up, it runs through January 5. Hudson Beach Glass, 162 Main Street, Beacon; (845) 440-0068,

History Happened Here! Here are three historic sites to explore during the vacation, including some holiday and winter-themed events: Roosevelt Mansion and Library, 4097 Albany Post Road, Hyde Park, (845) 229-5320,; Knox’s Headquarters, 289 Forge Hill Road, New Windsor, (845) 561-5498,; George Washington’s Headquarters, 84 Liberty Street, Newburgh, (845) 562-1195,

New York State Museum Holiday Week: Kwanzaa celebration, weather experiments and more, plus the awesome carousel. Registration is required for science programs. New York State Museum, 222 Madison Avenue, Albany; (518) 486-4845,

Holiday Camp at Southlands: Horse fun, including riding, arts and crafts, games and horse knowledge, for kids ages 8 and up who can trot independently. It’s offered December 30 and 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., $220 for both days. Southlands Foundation, 5771 Route 9, Rhinebeck; (845) 876-4862,

Wayfinder Experience Winter Game: 12/27-29 at Camp Epworth in High Falls; “Auctoritas: A Game of Pretend” with the tagline “Uneasy lies the head that covets the crown;” Age 12+; (845) 481-0776;




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