Great Family Attractions in New York State

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Whilst large and lively New York City has an abundance of excellent sights and activities to keep your family busy for a very long time, you may be thinking about heading out of the city and exploring further afield in the state.  If you do decide to check out other areas, you’ll be pleased to know that there are even more great things to see and do … you really could spend months in and around NYC and not manage to fit everything in!

Some top family attractions in the state of New York include:

Allegany State Park


Photo by Mark Fischer / CC BY-SA 2.0

The biggest park in New York State, Allegany State Park is home to some beautiful sparkling lakes, which offer some fun sailing and boating, an abundance of fascinating wildlife, a variety of terrific hiking trails, interesting caves, lush forests, and scenic driving routes.  Whether your family is feeling active and wants to explore by foot or whether you want to take it easy and drive, there are plenty of ways to enjoy this magnificent park.  Make sure to pack a picnic and make a full day of your trip.

Howe Caverns


Howe Caverns are a favourite family destination in the fabulous Catskills – an area of large mountains in the southern part of New York State.  Grab your torches and follow your guide deep into the dark underground for a terrific adventure!    You will wander through chambers, tunnels, and caverns, passing by some interesting rock formations.  Kids usually love it!  The scenic surroundings also offer great hiking, biking, and horse riding in the summer, and excellent skiing, snowboarding, and Nordic walking in the winter.

Letchworth State Park


Photo by Andreas F. Borchert / CC BY-SA 3.0

Often referred to as the Grand Canyon of the East, Letchworth State Park is located near to Buffalo and Rochester.  The park is filled with fantastic natural attractions that are sure to amaze your kids … tall and powerful cascading waterfalls, a gushing river, babbling streams, jagged rock walls, and a mighty gaping chasm.  Various trails lead through the park and it is a top place for hiking, biking, and horse riding.  Kayaking on the river is popular.  To really ramp up the wow factor, why not take in the magnificent views from above with an exciting ride in a hot air balloon?


There are some spectacular beaches in New York State, ideal for basking in the sunshine and enjoying a dip in the cool ocean.  The Hamptons is a well-known New York seaside getaway – and you my even spot a star or two! The nearby Montauk offers a more relaxed vibe and is popular with surfers.

The Seaways

An enormous group of islands (more than 2,000 in fact!), the Seaways boast a large number of interesting sights.  The islands are scattered along the St. Lawrence River.  Rent a boat and set sail to explore the many delights.  Some of the main places of interest include Singer Castle, Boldt Castle, Fort Ontario, Cedar Point, and Wellesley Island State Park.

There are many child-friendly museums all round the state as well as numerous play areas, shopping centres, and interesting buildings.  Stunning nature and fascinating history and culture abound … there really is so much to do in New York State!

Your kids can find out more about the many great attractions within the heart of New York, as well as many excellent activities, in the Kids’ Travel Guide – New York City.

Do you have any recommendations?  Where did your family particularly enjoy when travelling around NYC?

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