Once a sleepy city along the Hudson River steeped in history, Peekskill has transformed in recent years into an arts and culture hub. The elegant architecture of the downtown area has been preserved and filled with art galleries, shops, and trendy restaurants all looking for a reprieve from New York City’s high cost of living. If you believe the rumors, Peekskill also inspired former resident L. Frank Baum’s famous Yellow Brick Road in the Wizard of Oz.
Here are 10 things for families to do in Peekskill.
201 S. Division St.
The BeanRunner Café is no ordinary coffee shop. Visitors can enjoy food and beverages and take in a live music performance. While parents check out the art gallery, kids can have fun in the BeanRunner playroom, complete with toys, books, and games.
Blue Mountain Reservation
435 Welcher Ave.
Blue Mountain Reservation is a massive, 1,538-acre park that offers hiking, biking, and nature trails with gorgeous views. Hikers can climb to the top of Blue Mountain or Mt. Spitzenberg and then get some rest at the Trail Lodge (groups only). Located in the park is the Sportsman Center, a shooting sports complex that includes an archery range and 3-D archery course.
Bruised Apple Books and Music
923 Central Ave.
Book lovers can spend hours exploring the overflowing shelves at the Bruised Apple. With nearly 50,000 used, out of print, and rare books, this bookstore has something for everyone in the family. The robust children’s section features old-school classics such as the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series and Laura Ingalls Wilder’s work.
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art
1701 Main St.
Since 2001, the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art has offered visitors the opportunity to see and learn about contemporary art. In addition to the large exhibition space, HVCCA sponsors the Peekskill Project, which places artwork and sculptures around the city. It offers family-friendly tours of the exhibitions, which include art-making activities.
The Hudson Creamery
55 Hudson Ave.
A new addition to the riverfront scene, The Hudson Creamery is the perfect place to grab a handmade ice cream. The sundae list is full of Peekskill references such as “the Paramount” and “the Yellow Brick Road.” Painting social events are offered for both kids and adults.
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The Peekskill Coffee House
101 S. Division St.
Peekskill has no shortage of great places to get a cup of coffee. The Peekskill Coffee House features live music on the weekends and weekly trivia nights. Rotating artist showcases keep the wall décor eclectic and interesting.
Paramount Hudson Valley Theatre
1008 Brown St.
The Paramount Hudson Valley Theatre first opened in 1930, and served as a state-of-the-art movie theater for years until it fell into a state of disrepair. In 2013, the theater was revived and came back as an intimate performance venue that has attracted such big names as Joan Rivers. It now offers everything from comedy and music to family-friendly plays.
117 N. Water St.
Peekskill’s magnificent Hudson River views can be enjoyed at Peekskill Landing, which also connects to the Riverfront Green Park. The landing features a boardwalk, docking for kayaks and small boats, a gazebo, and walking trails. Riverfront Green Park is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic along the water, and kids can play on the playground.
The Peekskill Museum
124 Union Ave.
Located in the historic Herrick family home, The Peekskill Museum is a showcase of relics from decades past. The museum has a collection of Peekskill artifacts and documents, including vintage toys and maps. Guided tours of the exhibits are also available.
Riverfront Green Park
Leaving from the dock at the Riverfront Green Park, Trinity Cruise offers Hudson River fun on the Evening Star. Sightseeing cruises with captain’s commentary head north to the West Point area, while shorter boat rides run to the Bear Mountain Bridge.
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