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A Day Trip to Woodstock Offers Fun for the Whole Family

A Day Trip to Woodstock Offers Fun for the Whole Family

Woodstock is a day trip that offers something for nature lovers, foodies and appreciators of art and shopping.


Looking for a fun day trip for you and the kids? Woodstock is one of our favorites – that offers something for nature lovers, foodies, appreciators of art and shopping — and of course it's rich history in pop culture. At only 1.5 hours – from both Bergen and Rockland Counties – Woodstock is a great place to discover all year-round. Below, we’re sharing some of our favorite things to do with kids in the area, including places to eat, shop, and play. Happy exploring!

WHAT TO DO

Hiking: There are so many ways to enjoy nature and exploration in Woodstock and the surrounding areas. Depending on the ages of your kids and their skill level, you can try mild to intense hikes. Some nearby ones include hiking Shawangunk Mountains, Overlook Mountain Trailhead (353 Meads Mountain Rd, Woodstock, NY), Sloane Gorge Preserve (487 Stoll Road, Woodstock, NY 12498), the Thorn Preserve - Catskill Center (55 John Joy Road, Woodstock, NY 12498), Kaaterskill Wild Forest (70 Catskill View Circle, Saugerties, NY 12477) to see waterfalls, or the flat Comeau Property Trail (95 Comeau Drive, Woodstock, NY 12498), to name a few. For a less rugged trail, try the paved Ashokan Reservoir  (Rte 28 & Winchells Corners, Shokan, NY 12481), which supplies NYC with 40% of its drinking water.

Swimming: If you visit during the summer months, take advantage of the many lakes and reserves that Woodstock and its surrounding areas has to offer. This includes Big and Little Deep, Cooper Lake, or the Millstream Swimming Hole. Big Deep is really fun for a whole day experience and has ropes for kids to swing from and jump into the deep water as well as a shallow area for little kids. Some of the areas of these watering holes are rocky so it’s best to bring water shoes if that sort of thing bothers your kids. Most of them don’t cost any money and are roadside pull-ups (Big Deep) so pay careful attention to the directions, or you might miss it.

Opus 40: If you have time to roam and explore, a visit to Opus 40 should definitely be on your list. Founded in 1978, this 50-acre and seven acre-outdoor sculpture park offers much to see and do, including walkable trails, forested paths, a gallery, museum, and of course access to view some incredible pieces of art, including 6.5 acres of earthwork sculpture. There are ample areas for sitting and resting – should you want to have a picnic there as well. 356 George Sickle Road, Saugerties, NY 12477.

Bethel Woods Center for the Arts: A performing arts center and museum, you and your family can learn more about the history and origins of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Festival, which was not in the actual town of Woodstock at all. This includes an opportunity to look at artifacts, photo archives, films, and listen to music as well as view a cool hippie bus that you’ll want to take a picture in front of. Through learning about the cultural impact of the festival, your kids will also learn about this time in history, touching on the Vietnam War to the Summer of Love, and how Woodstock came about. 200 Hurd Road, Bethel, NY 12720.

Woodstock Playhouse: If you’re staying for the evening (and sometimes they have early shows on the weekends), check out the Woodstock Playhouse. Some recent productions include the Woodstock Symphony Orchestra, “Sweet Charity,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “Evita,” and more. 103 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, NY 12498.

World's Largest Kaleidoscope: A few minutes outside of Woodstock, you and your kids can enjoy a 10-minute show inside a 56-foot kaleidoscope. Located at the Emerson Resort & Spa in a refurbished farm silo, the show features a visual explosion of tapered mirrors, interchangeable images, colors, and fractal figures – told through a story and accompanied by an original score. Once the show is over, you’ll exit to a shop – and collection of indoor boutiques – that you can explore. There is also an on-site restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. 5340 Route 28, Mount Tremper, NY 12457.

I Paddle New York: Rent a kayak and enjoy a relaxing activity, soaking in the beauty of the Esopus Creek. Kids have to be at least three years old (and 30 pounds) and they offer both single and tandem kayaks. The water is mild and smooth so you can enjoy the views as well as offers points where you can get out of the kayak to swim and just relax.  61 S Partition Street, Saugerties, NY 12477

Colony Woodstock: A restaurant/ beer garden/concert venue, the Colony is a great place to get a bit and see a show. The simple menu offers sandwiches, burgers, fries, salads, and a pretty extensive dessert menu. Stay for a show to see a local artist or local tribute band in an intimate, cozy setting. .22 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY 12498.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary: Animal lovers will definitely want to visit the Catskill Animal Sanctuary. Located nearby in Saugerties, the location is a 50-acre refuge for farm animals rescued from cruelty, neglect and abandonment. They are open on the weekend for public and ticketed tours where you will meet some of their current refuges, ranging from chickens to cows to ducks and more. 316 Old Stage Road, Saugerties, NY 12477.

Center for Photography: Lovers of art and photography will love a visit to the Center for Photography. Located right on Tinker Street, the gallery is free and offers a great way to access and check out some  photography from a variety of artists. 59 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY 12498.

WHERE TO EAT

Woodstock has no shortage of places to eat. From treats to coffee to full-on meals, you’ll find plenty of places to options for all palates. Here’s a few of our favorites:



Woodstock Brewing After your visit  to the World's Largest Kaleidoscope, drive across the road to Woodstock Brewing. Inside, you’ll find board games that the kids can play as well as outdoor seating with corn hole. The menu features favorites like chips and salsa, soups, tacos, sandwiches, desserts, and of course beer from their on-site tap room. 5581 NY-28, Phoenicia, NY 12464.

Garden Cafe: For a healthy lunch or dinner, visit the Garden Cafe. Here, you’ll find vegan and organic selections like sandwiches, entrees, salads, smoothies, and healthy options for the kids like PB&J, quesadillas,  pasta with un-meatballs, and fried rice.  6 Old Forge Rd, Woodstock, NY 12498.

YumYum Noodle Bar: Noodle fans are going to want to check out YumYum to try their fusion of Japanese noodle bowls and Southeast Asian street-food. This includes noodle bowls, small plates like dumplings and steamed buns,  and platters such as Pad-Thai, burgers, wraps, and more. 4 Rock City Road, Woodstock, NY 12498.

The Mud Club: Featuring a tree-house-esque backyard, this coffeehouse/pizza joint is your go-to point for delicious pastries, coffee, bagels, and woodfired sourdough pizza.  There is some outdoor seating where you can sit on wooden tree stumps and chairs as well as a nearby swing that the kids can enjoy while you wait for your food. 43 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock, NY 12498.

Phoenicia Diner: Enjoy a comforting and locally-sourced brunch at Phoenicia Diner. A very popular restaurant, they don’t take reservations, so be sure to get there early. If you happen to get there during a rush, they do have board games and a waiting area to sit before your name is called. Hearty egg skillets are a great option before a hike and kids will love the French toast or buttermilk pancakes. 5681 NY-28, Phoenicia, NY.

Catskill Mountain Pizza Co: Most families can’t travel that far without access to great pizza, and you’ll certainly find it at the Catskill Mountain Pizza Co. Dubbed as having “the best pizza this side of Brooklyn,” you’ll find a selection of classic and gourmet pies, pastas, salads, sandwiches, and more. 51 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock, NY 12498.

Little Apple Cafe:  For a mid-day juice, check out Little Apple. They offer fresh juices, acai bowls, smoothies, coffee & tea, and cocktails. 21 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY 12498.

Bread Alone: Known for their artisanal breads found at many local farmers markets, you’ll definitely want to try a wider selection of their signature loaves or pastries at their Woodstock outpost. They also have indoor seating and serve breakfast, lunch, and brunch everyday. 22 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock, NY 12498.

Ice Cream: There are many places to get ice cream in Woodstock. Taco Juan’s (31 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY) is your place to find Jane’s Homemade Ice Cream. There’s also Nancy's Of Woodstock - Artisanal Creamery (31 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY) and Sweet Dreams Organic Ice Cream (74 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY) to find local, artisanal flavors. 

Peace, Love & Cupcakes: On your way home, don’t forget to stop by Peace, Love & Cupcakes to try their award-winning cupcakes, cakes, or cookies. They were on the Food Network for their Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake and a Rich Chocolate Frosting but there are so many options to choose from, including their ode to the area with the The Jerry Garcia cupcake, Signature Tie-Dye cupcake, The Janis Joplin cupcake, and more. 54F Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY 12498.

WHERE TO SHOP

You’ll find tons of places to shop in Woodstock along Tinker Street, featuring family-operated and small boutiques. Some favorites:

Tinker Toys: The ultimate toy store to find trinkets and toys of all sizes. A relevently small space, Tinker Toys does a good job at using nook and granny in the store. They also have some fun tester toys out and offer selections for babies to teens. In the summer, you might find bubbles out in front as well. 5 Mill Hill Rd, Woodstock, NY 12498.

The Golden Notebook: Looking for a good book? Check out the Golden Notebook to discover new and classic books as well as a selection of books from local authors. The kids’ section in the back is filled with the latest titles – both fiction and nonfiction – activity books, trinkets, and more. There is also a seating area to relax and browse. 29 Tinker St, Woodstock, NY 12498.

Fruition Chocolate: Bring home a sweet treat (or two) from this small-batch and ethically-sourced chocolatier. The award-winning brand offers rich and luscious treats like dark chocolate, caramels, chocolate-covered almonds, milk chocolate, and so much more. 17 Tinker Street Woodstock, NY 12498

Woodstock Farm Festival: If you’re visiting in the summer, be sure to visit the Woodstock Farm Festival to shop from local vendors from all over the area. This includes fresh, organic farmers, food trucks, cheese, kombucha, bread, meat, cider and beer vendors, live music, family events, and more. A great place to stop before your hike or to stock up on before you head home. Parking Lot, 20 Mountainview Ave, Woodstock, NY 12498

Mower's Flea Market: You never know what you might find at Mower’s Flea Market. Located right near the main strip, there’s tons of things to see and find, including vintage, local artisans, food, drinks, art, paintings, handcrafted wool, knick knacks, woodwork, and more. 11 Maple Lane, Woodstock, NY 12498.

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