6 Great Ideas For A Family Trip To New York State

In many ways, New York is a quintessential Northeastern location, with colorful autumn foliage, lots of outdoor activities, bustling metropolises, and an embarrassment of cultural sites. Its attractions provide plenty of excitement, especially for families looking for a fun vacation. In no particular order, this list offers several things to do and cities to see in the Empire State.

At #1, we have the YMCA of Greater New York. It has several locations across the five boroughs, including in Long Island City, Prospect Park, and Rockaway. With a focus on youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility, the Y aims to nurture every youth and teen's potential, improve residents' health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support its neighbors.

The YMCA offers exercise classes, such as Zumba, cycling, and yoga. Many of its locations also have swimming pools available for members to use. The nonprofit organizes summer camps for children, where they can play sports, build robots, learn to swim, go on field trips, and more.

Coming in at #2 is Grand Prix New York Racing & Entertainment, located in Mount Kisco. It is a year-round destination for indoor go-karting and other group activities, such as bowling. Private go-kart racing is available for kids who want to level up; instructors work one-on-one with each student to teach driving line, control, and passing techniques.

The establishment also offers GPX, a ninja-style obstacle course with bouldering walls and other challenges. Its arcade has virtual reality games such as Hologate, XD Dark Ride, and Halo Fireteam Raven. Meanwhile, Grand Prix's on-site restaurant, Fuel, serves items such as chicken wings and burgers.

Next up, at #3, we present Cooperstown, a village in central New York State. Predominately known as being the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, it also offers culture, history, outdoor recreation, and more for families to enjoy.

Hundreds of kids and youth teams come together each summer for Cooperstown's baseball tournaments; the village has many lodging options to accommodate entire teams and loved ones traveling to support their young athletes. The historic Abner Doubleday stadium hosts sports events and special concerts, and has welcomed musical acts including Paul Simon, Sugarland, and Furthur.

The #4 entry is Ithaca, located in the Central Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Visitors can choose to dine at local restaurants, go to museums and galleries, attend the theater, or enjoy concerts at the numerous music venues in the region. The area was carved out of glaciers that formed gorges millions of years ago, and therefore is home to over 150 waterfalls spanning 10 miles.

Because of its striking fall foliage, autumn is a popular time for tourists to visit the city and participate in seasonal activities like apple picking, hiking, and cider tasting. The Ithaca Children's Garden is free to visit, and offers permaculture-inspired environmental education year-round.

At #5, we have Watson Adventures. The company plans scavenger hunts at museums, historic neighborhoods, parks, and more. Created by writer and editor Bret Watson, it hosts events in various cities such as New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Nashville.

The hunts use trivia questions and creative challenges to highlight history and information about the location. In the New York suburbs, participants can choose to enjoy an adventure at either the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City or the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook. The company has received media coverage from the New York Times, the Washington Post, NBC News, and others.

Last but not least, at #6 we get Buffalo, New York. Many visitors to the city choose to see the famous Niagara Falls. Adjacent to the popular destination is a national park where families can enjoy several miles of hiking trails that take one deep into the Niagara Gorge to see rock formations, rushing rivers, and canyon walls up close.

The city offers many dining options, including a Buffalo Wing trail where tourists can sample variations of the food item at different pubs and restaurants. For animal lovers, Buffalo is home to a zoo that features many creatures including California sea lions, American bison, and Western Lowland gorillas.