Give a city kid a taste of the country
September 16, 2010 9:05 AM   Subscribe

My 7 year old nephew is a real city kid who rarely gets out of his Brooklyn neighborhood. I'm thinking of renting a car this Saturday, and busting him out of the city. What are great places to visit or activites to do within an hour and a half drive of the city?

I'm not looking for purely nature or rural related answers here (although if you have had a great time at a farm or hike or whatever let me know). I'm looking for anything really interesting or great including unusual museums or towns or caves or whatever that a smart 7 yr old kid with wide interests might enjoy, and that are good to visit this time of year.
posted by bonsai forest to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (16 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Apple picking!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:09 AM on September 16, 2010

We loved Bear Mountain as kids. There was a zoo that rehabilitated injured wild animals, walking paths, pedal boats, a mountain, a lodge. It may be Oktoberfest there now, so you may want to check that before taking the nephew.
posted by kellyblah at 9:18 AM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Don't forget to pick up a booster seat for him.
posted by bonobothegreat at 9:20 AM on September 16, 2010

Maybe I'm projecting on what a 7-year-old me would have liked, but the Hyde Park area is glorious this time of year and has some cool stuff.

Do you think he'd be interested in the Roosevelt home? I always liked being able to say that I'd been to a presidential place of some sort.

Does he like food? Going to the CIA might be kind of a wacky option, but definitely a "you're grown up enough that we can have an adventure" kind of thing. Yeah, you need reservations, but he might find it interesting to see some of the things that they do. "You can go to COLLEGE to COOK THINGS????"

The New York Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up in mid-October in Rhinebeck. It's more than just a crazy knitting festival (although I must note that it's one of the biggest in the country, so you've been warned) but there are loads of animal petting opportunities, funny hats to see, classes for kids, old farm implements, and fair food galore.

And the Eveready Diner is right across the highway from the Roosevelt site, and has tasty diner food in a great classic ambience.
posted by Madamina at 9:20 AM on September 16, 2010

Best answer: The Storm King Art Center has a lot of really cool outdoor sculptures, which may sound like it would bore a 7 year old, but check out the google image search of the place, and then try and tell me a 7 year old wouldn't love it!
posted by Grither at 9:21 AM on September 16, 2010 [2 favorites]

Ya' really want to have a day trip he'll always remember?

Take a drive to Blairstown, NJ (1 1/2 hours on Rte. 80W) and take a Glider Ride For 2 over the beautiful Delaware Water Gap.

Trust me, it's a stunning experience!
posted by ericb at 9:23 AM on September 16, 2010

We went to Sleepy Hollow last fall to Philipsburg Manor, which is an 18th century manor/mill, which has an awesome tour, animals, stilt walking, 18th century bowling, etc. And it's GORGEOUS.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:37 AM on September 16, 2010

Things may have changed in the last few years, but if you pretend you are fishing all night (rod and reel cast out into the surf...) YOU CAN GO CAMPING ON THE BEACH AT THE JERSEY SHORE! No tent required.

I think it is OK to build a fire, too.

The entrance to the state beach we used to use is just below Seaside Heights, which is pretty icky. But once you get driving along the state beach it's all natural and picturesque.

Speaking of the Delaware Water Gap (mentioned by ericb, above) rent a canoe and go for the day or overnight. A van at designated out-points from the river will drive you back to the main facility and your car. We used to rent from Adventure Sports, I think. Google.

Have a blast!
posted by jbenben at 9:40 AM on September 16, 2010

Seconding Storm King. We took my buddy's little bro there and he had a blast!
posted by brand-gnu at 11:41 AM on September 16, 2010

Maybe the Village of Cold Spring? It's described in this thread as "ridiculously amazing in the Fall."
posted by iviken at 12:08 PM on September 16, 2010

Ooh, are you allowed to climb on the sculptures at Storm King? We used to do that with one in front of the Delaware Art Museum (which sadly doesn't look like it's there anymore). I mean, it's a giant piece of slanted metal. Why WOULDN'T you use it as a slide?
posted by Madamina at 12:16 PM on September 16, 2010

Find a country fair and spend the day. Watch the harness racing, tour the animal stalls, ride the crappy carnival rides and pig out on corn dogs and fried dog. It's the right season for it and I'm sure you can find one within your radius.
posted by Sukey Says at 1:08 PM on September 16, 2010 [1 favorite]

Six Flags In Jackson NJ!!!!!

You need some adrenaline stimulation every once in a while.
posted by WeekendJen at 1:48 PM on September 16, 2010

Growing up as a city kid, I loved getting taken to country fairs and to farms for apple picking. But no one ever took me to Storm King. I am so going there asap!
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:53 PM on September 16, 2010

Response by poster: Thank you so much, these are all super duper ideas - now I have trips planned for the next several months!!! I think we're going to hit Storm King first though - looks fantastic!
posted by bonsai forest at 7:07 PM on September 16, 2010

Cycling or canoeing along the Delaware Canal. There are lots of entry points, but the ones I know about are in Princeton, NJ (1.5 hrs on the Turnpike).

Apple Picking is definitely fun and you can probably also find some corn mazes and pumpkin picking too. Rhinebeck is about 2 hours up the Taconic.
posted by brookeb at 7:55 PM on September 16, 2010

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