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Top 10 Destinations for the Perfect Kids Summer Vacation

Date Published: June 5, 2024

Summer is the perfect time to come enjoy Dutchess County. Plan your trip to these Top 10 Destinations for the Perfect Kids Summer Vacation, ranging from lively zoos and waterparks to accessible playgrounds and interactive science museums.


Dutchess County Fair, Rhinebeck

The highly anticipated Dutchess County Fair returns to the fairgrounds in Rhinebeck for its 178th year! Running from Tuesday, Aug. 20, through Sunday, Aug. 25, the fair continues to be a celebration of agriculture, showcasing the very best local livestock, horticulture, wool, fine art, and specialty products. Whether you visit for a day trip, weekend getaway, or the whole week, there’s plenty of rides, mouthwatering fair food and live music to keep fairgoers of all ages entertained. To get your tickets, click here

Escape Time Adventures, Wappingers Falls

What better way to make memories, have some laughs, and work together than a trip to Escape Time Adventures! Whether you’re an escape room veteran or totally new to the concept, everyone will enjoy this creative experience. Escape Time has five uniquely themed rooms for you to solve including The Lost Tomb, Dragon’s Curse and Voodoo Swamp. Make your reservation today!

Drive in theater screen against a vibrant sunset
Four Brothers Drive-In Theater, Amenia

Four Brothers Drive-In Theater, Amenia

Don’t miss out on a fun night at this drive-in style theatre in the quaint town of Amenia. The retro vibe will have you feeling all kinds of nostalgia.  At Four Brothers Drive-in Theatre, your pre-movie entertainment before the double-feature includes a full-service restaurant, live music, yard games, putt-putt, a playground and arcade. Want a snack? Let it come to you! Carhops deliver top-notch treats from The Grand Shack while you watch your movie. And don’t just stay for the film, book an overnight in the vintage Airstream camper, Hotel Caravana, or pitch a tent and relax under the stars! For a full schedule of screenings, click here.

Summer baseball game in a stadium
Hudson Valley Renegades at Dutchess Stadium, Wappingers Falls; Photo: @brit_tah_nee14

Hudson Valley Renegades, Wappingers Falls

Summer wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the ballpark. Come to “The Dutch” to watch the Hudson Valley Renegades, where future stars of the New York Yankees play some all-American baseball from April through September. (The Renegades are the official High-A offiliate of the Yankees!) Children and adults alike love the atmosphere of ballpark snacks, on-field games and the camaraderie of the hometown crowd. Fireworks shows every Friday and Saturday after the game. To view the team’s schedule and purchase tickets online, click here.  

Related: Get Your Connection Finder Mobile Pass for Discounts on Family Fun

Children of various abilities play at a wheelchair accessible playground
Julie's Jungle, Hopewell Junction

Julie’s Jungle, Hopewell Junction

What kid doesn’t love a trip to the playground. At Julie’s Jungle every child is welcome, as it’s the first fully accessible playground in Dutchess County. This public park is free of charge and was built for all children of all abilities to play and learn together. This family friendly spot is a local favorite that happily welcomes visitors.

For more on accessible travel in Dutchess County, click here

Kelly’s Creamery & Kelly’s Husband’s Truck, Dover Plains

Miniature golf is a summer staple, and Kelly’s Creamery has a beautiful, brand new 18-hole course waiting for you to come play! Challenge your family to some friendly competition followed by celebratory cones at the creamery. Kelly's Husband's Truck serves up loaded burgers, sandwiches, dogs and other summer staples—with creative twists. This Dover Plains destination also features a bocce court!

Lilymoore Farm, Pleasant Valley

Ever consider taking an alpaca on a walk? Well you can here in Dutchess! Book an alpaca trek or farm tour to learn more about these adorable and amazing animals at Lilymoore Farm. To get tickets, click here.

Kid celebrates after racing down a water slide
SplashDown Beach, Fishkill; Photo courtesy of SplashDown Beach Water Park

SplashDown Beach, Fishkill

Located in Fishkill, “America’s Biggest Little Water Park!” features water slides and other fun summer attractions. Nearly six stories tall and more than 600 feet long, the Arctic Mammoth is one of the biggest raft rides in the Northeast. Little ones love the Shipwreck Lagoon, an area filled with interactive fountains, geysers and dumping buckets. With rides including the Monster Wave Pool, The Megalodon and Croc Creek Wavy Lazy River, there’s something for kids of all ages. Purchase park passes or even opt for a private cabana. It’s the prefect place to cool off and keep kids occupied for hours. To purchase tickets and passes, click here.

Family watches a red panda at the trevor zoo in millbrook
Trevor Zoo, Millbrook

Trevor Zoo, Millbrook

A truly unique experience awaits at Trevor Zoo, America’s only AZA accredited zoo located at and ran by a high school. Students from Millbrook School care for more than 180 exotic and indigenous animals including eight endangered species. Highlights include red pandas, lemurs, wallabies and bobcats. Meeting the students and the animals in this intimate zoo setting is a memorable experience for anyone who visits!  For more information and to plan your visit, click here

Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum

The newly transformed Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum on the picturesque Poughkeepsie waterfront will ignite and inspire the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers and innovators. With the Science Revealed exhibit, children and families can engage in a full-body physical exploration of motion, air, forces, fluids and electricity. To get tickets, click here.

Related: Plan to Pick-Your-Own This Summer at These Dutchess Farms 


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