Having fun with family in Dutchess County is time well spent! Plan your next vacation to the heart of the Hudson Valley for zoos, museums, baseball games, hiking and more.
And before you visit, be sure to sign up for our Dutchess Tourism Connection Finder. This mobile passport program provides discounts and helpful travel tips at a variety of family-friendly destinations and activities—including several on this itinerary. To get your pass, click here.
S = Seasonal attraction or activity
SE = Open during scheduled events
BREAKFAST: Poughkeepsie Grind, Poughkeepsie
The Poughkeepsie Grind is a Dutchess County staple, for good reason! Kick off your day with house-roasted coffee and a slew of tasty breakfast options. Of course, this Main Street hotspot is famous for its waffles. Apple cinnamon, blueberry, triple chocolate and Monte Cristo are just a few choices! Plus, it’s less than a 10-minute walk from Victor C. Waryas Park, where you could have a riverfront picnic!
Discover something new at the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum for families with children ages 0-12. The hands-on exhibits that get kids moving, exploring, building, pretending, collaborating, creating and discovering focus on a wide range of subjects. Upon leaving the museum, you and your children will have learned about topics including nature, science, literacy, art, music and community. Not only will everyone be educated, they will remember learning these new things as a family. Plus, if you’re visiting on a Monday be sure to check out the Poughkeepsie Waterfront Market onsite to shop delicious Hudson Valley goods with a breathtaking view of the river!
Find a table with an impressive view of the Hudson River at River Station. This restaurant has been a family-favorite spot for over 40 years, serving up delicious seafood and American classics.
Rainy day? Head to the newly opened food hall concept The Academy, with options ranging from classic Southern style barbecue and vegetarian fare to Asian fusion. Plus, the Hudson Valley's only Detroit-style pizza spot Hudson & Packard is just around the corner.
Locust Grove Estate includes nearly five miles of carriage roads, laid out in the 19th century, that wind through the forest and meadows along the Hudson River. Enjoy great river views on the Sawmill Trail, the small waterfall on the Cascade Trail, or the shady Lane Loop. In addition, take in the historic Italianate estate where telegraph inventor Samuel F.B. Morse once resided. There are even adorable fairy house hunts throughout the year!
Did you know that there’s world class indoor climbing in Poughkeepsie? From party walls with fun shapes to steep boulder problems and bumpy lead routes, there’s something fun and challenging for everyone! They offer staff led programs or open climb times for all ages, ability levels and experience. It’s a great way to “rock out” with the kids!
DINNER: Eastdale Village, Poughkeepsie
There’s something for every family at Eastdale Village! Rossi & Sons Alimentari serves classic Italian sandwiches, pressed paninis, pastas, salads and pastries. Award-winning Pizzeria Posto is the perfect place for wood-fired family-sized pies. Conversely, Reconnect Foods crafts tacos, bao buns, ramen and more from fresh Hudson Valley ingredients. For dessert, head to Spoons for ice cream, Amanda’s for colorful macarons and Sweetbakes Cafe for cupcakes!
BREAKFAST: Village Pancake Factory, Pleasant Valley
Fuel up for your day bright and early at Pleasant Valley’s Village Pancake Factory. Kids will love the sweet variety, ranging from oreo nutella and chocolate covered strawberry to cannoli and PB&J. This diner-style joint also features dozens of omelettes and breakfast platters for adults who wish to start the morning with something lighter.
Spend the first portion of your day in Eastern Dutchess County at Innisfree Garden, one of the most beautiful outdoor destinations the Hudson Valley has to offer. Chinese and Japanese-inspired teacup garden design offers a truly magical experience. Families love spending time around the central lake, and exploring the easy-going walking trails.
For lunch, Kelly’s Creamery and Kelly’s Husband Food Truck is a wonderful piece of family trips in the Hudson Valley. This roadside paradise serves fun grill fare, including burgers, brats, veggie sandwiches, hot dogs and more—usually with a few exciting twists. Kelly created over 30 flavors of artisanal ice cream, soft serve and Italian ice. This Dover Plains destination also features a sprawling 18-hole mini-golf course, a bocce court and other enjoyable activities.
Did you know? Trevor Zoo is the only zoo in the United States located in a high school. This zoo is home to more than 180 exotic and indigenous animals, 80 different species and nine endangered species! Take your family to see all of these magnificent creatures while in Dutchess County.
Insider's Tip: Stop by Millbrook Tribute Gardens and Playground for a lovely afternoon spent outdoors.
Enjoy double feature movies with digital audio and projection on the big screen outdoors! Cuddle up with your kids and, of course, some snacks to enjoy the film. The drive-in offers food delivery to your car from Four Brothers Restaurant, featuring loaded burgers, pizzas, fries, milkshakes and other comfort foods galore. Four Brothers also features a vintage airstream, dubbed Hotel Caravana. Families can relax for the weekend in this one-of-a-kind stay. Spend a night with your family, just like they did in the 50s!
Fishkill Farms, Hopewell Junction
Grab a bag or basket, and head to the orchards to pick whatever’s in season— apples, berries, peaches, nectarines, black currants, cherries or pumpkins—all grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Inside the farm market, you’ll find fresh veggies, eggs, and baked goods. Don’t forget to stop and say hello to the friendly animals on the farm. Plus, the adults can sip local libations at the Treasury Cider bar.
In fact, they’re a stop included with the Dutchess Tourism Taste Finder craft beverage passport—get yours to receive free tastings, tours, glassware and more at wineries, breweries, cideries, distilleries, meaderies and more. To buy yours, click here.
Grab a picnic table outside and dig into delicious tacos and empanadas. Tito Santana Taqueria has a robust West Coast menu of quesadillas, burritos, bowls, tostadas, salads and even chopped cheese sandwiches. Gorgeous murals and a friendly staff make this a memorable place to dine.
Building your own loaded desserts at Glazed Over Donuts is a staple Dutchess County experience. Choose a glaze, topping and drizzle for each donut! Endless options for flavor combinations and an inviting atmosphere make this a prime stop.
Beacon’s own Main Street arcade has plenty of games to offer! Show your kids a good time on vintage arcade machine, including classics like Ms. Pacman, Asteroids, Dance Dance Revolution and more! Happy Valley serves a robust selection of local drinks and snacks, including famous donuts from Glazed Over.
Take the family out to a ball game to watch the Hudson Valley Renegades, a High A, minor league baseball team affiliated with the New York Yankees. Late afternoon and evening games include fun contests and giveaways, and a wide variety of food and beverages are available. Enjoy theme nights and stay for the fireworks shows after Friday and Saturday night games. Be sure to introduce the kids to Rascal the mascot! The Renegades experience always features engaging games between innings, and a play area for kids. For the full schedule, click here.
DINNER: Hudson Valley Food Hall
Alternatively, if a ballpark hot dog isn’t in the schedule the Hudson Valley Food Hall is an exciting place to go for dinner. Multiple food stalls feature an ever-rotating selection of cuisines, which in the past has ranged from Himalayan and Jamaican to Indian and Italian. Plus, Schmuck’s Sweet Stuff is always serving ice cream and other sweet treats up front!
Weekend Lodging Options:
For more hotels, inns and b&bs, click here.
For a shorter one-day itinerary, click here.