Q: It’s Memorial Day Weekend and my kids suddenly have not a 3-day weekend, not a 4-day weekend, but actually a 5-day weekend because we didn’t use any snow days this winter! I’ve got no ideas and haven’t made any plans. Anything up your sleeve? ~ Thanks! Gretchen G.
A: Hurray! It’s Memorial Day, and (theoretically) the start of summer (although Mother Nature seems unsure about getting the weather warmed up here in the Northeast). Never fear, I’ve got a bunch of great ideas for family fun that you can try for this long holiday weekend in every kind of weather.
Sunny day on the calendar? How about a day trip to the Jersey Shore to dip your toes in the water. Nearby, Asbury Park and Ocean Grove are great. Or consider some outdoor art in the Hudson Valley at Storm King Art Center, an expansive sculpture park. In southern New Jersey, there’s another fun outdoor sculpture park (with a great restaurant), Grounds For Sculpture.
If you want to keep exploring after Storm King, the mid-Hudson Valley is ripe with family fun. My family tried it out in the fall and even our dog had a good time. There are plenty of inexpensive hotels with pools in the Hyde Park area, the Culinary Institute for delicious bites, the Roosevelt House and Estate for interactive history lessons, the Walkway Over the Hudson to take in the views and catch a breeze, and, extra bonus, TWO drive-in movie theaters The Hyde Park Drive-In Theater and the Overlook Drive-In in Poughkeepsie.
Rainy days? My son and Georgette’s girls love the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City for it’s hands on exhibits and massive spaces to roam around, and their IMAX theater makes it a full day outing. Smaller in size, but still a favorite, MoMath in New York offers interactive math fun. Add in the New York Historical Society for a full day of small museum fun. Or try a New York icon such as the Museum of Modern Art to inspire your kids to art greatness.
If you haven’t made resort reservations yet, it may be a little late, but there’s plenty of flexibility for city stays: How about a road trip to family friendly cities such as Philadelphia or Boston, both of which Georgette and I have visited recently. Or how about a “staycation” in New York City? Catch a Broadway show such as School of Rock or Matilda, or a concert at Symphony Space, indulge in the chocoholic menu at Max Brenner (one of my son’s favorite New York spots), tour around Rockefeller Center or relax in Central Park — then either head home or make it a real vacation by hitting the hay in a cool NYC hotel—my son Aidan and I did this last year at Kimpton’s swanky 70 Park Avenue in midtown east and we had a blast! (An extra bonus of our overnight is that we got to visit the Empire State Building after dark; a real treat for a suburban kid.). If you’re really feeling ambitious, and want to utilize your 5 days, consider driving to Pittsburgh, where Georgette uncovered a slew of family fun in the summertime.
Safe travels! Enjoy the weekend!
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