If you’re like me, I’m sure you’re trying to think of Free and Fun Things to do (with and without Kids) in the Hudson Valley or, at least, that you can do without spending a ton of money.
The problem is, that most Hudson Valley Activities that are both convenient and fun, can also cost a lot of money.
That can be a real burden for many and, especially, those with larger families.
Trust me, I know…
I’ve been in your position and after much trial and error and much research, I think I have found a solution for you.
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If you’ve ever wondered what fun activities are there for you to do, for free, with or without kids in the Hudson Valley, then I am here to help you.
After much researching and lots of visiting, I’ve compiled this list of the places that are sure to make any outing A Special One!
AN ADDED BONUS: These are SUPER FUN things to do in the Hudson Valley.
Take a look and let me know what you think…
Free Things to do in the Hudson Valley
SOME TIPS FOR ENJOYING THE DAY IN THE HUDSON VALLEY:
> Plan your day ahead of time.
> Make sure to Double-Check the days and times the places/activities are open. They sometimes change seasonally.
> Check the weather, as some of these places are outdoors.
> Take lots of photos so you can reminisce about your outing at a later time!
> Remember: You don’t need to travel far or spend a lot of money in order to Have Fun!
It is in our nature to go out, explore, learn and try new things. And the Hudson Valley is a wonderful place to do all of that.
There are so many fun things to do (with or without kids) in the Hudson Valley, that the list seems endless. Every time I research a place, I find one or two other places I didn’t know about.
Trust me! You don’t need to travel far in order to find some free and fun things to do in the Hudson Valley and also activities that everyone will enjoy.
Below you will find More than 9 Free Things to do in the Hudson Valley.
You can enjoy them during school breaks and/or during any time of the year. Some of these places are seasonal, though, so make sure to check out their websites before visiting.
Make sure you come back and check this list of ideas when you’re looking for something fun to do.
These places and activities are NOT limited to having fun with children but can also be enjoyed by adults just the same.
No 1: Stony Kill Farm
Stony Kill Farm – Stony Kill Farm is a working farm located in Wappingers Falls, NY (Dutchess County).
This is one of my favorite Hudson Valley Kids Activities, although I will admit, that I also enjoy going without my children. They have walking trails, farm animals out in the pasture and amazing gardens to explore.
They have the Barn open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 am – 1 pm. Parking and entrance are free (a donation is always appreciated).
In addition to the animals, there is a play area which makes this one of the Top Free Things to do in the Hudson Valley.
Children can explore the hands-on activities and learn more about the farm animals and equipment used to run a farm.
No 2: Trailside Museum and Zoo
Although the zoo & museums are FREE (a donation is always appreciated), there is a Parking Fee to enter and park at Bear Mountain State Park ($10 per car).
This outing is particularly enjoyable for kids and it is also educational for adults. The majority of the animals on site are being rehabilitated from injuries suffered in the wild or in captivity.
In addition to the animals, there are four (4) Museums on the property: Herpetology Museum, Nature Study Museum, Geology Museum, and History Museum. Each is unique and incredibly interesting to visit.
With all these wonderful things to do at the Trailside Zoo & Museum, you can guess why it’s one of the Top Hudson Valley Activities.
No 3: Untermyer Gardens
Untermyer Gardens – Located in Yonkers, NY (Westchester County, NY) the uniqueness of Untermyer Gardens doesn’t lie in its beauty and grandeur.
It also doesn’t lie in its views of the Hudson River. What makes Untermyer SO unique is that it is a ‘Walled Garden’.
This hidden gem in the Hudson Valley makes it one of the Top Free Things to do in the Hudson Valley.
Walking into Untermyer makes you feel as if have entered an enchanted, secret garden and you somewhat expect fairies to fly by you as they chase each other.
Spend an afternoon here! Trust me when I saw you will be swept away in the beauty or enjoy one of the tours (for a Fee) offered on the weekends.
READY TO EXPLORE A SPECIAL GARDEN BEHIND A WALL?
Start by reading all about my visit to
Untermyer Park & Gardens.
No 4: West Point Museum
West Point Museum – Located in West Point, NY (Orange County), the West Point Museum is typically not what people go to West Point to see.
Just outside the gates of the Famous Military Academy stands a museum full of history.
Whether you’re a history buff or your kids are interested in history, the West Point museum has an amazing collection of artifacts and models. The showcases are filled with objects, models and both educational and interesting information.
In addition, they have a cannon collection in the lowest basement that will leave you in awe. The museum is Open Daily from 10:30 am-4: 15 pm and is always free (a donation is always appreciated).
DO YOU LIKE MUSEUMS?
HOW ABOUT A FREE MUSEUM?
Take a minute and read my blog post all about my visit to
West Point Museum
No 5: Hike the Hudson Valley
Take a Hike – Weather permitting, the Hudson Valley offers an abundance of hiking trails in every single county.
As some of you may know, I’m not a hiker or an outdoors person, but I do like to take walks outdoors.
I plan to start researching walking trails and I can’t wait to make a list and start exploring some new places.
A few of my favorite outdoor walking areas include the Westchester RiverWalk and the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Ulster County, NY.
And don’t forget about the Walkway Over the Hudson!
THINKING ABOUT VISITING THIS GREAT PLACE?
Read all about
My Visit to the Walkway Over the Hudson State Park
Rockland Center for the Arts – located in West Nyack, NY (Rockland County).
Art lovers everywhere can rejoice in knowing that the Rockland Center for the Arts offers an unforgettable collection of art in one place.
My favorite part of RoCA is the Catherine Konner Sculpture Garden. It’s Open Year-Round from Dawn to Dusk and is free to the public (a donation is always appreciated).
The inside gallery changes its exhibit periodically, so make sure to check their website and visit often.
IF YOU ENJOY ART, THEN READ MY POST ABOUT:
My Visit to the Rockland Center for the Arts
Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture – located in Tarrytown, NY (Westchester County). Open from Wednesday through Friday 10 am – 5 pm. The farm is Open Year-Round.
They offer tours (for a fee), and the farm itself is open to the public for free on Wed, Thurs, and Fri. There is a Fee on the weekends.
As of November 2019, the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is closed for a long term expansion project. I will update this post again when it re-opens.
National Purple Heart Hall of Honor – located in New Windsor, NY (Orange County). This is another great FREE location for those who love history.
You can stroll through the Hall of Honor and look at photos and medals associated with each branch of the Armed Forces. You can also enjoy the day outdoors at the New Windsor Cantonment located on the same grounds.
During the warmer months, the New Windsor Cantonment hosts reenactments and several fun and educational events.
Then a Visit to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor
should be in your plans.
No 9: Chuang Yen Monastery
One of the most beautiful and underrated places in the Hudson Valley is the Chuang Yen Monastery in Putnam County, NY.
This is the home to the largest statue of Buddha in the Western Hemisphere.
In fact, the statue of Buddha and the Buddhist Temple are set on an amazingly scenic property of over 200 acres. All this in the town of Kent & Carmel, NY.
No 10: Art in the Hudson Valley
Visit this outdoor sculpture garden on the grounds of the PepsiCo work headquarters.
A visit to the Donald M Kendall Sculpture Gardens, in Purchase, NY, is a step away from the business of nearby White Plains.
Open to the public seasonally from March – October, on Saturdays & Sundays, this is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy these amazing sculptures.
This unique center is the hub for education and culture in the area. Located in Pelham, NY, they offer free exhibits and programs for all.
This unique space offers both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
If you’re looking to spend the day in New Paltz, then a visit to the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art should be on your list.
In addition to being located on the campus of SUNY New Paltz, the museum houses over 6,000 pieces of art and is an important influencer in the Hudson Valley when it comes to art.
Open year-round, they welcome all visitors to enjoy their permanent and temporary exhibits.
No 11: Historic Sites all around the Hudson Valley
Did you know that the grounds where our Most Famous and Popular Historic Sites are located have no fee to walk the grounds?
A fee is charged for Tours of the Historic buildings but not to walk around the property.
The following places allow visitors to enter the grounds and walk around for FREE:
> Vanderbilt Mansion, Hyde Park, NY
> Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park, NY
> George Washington’s Headquarters, Newburgh, NY
No. 12: Hudson Valley Nature Centers & Museums
Just like the Historic Sites, many Nature Centers do not charge a fee to walk on the grounds.
Some local favorites include:
No 13: Museum/Art Centers Monthly Free Events on Select days
Museum/Art Centers Monthly offer Free Admission on Select days – Keep in mind that many places in the Hudson Valley offer a FREE day once a month. Make sure to check out their websites for the exact days.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
All About My Visit to DIA: Beacon
WANNA HAVE FUN WITH YOUNG CHILDREN?
Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum
Some of these places include:
- Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum, Poughkeepsie, NY
- Free First Saturdays at Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY
- DIA: Beacon has free admission to Hudson Valley Residents on the last Sunday of each month.
No 14: Visit a local or ‘not-so-local’ Hudson Valley Park
Local parks and playgrounds – Weather permitting, get in the car or take a train to explore a playground in another town or area of the Hudson Valley.
What can I say? I love a good park. With so many to choose from, I’m sure you will find your own favorite in the area.
- Tibbett’s Book Park in Yonkers
- Long Dock Park in Beacon, NY
- Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, NY
- Franny Reese State Park in Highland, NY
- Hudson Highlands in Cold Spring, NY
- James Baird State Park in Pleasant Valley, NY
- Black Creek Preserve, Esopus, NY
- Clarence Fahnestock State Park in Putnam Valley, NY
- FDR State Park in Yorktown Heights, NY
- Kensico Dam, Valhalla
- Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, NY
- Willson’s Wood Park in Mount Vernon, NY
No 15: Seasonal FREE movies
While doing research for my Hudson Valley Events Calendar, I noticed that several parks and State Historic Sites offer free seasonal movies.
- Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site offers a free winter series called, “Saturday Family Movie”.
- Bring a blanket and a snack and enjoy family-friendly movies throughout the Winter
- Favorites include: The Aristocats & The Nut Job
- Walkway over the Hudson State Park hosts free movies under the walkway during the summer months.
- A fun night out for the whole family includes a musical performance before the movie and local food trucks ready to sell local yummy favorites.
Explore my Hudson Valley Map –
My interactive map features all of the attractions, parks, museums and businesses I’ve featured to date!
My blog posts are linked to the pinned locations.
Be sure to zoom in and/or out in order to see all the places.
Where will you go to Next?
Now that you have Some Ideas and a Starting Point, Go Ahead, and Start Planning Away.
Let me know what your Next Adventure will be in the comments below!
Until The Next Adventure…
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PIN IT FOR LATER!