Ten New England Cities to Explore during the Fall Season
There is no more magical place (IMO) to be during the fall season than New England. (Sidebar: Although, I would probably say that for every season!). Many people descend on New England towns for the foliage, the festivals, and the food!.And while those are great reasons to visit, they won’t necessarily keep your kids as engaged as you might hope. A couple of years ago we shared this post about specific fall themed activities kids will love (and they ALL still hold true!) but this week we thought we’d share some places that have multiple activities the whole family will enjoy (and we’re including our “neighbors” in New York for a couple of bonuses.) These cities offer year round activities, but the beauty of fall is abundant in all of these spots.
Four East Coast Cities With Nearby Fun
Large cities like Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and DC are popular for good reason: There are historical sites dating back hundreds of years, tons of museums and galleries, and a seemingly endless variety of cultural events and ethnic food options. However, many of these large cities cast a bit of a “shadow” on nearby neighbors that can hold their own with visitors! We’ve spent some time over the past couple of years exploring some “smaller” cities within a short drive of well known metropolitans and we wanted to share many places to explore if you find yourself in town with an extra day or weekend.
Kykuit in Sleepy Hollow, New York
Kykuit is a Dutch word meaning “lookout.” John D. Rockefeller appropriately used it as the namesake for the 1908 mansion he built 500 feet above sea level on the banks of the Hudson River. “JDR” Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil and widely considered one of the richest men in history, originally purchased 400 acres at the start of the twentieth century.
Kykuit was home to four generations of Rockefellers until JDR’s grandson Nelson, upon his death in 1979, left Kykuit to the National Trust for Historic Preservation instead of his own children. Now, the Historic Hudson Valley nonprofit coordinates public tours and the house remains as it was in 1979. We’ve been members of the HHV for a couple of years and enjoy exploring their properties and program. One of our most favorite fall traditions is the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor. You can read about our adventures at the Blaze here.
Enjoying a New England Fall With Kids Without Looking at Leaves
I love that I grew up in New England, and recent travels have confirmed I will always be a New Englander. One of my favorite things about living in New England is the change in seasons, and there is (arguably) nothing more beautiful than fall in New England. However, I would argue that it takes a more “mature” desire to spend significant time looking at foliage. I don’t know too many toddlers, children, or teenagers who enjoy going for long drives in the country just to look at leaves. If your children are anything like mine, they like to do things, especially when the weather is still warm enough to be outside for extended periods of time.
Here is a list of some of my family’s favorite things to do in the Northeast during the fall and links to full, detailed blog post. Yes, you’ll still see plenty of beautiful foliage while traveling to these spots, but your children will be happily engaged, entertained, and energized: