Ah, to be a kid again. The pure excitement of exploring a new place, the boundless energy, the complete lack of awareness of the concept of "work."
Welcome to the place where adventure awaits, no matter your age, where you can visit tigers and alligators, fly across mountains, conquer the Black Vortex, and relax poolside – all in the same day!
Get up close and personal with the exotic and domestic animals that live at Bailiwick Ranch & Discovery Zoo in Catskill. Located on Castle Road, the park is home to tigers, bears, alligators, camels, ostriches, and many farm animals. Explore the mountain trails on horseback with a guided trail ride after visiting all of Bailiwick's animals. In Cornwallville, Armstrong's Elk Farm provides a fascinating and educational look at the beautiful animals that make the area home.
If your tykes are into running wild, hit some of the Catskills family friendly hiking trails and discover hidden gems such as Diamond Notch Falls, a four-mile, round-trip hike with a stunning waterfall just off of the trail, or RamsHorn Livingston Sanctuary, part of the Hudson River's largest tidal swamp forest. Canoe around the sanctuary with an Audubon naturalist for a new perspective on the area, or simply meander along the three miles of trails. Bonus: a wooden tower located along the trail allows kiddos to view the surrounding landscape, keep an eye out for native wildlife, and feel like they're in a tree house!
After all that hiking, cool down at the Catskills' #1 water park, the Zoom Flume in East Durham, where a whole new kind of adventure awaits. Plunge down twisting water slides, traverse the entire waterpark on the Gravity Gorge, and raft down the 600-foot Wild River Ride chute. Towel off, and get ready for the evening's entertainment.
Grab some burgers, fries and old-fashioned frozen custard from Mama's Boy Burgers before heading to the Greenville Drive-In to catch the latest kid-friendly flick. Bonus for parents, the drive-in features an outdoor beer garden that offers everything from locally made craft beer to New York State wines and snacks. When the sun goes down, the stars come out, so sit back, relax and enjoy the old-fashioned charm of watching a movie at the drive-in.
When adventure calls again, check out the Windham Mountain Bike Park offering incredible downhill mountain biking terrain, training and rentals for the whole family. Designed by the pros at Gravity Logic, Windham's trails are lift-serviced so you will never have to pedal uphill. The Kaaterskill Cruise Trail is one of the park's longest and easiest trails, rated for beginner to moderate bikers, and you know what they say about a family that bikes together?
Next up, head to Hunter Mountain's New York Zipline Adventure Tour for an experience straight out of Peter Pan. Fly through the air on the longest, fastest, highest zipline canopy tour in North America, and tackle the ropes and bridges of the Adventure Tour to test your scampering skills.
Wrap up the evening at one of the Catskills all-inclusive family resorts offering an enticing array of on-site activities, three meals a day, and plenty of opportunities for kids and adults to have an incredible time.