New York has a reputation for being pricey, but savvy parents can conquer the Empire State on affordable family vacations. From bunny hills to the Big Apple, New York State offers adventures the whole family (and your wallet) will love. Pack your bags for these affordable family vacations in New York State.
Belleayre Mountain Ski Center
Belleayre Mountain Ski Center in New York’s Catskills is owned and operated by New York State, making it a less crowded and less expensive option than its privately-owned counterparts. Parents can start their smallest snow bunnies on 11 beginner-friendly trails, while they along with their older children can tackle Belleayre’s 27 intermediate slopes.
Family fun lives in the Catskill Mountains, where wholesome entertainment comes in an array of forms. Popular picks include pizza parties at fourth-generation Lazy Crazy Acres Farms and a trip to the Catskill Animal Sanctuary, where you can make friends with more than 300 free-roaming rescued farm animals. Tip: Setting up camp at the family-oriented Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds provides access to more wallet-friendly activities, including hiking and swimming.
After checking into the affordable Mirror Lake Inn, a family-run property particularly welcoming to children, you’ll be ready to experience all that the Adirondacks have to offer. Families with small children won’t want to miss The Wild Center, a youth-oriented natural history museum featuring animal exhibits and interactive displays. After exercising their minds, little ones can work out their bodies on a beginner-level nature hike at Prospect Mountain or go swimming at Plattsburgh City Beach.
Even your born-and-raised city slickers will love Hull-O Farms, an eighth-generation working farm beloved by the Today show and some 1,000 annual visitors. Located in the northern Catskills, this family-friendly farm can host up to five families at a time in its cozy on-site cottages, the ideal base for activities such as nightly campfires, communal meals, hayrides, and tending to Hull-O Farms’ animals.
Rocking Horse Ranch
No one would blame you if you never left the resort during your visit to Rocking Horse Ranch. The all-inclusive attractions at this 500-acre Hudson Valley destination include an indoor water park, horseback riding, tubing, and much more. Best of all, the ranch boasts a trusted supervised kids program, meaning parents can feel comfortable taking a vacation from their vacation.
Cascades Indoor Waterpark
Family fun shouldn’t be confined to just one season, and at Cascades Indoor Waterpark, it doesn’t have to be. An excellent option for New York State day-trippers, this 41,000-square-foot (3,809-square-meter) indoor waterpark near Cortland features a 67,000-gallon wave pool, four water slides, and even an area specially designed for small children. Come winter, the year-round 84°F (28.8°C) Cascades Indoor Waterpark is the state’s most priceless low-cost getaway.
Niagara Falls State Park
A trip to America’s famous Niagara Falls should be on every New Yorker’s bucket list. Cross the destination off yours with a visit to Niagara Falls State Park, home to all-ages attractions such as the clothes-soaking Maid of the Mist and Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours, the Aquarium of Niagara, and an IMAX-style film taking viewers on a plunge over the Falls.
New York City
Even New York City has an off-season when penny-pinching families can take a bite out of the Big Apple at a surprisingly low cost. Due to the colder weather, the months of January through March feature fewer tourists, which creates less expensive hotel rates. Luckily for families willing to brave the temps, New York City’s entertainment scene—including Broadway shows, iconic attractions, and excellent dining—is always hot.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.