New Attractions and Destinations Provide Great Opportunities to Learn, Stay and Play Across the State This Vacation Season
New York, NY – May 6, 2019: New York State is home to endless possibilities for families seeking diverse summer vacation options, thanks to new attractions, accommodations and experiences opening this spring and summer. Countless opportunities await travelers of all ages and interests at museums that encourage learning, cool hotels for guests of all ages, and exciting theme parks and fairs statewide.
“New York State is a welcoming, easy-to-navigate and fun-filled destination for families year-round, and we really thrive in the summer,” I LOVE NY Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said. “With great weather for outdoor activities, scenic highways for road trips, and an array of exciting new museums, hotels and amusement park rides, it’s an ideal time for families to find what they love.”
New museums provide the best of both worlds for parents as a destination where kids can learn while playing.
- Explore & More – The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum opens this spring, bringing interactive learning to Buffalo’s Waterfront. The museum is committed to sharing the history of Western New York – from the Erie Canal and agriculture, to architecture and sports, industry and innovation – all through hands-on exhibits that encourage visiting families to explore and engage.
- The Children’s Museum of Oswego just added 4,000 square feet of new exhibits and reopens on June 18. Highlights of the interactive additions include a simulator depicting Oswego’s weather patterns and a “Cloud Climber” jungle gym.
Resorts and Hotels That Have It All
New and renovated resorts offer countless activities and are a great option for extended families planning a New York State vacation.
- The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark opened in April in the Catskill Mountains. The luxury hotel offers 324 suites, a state-of-the-art indoor waterpark, a ropes course, multiple dining options, a luxury spa and an entertainment arcade. The Kartrite is conveniently located on the site of the Resorts World Catskills entertainment complex, making it the ideal destination for multigenerational trips and reunions.
- The Tailwater Lodge in the town of Altmar is a nature-filled getaway in the picturesque Thousand Islands region. Located near the Salmon River, Tailwater is perfect for outdoor activities like fishing and hiking and other outdoor activities, or visitors can stay inside for beer tastings and cooking classes. The property underwent a 46-room expansion in February this year, adding an indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, game room and fitness center, and a full-service spa will be added this spring.
Anniversaries for the Whole Family
This year is another great opportunity for families to commemorate milestone anniversaries of New York State’s rich history, innovation and culture.
- The Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center honors Long Island’s role in aerospace, and the Countdown to Apollo at 50 highlights the region's importance in landing 12 men on the moon from 1969-1972. Grumman, a former aerospace corporation based in Bethpage, built several lunar modules that made their way into outer space, contributing significantly to the country’s moon-landing missions. The multi-year celebration includes the new exhibit “Space: A Journey to Our Future,” where visitors can touch real lunar surface rocks and visit a virtual space habitat, live astronomy shows, museum visits from astronauts and special film screenings.
- The Great Schaghticoke Fair’s 200th anniversary celebration, Aug. 28-Sept. 2 is a great opportunity for families to close out the summer. The fair showcases the best of the Capital-Saratoga region’s agriculture, products and entertainment. There are several free events including tractor pulls, horse shows and circus performances. Opening Day is $1 Day, with $1 admission, rides, and food and beverage options. A ticketed concert featuring country music icon Trace Adkins is scheduled for August 29.
Just for Fun
Families can find what they their own fun at these new and exciting attractions stretching from New York City to Niagara Falls.
- Dino Roar Valley, part of the Lake George Expedition Park in the Adirondacks, will transport visitors to a time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth. The attraction, opening Memorial Day Weekend, invites families to follow dinosaur tracks through the forest, dig for fossils, climb into a dinosaur’s nest and more for a truly sensational family experience.
- Chautauqua Institution’s summer programs always have something for every age and interest, but this year brings two especially exciting events for families: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ Live Concert on July 6 and Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert on July 19.
- Six Flags Darien Lake in Greater Niagara debuts the Six Flags SkyScreamer, claiming the title as the state’s tallest ride. At 242 feet, SkyScreamer takes riders 24 stories into the air, while spinning up to 35 miles per hour in a 98-foot circle. Thrill-seekers will want to cross this ride off their bucket list, and the tamer at heart can enjoy the park’s other rides, water park and entertainment offerings.
- Staten Island’s Empire Outlets is opening in phases this spring and summer and will be the perfect pitstop for back-to-school shopping. New York City’s only outlet shopping destination will be easily accessible from the Staten Island Ferry and with features stunning views of lower Manhattan among a peaceful landscaped plaza.
Pride for Kids
New York hosts WorldPride 2019 this summer, offering families an opportunity to celebrate the state’s commitment to equal rights and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, widely seen as the birth of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. In addition to the annual NYC Pride March, popular with both participating and spectating families, there are kid-friendly events scheduled across the state. A sampling is below:
- Family Movie Night (June 21) at New York City’s Pier 45 invites all families to enjoy age-appropriate films under the stars, with the evening hosted by the fun-loving drag legend Miss Richfield 1981.
- Pride at the Falls (July 5) is sure to be a hit with the kids as Niagara Falls is lit up in rainbow colors while the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra plays a free concert, followed by fireworks.
- The Albany Symphony’s “Sing Out! New York” music festival is taking is place over two weekends from May 28-June 9 in Troy and surrounding communities. More than classical music, this series of free and ticketed concerts celebrating equal rights will include world renowned musicians, local school and community performances, food vendors, arts and crafts, equal rights reenactors and fireworks.
- Pride on the Beach (June 21-23) is Long Island’s biggest pride celebration. During the three-day destination weekend in the City of Long Beach, highlighted by the 29th Annual Long Island Pride Parade, families will enjoy the second annual Pride Pet Parade in collaboration with Animal Planet, Pride Family Fun Run and Pride Market Fair on the boardwalk.
Busy families can get a jumpstart on their 2020 summer vacations, with major attractions opening including:
- LEGOLAND opens in the Hudson Valley town of Goshen in the Spring of 2020 as a $350-million park featuring a 250-room hotel and an aquarium on a 500-acre site. Once completed, it will be the largest LEGOLAND in the world with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions. A limited number of First to Play season passes are on sale now.
- The Empire State Trail, the longest multi-use state trail in the country, is scheduled to be completed in 2020. The 750-mile-long trail, spanning the state from New York City to Canada and Buffalo to Albany, allows for free, healthy and accessible family activities, like bicycling and walking while taking in the state’s picturesque scenery.
About New York State
New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions encompass landmarks such as Niagara Falls, the largest park in the continental U.S. in the Adirondacks and treasures such as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester. New York State offers diverse activities for all seasons, from fishing, hiking and boating to year-round festivals and exploring the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies. Throughout the state, visitors enjoy fine cuisine, beverage trails and farm-to-table fresh foods.
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