What, like the Capital District isn’t Enough for You?

With all of this time off from school, you could always try a little overnight adventure.  Kids are quite easily thrilled with a trip, especially if it involves a stay in a hotel.  A new bed, elevators to ride, and especially an indoor pool–woo, hoo!  We’ve had success with  Priceline many times.  It’s especially great for a spur-of-the-moment adventure, because you can always just lowball them and blow it off entirely if you don’t get a reservation.

Our family’s favorite not-too-far destinations:

Boston: There’s plenty to do here.  We’ve visited and loved both the Museum of Science and Boston Children’s Museum. Even better, we got in free because we were members of the Schenectady Museum, so admission was FREE!  Really, if you aren’t a member of Schenectady Museum, the Children’s Museum of Science & Technology in Troy, or the New York State Museum, you should join one of them–it is totally worth it, because of the ASTC Passport Program.  My friend often hits the Natick Mall because her son loves the Lego store and her daughter loves the American Girl store.

Rochester: Umm, the Strong National Museum of Play is super, super fun.  I mean, I was just chitchatting with another mom, and it is completely worth the trip all by itself.    Throw in a hotel with a pool and you’ve got yourself a superior destination right there.  Or, if you’re looking for more, check this link for a parent-produced top twenty list.

New York City: We lived in New York for 8 years, so of course I love to go back.  Last time we went, it was for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, but we also hit the American Museum of Natural History and Joe’s Shanghai for some soup dumplings–yum.  We also like to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art–my suggestion for this one is 1) get the kids familiar with some of the stuff ahead of time so they can appreciate it (maybe by reading this book, for example), and 2) put blinders on the kids, because there’s so much interesting to see that when you’re on the way to the exhibits you’re interested in (19th Century European Painting, natch), the kids will get all sucked into the freakin’ Etruscans, and by the time you finally make it through room after room after room, they’ll be toast.  Not that this happened to me.  Oh, but yes it did. Something important that you should understand is that for both of those museums, the admission is a suggested donation. That means that you will go through the motions, lining up and going to a cashier, but then if you say, “I’m going to pay ten dollars,” that is allowed.  Yes, you might feel embarrassed, and of course these are wonderful institutions that should be supported, but if cost is keeping you from visiting, you should just visit and pay less.  Really.  We haven’t made the Brooklyn Children’s Museum followed by a trip to the Chip Shop for a deep-fried Snickers bar, but it is on the agenda, I tell you.  I realize, now, that I’m rambling about NYC, so I’m just going to have to curb my enthusiasm and maybe I’ll do another NYC post some other time.

Places we haven’t gotten around to visiting–anybody gone here?  Would you recommend the trip to me and other readers?


  1. Jodi

    You also get the ASTC Membership if you’re a member of the Berkshire Museum. A family membership is only $75 and it’s exactly an hour from our house to there. We took advantage of both The Children’s Museum and Museum of Science in Boston this spring–awesome!!

  2. We get the day passes for the Berkshire Museum and the Eric Carle museum from our local library and plan a trip around it. It gives you free admission. We get ours from the East Greenbush branch but you may want to check the others to see the selection.

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