Summer might be almost over, but there’s still time for a few more getaways before school starts up again. Take advantage of the coming holiday with these Labor Day weekend getaways for NYC families. You’ll find all-inclusive resorts, campsites, amusement parks and more that will have all ages feeling they squeezed the most out of the summer season.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best family vacations from NYC
The best Labor Day weekend getaways
Travel time: 2hrs 45min by car
A trip to Hershey, PA pretty much guarantees the family will have a sweet time. Head to Hersheypark for 70 amusement rides, including 13 roller coasters, 15 water park features and 26 kiddie rides. Check out the new Hershey Triple Tower, a “choose-your-thrill” ride that lets riders pick from three drops. Then hop on Laff Trakk, an indoor “glow-coaster” the takes passengers through a funhouse. The fun continues at Hershey Lodge where Hershey characters and animals from ZooAmerica will greet little ones. Kids even get to sign a guest book made just for little guests and walk away with a personalized lanyard. 325 University Dr, Hershey, PA (844-330-1802, hersheylodge.com). Labor Day weekend prices start at $399 per night per family of four.
Travel time: 2hrs 30min by car
Stop by the Mystic Aquarium (55 Coogan Blvd., 860-572-5955, mysticaquarium.org) for face time with beluga whales, sharks and African penguins. If your kids are into history, visit the Mystic Seaport to see old an wooden whaleship as well as buildings from the 1800s. Kids can go on their own imaginary marine adventures at the Children’s Museum where they can climb into a ship’s bunk, swab the deck and dress up in sailor outfits. 200 Coogan Blvd, Mystic, CT (860-572-0731, hiltonmystic.com). Labor Day weekend prices start at $325 per night per family of four.
St. Michaels, MD
Travel time: 4hrs 15min by car
Known as “the heart and soul of the Chesapeake Bay,” St. Michaels has the quiet charm of a 19th-century seaport, with ample family activities: There’s boating, fly-fishing and golf to try as a family, or you can zip through town on a bike or scooter. While parents might want to make time for antiquing, kids will be reeled in by the action-packed Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (213 N Talbot St; 410-745-2916, cbmm.org), an 18-acre interactive campus where they can step into a skipjack or pretend to run an old lighthouse. For seafood lovers, the area is brimming with decadent dining options (the blue crabs are a must), including Stars restaurant at the Inn at Perry Cabin (308 Watkins Ln; 410-745-2200, belmond.com).
Stay at the St. Michaels Inn. 1228 S Talbot St (410-745-3333, stmichaels-inn.com).
Travel time: 2hrs 30min by car
This 5,500-acre lodge in the Poconos has a few accommodations to choose from to cater to all kinds of families. The Main Lodge has a library, arcade and indoor pool; the Inn is located by a gold course; the roomy Cottages are great for larger families. Head outdoors to find nature trails, waterfalls and a beach by the lake and take part in a long list of awesome activities, including rock climbing, archery and paintball. The older set can get their hearts racing on the treetop zip line course. 1 Skytop Lodge Rd, Skytop, PA (570-257-2114, skytop.com). Labor Day weekend prices start at $414 per night per family of four.
Rehoboth Beach, DE
Travel time: 4hrs by car
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you visit Rehoboth Beach, a low-key town with sandy beaches and mild waves for enjoying with little ones. It even has an old-fashioned boardwalk with a theme park! A mainstay since 1962, Funland (6 Delaware Ave; 302-227-1921, funlandrehoboth.com) has amusements galore, with vintage prices to boot; some rides cost as little as 35 cents. The Rehoboth Beach Bandstand offers free surfside concerts, including live music on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Labor Day weekend. The town’s Ice Cream Store (6 Rehoboth Ave; 302-227-4609, rehobothbeachicecream.com) offers flavors like Bacon, Cereal Killer and Booger (don’t worry, it’s vanilla ice cream mixed with green-colored caramel).
Stay at Avenue Inn & Spa. 33 Wilmington Ave (302-226-2900, avenueinn.com).
Travel time: 3hrs 30min by car
Don’t be put off by the posh profile of Westerly’s Watch Hill, the star-studded neighborhood where Taylor Swift and other millionaires own beachfront compounds. In reality, Westerly welcomes families of every budget. The area’s pristine shoreline includes the quiet, narrow Napatree Point and the three-mile Misquamicut State Beach, a popular surfing spot. Atlantic Beach Park (321 Atlantic Ave; 401-322-0504, atlanticbeachpark.com) delights with live music and kiddie rides—and no trip to Westerly is complete without a spin on the Flying Horse Carousel (151 Bay St; 401-348-6007, watchhillbeachandcarousel.com), one of the oldest in the States. When you dismount, head over to the Candy Box (14 Fort Rd; 401-596-3325, candyboxwatchhill.com), a sweet old-timey store which doles out taffy, toffee and chocolate. For tales of mariners and lighthouse keepers, visit the Watch Hill Lighthouse Museum (Larkin and Lighthouse Rds; watchhilllighthousekeepers.org).
Stay at Pleasant View Inn. 65 Atlantic Ave (401-348-8200, pvinn.com). From $280/night for two double beds, with a three-night minimum for Labor Day weekend.
CoCo Key Water Resort
Travel time: 1hr 30min by car
Bad weather won’t bust this trip: Located just 12 miles from Philly, CoCo Key packs all the fun of a traditional water park indoors. There’s Parrot’s Perch, an aquatic jungle gym with bucket dumpers and slides, the 300-foot Coconut Grove lazy river to float down on an inner tube, the Dip-In wading pool for the littlest swimmers, a lily pad balancing course and even a splash basketball course inside a three-foot pool. For the daring, there’s a four-story Shark Slam and the dark, twisting Barracuda Blast slides. It’s all connected to the Hotel ML, which has arcade games like Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero and Skee-Ball—and everyone gets to go home a winner. 915 Rte 73, Mount Laurel, New Jersey (877-494-2626, mtlaurelcocokey.com). Labor day weekend water resort packages start at $199 per room per night per family of four (with two-day water resort access).
Pinegrove Family Dude Ranch
Travel time: 2hrs 20min by car
Equestrian fans will find lots to love at this 600-acre ranch—horseback riding, pony rides and lasso demonstrations are just some of the activities offered here. After your trotting adventures, join in on line dancing classes, rock climbing, hayrides and water slides. Cap off the night by sharing stories of your day around a campfire. Three meals a day are included in the package, perfect for families who’d rather spend their energy taking in all that nature offers. 30 Cherrytown Rd, Kerhonkson, NY (845-626-7345, pinegroveranch.com). Prices start at $169 per adult per night.
Pine Lake Manor
Travel time: 2hrs 35min by car
At the all-inclusive resort, guests of all ages will find a calendar of activities to join in on each day they’re there. Put your sports skills to the test by signing up for tournaments in basketball, tennis, shuffleboard and bocce. Fitness-focused family members can go all in on Zumba classes while energetic kids can jump to their heart’s content at the bounce castle or take it easy on the wagon rides. Marshmallow roasts, movie nights and DJs spinning fun beats are just some of the other cool activities on the table. 3500 County Rte 26, Greenville, NY (518-966-5745, pinelakemanor.com). Labor Day weekend packages start at $285 per person for three nights (includes all meals, facilities and entertainment).
Travel time: 4hrs 20min by car
Urban cowboys and cowgirls can do the “neigh-neigh” at Ridin-Hy, an all-inclusive 700-acre dude ranch. Families can saddle up for riding lessons, or take a guided ride through the property’s rambling trails; for more junior jockeys, there’s gentle pony rides and hayrides. Activities abound at night, from beachside bonfires to outdoor movies. Teens can channel their inner Everdeen with archery; other options include volleyball and tennis. The ranch, which sits on Sherman Lake, also offers waterskiing, banana boat rides, kayaking, and fly-fishing. If your kids still have energy to burn, there’s a playground, bounce house, and indoor pool. Accommodations are in comfortable log cabins and wood-paneled rooms, some of which have decks overlooking the lake. 95 N Sherman Lake Rd (518-494-2742, ridinhy.com). Labor Day weekend packages start at $251 per person for two nights (includes 3 full meals daily, general activities and full social program.