Even though Spring break wasn’t all that long ago, my daughter and her friends are bursting with energy, ready for school to be over with long summer days spent outdoors. We still have over a month left of school, so my best friend and I packed up our 3 favorite first graders and took them on an overnight getaway just 25 minutes from home. We escaped from NYC to Westchester, NY and had perhaps the most fun 24 hours ever.
We picked the kids up right after school on a Friday and headed to a brand new, incredible looking treetop course called Boundless Adventures. I’ve done several ropes course with my daughter, but never one like this. This rambling course has zip lines, obstacle courses, unique designs and is all self-led, including clipping your own safety harness in and out of each challenge. Once you sign all the wavers (which you can do online in advance) you get about 30 minutes of training and time to practicing clipping in and out on a practice area. I was not only shocked at how quickly the kids figured out the clipping in process and how to use the zip line, but how brave they were at each obstacle they faced! You are allowed three hours to explore the course, which was sufficient for us. We did three different courses which each included multiple swinging boardwalks, zip lines and challenges. The staff was great, they helped us with our harnesses and checked in from the ground often to make sure everyone was safe and comfortable. The adventure was really special. I feel like the challenges gave the kids confidence and empowered them to try things that may look too difficult. I was so proud of them 🙂
Tip: Wear closed toe shoes and bug repellent.
Doral Arrowwood Resort
After our amazing treetop adventure, we took the kids for take-out at McDonalds and headed to a hotel about 10 minutes away. We were excited about the hotel, Doral Arrowwood Resort because it has a heated swimming pool 1/2 indoor and 1/2 outdoor (although it’s most known for it’s golf course). Unfortunately once we checked in the pool had closed (8pm). The kids weren’t too bothered and enjoyed their Happy Meals and watched Harry Potter in the room. Getting three kids to sleep in one room is no easy task, but eventually everyone passed out. The pool opens at 6:30am and unsurprisingly I heard a little voice squeal ‘pool’s open’ at 6:50am! We brought breakfast with us so ate in the room then suited up. It was drizzling outside so we started swimming in the indoor section of the pool. Since there was no thunder or lightening we asked a friendly lifeguard if the kids could try swimming outside in the rain for a few minutes. He happily opened the boarder to the outdoor side of the pool and the kids swam back and forth for a couple of hours. They thought swimming in the light rain and fog was the coolest. The hotel also provided pool noodles and the kids enjoyed swimming with those. There is plenty of dining and a games room within the resort as well. After swimming we packed up, checked out and made our way to our next adventure!
Greenburgh Nature Center
After our nice morning swim we drove a few minutes away to Greenburgh Nature Center. This hidden gem is a must visit. Even with the rain, there was still much for us to enjoy. Upon parking you take a trail to the main center. Here you can visit the indoor animal museum which is really fun and educational. Several workers and volunteers spend time with you answering any questions you have about the animals. They brought several of the critters out of their habitats for us to touch, including two snakes, a giant roach, a tortoise, chinchilla and a friendly guinea pig. The kids loved this section and we spent about an hour exploring and learning about the animals. Even though it was raining we had to check out the playground. It was so awesome, designed using elements from nature as well as man made. The kids climbed in giant bird’s nests, scaled rubber spider webs and slid down slides. We also ventured over to a barn with sheep and chickens. There are gorgeous gardens throughout as well as 1/2 mile loop hiking paths – perfect for kids. We spent about 45 minutes exploring in the rain, but were soaked enough at that point we decided it was time to head home. We’ll definitely be back to check out the trails and to visit the animals again!
After our morning of swimming and afternoon at the nature center we drove back to NYC. I have to admit, we made memories of a lifetime on this getaway. I wouldn’t change a thing.
We are planning a trip back to Westchester soon to visit Rye Playland, one of the oldest amusement parks in New York. If you’re not an amusement park family there is also a public swimming pool and beach on the grounds with separate entry. It’s a real New York classic! We may even buy season passes this year.