Fall in NYC is glorious, but it’s also a good time to get away and enjoy some time outside of the city. Looking for a day trip with kids but don’t have a car? No worries: we rounded up day trips you can get to by train. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning—it’s time to get away, even for a day!

LONG ISLAND RAILROAD (LIRR)

Oyster Bay
A quick 90-minute train ride can transport you to this hamlet on the North Shore of Long Island in Nassau county. Visit the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, dedicated to our Former President who was once a frequent commuter on the LIRR himself.

Families with train-lovers should check out the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum (open Saturdays and Sundays) and learn the important role railroads played in America's history. A quick taxi ride will bring you to the Planting Fields Arboretum, a 400+ acre 1920s Gold Coast estate with gorgeous gardens and landscapes designed by the Olmstead brothers, two greenhouses and a preserved Tudor Revival mansion showcasing the art and artistry of its time. Planting Fields offers lots of free resources for kids and families to make exploring the natural landscape even more engaging. 

You can also take a trip back in time at the Raynham Hall Museum, home of George Washington's secret agent Robert Townsend!

To eat and drink try Cooper Bluff at Oyster Bay Harbor (open through October), Oyster Bay Brewing Company, or Bonanza's Stand, for Italian ices and hot dogs any which way. 

Get there: Take the LIRR Babylon line to Oyster Bay Station

Farmingdale, NY
Fall is a great time to visit Long Island amusement park Adventureland, which opened in 1962, and offers rides for little ones and kids a bit older who want some thrills. The park is open on weekends until Nov. 7, and is hosting Halloween shows and events in October. 

Get there: Take the LIRR Ronkonkoma line to Farmingdale

2245 Broad Hollow Rd.
Farmingdale, NY 
631-694-6868
Online: adventureland.us

Melville, NY

Enjoy fall fun at Schmitt’s Family Farm Annual Fall Festival, happening now on weekends until October 31st. It’s accessible by a 1-hour train ride followed by a 10-minute taxi ride. Admission fee of $10 a person includes a hayride, playground, mini-golf and photo ops. The farm also offers pumpkin picking, vegetable picking, a haunted house, a corn maze, petting zoo, a farm stand and more all priced separately.

Get there: Take the LIRR Ronkonkoma line to Pinelawn Station or the Port Jefferson line to Huntington Station and catch a 10-minute cab ride. 

26 Pinelawn Rd.
Melville, NY
631-271-3276
Online: schmittfarms.com

METRO-NORTH RAILROAD 

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Beacon, NY & Storm King Art Center 

Sit on the left side of your Metro-North train car for spectacular views of the Hudson River. Shop local and support handmade at one of the many shops or pop into an art gallery. Beacon is home to celebrated contemporary art center Dia: Beacon. If you want even more art, take advantage of this package deal which includes a short shuttle ride and admission to Storm King Center (shown here) where you and the kids can take in the oversized sculptures among incredible foliage across 500-acres. 

For food, we'd recommend Melzingah Tap House on Main Street in Beacon for a sit down meal, and Beacon Pantry, is a good stop for sandwiches or fancy picnic supplies on the go. Don't leave Beacon without visiting Glazed Over Donuts, where you'll find all kinds of extreme confections.   

Get there: Take the Metro-North Hudson Line to Beacon Station

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Cold Spring, NY

The Village of Cold Spring offers gentle hiking trails at the West Point Foundry Preserve as well as the Little Stony Point trails along the Hudson River. Through November 11, you can hop a trolley to get to the nearby Boscobel House and Gardens to view decorative arts and furniture from the Federal period, or check out the Mid-century home of designer Russel Wright known as Manitoga. The  Cold Springs Tiny Tot park is a fun stop, as is The Gift Hut on Main Street. 

For food, try Hudson Hil's for American classics done well, Brasserie Le Bouchon for French fare with the option of outdoor seating, and Moo Moo's Creamery for ice cream. 

Get there: Take the Metro-North Hudson Line to Cold Spring Station
 

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Poughkeepsie, NY 
Experience walking across the world's longest pedestrian elevated walkway with a view of peak fall foliage. You can get to The Walkway over the Hudson Historic Strate Park by train in under two hours from Manhattan. Walk across and back for a stroll just under three miles, or turn around at any time. Be sure to stop by the seven-foot bronze statue of Sojourner Truth, an American Abolitionist and women's rights activist. This monument commemorates the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage.

For food, we recommend Farmer's & Chefs for yummy farm-to-table, Lola's Cafe for good food and major convenience (it's located right next to the stairs to the walkway), and its sister restaurant Lolita's Pizza, also nearby. 

Get there: Take the Metro-North Hudson Line to Poughkeepsie Station

NJ TRANSIT 

Jackson Township, NJ
Got kids hankering for some Halloween thrills? Check out this NJT deal that includes a round-trip bus trip and admission to Six Flags Great Adventure. (Yes, this is a bus, not a train.) Little ghouls and goblins will enjoy a "Thrills by Day" adventure that includes areas decorated for Halloween, a Trick-or-Treat Trail and live shows.

Get there: Take the 308 Express Bus to Six Flags Great Adventure from either New York Port Authority Bus Terminal or Newark Penn Station

Online: njtransit.com

photo: American Dream Mall

American Dream Mall, East Rutherford, NJ
If you want to do something fun with your family but can't decide on what, then head on over to the American Dream Mall where you'll find lots of choices!  Some options include Legoland Discovery Center, SeaLife Aquarium, an Olympic-size ice-skating rink and indoor amusement park Nickelodeon Universe which is hosting Halloween-themed fun through October 31. Halloween weekend will feature a costume contest, trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, and spooktacular fun for everyone. Other Halloween fun at American Dream includes a huge 50-spider installation and Spooky Skate at The Rink.

Get there: there are several ways to get to American Dream Mall including their official rideshare partner: Lyft.

Online: americandream.com

photo: Liberty Science Center

Jersey City, NJ
While we realize that some of our readers may live in Jersey City (we know why—it's nice!), it's also a fun day trip for NYC-area non-residents. Head straight for the Liberty Science Center (you must buy tickets in advance) which boasts several floors of hands-on exhibits and impressive climbing structures. They celebrate Halloween with gusto here, with a giant spider web maze, just for starters. If you want to relax afterward bring a picnic and enjoy Liberty State Park, which has tons of green space for the kids to run around and an incredible view of the NYC skyline. 

Get there: Take the PATH to Pavonia/Newport or Exchange Place station and transfer to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR). LSC is just five rail stops from the World Trade Center.

Closed on Mondays 
Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Blvd.
Liberty State Park
201-200-1000
Online: lsc.org

—Wai Sze Zara

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