Without question, New York City has a vast assortment of amazing art museums to peruse, but bringing babies, diaper bags and destructive toddlers into sophisticated galleries can be a lot of work. If you’re in the mood from some culture, without all the crying, fussing and corralling, try an outdoor art museum — Storm King Art Center, in Mountainville, New York, about an hour outside the city. Read on to learn more about this awesome sculpture park that the whole family will enjoy.
What You’ll See at Storm King
Storm King is a beautiful sculpture park with more than 100 abstract sculptures, including works by Alexander Calder, Sol Lewitt and Roy Lichtenstein. Set on over 500 acres of land with hills, woodlands and fields, you’ll need at least two hours to enjoy the park, but with all the wide open space, you could spend the entire day here if you like.
Start your day at the museum and visitor center at the top of the hill (take note: this is also where the cleanest restrooms are). Then, walk around the sculptures and take in the gorgeous views before you walk down the winding path toward the sculptures at the bottom of the hill. While an airy, outdoor sculpture gallery is easier to visit with kids, there are still rules about the art at Storm King. Tell your kids that sitting, climbing and touching the sculptures is not allowed.
Why Storm King is Great
Storm King is a special place to go with your little kids. Be prepared to make little stops in between sculptures to look at the clouds in the sky or point out a funny tree. Your kids will love running around the sculptures, rolling down the hill and taking the tram. There’s art in every direction and lots of benches, and shady spots to stop and take it all in. This outdoor museum may have some of the most famous New York City museums beat!
What to Pack for a Day at Storm King
Definitely pack a picnic lunch for your trip. There are tables in a few different areas parts of the mountain. If you accidentally eat all your snacks in the car, you can stop by the Storm King Café where there’s a large selection of salads, sandwiches, treats and coffee.
While we’re on the subject of packing things for your day at the park. Remember, this is an outdoor museum, so bring a sweater (it can be cooler than in the city), sunscreen and a hat.
Getting Around the Park
If you have little kids under age 5, take along your heavy-duty stroller to walk around the grounds since you won’t want to stay on paths all day. There’s also a tram that travels throughout Storm King, so you may want to bring your baby carrier if you plan to take a ride. Bicycles for adults are available to rent for $8 per hour for a minimum of 2 hours or $40 per day on weekends.
When to Go
The Art Center is open April through November 15th. But if you sign up for membership you’ll be invited to take a winter walk through the grounds.
If you can, visit on a Sunday. At 1:00 pm, each Sunday, there are children’s programs in which kids explore the colleciton in the main building and then participate in an art activity. Check the events calendar for details.
On your drive to Storm King Art Center, stop at the look out point on US -9 for a beautiful view of the Hudson and West Point. If you want to turn your trip into an overnight stay the Buttermilk Falls B&B is nearby in Milton. If you’re hungry, look no further than Cornwall where diners and restaurants abound. For Mexican try Avocado or Leo’s Restaurant for pizza.
How to Get to Storm King
By Car: If you’ve got a car take it, the drive from NYC to Storm King is really pretty and just over an hour. No car? Take a Zipcar – members get 2-for-1 admission to the park and a discount on a yearly membership.
By Bus: If you’re a New Yorker that doesn’t like driving, no problem. Coach USA buses leave from Port Authority at 10:00 am and drive directly to Storm King, returning to Manhattan at 5:00 pm. Bus tickets cost $45 per adult and $23 per child.
By Train: Take a train from Penn Station to Salisbury Mills train station, 3 miles from Storm King. It’ll take about a half hour and costs $10 per person. Once there, take a taxi to the art center; Storm King recommends All Family Taxi (845-565-8330).
Storm King Art Center
1 Museum Road
New Windsor, Ny
Hours: Wed. through Sat., from April 4th to November 5th; 10:00 am to 5:30 pm; from November 5th to November 15th; 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Saturdays from Memorial Day to Labor Day Storm King is open until 8:00 pm.
Cost: Admission to the park is $12 for adults and $8 for children over 5.
– Molly Rosen
All photos taken by Molly Rosen