Places to Travel and Vacation by Car With Kids in New York: We took a family vacation to the Hudson Valley wanted to start to share our adventures of traveling with a toddler with you! I was 15 weeks pregnant with our second baby (soon to be Remi), and we were looking for a place to relax and get away for a week that was also within a short drive from Buffalo, New York. Vera was 1.5 years old at the time and being pregnant we wanted something simple that felt like a “get away”.
We found a unique Airbnb in a a 115-year-old church which had a lot to offer us for a week vacation. Who doesn’t want to stay at a church in a beautiful pine forest with a saltwater pool, hot tub, and fruit trees?
Here are some quick facts about the airbnb we rented:
Bedrooms: 2, the master bedroom was a loft bedroom and was hard to navigate at night and the stairs were narrow and there was no door to close.
Bathrooms: 1 (with bath tub)
Kid Friendly: YES
Internet: YES, but SLOW!
Dog Friendly: NO
Laundry: NO (this wouldn’t be a big deal but as there was a pool, it would’ve been very useful for a full week stay.)
Fireplace: YES, and bonus for being outdoors!
Kids toys: YES
Bathtub: YES (and even better: a hot tub, see notes below).
Extra amenities that make traveling a bit more magical: It was an old church with a beautiful open and private backyard, saltwater pool, a screened-in porch, a fireplace in the porch area, and best of all: a hot tub in the woods surrounded by forest. Magical!
Downsides: One of the bedrooms was lofted and didn’t have a door to close. It also was upstairs which was hard to navigate with kids at night–especially as I was pregnant and used the bathroom A LOT at night.
Little lizards got into the heated saltwater pool at night.
Part of the reason we choose to go to the Hudson Valley is because we were heading to NYC the next weekend for a few family sessions. We wanted to drive and stop somewhere along the way that was relaxing and non-stressful for a family vacation with young kids and offered great kid-friendly activities.One of the highlights of the trip was we hiked the Minnewaska State Park Preserve. It’s a quick hike to the waterfall–quick enough for a young child. The view was stunning, and it was worth every step.
Right down the street from the Airbnb is Kelder’s Farm where we spent two separate afternoons. One time we went just to visit the animals and enjoy time outdoors and the second time we went apple picking. Vera, 1.5 years old, had a great time with the animal at the animal petting farm there. They also had fresh apple cider donuts and fresh vegetables from the farm for sale. They also had amazing PIES for sale that we highly recommend you buying if they are in stock while visiting. They were some of the best homemade pies we’ve ever eaten!
Even though October was the very end of the season, we decided to go raspberry picking at the Westwind Orchard, as well. Raspberries are just too delicious to pass by. Not quite far from the raspberries, we decided to grab a bite at their amazing and low-key restaurant. We sat outside and enjoyed pizza and gnocchi (both were delicious!) . Music was playing while kids were running around playing and families were relaxing by outdoor firepits. They were super family-friendly there–a big plus for anyone traveling with children. There’s also a very cute shop on site full of local goods.
While we were vacationing, we couldn’t help but think that some of these places would be perfect for family film sessions. Family photos at Westwind Orchard while you raspberry pick and grab fresh wood fired pizza, portraits at Kelder’s farm while you Apple pick and visit with the animals, or even a lifestyle in-home session in the airbnb you’re visiting at. If you are interested, we’d love to talk to you about a Hudson Valley family session. We’ll be back in Rhinebeck, New York at the end of October 2019 and have one spot available for a family session in the Hudson Valley Area. Email us today to reach out and learn more!