Top 10 Tuesday: Family friendly leaf peeping in the Hudson Valley

Fall road

Photo by Brittany Morgan

Most of our region’s beautiful fall foliage is peaking this week and we in the Hudson Valley are lucky enough to live right in the middle of it all. A quick trip up Route 55, down the Taconic or even out our backyards in places like Montgomery, New Paltz and so many others have great opportunities to see the beautiful trees turn into brightly colored pieces of art. We asked around to local Hudson Valley Moms and compiled a list of favorite family friendly places for fall foliage sightings in our area!

Shirley Carrasco Town of Montgomery

Town of Montgomery shared by Shirley Carrasco

1. The walkway over the Hudson River is a great place to spend an afternoon taking in the beauty of the Hudson from above. Take a walk across the bridge and the new elevator down to the park or Mid- Hudson Children’s Museum to make a day out of it with the family.

Photo by Katie Angel of her daughter at Minnewaska

Photo by Katie Angel of her daughter at Minnewaska

2. Another Hudson Valley Parent favorite spot is Minnewaska State Park in Ulster County. Vistors can enjoy hiking, biking or simply just walking and taking in the views. The park features numerous beautiful waterfalls, 3 lakes, forest and many trails to explore.

Lake Minnewaska photo by Katy Weber

Lake Minnewaska photo by Katy Weber

3. If you are up for the trip, maybe with older kids in tow, take the hike which is a little over a mile up to the top of Mount Beacon, the views of the Valley below are breathtaking. Bring a picnic on a warmer fall day and enjoy the afternoon.

4. A popular spot for families year round in Dutchess County, Bowdoin Park is a 301 acre park on the banks of the Hudson River. With spectacular views of the river, the brightly colored trees in the fall set a beauitful scene for a fall picnic, day at the award winning playground or just a family stroll along the river. The park also has spaces for recreational sports and pavilions to rent for events.

The Lankard Family enjoying a fall day at Vanderbilt photo by Alonna Lankard

The Lankard Family enjoying a fall day at Vanderbilt photo by Alonna Lankard

5. Vanderbilt Mansion is another family favorite spot in Dutchess County for picnics and views and in the fall the mansion grounds come to life with beautiful colors. The mansion itself is open for tours only but the grounds are free and always open for some natural family fun. Plenty of space to let little ones run and gorgeous views of the rivers and trees!

Photo from Clermont State Historic Site

Photo from Clermont State Historic Site

6. As the season changes and the leaves turn, many families in the Hudson Valley region head to Clermont Estate in Columbia County to take in the true beauty of the season. Here you can enjoy the views from a short hike, leisurely walk, tour or a spot under a colorful tree on a picnic blanket. There is something for everyone at Clermont and a great place to check out the fall foliage this year.

Bear Mountain photo from Pamela Perry

Bear Mountain photo from Pamela Perry

6. From the zoo to the lake to the carousel, families love to take the trip to Bear Mountain in the fall. The beauty of the season can be enjoyed even before you arrive, the roads that lead to the state park are over flowing with fall colors and the bridge leads you to what seems like another time as you arrive at the beautiful Bear Mountain State Park. Here your family can enjoy the trailside museum and zoo, the old merry-go-round, a picnic by the lake, play fields, biking or a hike up the mountain. In late October, visitors can ice skate at the outdoor rink. There is so much for families to enjoy at Bear Mountain.

7. Discover all that Olana State Historic Site has to offer in the fall. The beautiful landscape offers rich colors and beauty of the Hudson Valley. Walk the carriage drives, the family farm and orchard, the lake, the meadow and forest. Learn about wildlife and nature as you experience a true Hudson Valley gem. Visitors can also enjoy guided house tours, picnics, history, culture and gorgeous views.

Stacy McGarry enjoys a trip to Fahnestock State Park with her daughter

Stacy McGarry enjoys a trip to Fahnestock State Park with her daughter

8. If you love the outdoors, you might want to take a short hike and enjoy the scene at Fahnestock State Park. The Beautiful mountains and colorful fall foliage that reflects off the lake is simply amazing. If you are a camping family, the park has more than 70 campsites for the overnight fall stay.

9. Another beautiful place for families to explore this season is Mills Mansion at Mills-Norrie State Park. The house is open for guided tours and the gift shop is rated top 10 of the Dutchess County. The grounds are history rich, beautiful for hiking, an afternoon stroll or picnic with family or friends.

Rail Trail photo from Nicole Dropkin

Dutchess Rail Trail photo from Nicole Dropkin

10. We are lucky here in the Hudson Valley to have an expansive rail trail that runs throughout most of our communities connecting the greater Hudson Valley area with paths, walkways, bridges and bike paths. Families can take in the beauty of our area along paved paths strictly for pedestrians away from the hustle and bustle of every day life. All of the trails including information and maps can be found on the New York Rail Trail Website. Some of our favorite trails are the Dutchess Rail Trail, Mohonk Preserve, Wallkill Valley Rail Trail, The Heritage Trail and Catskill Scenic Trail.

The view of Joppenbergh Mountain from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail trestle in Rosendale Shared by Katy Weber

The view of Joppenbergh Mountain from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail trestle in Rosendale Shared by Katy Weber

Other favorite Hudson Valley leaf peeping spots are:

Millbrook Tribute Gardens, Millbrook

Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie,

Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz

Storm King Art Center, New Windsor

top fall fests


Top 10 Tuesday: DIY Halloween Costumes

Looking for some Halloween costume inspiration this year for the kids? We have rounded up some of the best DIY costumes from Pinterest for this top 10 list of Halloween Costume DIY’s. Adorable, silly and down- right clever, many of them are easy to replicate and won’t break the bank!
Who doesn’t love sweet, cuddly Olaf from the popular movie Frozen. Desert Chica pulls together a costume that is easy to make and wont break the bank!
Check out this Toy Army Guy from Wild Ink complete with DIY instructions!
You won’t believe what this awesome astronaut costume is made of! Turn an old sweatshirt into something space- worthy with these easy DIY instructions from My Life of Travels and Adventures blog.
No-sew and nice and easy, this DIY Ninja Turtle costume is adorable from A Night Owl!
Super simple and you can’t get much cuter than this! A pair of glasses, balloons and some PVC pipe will have your little one looking like he just walked out of the movie Up!. Found on Auburn Soul Photography.
You don’t need sewing skills to make your little girl’s dream of being Elsa this year come true with these easy, no- sew directions from A Thrifty Mom.
This simple and so funny Baby Cow costume from Make It & Love It blog will be the hit of any party. Adorable!
Adorable and so perfect for little boys and girls who love their construction trucks! This Excavator Costume is so clever, thanks to B-Inspired Mama for the DIY instructions here!
No- Sew, under $5 and simply adorable! This Baby Chicken Costume is a perfect last minute Halloween costume for baby! Instructions and more photos on Fun at Home with Kids blog.
We can’t resist the cuteness of matching family costumes and this DIY set is simply adorable! Inexpensive, and a true classic these Willy Wonka and Oompa Loompa costumes with DIY instructions can be found on More Than Words Can Describe Blog.
So tell us… are you a Halloween Costume Do It Yourself-er or do you prefer the store bought kind? Let see your best DIY costumes!
Check out more money saving Halloween tips, tricks and more here on Pinterest.

Top 10 Tuesday: Pumpkin Decorating with kids!

One of the best things about pumpkin picking in October is decorating those carefully picked pumpkins! We have rounded up some of the coolest kid- friendly pumpkin decorating ideas on Pinterest for a little inspiration!
Adorable felt faces from
Kids will love making a mess with these Glittery Pumpkins from HGTV
A simple and cute pumpkin for little fingers is this Mummy Pumpkin from Changing My Destiny
We can’t stand the cuteness of this pumpkin turned Cookie Monster found on
Easy for toddlers, these tissue paper ‘stickers’ make for perfect pumpkin decorating from Young House Love.
A fun craft & science project all rolled into one with these melted crayon pumpkins from The Swell Designer.
Kids will need some help from a grown- up for this one, but too clever not to include. Maybe the kids can draw the pattern that adults can drill for these pumpkins carved with a drill from Crafty Nest.
No need for sharp tools and big messes for these Mr. & Mrs. Potato Head Pumkins from Frugal Life Project. Genius!
So cool! These Pumpkins Gone Batty from The Green Beagle are perfect to add to your Halloween decorations this year.
We couldn’t resist the cuteness of the family hand prints that decorated this beautiful Thankful Handprint Pumpkin from The NY Melrose Family.
All of these wonderful pumpkin ideas and more can be found on our Fall Pinterest Board

Top Halloween Events


As Summer leaves us and Fall swoops in, the atmosphere around us changes. Here in the Hudson Valley, there are several locations that offer fun, scares, candy, and costumes that the whole family can enjoy. Make this Halloween season one to remember.

Orange County:

Forest of Fear
Tuxedo Park.
Oct. 3rd-26th(not Oct.23rd) & Oct. 31st-Nov.2nd

Pure Terror Scream Park
Oct. 3rd-26th(not Oct.23rd) & Oct. 31st-Nov. 2nd

Ghost Stories
Oct. 23rd

No Scare Halloween
Oct. 26th

Haunted Hayrides
Orange County’s Farmers Museum
Oct. 25th

Boo at the Zoo
Bear Mountain.
Oct. 25th

Trick or Treat and Parade
Greenwood Lake
Oct. 18th

Dutchess County:
Hogwarts Halloween

Wappingers Falls.
Oct. 25thTown of Wappinger Halloween Costume Contest

Wappingers Falls.
Oct. 25th

Halloween Parade and Festival
Oct. 18th

Halloween Ghost Train Night
Hyde Park.
Oct 27th

Annual Mall-O-Ween Trick or Treat!
Oct. 31st

Pumpkin Festival
Oct. 12th

Fall Festival and Haunted Mini-Golf
Beekman Recreation
Oct. 25th

Ulster County:
Halloween Parade

New Paltz.
Oct. 31st

Night of 100 Pumpkins
New Paltz.

5th Annual Wiles Chiropractic Haunted House
Oct. 25th

Sullivan County:
Halloween Parade & Party

Oct. 31st

Halloween Parade.
Livingston Manor.
Oct. 31st
Annual Halloween Extravaganza
Oct. 25thGiant Pumpkin Party

Oct. 4th

Rockland County:

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
Van Cortlandt Manor
Oct. 4-5, 10-13, 16-19, 23-31
Nov. 1-2, 6-9, 14-16