10 reasons we loved our visit to Chuggington at the Catskill Mountain Railroad

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We were invited this weekend to ride the rails at the Chuggington Event at the Catskill Mountain Railroad in Kingston, NY. My boys are huge train aficionados and the look on their faces when the train pulled up and whistled it’s horn was truly priceless. On the train they loved hearing the familiar voices of Wilson, Brewester and KoKo and having them come to life at the after show was thrilling for even the adults! One of my favorite parts though was how the entire event was pulled together. They pulled story lines from the popular Disney channel show in order to create a space that was simply magical for the kids. My youngest is still talking about KoKo’s surprise party!

In Top 10 fashion, here are my 10 favorite parts of the event:


IMG_8460 IMG_8461IMG_84811. Activities for the kids- Around the field are fun challenges and activities for the kids. There are 3 challenges in particular the kids earn a colored Chuggington bracelet at each. The others include bubbles, face painting, food, tattoos and music. All are free with a “tips” jar ūüėČ

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2. The train ride- We have been on others that were just back and forth in the train yard. We were on the train here for about 30 minutes. There was staff on the cars who encouraged participation with the on going theme and the voices and music from the show played through the speakers. Towards the end, the kids received hats and blowers for KoKo’s surprise party! I suggest getting tickets for the covered flat for the best seats.

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3. Music- I might still be singing the words to the catchy theme song!

IMG_84654. My oldest’ favorite spot was the train table. There was plenty to play with and the friendly staff were wonderful playing with him. There is a ‘toy store’ on site filled with Chuggington train sets, books, movies and more if you want to bring the fun home.
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5. The activities were all free! We skipped on the face painting but the boys are still proudly showing off their tattoos!

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6. We spent quite a bit of time in the music tent. There were plenty of ways to make music and the woman singing was awesome and super friendly!

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7. The firetruck was another big hit! My youngest was thrilled with the chance to climb aboard, ring the bell and pretend to put out fires. I love when communities get together and support each other to put on a great event.

8. We were there so long we needed lunch. We were able to choose from pizza or grilled burgers and hot dogs for an inexpensive, family friendly bite to eat.

9. You can easily spend an entire day in the area. We spent three hours at the Chugginton event, and skipped quite a few things. We also received a ticket with discounts for other local places around town and could have spent a few more hours in the area before heading home.

10. There is only 1 weekend left to ride the rails!

Trains run every hour from 10am until 4pm. Plan to spend 2-3 hours.

Tickets are $19 a person.

Advance tickets are required, as seating is limited. All trains depart from Westbook Station at Kingston Plaza.

Disclaimer ‚ÄstPamela Perry, author of Top 10 Tuesday¬†received tickets to Catskill Mountain Railroad to¬†help facilitate this review as a resource for Hudson Valley Parent readers in conjunction with places to go. Hudson Valley Parent Magazine did not¬†receive any other compensation for this post.

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10 fun things to do with dad on Father’s Day

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My dad likes to sit back and relax on Father’s Day, my husband likes to be on the go. Sometimes it can be difficult finding something everyone likes to do though there is no shortage of activities in the Hudson Valley. From a delicious breakfast on the farm to soaring in a biplane¬†or¬†relaxing by the lake I have rounded up 10 awesome and somewhat unique things to do with dad this Father’s Day no matter what his passion may be.

“Anyone can be a father but it takes someone very special to be a dad!”

-Happy Father’s Day to all the special dads-

For the budget conscious dad.

Enjoy FREE admission for dad at many local museums, state parks and more. Plus dads ride free at a local amusement park too! Click HERE to see the full list.

For the nature loving dad.

Pack a picnic lunch and head to Storm King Art Center. The whole family can get close to the ponds edge to explore its inhabitants with experts from the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum. The program is free with admission. If staying on the dry side of the pond has dad bumming, take him to Kittatiny Canoes on the Delaware in Pond Eddy for a special Father’s Day canoe or raft trip. Tip: Dads paddle for free on their special day.

For the dad that isn’t into sweating at the grill on Father’s Day.

Madava Farms in Dover Plains, home to the famous Crown Maple Syrup is hosting what looks like a delicious BBQ lunch. Seriously my mouth is watering just reading the menu. Enjoy breathtaking views while dad sips his beer and toasting a marshmallow by the fire pit after lunch.

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[ More: Kid  friendly places to Eat ]

For the adventurous dad.

Whether dad is a high flying adventurous guy or a down and dirty type, the whole family can find a thrill this weekend. Check out Northeast Offroad Adventures where dads get a free NORA hat and passengers are $25. But if his dream is soaring, visit the Rhinebeck Airodrome where everyone is celebrating fathers day with special pricing on admission and biplane rides.

For the kid at heart dad.

It’s a trainstastic adventure and the entire family is invited! The crew from Chuggington has rolled into the Catskill Mountain Railroad this Father’s Day weekend! Families will enjoy a show, activities, games and a train ride too.

For the best berry in the bunch dad.

With strawberry picking in full swing this weekend you have plenty of options to let dad fill up on the sweetest berries on the farm. I suggest a day at Kelder’s Farm where dad and the kids can enjoy a jump on the air pillow, a round of mini golf ad a visit with the barn animals.

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Image Credit: Kelder’s Farm , Facebook

[ More: Hudson Valley’s Best Pick Your Own Berry Farms¬†]

For the sun bathing, beach loving dad.

The weather is looking beautiful for Father’s Day weekend, why not take dad to the beach? Try one of these great swimming holes or beaches. My top pick would be the beach at Belleayre Mountain. You can spend the day swimming, lounging by the lake, boating, fishing or enjoying a game of basketball or volleyball. My suggestion would be to pack a picnic lunch as concessions there are limited.

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For the biker dad.

Might I suggest a trip to Motorcyclepedia. A motorcycle enthusiast’s paradise filled with vintage bikes through present. A special collection of Harley Davidsons, military, police and much more. And if the museum didn’t quite satisfy you, head over to Orange County Choppers after for a bite to eat!

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[ More: 70 places to visit this summer ]

For the breakfast lovers or cruisers.

While you might still be recovering from Mother’s Day brunch and another big meal out doesn’t thrill dad anyway. Don’t rule it out quite yet! Take a look at the Father’s Day Breakfast on the farm. This hearty, local and fresh meal has become pretty popular with the locals! If cruising and dining is more dad’s speed , try the Father’s Day brunch cruise which sails along the majestic Hudson River and includes a delicious brunch buffet and narrated tour.

For the classic car lover.

It’s the Famous 50s Hot Rod Weekend at the Hudson Valley Resort and Spa! This show has become known as the biggest family- style car show in the Catskills. Featuring hot rods, custom cars and trucks, muscle cars, classics and more. Plus, enjoy live music, flame throwers, contests, games, awards and more. The perfect way to spend Father’s Day weekend.

13 things you don’t want to miss this month!

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I am not quite sure what happened to May, it certainly seemed to disappear before our eyes. As I looked ahead to June I quickly started filling up our days with the typical end of the year busy-ness, PreK graduation, school picnics, birthday celebrations, teacher gifts and the list goes on. Then I started working on the Hudson Valley Parent calendar and the rest of our June days were filled in with local day trips, festivals, carnivals, fireworks, berry picking and more. As busy as this time of the year can get I love it. I love making those precious memories with my boys and even if we only make it to half the things on my list this month it will truly be about those special moment we share together during these fleeting childhood years.

So I have rounded¬†up to share with you this week 10 of the must- dos on my June bucket list, so you too can start making summer memories with your crew.¬†(Don’t forget, if you make it to any of the events on our list or HVParent calendar share a photo with us on our Facebook Page! We love to see Hudson Valley Parents having fun around town!)

1. Enjoy a free festival like the Annual Children’s Earth and Water Festival.

2. Take a trip to the theater. The New York Academy of Ballet is performing a Disney classic, Sleeping Beauty. You can also see Shrek the Musical at the Forestburgh Playhouse or Monster Intelligence at Sugarloaf Performing Arts Center.

3. Explore the big rigs at the New Paltz Rotary Club’s Touch a Truck event on June 7th!

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4. Complete challenges with Wilson, Brewster and the gang of Chugginton aboard the Catskill Mountain Railroad. Young trainees can also participate in activities, enjoy face painting, music, tattoos, food and a Chuggington Train Ride! 

5. Go strawberry picking¬†or¬†enjoy all the best strawberry treats at the Beacon Strawberry Festival! If you haven’t already, check out the super adorable readers’ picking berries in our Top UPICK farm list!berry picking

6. New York sure does have some amazing pizza and the Hudson Valley is no exception! You be the judge of the best slice while listening to live music, games, raffles and fun for the whole family at Hudson Valley Pizza Fest on June 14th. Kids under 12 are free!

7. Visit the Car Show at Bear Mountain. Pack a picnic, it is a beautiful spot to sit by the lake, walk across the street to the trailside zoo, hike the mountain or take the paddle boats out to the lake. If warm enough, there are quite a few local family- friendly swimming holes to cool off in. (List coming soon!)

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8. Have some fun down on the farm with events like the Garden Tractor Pull in Montgomery, the Farm Family Fun Day in Poughquag, even a tractor parade in Calliccoon!

9. Learn all about local resources, businesses and more while the kids play, create and have fun. The best part of Hudson Valley Family Fest is that each business vendor will have something for the kids to do! (Rescheduled from May 31st)

10. Attend a summer kick off event such as the kick- off party at the Mid Hudson Children’s Museum on June 26th! It’s all about having a healthy summer with snacks, crafts, activities, demos, music and lots of fun for the whole family.

11. Take a ride on the ferris wheel (or other awesome rides) at the carnival! June 17th is the start date of the Amenia Fire Co. Carnival and staring on June 25th in Warwick. Plus each have awesome firework displays, or you can see fireworks on June 22nd after the Renegades Opening Game, at Bear Mountain on June 26th or at the Stars and Stripes Celebration in Middletown on June 27th.

12. Listen to live music under the stars! Many towns begin their outdoor summer concerts this month. Check our calendar or your local town site to find this free family concert closest to you!

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13. Is there a town near you hosting a community day or block party? These events are usually free and so much fun! Poughkidsie is celebrating their first birthday on June 14th with a block party, Also the Greenwood Lake Street Fair on June 13, Community Celebration in Kingston on June 18th, Pleasant Valley Community Day on June 20 and the Union Vale Community Day on the 6th. One last one, not technically a community day event, but can’t resist not posting about, The Rosendale Farmer’s Market is hosting a Mermaid Parade and festival on June 28th.

In addition to all these fun events, visit and bookmark Hudson Valley Parent’s complete Summer Fun Guide! All the best in ice cream spots, drive- ins, camps, festivals and fairs… plus, tips, tricks and more summer fun!

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