You booked your Old Forge vacation rental with confidence, knowing it’s a great place for family adventures. From floating a canoe down Moose River to blasting out of the Curse of the Silverback at the Enchanted Forest Water Safari, there’s plenty to do. If you seek tranquility, simple mini golf, pizza, and horseback rides await you in the slow lane. For non-stop thrills, hop on a murder mystery dinner train, sit in a sky-high spider web, or climb into an eagle’s nest above the treetops. To help you pencil in your itinerary, here’s a list of the top nine things to do in Old Forge with kids.
If you want to start your vacation off with a great big splash, take the kids to Enchanted Forest Water Safari. New York’s largest water park features more than 50 rides and attractions, and it’s located in Adirondack State Park, just minutes from your Old Forge vacation rental. Next door, Calypso’s Cove Family Fun Park features go-karts, zip lines, bumper boats, a rock climbing wall, and an arcade. Both parks include kiddie attractions, refreshment stands, and food.
When the Adirondack Scenic Railroad conductor shouts, “All aboard,” it’s time for a great adventure of your choosing. Your kids might be satisfied with a sightseeing trip to watch the magnificent woods for wildlife. Then, again, they may want something more exciting and lively. In that case, check into one of the Loomis Gang Train Robbery adventures. For the older kids, an intriguing murder-mystery train ride tops the list of vacation bragging rights among their pals once they get back home.
For the horse lover in the family, a trail ride with Adirondack Saddle Tours can make a wonderful outing. The professional guides make every effort to ensure that children and inexperienced riders have a great time, offering to lead horses with a lead rope; and, they hold small children in their laps. Available trails include the Adirondack Woods, Cascade Lake, and Cascade Falls. As you ride through the woods, you may see deer and other wildlife. For the lake and falls trips, you can use the insulated saddle bags to carry lunch to enjoy by the water.
If the kids like mini golf, Nutty Putty features an old-fashioned course. In its own timeless way, it foregoes the loud music, strobe lights, and flashy gimmicks to offer a challenging course and the occasional deer that wanders by. You can buy ice cream there, too. The kids won’t mind at all.
If you want an incredible view of the Adirondacks and the Fulton Chain of Lakes, check out the chairlift ride at McCauley Mountain. The chairlift takes you to the top of the McCauley Mountain ski area, where you can enjoy a picnic and watch the deer wander peacefully through the trees. It’s a chance to see the breathtaking foliage and watch the colors change in the fall. The ride is tranquil and quiet as it transports you to another level of relaxation and gives your kids opportunities to find new adventures.
6. Take a Wild Walk at the Wild Center
Think what the kids might say when you tell them they’re going to walk in the treetops and climb into a full-sized eagle’s nest. The Wild Center features the Wild Walk, an elevated trail built high above and across the Adirondack treetops. You can hang out with them way above the forest floor in the spider’s web, which is a large construction made of rope and netting that looks just like the real thing. From there, it’s just a few more yards to the full-sized bald eagle’s nest at the highest point of the Wild Walk, where you can perch to do some looking and imagining. Wild Center also features a 54,000-square-foot museum that includes live animals and hands-on exhibits.
Whether you come for summer, spring, or fall foliage, you and your kids can share the beauty of the Adirondacks during a two-hour cruise aboard the Steamboat Clearwater. As the vessel smoothly sweeps through the shimmering waters of the first four lakes of the Fulton Chain, your family can drink in the sights and the delightfully fresh mountain air from the upper deck. Heated during cool weather, the enclosed lower deck allows you to view the surrounding scenery in comfort. It also includes a snack bar for light refreshments, and the restroom is handicapped accessible. Imagine the delightful and animated stories your kids can tell family and friends back home about cruising on a steamboat.
8. Eat and Play at Adirondack Pizzeria & Arcade
When the crew works up an appetite or the weather outside your vacation rental indicates the necessity for some indoor activities, you can satisfy all the cravings at Adirondack Pizzeria & Arcade. Treat your kids to some old-school arcade games, including pinball, air hockey, skee ball, and classic video games. The arcade also features up-to-date games, ticket-redemption games, racing games, and plenty of great redemption prizes. The selection of games suits all ages and skill levels, ensuring that kids and adults can find games to enjoy. Besides pizza, the pizzeria serves chicken wings, salads, submarine sandwiches, and finger foods, and it also features an ice cream shop. In addition to soft-serve cones and hand-dipped ice cream, the shop serves hand-spun milkshakes and blizzards, old-fashioned sodas and floats, and sundaes.
Canoeing is a relaxing way to spend the day with your family on the Moose River, and Tickner’s Canoes features two scenic canoe trip opportunities. You can paddle and drift down the North Branch, about eight miles in about three hours, and enjoy the scenery, look for deer, beavers, and otters. You can also stop to swim and picnic on pristine beaches if you are in no hurry. The other option is to combine a canoe and train adventure. You paddle the Middle Branch of Moose River from Tickner’s dock about six miles to the Tickner whistle stop. There, you and your canoes board a vintage train for a scenic ride back to town.
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