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Family Fun in the Catskills

by Felicity Long

Jun 29, 2018

© Emerson Resort & Spa

Destinations / North America

The Catskills, located only about two hours from New York City by car, offer proof you don’t have to hop on a plane to enjoy a family vacation this summer. Hudson River cruises, rail excursions, concerts and even the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope are among the activities just waiting for parents and kids this year at Emerson Resort & Spa.

The 53-room, 20-acre boutique property gears up for summer with a variety of new and seasonal programs that showcase the beauty and diversity of the Catskill Mountains and are fun for everyone in the family. From an indoor pop-up play tents, kids’ fishing kits and Mommy & Me Yoga, there are activities designed for a range of ages and interest.

Other activities include:

Scavenger Hunt & Kaleidoscope Workshop, designed for the whole family, takes advantage of the property’s massive kaleidoscope, which stands at more than 60 feet tall and features 28-foot mirrors. Kids and parents are invited to pick up a scavenger hunt map at the front desk, which features trivia questions about the resort and the local history and wildlife of the Catskills. Each question has a hint to the answer, which could be on the Emerson website, in a brochure or somewhere else on property.

Once they successfully complete the scavenger hunt, they can turn in their maps in exchange for a prize. Hint: It’s something sweet. The workshop also includes a kids’ version of the Build-Your-Own-Kaleidoscope workshop in the resort’s Kaleidostore, which also offers adult versions.

Kaleidoscope © Emerson Resort & Spa

Kaleidoscope © Emerson Resort & Spa

Kids’ kaleidoscope workshop rate is $16.50 per kit, including instruction with the Emerson’s Activities Coordinator, while adult workshops are priced at $50 per person. All children must be accompanied by an adult and advanced reservations are required. Workshops will be held on July 7 and Sept, 8.

One of the best ways to enjoy the Hudson River Valley region is by boat, and the resort partners with Hudson River Cruises to offer special rates for a two-hour cruise along the scenic Hudson. The Kingston, N.Y.-based cruise company has plied the river for more than 35 years aboard the Rip Van Winkle. Special rates start at $22 for adults and $17 for children, through Oct. 28.

Emerson guests can also see the sights aboard Rail Explorers: Catskills Division, which operates alongside the Esopus Creek from the village of Phoenicia via pedal-powered Explorers, complete with electric pedal assistance. An eight-mile round-trip River Run program showcases the beauty and history of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad and, because of the flat rails, is easy enough for just about anyone in the family and takes about two hours.

Mommy & Me Yoga © Emerson Resort & Spa

Also new is a line-up of outdoor summer performances that feature the talents of musical artists who play on the banks of the scenic Esopus Creek. The shows are free for overnight resort guests, and drinks and snacks are available for purchase. Show dates include June 30, July 28 and Aug. 25.

Finally, the property is unveiling its new relationship with the private Wiltwyck Golf Club, which allows guests access to the member’s-only tennis courts for $15 per hour per court.

Scott Taylor, Wiltwyck tennis pro, will also offer lessons and clinics to Emerson guests of all ages and experience levels, from $32 for semi-private lessons.

The property is pet-friendly and even offers special pup menus and a dog park.


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