Looking for a new family getaway that’s reachable by plane, train, or automobile but far enough away from big city hustle and bustle? Check out Saratoga Springs, New York! Known for its horse track, spas and healing mineral water, Saratoga has plenty to offer for a fun family destination any time of the year.
We first started visiting Saratoga Springs, NY years before having kids and it quickly became our favorite getaway. With great restaurants, live bands on every street corner, bars that are open until 4am, amazing shopping on Broadway and of course dressing up and visiting the track six weeks during the summer- it’s easy to see why. Back then, the men would spend the day at golfing at Saratoga Spa State Golf Course while the girls had mineral water baths and massages at the Roosevelt Baths and Spa. Then we would meet up for a margarita and some appetizers at Cantina before heading out for our dinner reservations at Prime at Saratoga National and a night dancing away down Caroline Street to live music at every bar.
While we still definitely partake in these epic R&R weekends, now our time here involves more family friendly activities and Saratoga has plenty of them! Here is a list of our favorite places to visit and things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY with toddlers:
Saratoga Childrens Museum - This museum is one of Lilladu’s top choices to visit with kids! Even on the weekends it’s not too full and provides entertainment for toddlers of all ages. Inside features fun make-believe rooms with a grocery store, bank, trolley and more!
Splash Pad in the Park – Visit East Side Recreation Park on Lake Avenue for free fun in the sun including a jogging track, basketball courts, tennis courts, a shaded playground and a splash pad! Visit West Side Recreation Park on Division Street for a smaller park that has many of the same features as well as a sand box.
Congress Park Fun - Congress Park is a great place to grab a quick bite to eat on Broadway (their Main Street) and then sit for a picnic. Watch the ducks while they swim in the pond and after enjoy a fun ride on their historic wooden carousel that is open every day during the summer. Lilladu Tip: Right across the street is Ben and Jerry’s in case you want to finish with some yummy treats.
Bowling at the Strike Zone – Bowling has never been this fun! Not only is this bowling alley kid-friendly, it also features a bumper cars area, an arcade, kid climbing area with a slide and more!
Swimming at Peerless Pool in Saratoga State Park – Looking to cool off? Visit Peerless Pool and for a few dollars, spend the day having fun in the sun! There is an Olympic-size pool, a kiddie pool with a mushroom fountain to run under as well as great water slides! Saratoga State Park where these pools are located is a great park for walking, biking and hiking so pack some food and make a fun day of it! Here during the winter? This is a great place to take toddlers sledding down some of the slopes on the golf course. Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are also very popular as well.
Seeing live shows at the SPAC - Saratoga Performing Arts Center is an amazing outdoor auditorium featuring today’s headliners, jazz festivals, New York City Ballets, and children’s concerts. This year Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Dave Matthews Band and more will be there. Visit their site for a full list of shows.
Girls Nail Day – Enjoy getting manicures and pedicures with your littles at Glitter Nail Bar (our littles had a great time here - they even gave them tiaras to wear too!). Complete with drinks, appetizers, props and more, they cater to women of all ages, though we recommend ages 2+.
Saratoga Racetrack - Don’t think twice about bringing your kids to the track! This family-friendly environment encourages little ones with a playground on site and the ability to bring tables, chairs, full coolers of food and drinks - whatever will make your crew happy that day. Bring the kids trackside to see the horses race up close and the winners circle too! Lilladu Tip: During race season, bring your family to the track on Mondays for fun kid friendly activity including watching the horses train before breakfast.
Visit the Library - Their library has an awesome children’s area we take our kids almost every trip. Great books and a wonderful play room.
Need more excuses to visit Saratoga Springs? Here are some of our additional favorites:
- Only an hour for Lake George, so take the ferry or rent a boat and go boating around the lake for the day.
- An hour from Gore Mountain which has great skiing during the winter and awesome events all summer long too. West Mountain Ski Area is also a fun, smaller ski location only 20 minutes from Saratoga.
- Browns Beach in town is a great place to get your kids in the water beachside.
- Rent a boat and stay lake side around Saratoga Lake for the day with your family!
- Kids Corner at the Wilton Mall is a wonderful climbing, bounce house and arcade for when kids have a little extra energy to burn.
- Saratoga Automobile Museum is a fun museum for any car enthusiast.
- While there are plenty of places for real golf, the kids may enjoy Saratoga Mini Golf the best!
- For older kids, The Fun Spot is just down the road in Queensbury and features mini-golf, go-karts, skating, laser tag and more.
- The National Museum of Dance is features all sorts of interesting information about dancing, costumes as well as provides real studios too.
- TreePaad Fun Center is close by in Malta with a laser maze, bounce areas, rock climbing and so much more fun that your family of littles will surely enjoy no matter the age.
- Six Flags Great Escape Lodge and Indoor Park is very close by too and can provide great fun with a simple day pass. Here during the summer time? Forget the indoor park and visit their huge amusement park and Splashwater Kingdom!
- Mountain Ridge Adventures is only 30 minutes away from Saratoga and features a treetop challenge course and ziplining.
- Ellms Family Farm is a great find especially for the fall with pumpkins, corn mazes, tractor rides and even a cider shed.
- The Little Gym of Saratoga is a nationwide chain and if you are a member, you can jump in for a class! They also have some open play times as well that your little will definitely enjoy!
- We Rock the Spectrum is a nurturing environment that is fun for learning, exploring and fun for all sensory experiences!
- Have an art enthusiast? Take them to the Candle Collective! Better for school aged children, the Candle Collective lets you create your own candles! Great fun activity everyone will enjoy and you get to take your creation home with you!
- Great for all ages, check out Saratoga Clay Arts Center! It’s a wonderful, hands-on activity that can be enjoyed any time of the year.
Traveling soon with your toddler or baby? See our tips to make it easier when traveling with toddlers and babies.