When I started to research some things I wanted to do with the kids on our trip up to the Catskills, I found that the places recommended were only open on weekends – and our stay was mostly during the week. We didn’t get to check out the Empire State Railway Museum, but we arrived in the area with just enough time to visit Scandinavian Grace, a cafe and shop filled with vintage and Scandinavian finds. This is right up our alley, so of course we needed to shop a bit and grab an iced americano here, even though it was close to dinner time.
We spent most of our time letting the kids just run around outdoors. Since we have limited outdoor space in our rental property at home, the surrounding woods and bank of the creek were the only entertainment our kids needed. Esopus Creek is beautiful, but has a really strong current! This is whitewater, not a lazy river situation! I read about this before we went, so we weren’t really disappointed that we couldn’t go tubing, which is a big summer attraction in Phoenicia. Luckily, the decent sized swimming hole located right behind our cabin was perfect for dipping in and feeling little fish nibble at our feet. We even saw a bald eagle catching fish right where we were swimming, which was absolutely incredible! One of the mornings we took a short drive over to Kaaterskill Falls and took a family-friendly hike on the more accessible paths. The view of the falls from the lookout was so beautiful and we came home with pockets full of tiny pinecones.
We planned ahead for most of our meals because of the limited fridge and cooler space – and we just wanted to be able to cook as much as possible outdoors because our kids can’t get enough of a campfire. After the kids went to bed, Jon and I made popcorn over the fire and cozied up with Kentucky Mules. The temperature dropped as it got later, and I could have stayed out there all night listening to the crickets and owls, with the sound of the water flowing in the background.
Of course we had to stop into the Phoenicia Diner for breakfast one morning – it has pretty rave internet reviews and the food was definitely much better than an average diner. We took a little stroll and did some window shopping in Woodstock, and got some ice cream for the kids – “rainbow flavor,” Owen’s favorite.
Even though we had a pretty eventful trip and packed it into a short amount of time, my absolute favorite thing about this trip were the quiet moments at the beginning of the day. The kids woke us up early and played with each other while we enjoyed coffee with the breeze blowing through the curtains. It was such a special time and I can’t wait to go back again!