Travel

Rocking Horse Ranch: Year-Round Family Fun in the Hudson Valley

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Little ones enjoy "pony" rides on Rocking Horse Ranch's gentlest horses. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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Families play tennis at Rocking Horse Ranch. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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Families enjoy a nine-hole mini golf course. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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Fly high on the bungee jumpers. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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Kids can pretend they're on "American Ninja Warrior" at the indoor pool. Credits: Jackie Lieberman
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HIGHLAND, NY — If your kids get bored easily, Rocking Horse Ranch is up to the challenge.

Just a one-and-a-half hour drive from Millburn/Short Hills, the all-inclusive offers year-round horseback riding (“pony” rides for the little ones) on well-trained horses, a small indoor water park, an arcade with mini bowling, ping pong and a BB gun rifle range. In the winter, there’s snow tubing, snowboarding, skiing, skating and horse-drawn sleighs. In warmer weather, there’s a heated outdoor pool with a slide, bungee trampolines, hayrides and campfires, paddle boats, banana boats, fishing, tennis, shuffle board, a nine-hole mini golf course and more, all on picturesque grounds surrounded by tree-covered mountains.

For an additional cost, there are also water-skiing lessons and a spa. (Drop your kids at the camp while you head to your massage.)

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The nightly entertainment is family-friendly, if a bit hokey. There’s live music and DJ parties, too. Throughout the day, the staff leads activities like trivia contests, karaoke, yoga classes and scavenger hunts.  

The sheer amount food, included with your stay, will make you think you’re on a cruise — buffet breakfasts and lunches and table service at night. Coffee, pastries and popcorn are available all the time. Food at the bars and alcoholic drinks cost extra, but even some drinks are free during the afternoon happy hour, when the staff rolls out another buffet covered in appetizers.

None of this comes cheaply, and some will tell you you’ll get a better deal at other resorts. But the all-day, all-weather family fun (not to mention the savings in airfare) mean you get what you pay for. Learn more at www.rockinghorseranch.com

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