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NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

5 posts
NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

Hello,

This weekend we're driving from home in Jersey City (basically NYC) north on I-89 to northern Vermont near Lake Champlain. Have never done the trip before, and with two kids under 3, we're hoping to be fore-armed with stopping places if needed (though we'll forge ahead as much as possible to minimize car time). Hoping for recs on family-friendly restaurants, parks, or playgrounds that wouldn't be too out-of-the-way, nicer rest stops vs. ones to avoid, that sort of thing. Thanks so much for your input!

Albany, NY
Level Contributor
1,203 posts
10 reviews
1. Re: NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

There is a great playground just north of Albany off of Exit 4 of 87 (Northway) called The Crossings of Colonie on Albany Shaker Road.

Saratoga Springs has a Children's Museum geared at Little ones if you are looking for an indoor activity. It also had a working Carousel I the park. Both are on downtown Saratoga, which is maybe 5-10 minutes off the Northway.

5 posts
2. Re: NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

Thank you! Yes, I meant I-87, not I-89.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
19 posts
464 reviews
3. Re: NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

If you are driving North to Vermont, for a change of scenery on the way back, you may want to use the ferry that crosses Champlain to go from the Vermont side to the NY side. There are several locations along Champlain on both sides were the Ferry service is available.

When on the NY side and on the drive south on the Adirondack Northway, you could stop at Fort Ticonderoga.They usually have events for children during the summer. If you are farther north there is the Wild Center in Tupper Lake, NY.

Further south is Lake George. It will probably be crazy busy (as it always is in the summer) but there is plenty to do. Mini-golf, Fort William Henry and then there is always the iconic trip on Lake George on the Minnie-Ha-Ha - a steam boat paddle ship that has been on Lake George for decades.

You can make your final stop in Saratoga Springs for a quick walk downtown for ice cream or a ride on the carousel in the Park and then head back to NJ.

It's a big loop with plenty to do. Upstate NY is great.

5 posts
4. Re: NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

Thank you for turning me on to all of these destinations. We'll have to plan another trip sometime to explore them! This time, with the kids so little, I'm more looking for info about the drive up and down I-87... If there are better or worse rest areas, or a special restaurant to aim for. It's over 6 hours drive time as is, so anything extra will probably add undue stress. I understand we may just need to wing it! Thanks again for your ideas.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
19 posts
464 reviews
5. Re: NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

Hi Tovah, I89 is in Vermont. I87 is in NY. I87 can take you to I89. Northern Vermont is very rural and beautiful so you might need to look for smaller summer festivals in the smaller towns. I think there may be more family activities on the western (NY) side of Champlain near I87.

You've picked a great time of year to explore Vermont. You'll have a great time. Have a wonderful trip!

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
19 posts
464 reviews
6. Re: NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

Hello again,

One final thought, you may want to check out the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes, VT. We stopped there 1 evening for dinner. Seemed to be very kid friendly. It may be a nice place to stop for the day.

Albany, NY
Level Contributor
1,203 posts
10 reviews
7. Re: NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

87 north of Albany is no longer a toll road, so does not have rest areas with restaurants and services (although there are one or two with bathrooms, I believe). While there are McDonalds off of almost every exit between Albany and Lake George (with a couple exceptions!), the ones at exit 9 (Clifton Park) and exit 15 (Saratoga Springs) have Play Places. Clifton Park at Exit 9 has just about every chain restaurant you can imagine, from Cracker Barrel to Panera. Exit 15 also has a lot of chain stores. For more of a local Saratoga favorite, Hatties Fried chicken, a bit farther down route 50 to the right off of exit 15, is a counter/take out location of a more famous restaurant in downtown Saratoga Springs. No playplace, but great fried chicken!

Where are you crossing into Vermont? If you are crossing by way of the Crown Point Bridge, please note that between 87 and Vermont your choices for places to stop and eat become fewer and farther between. Likewise if you are getting off in Queensbury and heading up the east side of Lake Champlain. So, you might want to plan to make your stops before then.

8. Re: NYC to Northern VT on I-89 with little kids

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