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Things to do in Schenectady New York with Kids

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If you are looking for things to do in Schenectady New York with kids then this is the list for you. This beautiful area has much to do and see and is a perfect place to visit on a family vacation. This list of Things to do in Schenectady New York with Kids will help make your planning so much easier.

Things to do in Schenectady New York with Kids

Visiting Schenectady New York with Kids

We recently took a trip to Schenectady to explore all that there is to do. On our list was to find the fun things that kids will enjoy in this excellent place to visit. We live in the Poconos Mountains and for us, it was just a short drive away. The trip took us about 3 hours driving to get to Schenectady NY from our house.

We spent our time exploring from waking up until bedtime each day. While there was more that we could have done and seen it was the perfect place to visit for a weekend trip for us. There are activities that the whole family will enjoy. From indoor fun to outdoor adventures Schenectady New York was a great place to visit for me and the kids. Kids of all ages will love taking a trip to Schenectady. There are beautiful scenic views, outdoor fun, museums, and history to explore and enjoy.

We stayed at the Double Tree in downtown Schenectady. It was the perfect location for easy travel to everything that was on our list of things to do on our trip.

If you are a homeschooling family like we are then you can combine a fun trip with an educational trip with the variety of attractions in the area there are plenty of fun activities for the whole family.

Things to do in Schenectady New York with Kids

Where is Schenectady New York?

The city of Schenectady is located in upstate New York. It is located in Schenectady County and is situated approximately 15 miles northwest of Albany, the capital of New York. Schenectady is located along the banks of the Mohawk River and is part of the Mohawk Valley region.

Is Schenectady worth visiting?

Yes, Schenectady is definitely worth visiting! The city offers a variety of attractions and activities that are sure to appeal to a wide range of visitors. Here are a few reasons why Schenectady is worth a visit:

  1. Rich history. Schenectady has a long and fascinating history, dating back to the early Native American settlements and the Dutch colonial period. Visitors can explore the city’s many historic sites, museums, and neighborhoods to learn about its past and get a sense of its unique character and charm.
  2. Cultural attractions. Schenectady is home to a variety of cultural attractions, including theaters, art galleries, and music venues. Visitors can enjoy a performance at the Proctors Theater or the Schenectady Civic Players, or explore the city’s many art galleries and museums.
  3. Natural beauty. Schenectady is located in the heart of the beautiful Mohawk Valley and offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. You can hike or bike on the many trails in the area, or enjoy a picnic in one of the city’s many parks.
  4. Family-friendly activities. Schenectady offers a variety of family-friendly activities, including the Via Aquarium, Central Park Rose Garden, and the Museum of Innovation and Science. These attractions are perfect for families with children and offer a fun and educational way to explore the city.
indian statue in Schenectady New York

Things to do In Schenectady New York with Kids

There are so many things to do when you are visiting. There is plenty for everyone in the family to enjoy the trip. From outdoor adventures to history and indoor fun and more. We had a blast exploring and I know your family will have a ton of fun too.

hiking the trails - Things to do in Schenectady New York with Kids

Hike the trails in Schenectady New York

There are a lot of easy to hike trails in the area. We visited a few of them that were all easy to walk. The older kids could have done harder areas but with Hannah being only 5 years old we stuck to ones that she would be able to do as well.

  • Moccasin Kill Sanctuary. The sanctuary offers several hiking trails, which range in difficulty from easy to moderate. The trails are well-maintained and provide opportunities for visitors to observe a variety of plants and wildlife. Along the trails, visitors may see wildflowers, ferns, and various species of birds and mammals. Moccasin Kill Sanctuary is open to the public from dawn to dusk, and there is no admission fee
  • Plotterkill. The Plotterkill Preserve is a popular hiking destination located in Schenectady County, New York. The main attraction of the preserve is the Plotterkill hiking trail. This trail offers an easy and scenic hike through a forested gorge. This hike was easy for everyone of the kids to do it without having to much struggle.
Via Aquarium in Schenectady New York

Via Aquarium

Located Inside the ViaPort Rotterdam mall is the Via Aquarium. This indoor aquarium features a variety of marine life, including sharks, stingrays, and jellyfish. The aquarium has several exhibits, including a shark tank, stingray touch tank, and a jellyfish exhibit. Other exhibits showcase colorful fish from coral reefs, eels, and other species of sea creatures. My kids enjoyed the interactive experiences, such as feeding the fish and getting up close with sea creatures.

MiSci Museum in Schenectady New York

MiSci Science Museum

The Museum of Innovation and Science is an interactive museum that offers hands-on exhibits and experiences for children. Exhibits include a planetarium, a butterfly house, a model train exhibit and more. The miSci has a variety of hands-on exhibits for visitors of all ages. The interactive exhibits cover topics such as energy, weather, geology, and the human body.

One of the main attractions of miSci is the Challenger Learning Center. It offers simulated space missions for students and the general public. During the missions, participants work together to solve problems and complete tasks as they would in a real-life space mission.

child playing at a park in Schenectady New York

Parks to visit in Schenectady New York

There are plenty of parks through out the area and the kids no matter how old will enjoy playing on the swings and going down the slides. Yes, even the teens who will say they are told old for a park will get in on the fun once they get there.

  • Central Park. It is a popular destination for families. The park offers a variety of recreational activities, including playgrounds, picnic areas, tennis courts, and a large splash pad. There is also a small lake where visitors can rent paddle boats or take a stroll along the waterfront.
  • Central Park Rose Garden. This is a beautiful garden located in Central Park in Schenectady, New York. It is a popular destination for visitors looking to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. It is especially popular during the summer months when the roses are in full bloom.The Rose Garden features more than 4,000 roses of various colors and varieties. It is divided into several sections that showcase different types of roses. You can take a leisurely stroll through the garden and admire the beauty of the flowers, or relax on one of the many benches scattered throughout the garden.

Schenectady county historical society museum

This museum is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history and culture of Schenectady County. The museum is housed in the former Schenectady Trust Company building. It was built in 1930 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits and displays, including artifacts, photographs, and documents that help to tell the story of the region’s rich history.

Walk thru the Historic Neighborhoods

We like to add in some education along with our fun when exploring places. For us exploring the historic neighborhoods was the perfect thing for us to do after visiting the Schenectady history museum. There are a few different historic neighborhoods that are perfect for exploring.

  1. Stockade Historic District. The Stockade Historic District is the oldest neighborhood in Schenectady and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The neighborhood features a variety of beautiful historic homes, many of which date back to the 18th century. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll down the tree-lined streets and admire the architecture and historic charm of the area.
  2. Union Street Historic District. The Union Street Historic District is a beautiful neighborhood located just west of downtown Schenectady. The district features a variety of historic homes and buildings. Many of them date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries. Visitors can take a walk down Union Street and explore the unique architecture and beautiful landscaping of the area.
  3. GE Realty Plot. The GE Realty Plot is a historic neighborhood located just south of downtown Schenectady. The neighborhood was developed in the early 20th century by General Electric and features a variety of beautiful homes and landscaped gardens. Visitors can take a stroll through the neighborhood and admire the unique architecture and beautiful green spaces of the area.

Van Gogh Experience

While this is only in town for a short while and making its tour around the country I highly recommend it. If when you are visiting Schenectady be sure to add it as a must see while you are there if you can. If you see this in an area you are visiting while the Van Gogh is making its tour be sure to make a visit.

The Van Gogh Experience is an immersive art exhibit that showcases the works of the famous Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh in a unique and interactive way. The exhibit features over 300 works of art, including many of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings, such as “Starry Night” and “Sunflowers.”. The in-depth look at art and life of Vincent Van Gogh is fascinating and a great fun and educational stop to make with the kids.

Where to eat good food in Schenectady New York

While we couldn’t visit every place there is to eat in town we stopped at a few places and they all had great food. All of the staff at the places we ate were also super friendly and helpful when they found out we were visiting from out of town with suggestions as to things we should do and see while we were in the area.

Peter Pause Restaurant

The menu at Peter Pause Restaurant features a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options, including omelets, pancakes, burgers, sandwiches, and more. The portions are generous, and the prices are affordable, making it a great option for a casual meal with friends or family. We went here for breakfast and it was the perfect breakfast spot and a great way for us to start our day.


Druther’s is known for its signature burger, the “Druther’s Burger,” which features a hand-pressed patty made from locally sourced beef, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a special sauce. The restaurant also offers a variety of other burgers, such as the “Bourbon Burger” with bourbon-glazed onions and blue cheese, and the “Veggie Burger” made with a house-made vegetable patty.

Stewarts Shops

Stewart’s Shops is a chain of convenience stores located throughout upstate New York, and they are known for their delicious ice cream. They offer a wide range of flavors, including classic flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, as well as unique flavors like cookie dough, pumpkin pie, and maple walnut. You can choose their favorite ice cream flavor and then add toppings like hot fudge, caramel sauce, whipped cream, sprinkles, and more. It was the perfect stop for a sweet treat.

Villa Italia Bakery

This family-owned Italian bakery has been a local favorite since it first opened its doors in 1965. Currently has become a beloved destination for those seeking delicious treats. They offer a wide range of Italian-style baked goods, including bread, pastries, cakes, and cookies. 

Places to Visit In New York State with Kids

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