Family Travel Question:

Q | Any suggestions for a three-day getaway from Long Island with two very young kids?

Any suggestions for a three-day getaway from Long Island with two very young kids (3 years and 6 months)? -Diana, NY

A | Northampton makes a great getaway from Long Island

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Admiring art at the Eric Carle MuseumNorthampton, Massachusetts makes a great getaway for families with young children. I speak from experience as we’ve stopped there many times as our kids have grown up on our way from Delaware to Vermont. This small city in the western part of the state is easy to get to from the New York metro area. Its location on the Connecticut River and an abundance of colleges and universities (there are five in the immediate area) mean that Northampton offers lots of outdoor and cultural activities and fun for kids of all ages.

If you’re there in the summer, be sure to plan a day at Look Park, which has a nice miniature golf course, bumper boats, a small railroad and zoo, and a water play area that’s perfect for little kids. Want to stretch your legs? Nearby Mount Tom offers easy hikes for little legs and there’s also the fantastic Norwottock Rail Trail that runs for 11 miles from the edge of the city out into the countryside (you can rent bikes and trailers in town or along the trail). Or if you prefer an indoor activity, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art not only showcases work by your children’s favorite authors but has a great studio space where little hands can get busy.

There are lots of fun shops and restaurants in downtown Northampton and the Smith College campus is great for a stroll. We’ve often stayed at the Country Inn and Suites (whose address is Holyoke but which is five-minutes from downtown Northampton). It’s great with little kids because they offer a free breakfast and the indoor pool isn’t that deep. And be sure to have breakfast at Sylvester’s one morning.

Photo courtesy of Mara Gorman.

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