One Day Get-Aways

Many options for a nearby summer adventure

BY ERIN MAHER

The current state of the economy has shown a movement of cost cutting and dabbling in low-cost luxuries in order to maintain financial stability.

A new trend that has become popular in recent years is the “staycation,” which is the practice of forgoing expensive destination vacations and staying home, while enjoying amusements and attractions only an hour or two away.

If you are a “staycationer” this summer, or looking for local day trips, never fear! Rockland County is close to plenty of places to visit for the day to enjoy.

The following are eight different out-of-county one-day get-aways that are sure to please.

1. Rye Playland Park – Located in Westchester County, Playland amusement park is home to the Dragon Coaster, an 80-year old wooden roller coaster deemed a landmark coaster by the American Coaster Enthusiast in 2009. With fifteen adult thrill rides, and a whole “KiddyLand” designated for the little ones, Playland’s “Have Fun Today” motto is attainable for any Rockland County Resident. In addition to the park, Playland’s ammentities include a pool and beach on the Long Island Sound. For more information on Playland, visit www.ryeplayland.org or call (914) 831-7010.

2. Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway – With over 5,300 slot machines and a horse track, Empire City is Westchester’s premier place for those that are feeling lucky! In addition to the variety of slot machines, there’s dining, a horse track, and plenty of live entertainment including comedy as well as a summer concert series. For directions and information, visit, www.empirecitycasino.com or call 914-968-4200.

3. SplashDown Beach – Looking to cool down? Head to Fishkill, where SplashDown Beach, America’s Biggest Little Water Park resides. This waterpark boasts plenty of fun water-filled attractions to frolick in on even the hottest days. Just last year, the park welcomed a Bob the Builder Splash Park with over 50 interactive features for tots. If relaxation is what you are looking for, float down the lazy river. Brave the Bullet Bowl four stories high and be in for a wild ride! Tickets are thirty dollars for adults, twenty six for children. Visit www.splashdownbeach.com or call (845) 897-9600.

4. Westchester Broadway Theatre – For the price of a ticket to a Broadway show, you can get dinner and a show all conveniently located in central Westchester. From now until August, the dinner theater is hosting the beloved classic, The Music Man. In addition to regularly scheduled shows, the theater also hosts special events and concerts. Featured this summer includes doo wop concerts, cover bands, and comedy specials. There are matinee performances every Thursday and Sunday. For tickets, call (914) 592-222 or visit www.broadwaytheatre.com

5. The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk – Sitting along the Sound of Long Island in Connecticut is the Maritime Aquarium. There’s plenty of sea life to see and fun fish facts to discover at the aquarium. From now until Labor Day, the aquarium is hosting a special exhibit, featuring the an 8-foot white albino alligator! Touch tanks, meerkats, an imax theater and many other children’s activities are offered daily. Aquarium passes begin at 10.50 for children and 13.95 for adults. To buy tickets or for more information, visit maritimeaquarium.org or call 203-852-0700.

6. Warwick Drive-in Theater – Summer blockbusters are a super way to spend a summer evening, but even better when you can watch while seated under the stars! Just north in Orange County, the Warwick Drive-In Theater, in Warwick, NY has multiple screens for plenty of flicks to entertain your family and friends. Built in 1950, this theater shows films daily, including this summer’s hottest hits. For tickets or show information, visit www.warwickdrivein.com or call (845) 986-4440.

7. Brotherhood Winery – Established in 1839, America’s oldest winery sits on one hundred acres in Washingtonville, NY! Tours, tastings, special events, and restaurants are offered right on premise and offer a vast and varied wine selection to satiate any palette. For information of the winery and upcoming events, visit www.brother-hoodwinery.com or call (845) 496-3661.

8. Calf Pasture Beach – In Norwalk, Connecticut, Calk Pasture Beach resides on the coast of the Long Island Sound. This beach boasts plenty of different things to keep the kids entertained this summer. Basketball courts, volleyball courts, a skate park, boat rentals, a pavilion and picnic area are all on site next to the beach of course. Parking passes for nonresidents are $20. For more information, visit www.norwalkct.org or call (203) 854-7725.