Inexpensive Family Vacations

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    As the summer is approaching and the need to vacation is on, I’d like to get some ideas for family vacation. In todays economy I’d like it to be as inexpensive as possible.

    When giving ideas only give those that you or someone you know did. Include the city and state, attractions, accomodation, sleep, food, Minyan (if there was) and what age children would enjoy it. If you recall the approx. amount the vacation cost that would be helpful.


    Bubby. Would include a name and address but would violate YWN rules of engagement 🙂


    Bubby would not be considered a vacation since my kids visit their grandparents and great grandparents on a weekly basis.

    By inexpensive – I’d like to keep it down to less than $1000 – that includes everything accomodations, attractions, food…

    Example last year I took my kids to Lancaster PA for 3 days. I believe we spent around $500 – $700. It was a fantastic trip.

    I was thinking maybe Williamsburg VA – anyone has any ideas, info, help on that.


    Wow. $1000 is very little. Did you ever do a time share visit? It might cut down the cost of your vacation tremendously, but might waste a whole day.

    Pashuteh Yid

    Boston, MA is great and has tons of historical sites and all kinds of museums and whaling tours. It also has the top universities and they have exhibits and museums of their own. You may try the MIT museum for hands on activities with your kids.

    There are a number of frum shuls in the Brookline/Brighton areas (2 miles from Boston/Cambridge) and some kosher restaurants and pizza places.

    For accomodations, you may try the Waltham area, which is about 6-7 miles from Brookline/Boston, but the hotels are much cheaper. If you are traveling during the week, it won’t matter, since you can drive to the shuls or restaurants in about 15 minutes. However, if you will be over Shabbos, then you don’t want to be in Waltham, and would be better off in Brookline of Brighton. Many families will be happy to have guests eat with them for Shabbos, and you can contact the YI of Brookline, and they will put out an email, or just show up in shul on Shabbos, and they always announce that there are willing hosts if anybody needs a place.

    There is a Holiday Inn close to the YI which has special room locks for frum people, but is quite expensive.


    Bubby is still the most inexpensive for my family 🙂

    For $500-$700 I might consider paying Bubby to keep the kids an extra week 🙂

    I. M. Here

    I don’t know how long you plan on going away for, but what about Newport, RI. I went there many years ago and it was very nice to tour Touro Synagogue, Breakers and other mansions, cliff walk at the water, I don’t recall it being extremely expensive, but it’s been a while since I’ve been there and I’m sure the prices have changed.


    When i went to Niagara falls it cost me about $1200 that’s including tickets ($300) so if you travel by car it should be pretty cheap. There are plenty of cheap hotels and there’s plenty to do in the falls area.We had a wonderful experience.


    Appreciate the response, keep it coming.

    jphone – as mentioned we visit our bubbys very often, and the point of this vacation is for the kids.

    We would like to go for a few days – from Sunday through Tues, Wed. and we’re dealing with kids ages 2 – 9 – so I’d like to keep the driving down to just a few hours. Niagara would be to many hours in the car.



    1) Lake George area:

    c) There are several outlet stores in the Lake George area.

    d) There has been a Price Chopper supermarket in Lake George that carries kosher products during the summer. There have also been minyonim in Lake George during the summer. Check ahead to ensure they will be there this summer, and to get details.

    2) Albany area: (about fifty miles south of Lake George)

    a) Museum of the State of New York. Several exhibits that adults and kids may find interesting, including a huge room filled with current and historical firetrucks, and an actual antique NYC subway car, complete with wax-figure passengers and conductor.

    c) There are several shopping malls in Albany.

    3) Other things to do nearby:

    a) Howe Caverns. About an hour or less west of Albany. Amazing natural cave deep underground. Many rock formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and an underground boat ride.

    You may want to find a motel centrally located so that you can set up your base there and make day-trips to the above attractions.

    A refrigerator and microwave are very important.

    Crest Hill Suites in Albany is very nice, but may be overly expensive (their prices vary) and/or unavailable.

    A Days Inn or the like is quite adequate as long as it has a fridge and Microwave.

    Have fun!


    ICOT, there are more than just a few outlet stores in the Lake George area, and the minyan is huge, (about 150 at the end of last summer) there are minyanim on Shabbos at the travelodge.

    Cape Cod, Mass

    I know there is a minyan in Onset. Try googling.




    Thank you for the info.

    There is a Shabbos minyan with laining and everything at a Lake George motel all summer?


    I’m not sure about the entire summer, but definitely closer to the end. You can call the travelodge for more info, (on shabbos the minyan is there, during the week its in a tent not too far) they have a website and they’ll give you a number of the rav. If you end up staying there (its pretty central) mention the minyan and you can get a discount on your stay.

    There is also something available in Saratoga Springs (about a half hour away) with minyanim, kosher food, and possibly a mikvah. Keep in mind that rates go up several hundred dollars for hotel stay in August because of the races.

    good luck.



    who was that person who wanted an inexpensive chol hamoed trip and took her family to the car wash and went through- without the car?

    or the person who went to NY, to JFK airport and went on the train within the airport and went round… and round… and round… and round…. Getty dizzy?


    is the country/bungalow colony these days considered an expensive vacation for the summer or not?!


    Jax: To me it would be considered expensive since I don’t live in the city and where I live we have grass, trees, playgrounds and pools. So going to the country would only make sense if I go to a place that serves food – and that would be quite expensive for my family. Most probably $1500 – $2000 for a week.


    isher: oh i see! i actually just asked someone how much the bungalow costs, & i heard it’s around $3,000- $5000 for a full summer! so if your sending kids to camp too, might be little costy!


    A small group of us is looking for Memorial Day trip ideas.

    The adults have to be back at work Tuesday morning, so more than 3 – 4 hours travel (each way) from NYC is out.

    The kids who would be coming on the trip are under 10 years old.

    Boston (which we’re considering) is probably on the outer limits of our travel range.

    We would drive out either motzei Shabbos or Sunday morning and return Monday evening.

    We aren’t necessarily looking for a busy, event-filled day, just a nice trip. As an example, Philadelphia was a nice trip destination recently, with the Liberty Bell, Federal Hall, the Franklin Institute and a kosher restaurant where we had lunch.

    Any suggestions for destinations as well as motel, shul and kosher food info would be appreciated.

    Thank you!


    No real info, but two suggestions to throw out.

    1. Newport, RI

    2. Mystic, CT (I’ve heard there are attractions there. Dont really remember what exactly right now) I searched on mapquest NY, NY to Mystic, CT and it turned up as 2 hrs, 45 minutes. (not really sure how reliable the timing is, you would probably know better than me)

    A few minutes invested in calling different hotels and getting some basic info which usually they wont mind sharing with you (if you’re a group, ask if theres any place in the are that will give you a better rate) and about local entertainment. Ask about state parks, where you can rent a boat, (have a picnic lunch?) which are have a family friendly budget.



    Newport RI. Besides the historical parts to it, there’s one hotel there which overlooks the ocean and is beautiful. You can also go on. a beautiful cruise there.


    I’m not from the NY area but when we visited a few summers back we took a drive to Washington DC. If I recall it’s not too far from baltimore where there is a large frum community. The attractions in DC are mostly museums, but they are all FREE, so your costs would be limited to hotel stay, gas and food. I’m sure on the way there or back there a few more attractions you can experience.


    Hey, if you’re in LA, why not go camping to Sequoia and Yosemite. Sorry, don’t know about the minyans there.


    We went to DC for a few weekdays last summer and we had a GREAT time!

    We stayed at the Georgetown Suites, which has one bedroom with a door (not all suite hotels have doors on the bedroom), a large living/dining room with couches, a pullout bed and a table and chairs, and a kitchen with a full-size fridge and microwave. I don’t remember where we found the best deal – try all the travel sites and contact the hotel directly. We brought way too much food, including cooked noodles, pouches of tuna, cheese, rice cakes, drinks, La Bruite meals, frozen dinners (eggplant parmesan, etc – Tuv Taam and others make double-wrapped meals that can be nuked), etc.

    My husband davened at Kesher Israel (aka the Georgetown Synagogue), which was a quick walk.

    Our itinerary:

    Arlington National Cemetery and the Women in the Military museum onsite

    Night boat ride on the Potomac

    Spy Museum

    National Archives (we spent MUCH longer there than we thought possible!!!)

    Various Smithsonian museums

    Walk around the National Mall

    Most of the attractions were free. There was a nominal parking charge at Arlington and the boat ride and Spy Museum were expensive but worth it.

    We went to Arlington first, before getting to the hotel, then we parked our car at the hotel and took mass transit to get around. You can buy Metro SmartTrip cards at CVS – you will need one card per person.

    d a

    My family went to Highland Park in Woodridge, NY for Shavous+Shabbos. We had a fabulous time! We got two bungalows that were big, comfortable and clean! We brought up our own food (the bungalows have a fridge, counters, sinks, stove, oven, cabinets and tables and chairs, couch) but they do have an option to get food from them.

    There were plenty of people and kids to play with. Bring up a couple of balls and you can play elimination the whole Shabbos! They have a number of basketball courts and hardball courts. They also have a big bike that seats a number of people (I think eight). Everyone really enjoyed themselves!

    Towards the summer the pool will be available (I think).

    From what I heard, the price was very good.

    You can reach them at 845-434-0102

    d a

    I forgot to say that there is a Shul on the campgrounds, a Shul down the road (about a 10 minute walk) and a Shul in Woodridge (about a 15 minute walk).

    Also in Woodridge, ther are many stores including Buy Rite and Pizza.


    kapusta, smartcookie, cherrybim, laguy, fabie, ChanieE, d a:

    Thank you for the info, suggestions and advice.

    The ideas were useful and I’m looking into some of your suggestions.


    If you are in NY try a “Staycation” where you stay in your own home but do touristy things in NYC. (There are a few you know)

    Or try a campground. OK you will have to bring your own food and cook it yourself but getting away from the city can be a lot of fun.

    Oh and bring a pair of binoculars and explore the night sky!


    I heard Tahoe is beautiful, but I assume there are some tzinius issues.

    tomim tihye

    fabie: If you’re makpid not to go where there are tznius issues, stay in your own house all summer!

    so right

    I hope no one is suggesting that one shouldn’t be makpid not to go where there are tznius issues…

    tomim tihye

    so right: With the exception of Bubby’s and a good bungalow colony/frum hotel, all of the above suggestions have tznius issues (which is why we don’t do any of them in the summer).

    so right

    B’H; it was a bit ambiguous, thanks. It’s an important factor to be cognizant of…


    Someone once spent a summer going through “Tur Orach Chaim”. After the summer, he was asked what he did the whole summer? He replied, “I went on a very exciting tour”. Which one? “Tur Orach Chaim” was his response.

    d a

    RagachoversAssistant, let us know how your tour goes at the end of the summer!!!

    tomim tihye

    Dos is takkeh a tour to remember!



    That’s a nice way to spend a day, or, several days.

    This past Chanuka we visited the American Museum of Natural History and the Hayden Planetarium, went to the observation deck of the Empire State Building, rode the Staten Island Ferry, explored Battery Park (there’s a “step on xylophone” in the park near the ferry terminal that the kids enjoyed), visited the NYC Transit Museum in Brooklyn, the Grand Army Plaza library branch and (last but not least) went to the Big Apple Circus.

    The kids balked at a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge (too cold and windy) and the Police Museum in lower Manhattan (too boring).

    There’s much, much more to do in the city, but this time people specifically wanted a trip vacation.

    A barbecue on a hibachi sounds like fun (and a bit of work for yours truly).

    My 7×35 binoculars aren’t much use for stargazing. I tried to watch an eclipse thru them once, but it was a waste of time. (I did “enjoy” the snide comments people exiting a nearby secular entertainment establishment made about binoculars’ uses.) The binoculars were quite useful on the ESB’s observation deck.


    This reminds me of an Uncle, whose wife sent him to the Yam (beach). When he came back his bathing suit was dry, so he responded he went to Yam HaTalmud.


    Been to Newport, RI. Excellent vacation!


    Any particular suggestions in Newport, RI? Attractions, hotels, minyan, food (in addition to the ones listed earlier in this thread)?



    I think the internet is your best bet as far as picking a hotel and what attractions to see (there are many and the scenery is breathtaking).

    The Touro Synagogue has minyan daily.

    Food; you probably need to bring your own stuff. Check out click kosher database to see if there is anything nearby.


    I was wondering if anyone had any tried and true suggestions …


    According to the Touro Shul’s website, :

    Q: Is there a Kosher market or restaurant in Newport?

    A: No.

    Weekday minyan times are given for July 1, 2010 – September 5, 2010. I’m inferring that there isn’t a daily minyan now.

    “For additional information please contact the Touro Synagogue Administrator, at 401-847-4794×10 or [email protected]


    Kosher Bed and Breakfast in Newport:


    Check on if theres a shul in the area.

    As far as food, when my family goes away its not for the food. The good stuff is at home. Going away means anything that can be put between two pieces of bread or can be eaten raw. Breakfast and lunch shouldn’t be a problem and since this is Memorial day weekend thats being spoken about, theres only one supper to consider.

    Keep us posted!

    (and of course enjoy whatever you decide)



    Thanks again to all those who took the time to post their recommendations, opinions and advice.

    We went to Newport, Rhode Island; driving up motzei Shabbos and returning on Monday.

    It was a nice, relaxing one-day-plus getaway and we all enjoyed it.

    Sites we went to:

    1) The Breakers.

    This is the largest and most famous of the Newport Mansions. The building occupies about an acre of land. The level of luxury is unbelievable, and the thought, planning and detail that went into the design are impressive. Just as an example, the bathtubs have four spigots: hot-and-cold freshwater and hot-and-cold saltwater. The rooms and halls are enormous but proportionate. The self-guided tour using the provided headphone-equipped audio devices is well worth the hour or so of your time it takes.

    Important notes: No strollers allowed. No indoor pictures allowed.

    2) The Touro Shul.

    Important notes: No indoor pictures allowed.

    3) The Cliff Walk.

    This is a scenic paved walking path along the top of the cliffs, portions of which are behind the mansions. The view of the water and the sailboats is fantastic. We brought along binoculars, which were put to good use. The walk itself is about 3.5 miles long.

    If you are considering going, keep in mind that motel costs can vary greatly, depending on the season.


    Thanks for the detailed report!


    Call someone you know in another city (driving distance) and ask them to ask someone there to trade houses with you for a few days. Prepare places for them to go in your city, and they should do the same.

    Hello Kitty

    Does anyone have any suggestions about the poconos? minyan, attractions and a place to stay shabbos?


    Does anyone have any suggestions about the poconos? minyan, attractions and a place to stay shabbos?

    Eeees and I stayed at Paradise Stream (one of the Caeser’s Poconos resorts). It was very nice — various activities available — and we had a room with our own private pool (not very large, but still private and ours).

    They make accommodations for kosher meals (you get the airline-style meals). It’s about a half hour away from Scranton as I recall. We had a great time and wouldn’t mind going back some day.

    The Wolf

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