Rocking Horse Ranch is located at 600 U.S. 44 Highland, NY 12528, (GPS users should use: 13 Pancake Hollow Road, Highland, NY). Last week my family and I were able to get away and visit Rocking Horse Ranch, a sprawling family resort in Hudson Valley, for a couple days. It makes a short trip (less than 2 hours) from our home in North Jersey. When I asked my friends if they knew about Rocking Horse, the range of answers were “I was there when I was a kid 30 years ago!” to “Never heard of it” and “My friends go every year”. What a great place!!!! Very pleased with it and was excited to write this blog post about it. I understand why they need minimal advertising because this is a great “word-of-mouth” gem. This ranch offers a lot, including horseback riding, water features, along with many diverse outdoor and indoor attractions. Overall we loved it, there was so much to do and we have lots of pictures to share from our trip. Here are some highlights:
Indoor Water Play
The big draw for my kids is the indoor water park, with a twisty water slide that even my four-year-old girl enjoyed. There were 2 sections, one was the general pool that was mostly shallow ranging from 2 ft. 6 inch depth to 4 ft. at the deep end. There was a big sprinkler/bucket thing in the middle.
Most of the kids we saw hanging out there that were little wore the complimentary life jackets. The second section was alot of fun, with the bigger twisty water slide shown in the first picture, and a nice section for the little ones, that had 3 smaller slides, and less than a foot deep sprinkler type of area. Most of my friends in NJ are very familiar with The Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos, (Amy did a review about it here) and I haven’t been there, but from what I hear Rocking Horse has a smaller version of the water park. You can check out the grand tour here on our video (includes a lot of the fun outdoor stuff too!):
The Fun Barn was great, it had a small net to play badminton, ping pong tables, along with the standard jungle gym and small bounce house. It even had a treadwall (think rock climbing constantly). Also you can grab a few tennis rackets to go outside and play with friends/family, or just use the handball court to play against the wall.
Since it was still winter weather we were not able to enjoy the outdoor summer activities, but luckily they still had snow and we were able to take advantage of snow tubing and skiing. What we loved about the winter sports was there was absolutely no line. The kids were able to go over and over again.
You could also mini-golf, play tennis, or shuffleboard. In the summertime they have an outdoor pool with slides, as well as paddle boats. Oh and right by the fun barn is the outdoor rock wall and the bungee jumping, lots of bouncing, great for the kids.
Although my oldest was allowed to horseback ride, (ages 7y and up) he wasn’t keen on the idea so we didn’t take advantage of horseback riding. So since we were outnumbered by kids I was not able to check out the true highlight of Rocking Horse Ranch. However my daughter (4yo) was able to enjoy a pony ride, and she loved it.
We also took advantage of the horse wagon rides which was nice for a scenic view of the forest. The guides and the staff in general were very nice.
Well we always have to check out the playground, it’s in our blood. The kids loved the merry go round and it was a great place for the kids to meet new friends. There was also a small sandbox there with some buckets to play with. We met a very nice family there too.
Breakfast and lunch is buffet-style with plenty of options, and if you need something special you can ask your server. Your meals are included with the price. Very casual, but you do have to plan for a 5:30pm or 7:30pm seating for dinner. Also we got to sit with some other nice families for each meal since the tables are for 10+. They accommodated changes to the menu for my picky eater. He wanted grilled cheese, not grilled and got it. There is also a nice bar section that gives you free popcorn and it overlooks the “living room type area” where alot of activities take place including Bingo, and trivia contests. Also they have a TV room and a coffee area right next to it with “to-go” cups so you can bring coffee back to the room or outside.
The room was cozy and the kids loved the bunk beds. It was perfect for our family of 5.
There is an activities listing scheduled for each day. We did bingo, and made sure we got to the bungee jumping. There is a rifle range too. Plenty of stuff to keep you busy. We didn’t venture to the Saloon, but heard that there is great entertainment at night, but our kids were on the tired side so we opted to sleep early. The Rocking Horse Ranch always has activities going on, but in our family our kids definitely have their preferences so we don’t get to always do everything we want. :)
Yes they have them! The kids didn’t go since we weren’t there for long, but maybe next time we will try them out and we can update our review.
There are no day passes available, so you need to plan an overnight visit. (Rates range from $129-$250/adult/night depending on the special with kids ranging from $0-79/night). Check out their latest deals here.