16 Rare And Wonderful Experiences In New York

Ever wondered what makes New York so irresistibly unique? It’s not just the skyscrapers or the bustling streets; it’s also the one-of-a-kind festivals and theme parks that turn every visit into a story worth telling.

From the literary streets of Brooklyn to the extraterrestrial vibes of Pine Bush, New York serves up a collection of experiences that are as diverse as they are delightful.

Strap in and get ready for a rollercoaster ride, here are 16 rare and wonderful adventures the Empire State has to offer.

1. Brooklyn Book Festival

Visiting New York in fall? You won’t want to miss the Brooklyn Book Festival, held in late September. This literary smorgasbord features renowned authors, engaging panel discussions, and colorful live performances.

Brooklyn Book Festival
Navdeep Singh Dhillon Bikes it to the Brooklyn Book Festival to sign up for the Paris Review and see Salman Rushdie interview Tishani Joshi, Marlon James, Dennis Lehane, Bernice McFadden, Jenny Han, Kirsten Miller, and Sara Shepard.” by navdeeptheglobetrotter is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Strolling through the festival, you can admire thousands of books on display and attend diverse events, all set in Brooklyn’s vibrant MetroTech Commons.

Be sure to mark your calendar for Children’s Day, taking place on September 22, 2024.

Don’t just take our word for it! One pleased attendee on Reddit wrote: “It was fantastic! So many great authors and books. I’m definitely coming back next year.”

It’s a love letter to bookworms like you, right in the heart of Brooklyn.

2. Hudson Valley Garlic Festival

Attending the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival is a unique experience for all garlic lovers! You’ll enjoy an exciting celebration filled with a variety of garlic-flavored treats and activities.

The festival takes place at the Cantine Memorial Complex in Saugerties, NY, and is usually held on the last weekend of September.

On your visit, you’ll be amazed by the assortment of garlic-infused dishes, from savory entrees to unusual desserts like garlic ice cream!

Apart from the culinary delights, indulge in some garlic shopping where you can find different types of garlic to grow in your own garden.

3. French Festival in Cape Vincent

Each year, Cape Vincent hosts a lively French Festival to celebrate its rich French heritage.

Imagine strolling along the quaint streets, soaking in the festive atmosphere, and delighting in an abundance of French-inspired activities.

During this event, immerse yourself in a weekend brimming with arts and crafts, a variety of entertainment, and savory cuisine.

One attendee recommends planning your visit around the annual French Festival to experience the unique charm of Cape Vincent.

Held in July, the festival draws crowds with its lively parade, authentic French music, and fireworks display.

4. Naples Grape Festival

Escape to the Naples Grape Festival in the stunning Finger Lakes region for a weekend of fun and laughter.

Naples Grape Festival
Naples Grape Festival – 20210926 – 05” by Andre Carrotflower is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Held in late September every year, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country, experiencing one of the best festivals in the area.

At the festival, you get to savor the unique taste of locally-made grape foods, and admire arts and crafts that celebrate the grape harvest.

As you’re meandering through the festival, don’t miss the grape-stomping contest, which adds a touch of whimsy to this delightful event.

5. Riverhead Mosaic Street Painting Festival

Every Memorial Day Weekend, your artistic side can come alive in Riverhead, New York. The Riverhead Mosaic Street Painting Festival offers you an opportunity to indulge in a colorful and vibrant community event.

Gather with fellow art enthusiasts along East Main Street, as it transforms into a massive canvas of chalk art. Show off your artistic abilities, or simply admire the creative wonders others have to share.

Discover the perfect blend of music and dance as you immerse yourself in this celebration of the arts with fellow community members.

Whether you’re a budding artist or a casual spectator, there’s always something magical to experience at the Riverhead Mosaic Street Painting Festival.

6. Narrowsburg Honey Bee Fest

At the Narrowsburg Honey Bee Fest, you’ll find an un-bee-lievable experience!

Held annually in Narrowsburg, New York, this family-friendly festival is perfect for appreciating nature’s little pollinators.

The fest is usually celebrated in September. The event promotes awareness, demonstration, and education about the declining honey bee population.

One attendee mentioned in a YouTube comment: “Such a fun, informative festival! Made some new buzzing friends.”

Share in a sweet day with activities, vendors, and don’t forget to dress up like a bee.

7. UFO Festival & Parade in Pine Bush

Located in the heart of Pine Bush, NY, the Pine Bush UFO Fair offers you a galactic experience like no other.

Happening on the first Saturday in June, the town transforms into a fun-packed, extraterrestrial scene.

Walking down Main Street, you’ll encounter parades, costumes, and UFO-themed attractions. Immerse yourself in the whimsical atmosphere as you stroll among the over 120 vendors offering unique souvenirs, tasty treats, and interactive experiences.

Don’t miss the opportunity to feel like you’re part of the show, just as fans claim that it’s “the ONLY Street Fair Event where YOU can be part of the show”.

So mark your calendar for June 1, 2024 and get ready for a close encounter with Pine Bush’s UFO Festival and Parade!

8. Rosendale Pickle Festival

Indulge your taste buds at the Rosendale International Pickle Festival in New Paltz, New York. Happening on Sunday, October 20, 2024 at Ulster County Fairgrounds, here’s what to expect:

With over 100 vendors, your palate will be delighted by an incredible selection of pickled delights. From traditional dill pickles to exotic pickled fruits, you’ll find it all here.

Besides pleasing your pickle cravings, expect amazing foods, crafts, and various fun activities for all ages.

And join a lively crowd celebrating the love of all things pickled!

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to taste the finest pickled foods and experience a one-of-a-kind New York festival.

9. Rye Playland Park

Step back in time and experience the charm of Rye Playland Park, a historic amusement park situated along the Long Island Sound in New York. Built in 1928, it features a variety of exciting attractions that cater to visitors of all ages.

Rye Playland Park
Rye Playland Park” by Roller Coaster Philosophy is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

The 280-acre park boasts an array of vintage rides such as the classic 1929 Dragon Coaster and several others predating 1930.

Besides the thrilling rides, you can also enjoy picnic areas, restaurants, ice-skating rinks, swimming pools, and two beaches.

Don’t just take our word for it – one visitor even mentioned it’s “a great place to spend a day with family or friends.”

10. Seabreeze Amusement Park

Located in Rochester, Seabreeze Amusement Park offers you an enchanting experience like no other.

Seabreeze Amusement Park
Jack Rabbit Shot Seabreeze Amusement Park Credit Visit Rochester” by US Embassy Canada is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Perched on the scenic bluffs overlooking Lake Ontario, this historic park has been operating since 1879! Thrill Rides like the Windstarz, Jack Rabbit, and wooden carousel are waiting to welcome you and your family.

Step into a world where history meets amusement with Seabreeze’s unique blend of classic and modern experiences. One TripAdvisor review exclaims, “The park is a perfect mix of nostalgia and excitement for all ages.”

As you stroll the midway, indulge in delicious food and games that will keep you entertained for hours.

And remember, no visit to the park is complete without an exciting journey aboard the park’s oldest continuously operating roller coaster, the Jack Rabbit.

11. Santa’s Workshop

At the Santa’s Workshop in North Pole, NY, you’ll find a magical Christmas-themed park perfect for the whole family.

This enchanting location offers you the chance to step into a real-life winter wonderland filled with rides, shows, and shopping experiences.

You can even meet Santa’s real reindeer while visiting the park! With over 74 years of operation, Santa’s Workshop has created unforgettable memories for countless children.

Visitors have described their experiences as “absolutely magical”. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit Santa’s Workshop at North Pole, NY for a delightful and unique New York experience.

12. Sylvan Beach Amusement Park

At the Sylvan Beach Amusement Park, you’ll step into a world of family entertainment. This friendly amusement park offers unlimited rides for a fantastic price!

Sylvan-Beach-NY-2016-0903” by DASonnenfeld is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

You’ll find yourself surrounded by Midway Rides, Arcade Games, Delicious Foods, Water Rides, and Mini Golf. A TripAdvisor review states that it’s “a small, family-run park with that nostalgic feel.”

While there, enjoy their antique teacup ride and be sure to snap a picture for lasting memories. The Sylvan Beach Amusement Park Facebook page keeps their loyal visitors updated on upcoming events and discounts.

13. The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom

At The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom, you’ll find a wonderful combination of theme park and water park. This popular spot boasts over 125 rides, shows, and attractions in six themed areas.

Whether you’re looking to cool off in the water park or seeking adrenaline-pumping roller coasters, there’s something for everyone.

You might even get a chance to ride Adirondack Outlaw, the 165-foot-tall pendulum ride added in 2021. And prepare to be delighted by a brand new family wooden coaster called The Bobcat coming in 2024.

14. Lake George Expedition Park

At Lake George Expedition Park, you’ll experience adventure, discovery, and excitement for all ages. This park is home to the thrilling Dino Roar Valley and enchanting Magic Forest.

Dino Roar Valley takes you back 65 million years to a world of dinosaurs, while Magic Forest offers heartwarming attractions and family-friendly fun.

One TripAdvisor review describes the park,

A nice place to visit! The dinosaurs are life size and it is clean and cool with the tree canopy. I had four under the age of 8 and they all enjoyed it! They had several vintage rides that were well kept and the kids loved them! Staff were all friendly and helpful!!

So, treat yourself and your family to a day full of rare and wonderful experiences at Lake George Expedition Park.

15. Kids N’ Action

Planning a family day? Kids N’ Action is the place you’ve been looking for! This Brooklyn-based entertainment center has it all, from arcade games to jungle gyms, roller coasters, and train rides.

A fun-tastic destination for children of all ages! Don’t just take our word for it, check out this review on Yelp:

My kids loved this place, the play area (jungle gym) is pretty big, bumper cars are free, also love the nostalgia of tokens and tickets, pizza was good to compared other kids places, much better than house of fun on kings highway or land of fun on shore parkway, all of the workers were very nice.

At Kids N’ Action, there’s no end to the wonderful experiences awaiting your little ones. Explore the 22-foot tall softplay structure, offering four levels of playground excitement.

So why wait? Plan your visit to Kids N’ Action today and create unforgettable memories with your family!

16. Enchanted Forest Water Safari

The Enchanted Forest Water Safari offers a unique and wonderful experience to visitors with more than 50 rides and attractions.

Enchanted Forest Water Safari
Image” by MattCC716 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo may have been modified, resized, or cropped from original.

Located in Old Forge, New York, this water theme park boasts 32 heated outdoor water rides nestled in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains.

You’ll be amazed by the variety of attractions, perfect for both thrill-seekers and families, ensuring a memorable experience for everyone. While there, marvel at guests’ experiences, from those who’ve been visiting the park for 50 years to first-time explorers.

One visitor shared in a TripAdvisor review they visit Enchanted Forest Water Safari every year, attesting to its appeal and charm:

I went every year as a kid, took my wife and children for the first time. Everyone had so much fun, we plan on making it an annual trip.

Don’t miss out on this exhilarating adventure waiting for you in upstate New York.

16 Rare And Wonderful Experiences In New York: A Recap

In the heart of New York, a world of unique festivals and theme parks awaits.

From the literary streets of the Brooklyn Book Festival to the whimsical realms of Santa’s Workshop, each event offers a distinct flavor of New York’s diverse culture.

Whether it’s savoring garlic-infused treats at the Hudson Valley Garlic Festival, marveling at street art in Riverhead, or exploring the nostalgic rides of Seabreeze Amusement Park, there’s an experience for every taste and age.

Ready to dive into the fun? Grab your calendar, jot down some dates, and let’s make some memories in the Big Apple.

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