Rocking Rockland County

Right over the Tappan Zee Bridge, an adventure awaits. That is, you can grab legit craft beer, a solid burger and maybe take in some bowling, arcade games and a ropes course, all in a day’s time.

This morning, we threw the kids in the car, drove less than an hour and first landed at District 96 Beer Factory in New City, New York. From there, it was just another 10 minute drive to the Palisades Center. Read on for deets.

A Really Good Yet Really Kid Friendly Brewery

In Summer 2017, what was once just a burger restaurant also became a small batch craft brewery: the locally loved Burger Loft restaurant expanded to open District 96 Beer Factory on site.

When you walk in, the space is made up of two connected rooms: on the right is the more upscale, newer and more adult (but still welcoming of kids) brewery, and on the left is the extremely casual, restaurant/pub, the Burger Loft. You can order any of the District 96 beers at the Burger Loft and any of the Burger Loft food on the District 96 brewery side. Win win.

With four kids in our group, we opted to sit on the Burger Loft side. Virtually every table there had kids at it. The food menu consists of typical pub food - all kinds of burgers, salads, fries etc. It’s definitely tasty but don’t just come here for the eats. No, if you’re coming, you’re coming for their extremely solid craft beer menu that’s served in an extremely casual and kid friendly setting, along with some tasty pub eats.

As for that brew, their American Pale Ale, Silent Majority, was a crowd favorite at our table, as was their IPA, Sexual Relations - most of their beers have quirky political references for names. On our visit, they also had some Oktoberfest seasonal additions and an 8.7% ABV pumpkin beer on the menu.

Then Reward Your Kids With a Visit to the Palisades Mall

Less than 10 minutes from the Brewery (and about 25 minute from Greenwich!) is the GIANT Palisades Center in West Nyack. It’s an older mall with fairly standard mall stores, but for kids of all ages, this place is a dream come true.

On one side of the mall is a giant Ferris wheel. On the other side of the mall is a carousel. And that’s just getting started.

Also on the ground floor, we saw a Billy Beez kids play cube, an arts and crafts center and OMG Entertainment virtual reality simulators.

Head up next to the top floor and you’ll find the tallest indoor ropes course in the world. The Palisades Climb Adventure is an 85 foot high climbing and  zip lining course that meanders its way from the mall’s 4th floor down to the ground floor.

Suitable for anyone 48” or taller (there are weight restrictions and other warnings), the ropes course costs $22.99 a person to do.  If your child does not make the height minimum, know that kids above 42” can do it with a guardian or, if you’re too scared to join them, with a ropes course attendant.

If you have really little ones or scaredy-cats in your family, for $8.99, they can visit the baby ropes course that only goes about 2 feet above ground. My two kids did this one - the older child found it easy and may just be tall enough and brave enough for the big course next visit; the younger one was petrified, even while wearing the safety harness. Sigh.

If that isn’t enough stimulation, the 4th floor is also home to a Lucky Strike bowling alley, a Dave & Buster’s and an ice skating rink. We opted for D&B on this visit, since my older one is an arcade obsessive (ugh- at least it has a bar). Next time, I vote bowling!

We ended the day back on the ground floor with some mall ice cream and pretzels for the kiddies - and, of course, as we were leaving, the little one was in tears because she slipped on a napkin.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. Sigh.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished. Sigh.

All and all, a fun, easy way to spend a chilly Saturday indoors and a day that offers some highlights (and possibly low-lights) for any age group. I think we’ll be back again once the weather gets hella cold and gloomy this winter. Maybe I’ll even be my older one’s “guardian” on the ropes course next time!