Beacon, NY makes for a very solid day trip from pretty much anywhere in the Tri-State Area. From our house, it was about an hour drive. There’s also a Metro North stop right in town. The main reason to go to Beacon (besides strolling its quaint downtown area) is Dia:Beacon, a beautiful contemporary art museum overlooking the Hudson River. The museum is made up of fairly large spaces and it contains a bunch of fairly large scale pieces - factors that make Dia:Beacon a fairly appealing place for child sized guests, at least as far as art museums go.
Big and Bold
Dia:Beacon is housed inside a former Nabisco box printing factory. It is a large 300,000 square foot industrial space with plenty of room for children to move about and for parents to stroll a baby. At a bare minimum, your kids will enjoy the free space in which to roam.
As a contemporary art museum highlighting works from 1960 to present day, Dia:Beacon features many multimedia installations and large scale sculptures. No, your kid will not be able to go around touching everything like he can in a children’s museum; but the average little one will be far more excited to see Louise Bourgeois’ Crouching Spider or Dan Flavin’s many neon works on view at Dia than a painting from the 1600s. (I admit I’d rather see Dan Flavin’s work than most anything from the 1600s - I mean look at this!)
On the second Saturday of every month from 10:30am until noon, Dia:Beacon hosts Saturday Studio, a free monthly workshop of art and playtime designed for kids age 5 and up. The events take place inside the Learning Lab and sign up is first come, first serve, beginning at 10am that day in the admissions area.
Dia:Beacon is open Friday through Monday from 11am to 4pm in January, February and March, Thursday through Monday from 11am to 6pm in April through October and Thursday through Monday from 11am to 4pm in November and December.
The museum is located at 3 Beekman Street. Note the Metro North stop is right outside of Dia:Beacon. Admission is $15 per person age 12 and over. Students and seniors are $12. The museum’s sister spot, Dia:Chelsea, is located on West 22nd Street in Manhattan.
Another Don’t Miss in Beacon
A four minute drive from Dia:Beacon is Hudson Valley Brewery, one of the premier (you guessed it) Hudson Valley brewers, known for its delicious sour beers and (IMHO) gorgeous can designs. Stop by pre- or post-museum for a cold one. And if you also come hungry, see the brewery’s schedule for pop up kitchens, happening most every day the tasting room is open.
The Hudson Valley Brewery tasting room is open Thursday and Friday from 5pm to 10pm, Saturday from 2pm to 10pm and Sunday from 2pm to 8pm. If you arrived in Beacon via Metro North, catch the town’s free shuttle, The Beacon Free Loop, which runs every half an hour near the station and will drop you right by the brewery at stop #5.