Fall Family Trip: UnPlugging at Rocking Horse Ranch


As the temperature drops and the holidays approach us, quality family time is something many of us seek. Whether it’s cozy game nights inside or a fall or winter family trip- this time of year does a great job of reminding us to unplug and enjoy our time together. As part of our Local Getaways series, we had the chance to visit Rocking Horse Ranch with our own little family of four to see everything there is to do during the colder months.

Located in Highland New York, Rocking Horse Ranch is only 1 1/2 hours from the Bronx- perfect for a weekend getaway.

Initially we had planned to try to visit RHR in the summer since they have lots of outdoor activities, including swimming and waterslides- but as we pulled up to the resort I was so happy we had the opportunity to see it in the fall. The changing leaves, the farm animals, and all of the fun fall activities were perfect for a fall weekend.




Although check in wasn’t until around 4, we arrived a few hours early, since included with our stay was a choice of vouchers for two nearby orchards. We chose the 1/2 bushel of apples from Wilklow Orchards, which was only five minutes away. By the time we were done climbing the hills and picking our apples, we had received the call that our room was ready so we headed back to check in.

Upon check in we were given a print out of the day’s activities as well as the next day, a map of the resort, and waivers for horseback riding. For each night you stay, dinner and then the next day’s breakfast and lunch are included. We made reservations at the restaurant for when we’d like to come for dinner, and decided which activities to register for.




We headed to the room to drop off our stuff, and the girls were struck with excitement over their bunkbeds for the night. The room also had two Queen sized beds, perfect for a family with additional children or to bring a cousin or relative along.



There was a cozy area off of the lobby that quickly became our gathering area as we decided on the next activity. It was so warm and cozy feeling, but as you looked to your left through the glass windows you could see children splashing around in the indoor pool and water area. The girls decided this would be their first stop.



I hung around the small play area with Gia while my oldest Briana went back and forth from the pool to the big waterslide. Luis headed over to the archery building before it closed, and we planned to meet at the room in an hour or so. Some parents were in their bathing suits and enjoying the water, but I liked that with the small size of the indoor waterpark I was able to just hang out while the kids had fun.



With an hour left until our dinner reservations, we headed over to the fun barn to let the kids let out some energy. The fun barn had a bouncy house, ping pong tables, a badminton station, rock climbing, and a ball area similar to what we’ve been to at Billy Bees. Luis and I played badminton while Gia bounced away in the bouncy house and Briana enjoyed the ball pit area. We made plans to return for some family ping pong before we headed to eat dinner at the Longhorn Dining Room.




We were given a table number, which would become our table for breakfast and lunch the next day too. We each had our choice of soup or salad, an appetizer, and an entree. Briana went with the RHR Cheeseburger and fries, Gia opted for chicken tenders, and myself and Luis went with the steak. On the other side of the dining room was a large dessert buffet with lots of sweets to choose from. A drink station with juices and sodas was available, or parents could enjoy a cocktail or beer for a small cost.

We had plans of taking the short hayride over to the bonfire after dinner to roast some marshmallows, so we finished up our food and headed to the hayride. We enjoyed the live music around the bonfire while the kids roasted a marshmallow or two and then jumped back on the hayride back to the resort. On the hayride we were reminded of the magic show at 9 pm, so we headed inside.



Downstairs in the Silverado Saloon, we were greeted with a DJ and fun music for the kids as the awaited the arrival of the magician. Kids danced around, some in their pjs- until the magic began. Many parents enjoyed a drink from the bar as the kids sat front and center to see the show.

The kids loved the show as they eagerly raised their hands each time to be brought up on stage. Briana was called up at one point for one of the acts. As the show ended the girls were exhausted and headed upstairs to change into their pjs.

We passed some families having fun with karaoke in The Hunt Room- kids on the couches as what looked like extended families laughed along or joined in on the fun.

Normally the hubby and I would have stayed up a bit later and enjoyed a drink to ourselves while the kids dreamed away, but we were both so tired we just enjoyed the comfortable beds and hoped to sleep in a bit before breakfast.




We took our time waking up, let the girls enjoy a bubble bath and then headed down to the dining room for breakfast. Breakfast was completely buffet style, so we served ourselves from an arrange of fruits, pastries, eggs, bacon, sausage, and other options.

It was a beautiful day so we headed outside after breakfast for some outdoor activities as a family.


Then before lunch was the trail ride Briana had signed up for. We played baseball with Gia and let her play in the nearby park while Briana enjoyed some independence on her first long ride without us. She did great, and came back, tipped her helmet, and said howdy partner.




Unlike many other resorts, trail rides are unlimited at RHR- so many families sign up for as many slots as they can during their stay. There were rides for different experience levels, so it was great for Briana to be with other beginners like herself.

We then headed inside for lunch, happy with our time spent but sad it was already coming to an end. We sat at our same table again and headed to the buffet.




During lunch Billy the horse stopped by to say hi to the kids and take photos. It was a great way to end our time at Rocking Horse Ranch and enjoy one last meal together.

IMG_20151019_091908871What We Thought

Overall we had a really great time packed into our stay at RHR. While some of the activities were basic fun things you can do locally, it was great to have so many activities in one place for families to enjoy together mixed in with things you can’t do just anywhere. With today’s technology we have to be reminded to unplug and enjoy time together as a family, and RHR does just that. It felt like we were at camp with our kids- enjoying the activities that made them laugh and smile, which made us just as happy. As we overheard one child tell her mom on our hayride after the bonfire, “this is the best night ever!”

It’s obvious that Rocking Horse Ranch is a great place to visit during all seasons, but we are so glad we experienced it in the fall. The nearby apple picking, the bonfire, the horse rides- it really was a special weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you’re thinking about staying during the fall, check out RHR’s special Fall Deals here. To see what activities are available during summer and winter, visit www.rockinghorseranch.com




Thanks to Rocking Horse Ranch for having us for a stay to facilitate this post. As always, all opinions are our own.



  1. This place looks fantastic! Love how they went all out with theme and inspires family bonding.


  2. I am blown away by the amount of fun your family had! Definitely adding this to my family’s bucket list!


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