Fifteen Macaroni KID publishers, coming from Seattle to New York City, gathered in July in the Sullivan Catskills. If you haven't been, the Sullivan Catskills is a gorgeous part of the country that is also the site of the world's most famous music festival — Woodstock.
Our publishers spent three days exploring the Sullivan Catskills by foot, car, and raft! We had an amazing stay at the Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark, a beautiful resort that is also home to the largest indoor water park in New York state!
Here are just a few of the highlights from our trip to the Sullivan Catskills:
Macaroni KID publishers were hosted for the purposes of writing reviews. All opinions are their own.
3 amazing things you can only do in the Sullivan Catskills:
Learn about Woodstock at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
A trip to Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music & Arts Fair, is nothing short of unforgettable. The natural amphitheater, which hosted 450,000 fans to see the most prolific 3-day festival in history, is preserved and takes you back in time. The adjacent museum and its fascinating docents fill in the details of the legendary story, and they have a terrific interactive booklet giveaway for kids to engage with and learn about the history.
AND you can still experience live music there! The Pavilion at Bethel Woods hosts a full calendar of concerts at their spacious outdoor amphitheater! Upcoming iconic performances include Darius Rucker, Santana, and The Beach Boys. And they also have kid-focused concerts like a singalong Encanto film concert. Plus they have incredible teen and kids arts programs that would pair perfectly with a family summer getaway, and don't miss their Peace, Love & Pumpkins Halloween experience during leaf-peeping season in October.
—Meredith Kurnov, publisher of Macaroni KID Brooklyn NW
Raft the Delaware River
There's nothing better on a warm summer day than floating down a gorgeous river with non-stop picture-perfect scenery. Add in a stop along the trip for a picnic lunch and some friends or family, and you've got a trip that will provide a lifetime of memories.
We visited Lander's River Trips for our five-mile rafting adventure on the Delaware River. After being briefed on safety information, and getting our life vests and paddles, we pushed off the shore into the crystal clear water. We saw incredible sights of bald eagles and collected shells from the water for our kids back home, we also stopped halfway along the journey for a swim in the cool water.
—Jestine Mayes, publisher of Macaroni KID Johnstown - Laurel Highlands - Altoona
Explore the Dove Trail
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famous Woodstock Festival, Sullivan Catskills installed the Sullivan Catskills Dove Trail, where more than 50 doves were added across the area at resorts, fun attractions, local businesses, and in cute villages and towns. Each dove is hand-painted and decorated by a locally commissioned artist and is a permanent resident of where they're located. The doves are all so different and unique in the artwork but all tie together so nicely to link the community and these fantastic local businesses together.
Be sure to get a physical copy of the map or find one online. It's a fun thing for kids to keep an eye out for as you drive through town and check out all of the local fun.
—Kat Dinsmore, publisher of Macaroni KID Harrisburg & West Shore, Pa.
3 great places to stay in the Sullivan Catskills:
Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark
The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark was so incredibly family-friendly. It's home to New York state's largest indoor waterpark. It was very clean and the glass ceiling let in beautiful natural light. I particularly loved the lazy river — the current really pushed you along!
But the waterpark isn't the only kid-friendly attraction here: There are also nightly movies, a bowling alley, arcade, yard games, firepits (with s'mores!), and a ropes course. There is even a candy shop, along with eight bars and eateries. Seriously: The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark is heaven for families!
Our room was spacious and comfortable, with plenty of room to stretch out. Most definitely a place I'd choose again!
—Kara Murphy, publisher of Macaroni KID Erie, Pa.
Read more about Macaroni KID's stay at the Kartrite:
Villa Roma Resort
If the Catskills makes you think of the movie Dirty Dancing or the show The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, you might want to consider the Villa Roma Resort. We toured this wonderful resort, which features activities ranging from skiing, snow tubing, bowling, and an indoor pool and spa in the winter, to outdoor pools, bounce park, ziplining, horseback riding and bumper boats in the summer. Plus it offers an all-inclusive package, making the Villa Roma Resort the perfect all-seasons getaway in the Catskills.
Villa Roma is offering 10% off to Macaroni KID readers. Get the deal now!
Pack up your tent and camper and head on over to Lander's River Trips, which offers eight different riverside locations to launch rafts, canoes, and kayaks along with three riverside campgrounds. The pet-friendly, family-owned campsite is located on the Delaware River.
—Jenna Martin, publisher of Macaroni KID Shelbyville, Ind.
Other notable favorite experiences in the Sullivan Catskills from our publishers:
Dinner at Albella Restaurant
When you’re in the Sullivan Catskills, head to Albella Pizzeria & Restaurant for an unforgettable dinner. I highly recommend their homemade bread, Chicken Martini, and almond cake. Their portions are huge and their servers are so kind!
—Jamie Zagar, publisher of Macaroni KID Cleveland East
A visit to Bindy Woods
Our day at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts culminated in a short walk through the area known as the Bindy Bazaar, a marketplace and trail system that acted as the heart of Woodstock, connecting two major areas of festival grounds. This area is currently being preserved by a series of archaeological digs that are turning up some incredible finds. On our visit, an activation (the term Bethel Woods uses for any live experience they are able to “activate” on the property) of art and music was happening at an area of the trails now being referred to as The Node.
As a grand finale to our tour, being able to experience the golden hour in this magical spot where so much history took place gave me goosebumps. Words just won’t do it justice, you truly have to go experience Bethel Woods Center for the Arts yourself!
—Amanda Janke, publisher of Macaroni KID West Morris, N.J.
Playing at the Resorts World Catskills Casino
While there's lots of family fun to be had, there's also adults-only fun too! The Resorts World Catskills is just a short jaunt from the Kartrite and its 100,000-square foot casino has 1,600 slot machines, more than 150 live table games, sports betting, and more! Definitely a good time.
—Annmarie Mitchell, publisher of Macaroni KID Gig Harbor-Fox Island-Key Peninsula, Wash.
Meeting the people of the Sullivan Catskills
Many of the people I talked to were passionate about the area. I was pleased to speak with Mr. Rick Landers of Lander's River Trips. He shared that his dad started their business in 1955, and it is still family-owned. Villa Roma Resort was purchased in 1969, and generations of families are still returning. At Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, the tour guides were happy to share their love of Woodstock and the area with us. Of course, it takes someplace unique to evoke the love these locals spoke with, but the Sullivan Catskills are extraordinary.
—Kayla Hawley, publisher of Macaroni KID North Huntingdon, Pa.
John, one of our tour guides at the Museum at Bethel Woods, was at Woodstock in 1969. Read more about John from Macaroni KID South Hills, Pa., publisher Emily Papa.
Thanks so much to the Sullivan Catskills Visitors Association and their partners for the incredible hospitality they offered Macaroni KID during our visit to your beautiful and unique area! Want to plan your own visit? Request a free Sullivan Catskills travel guide today!