Somehow I’ve lived in New York’s Hudson Valley for my entire life and have never been to Storm King Art Center (a 500-acre sculpture park)—well, at least until I added it to this summer’s bucket list and took the girls a couple of weeks ago.
It’s easy to put on blinders when it comes to noticing the beauty of a place you’ve lived in since forever. It all kind of fades into a low hum in the background. But Storm King Center uses the rolling hills and the mountainous backdrop as part of the art. You can’t help but notice how breathtakingly beautiful this place is.
One of the first things we saw when we stepped out of the parking lot and onto the grounds was Lynda Benglis’ Pink Ladies. As you can probably guess, the girls were won over right there on the spot. The vibrant pink popped out against all the greenery surrounding it and my little pink loving ladies were in awe. That wide-eyed enthusiasm only grew when they realized that they could run like wildlings from piece to piece without fear of me yelling “Stay where I can see you!”
While we wandered around it was hilarious to watch the girls’ personalities shine through. Samantha carried a map of the grounds and was the Type-A, no-nonsense planner. She kept to her path, knowing where she wanted to go and what she wanted to do, dragging the rest of us along for the ride.
Ellie, on the other hand, is the starry-eyed wanderer who has to stop and smell all of the “flowlers” and maybe even pick a few. She’s distracted by tall grass swaying in the breeze and is likely to break out into a mad run, shrieking and dancing around in the sunshine.
One girl kept us moving, the other made sure we stopped to enjoy the teensiest details. The perfect little match, if you ask me.
One of the things I’m glad Samantha insisted on was the tram ride. I was a little hesitant at first. The thought of being stuck on a tram with two kids for a half hour loses all of it’s appeal when you wonder if they might get bored. Luckily there is so much to see they didn’t even consider it an option.
The tram loops around the grounds, allowing you to experience much more than you’d be able to while wandering around with kids (if I told you how much sweat poured off me from carrying Ellie up and down hills that day, you’d probably hit that little x at the top of this page and never come back).
The girls were constantly ooooohing and ahhhhing as we passed new things and Samantha loved that there was an audio tour that told us little facts about the place and the pieces we were passing.
I think my favorite exhibit is the enormous Three Legged Buddha. It’s absolutely enormous and so. freaking. cool. As you can see, the girls had fun with it too.
We also really liked the “Peach Pit.” It was one of the few exhibits that visitors can touch and actually sit in, which was perfect for the girls. They climbed inside and nestled in together before using some of the slab as their own personal stage. As you can imagine, that went over really, really well.
Kids or no kids, I totally encourage you to check out Storm King Art Center if you find yourself in the Hudson Valley—it’s also a doable day trip from NYC!