Are you looking for an easy, all inclusive family vacation within driving distance from the New York Metro area? Rocking Horse Ranch is an easy weekend getaway from NYC. It’s located in Upstate New York, just an hour and half drive from NYC. It’s also an inclusive resort which makes Rocking Horse Ranch an easy family vacation.
The Rooms at Rocking Horse Ranch
Don’t expect luxury accommodations at Rocking Horse Ranch. The rooms and bathrooms at Rocking Horse Ranch are basic but clean. I’d compare the accommodations at Rocking Horse Ranch on par with Hilton Garden Inn or Courtyard by Marriott. Also, compared to the photos on the Rocking Horse Ranch website, the hotel itself is a small building. The photos on the Rocking Horse Ranch website make it look like a big sprawling resort but in reality, Rocking Horse Ranch is a small resort with one main lodge. Everything at Rocking Horse Ranch is steps away from your room which is perfect for families with small children. I recommend staying at the Main Lodge if you are there during winter so you don’t have to put on your coat to go to dinner and you are located in the same building as the pool. And if you are going with kids, definitely book the room with the bunk beds. Your kids will love it!
The Food at Rocking Horse Ranch
You will not go hungry during your family vacation at Rocking Horse Ranch. As an all inclusive resort you get four meals a day- breakfast, lunch, a happy hour reception and dinner. Plus there is an all day snack and coffee bar.
Breakfast at Rocking Horse Ranch
Breakfast at Rocking Horse Ranch is buffet style. There is a big buffet with your typical hot breakfast items like scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages as well as oatmeal, cereals, bread, and fruit. You can also order eggs from the kitchen. I ordered the eggs benedict from my server and it was delicious.
Lunch Buffet at Rocking Horse Ranch
Lunch at Rocking Horse Ranch is set up as a buffet. The buffet consists of a salad bar, hot food, pasta and dessert. It’s a very kid friendly buffet. I was happy with the assortment at the salad bar. I had pasta
Dinner at Rocking Horse Ranch
Dinner at Rocking Horse Ranch is different from lunch. Dinner is set up so that you order the appetizers and main course off the menu and then you get your dessert from the buffet. There is a wide variety of entrees to choose from in the dinner menu ranging from steak, fish, chicken, and vegetarian dishes. I started with mushroom soup and had eggplant parmigiana for my dinner. My six year old also had the mushroom soup to start and then pasta and chicken fingers as his entree. Salad was served family style. The service was amazing and our waiter was very attentive. I was impressed with how attentive and knowledgeable the waiter was when he heard of my son’s peanut/treenut
All Day Snack and Coffee Bar
You will definitely not go hungry at Rocking Horse Ranch. Aside from Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner, you can also visit their all-day snack and coffee bar for cookies, coffee, and hot cocoa all day. It’s nice to have this self-serve bar in case you need a snack in between meals.
There is also an afternoon Happy Hour at Rocking Horse Ranch. This is also included in your all inclusive room rate. There is a small buffet at afternoon happy hour featuring small bites like chips and guacamole, meatballs, cheese, fruits and fried mozzarella sticks. Plus there are complimentary drinks during happy hour, including alcoholic beverages.
Is Alcohol Included in the All Inclusive Room Rate at Rocking Horse Ranch?
Alcoholic beverages are not included in Rocking Horse Ranch all inclusive room rate. The only time you get alcoholic beverages for free is during the afternoon Happy Hour reception. Non-alcoholic beverages are included in the room rate during meal times.
How Many Meals are included in the All Inclusive Room Rate at Rocking Horse Ranch?
The all inclusive room rate at Rocking Horse Ranch comes with 4 meals a day- breakfast, lunch, a happy hour reception and dinner. Plus there is an all day snack and coffee bar.
Can I eat at Rocking Horse Ranch if I check in early or leave late?
If you check in early or leave late, you can buy extra meal vouchers at Rocking Horse Ranch.
Is Rocking Horse Ranch food allergy friendly?
Although they don’t explicitly say they are food allergy friendly, my experience at Rocking Horse Ranch with food allergies is positive. My server was very knowledgeable about my son’s nut allergy and served nut-free food during meals.
Things to Do at Rocking Horse Ranch
There are a lot of things to do during your Rocking Horse Ranch family vacation. The best part is its all included in your all inclusive room rate! You can go skiing (rentals and lessons are complimentary!), horse back riding, swimming, tubing and more!
Skiing at Rocking Horse Ranch
The main reason why we went to Rocking Horse Ranch in the first place was for the complimentary skiing! I thought it was such a great value to have the ski rental equipment and ski instruction all included in the all inclusive room rate. The ski hill at Rocking Horse Ranch was perfect for my 6 year old son, who was a first time skier. There was a rope tow for the small ski hill and a magic carpet to get up the larger ski hill. Both ski hills are perfect for beginners. My son started on the small ski hill then eventually progressed up to the larger ski hill. There were instructors on site teaching my son how to ski. The complimentary skiing made it worth staying at Rocking Horse Ranch!
Ski Rentals at Rocking Horse Ranch
Ski rentals at Rocking Horse Ranch is complimentary. Compared to the big ski resorts, the entire skiing experience was so easy at Rocking Horse Ranch. There was never a line when we picked up our ski equipment from the rental shop. The ski rental staff were very knowledgeable and helpful. Skiing at Rocking Horse Ranch was such a pleasant experience. None of the stress and long lines you’d expect at the big ski resorts. Another good thing about Rocking Horse Ranch is the ski rental shop is a few steps from the ski hill, which made it so easy especially with little kids. No lugging of ski equipment. It was nice not have to the deal with the usual struggle of carrying ski equipment with little kids.
Ski Instructors at Rocking Horse Ranch
Ski instruction at Rocking Horse Ranch is complimentary. At the ski area, we were greeted by the ski instructors who were ready to teach my son how to ski. The ski area at Rocking Horse Ranch is comprised of 2 bunny hills. There is a small bunny hill with a rope tow and a bigger bunny hill with a magic carpet. The level of difficulty of the bunny hills were perfect for my 6 year old who was on skis for the first time. The ski instructors helped my son get up the hill on the rope tow and guided my son down the bunny hill. The experience was like having a private one-on-one ski instructor for my son! After a few runs with the ski instructor, my son was ready to ski on his own. He eventually moved up to the big bunny hill and by the end of our trip, I was pleased that he was skiing on his own! If you have a first-time skier, I highly recommend going to Rocking Horse Ranch. It is such a pleasant experience from picking up the ski rental equipment to having ski instructors onsite. Plus the bunny hills are perfect for first timers! I wished I knew about the skiing at Rocking Horse Ranch back when my older daughter was learning to ski. I enrolled her in ski schools and private lessons at the big ski resorts! If only I knew about Rocking Horse Ranch, I would have saved hundreds of dollars on ski rentals and ski school plus I’d get an all inclusive family vacation out of it!
Does Rocking Horse Ranch make Snow for their Ski Hill?
Yes, Rocking Horse Ranch makes snow for their ski hill. You should call ahead before going to Rocking Horse Ranch to make sure the ski hills are open for skiing and snow tubing.
Tubing at Rocking Horse Ranch
Horse Drawn Carriage Rides
Horse Drawn carriage rides are included in the Rocking Horse Ranch all inclusive rate. My son and I went on the horse drawn carriage ride after he got tired of skiing. The pick up location for the horse drawn carriage ride is conveniently located next to the ski hill. The horse drawn carriage ride experience at Rocking Horse Ranch is similar to your typical hayride. My son loves it! Needless to say, we went multiple times!
Horseback Riding at Rocking Horse Ranch
Horseback Riding is a complimentary activity at Rocking Horse Ranch. Going on horseback at Rocking Horse Ranch is definitely one of the highlights of my stay. It was such a peaceful experience to go horseback riding in the snow-covered woods at Rocking Horse Ranch. The view was breathtaking (this is a bad picture but trust me on this). I’d go back to Rocking Horse Ranch just for the trail rides. When you go horseback riding at Rocking Horse Ranch, you will be able to choose the level of difficulty. They split the riders into 3 levels- beginners (walk), intermediate (trot) and advanced (canter).
Tip: You should make reservations for the trail rides when you arrive. You can go on standby (they do have open spots unless it is a busy weekend).
Stable Tour at Rocking Horse Ranch
They offer behind the scenes stable tour at Rocking Horse Ranch. I highly recommend the stable tour. It was very thorough and informative. And you will be impressed with Rocking Horse Ranch- they actually operate a ranch with 100 horses! When you go on the stable tour, don’t expect to see a stable full of horses. The horses spend the night at a different location and these tours are conducted late in the day when all the horses have left the premises. During our tour, there were a few horses left and my son enjoyed seeing and petting the horses.
Tip: Find out when they bring the horses to the other location, it is impressive to see one hundred horses make their way through the parking lot and across the street!
Don’t forget to visit the mini-farm at Rocking Horse Ranch. There was a mini-farm outside the stables with pigs, goats and cattles. There is even a camel, mini-donkeys and a zebra!
Nightly evening show is included in the all inclusive room rate at Rocking Horse Ranch. Every night features a different performer. We caught the evening show featuring David Darwin. My six year old was mesmerized when he ate fire and swallowed a sword. The show was perfect for families. Both kids and adults were entertained and had lots of good laughs. It was an engaging show with a lot of audience participation.
What is a family vacation without swimming? Fortunately, at Rocking Horse Ranch there is an indoor waterpark. Entry to the indoor waterpark is included in the Rocking Horse Ranch all inclusive resort fee. My son loved the indoor waterpark. However, don’t expect a big indoor waterpark. The size of the pool is your typical hotel-size indoor pool with a splash area and a big slide. It’s conveniently located in the main lodge, right next to the lobby.
Tip: I’d recommend staying in the main lodge instead of the Oklahoma building if you plan to use the indoor waterpark so you don’t have to walk outside in the cold after swimming.
There is also an arcade at Rocking Horse Ranch. The arcade is stocked with games and a small bowling alley. It was nice to take a break from swimming and skiing to play in the arcade do some mini-bowling.
Other Activities at Rocking Horse Ranch
There is a lot to do at Rocking Horse Ranch during your family vacation. We didn’t get the chance to do everything. There is a kids club which we didn’t try but they will babysit children newborn to age 12. There is also a shooting gallery with archery and BB Guns and there is an indoor play area with foam balls and bouncy castles.
How Far Is Rocking Horse Ranch from NYC?
Rocking Horse Ranch is an all inclusive resort in Upstate New York, just 1.5 hours from New York City. It is also an ideal weekend getaway for families from New Jersey and Connecticut. Rocking Horse Ranch is a little over an hour from New Jersey’s Bergen County. Rocking Horse Ranch is approximate an hour and a half from Greenwich, CT.
Closing Thoughts for Your Rocking Horse Ranch Vacation
If you are looking for a family friendly vacation, that is an easy drive from NYC, I’d recommend staying at Rocking Horse Ranch. The food is simple but tasty and very kid-friendly. The rooms are not luxurious but they are clean. The room configurations are very family friendly, especially the rooms with bunk beds. There are many family friendly activities at Rocking Horse Ranch, making it so worth the all inclusive room rate. Just the complimentary skiing alone makes it so worth staying at Rocking Horse Ranch. And the best part about staying at Rocking Horse Ranch is the service. The staff at Rocking Horse Ranch are helpful and attentive. I’m so happy to have discovered this all inclusive family resort so close to home. I’m already planning my next Rocking Horse Ranch family vacation.
Tip: It can get crowded on weekends. They host several Girl Scout weekends during the year. I suggest checking their website to make sure you are not there during Girl Scout weekends. Better yet, if you can get away during the week, that is best because you will enjoy lower rates and avoid the crowds.
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