With a population hovering around 10,000 and plenty of parks including the nearby Harriman State Park, Suffern, NY, is a suburban town on the border of New Jersey.
Thanks to its solid public schools and easy commute to New York City, the town has attracted plenty of families who want to give their kids a more laidback, outdoorsy childhood. Like mom, Natalie, who moved to Suffern a year ago with her 10-year-old daughter, Uma.
Here she takes us on a whistlestop tour of a town that seems to have the best of both worlds – plenty of nature, history and family-friendly living right on your doorstep, and bustling, cosmopolitan city life a short drive away.
Over to you Natalie!
“We live in a suburban town called Suffern, about 45 minutes north of New York City,” says Natalie. “It’s close enough to be able to get into the city for a show or an event, but far enough from all the congestion and noise. Where we live is very quiet – we’re surrounded by trees and have a beautiful view of the mountain.”
“We love hiking up to the historic Stony Point battlefield; there’s a great view from there and you can watch a reenactment of a cannon being shot, explore the tents and living quarters of the soldiers, and play kids’ games.”
“This time of year, watching the leaves change color during fall is so pretty and picturesque. Secor Farms has hayrides, pumpkin picking and corn mazes – all great fun on a warm fall day. I love cooking, so after getting out during the day, we head home for some comfort food like warm butternut squash soup or a lasagna . Uma loves baking (and especially eating!) apple pie and shortbread cookies.”
“Harriman State Park is the second largest state park in New York State, and it’s right on our doorstep. It includes Bear Mountain (thankfully, we haven’t seen any bears there!) and the famous Appalachian Trail – which starts in Georgia and goes all the way to Maine – goes through it.”
“This past summer was our first year living in Suffern and we really enjoyed making the most of the long hot days. We went swimming at Lake Tiorati, which is one of the lakes on Seven Lakes Drive and just beautiful. Seven Lakes Drive is this 18-mile parkway that extends south to north, starting in Sloatsburg, and passing by seven (of course!) lakes. We also spent plenty of time at the local park on the Hudson River, meeting friends for play dates and BBQing.”
“Suffern has been wonderful for Uma. She joined a group called Princess Warriors, this positive girl empowerment group that meets twice a month and does different activities. Most recently, the girls made toys for the injured animals at Bear Mountain Sanctuary. Even in the colder months, there’s plenty to keep her occupied – from playing basketball indoors, to the activities at the local library.”
“I really do enjoy being at home and cooking, but if we go out, it’s to Jay’s Thai Kitchen. Their lunch menu is especially delicious and budget-friendly – Uma gets the Pad See Iew (rice noodles with broccoli and chicken), and it’s the Seafood Special for me. Another great spot to eat is Hacienda de Don Manuel Mexican restaurant, especially for their tacos and chimichangas (and margaritas for me!).”
We’re always on the lookout for families from around the world to feature in our new Parent Hoods series. If you’re interested, please do contact us!