Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

Washington Irving’s Sunnyside

Historic Hudson Valley has 7 sites that offer a blast into the past for families to visit.  Washington Irving’s Sunnyside House is located on the Tarrytown/Irvington border along the Hudson River on 10 acres, which was expanded by Irving beginning in 1835 and now restored with many of the furnishings which remained in the Irving family.  Who is Washington Irving? That was a questions our tour guide, dressed in time period clothing first asked the kids.  Anne H. was a saint with the Apple Moms Staff -5 moms and 9 kids under 6.   We attended on a Thursday which at Sunnyside hosts From a Child’s Perspective Tours for kids.  Each week is a different theme with new things to try and do.

From A Child's Perspective Tour HHValley

Knowing not all children enjoy guiding tours of historic places anywhere, Historic Hudson Valley provides these children based tours with them in mind and separate from people touring the property without kids.  (GENIUS!)  The children learned about the rooms in the house and what an outhouse was, indoor and outdoor storage for food and wood.  Even more for them no electricity, what did kids play with? That was answered by Anne H. our guide and then after the tour the free time to explore those toys.  Everyone had fun there.  The children learned that Washington Irving was an author and wrote the book Legend of Sleep Hollow and Rip Van Winkle.  My kids shouted they go over the Rip Van Winkle bridge in the fall.

image image Guided tour at Sunnyside the girls

We packed lunch, snacks and lots of water,  mid way through playing we had lunch time and one of the staff members read our group Christmas stories, we were there during the Christmas Celebration themed From a Child’s Perspective. The kids loved making crafts and playing with toys.  None had batteries, can you imagine?  Talk about a day of unplugged play.  They dressed up in period clothing, walked on stilts, hoop rolling, and graces– my favorite to play with the kids.   All the children had fun running around and par-taking in what they wanted, there was plenty of staff to help at the different activities, we had done the first tour of the day so when we finished we were only group at activities.   There is plenty of staff, in period dress, willing to help the children and work with them at times 1:1.  Us Apple Moms, loved watching our children, all so different, find what they liked independently but also coming together and playing as a group.  Our group ranged from baby (carried) to 6 years old.  There was something for all.  Just running free, seeing the geese and rolling a hoop.  Overall we were there 3 hours, I would suggest at least 1.5 hours for your visit.

Historic Games Picnic Lunch at Sunnyside

Girls in period dress Chloe Casey in dress up image image


  • Save money and buy tickets in advance
  • Bring food- picnic benches are in field or blanket to lay out
  • Comfortable clothing-(you are outdoors and walking)
  • CAMERA- you will want to capture your cute kids (no photography inside the house)
  • Educational- suggest class trip to you preschool/elementary school
  • Close to other Historic Hudson Valley sites to play multiple sites.

Plan your visit:

  • Open April 1- October 31 10am-5pm Wednesday- Sunday (Special hours for November/December)
  • Purchase tickets online ($2 more on-site) (group prices also available)

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Disclosure:  We received some tickets for the Apple Moms staff to come down and visit Sunnyside.  No other compensation was provided.  As always all opinions are 100% honest and our own.

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