Looking for your next great family escape? If you’re East Coast, you might wanna get Rocking Horse Ranch on your radar! Located in Hamilton, NY (in the Catskill Mountains,) it’s particularly great for those who call NYC home, but it’s also real close to other big metros like cities in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Massachusetts while still providing a relatively remote nature experience.
Your family will get to enjoy things like horseback riding, wildlife encounters, and mega water park experiences year-round. While it’s definitely a fun destination for those who enjoy the outdoors, it can also get pretty pricey. Today we’ll take you through all the ways to save at this all-inclusive family resort.
What does Rocking Horse Ranch include?
The convenient thing about Rocking Horse Ranch is that you pay just one fee for everything: Food, accommodations, and (almost all) activities are included. Now, that said, there are different tiers depending on how big of a room you need and the time of year you visit.
Accommodations at Rocking Horse Ranch
Most rooms accommodate four people. The rates change depending on when you visit (holy yikes if you go during the summer!), but the base rates include one queen bed, a bunk bed and admission for four people.
You can pay a little bit more for either a little more space for four people (usually somewhere around $60 more per night), or for a room with two queens and a bunk bed — accommodating six people for about $50-ish more per night.
The rooms aren’t fancy. They’re a major step up from sleeping in a cabin, but you’re not staying at the Ritz or a themed Disney resort room. They’re clean, though, and equivalent to an upscale motel.
Warm-weather activities at Rocking Horse Ranch
There’s a long list of fun activities at Rocking Horse Ranch, and all of them are included. During the warmer months, you can visit any of the following outdoor activities:
- Horse riding (year round)
- Mountain tubing
- Hiking trails
- Rock climbing
- Bungee jumping
- Banana boat rides
- Paddle boating
- Heated pool
- Splash park
- Outdoor water slides
- Mini golfing (also open in winter, but with limited hours)
- Bonfires and singalongs
- Outdoor wildlife exhibits, featuring animals like Nigerian dwarf goats, Scottish Highland cows, and even a zebra!
- Organized family competitions, like tug of war and water balloon tosses
And that’s not even a complete list! One of the only activities that does come with an extra charge is Mining Camp.
In the colder months, there are some different winter activities you can get in on:
- Small ice skating rink
- Skiing (including equipment and instruction)
- Snow tubing
Regardless of when you visit, these indoor activities will be available year-round:
- Indoor wildlife exhibits (like a reptile show)
- A heated indoor/outdoor water park complete with water slides
- Scavenger hunts
- Trivia contests
- Board games
- Mini bowling alley
- Laser tag
- BB gun shooting range
- Archery range
- Ping pong
- Comedy shows
- Juggling shows
- Magic shows
- Live music
- Firework displays
You shouldn’t have to pay to eat during your stay. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all included, and they’re 100% all-you-can-eat. While everything else about Rocking Horse Ranch will remind you of a camping trip or a visit to Jellystone Park (with slightly nicer and more private accommodations,) the food is top-notch.
Some meals are served buffet style, but dinner in particular is a sit-down affair, complete with a menu to order from. And the cooking staff at Rocking Horse Ranch are graduates of The Culinary Institute of America, serving up options like sirloin steak and Aspen roasted chicken. (If you’ve got picky eaters, don’t freak. They’ve also got staples like PB&J.)
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Are adult drinks included at Rocking Horse Ranch?
No, alcoholic beverages are one item for which you will have to cough up some extra cash. That said, depending on when you visit they might be offering complimentary drinks during happy hour, at dinner, or during ‘Chef’s snack time,’ which happens between lunch and dinner.
But that’s not something you can bank on. Plan to spend on alcohol when you’re building your trip budget.
When is the cheapest time to visit Rocking Horse Ranch?
Definitely not the summer months! You can expect to pay over $1,000/night for 4 people if you visit during high season. And that’s before local and state lodging taxes. Prices spike way the heck up again starting around Black Friday, staying high through New Year’s Day.
So ideally, you’d visit during Spring or Fall, bearing in mind that holiday weekends and school breaks are likely to see slightly inflated prices. If you have school-aged kids, you might have to take them out of school for a couple days to score the best pricing.
Regardless of the time of year you visit, weekdays are cheaper than weekends, so making a mid-week trip will give you the biggest bang for your buck.
Do kids visit Rocking Horse Ranch free?
The only kids who stay free are those age 2 or under. Otherwise, their fee is included in your room rate.
In the past, Rocking Horse Ranch has run kids-stay-free promotions which can bring down your nightly rate, but those promotions are few and far between. They’ve become fewer and farther between in recent years, so don’t count on that as an option anymore.
Does Rocking Horse Ranch have any deals?
Yup! There are two ways to find deals directly through Rocking Horse Ranch themselves. The first is through its exclusive deals page, and the second is by booking as a group.
Rocking Horse Ranch Exclusive Deals
Rocking Horse Ranch has a page on their website dedicated to their own revolving exclusive deals. These deals can usually save you somewhere between $50 – $200/night, but they only apply to select dates. You might not be able to use them for your entire stay.
At the time of writing, the current and upcoming deals using the RHRSAVE promo code are:
- Save $150/night when you stay on Aug. 27 – 29
- Save $200/night when you stay Aug. 30 or 31
- Save $50/night when you stay Sept. 6, 14, 16, 17, 27, or 30
- Save $100/night when you stay Sept. 15, 24, 25 or 29
Save big bucks when you book as a group.
Rocking Horse Ranch also provides group discounts, so if you can get your extended family or friend group on board, you can save more while enjoying your vacation with people you love.
They’re not super transparent about what the specific rate reductions are, but you can get help putting together a custom discount by calling (800) 647-2624, then selecting extension 103.
Check Groupon before you book!
There aren’t currently any Groupon offers for Rocking Horse Ranch, but be sure to check before you book! They have made appearances in the past, and we know that these offers usually offer significantly steep savings at similar family vacation resorts like Great Wolf Lodge.