End-of-Summer Activities for the Whole Family: Plan your Hudson Valley Aviation Adventure

Summer is in full swing, but it won’t be long before the kids go back to school. If you’re looking for some ideas to plan a last family-friendly adventure before the end of the summer, we have you covered! Whether your family loves aviation, the outdoors, or spending time together and learning new things, here are 4 things to do in the Hudson Valley to make the last weeks of summer unforgettable.

Be Independent – Aviation Summer Camp

August 12 – 14, 2021 | Stewart International Airport

“Best camp ever!” This is what we hear from the kids that attend Aviation Summer Camp, year after year! Aviation Summer Camp is an incredible experience for aspiring pilots and lovers of aviation, kids interested in STEM, and those who simply love the adventure of learning new things! During the 3-day camp, kids will learn about basic aerodynamics, how to talk like a pilot and make decisions based on weather conditions, and more. They’ll experience our helicopter flight simulator, which mimics the experience of a real helicopter pilot in flight. They’ll even have the opportunity to experience flying for themselves with an actual airplane ride!

How To Sign Up – Aviation Summer Camp at Independent Helicopters

This 3-day camp is perfect for kids ages 11 through 16. Spaces are limited, but we still have a few slots available for the 2021 camp. Email us at independenthelicopters@gmail.com or call (845) 549-3755 for more information or to reserve a spot for your future pilot in training!

Aviation Summer Camp is just for kids, but we encourage parents and families to join us on Sunday to celebrate World Helicopter Day.

Be Independent: Aviation Summer Camp
Aviation Summer Camp will be the most fun your adventure-loving kid has this August! They’ll join a fantastic group of kids ages 11-16 to learn about aerodynamics and being a pilot, and even have the chance to ride in an airplane!

World Helicopter Day

August 15, 2021 | Stewart International Airport

Visit us at Stewart International Airport on Sunday, August 15 to help us celebrate World Helicopter Day! If your child had the chance to participate in our Aviation Summer Camp, it’s the perfect opportunity to see some of what they learned and get some aviation experience of your own! Or, stop by for the event and look over a range of helicopters in person and learn about how helicopters fly and careers for helicopter pilots. You’ll even have a chance to ride the helicopter flight simulator!

World Helicopter Day at Stewart Airport
Celebrate World Helicopter Day at New York Stewart International Airport with a range of family-friendly activities for helicopter enthusiasts!
Image Credit: Tom Langan/Talex Media

Helicopter Rides

For those that want to experience the reality of helicopter flight, a limited number of local area “joy flights” will be available. If you already know you want to take to the air, make sure to call us ahead of time at (845) 549-3755 to reserve your ride!

Flying Musicians Association

For the second year, members of the Flying Musicians Association will be providing LIVE music during the event! This amazing organization promotes a shared love of music and aviation, and even provides scholarships.

Admission and Directions

Entry for the day’s festivities is free, and children and families are most welcome! Food and beverages will also be available. To join the fun, visit the Independent Helicopters hangar at Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, NY from 11 a.m. to 1pm.

New York International Airshow – #AirDotShowLive

August 28 – 29, 2021 | Orange County Airport

The New York Airshow at Orange County Airport is a can’t-miss event for Hudson Valley aviation lovers. The New York Airshow is the end-of-summer destination and last stop for #AirDotShowLive tour that has performed at 6 locations in summer 2021 including Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Orlando. See the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform an inspiring combination formation and solo maneuvers with the F-16 Fighting Falcon, as well as more performances from some of the nation’s top military and civilian aviators.

Helicopter rides at New York International Airshow
See the New York Airshow’s incredible aerial performances from a unique perspective with a helicopter ride from Independent Helicopters.

Helicopter Rides at New York International Air Show

If you’re feeling inspired by the exciting aerial performances, why not experience the joy of flight for yourself? Independent Helicopters will be offering helicopter rides again this year at the 2-day show. See the show from above for $90 per person (not included with show admission).

Where to Find Tickets

Plan an amazing experience for the whole family right here in Orange County. Visit the New York International Airshow website to see the current lineup of performers, check the FAQs, and select your tickets and admission package. We can’t wait to see you there!

Hudson Valley Balloon Festival

September 3 – 5, 2021 | Tymor Park, Union Vale NY

The Hudson Valley Balloon Festival has grown to be a Hudson Valley tradition and one of the region’s most popular events of the summer.  The 30th Annual Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival will be held at Tymor Park in Union Vale, NY from September 3 – 5, 2021. The 2021 event has 75 balloon launches planned already in what is sure to be a breathtaking display! The weekend will be packed with family-friendly activities for lovers of hot air balloons and aviation, including fireworks every night, balloon rides, live music and entertainment, food trucks, vendors, and more.

Helicopter ride at Hudson Valley Balloon Festival
Catch a helicopter ride during the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival and see the stunning hot air balloon launches from the sky!

Helicopter Rides at the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival

There’s nothing like witnessing the launch of these impressive hot air balloons from above! During the festival, catch a helicopter ride for an exhilarating new perspective on the event. Helicopter rides will be held on Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.! You can reserve your helicopter ride in advance by purchasing your tickets here. Balloon launches are scheduled at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and at 6:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, so we recommend reserving your time in advance if you’re hoping to witness the launch on Friday!

Click here to reserve your helicopter ride tickets!

How to Get Tickets – Hudson Valley Balloon Festival

Admission to the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival isn’t included with the helicopter ride, so you’ll need to make sure to grab your tickets for the event, too! Because of parking limitations, you’ll need to reserve your tickets in advance by making a donation. Tickets for morning admission are $7 per person, while evening admission is $14 per person. Visit the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival website to reserve your tickets, get more information, and see a schedule of activities!

With a little planning, your family can enjoy all the fantastic adventures the Hudson Valley has to offer before the end of summer. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on our schedule of events, learn about helicopter flight lessons, or schedule your own private adventure.