Editor’s Note: Gardiner resident Ben Hayes is in the Eighth Grade at New Paltz Middle School. The Gardiner Gazette encourages articles by youthful contributors. If you’d like to write on a topic of interest, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is there to do for teens in a small town like Gardiner? Much of the time, if they aren’t getting food or going to someone’s house, many young people and teens don’t see anything to do in Gardiner. In reality, there are some great opportunities for fun.
The first, most obvious place for teens to go would be Majestic Park. It has a full basketball court, a play structure for littler kids, a wide-open field, a pond with fish that you can feed, and some swings as well. If you are a skateboarder, Majestic Park has its own skate park. On its own, Majestic Park is a great place to hang out, but there are several events that happen there throughout the year. In the fall each year, Gardiner Day happens at the park. It is extremely festive, with lots of activities for kids, great food, and amazing fun. In the summer, a great option for kids is Gardiner Rec. The kids go there for a few hours during the day, do sports, crafts, and go on field trips.
On Main Street in Gardiner, during the spring, the Cupcake Festival occurs. It happens right on Main Street, and they block off the road for it. Thousands of cupcakes are made, and men and women with all kinds of businesses in Gardiner set up booths with information about their business, delicious cupcakes are sold, there is live music, donkey rides and a cupcake baking contest that anyone can enter. It is a very fun occasion and thousands of people enjoy it every year. And any time of the year, Main Street can be a great place to stop for pizza, ice cream or baked goods.
The Gardiner Library is one of the best libraries you can find. It is relatively new, as it has only just been upgraded from what used to be a much smaller building, and has one of the best collections of literature for teens available. With an entire section devoted to just young adults, one can easily find a book to enjoy. They are constantly getting new books, so they have a wide range of books, from brand new, to old classics. There’s lots of space, and everyone is welcome, so you can bring a friend and make an afternoon out of it.
One of the best things to do in Gardiner is go on the Rail Trail. The Rail Trail is a dirt road stretching for several miles and crosses right through Gardiner. It used to be a railway for trains. You can take your bike, and ride all the way to New Paltz, or just walk with a friend. When there is snow, you can cross-country ski. It is very scenic, and there are several cool landmarks to get to. There are bridges, forests, and several roads, so you can stop any time you like.
The Rail Trail goes right past the library, so be my guest, take a bike ride to the library, check out a book, and stop by the market for some hot chocolate and a cookie.