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A motorboat carries tourists through one of the (Credit: Penn's Cave)

A motorboat carries tourists through one of the cavern's chambers during a tour of Penn's Cave in Centre Hall, Pa., about 225 miles from New York City.

Family cave-exploring adventures

Cave exploration -- or spelunking -- is an affordable, family-friendly activity that can feel like a bona fide adventure.

A family enters the large marble cave entrance
(Credit: Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park)

A family enters the large marble cave entrance at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park in upstate Pottersville, about 230 miles from New York City.

The interior of Laurel Caverns, Pennsylvania's largest cave.
(Credit: Mark Uhlman)

The interior of Laurel Caverns, Pennsylvania's largest cave. The caverns are in Farmington, Pa., about 350 miles from New York City.

Visitors navigate a staircase in Laurel Caverns in
(Credit: David P. Fulmer)

Visitors navigate a staircase in Laurel Caverns in Farmington, Pa.

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Young explorers pause at the Squeeze gauge area
(Credit: Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves)

Young explorers pause at the Squeeze gauge area at the Lost River Gorge & Boulder Caves in North Woodstock, N.H., about 375 miles from New York City.

A young kid is panning for gems at
(Credit: Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park/)

A young kid is panning for gems at the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park in Pottersville, N.Y.

A visitor poses for a photo inside the
(Credit: Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park/)

A visitor poses for a photo inside the Noisy Cave at the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park in Pottersville, N.Y.

Exterior shot of the largest marble cave entrance
(Credit: Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park/)

Exterior shot of the largest marble cave entrance in the east of Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park 's in Pottersville, N.Y.

Discoverer Lester Howe's animatronic image greets guests before
(Credit: Howe Caverns /)

Discoverer Lester Howe's animatronic image greets guests before descending156 feet down the cavern. It's a new feature at Howe Caverns this year, 2011.

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Guests, on a boat ride on Lake Venus,
(Credit: Howe Caverns /)

Guests, on a boat ride on Lake Venus, poses for a photo at the Howe Caverns. An all new pre-tour show featuring Lester Howe's animatronic image will intoduce guests about the history of Howe Caverns before descending down the cavern -156 feet below the surface.

Trail of lights guide visitors while walking down
(Credit: David P. Fulmer/)

Trail of lights guide visitors while walking down the Laurel Caverns in Farmington, Pennsylvania.

Great Rotunda Dome - a silo shaped dome
(Credit: Howe Caverns Photo/)

Great Rotunda Dome - a silo shaped dome that rises 107 feet to the ceiling of the new Adventure Tour at Howe Caverns in Cobleskill, N.Y.

Set in an Amish valley, Penn’s Cave is
(Credit: Penn's Cave)

Set in an Amish valley, Penn’s Cave is the country’s only all-water cavern. The natural treasure is about 225 miles from New York City.

A motorboat carries tourists through one of the
(Credit: Penn's Cave)

A motorboat carries tourists through one of the cavern's chambers during a tour of Penn's Cave in Centre Hall, Pa., about 225 miles from New York City.

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A young visitor pans for gems at the
(Credit: Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park)

A young visitor pans for gems at the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park in Pottersville, about 230 miles from New York City.

Young visitors check out the DinoDig at Natural
(Credit: Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park)

Young visitors check out the DinoDig at Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park. Said to be North America's oldest rocks, the caves are located in upstate Pottersville.

Young visitors converge at the Natural Stone Bridge
(Credit: Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park)

Young visitors converge at the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park where a scenic view of the waterfalls is seen in upstate Pottersville, about 230 miles from New York City.

A child climbs on a rock wall, among
(Credit: Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park)

A child climbs on a rock wall, among the many features besides cave exploration, at the Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park in upstate Pottersville.

For people who seek thrills and don't mind
(Credit: Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park)

For people who seek thrills and don't mind getting wet and dirty, Natural Stone Bridge and Caves Park offers an "Adventure Tour" in upstate Pottersville.

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