Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Arts Weekend, Pinkster, May 14-15

The weekend ahead is packed with fun, family-friendly events and activities throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley, some of which we highlighted in our May GoList.

The big news in Westchester is Yonkers Arts Weekend, a multi-venue, multidisciplinary and tantalizing panoply of arts-related events—from performances, to workshops to live art—including the return of the Kite Festival. Also high on our list of to-dos is Discover Pinkster!, an annual Hudson Valley event that replicates Colonial-era celebrations of African culture with dancing, drumming, cuisine and more.

Other notable events returning to our area include STEM-tastic Saturday and the stage production of Pinkalicious. And fans of cupcakes (i.e., every person on Earth) will rejoice at Gardiner Cupcake Festival—but start the diet now to make room for the 30,000 cupcakes that are expected to be there!

Read on for our top weekend picks and click each listing for full details. Don't forget to check out our Event Calendar for more events this weekend and beyond!

Weekend Fun: Outdoor Fairs, Big Apple Circus, Touch-a-Truck

This weekend, NYC families can enjoy outdoor festivals of every ilk, including the famous Ninth Avenue Food Festival, Spring Fling at Lincoln Center, a Viking Fest in Bay Ridge and an Asian American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Festival on Ellis island.

Other weekend options include one of our top event picks for the entire year: TREE/BOOM/UMTHI at BAM. There's also the Big Apple Circus in Queens, Freshkills Park Discovery Day on Staten Island, a Birdathon at the Bronx Zoo and Battery Park City's first Go Fish of the season. Or hit up an amusement park before the warm weather crowds descend! A handful of the local ones have already opened for the season—including the adorable pint-sized amusement park in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, which features a new ATV ride.

These are just a few of the great things going on this weekend. All of our best bets are below. Remember, there are even more options in our Event CalendarSpring Fun Guide and May GoList.

Acrobatic 'Bianco' Circus Opens with Action-Packed Show

Parents tired of hearing the kids whine, "But I can't see!" at every show take note: no boosters are needed at NoFit State Circus' immersive spectacle Bianco. That's because there are no seats and all of the action takes place high up in the air. Set in a sci-fi-looking, 10,000-square-foot big top pitched directly under Brooklyn Bridge Park's namesake structure, Bianco is a rare all-ages show presented by lauded avant-garde performing arts center St. Ann's Warehouse.

While you and your kids are most likely familiar with all of the skills on display—juggling, acrobatics, tumbling, and a variety of aerial acts—you probably haven't experienced them in such an exhilarating and intimate environment. The athletic cast and crew bound through the audience, hooting, hollering and often shoving their way to center tent, where they perform their feats with glee and little clothing. But don't worry: though there's a sexy, party vibe and many exposed six-packs, it's a strictly G-rated affair.

For families who prefer edgy and scrappy neo-circus troupes to the slick razzle-dazzle of Ringling Bros. or Cirque du Soleil, Bianco is a heart-pumping thrill. But there are some important things to know before you bring the kids—you may not need to worry about them running away with this circus, but they could very easily get lost in it.

Gardening Clubs and Classes for Long Island Kids

Dig your hands into the soil of the Earth and learn how to grow your own food. Teaching children at a young age how to cultivate food is a priceless ability. These farms, garden clubs and museums across Long Island have everything you need to get started, so head out with your little seedling and plant some fun. And for more outside activities, check out our Spring Fun Guide.

Top 10 Things To Do with Kids on the Red Line

One of the perks of living in a big city is being able to leave the car at home and get around via public transportation instead. Whether you take the T's Green, Blue, Orange or Red Lines, there are plenty of fun stops to make along the way, especially with kids in tow. On the Red Line you can do everything from bask in nature and tour some of Boston’s most historic sites to visit several terrific museums. Here’s what we recommend for making the most of taking your kids on the Red Line.

Weekend Fun for NJ Kids: Mayfest, Classic Car Show, May 14-15

It looks like we'll have some beautiful spring weather upon us this mid May weekend so enjoy those mild temps as you get outside and explore with family and friends! Check out the annual Mayfest at Historic Smithville Village, the Born to be Shorn sheep shearing festival at Cooper Gristmill or the Classic Car Show in downtown Chester. You can also keep the kids entertained during the Morey's Piers Wild Half Marathon in Wildwood, the SMASH: Art, Science & History event at the NJ State Museum or catch your first 'big one' during My First Fish at Turkey Swamp Park. For additional activity options, take a look at our full Event Calendar.

Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals Near NYC

One of my favorite things about summer is the plethora of fruit in season, especially the berries. Picking your own is even sweeter. As we move into the height of strawberry season, there are a slew of festivals and farms with the fruit ripe for the picking. Many are a short car ride away from New York City, so consider a day trip to one of these farms for an afternoon of strawberry picking, or hit a fruit fest for additional fun like pie-eating contests and carnival rides. 

For more day trip inspiration, check out our Family Getaways Guide and our Spring Fun Guide.

Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farms in Lower Hudson Valley

My kids love strawberries. Lucky for them, their grandmother grows strawberries in her backyard, so they've been part of the planting, growing and harvesting process since they were tots.  As much as they enjoy the tiny patch, meandering through large fields of strawberries is also an awesome experience. It's not only a fun spring activity, but it also teaches kids about the farm-to-table and locavore movements, and encourages healthy eating habits.

We've rounded up pick-your-own strawberry places in the Lower Hudson Valley where families can harvest their own batch of strawberry goodness. Although there aren't any PYO strawberry spots within Westchester's borders, we have located farms that are less than 90 minutes from central Westchester by car, close enough for a fun day trip. Most locations begin the picking season around Memorial Day weekend, but be sure to check ahead before you head out. 

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