Where To Go Apple Picking with Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Apple picking season is here! I used to look forward to apple picking every year as a child, and now I have just as much fun watching my little ones run through the orchards—not to mention the fresh-pressed apple cider and hot, delicious cider doughnuts! Many Westchester and Hudson Valley farms also have family-friendly entertainment and activities including live music, corn mazes, and hayrides.

So get your apple recipes ready and read on for our top picks for apple picking with kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Remember to contact the farms before heading out. Many are family-owned and -operated, and hours may change with little or no notice.

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Best Places for Apple Picking with Kids in Connecticut

Sweet or tart, red or golden, apples are fun to pick by the bushel with kids in Connecticut. Starting in late August through September, farms and orchards around the state are bursting with apples, and many offer wagon rides, hayrides, cider doughnuts and other fall activities and treats to enjoy with children, too. Here are some of our favorite spots to enjoy this fall family tradition in Connecticut. For more seasonal activities check out our Connecticut Fall Fun Guide.

Best Apple Picking Orchards and Farms Near NYC

Starting just before Labor Day weekend and continuing through the fall, orchards around the tri-state area offer families the chance to pick their own apples. Many apple picking orchards also host cool kids' attractions, including hayrides, petting zoos with barnyard animals, bouncy houses, and corn mazes. Some even sell home-baked treats like apple cider donuts.

While there was a time when apple trees thrived in NYC (ever wonder how Orchard Street got its name?), city families today need to head out of town to pick their own fruit. There are plenty of wonderful apple orchards in the Hudson ValleyNew Jersey, Long Island, and Connecticut, although many are quite a long drive, and we know nothing derails a fun family outing like a stressful commute. So we've rounded up a dozen places to pick your own apples that are an hour or less from midtown Manhattan by car. A few are even accessible by train.

For other fun farm outings, check out our Pick-Your-Own Guide.

Best Places to Go Apple Picking with Kids Near Boston

Nothing says fall in New England like a family outing to pick ripe, juicy apples at a nearby orchard. With many orchards to choose from in the greater Boston area and across Massachusetts, families won't have to travel far to find a place to pick their own apples, starting in late August through mid-October. We’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite apple picking spots, some of which also have petting farms, country stores, hayrides, corn mazes, and other kid-friendly activities. Craving more seasonal activities? Check out our Fall Fun Guide with Boston kids.

Dozens of Fall Day Trip Destinations for Long Island Families

Now is a perfect time for Long Island families to plan a fall day trip or weekend getaway to one of a dozen family-friendly destinations. The weather is cooler, Mother Nature provides some beautiful scenery, and there are even a couple of long holiday weekends that give everyone an extra day to spend together.

To help get you on your way, we’ve put together a list of the top fall getaways for Long Island families this season. Some are close by, while others require a few hours in the car or a ride on a ferry. No matter where you go or how you get there, you’re sure to create some great memories.

For more seasonal travel ideas, check out our Fall Fun Guide.

6 Ways to Ease the Preschool Transition for Kids — and Parents

The start of a new school year gets everyone's nerves jumping—including when it's time to make the transition to preschool.

Every child is, of course, different. Some love to dive into new adventures without so much as a look back. Others are more cautious, preferring to watch and get the lay of the land. But children and parents are bound to be apprehensive about a child's first day (or week, or month) in a new environment, surrounded by new people and new routines.

We asked veteran preschool teachers in the NYC metropolitan area for their no-fail tips to help make this transition a positive experience for all and came away with six top suggestions.

If you're still searching for the right preschool, check out our directory of NYC schools, as well as those in the surrounding suburbs, such as New JerseyWestchester, and Long Island.

Best Apple Picking Orchards near Washington, DC for Kids

As the leaves turn so too do the thoughts of DC families towards apple picking. This favorite fall tradition is a must for kids and grown-ups alike and often go far beyond just plucking ripe apples from the tree. Many of these orchards host autumnal activities of all kinds, from corn mazes to music festivals and everything in between. 

There are several pick-your-own apple orchards and farms within easy driving distance of the nation's capital. But remember: Farm conditions and apple availability change through the season, so be sure and call or check the website before your visit to any of the spots listed below.

Best Apple Picking Orchards Near Philadelphia for Kids

We know it must be fall when we feel that chill in the air, the leaves start to change color, harvest festivals abound and apple picking season begins. Pennsylvania is one of the country's top apple producing states, so we are fortunate to have a number of orchards in the area where we can enjoy this favorite Fall tradition. Many of the orchards host activities to extend the fun beyond apple picking - everything from tractor rides and corn mazes to moon bounces and music festivals.

There are several pick-your-own apple orchards and farms listed below, all within an hour's drive of Philadelphia. Because farm conditions and apple selection can vary throughout the season, it is recommended to call or check the website before visiting.

Best Free Annual Parades in New York City for Kids

As the saying goes, everyone loves a parade. And in NYC, we have plenty of processions to choose from. During the warmer months, there are parades practically every week celebrating a wide variety of cultures and causes, and all of them are FREE.

While it's always cool to watch the colorful costumes, floats, and performers pass by, there are certain annual parades that are particularly great for families. These processions are either exceptionally vibrant like Chinatown's Lunar New Year Parade or the Three Kings Day Parade, or invite costumed kids to get in on the action like the small Halloween Parades that are much less intense than the big one in Greenwich Village.

Included in our list are parades we've attended—some many times—or others that come highly recommended. So, get our your calendar and save these dates to see if you can catch them all!

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