Sleep in a Lighthouse and More Hudson Valley Family Resorts

The Hudson Valley is an easy weekend getaway for those in the New York City vicinity. Its proximity makes getting there a breeze, even with a car full of kids.

Once you’ve arrived, natural possibilities abound. In fall, leaf peeping is spectacular and farms are ripe with pick-your-own fruit options and stands selling warm donuts and sweet cider. The Hudson Valley is history heavy, with names such as Roosevelt and Vanderbilt prevailing. Pedestrian-friendly towns such as Hudson, New Paltz, and Saugerties attract hip New Yorkers and their kids like bees to honey. There are a variety of overnight accommodations at a range of prices, from an all-inclusive dude ranch to a stately Grand Dame hotel to a farm stay.

Get packing for a quick getaway to this wide-open region just north of NYC.

RISE of the Jack O’Lanterns: 5,000 Pumpkins Light up the Night

There are many levels of pumpkin carving. There's picking up a pumpkin at the grocery store and stabbing a crooked smile onto it. There's downloading a stencil and spending an afternoon with a $5 carving kit creating Jack Skellington. And then there's taking 5,000 fresh pumpkins per week and turning them into multi-gourd masterpieces never before conceived out of fruit. That last thing? That's Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns.

Halloween enthusiasts on Long Island have long enjoyed this gloriously over the top pumpkin extravaganza, but it is still relatively new to Los Angeles area families, and completely new this season to our readers in New Jersey and Boston. That's a whole lot more families getting to experience the glowing, walk-through exhibit, that brings out the Halloween spirit in visitors of all ages. Read on to find out all about this amazing spectacle and get a Mommy Poppins promo code!

Preschool in the Park? Outdoor and Nature-Themed NYC Classes

Nature provides the perfect classroom for preschool-aged kids. Even New York's little urbanites love to jump in puddles, make mud pies, climb trees, and dig for worms. For parents looking for a classroom that draws its lessons from nature, we've rounded up the city's best preschools, "forest schools," and toddler classes in which kids spend a significant part of each day outdoors or interacting with the natural world. As classes are often held rain or shine, proper outdoor gear is a must, so get some sturdy boots and rain pants and let your kids explore!

For more preschool options, be sure to check out the directory of schools, as well as our New York City Preschool Guide with tips on what to ask during a tour and how to ease the transition for kids (and parents).

Weekend Fun for Philly Kids: Festivals, Culture, History Sept 17-18

A weekend in mid-September traditionally offers Philly families many fall festivals. This year is no different. Our Events Calendar is jam-packed with a variety of great festivals celebrating the arrival of fall.

Throughout the entire weekend, families can view the scarecrows on display at Peddlers' Village's Scarecrow Festival, enjoy live music at Linvilla Orchards' Arts, Crafts, & Music Festival, or taste apple treats at Oasis Family Farm's Apple Festival. Learn about a different culture by experiencing the Delaware Art Museum's Korean Festival and Harvest Celebration or Penn's Landing's Mexican Independence Day Festival. Or dust off your fairy wings for Rockwood Park's Faerie Fest.

After festival fun is through, make sure your kids have cooler weather gear for the season by stopping by one of the many consignment sales being held this weekend. Check out our latest update of Fall Consignment Sales to find a location near you. Have a great weekend!

Weekend Fun for LA Kids: We Are LA, Butterflies, and Coastal Cleanup, Sept 17 - 18

I'm feeling real good about our parenting skills about now. This weekend alone, our kids are cleaning up, not only after themselves, but after the entire beach. They're discovering that having a good time and giving back can be one and the same. They're learning to spread their wings and FLY (as long as they stay within a safely defined area;no point in taking chances).

We're really teaching these kids well. Hoping for a kid who appreciates the arts? We got your free museums right here. Hoping for a kid whose art is in said museums? Kids can work up a few masterpieces in these free workshops. While they're at it, they can learn to bake, fish, and write comics, become a junior ranger, scientist or explorer, or develop the skills to become an Olympic champion. This parenting thing, we've got it in the bag.

All this no doubt has you feeling like you deserve some reward. (No, not donuts. You have to wait 'til next week for that.) Well, the reward you get is a capable, cultured, ready-to-adult miniature version of you. (And donuts on Monday.)

Keep reading for our winningest parenting picks for this weekend...

Weekend Fun for LI Kids: 10 Festivals and Fairs - September 17-18

Fairs are in full swing this mid-September weekend in Long BeachBellmore, Riverhead, Greenlawn, Uniondale, Sayville and Old Westbury. And head out for an entertaining and enriching afternoon at LIU's Pratt Recreational Center in Brookville for LI Fam Fest on Saturday. Plus don't miss the JCC Fall Family Carnival on Sunday.

Get active this weekend with the great events below. Don't see your event listed here? Add it to our events calendar. And if you didn't receive this post in your inbox, sounds like you need to subscribe to our newsletter.

Weekend Fun for Boston Kids, September 17-18: Curious George, Wild Weather, LEGO City

Are you ready to spend the day picking apples or choosing the perfect pumpkin? In addition to farm fun, there are oodles of outdoor activities on the calendar this weekend. Celebrate Trails & Sails on the shore and sea or jump on a swan boat for the last weekend of the season. Speaking of celebrations, everyone's favorite monkey is appearing at not one but two special birthday bashes at the library and in Harvard Square to share his joy at turning 75. How many kids are lucky enough to sing "Happy Birthday" to a monkey?

There's no shortage of indoor fun with weekend, either, with special programs devoted to wild weather, hacking, or designing with LEGO bricks. Finally, a bike ride or outdoor concert are other perfect ways to welcome fall in style.

Also on Mommy Poppins Boston this week:

Enjoy your weekend and don't forget to check out the full events calendar!

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