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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7 Best Zoos near Los Angeles: the LA Zoo Is Just the Beginning

Did someone say zoo? If your little ones have fallen for the non-stop furry cuteness of LA's petting zoos (and there are plenty in and around LA), there's a chance they're going to start thinking bigger. There are lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) to see at many zoos, and while petting is not recommended for most of the occupants (seriously, keep your kid out of the bear enclosure), young ones love seeing creatures live and in-person that they usually only read about in books. Here are some of the many zoos within easy driving distance. While the Los Angeles Zoo is naturally on the list, it's hardly the only game in town.

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.

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