October GoList: The Best Things To Do with Westchester Kids

Best Things To Do with Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley in October 2018

October is loaded with Halloween and fall fun, and there's no shortage of either in Westchester and the Hudson Valley! We've mentioned the best places to go apple and pumpkin picking, and we've rounded up fantastic fall festivals to check out, but there's even more fun to be had. Historic Hudson Valley shines this month with Halloween events including the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze and other seasonal events happening all month long. Many of these are super-hot tickets, so book yours soon to avoid missing out.

Not all the fun centers around seasonal events, however. There’s also the wildly popular Eastchester Columbus Day Carnival and Parade, family performances like Cirquetacular Spooktacular, and festivals that don’t fall under the “autumn” category, like the Warwick Children's Book Festival.

With so many tremendous events this time of year, we barely scratch the surface here, so be sure to check our Event Calendar for many more options. Now grab your calendar and read on for the best events happening this month in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!


Soak up the fun at the Eastchester Columbus Day Carnival, one of the last big carnivals of the year.

Eastchester Columbus Day Carnival and Parade – Eastchester 
Friday, October 5 – Monday, October 8, 2018
Whack a mole, cheer on the paraders on Sunday, rock out to live music, be dazzled by the fireworks display, vote for your favorite meatballs, and chow down like it’s one of the last big carnivals of the year—which it is.

Warwick Children's Book Festival – Warwick
Saturday, October 6, 2018
The street closes off for this large-scale event, featuring some 60 authors and illustrators of children’s and young-adult books, as well as a concert by The Uncle Brothers. While books will be available for purchase (and for autographs), the event is otherwise free.

Oktoberfest – Bear Mountain 
Saturdays and Sundays in October 2018
Celebrate all things German at Oktoberfest—food and beer, traditional entertainment, local artisan craft vendors, and more.

Pumpkin Picking Autumn Celebration – Katonah
Saturday, October 6 – Sunday, October 7, 2018
Muscoot Farm celebrates Columbus Day weekend with seasonal fun including pumpkin picking and decorating, hayrides, and live music. 

Fall Fest – Yorktown Heights
Saturday, October 6 – Monday, October 8, 2018
Celebrate fall at Hilltop Hanover Farm with tractors, hayrides, pumpkin picking, and crafts including pumpkin painting and vegetable stamping. There will be a pizza truck on site, and picnics are always welcome.


More than 7,000 pumpkins light up the night at The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze. 

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze – Croton-on-Hudson
Weekends and various dates through November 2018
At this wildly popular event, families can marvel at more than 7,000 hand-carved, illuminated jack-o'-lanterns displayed all over the 18th-century grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor. This event positively sells out (quickly!), so be sure to grab your tickets pronto.

Home of the 'Legend' – Irvington
Saturdays and Sundays in October 2018
Learn the story behind the story at this Halloween event. Tour Washington Irving's beautiful riverside home and examine artifacts related to the 19th-century author's famous tale. Families can also enjoy historic games, a shadow-puppet show, and a scavenger hunt.

Lasdon Park Halloween Train Show – Somers 
Saturdays and Sundays in October 2018 plus Columbus Day 
The annual holiday train show includes a toy-train display, face painting, Animal Embassy, live music, a crafts corner, and more.


Playland turns sinister by night for Scared by the Sound. Photo courtesy of Rye Playland

Scared By the Sound – Rye 
Fridays-Sundays, October 12-28, 2018
Tweens, teens, and even adults can get spooked at this walk-through creep fest. The setting is a haunted house and cemetery at Rye Playland and features ghoulish actors and scary shenanigans.


Dig into a variety of delicious treats at Applefest! 

Applefest – Warwick 
Sunday, October 14, 2018
With multiple orchards and wineries, Warwick is the land of apples during the fall, celebrated with a massive festival on the first Sunday in October. The village is crammed from end to end with hundreds of craft and food vendors, a fully stocked famer’s market, and multiple stages with live music. A full-tilt carnival is also a part of the wow factor. 


Ghoul's House of Curiosities, set in Lyndhurst Castle, offers interactive spooky fun

Ghoul's House of Curiosities – Tarrytown 
October 19-21, October 25-28, and October 31, 2018
This interactive theatrical experience is set in the Gothic Lyndhurst Castle, with a new twist for 2018: a mystery to determine what’s killing the archeologists who discovered an ancient Egyptian tomb. Roam two floors of the mansion, decked out in Halloween décor—and view the scarecrow and sculptural exhibit along the way.

Cirquetacular Spooktacular – Valhalla
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Halloween meets the circus at this unusual production at Westchester Community College. The act features vampires, skeletons, and creatures of the feline variety. Wear something Halloween-y to participate in the costume parade.

New York State Sheep & Wool Festival – Rhinebeck
Saturday, October 20 and Sunday, October 21, 2018
Expect loads of children’s activities throughout both days of this woolly fest, including the Two by Two Petting Zoo, yarn "painting" embroidery, upcycled sweater ornaments,  a leaping-llama contest, a canine Frisbee demonstration, and more. Kids under 12 go for free, to boot!

Heritage of West Nyack Fall Festival – West Nyack
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Fall fun with a historic bent includes living-history demos in addition to hayrides, pumpkin fun, country dancing, pen turning, sheep shearing, music, and more. 

Black Violin & Purchase Symphony Orchestra – Purchase
Friday, October 26, 2018
Expect an eclectic repertoire for violin and viola, as this duo is joined by the Purchase Symphony Orchestra, some student performers, a DJ, and drums. The "stereotype-smashing" artists make stringed instruments hip and accessible.

Nyack Halloween Parade – Nyack
Saturday, October 27, 2018
We think of the Greenwich Village Halloween parade as the most spectacular, but did you know that the next largest Halloween parade takes place in Nyack? Join the 20,000 or so spectators at this mammoth event in Rockland County. FREE

Don't forget to check our Event Calendar for even more fun happening this month in Westchester!

Unless otherwise noted, photos by the author

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