October GoList: The Best Things to Do with Westchester Kids

Things to Do

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 family-friendly Halloween events including the Great Jack O'Latern Blaze and other seasonal events happening all month long.

Not all the fun centers around seasonal events, however. There’s also the wildly popular Eastchester Columbus Day Carnival and Parade, family performances like the perennial favorite  like The Magic Garden and the return of the Chappaqua Children's Book Festival, a bibliophile’s paradise.

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!


Assorted apple confections at the annual Applefest. Photo by the author.

Applefest - Warwick 
Sunday, October 1, 2017
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. See our full write-up for tips on attending this event.

The Great Jack O'Latern Blaze - Croton-on-Hudson
Weekends and various dates through November 2017
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.


Illuminated carved pumpkins in creative art forms abound at the Great Jack-'O-Lantern Blaze. Photo taken by the author.

The Legend Behind the 'Legend' - Irvington
Saturdays and Sundays in October 2017 plus Columbus Day
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 Headless Horsemen activities, historic games and previously unseen artifacts pertaining to the tale.

Lasdon Park Halloween Train Show - Somers 
Saturdays and Sundays in October 2017 plus Columbus Day 
The annual holiday train show includes a toy-train display, a storyteller, live music, vendors and more. This year’s theme is Once Upon a Time.


All aboard the Lasdon Park Halloween Train Show! Photo: Lisa Johnston for Mommy Poppins.

Oktoberfest - Bear Mountain 
Saturdays and Sundays in October 2017 plus Columbus Day 
Celebrate all things German at Oktoberfest--food and beer, traditional entertainment, local artisan craft vendors and more.

Eastchester Columbus Day Carnival and Parade - Eastchester 
Friday, October 6-Monday, October 9, 2017
Whack a mole, cheer on the paraders on Sunday, rock out to live music, vote for your favorite meatballs and chow down like it’s one of the last big carnivals of the year—which it is.


High-flying fun at the Eastchester Columbus Day Carnival. Photo by the author.

Pumpkin Picking Autumn Celebration - Katonah
Saturday, October 7-Monday, October 9, 2017
Muscoot Farm comes alive for Columbus Day weekend with assorted fun that varies by day: pumpkin picking and decorating, hayrides, blacksmithing demos, animal photo ops, balloon artistry, professional pumpkin carving demos and yet more. 

Scared By the Sound - Rye 
Fridays-Sundays, October 13-29, 2017
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.

Chappaqua Children's Book Festival - Chappaqua 
Saturday, October 14, 2017
Bibliophiles can enjoy a day of kids’ activities, food, music and—of course—books! Meet popular children’s authors, enjoy readings and more. Free admission.

Disney’s Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve - Peekskill
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Fans of the Disney Channel’s Choo-Choo Soul will enjoy seeing their favorite characters live on stage in this locomotive-themed musical performance.

The Magic Garden - Mamaroneck
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Seeing Carole and Paula performing in person is what’s especially “magic” about this event—a total throwback for those of us who grew up loving them on TV.


Carole Demas and Paula Janis, as they appeared in their popular children’s TV show, The Magic Garden. Photo courtesy of the Emelin Theatre.

Ghoul's House of Curiosities - Tarrytown 
October 19-22 and October 25-31, 2017
This annual evening performance returns to Lyndhurst Castle but with a new twist for 2017: an interactive murder mystery! Roam two floors of the gothic mansion, decked out in creepy Halloween décor, to determine whether Madam Peacock, Chef Mustard or Miss Scarlet is the murderer—and view the scarecrow and skeleton invasions along the way!

New York State Sheep & Wool Festival - Rhinebeck
Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22, 2017
Expect loads of children’s activities throughout both days of this woolly fest, including Mad Science demonstrations and activities, a petting zoo, and some crafty 4H obstacle course demonstrations. Kids who can’t get enough of arts and crafts will find a wide variety of activities and classes, such as jewelry making, sweater stitching and yarn painting.

Alice in Wonderland - Valhalla
Sunday, October 22, 2017
The National Players bring Alice, the Mad Hatter and the rest of Lewis Carroll's crew to the stage in a 21st-century telling.

Nyack Halloween Parade - Nyack
Saturday, October 28, 2017
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!

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