Normally a trip to a historic home in the Hudson Valley wouldn’t be the first thing on your child’s to do list, but this Sunday, September 19, 2010, there sure won’t be any whining if you suggest a trip to Washington Irving’s Sunnyside for Children’s Book Day. A fun festival day with sixty authors and illustrators from your kid’s favorite books ready to autograph their volumes and lots of other fun goings on.
My family and I love this event and have gone for the past three years. It is a great way to find a new favorite book, something you may have overlooked in the bookstore, and spend a day outside. Sunnyside, the Hudson River home of Washington Irving, is picturesque and just a nice place to be, and it is just outside of NYC in the village of Tarrytown, a quick trip in the car or on Metro North.
This Sunday, the riverside grounds of Washington Irving’s Sunnyside are transformed into a children’s literature paradise with authors and illustrators like Jules Feiffer, Mat Fleet, Peter Sis and Victoria Kann (don’t worry if you don’t know these best selling names your kids sure do!) lined up to sign books bought on site. Not all the authors appear at the same time. They are broken out into two groups. Make sure to consult the schedule before you go to avoid disappointment.
Throughout the day classic children’s story book favorites like Curious George and Biscuit will be on hand for photos with the kids. There are breakout story times, talks and demonstrations by some of the authors and illustrators as well as a magic show and my personal favorite: a live concert by Carole and Paula from the Magic Garden (remember them??) and tours of the historic residence with a period costumed guide.
There is food on site and you are allowed to bring in a picnic lunch and eat on the lovely grounds. Unless you arrive super early you will be taking a shuttle bus from a nearby school to Sunnyside, meaning no access to your car, so you will need to be able to comfortably carry your picnic lunch with you during the day.
Sunnyside is easy to get to via the Metro North Railroad from Grand Central Station. Take the Hudson Line to Tarrytown and then grab a cab for a five minute trip. The whole journey will take less than one hour.
Children’s Book Day at Washington Irving’s Sunnyside
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Noon to 6:00 PM
Admission is $12 for adults and $6 for children over the age of 5 years.
Children under 5 years are free. (Books available for purchase on site.)