Sonia Gonzalez

Sonia Gonzalez

Sonia Gonzalez's picture

Sonia Gonzalez
NYC Editor / Writer

Sonia is a veteran editor and writer for Mommy Poppins. She loves exploring greater New York with her husband and their three kids and is always on the looking out for innovative, educational and fun things to do with them. She is thrilled to have this platform to share what she finds with Mommy Poppins readers.
You can also follow Sonia on Google+.

Latest posts by Sonia

Dia de los Muertos: Free Day of the Dead Events for Westchester Families

Halloween is fast approaching, and while you're counting down to the big day and enjoying all the fun haunted happenings around town, why not consider adding a multicultural flair into the mix? Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is technically not a Halloween event; however, it falls right around the same time of year and shares many similar customs and themes.

This Mexican tradition may sound somber and spooky, but it’s actually a joyous time of year, meant to honor family and friends who have passed on. Revelers prepare special foods, don colorful outfits, and create alters adorned with flowers, smiling skulls (calaveras) and candles to celebrate lost loved ones. Festivities include dancing, joyful skeletons (calacas), masks, plenty of candy, skulls made out of sugar, and marigolds, the traditional flor de los muertos (flower of the dead). Day of the Dead is observed on November 1 and 2, but events are already taking place. Read on for ways to celebrate Dia de los Muertos in Westchester. The best part—all events are FREE.

Looking for more things to do? Consult our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters

Weekend Fun: Giant Pumpkins, Dance Party, Halloween Fests

Halloween festivities are in full force this October weekend in NYC with a host of events, including Giant Pumpkins at the New York Botanical Garden, a special effects workshop at NYSCI, a LGBT-friendly family Monster Mash, the East Village's Halloween Dog Parade, and the annual Halloween fest at the Bleecker Street Playground.

Don't forget to peruse our Halloween Guide for FREE paradesFREE events, and where to trick or treat in NYC, plus local haunted houses and less-spooky Halloween fun for preschool-age children.

If you're not quite ready for Halloween festivities, enjoy fairy fun at Wave Hill's Enchanted Weekend, learn about the rich history and traditions of Dia de los Muertos—festivities are taking place this weekend in Crown Heights and on Staten Island, or just rock out at a family-friendly dance party hosted by CirKiz.

Or looking ahead to the next holiday? Book your Thanksgiving dinner out at these NYC restaurants in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn, or grab tickets now to a magical Polar Express or Santa holiday train.

All of our top weekend picks are below, with more options in our Event Calendar and Fall Fun Guide

Ragamuffin Parades: Costume Parades for Westchester Families

Halloween is just around the corner! In addition to our list of top outings for this month, there are seasonal celebrations all over town, including a plethora of ragamuffin parades. (Did you know these actually started out as a Thanksgiving Day tradition?) 

In addition to traditional marches, some towns go a step further with carnivals, entertainment, live music and more. Read on to find out where to join the ragamuffin tradition in Westchester!

Looking for more seasonal fun? Check out our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook

Weekday Fun: Columbus Day, Ai Weiwei, and the Young King

NYC kids should know the fun doesn't stop after the long weekend), and not only because Columbus Day is the pivot between the week and weekend. Of course, you have the annual Columbus Day Parade, but the weekday fun continues with HONK NYC! Street Band Festival, the opening of the Public Art Fund's Ai WeiWei: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, and the premiere of a truly exceptional theater experience in The Young King. Long live the city fun!

Read on for our top weekday picks and be sure to peruse our  October GoList , our Event Calendar, and our Fall Fun Guide for even more options.

Weekday Fun: Off-Broadway Week, Heroes of the Harbor, Free Fun

With most NYC kids off from school on Monday and Tuesday, we've got extra highlights on tap. Snag 2-for-1 tickets during Off-Broadway Week, take in an African dance performance at the new 53rd Street Library, marvel at the Parade of Boats in Chelsea, and welcome New York Comic Con with a YA meet-and-greet at Books of Wonder.

The extra days off are also great for apple and pumpkin picking. Check out our Fall Guide for even more idea. If you're looking for nearby outings, our staycation roundup is loaded with 40 top picks. And with Halloween just around the corner, we've also rounded up lots of FREE themed fun for families.

Read on for our top picks for the coming week. Also, be sure to check out our Event Calendar for more options and don't forget our newly minted October GoList to help you plan out the entire month!

Weekend Fun: Blessing of the Animals, Kids Theater, Halloween

A long weekend is on the horizon for NYC kids. If you're planning to skip town, we've got lots of day trip and weekend getaway ideas to consider. If you're staying close to home, this weekend is packed with annual favorites like the Chili Pepper Festival in Brooklyn, Honey Weekend in the Bronx, and Blessing of the Animals and Feast of Saint Francis in Morningside Heights.

Hoping to catch a show this weekend? Consider Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea at the New Victory Theater, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities by Cirque du Soleil on Randall's Island, or Pete the Cat in Queens.

And if you're already in the Halloween spirit, head to opening weekend of Boo at the Zoo, join in a Ragamuffin Parade, or get up close and personal with Creepy Creatures of Halloween.

Read on for our top weekend picks. For even more options, check out our NYC Staycation post and, as always, remember to peruse our Event Calendar.

Weekday Fun: Cirque du Soleil, Little Prince, Teen Lit

The coming week is full of fantastic family theater. Cirque du Soleil returns to New York City, a classic adventure tale comes to life at the New Victory Theater, and The Little Prince is reinvented with the use of whimsical physical theater in Flight.

Teens! Enjoy a launch party and meet the authors of two new mystery novels at Books of Wonder. And families, now's the time to take in all the wonders of Madame Tussauds as kids get in FREE.

Read on for details on all of our top picks for the week, and remember to peruse our Event Calendar for even more options. And don't forget that NYC public school kids have two long weekends coming up. Check out our Day Trip and Getaway Guide for inspiration. Staying local? We just updated our 100 Things to Do in New York City with Kids and just released our very first 100 Things to Do in New York State with Kids list.

Pumpkins and Scarecrows Invade New York Botanical Garden

Come autumn even urbanites seem to crave seasonal harvest displays more often found at the pick-your-own farms just outside NYC's borders. Lucky for us, there are amazing fall fests right here in the city and even a corn maze for those who really want that farm experience. Now we can add the just-opened fall and Halloween-themed outdoor displays at New York Botanical Garden to our list of the best seasonal happening around NYC. 

My family always heads to the Botanical Garden in the Bronx for its annual exhibit of pumpkins and gourds, so we were excited to see this year's brand-new programming. Titled Pumpkins: Playful & Plentiful, there are gourds galore, plus seasonal activities and events for kids in the Everett Children's Adventure Garden, a guaranteed hit for families with small children. And though my now-teenage(!) son has outgrown the Children's Garden, he did perk up a bit when I mentioned NYBG's other new exhibit, Scarecrows: From the Heartland to Horror, a trail of spooky and original sculptures that is not recommended for young kids.

We just visited and have the scoop on what to expect at this year's fall festivities at the New York Botanical Garden, so read on for more details.