Westchester

The Catskills with Kids: 25 Fun Things To Do in New York Catskills

When you're up for a road trip, the Catskills offer a slew of great things to do for families in the New York metro area. Whether you have young kids or tweens and teens—or all of the above!—there’s so much to do in, including hiking, camping, river rafting, and more.

Covering 600,000 acres and encompassing most of Ulster, Sullivan, Delaware, Greene, and Schoharie counties, the Catskills are rich in natural beauty and historical significance. You'll find family-friendly skiing and picturesque resorts—including the brand-new Kartrite Resort—as well as many charming small towns, including Saugerties, Woodstock, Phoenicia, Tannersville, and Delhi.

Most destinations are about a two- to three-hour drive from central Westchester. Here’s a look at 25 ideas for fun with the kids, no matter your family’s interests.   

Looking for even more places to visit in your area and beyond? Check out our travel guide.

Pittsburgh with Kids: 40 Fun Things To Do in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh has been racking up the cool points lately, landing on "best cities" lists and topping rankings for top spots for sports, restaurants, and even tech. It isn't just college kids flocking here. The Rust Belt city offers plenty of fun things to do for kids and families, including a thriving arts and culture scene.

The Pittsburgh Zoo is a longtime attraction for families, along with the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, but unique offerings like the Carnegie Science Center, National Aviary, and Andy Warhol Museum are a draw, too. We've long touted the city as one of our top Pennsylvania weekend getaways for families, but we recently revisited and enjoyed exploring old favorites and finding more fun things to do in Pittsburgh. Read on for a list of 40 things to do, see, and eat in Pittsburgh!

What's New at the NYBG Holiday Train Show in 2019

Manhattan's Central Park is the star of this year's Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, opening November 23, 2019 and running through January 26, 2020. We may still be a few weeks from Halloween, but the annual train show is a NYC Christmas tradition worth looking forward to.

The iconic landscape of the park includes architectural treasures like Belvedere Castle, the Dairy, the Old Bandstand, the Angel of the Waters sculpture atop the Bethesda Fountain, and two graceful pedestrian bridges, arrayed in a winter wonderland tableau alongside existing Central Park replicas in NYBG’s collection, including the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater.

Read on for a peek at what else is new, plus everything you need to know about visiting this popular holiday attraction with kids.

25+ Things To Do with Westchester Kids Before They Start Kindergarten

Westchester and the Hudson Valley are teeming with family-friendly things to do, and we've put together a list of preschool-targeted fun for the 5-and-under set. From enriching museums to the great outdoors, these activities cater to the wondrous and imaginative nature of those adorable-yet-challenging minis who have yet to experience the wonders of kindergarten.

Read on for our top picks of must-try activities for toddlers and preschoolers, and depend on our Event Calendar for the tremendous number of worthy events that occur throughout the year.

New Play Space in Westchester Offers Fun for Little Ones and Caregivers

Looking for an indoor play space for young children in lower Westchester? You're in luck—a new destination for classes, free play, retail, and parties for the 6-and-under set has just arrived in Pelham: Tig & Peach. We paid a visit and were dazzled by the use of the space.

Read on for the lowdown on Tig & Peach, which opened in September. And be sure to subscribe to our newsletters and follow us on Facebook to stay in the know about other news for Westchester and Hudson Valley families!

Things To Do in Westchester this Weekend: Fall Fests, Halloween Train Show, Hastings Spooktacular

Halloween fun is on the rise in Westchester and the Hudson Valley this weekend with the addition of the Hastings Spooktacular Weekend, plus the continuation of all the other big Halloween events throughout the month. Adding to the holiday hullaballoo is the return of the annual Lasdon Park Halloween Train Show, featuring added Halloween attractions including a pumpkin maze.

Numerous alternatives to the Halloween craze are also on tap. Among the fall festivals taking place this weekend, the standout is the two-day New York Sheep and Wool Festival, which features exciting workshops and live entertainment specifically for kids, as well as such eccentricities as llama acts. Or experience the cultural arts with a performance by the Krasnoyarsk National Dance Company of Siberia. A couple of STEM programs take place on Sunday, including Westchester Children's Museum's Chem-Palooza.

Read on for our top weekend picks, but know that there are many more options to choose from on our Event Calendar (it was hard to pick only a handful to showcase!). Our October GoList is another great resource to plan the rest of the month.

Easy Halloween Treats for Kids and Classroom Parties

Candy bars aren't the only Halloween treats to hand out this October 31. School kids across the country are getting ready to celebrate with Halloween parades and classroom parties, meaning you might be on the hook for homemade Halloween treats.

But there's no need to fear the sign-up email headed your way. I've planned more than a few Halloween parties and have put together a list of easy Halloween treats to help parents skip the last-minute scramble. These tried-and-true spooky snacks transform pretzel sticks into ghouls, mandarins into pumpkins, and make enough Monster Mash Brownies that will turn the entire class into sugar monsters.

Best Places To Trick-or-Treat in and Near Westchester

All kids deserve a safe and treat-filled Halloween, so we've rounded up some family-friendly areas and events where little goblins and ghouls can trick-or-treat to their hearts' content.

Whether you're looking for an alternative to your neighborhood or you want to add another stop to your trick-or-treating route, check out our picks, including Cross County's Halloween Spooktacular and the best neighborhood for trick-or-treating in the whole state (right here in Westchester)! 

Find more Halloween happenings in our Halloween Fun Guide and Event Calendar. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook!    

100 Things To Do in California with Kids Before They Leave The Nest

Whether your kids are leaving the nest in one year or in ten years, there are at least 100 things to do in California worthy of any family's bucket list. From San Diego to Crescent City and every town in between, there are amusement parks, great hikes, drives to the mountains, adventure activities, and so much more!

Did you know that California has 58 counties? Okay, maybe your bucket list doesn't need to cover all 58, but we have awesome family excursions covering over 30 counties across California's 163,696 square miles. How many have your kids experienced?

Polar Express and Santa Trains Near NYC This Holiday Season

The magic of Chris Van Allsburg’s popular Christmas picture book The Polar Express comes to life again this winter with festive holiday trains within a whistle's blow of the New York City metro area. A huge hit with kids and parents alike, these trains spark the imagination and holiday spirit with seasonal snacks, stories, even gifts—not to mention a visit from Santa himself.

These old-school cabooses (some harking back to the 1920s) offer a classic holiday ambience. There's a Polar Express just an hour south into New Jersey, as well as the one-day-only Tri-State Santa Train about 50 minutes away. You could also consider a day trip to the Catskills, or a weekend getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country for the Santa's Paradise Express. No matter which Santa Train experience you choose, your family can combine the annual Santa Claus photo op with lasting memories of a sweet adventure.

Remember: these train rides sell out quickly, often months in advance, so book now if you want to go.

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