Summer has arrived, and although the season holds promise in many ways, one of our favorite features is the abundance of family-friendly summer festivals and fairs. We’ve rounded up 15 of our favorites in Westchester and the Hudson Valley—from strawberry festivals to county fairs—all of which include fun activities for kids. Although plans were still being finalized for some of this season’s festivities, we’ll be sure to keep this roster updated as summer progresses.
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Stormville Airport's Food Truck & Craft Beer Festival – Hopewell Junction
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Not just for grown-ups, this second annual festival features fun for the whole family, including live music, a kids' zone, artisan market, corn hole tournament, and more. Kids 12 and under get in FREE.
Ukrainian Heritage Festival – Yonkers
Friday, June 15 – Sunday, June 17, 2018
Enjoy Ukrainian cuisine, music, and arts and crafts at this annual fair, along with rides and games. Admission is FREE.
Clearwater's Family Stage features a great lineup of kid-friendly acts. Photo by the author.
Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival – Croton-on-Hudson
Saturday, June 16 – Sunday, June 17, 2018
Returning to Croton Point Park, the “Clearwater Festival” features seven stages of live music, a food and farm market, craft vendors and a lot more. A Family Stage has acts geared toward children, while the Children’s Area offers face painting, mask making, bubbles, and other creative activities. We’ve attended in the past and had a wonderful time.
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Introduce your kids to great music at the American Roots Festival. Photo by Gabe Palacio.
American Roots Festival – Katonah
Saturday, June 23, 2018
Head to the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts for a full day of live music performances. Rhiannon Giddens will headline this year’s event, and you can expect such kids’ activities as a scavenger hunt.
Great American Weekend – Goshen
Saturday, June 30 – Sunday, July 1, 2018
This giant festival in Orange County is worth the trek over the bridge. Expect tons of food, arts and crafts, and plenty of live music, as well as a carnival with kiddie rides and games. Admission is FREE, but some activities require a fee.
Independence Day Fair at John Jay Homestead – Katonah
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
In addition to food, games, live music, and crafts, visitors can also take tours of the former Founding Father’s historic home and enjoy a petting zoo, stilt walker, log-cutting, 18th-century equestrian demo, pony rides, face painting, hayrides, discovery centers, fishing, and even more. Admission is FREE; some fair activities require a fee.
Hudson Valley Balloon Festival – Rhinebeck
Friday, July 6 – Sunday, July 8, 2018
See hot air balloons as they are inflated and take to the sky at various times of day, book a balloon or helicopter ride, enjoy clown and other entertainment, catch the nighttime illumination glow, enjoy sunrise yoga, play carnival games, take a hayride, and more. Note that the festival will take place at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds this year. Read our review of the Balloon Festival here.
Catch a ride on a friendly dragon at the Orange County Fair.
Orange County Fair – Middletown
Thursday, July 12 – Sunday, July 16; Thursday, July 20 – Saturday, July 21, 2018
While details haven’t yet been announced as of this posting, typically the attractions include nail-gripping thrill rides, tried-and-true carnival food, and less common features such as a demolition derby. A new ride operator is being utilized; we’ll follow up when more is announced.
Bring your little groupies to the Pleasantville Music Festival for cool performances plus kids' activities. Photo by Linda Shenkman
Pleasantville Music Festival – Pleasantville
Saturday, July 14, 2018
In addition to nine hours of live music (including by the throwback Psychedelic Furs), this family-friendly festival at Parkway Field features food, vendors, and kids’ activities.
Putnam County Fair – Carmel
Friday, July 27 – Sunday, July 29, 2018
Good old-fashioned fun is to be had at this three-day county fair, with pet shows, BBQ, pony rides, touch-a-truck and lots more. Admission and parking are FREE.
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Travel back in time to Elizabethan England at the New York Renaissance Faire in Sterling Forest. Photo by the author
New York Renaissance Faire – Tuxedo
Saturday, August 4 – Sunday, September 30, 2018 (Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day)
This epic festival features 30 acres full of games, food, entertainment, and rides. It’s nearly impossible to do everything in one day, so consider a repeat trip. See all of our tips for attending, including how to save on ticket prices, in our review.
Enjoy a day of fun, food, and rides at the Otisville County Fair.
Otisville Country Fair – Otisville
Thursday, August 9 – Sunday, August 12, 2018
Now in its 30th year, this country fair features traditional fair attractions like livestock competition and a pie-eating contest, but things get a bit more interesting with the added appeal of a chainsaw competition, horseshoe tournament, and other quirks. Cast-iron frying-pan toss, anyone?
Beacon Corn Festival – Beacon
Sunday, August 12, 2018
Another festival hosted by the Beacon Sloop Club, this one highlights all things corn at the Beacon Riverfront Park! Expect live music, food, craft vendors, and kids’ activities. FREE
Dutchess County Fair – Rhinebeck
Tuesday, August 21 – Sunday, August 26, 2018
At the second largest county fair in New York State, fairgoers can enjoy rides, games, food, eyebrow-raising entertainment, vendors, agricultural and horticultural exhibits, culinary competitions, and eclectic attractions from racing pigs to dock-diving dogs.
Woodstock–New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair – New Paltz
Saturday, September 1 – Monday, September 3, 2018
Summer wraps up with this craft fair featuring some 300 artists assembled nationwide. A highlight of the event is a children's tent featuring demonstrations and supervised arts & crafts projects. Kids 12 and under get in FREE.
Photos courtesy of the fairs/festivals unless otherwise noted
This originally published in 2016 and has been updated for 2018.