We usher in autumn with the start of school and the uncorking of champagne (just us?), but it's also a time to take part in such annual traditions as apple picking, pumpkin picking, and Halloween celebrations. It also gives Westchester families one last opportunity to visit certain outdoor spots before they close up shop for the winter.
We’ve gathered up our favorite things to do with preschoolers this fall in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. For more options, check out our Event Calendar—and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.
Fishkill Farms has a wide selection of apples and lots of treats! Photo by Diana Natal for the farm
1. Go apple picking, of course.
2. And once you’ve eaten all of your apples, find the best place to pick your pumpkin.
3. Summon your inner superhero (or prince/princess) at this fun event at Dance for Joy studio on Thursday, September 6.
4. Take advantage of Family Free Night at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum on select Saturdays: September 15, October 20, and November 17.
5. Get in one last campout—with your neighbors—on Saturday, September 15.
6. Check out the kids' activities at the Fall Festival at the Yorktown Assisted Living Residence (formerly Fieldhome) on Saturday, September 22.
7. Campfire s’mores don’t have to end. Learn about fire building at this FREE event at the Trailside Nature Museum on Saturday, September 22.
8. Celebrate National Alpaca Days on Saturday and Sunday, September 22-23.
9. Take advantage of the two remaining opportunities to visit a national park for FREE in 2018: Saturday, September 22, and Sunday, November 11.
10. Little film buffs will love checking out the kid-friendly movies at the Jacob Burns Centers' The Best of the New York International Children's Festival on Sunday, September 23.
RELATED: Fall Festivals in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
Cheer on the riders at the American Gold Cup. Photo by Susan Miele
11. Prefer horses to movies? Check out the American Gold Cup at Old Salem Farm from Wednesday, September 26, to Sunday, September 30.
Preschoolers might have to stay up a little late, but they will love seeing the illuminated pumpkins at the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze. Photo by Susan Miele
12. Start the Halloween celebrations early with a walk through The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze, running Friday, September 28, through Saturday, November 24.
Foster a love of reading at the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. Photo by Grace Bennett for Inside Chappaqua
13. Visit the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival, where more than 90 authors and illustrators are scheduled to appear, on Saturday, September 29.
14. Can’t make the festival? Take the kids on a book crawl.
15. Sample the best apple cider doughnuts in Westchester... and the Hudson Valley.
16. Get lost in a corn maze.
17. Burn off some steam with a foliage hike.
18. Investigate the Early Explorers area at the Hudson River Museum.
RELATED: Best Places for Apple Picking with Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
Bring them to the ultimate pretend-play event at the New York Renaissance Faire. Photo by Susan Miele
19. Catch the Renaissance Faire before it bids thee farewell on Sunday, September 30.
20. Get in the spirit with a Pumpkin Picking Autumn Celebration at Muscoot Farm on Saturday and Sunday, October 6-7.
21. Brings them to the annual Halloween Train Show at Lasdon Park for a scary-lite activity, held Saturdays and Sundays in October, as well as Monday, October 8.
22. Learn more about the the animals that live on the grounds of the Storm King Art Center on Sunday, October 7.
23. Ring in fall with Pumpkinfest on Monday, October 8.
24. Bring them to Boscobel for 2nd Saturdays, including October 13 (leaf rubbing) and November 10 (games).
25. Indulge in all things apple-related at Warwick Applefest on Sunday, October 14.
Create a massive textile sculpture at Storm King's Children & Families: Sunburst Sculpture event. Photo courtesy of Storm King
26. Visit Storm King on Sunday, October 21, to make a cool sunburst sculpture.
Groundwork's Science Barge is closing for the season soon, so hop on! Photo courtesy of Groundwork's Science Barge
27. Climb aboard the Science Barge before it closes for the season on Sunday, October 28.
28. Make the most of the great fall weather with a picnic and fun at Play Day at John Jay Homestead, on Fridays through October 26.
29. Go trick-or-treating at one of these kid-friendly spots in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.
30. Enjoy all things chocolate at the Red Hook Chocolate Festival on Saturday, November 3.
This originally published in 2016 and has been updated for 2018.