January GoList: Best Things to Do in Westchester With Kids

With the holidays over and the cold weather setting in, January may seem like a good time to hibernate—but not so for Westchester and Hudson Valley families! Our January GoList provides plenty of reasons for getting out and taking advantage of the compelling programs in our area. And, after the high cost of the holidays, you'll be glad to know that many of our picks are FREE!

The Best of the New York International Children's Film Festival returns for an encore screening, with a dozen short flicks hailing from around the world, and the circus comes to town when the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus brings its feats and daring to the local arena. For outdoor fun that embraces the season, bundle up for the Hudson Valley Rail Trail WinterFest, and if your kids are practically obsessed with poop, try Scat! Lest we forget the key holiday of the month, teach your kids about civic duty by finding a cause to lend a hand to on the annual MLK Day of Service

These are just a sample of the highlights we’ve identified for you—there are also shows, nature excursions, and more—so read on for more and consult our ever-growing Event Calendar for daily picks. Don’t worry: There’ll still be plenty of time to sit home by the fire in your jammies!

First Day Family Fun – Katonah 
Monday, January 1, 2020
Among the numerous First Day Hikes being offered on New Year’s Day: Get a head start on burning off those extra holiday calories with a New Year's Day hike; then warm up by the bonfire with a toasty drink. FREE

Three Kings Day Celebration – New Rochelle
Sunday, January 5, 2020
The cultural traditions of Central and Latin America come alive in this annual event marking the close of the holiday season. Enjoy a live performance, and sample Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread). FREE

Scat! – Ossining
Sunday, January 12, 2020
Lots of kids think poop is hilarious. Or fascinating. This program explores what animals leave behind.

Hudson Valley Rail Trail WinterFest – Highland
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Embrace the cold winter months in the great outdoors with a chili contest, roasted chestnuts, toasted marshmallows, wagon rides, a wood-carving demonstration, refreshments, and more.

Martin Luther King Day of Service – Multiple Locations
Saturday, January 18, 2020
The weekend leading up to MLK Day is designated for volunteering (“a day ON, not off”). Volunteer New York helps match families to opportunities.


Rosie Revere, Engineer is on stage at the Emelin Theater. Photo by Jeremy Daniel Photography

Rosie Revere, Engineer – Mamaroneck
Saturday, January 18, 2020
TheatreWorks USA returns to the Emelin Theatre with a page-to-stage adaptation of Andrea Beaty’s Rosie Revere, Engineer. Think of it as STEM set to music on stage!

RELATED: Fun Winter Day Trips for Westchester Families


 There are volunteer opportunities for all ages in honor of MLK Day. Photo courtesy of the UJA-Federation

UJA-Federation Interfaith MLK Day of Service – Multiple Locations
Monday, January 20, 2020
UJA-Federation of New York is offering volunteer opportunities for all ages in honor of MLK Day. As part of this interfaith effort, volunteers can pack humanitarian supplies, pack food donations, prepare Blizzard Boxes, or provide foster-care duffel bags. 

The Best of the New York International Children's Film Festival – Pleasantville
Monday, January 20, 2020
This encore presentation of Kidflix One (films from the 2019 New York International Children’s Film Festival) includes 12 short films from around the world, including Guatemala, Russia, Australia, France, and more.

Hyde Park Winterfest – Hyde Park
Saturday, January 25, 2020
This FREE festival offers sledding, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing, as well as marshmallow-roasting at the fire pit, hot cocoa, and more.

Eyes on Owls – Scarsdale
Saturday, January 25, 2020
Uncover the secrets of these mysterious night dwellers. Learn about their eating habits by dissecting owl pellets; then complete the bone puzzle to discover what was on the menu the night before.

RELATED: Top Indoor Play Spaces for Kids in Westchester


The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus performs sword-swallowing, gravity-defying feats, juggling, and other entertaining stunts. Photo courtesy of the circus

Bindlestiff Family Cirkus – Valhalla
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Prepare to gasp, clap, and laugh, as the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus performs such feats as sword-swallowing, gravity-defying feats, juggling and other entertaining stunts, along with audience interactivity and a touch of vaudeville.

Winter Hoot – Olivebridge
Friday, January 31 – Sunday, February 2, 2020
Clear your schedules for three days of a rousing good time with this multi-faceted festival that centers around live music in assorted genres but also features local food, singalongs, short films, family square dancing, and more.

Don't forget to check out our Event Calendar for even more fun happening in Westchester, and be sure to follow us on Facebook!

Harvest Festival
Bethel Woods Center for the Arts - 11:00 AM Pick
Mustang Club Car Show
Museum Village - 11:00 AM Pick
The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze
Van Cortlandt Manor - various times Pick
Home of the 'Legend'
Washington Irving's Sunnyside - various times Pick
What the Fluff? Festival
- various times Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides