Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Children's Book Festival, The Magic Garden

Things to Do

Here we are in mid-October, when Halloween is just around the corner and fall fun peaks. In addition to all the big Halloween events recurring throughout the month (add Scared By the Sound to that list, which starts this weekend), there are also numerous local festivals celebrating autumn and other fun events for Westchester and Hudson Valley families. 

Though it’s hard to pass up all the Halloween fun, there are a bunch of compelling events this weekend that don’t involve pumpkins or hauntings. One of the big headliners is the return of the Chappaqua Children's Book Festival, where young bibliophiles get the chance to meet authors and illustrators, collect autographs, hear book readings and celebrate beloved literature. Speaking of beloved, Carole and Paula of TV’s The Magic Garden reunite on stage for a live performance to sing about the Story Box and other ‘70s nostalgia. Other performances include Disney’s Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve and, after being named a finalist on America’s Got Talent, Catapult struts their shadow-dancing stuff.

This is just the beginning! Read on for our top weekend picks, visit our Event Calendar for more, and refer to our October Go List for our top choices for the rest of the month!

All Weekend

Scared By the Sound - Rye 
Tweens, teens and even adults can get spooked at this walk-through creep fest. The setting is a haunted house and cemetery at Rye Playland and features ghoulish actors and scary shenanigans.

Saturday, October 14

Chappaqua Children's Book Festival – Chappaqua 
Bibliophiles can enjoy a day of kids’ activities, food, music and—of course—books! Meet popular children’s authors, enjoy readings and more. Free.

Lenape Festival – Cross River
Meet Lenape descendants to learn about the early settlers of our region and experience the tribe’s culture through drumming, dancing, crafts, stories and a wigwam tour. Free

Pound Ridge Harvest Festival – Pound Ridge
At the return of this annual event, live music is provided by alt rockers Rusted Root, and kids can enjoy an assortment of games, activities and rides, plus a root beer garden. Free admission, but parking is associated with a fee.

Pumpkin Festival - Campbell Hall
Feast on fall fun with a hay ride, an encounter with Mrs. Scarecrow, pumpkin painting, face painting and more—all for a pittance.

See all Saturday events.

Sunday, October 15

Disney’s Choo Choo Soul with Genevieve - Peekskill
Fans of the Disney Channel’s Choo-Choo Soul will enjoy seeing their favorite characters live on stage in this locomotive-themed musical performance.

The Magic Garden - Mamaroneck
Seeing Carole and Paula performing in person is what’s especially “magic” about this event—a total throwback for those of us who grew up loving them on TV.

Catapult - Valhalla
A finalist on America's Got Talent and following a three-year European tour, this troupe performs shadow-dancing, which combines dance with storytelling and sculptural imagery.

See all Sunday events.

Beyond Westchester

Introduce the brood to the beauty of classical music at Carnegie Hall Family Concert: Peter and the Wolf and Other Stories, featuring a trio of kid-friendly works. You've probably heard Prokofiev’s classic Peter and the Wolf, but the other two compositions are brand-new musicalizations of other picture books. Tony and Emmy Award-winner John Lithgow narrates as the Orchestra of St. Luke's plays these whimsical pieces.

For one weekend every October, hundreds of New York City's historic buildings and architectural marvels—including private residences, cultural institutions and offbeat spots like cemeteries and artist studios—open their doors to the public as part of Open House New York. Some sites offer family activities. Free

Looking for quirky? Sample a wide variety of the Lower East Side's signature snack at Pickle Day. Free

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Photo courtesy of the Chappaqua Children's Book Festival