Columbia County

12 Holiday Craft Fairs and Markets in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

‘Tis the season for holiday craft fairs, where an abundance of handmade goodies are presented by local makers across Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. Whether it’s sweet-smelling soaps, handmade jewelry, or blown glass, you are sure to find something special for everyone on your Nice list. 

We’ve gathered up some of our favorite holiday markets and Christmas craft fairs occurring across the area, many of which pack in extra kid-friendly events like games and photos with Santa. Looking for more holiday activities? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters!

5 Inspiring Firefighter Museums Near New York City

Kids love firefighters. And who can blame them? Brave men and women who drive around in shiny red trucks—and actually save lives—are kind of like real-life superheroes. And a chance to try on equipment, climb aboard fire trucks, and have questions answered by some of these superheroes themselves could be your little firefighter fan's dream come true. Luckily, the New York area is home to several museums dedicated to firefighters that are great for the whole family.

If you're looking for fun indoor activities to help you beat the heat (or the rainy day blues), here are some of the kid-friendly firefighter museums in our area where you and your kids can learn how firefighters do their jobs, plus how to prevent fires in your own home, and how to act in a fire emergency. 

Pick Your Own Blueberries and More at These Hudson Valley Farms

Strawberry-picking season may be coming to an end, but never fear: we've got the scoop on farms and orchards where you can pick other types of delicious berries all summer long—including blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Here are a few of our favorite places to go berry picking in the lower Hudson Valley, whether you decide to go for the morning or to make an entire day of it. Either way, be sure to call ahead to make sure the farm has berries on hand.

Looking for even more outdoor fun? Check out our summer guide.

Hudson Valley Day Trip Swimming: Lake Taghkanic State Park

Lake Taghkanic State Park in Columbia County has just about everything required for a successful summer day trip with kids. Clean water and attentive lifeguards? Check. Picnicking area? Check. Decent playground? Double check.

My family has visited this park as day-trippers and overnight campers many times over the last decade and we always enjoy ourselves, whether we're staying for the day or an entire weekend. To help make the most of your trip, we have what you need to know about visiting this Lower Hudson Valley summer destination.

Looking for more day trip ideas? Check out our Summer Activity Guide and sign up for our newsletters.  

Special Needs-Friendly Ski Resorts Near NYC: Adaptive Winter Sports Programs for Kids of Different Abilities

Winter is a wonderful season for outdoor fun—just ask my three young snow-loving kids. In fact, there are so many fantastic skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing resorts near New York City, it's difficult to choose.

But since I'm also a mom to a teenager with special needs who isn't into winter sports, that makes our decision all the more challenging. He is both physically and cognitively disabled, and the thought of struggling onto lifts, into gear, up hills and through crowds doesn't appeal to him—not to mention the possibility of wiping out. So my family needs a resort that's able to accommodate children of all ages as well as abilities.

Happily, there are some amazing adaptive winter sports programs at resorts within a few hours of NYC, and some are low cost or even FREE. Here are five ski programs for special needs families.

7 Great Hikes with Kids in Westchester and Hudson Valley

Are the kids getting restless? Do you need some outdoor activity that will get them away from the TV, expending energy and enjoying the great outdoors? Have you thought about taking a hike? Not a hike away from the kids...a hike with the kids! Westchester County offers great trails that will get you out there together, enjoying nature and taking in the sights and sounds.

The Westchester County Parks system has an amazing array of hiking opportunities and trails with gorgeous views that are easy enough for tikes to keeps up while still offering plenty of fun for older kids. Hiking is a great activity that can be enjoyed in all kinds of weather. So fill your water bottle, lace up the hiking shoes and head out to the trails. Read more to find some easy hikes along lakes, fields and waterfalls and enjoy some great hiking with your family.

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