Dutchess County

Special Halloween Library Programs in the Lower Hudson Valley for Kids

While there’s nothing wrong with your basic pumpkin or witch foam-sticker-and-construction-paper craft, it can be hard to get kids (especially older kids) excited about a project they’ve already done a million times. We last took a look at libraries in Westchester with cool and special programming, and now we’re going to turn our eyes to the rest of the Lower Hudson Valley. Whether it’s music or science, art or zombies, the library programs on this list try to mix things up a bit. And as with the Westchester programs, all of the events here are FREE!

For even more holiday celebration ideas, be sure to take a look at our Event Calendar, which is packed with tons more Halloween happenings. And don’t forget to sign up for our FREE newsletter and follow us on Facebook!  

Fishkill Farms: Eco-Friendly Apple Picking in Lower Hudson Valley

Apple picking season is still in full swing and though there are plenty of orchards that offer the chance to pick your own apples and pumpkins in upstate New York and New Jersey, it was really important for my family to choose an organic orchard. Turns out, truly organic farms are harder to come by than I thought.

I did a little digging and found Fishkill Farms a few years back and since then, my family has made the annual apple-picking pilgrimage to this lovely farm that practices ecologically-sustainable farming and offers low-spray apple varieties in addition to a growing number of organic ones. An hour and half from Midtown Manhattan and an hour from central Westchester, Fishkill Farms makes for a great day trip.

Best Places for Sports-Themed Birthday Parties in Lower Hudson Valley

Your child doesn’t have to be a natural athlete in order to love a sports birthday party. While many indoor sports centers offer traditional games like soccer and baseball, just as many have expanded their themes to include relay races, Capture the Flag and, yes, even dodgeball.  

We last took a look at some great places to have a sports birthday in Westchester, and now we’re going to expand our choices to the rest of the lower Hudson Valley. In this list you’ll find several more options for active kids to have a birthday bash. For even more birthday idea, be sure to take a look at our Party Planner Guide.

Museum Birthday Parties for Kids in Westchester and Lower Hudson Valley

Sure, sports birthdays are awesome, and your toddler is sure to have a hit at an indoor play space, but why not try something a little different this year and have a party at a museum? Perfect for preschool and older children, museum parties can tap in to a wide range of interests, whether it’s art or animals or outer space.

We’ve gathered a selection of kid-friendly museums that welcome birthday parties in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley. Be sure to take a look at our Party Planner Guide for even more birthday ideas!

Gymnastics Classes in Lower Hudson Valley: Where Kids Can Tumble, Bounce and Cheer

Kids love to run, jump, hang, climb and flip—and most are just as likely to tackle the playground monkey bars as they are to use their bed as a trampoline. Channeling that energy and sense of adventure through a sport like gymnastics can be a great way to enhance motor skills and encourage safe play and exploration, making it an ideal first activity for many young children (honestly, who doesn’t love a jumbo-sized trampoline or a massive foam pit?)

Whether you have an aspiring Gabby Douglas on your hands, or are jut looking to try out a new (and incredibly fun) activity, gymnastics classes may be just what you're looking for. We’ve explored gymnastics centers in Westchester; now we're taking a look at a few great options in the Lower Hudson Valley.

Mid-Hudson Children's Museum: Interactive Play for Little Ones

Lower Hudson Valley is a wonderful place for kids and families. From laid back fun like drive-in movie theaters to an impressive outdoor sculpture park, there is so much to see and explore. We recently wrote about the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum, a fantastic summer outing for local residents or an easy day trip from Westchester. Now we're taking a closer look at the Mid-Hudson Children's Museum. Located in Poughkeepsie, this interactive space is aimed at kids under age 6 and covers many themes including science, art and community through vibrant and engaging exhibits. Not surprisingly, my 4-year-old son loves this place! We've got details on what to expect and tips to get the most out of your visit.

Day Trips: 5 Family-Friendly Destinations Close to Westchester

Westchester is full of wonderful things to do, from fantastic county pools to family-friendly museums and so much more. Even so, summer time lends itself to family outings and many use lazy summer days to escape for a day and take in the sights of a nearby town. With New York City to our South, Connecticut to our East, Rockland County to our West and the more rural counties of Dutchess and Ulster to our North, it is easy to hop in the car (or on a bus or a train or even in a boat!) and find whole new towns to explore. Using central Westchester as our starting point, we've rounded up 5 great small-town destinations—all of which are under 2 hours away!

Must-Try Ice Cream Shops in Lower Hudson Valley

Few summer traditions are as timeless as ice cream melting down your wrist on a hot day. My kids and I don't need much of an excuse to indulge in this tasty treat and though ice cream stands, shops and chains are plentiful throughout lower Hudson Valley, there are a few local shops that really stand out. All of these are destination-worthy, using handmade or locally sourced ice cream for their creative concoctions and traditional favorites. Here is our list of 5 destination-worthy ice cream shops in the lower Hudson Valley. Also, be sure to check out our top picks for local ice cream shops in Westchester County!

STEAM Camps in Lower Hudson Valley: Kids Can Invent All Summer

Children are born inventors and explorers; that's why STEAM subjects (science, technology, engineering, art and math) are so popular. Whether it’s digging through muddy streams to see what lives there, building and battling Lego robots, or writing nature-inspired poetry, the best STEAM-focused camps know how to engage kids by always keeping things fun. (Summer break is no time for worksheets.)

A few weeks ago, we rounded up STEAM classes and camps in Westchester; now we’re examining the offerings in the lower Hudson Valley area. Don’t forget to browse our Summer Camp Guide to find out about additional enriching programs.

Summer Camps in Lower Hudson Valley That Offer Transportation

We know that transportation is often a highly ranked amenity when scouting out summer camps. That's why last week, we rounded up programs throughout Westchester County that offer busing. This week we're turning our attention to the many summer camps throughout Lower Hudson Valley that offer this same convenient service.

Read on for camps in the area that provide transportation, whether it’s door-to-door or from a central location. Looking for more camp ideas? Be sure to check out our Summer Camp Guide and Camp Directory.

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