Dutchess County

Apple Picking with Kids in Orange and Dutchess Counties

Apple picking is a fall tradition in the northeast. In Westchester, we're lucky to have so many local orchards to choose from. In addition to options in Westchester and Rockland, Dutchess and Orange counties offer many more apple picking farms and orchards. Here we gathered our top 5 picks for a day of family fun.

In addition to apple and pumpkin picking, these orchards offer lots of activities including petting zoos, puppet shows, haunted houses, corn and apple mazes, rides, even wine tasting! In addition, some offer other pick-your-own options including nectarines, plums, eggplant and peppers.

For more seasonal fun, check out our September Go List and our roundup of local fall festivals

5 Great Campgrounds for Westchester Families

It happens to me every year. Friday afternoon rolls around and meteorologists are predicting the most beautiful weekend of the season. We have half a tank of gas in the car, our tent is lying in the hall closet and I decide that we need to go camping--right now. Luckily, we live in Westchester County where the urban, suburban and rural blend together in such a perfect balance that parks with tent-ready campsites are never more than a 45 minute drive from any front door in the county.

Feeling the itch to get out, sing some songs, make some s'mores and sleep under the stars? Good. We've rounded up details on five great campgrounds in and around Westchester County.

Looking for more summer ideas? Check out our Summer of Play series or our Summer Activity Guide

Cooking Classes for Kids in Westchester

Cooking is a favorite pastime in our house, so my daughter has been in the kitchen since day the day she came home--first in a sling, then in a bouncy seat and, eventually, on a stepstool at the kitchen counter. I’d like to say she’s willing taste everything she cooks, but she’s willing to at least touch it.

Whether your kids are just getting started on their culinary adventures or ready to step out of the home kitchen and work with the professionals, Mommy Poppins has you covered. Westchester County is chock full of classes for the littlest helpers, seasoned sous chefs and talented teens.

Looking for more fun ideas? Check out our Spring Activity Guide

Take Me Out to the Ballgame! Kid Week at Dutchess Stadium

America's pastime is alive and well in Hudson Valley! If you're looking for a family outing that won't break the bank (like major league games can easily do), Dutchess Stadium (affectionately known as The Dutch) offers fun for the whole family. In addition to catching a game starring resident minor league team, the Hudson Valley Renegades, there are lots of other kid-friendly programs and events at The Dutch. We briefly mentioned the Hudson Valley Renegades in our post about minor leagues in the NY metro area but it's definitely worth mentioning again, especially since this week is Kid's Week, which means kids 12 & under get free admission to games this Tuesday-Thursday! Read on for more details about Dutchess Stadium, the Hudson Valley Renegades, free entry for kids this week and other events happening this season and year round.

Fall Harvest Family-Friendly Car-Free Getaways From NYC

[UPDATED: September 8, 2012]

Spend a Saturday or Sunday visiting small, family-owned farms, no car needed.  You can get back to nature without increasing your carbon footprint.  Metro-North has teamed up with Dutchess County to offer family-friendly daytrips that include stops at a sustainable agriculture farm, a kid-friendly vineyard for tours and tastings, a charming village and an apple orchard for picking and pies.  These trips are super popular with families, so the kids should have lots of company. And it's a great way for kids to gain some first-hand understanding of the farm-to-table connection. Kick back and enjoy the ride, we've got the details for you here.

Have Your Fun and Eat It Too: 8 Great Cooking Classes for You and Your Kid

Cooking with your child is a great way to spend some quality time together. The hands-on exploration of cooking is not just a great sensory experience, but can also help to get junior interested in what he eats, and might just tempt him out of his hot dog and applesauce comfort zone into the wilds of more exotic flavors. Plus, it's fun. Family cooking activities abound this fall, and we've found some great parent-child cooking workshops and classes for you. Here are a few options.

 

Family Friendly Day Trips from NYC Without a Car

In my post about the farms you can visit in Westchester, I mentioned that it is easy to get to Philipsburg Manor and Stone Barn Farms without a car, using public transportation. I thought it would be cool to write about some of the other day tips you can take from NYC using public transportation. There's really no reason to be stuck in the city just because you're car-less (or want to save your gas money on, say, the down payment on an apartment). There are plenty of fun family day trips that can be easily accessed using Metro-North trains or busses.

The MTA actually has an entire section of their website dedicated to what they so romantically dub MTA Getaways . You've probably seen this advertised in the subway, but I know I never really looked into it before. Many of the trips you could do any time, but the MTA has also worked with local tours and groups to create specific event packages.

Here are some car-free day trips that are definitely worth a try:

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