Lower Hudson Valley

10 Summer Camps for Westchester Kids with Special Needs

For children with special physical, emotional, learning or medical needs, it can often be difficult to find summer camp programs designed specifically with their challenges in mind. While many traditional summer camps can accommodate a child with some minor needs, those designed to play on the strengths of special needs children while helping them develop in areas of weakness can often offer campers an experience unlike any other. 

We've rounded up ten summer camps in and around Westchester County that cater to children with special needs, providing individual attention with low staff to student ratios coupled with programs designed to let kids have fun, learn and explore while developing social skills and confidence in a nurturing and safe environment. Read on for more details on special needs summer camps in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley area. Looking for more camp options? Check out our ever-growing Summer Camp Guide and our Camp Directory

Where Aspiring Ice Hockey Stars Can Learn to Play in Westchester

At the 2006 games, 15 year old Valentina Bettarini broke world records by being the youngest Olympic hockey player, male or female, that the sport had ever seen. That means that today's 7 year olds already have a shot at Olympic gold in the 2022 competition. Set them on the right course early with a good ice hockey program.

Earlier this week, we let you know about the many places around Westchester where kids can learn figure skating. If hockey's more your thing, try out one of the beginner, intermediate or advanced ice hockey programs offered by these Westchester ice rinks.

NYC Labor Day Weekend Family Getaways: Nearby Destinations for Weekend or Day Trips

Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer, is fast approaching. While there are certainly plenty of ways to enjoy one last blast of summer right here in NYC, the three-day weekend is the perfect time for a quick family getaway before school starts.

Whether you're looking for a spectacular day trip or a multiday break, our tri-state area sites in New Jersey, Long Island, Connecticut and recently launched Westchester County have been covering the best things to do and places to go in their respective locales all season. In just one click, you can find out everything you want to know about visiting the Poconos, the Jersey Shore and other family hot spots with kids. We're highlighting six awesome areas for a Labor Day getaway, all within comfortable commuting distance of New York City. For even more family travel inspiration, check out our NYC Day Trips Guide, which includes a post about car-free Labor Day getaways, and our Travel site, which has a roundup of Labor Day weekend vacation deals.

Things to Do This Weekend with Westchester Kids: Fairs, Concerts, Animal Encounters & More, August 24 and 25

It's hard to believe summer is winding down, but there's still lots of fun happening this weekend in Westchester County. If you're feeling a little blue about back to school, we've got a Back to School Swagapalooza coming up that should help get you in the spirit. This national giveaway will include prizes that include $150 worth of personalized school supplies from My Chronicle Books, a year supply of school uniforms from French Toast and a Disney Junior package that includes Disney bedding and a backpack, just to name a few. More details are coming soon.

In the meantime. Rye Playland continues its Summer Concert Series with Jake Miller on Friday and the Dutchess County Fair is in full swing now through Sunday. For all the creature lovers out there, young and old, head to Hudson Highland Museum on Saturday to see Sky Hunters in Flight or check out the Slithery Serpents at Teatown Lake Reservation. On Sunday, grab your favorite fairy gear and head to Muscoot Farm for their popular Victorian Faerie Walk.

If you see something that piques your interest, be sure to click through to the listing for all the details. And don't forget, our calendar of events has even more to do this weekend in Westchester!

Ahoy Mateys: Pirate Fun for NYC Kids - Festivals, Sails & Shows

Pirates is one of those words that elicits completely different reactions from kids and grown-ups. Although everyone pretty much pictures lawless bands of marauders in search of booty, as an adult, I think about awful, ripped-from-the-headlines stories while my son imagines Johnny Depp in eyeliner. Thankfully for children, pirates don't have any scary real-life connotations—they're as make believe as princesses, unicorns and dragons. So indulging your child's pirate fantasies can be fun for the whole family.

There are lots of interactive ways for kids to play pirate in New York City that are much more stimulating than spacing out to yet another episode of Jake and the Never Land Pirates. From swashbuckling festivals to pirate shows and exhibits to sailing the high seas (a.k.a. New York Harbor) on a pirate-themed cruise, here are five ways for kids to get their pirate on in NYC.

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:

Day Trippin' - get more out of getting out of NYC

We love NYC in the summer, there is so much to do and it's less crowded. But, its also great to get out of town to spend some time in nature, swim in the ocean and check out new places. For all of July and August, in addition to our regular posts, we will be posting suggestions for fun day and weekend trips that you can take with kids. Here are a few quick suggestions to get you started. Any of these ideas would be great for something to do with the kids this Fourth of July Weekend.


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