Rockland

Best Places To Visit Santa Claus with Westchester Kids

For those who celebrate Christmas, the holiday season is hardly complete without a trip to visit Santa. Lucky for us, there's no shortage of places in Westchester where kids can have a meet-and-greet with the big guy, and we’ve rounded them up for you here. If you’re looking for a photo opp for your little ones (and your pets!), these Santa sightings are sure to delight you and your little ones this holiday season.

Want an even more relaxed environment? Check out some of the breakfasts with Santa occurring throughout Westchester. 

For even more holiday activities, see our coverage on holiday tree lightings and performances of the The Nutcracker, all happening in Westchester.

15 Great Places to Trick-or-Treat with Westchester Kids

Whether it’s because the homes are too spread out, or they’re lining a busy road, or the neighbors are super cranky, some families just don’t live in neighborhoods that are great for trick-or-treating. There are a few sites out there known for rating the best trick-or-treating in the country, but we’ve done a little of own local research. All kids deserve a safe and candy-filled Halloween, so check out some of these family-friendly areas and events if you need an alternative.

For more Halloween-related fun, visit our Halloween Fun Guide and Event Calendar. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!    

Foliage on Foot: 10 Great Fall Hikes for Westchester Kids

Despite this somewhat-wonky weather, it is officially fall and the leaves have begun to change. While fall foliage drives can be fun, bringing the kids on an outdoor hike has the added bonus of letting them burn off some energy.

We polled our writers and readers and have gathered up a list of some of our favorite places in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley to bring kids to hike for beautiful autumn views. (Does the word “hike” make you instinctually grimace? No worries—we’ve included some easy options for those who are used to seeing the leaves from behind a windshield.)

Be sure to consult our Fall Fun Guide for more seasonal activities, and follow us on Facebook

Westchester's Top Haunted Houses and Halloween Events for Kids

Think you can handle the Creepy Morgue at Playland or survive the Haunt at Rocky Ledge? Whether you’re local or a daytripper, Westchester is a hot spot of exciting and fun (and terrifying!) Halloween happenings for children. We've collected some of the best frights, a couple ideas better suited for the younger ghouls, and a few fun parades in the Lower Hudson Valley.  

Keep in mind that the listed age minimums are suggested by the event producers. You know your kid best—what’s no big deal to one grade-schooler could cause nightmares for weeks to another.

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Farm Fun: 11 Hudson Valley Hayrides for Kids in the Fall

It's autumn, and that means time for visits to pumpkin patches and apple orchards, eating doughnuts, drinking apple cider, and going on hayrides. The Lower Hudson Valley is rife with farm fun in the fall, including hayrides—many of which are free or at least included with the admission price.

We've gathered up some of our favorite farms and orchards with hayrides. For more ideas for kid-friendly autumn activities, sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Fall Festival Fun in Lower Hudson Valley: Apples, Crafts, Petting Zoos

Leaf peeping, apple picking and cider doughnuts! Yep, autumn is a beautiful, festive time of year in the Hudson Valley, offering plenty of fun seasonal things for kids to do, including hitting up some of the area's best fall events. We recently rounded up our favorite fall festivals in Westchester County, and now we're heading beyond the county lines to highlight even more wonderful kid-friendly fests.

Expect traditional activities like hayrides, pumpkin painting and live entertainment, as well as more elaborate celebrations, such as the 16th-century-themed New York Renaissance Faire. All these festivals make for a fantastic day trip. Looking for more ideas? Sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook

Best Places for Apple Picking with Kids in Westchester and Rockland

Apple picking season is here! I used to look forward to apple picking every year as a child, and now I have just as much fun watching my little ones run through the orchards—not to mention the fresh-pressed apple cider and hot, delicious cider doughnuts! Many farms also have family-friendly entertainment and activities including live music, corn mazes and more. Apple picking is also a great farm-to-table teaching opportunity and a wonderful way to ease out of summer.

So get your apple recipes ready and read on for our top picks for apple picking with kids in Westchester and Rockland County. (Remember to contact the farms before heading out. Many are family owned and operated, and hours may change with little or no notice.)

Also see our top picks for apple picking in Dutchess and Orange and sign up for our newsletters.

Putt Putt Fun: 6 Cool Places To Take Westchester Kids Mini Golfing

Between splash pads, swimming pools and amusement parks, there’s so much to see and do in and around Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley this summer. But we'd be remiss if we didn't include one tried-and-true family favorite to the list: mini golf! 

Whether you’re looking for a fun, traditional putt-putt course or something a little different—glow in the dark, perhaps?—we’ve got you covered. Below, we rounded up a few of our favorites.

For even more great activities, check out our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Day Trip Guide: Top 10 Things to Do at Bear Mountain State Park

Now that school's almost out and schedules are a little looser, it's a great time to explore with the kids. There’s no shortage of day trips to take in the Hudson Valley, and we know it's hard narrowing down a spot that keeps every family member happy. Nestled against the Hudson River and featuring something for kids of all ages, Bear Mountain State Park in Rockland County is one place our family has returned to each year.

With hiking, paddleboat rentals, a large playground, ample room for picnicking and even a zoo, the park has plenty of options to fill an entire day. Our summer readers will be especially happy to learn the swimming pool opens for the 2017 season on Saturday, June 17. We recently visited the park and have what you need to know about this year-round destination, including our top 10 favorite things to do.

Looking for more things to do in and around the Hudson Valley? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

St. Patrick's Day Parades in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

While the largest St. Patrick's Day parade in New York State may be held in Manhattan, Westchester and the Hudson Valley boast sizable marches as well.

Below we’ve rounded up the 2017 St. Patrick’s Day parades in our area, all of which, of course, are FREE. With options ranging from Saturday, March 11, through Sunday, March 19, the holiday becomes a nine-day affair. Read on, wear your green and Erin Go Bragh! 

Looking for St. Paddy's celebrations that extend beyond parades? We have those too

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