Ulster County

Petting Zoos & Farms: 9 Places to Bring Westchester Kids for Animal Fun

Have an animal lover on your hands? Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley are filled with opportunities to see animals up close and personal—including some places that even let you get hands-on at a petting zoo. Many of the farms also offer kid-friendly activities in addition to the chance to see, touch and feed animals like horses, goats, cows, pigs, chickens, alpacas and more.

Read on for our top picks, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters for more family-friendly autumn activities. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!

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

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 Corn Mazes for Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

In our quest to find the best fall fun in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, we’ve located the best apple picking, the best autumn festivals and even the best cider doughnuts. So what’s left? Corn mazes!

All of the mazes on this list also offer other fall activities, enabling you to get a one-stop deal with plenty of all-day fun.

For even more ideas, be sure to check out our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Special Campgrounds With Kid-Friendly Extras Near Westchester

"Getting away from it all" and spending time camping in the woods sounds idyllic, but let's face it: Sometimes—especially when kids are involved—you just need something a little extra.

Whether it's a place to do laundry or a game to keep the kids happy, these campsites are all within a reasonable distance and have plenty of amenities and activities. You'll still feel like you're getting away from civilization, but with any luck you won't hear the never-ending cries of "I'm bored!" 

For more summertime fun, like us on follow us on Facebook and sign up for our sign up for our newsletters.

10 Best Holiday Things To Do with Kids in the Hudson Valley

There are only so many weekends left in December left to celebrate the holiday season, which can put some pressure on parents. Just which family fun is worth the trip and your time? Fret not, for Mommy Poppins has come up with a list of our 10 favorite things to do with kids in the Lower Hudson Valley during the holiday season. 

We’ve already told you our favorite things to do with kids in Westchester during the holidays, and now we’re going to turn our attention to the rest of the area. All of these family-friendly attractions are worth the drive and are a great way to explore the counties around Westchester. Check out our Holiday Guide for more Christmas and Hanukkah fun, or our Event Calendar for the latest doings. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to share what you’ve done!   

All Aboard the Catskill Mountain Railroad Polar Express in Kingston

Family traditions can be the best part of the holidays, and bringing the kids on a “real” Polar Express is one of the more exciting options in our area. These interactive experiences—there are several of them in the tri-state area—let families relive the magic of the story, while holiday photo opportunities abound. 
 
We recently took a trip on the Catskill Mountain Railroad’s Polar Express in Kingston, which featured an amazing crew committed to delivering an unforgettable experience. We have what you need to know about riding this holiday train, including what to expect on your journey. 

Looking for more holiday fun? Sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook

Splurge List: Where Westchester Families Can Be VIPs

We spend a lot of time helping you find the most affordable fun in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley, but we also know you and your kids deserve a splurge every now and then. If you’re looking to feel like a VIP, check out some of these local family-friendly splurges that are worth the extra price. Big bonus: Many of these high-end excursions are still cheaper than your run-of-the-mill equivalents in the city. 

Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest and greatest children’s activities in our area!

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