Hudson Valley

30 Awesome Things To Do with Westchester Preschoolers this Fall

We usher in autumn with the start of school and the uncorking of champagne (just us?), but it's also a time to take part in such annual traditions as apple picking, pumpkin picking, and Halloween celebrations. It also gives Westchester families one last opportunity to visit certain outdoor spots before they close up shop for the winter.

We’ve gathered up our favorite things to do with preschoolers this fall in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. For more options, check out  our Event Calendar—and don’t forget to 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.

Fall Festivals in Westchester and the Hudson Valley: Apples, Pumpkins, Cider

Usher in the fall season in Westchester and the Hudson Valley with a host of family autumn festivals. The area's harvest celebrations are packed with seasonal activities for kids, including pumpkin fun, hayrides, apple-cidering, doughnuts, and more.

We've rounded up details on the best upcoming fall festivals in Westchester, several of which made our September GoList. And be sure to consult our guide to the best places for apple picking, many of which include festival-like added attractions.

Looking for more fall family fun? Get the most out of the season by subscribing to our newsletters and following us on Facebook

Best Places for Apple Picking with Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

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 the Hudson Valley. Remember to contact the farms before heading out. Many are family-owned and -operated, and hours may change with little or no notice.

Looking for even more fun fall activities? Sign up for our newsletters.

A Dozen Drop-In Play Spaces for Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Kids complaining they're bored—or you just have your eye out for something new for them to do? Whether you’re looking for something on the weekend, tween-appropriate activities, or spaces for the toddler set, we’ve rounded up a dozen drop-in play spaces and fun zones, from trampoline parks to play cafes.

Looking for even more activities? Check out our newly updated classes guide.

Canoe, Kayak, and Paddleboat Rentals for Westchester Families

Westchester County and the Hudson Valley boast plenty of pools and spray parks to keep kids and adults splashing their way through the sticky summer months. But for New York families seeking a more active outdoor adventure, paddling down one of the state's many natural local waterways can't be beat.

Novices can take guided tours or lessons offered by kayak companies, and children as young as 3 can help power a paddleboat with some of that energy they never seem to burn off. More adventurous paddlers can take on half-day tours of the Hudson River and its aquatic ecosystems or conquer stand-up paddleboarding.

Read on for nearby spots where you can flex those rowing arms with canoeing, kayaking, paddleboarding, rowboats, rafts, and more. And for even more water fun, check out our list of the best lakes and rivers for swimming in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

Amusement Rides and Indoor Play Spaces Await at Palisades Center

I remember watching the Palisades Center being built from the ground up as I shuttled between Rockland and Westchester counties for various athletic meets and games in high school. At the time, I never imagined that 20 years later, I would be a parent seeking out that very mall to entertain and amuse my own child. But seek it out I do—and with good reason.

It's not just the shopping that makes the Palisades Center a destination spot for families (though, seriously, who can resist four full floors of restaurants and shops?). Palisades Center is also an entertainment complex that lures patrons of all ages. From indoor play spaces larger than many elementary schools to carnival rides and extreme ropes courses, this gigantic mall has something for kids with every interest—with plenty to entertain parents, as well. Read on for the highlights.

Looking for even more fun? Check out some other family-friendly spots

5 Inspiring Firefighter Museums Near New York City

Kids love firefighters. And who can blame them? Brave men and women who drive around in shiny red trucks—and actually save lives—are kind of like real-life superheroes. And a chance to try on equipment, climb aboard fire trucks, and have questions answered by some of these superheroes themselves could be your little firefighter fan's dream come true. Luckily, the New York area is home to several museums dedicated to firefighters that are great for the whole family.

If you're looking for fun indoor activities to help you beat the heat (or the rainy day blues), here are some of the kid-friendly firefighter museums in our area where you and your kids can learn how firefighters do their jobs, plus how to prevent fires in your own home, and how to act in a fire emergency. 

Bounce Off the Walls at New Launch Trampoline Park in West Nyack

It seems like yesterday we announced to readers the opening of Rockin’ Jump, the indoor trampoline park, at Ridge Hill. Now there’s a new trampoline kid on the block: Launch Trampoline Park.

Located in Rockland County’s West Nyack, Launch Trampoline Park opened in June 2018 and is gearing up for a Grand Opening event. Bearing much resemblance to Rockin’ Jump, Launch Trampoline Park offers extreme dodgeball, one-on-one basketball, a battle beam, dunk basketball, a warrior ninja course, more than 15,000 square feet of open-jump trampoline space, an arcade with redemption, and a cafe.  Read on for more details about this new facility for Westchester and Hudson Valley kids.

Looking for more places to have fun while burning off energy? Consult our guide to indoor play spaces in Westchester. Also stay abreast of new openings, special events, and more by signing up for our newsletters and following us on Facebook

50+ Free Things To Do This Summer for Westchester and Hudson Valley Families

Summer is here, and while the end of school can be a relief, the new challenge is to keep the kids busy seven days a week! But filling those long days can get pricey—fast. Fear not: We’ve been hard at work identifying tons of FREE things to do with the kids that will keep them entertained all summer long—and we're not just talking about crafts. We found multi-cultural festivals, admission-free days, magic shows, outdoor yoga, astronomy nights, animal encounters, historical sites, and loads more.

Read on for 50+ of our favorites below, but also note that our Event Calendar is your BFF all season, because we keep adding to that frequently, so it’s always worth a gander. Want more that’s FREE? Bookmark our guide to year-round FREE things to do and sign up for our newsletters.

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