Briarcliff Manor

Co-op Preschools in Westchester: Where Parents Are Partners in Learning

If you want to play a hands-on role in your child's early education, then a cooperative preschool might be the right choice for you. Westchester is home to several co-op nursery schools, where parents help with everything from providing snacks to assisting in the classroom to serving on committees and boards.

Co-ops are tight-knit communities in which parents and educators work hand-in-hand to create a loving and creative learning environment. Because cooperative preschools are run with help from parent volunteers, tuition costs are typically lower than those of preschools operated entirely with paid staff.

Read on to learn about seven cooperative preschools in Westchester, and get more info in our School and Preschool Guide for Westchester Kids

Westchester's Rivertowns with Kids: 75+ Things To Do

There's so much to do in Westchester’s Rivertowns, the scenic and charming cities, towns, and villages that line the eastern shore of the Hudson River, from Yonkers to Peekskill.

The best part about the Rivertowns, of course, is their location along the water. This affords them not only scenic views and aquatic activity, but also a rich history from centuries of settlement along its banks. 

Below we've rounded up assorted highlights of Westchester's Rivertowns for family fun, including kid-friendly restaurants, cool museums, beautiful parks, historic mansions, and much more. There are also numerous family-friendly events—from festivals to performances—that can be found year-round on our Event Calendar and via our free newsletters.

Where Westchester Kids Can Find FREE Drop-in Storytimes

Getting into a storytime group can be nothing short of cutthroat in some places. While the registration-only programs ensure you a seat on the carpet, drop-in programs can provide some much-needed flexibility. Who hasn’t suddenly found a morning with nothing planned (or plans abruptly canceled) and a burning desire to just get out of the house? 

We’ve rounded up 15 places with drop-in storytimes—and, best of all, they’re all FREE! Looking for more things to do with your kids in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley? Take a look at our Event Calendar and sign up for our FREE newsletters.  

Breakfast with Santa for Kids and Families in Westchester

Though Santa is busy preparing for his famous ride on Christmas Eve, he still somehow has time to break bread (or pancakes) with children in Westchester this holiday season. These cozy get-togethers have become increasingly popular, typically featuring a full breakfast and holiday activity, with added perks at some. The best part? Quality time and a photo-op with St. Nick.

We’ve rounded up some top picks for Breakfast with Santa throughout Westchester to help you spread some holiday cheer. Advance registration is either required or recommended, so don't delay. And don't forget to bring your wish list!

If you're looking for more holiday activities, check our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

Free, Family-Friendly Halloween Parades and Events for Westchester Kids

If you think Halloween town and library programs are only about storytime and paper pumpkins, think again! Many towns in Westchester offer standout events that are frightfully fun—not to mention the parades, parties, and more free activities for families who love Halloween. 

Below we’ve listed two dozen places with fun Halloween programs. Best of all—they’re all FREE! (And, OK, there are storytimes and crafts, but we do like those, too.) 

Read on for our top picks, and then continue on to our Event Calendar for many more fun October happenings.

Book-Lover Crawl: 10 Ways Westchester Families can Celebrate Reading

New York City might get all the credit for the best and biggest bookstores, libraries, literary events, and authors, but Westchester is also full of great places to visit and things to do for those who love all things literary. So put your book down for just a minute and check out these 10 family-friendly ideas for book lovers.

Have a budding writer in the family? Check out our list of creative writing classes for Westchester kids.Or sign up for our newsletters to receive more suggestions right in your inbox.

Ragamuffin Parades: Costume Parades for Westchester Families

Halloween is just around the corner! In addition to our list of top outings for this month, there are seasonal celebrations all over town, including a plethora of ragamuffin parades. (Did you know these actually started out as a Thanksgiving Day tradition?) 

In addition to traditional marches, some towns go a step further with carnivals, entertainment, live music and more. Read on to find out where to join the ragamuffin tradition in Westchester!

Looking for more seasonal fun? Check out our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook

Paint-Your-Own Pottery: 5 Places Westchester Kids Can Get Crafty

Kids are known for bringing home a suitcase-sized amount of artwork each month. Pottery, however, seems to stand apart from the coloring pages and fingerpaints, perhaps because of its sheer durability. We’ve rounded up some of the places in Westchester and Rockland that offer paint-your-own pottery for kids. All have unstructured studio time for kids and adults, as well as happy hour times for parents to get together. 

These studios are open year-round and feature a rotating selection of crafts to match the seasons and annual holidays. Call ahead to find out the lead time for firing and getting your piece back when you want it.

Looking for more art fun for kids? Check out our Classes Guide and sign up for our FREE newsletters

Indoor Pool Parties for Westchester Families

For those lucky children born between Labor Day and Memorial Day, a summer birthday pool party can often be a foregone conclusion. Kids and water-- what could be better? Fall, winter, and spring children need not despair! Just because summer is over there's no reason to put pool parties behind you. For a small splash of season all year long, consider one of these INDOOR alternatives. Many local fitness centers have for pool party packages that are guaranteed to please. Read on for details on where to throw an indoor pool party no matter the season. 

SAT and ACT Prep: Free and Low-Cost Fall Workshops for Westchester Teens

High-stakes testing is a controversial issue that has been fueled in recent years with an increased emphasis on standardized tests nationwide. Though some of these high-stakes tests are new, having been implemented in the last several years, the SAT and ACT tests conjure up memories from many a parents' own high-school days. The tests have changed over the years and if you now find yourself navigating the test-taking waters as a parent, you may find that you have just as many questions as your teen.

Fortunately, there are helpful resources here in Westchester. We've rounded up various workshops and events taking place this fall, designed to help prep your teen for the tests and answer any questions you may have about the process. Resources include proctored practice tests that simulate the real deal, test-taking strategies from the experts, advice as to whether to take the SAT or ACT and more. Best of all, many of them are FREE!

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