Katonah

Museums with Cool Kids' Programming in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

While there are many fantastic family-friendly museums and exhibits in New York City, you don't necessarily have to travel to NYC for an enriching cultural outing. We've rounded up 11 museums right here in Westchester and the Hudson Valley that offer lots of stimulating fun, in subjects ranging from fine art to firefighting.

All of these museums offer family programs that allow kids (and grown-ups) to explore and learn about the collections by engaging in a variety of hands-on activities. Best of all, a lot of these programs are free with museum admission—and many of the museums themselves offer free admission to children under a certain age. Don't forget to check with your local library to see if it offers free passes.

Read on for more about these cultural gems, which make for great family day trip destinations.

Maple Sugaring Events for Westchester and Hudson Valley Kids

Here in the Northeast, what apple picking is to fall, maple sugaring is to winter. The season begins in February and runs through late March. Ideally, temperatures must dip below freezing at night and warm up during the day to stimulate sap flow. Thus, the maple-sugaring season is brief. And to make just one gallon of pure maple syrup, it takes more than 40 gallons of sap!

We've rounded up maple-sugaring fun in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Read on for details on where to learn about and celebrate this centuries-old tradition. Looking for more seasonal fun? Check out our Westchester Winter Fun Guide, and look to our Event Calendar for new events added daily. 

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.  

The Best Places for Outdoor Ice Skating with Kids in Westchester

This time of year can be tough. The holiday excitement is over and we’re still months away from springtime temperatures. Sure, you can head to one of Westchester’s many indoor play spots for a romp sans the coat and gloves. But how about embracing the season and heading outdoors to enjoy the crisp air and sweeping winter landscape? 

If there’s not enough snow for sledding, outdoor ice skating might just do the trick. A new outdoor rink debuted in Westchester this season and several county parks offer skating options once the lakes freeze over. The best part is most options are FREE or charge nominal fees, so grab your mittens and skates and head outdoors for some winter fun and exercise that can keep little ones (and your wallet) happy all winter. Read on for your best bets for outdoor ice skating with kids in and around Westchester!

Christmas Tree and Menorah Lightings for Holidays in Westchester

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to herald its arrival than with the lighting of Christmas trees and menorahs? You don't have to head to Rockefeller Center to enjoy that holiday magic.

Many tree lighting events in Westchester have live music, toasty refreshments, a visit from Santa himself and—in some cases—some extra bells and whistles. Menorah lighting celebrations include parties, music, and plenty of tasty treats. 

We’ve rounded up several lighting festivities, ranging from big celebrations to cozy, small-town affairs. 

Looking for more seasonal fun? Check out our November GoList and be sure to browse our Event Calendar. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletters to keep up to date on our latest info.

12 Holiday Craft Fairs and Markets in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

‘Tis the season for holiday craft fairs, where an abundance of handmade goodies are presented by local makers across Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. Whether it’s sweet-smelling soaps, handmade jewelry, or blown glass, you are sure to find something special for everyone on your Nice list. 

We’ve gathered up some of our favorite holiday markets and Christmas craft fairs occurring across the area, many of which pack in extra kid-friendly events like games and photos with Santa. Looking for more holiday activities? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters!

Spooky Fun for Westchester Kids at Lasdon Park’s Halloween Train Show

With so many Halloween happenings in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, it can be hard to narrow down the choices. While many events are clearly geared toward older kids, the Halloween Train Show at Lasdon Park in Katonah is perfect for preschoolers, younger elementary kids or anyone who falls on the lower end of the scare-o-meter. 

The 2018 show is open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October, plus Monday, October 8, and we have the scoop on what you need to know! Looking for more spooktacular things to do? Consult our Halloween Guide and sign up for our newsletters.

Best Pumpkin Patches and Picking in Westchester and Hudson Valley

Autumn is in full swing, and it's a beautiful time of year to be outdoors! We've told you all about the wonderful fall festivals and where to go apple picking. Now we're turning our attention to the great pumpkins.  

Below we've rounded up our favorite places to go pumpkin picking in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Sure, you can buy your pumpkins from the supermarket or your local nursery, but if you're looking for a more authentic experience, head to one of these nearby pumpkin patches (though pumpkins will generally be found already off the vine). We recommend contacting the farms before heading out to confirm hours of operation, availability, and any comforts that might vary.

Looking for more fall activities? Consult our Fall Fun Guide 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

Take the Metro-North Train to Family Fun: 7 Easy Day Trips

A ride on the Metro-North can whisk your NYC family away to close-enough-to-see-in-a-day destinations minus the hassle of a car.

Sure, the city makes for a pretty stellar staycation with more family-friendly events and destinations than can be counted. We've got museumszoos and gardensoutdoor movie screeningsboating, and so much more. Even so, it's nice to make a quick getaway with the kids to slow down a little and enjoy a respite from the city buzz. 

Even better, Metro-North offers discount packages and deals for many nearby attractions in Westchester, the Hudson Valley, and Connecticut.

We've rounded up a few of our favorite stops along the three Metro-North lines with ideas for exploring nearby sights and attractions—all under an hour and a half from Midtown Manhattan. For those already living in Westchester, these little mini family day trips are made extra special with the thrill of a ride on a train.

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