North Castle

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.  

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.

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.

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

8 Bakeries Making Outrageous Birthday Cakes for Westchester Kids

Kids’ birthday parties have become way more elaborate than when we were kids, with large guest lists and elaborate entertainment. Birthday cakes have stepped up their game, too. While some parents opt for simplicity, like buying a sheet cake from the supermarket or Carvel, there’s a definite market for sensational cakes with a heftier price tag.

Below we’ve rounded up Westchester bakeries that have the chops to create cakes worthy of The Food Network. Whether you seek a simple layer cake frosted in buttercream or a three-tiered tower adorned with elaborate fondant figurines, these shops—pardon the expression—really take the cake!

Read on for the skinny and sign up for our e-newsletters to stay in the know about all kinds of resources for Westchester families!

Sell-Out Alert! Victorian Valentine's Day Tea is Free Fun for Westchester Kids

It might seem early to talk to about Valentine's Day, but given the popularity of the Victorian Valentine Tea at the Horace Greeley House in Chappaqua, you'll be glad to have the heads-up to reserve your child's spot. We attended this annual event in the past and were wowed for many reasons—including that it's free!

Read on for our review and be sure to sign up for our newsletters for more awesome events heading your way! Also consult our Event Calendar to plan ahead.

13 of the Best Places for Families to Get Pizza in Westchester

Whether your family likes to kick it old-school when it comes to pizza—or you prefer a gourmet take on the tried-and-true formula of crust, sauce and cheese—Westchester has plenty of pizza options. Slices, pies and more can be found in this baker's dozen of pizzerias—there's even a mobile pizza truck!

For more great ideas on places to dine out with the family, check out our Westchester Kid-Friendly Restaurant Guide and sign up for our newsletters

Frosty Day: Free Holiday Fun for Westchester Families

Westchester’s Armonk has staked a claim as the home of Frosty the Snowman and celebrates this claim to fame with its annual Frosty Day. Community pride is clearly apparent at this multi-venue, well-attended festivity. We’ve attended Frosty Day and have the inside scoop to share with our readers.

Read on to learn how to join in Frosty’s homecoming and what to expect for your family. For many (many!) more holiday happenings, refer to our Event Calendar and stay up to date by signing up for our  newsletters.

Sugar-Hi: A New Sweet Spot for Westchester Families that's Simply to Die for

A new sweet shop has arrived in Westchester, and it’s so good that it’s worth a drive from wherever you live. Introducing: Sugar Hi.

At first glance, the sugar shack may resemble other similar spots—and with respect to the selection of candy and ice cream, a comparison can fairly be made. But make no mistake: The baked goods and frozen beverages are to die for. And while the ice cream and candy are provided by other suppliers, the baked goods are made by the Sugar Hi team for a one-of-a-kind tastebud experience.

Read on to learn more about our recent visit and sign up for our newsletters to have news like this delivered straight to your inbox.

FREE Bilingual Story Times for Westchester Kids

Because a public library’s mission is to serve the varying interests of its community, it’s fitting that many offer bilingual programming for children, especially in towns with diverse communities. Bilingual programming for Westchester families, however, is often attended not only by native speakers but also by those wishing to expose their children to a second language from an early age. One local mom we know strategically hired a Spanish-speaking nanny for her toddler and brought him to Spanish story time to increase this exposure.

Beyond the 30 to 60 minutes of weekly immersion, these programs can also provide a cultural hub—an opportunity for families to connect with others from their heritage and socialize both within and outside of the library setting. And since most are intended for young learners accompanied by a caregiver, you're sure to pick up some new phrases yourself!

We’ve explored the bilingual programs offered by Westchester libraries to round up some highlights. Though Spanish-language programs are the most abundant, a variety of languages are in focus—and one in particular offers a smattering of more than 20 languages, from Dutch to Urdu and Ashanti! One note: Although we confirmed with the libraries that these are ongoing programs, be sure to check before you go because dates can change.

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