North Salem

25 Cool and Free Halloween Programs for Kids in Westchester

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

Below we’ve listed more than two dozen places with fun Halloween programs. Best of all—they’re all FREE! (And, OK, there are some 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 events.

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.

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.

Best Places for Apple Picking with Kids in Westchester and Rockland

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 Rockland County. (Remember to contact the farms before heading out. Many are family owned and operated, and hours may change with little or no notice.)

Also see our top picks for apple picking in Dutchess and Orange and sign up for our newsletters.

New Year's Day: Ways to Kick Off 2017 with Westchester Kids

Whether you plan on spending New Year's Eve at home or out on the town, kids aren't usually sympathetic to late nights, even if they stay up with you. So if the chances of you sleeping in on New Year's Day seem pretty slim, you may be looking for fun ways to spend the day out with your family.

While many venues are closed, there are several fun options, including enjoying a romp at Legoland Discovery Centerhowling with the wolves or catching last-chance holiday displays. Read on for more details on ways to kick off 2017 with kids in Westchester!

Looking for more ways to have fun this year? Sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook

Glamp Out: Alternative Camping and Glamping for Westchester Families

Though hard-core campers may find it hard to believe, hauling a hundred pounds of gear out into the middle of nowhere to spend a night communing with mosquitos and tree frogs is not everyone's idea of a vacation. Perhaps you've never been camping and would like a low-risk way to get your feet wet (so to speak, of course) or you've been camping many times and are ready to try a trip where digging your own latrine isn't part of the charm. You're in luck! In addition to many conventional campsites, the Lower Hudson Valley also boasts several places that offer an alternative camping experience- one where you just show up and most of the work is already done for you! 

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 14 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.  

Kayak, Rowboat and Paddleboat Rentals for Westchester Families

Westchester County boasts 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 for a little more summer—or spring or fall—water fun.

Novices can take guided tours or lessons offered by kayak companies, and children as young as three 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 something new—stand-up paddleboarding.

Read on: We've got seven nearby spots where you can flex those rowing arms with canoeing, kayaking, paddleboating and rowboats.

Places to Play in North Salem: Where Westchester Kids Can Learn, Play and Explore in North Salem

My daughter and I recently found ourselves with several morning hours to pass in North Salem, and as we hopped from place to place it was clear that the best word to describe the character of this northern Westchester town is peaceful. Children played tag and basketball in the parks, leafed happily though books at the local library, licked ice cream cones in the painted Adirondack chairs outside the farm markets and watched for brightly colored fish in burbling gazing pools. We wrap up July’s spotlight on North Salem with a look at where local families and visitors can play, learn, relax and explore in this sleepy suburb. 

5 Great Campgrounds for Westchester Families

It happens to me every year. Friday afternoon rolls around and meteorologists are predicting the most beautiful weekend of the season. We have half a tank of gas in the car, our tent is lying in the hall closet and I decide that we need to go camping--right now. Luckily, we live in Westchester County where the urban, suburban and rural blend together in such a perfect balance that parks with tent-ready campsites are never more than a 45 minute drive from any front door in the county.

Feeling the itch to get out, sing some songs, make some s'mores and sleep under the stars? Good. We've rounded up details on five great campgrounds in and around Westchester County.

Looking for more summer ideas? Check out our Summer of Play series or our Summer Activity Guide

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