Sleepy Hollow

Westchester's Top Haunted Houses and Halloween Events for Kids

Think you can handle the Creepy Morgue at Playland or survive the Haunt at Rocky Ledge? Whether you’re local or a daytripper, Westchester is a hot spot of exciting and fun (and terrifying!) Halloween happenings for children. We've collected some of the best frights, a couple ideas better suited for the younger ghouls, and a few fun parades in the Lower Hudson Valley.  

Keep in mind that the listed age minimums are suggested by the event producers. You know your kid best—what’s no big deal to one grade-schooler could cause nightmares for weeks to another.

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Fall Festivals in Westchester: Cider, Donuts, Pumpkin Carving & Hayrides

Usher in the fall season in Westchester with a host of family autumn festivals. The area's harvest celebrations are packed with fun 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. Be sure to consult our guide to best places for apple picking, many of which include festival-like added attractions.

Looking for more family fun? Get the most out of the season with our newsletters and follow us on Facebook

CORNucopia at Philipsburg Manor: A-Maize-ing Family Fun

Labor Day weekend ushers in the return of one of our favorite fall festivals, CORNucopia. The annual festival at Philipsburg Manor in the picturesque Sleepy Hollow is filled with all manner of old-fashioned fun set in the 18th century. Not sure about the fun factor at an event devoted to corn? You’ll be a-maize-d!

This year's festival will be held Saturday, September 2,  through Monday, September 4, 2017. My family and I attended last year and can't wait to return. Expect corny—and quality—fun, from music to corn-shucking contests.

Read on to learn from my family's visit and the inside scoop! Be sure to check our our Event Calendar for more ideas, and follow us on Facebook.

Spring Fun at the 2017 Tarrytown Duck Derby and Y Healthy Kids Day

Nothing says spring in the suburbs like a team of rubber ducks bobbing and bumping down a river. The annual YMCA Healthy Kids Day and Rotary Duck Derby, a four-hour affair at Sleepy Hollow’s Patriot Park, is a family favorite of ours. The event typically draws more than 1,500 people, all of whom come to enjoy the live music, vendors, crafts, entertainment and, of course, hordes of rubber ducks. 

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, 11am - 3pm, and we have what you need to know. Looking for more spring family fun? Check out our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

18th Century Spring Fun at the Philipsburg Manor Sheep-to-Shawl Festival

Few events herald spring for our family quite like Philipsburg Manor’s Sheep-to-Shawl festival. We included this event in our AprilGo List—our top picks for events happening all month long—and Sheep-to-Shawl definitely delivers.

Part of the Historic Hudson Valley network, based largely in Westchester County’s charming Rivertowns, Philipsburg Manor is a working historic farm that dates back all the way back to the 1690s. Each year, just as us humans are getting ready to shed our winter coats in favor of spring jackets, so too are the sheep getting ready to shed their winter wool, and that is where the festival begins. Read on for all the details on this weekend-long event, including what to expect and what not to miss!

Looking for more ways to ring in spring? Check out our Spring Activity Guide and sign up for our newsletters!

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.

Hudson Valley's Best Halloween Celebrations for Kids

This post is being updated for 2017.

The Hudson Valley is the setting for many a scary Halloween happening—parents be warned! There's traditional fall fun like pumpkin pickingfall festivals, and corn mazes, but the area celebrates Halloween in a big way with attractions for all ages (and all levels of bravery). Even if you don't live in the Hudson Valley, these are totally worth the schlep and blowing the kids' bedtimes—at least once.

While the Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze is perhaps the top Halloween event in the area, there are other cool happenings just next door: the haunted attraction Horseman’s Hollow, a live retelling of Irving's Legend, and the little-kid-friendly Legend Behind the Legend. Head a little further north to Somers to check out the Halloween Train Show at Lasdon Park, and put the Wappingers Falls and Nyack parades on your calendar. 

Our best advice: Start planning now. Nearly all require advance tickets and most sell out. 

Don't forget to sign up for our newsletters to stay updated on all things Halloween-related.

Historic Mansions for Westchester Kids: Step Back in Time with Interactive Fun for Westchester Families

Historic mansions may not be the first thing kids (or their parents) think of when planning a fun-filled outing, but take a closer look. Westchester County is home to several historic homes that offer visitors more than just a glimpse into the past. Many have dedicated kids programming, annual and seasonal events, fairs and festivals and stunning displays and exhibitions. We've covered many of these events on Mommy Poppins, including the debut of Lightscapes, and the annual Sheep-to-Shawl and Great Jack O'Latern Blaze at Philipsburg Manor.

Now we've got the scoop on six historic mansions throughout Westchester that are worth checking out with the entire family. These architecturally stunning homes have been restored or maintained throughout the years (and in some cases, centuries) and offer a peak into prominent, wealthy family life (in the case of the Rockefellers), colonial life during the 18th century and so much more, as well as interactive programming that brings history to life in fun, educational and unforgettable ways.

Nature Trails for Westchester Families: 3 Places to Experience Nature with Kids

Westchester is chock full of beautiful places to enjoy nature--it’s one of the reasons so many families choose to live here. From historic sites like Kykuit and Sunnyside with lush gardens to explore, to huge parks like Rockefeller State Park and Croton Point Park, there's more than enough green space to go around. We previously wrote about great places to go hiking with kids, however some of the most gorgeous spots to commune with nature are not the most commonly known. If you're looking to blaze new trails, here are three great places to start.

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