Visit Santa at this North Pole Adventure from DreamWorks

A giant panda has made himself at home at Westchester's Ridge Hill, which is once again teaming up with DreamWorks Animation to take families on an Adventure to Santa. The panda is none other than Po from DreamWorks' Kung Fu Panda, and he and his friends are part of a holiday attraction that takes kids on a journey to the North Pole to meet Santa.

This is Adventure to Santa's third year at Ridge Hill, though it's the first year that Po and the Kung Fu Panda gang are making an appearance (the two previous years featured Shrek). I recently made the hour-long journey from my home in New Jersey with my 4.5- and almost-2-year-old boys to check it out. 

We have some important tips to know before you go, especially if you're making the trip from NYC, upstate or New Jersey.

Boo at the Zoo & Halloween Fun at Westchester & Hudson Valley Nature Centers

Halloween may technically be one fleeting day at the end of October, but its such a fun time of year, many of us celebrate all month long. And let's face it, we spend so much time and money putting together the perfect costume, stockpiling candy and other treats, and often doing fun crafts, that Halloween really does take more than just a day to celebrate.

We've already mentioned the fun ragamuffin parades coming up as well as Halloween-themed events in Historic Hudson Valley and throughout Westchester. Now we're turning our attention to the many nature centers in Westchester and the rest of the Hudson Valley. Set against beautiful backdrops, these events provide a perfect run-up to the Big Night. Read on for more details about these events, which include both daytime and evening options and range from sweet to (not too) spooky.

Looking for even more Halloween activities? Check out our Halloween Fun Guide and follow us on Facebook

The Best Apple Cider Doughnuts in Westchester

Quick survey: What’s your favorite part about fall? If your priority list looks anything like ours, apple cider doughnuts have secured a top spot. Think of them as the reward you earn after long hours of apple picking.

We've gathered up our favorite places, many of which offer them fresh from the fryer so they're still warm when you buy them. Looking for more fall fun? Take a look at our Fall Fun Guide and follow us on Facebook

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parties in Westchester and Rockland

Many fans of Harry Potter are eagerly anticipating the long-awaited release of the new series installment—Harry Potter and the Cursed Child—scheduled to launch at midnight on July 31. To help usher in this momentous occasion, some bookstores and libraries are rolling out the red carpet with festive celebrations. We’ve rounded up a bunch happening in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley to help you get your Harry glow on. (While exact details haven’t been announced, we’re holding out hope for exploding bon-bons or fizzing whizzbees.)

Whether you’re a die-hard fan or a casual aficionado, you’ll find both midnight events and others by day. So don your robe, grab your phoenix feather wand and get ready to Apparate to the nearest venue!

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Free Holiday Craft Workshops for Kids in Westchester

One of the greatest hallmarks of the holiday season is the personal touch we can create. This month, a number of workshops are being offered throughout Westchester that help children create their own handmade treasures—all of which are FREE (as an added gift!).

Read on for some nifty ways for kids and their grown-ups to get crafty this holiday season. And be sure to check our December GoList and our Event Calendar for even more ways to enjoy the holidays with kids!

Best Places for Kids' Cooking and Baking Parties in Westchester

Could your kid be the next Food Network star? If only they had proper instruction! Throwing your little one a cooking- or baking-themed birthday party is a great way to introduce him or her (and guests) to kitchen basics. Best yet, you don’t have to deal with the messy aftermath of pots and pans. From decorating cupcakes to crafting quesadillas, here are the best places in Westchester that can give them the skills to be Top Chefs for their birthdays. 

Don’t forget to consult our Kids’ Party Planner Guide for additional party ideas, and sign up for our FREE newsletter!

Thanksgiving Cheats: Where Westchester Families Can Score Some (or All!) of Thanksgiving Dinner

Turkey Day is coming—and we all know what that means! More appetizers, main courses, side dishes and desserts served up in one meal than most people are normally able to cook in a week.

No knife skills skills? No time? No kitchen? No problem! Westchester is full of shops and restaurants ready, willing and waiting to put that turkey dinner (or vegetarian alternative!) together for you. Pick up or delivery, precooked or just prepared, this list has something for every level of commitment.

And if you're already thinking about how to stay active this time of year, check out our post on turkey trots and fun runs happening throughout Westchester. And don't forget our November GoList for more fun events happening all month long! 

Serenity Now: Yoga Classes for Kids in Westchester and Lower Hudson Valley

When searching for activities for our kids, we often gravitate toward the ones that help them expend all of their energy and get the wiggles out. But kids aren’t Labradors, and it’s not enough to go on the notion that a tired kid is a happy kid. (It’s often the opposite!)  A successful and age-appropriate yoga program is yet another way to help kids gain confidence, focus and relaxation.

While there are several yoga studios in the area that offer classes for children, we’ve focused on the ones that are truly family friendly and provide specialized programs just for kids.

Be sure to check out the rest of our classes in our Classes Guide!

Kid-Friendly Fall Productions in Westchester: Fun Shows for Westchester Families

In between taking advantage of all the great outdoor activities the fall brings, Westchester is offering a multitude of enticing children’s shows sure to entertain not only the little ones, but their chaperoning adults alike. This fall's lineup includes returning family favorites like Click, Clack Moo, but also numerous novelties, like Black Violin and Krasnoyarsk National Dance Company of Siberia. An added twist on tradition is Olate Dogs - Winners of America's Got Talent.

Read on for our list of the best family shows and performances happening across Westchester this fall season. For even more fall fun, check our October GoList and Event Calendar for all of the other exciting activities for you and your family this season!


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