Take the Kids Back in Time at the New York Renaissance Faire

The New York Renaissance Faire descends on Sterling Forest once again this August and September, an annual festival that transforms the state park in Tuxedo into a 16th century village complete with period costumes, music, theater and crafts.

The massive 65-acre "Renn Faire," as locals call it, has been taking place since 1977, and it kicks off again on Saturday, August 5, 2017. This year is the festival's 40th anniversary, and we have the scoop on what's new for 2017. Read on for details on what to see there with the kids, tickets discounts, and more.

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Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Renaissance Faire, Slide the City, Sand Castles

You'll feel like you've traveled the globe and back in time after attending the events on tap this weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

For starters, the beloved New York Renaissance Faire returns this weekend, which is a must-do if you’ve never donned your Elizabethan garb and watched jousting with a turkey leg in hand. Also on the global itinerary are the annual Native American Heritage Celebration and the Indian Heritage Festival

Nothing says summer like a Sand Castle Competition (got what it takes?) and while you’ve got your bathing suits on, partake in more brazen fun at Slide the City.

Read on for more details on our top weekend picks and be sure to click through for full details. Making plans weeks in advance? Check out our newly posted August GoList for our best bets throughout the month. And remember to check out the myriad weekday and weekend events captured in our Event Calendar—there's no shortage of fun things to do all summer long! 

Crayola Experience Pennsylvania: A Day Trip for Doodlers

There are few sights more satisfying than a quietly coloring, fully focused child. Entering the four-story Crayola Experience in Easton, Pennsylvania, does not exactly replicate that peaceful scenario (it's busy with excited families!), but there’s no doubt that it’s a kid doodler’s paradise.

Part creators’ studio, part indoor playground, this 65,000-square-foot kid entertainment center is bedecked in bold primary colors with smiling crayons beaming at you from every corner. It offers more than two dozen art-making stations using the full spectrum of Crayola materials—paints, clay, markers and yes, crayons—as well as more active entertainment like a multilevel play, bounce and climbing structure, toddler section, a water table with boats, and a “Cool Moves” dance-like crayon-themed game.

It debuts a brand-new attraction, Adventure Lab, with an immersive and interactive quest-style game. Read on for the full Mommy Poppins review, and find more day trips and hot kid destinations in our U.S. Travel Guide for Families.

(Do) Fence Me In: 6 Great Playgrounds for Toddlers in Westchester

There are lots of great parks and playgrounds in Westchester, no matter which city or town you live in. But finding a playground that’s suitable for the under-5 set can sometimes be a challenge: You want them to be safe—and they want to try that giant, twisty slide with a group of wild 7-year-olds on it.

No need to worry. Turns out there are a number of toddler-friendly playgrounds throughout the area, with plenty to do to keep them occupied and having fun. We've rounded up a few of our favorites.

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Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Harry Potter Party, African Drumming

August already?? If you’re like me and panic is setting in because you swore you would pack your family’s summer with fun, continue to rely on Mommy Poppins to help make the most of the month!

The week ahead has a motley assortment of activities. Give your kids a history lesson with instruction in life before electronics at From a Child's Perspective, where they can tour a historical home, try on period fashion and play games that occupied kids centuries ago. A couple live performances (both of which are FREE) include Afro-Peruvian percussion at Arts in the Amphitheater: Music Nights. Or put on your party shoes and bring your magic wand to the Harry Potter Party.

There are also hands-on activities and assorted indoor/outdoor fun happening all week. Don’t miss any of it! Read on and consult our Event Calendar and Summer Fun Guide for lots more.

August GoList: The Best Things to Do in Westchester with Kids

It's hard to believe August is here already! While this is a big month for travel, there are tons of things to do right here in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

Travel back to Elizabethan England at the New York Renaissance Faire or experience military life during the American Revolution at Military Reenactment Day. There are also several fairs and festivals to enjoy, including the Native American Celebration of the Hudson Valley and the Dutchess County Fair. For unadulterated fun, abandon self-restraint at the Muddy Puddles Mess Fest.

Be sure to lean on Mommy Poppins to plan your staycation and all of August! Read on for our top picks for the month and consult our Event Calendar for even more options. Additional events are added frequently, so sign up for our weekly newsletters and like us on Facebook

Free & Cheap Summer Outdoor Movies for Westchester Kids in August

The fun of free (and almost free) outdoor summer movies for Westchester kids continue through August, and we've got the scoop on where and when. As a bonus, many of these movies are "classics" from the '80s and '90s, so you get the added coolness of sharing a piece of your own childhood with your kids. 

Don't miss out on your last chance to laze under the stars on a blanket with some popcorn. (And you can even bring your own snacks—no sneaking necessary!)

Looking for more summer fun, outdoor and otherwise? Consult our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Best Places for Frozen Yogurt with Kids in Lower Westchester

Summer is here, as is the burning desire to cool down with an ice-cold frozen treat. We previously rounded up some of our favorite ice cream parlors in Westchester, and now we're turning to frozen yogurt. But what adults crave in a frozen-yogurt shop isn’t necessarily what kids want (gummy worms on top of cabernet-pomegranate twist?).

Choosing where to go for fro-yo is fraught with numerous options—partly because there are often new shops opening and others closing (Eastchester lost Nuts About Yogurt, while Pure Bliss recently closed in Pelham and Larchmont). Sure, there are many national chains to choose from, but our interest lies more in the local operations. To help guide our readers, my family made the ultimate sacrifice in visiting a bunch of fro-yo shops in Lower Westchester—strictly for our readers’ benefit, of course. A few calories later, we’ve whittled these down to a choice few and have offered the inside scoop.

Read on for the skinny on fro-yo! Be sure to sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook to stay in the know about all things kid-related in Westchester.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: County Fair, Lighted Boat Parade, Insane Inflatables

A bounty of festivals and other summer fun continues this weekend for Westchester and Hudson Valley families, with a mix of live performances, carnival action and a few twists.

The Putnam County Fair has all the trappings of carnival amusement, live animals and other fun stuff. The annual Lighted Boat Parade returns to illuminate New Rochelle harbor. For more exotic entertainment, experience South America at Paraguayan Harp and Folk Music. It might not be March, but Erin Go Bragh at the Irish Heritage Celebration. And if your family is into extreme anything, you won’t want to miss the Insane Inflatable 5K—not your toddler’s bouncy house, for sure!

Read on for more details and more great options to choose from—then consult our Event Calendar for our daily selection of activities. Also check out our Summer Fun Guide, which has ideas for every aspect of the season!

20 Things Your Kid Can Do to Support the Paris Climate Accord

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -Dr. Seuss

When it comes to making a difference in our world, even grown-ups can feel pretty small sometimes. It's hard to imagine that a single act could really change much of anything. But looking at the big picture can help. Imagine if everybody on your street did the same small things every day. And imagine if each of those neighbors told a friend, who started doing those small things, too. Before long, all of those individual little acts start to add up to big change. With the U.S. government's recent decision to back out of the Paris Climate Accord, an agreement in which individual countries pledge to do their part to curb global warming, now more than ever we need to think of ways we can start living a little lighter. Set aside a half-hour with your child and read this list of simple things kids and parents can do, together, to support the efforts and spirit behind the Paris Climate Accord.


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