Westchester

52 School Lunch Ideas for Lunches Kids Will Actually Eat

Chances are that by now you've had some healthy, well-packed lunches delivered back into your hands virtually untouched at the school end of the day. There should be a special name for the heartbreak one endures at the words "I told you I hate peanut-butter and jelly," when not only is this the first you're hearing of it, but you spent extra money on organic jelly and freshly ground peanut butter. And if not PBJ, then what? Well, we've got 52 answers to that question!

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

September GoList: The Best Things to Do With Kids in Westchester

Though September signals the closing of beaches and pools and the return to school, there are so many scheduled events this month in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, it was hard to narrow down our favorites! With fall festivals, film festivals, a book festival, a maker's festival, and non-festivals, the events this month are true standouts.

Extremely corn-y fun awaits in various forms at CORNucopia—perfect for the younger set. For sportier action, catch an equestrian competition and more at the prestigious American Gold Cup. The Chappaqua Children's Book Festival (held in October last year) is a perennial favorite, with opportunities to meet beloved authors and illustrators. 

Though Halloween might seem a ways off, trust us: You don’t want to delay snagging your tickets to The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze, which go on sale September 4 (a moment’s delay, and you’ll wind up with a date closer to Thanksgiving). And the New York Renaissance Faire, which runs through the end of September, is worthy of a reminder after being featured in our August GoList.

Beyond these, there are many reasons to keep tabs on our Event Calendar this month, where you’ll find activities that celebrate Labor Day, the return to school, Grandparents Day, and the start of autumn, among other occasions. Stay in the know with our newsletters and check back frequently for updates.

Labor Day Weekend Events for Westchester Kids

It's hard to believe Labor Day Weekend is already upon us (sniff, sniff). If you, too, are feeling a bit nostalgic about another summer gone by, don't start singing the blues just yet. There are great ways for families to celebrate the unofficial end of summer in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and much to look forward to as reported in our September GoList.

The headline event is the return of CORNucopia, loaded with corn-y fun of assorted varieties, and for alternatives to the customary barbecue, ways to honor Labor Day include the West Point Band's Labor Day Concert, replete with fireworks and a cannon firing. Soak up some of the summer's remaining outdoor concerts and films, including Worldfest, featuring the Viva Brazil Dancers. Families can also support a good cause and work off that summer ice cream at the Labor Day Race/Walk & Kids Fun Run, or browse the wares and meet the artisans at the annual Woodstock–New Paltz Art & Crafts Fair

These are just a few of our top picks—read on for all this and more. Be sure to check out our Event Calendar for more fun activities, and follow us on Facebook! Have a fun Labor Day Weekend!

How to Pick a Daycare That You Actually Love

Whether it's your first child or your third, finding the best daycare option for your family comes with its share of challenges. Most parents are looking at factors like cost, hours, location, safety, and child-teacher ratio, but of course, another major requirement is an environment that's warm, inviting, and family-friendly. While trying to find the perfect daycare can make any parent anxious, the relationships and beautiful memories you'll create as a family will make all the effort worthwhile.

To help guide your search for the right daycare, we reached out to childcare program directors, Mommy Poppins editors, teachers, and professional moms to collect their stories and consolidate their advice. These daycare veterans have had time to reflect on their choices, and are ready to share their wisdom and lessons learned, which, together with your area's Daycare Listings, can help you pick a daycare that you actually love.

Best Places for Apple Picking with Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

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 the Hudson Valley. Remember to contact the farms before heading out. Many are family-owned and -operated, and hours may change with little or no notice.

Looking for even more fun fall activities? Sign up for our newsletters.

Weekend Fun: Summer Hoot, Dutchess County Fair, Butterflies

From carnival rides to blacksmithing demos, horseshoe tournaments, and more, there’s a broad assortment of family fun in store this weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

The headline event is the Dutchess County Fair, returning for the 173rd time, which retains its cultural richness with amusement rides, carnival games, livestock competitions, a petting zoo, and loads more; whether your idea of quality entertainment is live music or racing pigs, this fair has it all.

The Summer Hoot is a hoot indeed, with three days of old-school appeal in the form of square dancing, juggling workshops, folksy performances, children’s theater, and more for all ages. Or kids can get their musical fix rocking out to Tom Petty with music, stories, and games.

For cultural enrichment, the annual Moonviewing Concert explores Japanese customs, while those interested in the military and history might enjoy the return of Living History: Military Reenactment Day.

For more summer fun in and around Westchester, look no further than our Event Calendar, where you'll find many more great ways to enjoy the rest of August with your family—many of which are FREE. 

A Dozen Drop-In Play Spaces for Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Kids complaining they're bored—or you just have your eye out for something new for them to do? Whether you’re looking for something on the weekend, tween-appropriate activities, or spaces for the toddler set, we’ve rounded up a dozen drop-in play spaces and fun zones, from trampoline parks to play cafes.

Looking for even more activities? Check out our newly updated classes guide.

25 Fun Things to do in San Francisco with Kids

With its famously steep hills, iconic sights, and many kid-friendly attractions, San Francisco is chock full of family fun. Unique thrills like a ride on the clanging cable cars, a ferry trip across the bay to visit a fabled island prison, amazing experiential food spots are some of the only-in-San Francisco experiences that kids and adults will love. Hands-on museums, a bayside aquarium, and enormous parks round out the family fun.

Read on to discover our best bets for family fun on a trip to San Francisco. And for more Bay Area fun, check out our list of things to do in Silicon Valley with kids

Weekend Fun: Mexican Dance, Hudson Valley RibFest, Nimham Pow Wow

There's something fun and rewarding to do for every taste and every age this weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

Celebrate Jewish heritage at the Jewish Music & Arts Heritage Festival, where entertainment, food, amusements for the kiddies, and shopping await. Sports fans can get their fill of memorabilia and more at the Baseball Card Show. Nautical enthusiasts might be interested in checking out the Antique & Classic Boats Show (ride the antique trolley, too!). All ages can celebrate the rich and vibrant culture of Native Americans at the annual Nimham Pow Wow and feast at the Hudson Valley RibFest, which offers more than just the opportunity to chow down.

Also note: The Touch-a-Truck event that was originally scheduled for last weekend was rescheduled for this Saturday.

Read on for more details and many more options ahead. Additionally, our August GoList highlights our top picks for the month, and don't forget: our Event Calendar includes suggestions for every day of the week and is frequently updated, so check back often!

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