Westchester

30 Awesome Things To Do with Westchester Preschoolers this Fall

We usher in autumn with the start of school and the uncorking of champagne (just us?), but it's also a time to take part in such annual traditions as apple picking, pumpkin picking, and Halloween celebrations. It also gives Westchester families one last opportunity to visit certain outdoor spots before they close up shop for the winter.

We’ve gathered up our favorite things to do with preschoolers this fall in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. For more options, check out  our Event Calendar—and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Apple Recipes to Make with Kids: Making the Most of Apple Picking Adventures

What do with all those apples? Whether we've plucked our bounty from an orchard or market, there comes a time each fall when we feel like we'll never make a dent in our fall harvest. That's why we at Mommy Poppins decided to pull together our favorite family recipes for using up all that red, green, and gold goodness. After you've checked out an apple picking spot in Boston, New YorkPhiladelphia, Los AngelesNew Jersey, Westchester, or Connecticut, set aside a cozy morning or afternoon to prepare one or two of these family-friendly treats with your little sous-chefs.

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.

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze Rises in the Hudson Valley Again

There are some experiences every family should try once. Then there are annual events that, after you try them, you vow to do every year forevermore. The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson,  a Hudson Valley Halloween staple with thousands of hand-carved jack-o’-lanterns, falls firmly in the latter category.

The downside of the Blaze is that tickets start selling out way in advance... like early September. The 2018 shows begin Friday, September 28, and run through Saturday, November 24—thus extending the Halloween season straight through to Thanksgiving. Our NYC readers should know that the Blaze is definitely worth splurging on, even if you need to rent a Zipcar. It's also accessible via public transportation.

Read on for what you need to know about this Halloween spectacle, including details about this year's installations, including several new features. Looking for more fall and Halloween fun? Be sure to sign up for our newsletters!

Weekend Fun: Playland Closing Day, Grange Fair, Children's Film Fest

This weekend is a great time to be a kid in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

All ages will love the return of the Holy Trinity Greek Festival, replete with carnival fun and Greek culture, as well as the Yorktown Grange Fair, featuring family performances, fun contests, and lots more.

There’s an unusual abundance of programs that celebrate fairies and the like, including Legends & Lore of the Little People, while the Play2Learn Festival celebrates the importance of childhood play. Or take in films from around the world at the New York International Children’s Film Festival

More of our top picks are below, and many more events are on our Event Calendar and Fall Fun Guide. If you haven't done so already, sign up for our newsletters!

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.

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