Westchester

Farm Camps Give City Kids a Taste of Country Life

How often do NYC kids get to hang out with pigs? Well, real pigs. At two New York summer camps, NYC kids can get a taste of real farm life with real animal chores and hands-on gardening experience. There are two different farm day camp experiences NYC kids can try that take them to a world completely outside of NYC, even if they are in NYC.

Bald Eagle Viewing in NYC: Winter Nature Fun for Kids

[UPDATED: DECEMBER 31, 2012]

Seeing a bald eagle in the wild is an incredible experience. I can still vividly remember my encounter with the majestic bird at Umbagog Lake State Park in New Hampshire back in August 2001. With their striking white heads and tails, and massive wingspans, mature bald eagles are an impressive and unforgettable sight.

Like most birds, bald eagles fly south for the winter and pass right through our neck of the woods by soaring down the Hudson and Delaware Rivers. They begin their migration in December, with the highest concentration of eagles visible during the months of January and February.

Eagle viewing is a popular winter activity for bird and nature lovers in and near New York City. We've got the scoop on how your family can marvel at our national bird, either by joining an organized event or heading out on your own.

Apple Picking Near NYC Especially for Families with Toddlers

[UPDATED: August 11, 2012]

With apple- and pumpkin-picking season closing in, and the fall weather approaching, how best to include the little ones? We went looking for some of the best places to go apple picking within one hour of New York City that are good for families with toddlers. These spots have small trees with low-hanging fruit so that little ones can reach the apples, plus other fun stuff for kids like hay rides, petting zoos and more.

Pumpkins, Scarecrows and Apples: Fall Harvest Festivals in Westchester

With fall upon us, I am experiencing seasonal sensory recall and craving candy apples, candy corn and Halloween candy (basically all things candy!). Where better than to embrace all these cravings and more than by attending, one, many, or all of the awesome Fall Harvest Festivals going on here in Westchester. Brisk cool suburban air, scenery and foliage that will have you filling up photo cards faster than you can say “Trick or Treat”.

Children's Book Day at Washington Irving's Sunnyside: 60 Authors from Your Kid's Favorite Books

Normally a trip to a historic home in the Hudson Valley wouldn’t be the first thing on your child’s to do list, but this Sunday, September 19, 2010, there sure won’t be any whining if you suggest a trip to Washington Irving’s Sunnyside for Children’s Book Day. A fun festival day with sixty authors and illustrators from your kid’s favorite books ready to autograph their volumes and lots of other fun goings on.  

My family and I love this event and have gone for the past three years. It is a great way to find a new favorite book, something you may have overlooked in the bookstore, and spend a day outside.  Sunnyside, the Hudson River home of Washington Irving, is picturesque and just a nice place to be, and it is just outside of NYC in the village of Tarrytown, a quick trip in the car or on Metro North.

Have Your Fun and Eat It Too: 8 Great Cooking Classes for You and Your Kid

Cooking with your child is a great way to spend some quality time together. The hands-on exploration of cooking is not just a great sensory experience, but can also help to get junior interested in what he eats, and might just tempt him out of his hot dog and applesauce comfort zone into the wilds of more exotic flavors. Plus, it's fun. Family cooking activities abound this fall, and we've found some great parent-child cooking workshops and classes for you. Here are a few options.

 

Take Me to the River Grassroots Festival: Westchester Music Fest for the Whole Family

If the only concerts you’ve seen recently involved singing dogs, dinosaurs or puppets, maybe it’s time to check out a cool music festival that you will enjoy as much as your kids will. On September 11th, the 3rd Annual Hastings-on-the-Hudson “Take Me To The River” Grassroots Festival hits Draper Park in Westchester. It is an all day event and in addition to the musical grooves celebrating local and nationally acclaimed blues, folk, jazz and alternative musicians, it is also a festival showcasing an array of art, various art installations, and art activities for the kids. And you don’t need a car to get there.

Five Local Native American Festivals & PowWows

Put a little Pow Wow into your summer!  Native American tribes put on some impressive Pow Wows and Festivals during the Summer and Fall where you can experience authentic dancing in full costume, Native American drumming, crafts demonstrations, and the more adventurous can taste buffalo burgers and venison stew. 

5 Reasons to Vacation in the Suburbs

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Lake house near Jefferson Valley in Northern Westchester

For parents, summer planning can get tricky, especially when you find yourself trying to negotiate the different needs of children and spouses. One spouse may have more flexibility in the summer and the other may not. Or maybe you have one child who is ready for camp, but another who is not. One secret solution is to vacation in a nearby suburb. "Ah, vacationing in the suburbs" you say, "how divine...I mean pathetic." If you are imagining postage stamp lawns and ranch houses, then you are missing out. You can find everything you expect from a vacation in the country, plus the convenience of being closer to the city in Northern Westchester and Putnam Counties.

Here are 5 reasons you should consider taking your summer vacation in the suburbs:

Free Demo Classes For Kids Throughout NYC

This is first in a series of posts listing free demo classes for NYC kids. Find more free demo classes and exclusive discounts in our second Free Demo Class Post.

I admit, I have a fear of Mommy and Me classes. I'm not sure how it started but every time the idea was batted around in my house I came up with a million excuses why it wouldn't work. But, now that my daughter is two and we are both sufficiently bored of the playground, I've come to realize it's time to take the plunge. Even better, I've realized that she is now old enough to take classes without me having to participate!

If you are anything like me, here is the perfect baby step - FREE demo classes. Before you shell out the money for a weekly class, why not try it out? We have compiled a super long list of FREE demo classes, most of which are held in August and September. From pottery to gymnastics to music to miming so you can see how you and your kid like the class before committing to an entire semester. Plus, a lot of these places have offered amazing discounts to Mommy Poppins readers if you do choose to sign up for the class.  Keep reading to check out our list.

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