Historic Mansions for Westchester Kids: Step Back in Time with Interactive Fun for Westchester Families

Historic mansions may not be the first thing kids (or their parents) think of when planning a fun-filled outing, but take a closer look. Westchester County is home to several historic homes that offer visitors more than just a glimpse into the past. Many have dedicated kids programming, annual and seasonal events, fairs and festivals and stunning displays and exhibitions. We've covered many of these events on Mommy Poppins, including the debut of Lightscapes, and the annual Sheep-to-Shawl and Great Jack O'Latern Blaze at Philipsburg Manor.

Now we've got the scoop on six historic mansions throughout Westchester that are worth checking out with the entire family. These architecturally stunning homes have been restored or maintained throughout the years (and in some cases, centuries) and offer a peak into prominent, wealthy family life (in the case of the Rockefellers), colonial life during the 18th century and so much more, as well as interactive programming that brings history to life in fun, educational and unforgettable ways.

Stargazing in Westchester: Best Places to See Meteor Showers, Comets and Stars

Several times a year I find myself outside on my tiny patio at all odd hours, staring up at the sky in hopes I will catch a glimpse of some spectacular astronomical happening in the skies over Westchester. There are meteor showers, comets, planet alignments, super moons, eclipses, oppositions and conjunctions--not to mention man-made events like shuttle launches and space station pass-overs.

Recently, a friend asked if I knew of any public spaces in the area where the skies are dark enough for stargazing--places that welcome families and amateur astronomers to observe the skies. Happily, there are several places in Westchester and the surrounding area where families can see and learn about the night sky and we've rounded them up for you.

Pack a thermos of hot chocolate, grab some warm blankets and check out these local astronomical viewing sites and activities--one might even say the views are out of this world!

NYC Labor Day Weekend Trips: 8 Car-Free Family Getaways Near New York City

The (unofficial) final weekend of summer is just a few days away and with the kids going back to school, the three-day holiday is the perfect time for one last family getaway.

Over on our Travel site, we posted about a bunch of cool last-minute travel deals, most involving plane or car rides. But for those looking to vacation without having to hit an airport or rent a vehicle, we've rounded up some of our favorite family destinations that are less than three hours from New York City and accessible via public transportation. From gorgeous beaches to ride-filled amusement parks to out-of-town culture spots, here are eight great Labor Day weekend trips for NYC families.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Renaissance Faire, Hip-Hop Shakespeare, Pow-Wow and More, August 2-3

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 and if that's not enough Renaissance fun for you, indulge further at Hip-Hop Shakespeare. Also on the global itinerary are the Native American Heritage Celebration of the Hudson Valley and the Indian Heritage FestivalAnother throwback this weekend is a showing of the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup

For an entirely different excursion, the Lighted Boat Parade lights up the night in New Rochelle this weekend and Rye Playland is celebrating International Friendship Day with discounted admission, fireworks and more.

Read on for more details on our top weekend picks--many of which are FREE. Be sure to click through to the event listing for full details. Making plans weeks in advance? Check out our August Go List for our best bets for fun outings happening throughout the month. And remember to check out the myriad of weekday and weekend events we've captured in our event calendar--you'll find there's no shortage of fun things to do this summer in Westchester! 

Places to Play in North Salem: Where Westchester Kids Can Learn, Play and Explore in North Salem

My daughter and I recently found ourselves with several morning hours to pass in North Salem, and as we hopped from place to place it was clear that the best word to describe the character of this northern Westchester town is peaceful. Children played tag and basketball in the parks, leafed happily though books at the local library, licked ice cream cones in the painted Adirondack chairs outside the farm markets and watched for brightly colored fish in burbling gazing pools. We wrap up July’s spotlight on North Salem with a look at where local families and visitors can play, learn, relax and explore in this sleepy suburb. 

Bounce! Kids' Parties: Birthdays and More at Bounce! Trampoline Sports

Whether it’s a child’s birthday party or graduation celebration, parents want their event to be memorable for everyone. Throwing a party at an indoor bounce place has a ton of advantages; not only do kids love to jump and play (and parents love that their little ones get to blow off some steam), but there's no need to worry about bad weather, setting up, or cleaning up. While there's no shortage of indoor party places in Westchester, Bounce! Trampoline Sports in Valley Cottage sets the bar high with an array of fun and unique activities for all ages.

Best Family Friendly Restaurants in North Salem

Even though it is a small town, North Salem has become something of a foodie destination in Westchester County. Surrounded by open fields and small farms, many local businesses focus on making the most of the fresh foods available in the spring, summer and fall months. Seasonal dishes and daily specials are common at many of the restaurants and farms in North Salem, Purdy and Croton Falls and it only takes a few bites to understand why.

We continue our month-long coverage of North Salem with a look at the best places to dine or take out with kids in tow. Our picks offer delicious food to satisfy the pickiest palettes and more adventurous diners, and indulgent desserts to top off any meal. 

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Music Festivals, Icelandic Fun, Mexican Dance and More, July 26-27

This weekend is all about cultural events in Westchester. Families can take in the two-day Peekskill Music Festival, which includes way more than just music, as well as a Jazz Festival that includes performances by up-and-coming young artists (including a 12-year-old piano virtuoso!).

Other cultural events this weekend include Midsummer Day, an afternoon-long immersion into all things Icelandic in honor of an ongoing exhibition of Icelandic art as well as a FREE performance by the Calpulli Mexican Dance Company.

Three recurring events this weekend are worth noting because each weekend features a different focus. For Arts in the Amphitheater: Movie Nightsthis week’s showing will be of Dirty Dancing--and includes a special added feature! Puppet Shows in the Amphitheater returns with a new performance, and the Art & Science Workshops has kids working with water. Best of all, all of these are FREE!

Read on to learn more about the above, and click through the links for full details. Let Mommy Poppins help you keep your kids busy this summer--not only this weekend, but every day! Our event calendar is loaded with diverse ways to keep kids busy, and many of them are FREE. Also be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter to keep current with our latest posts, news and events.

Tennis in Lower Westchester: 7 Great Centers for Westchester Kids and Families to Learn and Play

Summer is in full swing and August is fast approaching. If your family is as into tennis as mine, this means basking in the glory of the US Open and enjoying the exciting sport that is tennis! Even if you or your little ones are not quite as skilled as the Williams sisters, fear not--Westchester County offers some of the best tennis centers offering lessons, camps and so much more.

Regardless of age or skill level, if tennis is a sport you’re looking to learn, or even if your kid is already a seasoned tennis player, read on for our picks of the top tennis facilities in lower Westchester. Grab your racket and get ready for fun, great exercise and professional instruction close to home. And if you're looking for more ideas to get your kids active, check out our Classes Guide

Weekend Fun With Westchester Families: Youth Orchestra, Comedy, Song Circle and More July 19-20

So many performances are worth seeing this weekend, it’s hard to prioritize! Two are by national troupes—the National Youth Orchestra, an ensemble of kids under the auspices of Carnegie Hall, and The National Comedy Theatre, which is sure to provide a good laugh for young audiences. As an adjunct to this month’s Seeger Fest, join in the Song Circle and Potluck Supper in Honor of Pete and Toshi Seeger to pay tribute to the Hudson Valley’s beloved champions. Returning this week for the second of the four-part series is Puppet Shows in the Amphitheater.

There are also great workshops scheduled for Saturday that are both artsy and practical (and adults would love them too!). One is Create Your Own Blog or Website, and the other is Art & Reuse in the Studio, where participants upcycle used materials.

Keeping kids busy in the summer when school is out can be tricky—but not with the Mommy Poppins event calendar! There you'll find daily listings of options throughout the county, many of which are FREE. If you're willing to venture beyond Westchester, we also have editions in NYC, Connecticut, Long Island, and New Jersey.

Read on for our top picks for this weekend, then click through for further details and additional events. Also be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter to keep current with our latest posts, news and events.


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