Westchester

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.

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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!

A Dozen New Dessert Spots for Westchester Families

Sweet news: a host of new sweet spots have opened in Westchester recently, and we’ve rounded them up below. (We also conducted a few taste tests—strictly in the interest of research, of course.)

Our list includes several new ice-cream parlors, three spots for trendy Thai rolled ice cream, and a few eateries offering acai bowls, juices, and smoothies. There’s also new fro-yo, as well as a new bakery that hosts classes and parties.

Read on to get the skinny on these dessert destinations—and be sure you’re signed up for our newsletter and following us on Facebook to stay in the know about news (and more) of interest to Westchester families!

Vancouver With Kids: 30 Great Things To Do as a Family

One of Canada’s most ethnically diverse and densely populated cities, Vancouver, British Columbia is the crown jewel of the country's West Coast.

Less than an hour by car from the border with the United States, Vancouver is the gateway to the Pacific Rim and draws visitors from all over the world. It’s not just the city’s location that makes people flock there, but also the stunning backdrop of mountains, temperate weather, and world-class parks and amenities.

With the ocean and mountains within a short drive, Vancouver is a veritable outdoor playground. This cosmopolitan city is waiting for your next adventure. With a favorable exchange rate in Canadian dollars, free public parks, and an easy-to-navigate public transportation system, Vancouver offers great value and seemingly endless and unforgettable experiences.

Top Swim Lessons and Classes for Westchester Kids

Hoping to get your child more comfortable in the pool? You’re in luck: there are lots of swim class options for Westchester kids, from babies through teenagers. With classes focusing on everything from basic swimming skills and safety to mastering specific strokes, there’s something for every level of swimmer. Choose from group lessons, private lessons, or even lessons in your home pool.

Ready to dive in? We've rounded up a list of swim schools to get you started.

For more ideas, check out our Classes Guide for a full rundown of classes available in the area. Or sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know!

Weekend Fun: Country Fair, Fireman's Carnival, Corn Festival

Here’s hoping you’re staying in town this weekend, ’cause there’s plenty for families to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

It's a great time to visit the New York Renaissance Faire, as there are perks for kids—including FREE admission and a costume parade and contest. The South Salem Fire Department's Carnival is in town, featuring rides, games, and food, as is the Otisville Country Fair, which offers distinctive twists like a chainsaw competition and a cast-iron frying-pan toss. Bring your pixie lover to a Fairy House Workshop, or join a citizen-scientist project at the Great Hudson Estuary Fish Count.

Read on for more details on our top weekend picks—many of which are FREE. Planning the rest of the summer? Check out our August GoList for our top picks for the month. And remember to check out the extensive weekday and weekend events listed in our Event Calendar!

How to Get the Most Out of a Nanny or Babysitter Interview

Whether you’ve found them through personal recommendations, a nanny agency, a local parenting website, or even a chance encounter at the playground, you’ve narrowed your potential-Mary-Poppins list down to a few great choices. Now it’s time to conduct the in-person interviews. But can you really figure out, in one meeting, which caregiver will be the best fit for your kids—and for you? With preparation and some self-reflection, you can use a caregiver interview to help decide whether this is someone you feel not just comfortable with, but excited about. Read on for the top eight interview questions to ask in a caregiver interview. 

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