Sweet Ways to Donate Halloween Candy

Got a Halloween candy hangover? Come November 1, parents across the country are wondering how they're going to get rid of all the candy their kids brought home. Some of it will be eaten, sure, but just one look at the amount of calories in an average Halloween haul and you'll want to make sure the bulk of it goes anywhere besides your family's stomachs.

There are a number of creative ways to get rid of Halloween candy, like using it for crafts or science experiments, having the Switch Witch take it in exchange for a small toy, or, you know, saving it until Easter and throwing it in the basket. (Hey, it's only six months away—how stale can that candy get?) But perhaps the best thing to do with Halloween candy is donate it. That way your kids can enjoy a truly special treat: The feeling of helping others. Here are seven charitable organizations who accept donations of unopened candy.

Weekend Fun: Media Lab, Chocolate Festival, Horse Fun Day

With the Halloween hullabaloo behind us, now’s the time for a more motley assortment of family activities in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

Though not calorie-free, indulgence is likely worthwhile at the Red Hook Chocolate Festival, which includes a chocolate Olympics, an appearance by Willy Wonka, and gobs of other cocoa goodness.

November is a great time for nature programs—savoring the foliage in the brisk air before the winter temps and snow set in. Adventurers can test their resourcefulness at Fall Survival Skills, and equine lovers can enjoy the multifaceted Horse Fun Day. Learn about light and exposure in filmmaking at the FREE Family Saturdays @ the Lab, or make calling cards for your American Girl doll.

These are just the first few of our top picks for the weekend. Read on for more; then browse through our Event Calendar for more options. And our November GoList is a great resource to plan the whole month.

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November GoList: The Best Things to Do with Kids in Westchester

November is a month of transition, as the celebrations of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the December holidays merge, and Westchester and the Hudson Valley are rich with related family activities. If you haven't made it to some local Halloween haunts, there's still time to squeeze in some pumpkin fun; then, before you can say gobble-gobble, it’s time for the Thanksgiving Day ParadeHanukkah Festival of (Laser) Light, and Frosty Day.

This is a good month for makers and STEAM lovers, with, among others, the return of the annual Poughkeepsie Mini Maker Faire. And if you didn't OD on Halloween candy, satisfy your sweet tooth at the Red Hook Chocolate Festival, where decadence is the name of the game.

Below are our top 10 picks for November, but remember that our Event Calendar has many more fun and enriching activities of all kinds. Savor the season and enjoy it all! 

60 Free Places to Play with Westchester & Hudson Valley Kids

We spend a lot of money on kids—not just clothes and other necessities, but also camps, pool memberships, enrichment classes, and extracurricular activities. Tack on the annual birthday bash, and poof—there goes the paycheck!

To help ease the financial pile-on (especially during the pricey holiday season), we’ve identified a long list of ways to keep kids entertained and stimulated without spending a dime. Read on for our thrifty finds.

Looking for more free fun? Keep tabs on our Event Calendar, which is always loaded with free (and low-cost) activities for all ages!

Halloween Weekend Events for Westchester Kids

Eek! It’s the final weekend before Halloween! Westchester and the Hudson Valley crank up the fun on Saturday and Sunday, and below we’ve highlighted some of our faves.

In addition to all the large-scale events found in our Halloween Fun Guide (as of press time, some are nearly sold-out, so pounce on these if they’re part of your plan), a don’t-miss event is the annual Nyack Halloween Parade, whether you march in it or spectate. This is the second-largest in New York State (second only to the Greenwich Village event). Also for Halloween, we’ve rounded up free ways to celebrate and our ultimate bucket list, so no stone is left unturned! Need a diversion from pumpkins and spooks? The YoFi Film Festival kicks off with a weekend of FREE family films and activities, including a workshop called, “How to Watch a Movie.”

Meanwhile, unrelated to Halloween, Bear Mountain Oktoberfest wraps up this weekend—last call for your fix of bratwurst and apple strudel!

We can’t fit all the fun in our top picks, so be sure to visit our Event Calendar for extra Halloween happenings and much more!

Easy Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for Kids

Maybe your daughter changed her mind about her Halloween costume for the bazillionth time. Or maybe your son got an invite to a last-minute Halloween party. Or maybe you're just a proud member of the Procrastination Club. Whatever your case may be, we’ve found the easiest Halloween costumes for kids that even a non-crafty mom or dad can pull together on the fly.

Most of the costumes on our list don't call for an arm's-length list of crafting supplies or Halloween props: Headbands, pom-poms, markers, solid t-shirts, and a glue gun can go a long way with a little imagination. In fact, these DIY kids' costumes are so easy, you might just have time to whip up a few frighteningly tasty Halloween treats, too.

12 Great Places to Trick-or-Treat with Westchester Kids

Whether it’s because the homes are too spread out, they’re lining a busy road, or the neighbors are super cranky, some families just don’t live in neighborhoods that are great for trick-or-treating. We've done a little of our own local research. All kids deserve a safe and candy-filled Halloween, so check out some of these family-friendly areas and events if you need an alternative.

For more Halloween-related fun, visit our Halloween Fun Guide and Event Calendar. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!    

The NYBG Holiday Train Show: What's New in 2018

The towering skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan are ready for their star turn in this year's Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, opening November 17, 2018 and running through January 21, 2019. We may still be a few weeks from Halloween, but the annual train show is a NYC Christmas tradition worth looking forward to.

New York old and new takes center stage as replicas of the Woolworth Building, completed in 1913, and the soaring One World Trade Center, opened in 2014, highlight the new additions. Read on for a peek at what else is new, plus everything you need to know about visiting this popular holiday attraction with kids.

10 Westchester Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving

There are two types of families when it comes to eating at a restaurant on Thanksgiving: Those who swear by it and those who are simply confounded. We know families in each category and can relate to both. For those of you who want the deliciousness of a Thanksgiving feast served with a side of ultra-convenience, we’ve gathered a list of Westchester restaurants serving turkey with all the trimmings on the big day. 

Many of these spots require reservations, so don’t delay! Heading into the city for the parade? We have a list for that, too.

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Weekend Fun: West Nyack Festival, Boo Walk, Hastings Spooktacular

Halloween fun is on the rise in Westchester and the Hudson Valley this weekend with the addition of the Hastings Spooktacular Weekend, plus the continuation of all the other big Halloween events  throughout the month. In addition to the recurring events, a one-time performance of Cirquetacular Spooktacular fuses Halloween and circus fun, and the all-new Battle of the Jack-O'-Lanterns is a two-night tour of entries in a high-level carving competition. For wee little ghosts and witches, try the Boo Walk and check out the farm.

Among the fall festivals taking place this weekend, the standout is the two-day New York Sheep and Wool Festival, which features exciting workshops and live entertainment specifically for kids, as well as such eccentricities as llama acts.

Read on for our top weekend picks, visit our Event Calendar, and check out our October GoList for our top choices for the rest of the month!


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