Westchester

Christmas and Hanukkah Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids

This weekend we welcome both Christmas and Hanukkah, concurring for one glorious weekend of holiday festivities. The timing works out well, as there are several exciting Hanukkah events happening December 24-25 when public activities are typically scarce.

Our top picks for family outings naturally reflect the convergence of both major holidays. As the Christmas season is coming to a close, now’s a good time for the events that wind things down, like Holiday Tour by Candlelight in an elegant historic home, a fun tour of twinkling lights (and accompanying music) such as North Kensico Christmas Light Show or—my favorite movie--It's a Wonderful Life , an absolute tear-jerker that reminds us of what’s truly important in life.

As Christmas winds down, Hanukkah kicks in, and our favorite related events this weekend are the Chinese-themed Chopsticks Hanukkah (featuring dinner and an acrobat) and the ice-themed Hanukkah on Ice (highlights are skating and ice carving).

As a further resource for this weekend, consult our roundup of 2016 Hanukkah events and our ideas for what to do on Christmas, as well as our Event Calendar and Holiday Fun Guide.

From all of us at Mommy Poppins, we wish you a merry Christmas and a happy Hanukkah!

What To Do on Christmas Day with Westchester Kids

Looking for some Christmas Day fun? You might find yourself searching for a way to spend the afternoon after the presents have been ripped open— or maybe you don't celebrate Christmas and are looking for some fun activities for your kids. No worries, there are a few things to do in Westchester on Christmas Day.

Read on for some ideas for fun around town, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters to stay in the holiday loop!

FREE Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Candlelight Tours, Holiday Crafting

The excitement is mounting as we enter the final week before Christmas and Hanukkah! If you celebrate either holiday, you’re probably super busy with last-minute preparations. Don’t worry, we’re not recommending any frivolous activities to add to the craziness but rather some possible enhancements to optimize your family's enjoyment of the season.

Several events help prepare for the holidays by having kids create decorations, gifts or greetings. For one, at Teen Crafternoons participants will use cornstarch to create beautiful molded ornaments. We’ve also identified programs that promote holiday serenity, with an escape from the modern-day commercial trappings that often consume us to see old-fashioned Christmas charm at Holiday Tour by Candlelight (and remind your kids that children used to be lucky to get an orange in their stocking!). And though the recent weather bears no relation to fall, in fact winter begins this week, and Winter Solstice Celebration lends cheer to the shortest day of the year.

There are more options to choose from, including for those who don’t celebrate Christmas, so read on and visit our Event Calendar for ideas. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletters to ensure you receive our upcoming weekend roundup, which will highlight what to do December 24-25!

11 Winter School Break Camps for Kids in Westchester

December is a busy month full of holiday festivities, including live shows, Santa sightings, shopping and more. Before you know it, the holiday break is upon us and you may find yourself wondering how to keep the kids entertained while off from school.

As much as kids love the break, we know how quickly they can become stir-crazy sitting around at home, even during the holidays. No worries—we've rounded up a ton of places that will keep your wee (and not so wee) ones busy and entertained. These drop-off camps include art, sports, games and other activities for kids of all ages. 

STEM Camps and Classes for Robotics, Coding, and Engineering Fun

It's no secret that today's kids will need a robust education in STEM subjects to thrive in an economy exploding with science and technology careers. Both in and outside of schools, educators and parents are looking for ways to provide more science, technology, engineering, and math studies for children. There are many programs out there, but which ones really teach the skills that kids need? We checked out a Sylvan Learning EDGE class to see what Sylvan Learning, long-known for tutoring and test prep programs, offers with its Sylvan EDGE STEM programs.

Sylvan EDGE offers six week programs for kids from grades 1 to 6 in Robotics for Kids, Engineering, Coding for Kids, Math EDGE, plus Sylvan EDGE Camps. My 10-year-old son tried out a Robotics for Kids class, and it definitely stood apart from many of the other STEM activities we’ve tried.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Colonial Nutcracker, Hanukkah Party

The holidays are closing in, and Westchester and Hudson Valley families are scrambling to soak up all the fun! This weekend, the festivities are ratcheted up, so put on your jingle bells, light those lights and don’t miss these highlights!

Adding to the various iterations this month of the Tchaikovsky classic, this weekend showcases The Westchester Ballet Company Presents The Nutcracker and The Colonial Nutcracker. Additional options for holiday entertainment include The Laurie Berkner Band's Holiday Celebration. Among the Hanukkah celebrations that are kicking off, the Family Chanukah Party stands out as worth a visit. And all ages can enjoy assorted seasonal activities at Holiday Family Crafts.

Read on for just a few of the many happenings we’ve culled from our Event Calendar, and also view the many options in our Holiday Fun Guide we’ve worked hard to identify for you. Enjoy it all!

Indoor Play Spaces: Where Westchester Kids Can Burn Off Energy

Even if you have a backyard and rooms full of toys, we still run into the problem of stir-crazy children in need of exercise. While many of the beautiful nature centers and great hiking trails are still options for families in the winter, its good to know there are a number of fantastic indoor play place options in Westchester that range from steals to splurges. Read on to find out where to play and what to know before you go!

Looking for more indoor ideas when inclement weather dampens outdoor fun? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters. We also have a list of indoor play spaces in the rest of the Lower Hudson Valley that are worth the drive. 

Hot Holiday Deals: Diggerland, Sahara Sam's, Rockettes, and More

We've rounded up some great deals from our partners to get your holidays hopping with special savings. Help yourself to extra servings of fun and convenience with discounted tickets to area amuseument parks, top shows like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Gazillion Bubble Show, and more. With so much going on, it's the perfect time to try delivery from Babeth's Feast. Your special offer will make dinner a snap and a great deal. As always, you'll find lots more holiday fun in the Mommy Poppins Holiday Guide.

Santa Visits 100 Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us Stores in 2016

Count your local Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us as one more spot where you can score that cute photo with Santa.

The national toy and baby gear retailer teamed up with WorldWide Photography to bring a Santa photo package experience to 100 select stores across the country in 2016, including in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas, and California.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Hip-Hop Nutcracker, 3D Holiday Printing

The coming week is a great time for Westchester families to indulge in pre-holiday activities.

A particular highlight is a couple promising holiday performances. As noted in our roundup of Nutcracker productions, The Hip-Hop Nutcracker offers an untraditional twist on the holiday classic, and Cherish the Ladies - A Celtic Christmas returns with Celtic holiday music (one of the highlights in our recommended holiday performances). Other top picks for the week include various holiday crafting programs, the most high-tech being Seasonal Decorations.

Read on for additional details and more highlights below, and then turn to our Event Calendar for many more options to choose from. There's lots more seasonal fun in store, so consult our Holiday Fun Guide to help you get the most out of the season with kids!

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