Westchester

Farm Fun: 11 Hudson Valley Hayrides for Kids in the Fall

It's autumn, and that means time for visits to pumpkin patches and apple orchards, eating doughnuts, drinking apple cider, and going on hayrides. The Lower Hudson Valley is rife with farm fun in the fall, including hayrides—many of which are free or at least included with the admission price.

We've gathered up some of our favorite farms and orchards with hayrides. For more ideas for kid-friendly autumn activities, sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Shopkins Live Review: The Shoppies Shop It Up Onstage

The Shopkins gang took to the stage this September in their very first live show, Shopkins Live! Shop It Up! Based on Moose Toys' popular line of tiny, collectible grocery store items—and the animated series on YouTube—the show features life-size versions of characters like Lippy Lips (a tube of lipstick) and Kooky Cookie (a chocolate chip cookie).

The show, which I caught in New Jersey with two preschool-age kids (and a theater full of mostly girls ages 4-8, decked out in Shopkins gear), was a full assault of rainbow colors, upbeat singing, and coordinated dance moves. It’s campy, silly, and pure fun for little fans of the figurines.

Read on for our full review of this children’s theater show, which continues its North American tour into 2018, hitting more than 75 cities and metro areas, including Tarrytown, New York (September 26), two more New Jersey theaters (September 27-28), Westbury, New York (October 1), Houston (October 20), and Hollywood, California (November 18).

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Oktoberfest, Jay Day, Country Fair

With so many fantastic family programs this time of year in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, we've been extra busy culling it all together for our readers.

In addition to several fall festivals there’s an eclectic assortment of one-of-a-kind happenings, some of which appeared on our September GoList.  Beyond the usual foods typically harvested in autumn, this weekend that cadre is joined by a Honey Harvest Party. Catch kid flicks from around the globe at The Best of the New York International Children's Festival. Celebrate German food and culture at Oktoberfest or American heritage (and books and animals) at the multi-faceted Jay Day. Horse lovers will get a kick out of the Peekskill Rotary Annual Horse Show and Country Fair

This weekend offers a bonanza of entertaining and enriching events (not to mention apple picking), so you’ll definitely want to visit our Event Calendar to see the extensive fun beyond our top picks below. Enjoy as much as you can take in—and if you haven't done so already, sign up for our newsletters to avoid missing any of the fun!

Indoor Play Space for Big & Little Westchester Kids: LIFE, The Place to Be

Looking for a place to burn off energy (and maybe some calories)? Our profile of indoor play spaces in Westchester continues with a recent visit to LIFE, The Place to Be in Ardsley.

Perfect for those bad-weather days and indoor fun, the assorted activities at the 29,000-square-foot facility will keep kids occupied for a couple hours, with something for every taste. The only dilemma my kids faced was which one to do first!

Read on for our first-hand review of why this is indeed the place to be. To find more indoor fun, check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

Free Perks That Come with Your Westchester Library Card

If your library card hasn’t left your wallet in a while, it may be time to pry it from its confines and put it to use.

More than a means to borrow books, your Westchester library card is your ticket to a host of privileges that you might not even know about. September is Library Card Sign-Up Month, so take this opportunity to get one for each member of your family if you haven’t already. Read on to see what you might be missing—and it’s a lot more than just reading!

Looking for more helpful insight that helps you stay in the know with all things kid-related? Sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Talk Like a Pirate, Pepperoni Pizza Day

While school is closed for Rosh Hashanah, lots of activities are offered for those who don’t celebrate the holiday. Consult our Event Calendar for our faves, as well as many events to choose from every day of the week!

In addition to the Jewish New Year, this week we Welcome Fall and celebrate lesser-known “holidays,” like Talk Like a Pirate Day and National Pepperoni Pizza Day.

Read on for more of our top picks, and be sure to sign up for our FREE weekly newsletters to stay in the know!

Fall Festival Fun in Lower Hudson Valley: Apples, Crafts, Petting Zoos

Leaf peeping, apple picking and cider doughnuts! Yep, autumn is a beautiful, festive time of year in the Hudson Valley, offering plenty of fun seasonal things for kids to do, including hitting up some of the area's best fall events. We recently rounded up our favorite fall festivals in Westchester County, and now we're heading beyond the county lines to highlight even more wonderful kid-friendly fests.

Expect traditional activities like hayrides, pumpkin painting and live entertainment, as well as more elaborate celebrations, such as the 16th-century-themed New York Renaissance Faire. All these festivals make for a fantastic day trip. Looking for more ideas? Sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook

Applefest 2017: A Hudson Valley Fall Festival Extravaganza

Looking to get the most bang for you buck when it comes to celebrating fall? Consider Warwick's Applefest on Sunday, October 1, 2017—one of the Hudson Valley's biggest annual festivals. With arts and crafts, food, live music and a small carnival, you can truly "do fall" all in one day. 

Now in its 29th year, Applefest draws in around 35,000 people each year from all over the tri-state area and beyond. Warwick is located about an hour from central Westchester and is ideal for an autumn family day trip. Read on for everything you need to know about this Hudson Valley extravaganza, including what's new for 2017 and tips for navigating the crowds.

Looking for more fall fun? Check our Fall Activity Guide and follow us on Facebook

Rad Women and Civil Rights Heroes: Children's Books for Right Now

By Gwen Glazer, recommendations librarian in the Readers Services unit of the New York Public Library.

Fred Rogers’ famous advice to "always look for the helpers" has never seemed more important. In the wake of recent events in Charlottesville and beyond, parents may be looking for ways to engage their children with the social justice efforts—and also to talk about positive examples of activism and leadership.

We put together a list of 13 books for a wide range of children, from picture books for toddlers to nonfiction series for middle schoolers. These books address some of the most familiar human- and civil-rights leaders, like Malala and Gandhi, as well as some lesser-known activists who deserve more attention. All of them inspired others to create change in the world around them.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: American Gold Cup, Festivals, Bed Race

September is in full force now, and that means peak season for festivals and cultural immersion for Westchester and Hudson Valley families.

An annual fall tradition is the American Gold Cup, the five-day equestrian event that offers more than horse-jumping. Other outing options include New World Voyager – Wassa Pan Afrika, a performance that brings the audience on a trip to Africa, and Survive, which dares tweens to overcome various challenges in nature—gasp!—without their electronic devices. All ages can party in the street at the annual Riverfest, and from the files of “Seriously?” comes the annual Bed Race. Westchester fall festivals also kick off this weekend.

Read on for details on these and other great events happening this weekend. Don't forget: Our Event Calendar offers many more fun happenings this weekend and beyond in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. If you haven't done so already, sign up for our newsletters!

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