Westchester

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

Though February is prone to unsavory weather, the bright side is the many exciting family events happening in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. With celebrations of Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Black History Month, Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year, the fun is sure to chase away the chill!

Not all the events we’re highlighting this month fall under those themes. With the recent closing of The Big Apple Circus and Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, the upcoming performance by the Royal Hanneford Circus takes on added significance. Two iconic events are Hudson River EagleFest, where visitors flock to glimpse the arrival of these majestic birds of prey, and Winter Hoot, a three-day feel-good extravaganza of live music, blacksmithing, square dancing, community jams and more. Several stage performances are specifically geared for kids, like Disney’s Choo-Choo Soul with Genevieve. Though the dead of winter, February comes to life with seasonal fun at Old-Fashioned Winter’s Afternoon.

This is just the tip of the iceberg! Read on for the full list of our top picks for February, and remember you'll find many more on our Event Calendar, and lots more on the way. You can rely on this resource when planning the week off from school—and all throughout February. Sign up for our newsletters to stay tuned!

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Cinderella Ballet, Toy and Train Show

Bring on the culture as we close out January, with assorted enriching activities for Westchester families.

The internationally renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company returns for a Westchester engagement, bringing a Lincoln Center-caliber performance to the ‘burbs. More specifically intended for kids, the production of Cinderella is presented by a non-profit dance company that aims to introduce young audiences to the ballet. The month-long celebrations of Chinese New Year include the FREE Chinese New Year Celebration, including a Lion Dance. To be more hands-on, work with clay at Free Children's Art Workshop Series. For a trip down memory lane (well, maybe Grandpa’s, at least), head to the Toy and Train Show 

Read on for our top picks, and then check out our Event Calendar to see even more options, this weekend and beyond. If you haven't done so already, sign up for our newsletters to stay in the know! 

Chappaqua with Kids: 30 Things to Do for Westchester Families

Chappaqua is a quaint hamlet located near the center of Westchester in the town of New Castle, just about 30 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Known for its charming neighborhoods, the village maintains a peaceful New England feel, with rolling hills and historic homes and barns.

Chappaqua offers a wealth of public parks, protected wetlands and wildlife sanctuaries with hiking trails, well-maintained playing fields, courts and other facilities for tennis, soccer and skating. It also boasts a walkable village featuring family-friendly restaurants, shops and a farmer’s market. There's no shortage of events or things to do here during the year, and we've gathered our top 30 things to do in Chappaqua with kids.

These Kids at the Women's March Will Melt Your Heart

When I was in first grade a child was killed crossing Seventh Avenue on his way to school by a speeding truck. So, I remember my first protest well. Just a handful of us, moms and kids, walking in a tight circle with signs and chanting to demand a crossing guard. We got that crossing guard and a lesson was learned: Even as kids, we could have a voice and make a difference.

America has been on tenterhooks this election season. It has caused much "unfriending" and, perhaps, drawn even more stark lines between groups. On Saturday, however, I saw Facebook friends from all backgrounds coming together at the Women's Marches across the country and the world. I even saw some who voted for Trump, but wanted to stand for women's rights and also listen to the other side! But of everyone out there, the thing that struck me the most was seeing all the children.

We may never agree on any of the political issues facing this nation, but one thing I hope we can all agree on is that these children are amazing and are learning that you're never too young to enjoy this country's most important freedoms of speech and peaceful protest. Whatever "sides" they may choose to take, I hope this is just the beginning for our daughters (and our sons) to feel powerful, valuable, and able to take constructive action to raise their voices, not to yell and name call, but to try to improve the world for all of us together.

 

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Popovich Pet Theater, Join the Circus

What a motley assortment of fun and enriching activities is in store this week for Westchester families! Fortunately, there are five days to take it in; our top picks are below.

Develop a life skill that may come in handy on the job market at Web Design Workshop. Immerse your family in Asian culture at the Chinese New Year Celebration (one of several we’ve identified for the season in our roundup). And just try to stay seated at the dazzling and amusing The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater.

So don’t sit home when you can get out and enjoy all this great stuff! There’s even more to choose from on our Event Calendar.

Chinese New Year: Celebrate Lunar New Year with Westchester Kids

Mid-winter holidays are few and far between and often focus on Valentine’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents’ Day. Less celebrated is the Chinese New Year (also known as Lunar New Year). This year, local festivities marking the year of the rooster give families a chance for fun cultural immersion.

The events we’ve culled together vary in scope and offer something for all ages—including food, music, dance and crafts. Read on to learn about Chinese New Year activities happening this year in January and February, and then visit our Event Calendar for other great happenings in and around Westchester this month.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: STEAM, Concerts, Camp Fair

It’s all about STEAM this January weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, with an emphasis on science and arts programs for families. The arts come in two forms—both ticketed performances and hands-on experiences.

The Maccabeats combine Jewish humor with a cappella singing, while the exhilarating compositions of John Philip Sousa and others is sure to provide a mid-winter punch in the arm at West Point on the March. For more hands-on pursuits, take a spin at the African Dance Class or pull up a Petri dish for a germ of an idea at High Touch - High Tech. Learn about the technology of freezing foods in the era of your great-great grandmother at The Importance of Ice.

Be sure to sign up for our FREE newsletters so you can receive not only our weekly top picks but all our latest news, roundups and in-depth reviews in your inbox—and tell a friend! Read on to learn more about this weekend; then head to our Event Calendar to see even more options, this weekend and beyond.

Beat Winter Boredom with 8 Awesome STEM Activities

Winter days can leave families in need of fun indoor activities. We worked with Sylvan Learning, a leader in STEM education for kids, to develop ideas for a “boredom buster” jar full of STEM activities. Each fun project is super simple and includes concrete STEM educational tips to bring the learning home. That’s what we love about Sylvan EDGE programs; the educators at Sylvan Learning always make sure that the kids go home understanding important STEM concepts while having fun doing it.

To make your STEM activities boredom busters jar just print out the downloadable sheets, cut out the activity cards, fold and place in a jar or bowl. Any time the kids get restless or need a screen time break, just pull an activity out for some at-home fun. Note: Some of these activities do take some preparation, so make sure to gather your materials—including freezing your colored ice sculpture shapes—in advance so you are ready to go when boredom calls...or whines, as the case may be.

Free Technology and Coding Summer Camp for Teen Girls

Although I’m a proponent of STEM education, I’ll admit I was reluctant to jump on the “kids must learn to code” bandwagon. Then my kids started learning to code, and I realized it was about a lot more than becoming the creator of the next Angry Birds or Candy Crush.

Learning basic computer programming encourages creative problem solving and logical thinking, and can be a key that opens doors of opportunity for kids. However, there’s a big gender gap, with girls shying away from computer science. Girls Who Code, a national nonprofit organization, is working to change that with its free Summer Immersion Program for girls. Keep reading to find out when and where the program is happening this summer, who is eligible, and how to apply - starting this week.

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