Westchester

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.

For more family-friendly restaurants, be sure to sign up for our newsletters

Tree Lighting Celebrations to Kick Off the Holidays in Westchester

The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to herald its arrival than with a grand (or cozy) holiday tree lighting? You don't have to head to Rockefeller Center to enjoy that holiday magic. Many events in Westchester have live music, toasty refreshments, a visit from Santa himself and—in some cases—some extra bells and whistles.

We’ve rounded up several tree lighting festivities, starting as early as this weekend(!) and ranging from big celebrations to cozier small-town affairs. 

Looking for more seasonal fun? Check out our November GoList and be sure to browse our Event Calendar. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletters to keep up to date on our latest info.

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!

Are Daycare Kids Better Behaved? This Study Says Yes

Torn between a nanny, daycare, or staying home with your kids? Choosing childcare can be a difficult—and deeply personal—decision for any family, and of course involves a number of factors, from costs to the length of your commute. A new study out of France suggests that daycare might offer some significant advantages in terms of our kids' development.

Researchers at Sorbonne Université in Paris followed nearly 1,500 kids from the womb to age 8 as they either attended a center-based daycare or were cared for by a nanny or family member. The daycare kids, particularly those who attended at least a year before the age of three, were less likely to have problems with peers and other emotional and behavioral issues, according to the researchers.

Ultimate List of Halloween Fun for Westchester Kids

Halloween is almost here, and the number of activities in our area can be overwhelming. Have no fear, for we are here to give you the nitty-gritty on more than two dozen(!) of our favorite events for kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley—and many of them are FREE!

Looking for more family fun, with or without a costume? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels for a San Diego Family Vacation

Whether you're driving down from Los Angeles or flying in from afar, a weekend in San Diego is the perfect getaway to find rest and relaxation all year long. The SoCal destination offers a wide array of family activities to keep everyone entertained, in between the requisite visits to Seaworld, Legoland, and the Safari Park. Here, we round up eight of our favorite spots to kick back and unwind in this picturesque beach town.

Polar Express and Santa Trains Near NYC This Holiday Season

The magic of Chris Van Allsburg’s popular Christmas picture book The Polar Express comes to life again this winter with festive holiday trains within a whistle's blow of the New York City metro area. A huge hit with kids and parents alike, these trains spark the imagination and holiday spirit with seasonal snacks, stories, even gifts—not to mention a visit from Santa himself.

These old-school cabooses (some harking back to the 1920s) offer a classic holiday ambience. There's a Polar Express just an hour south into New Jersey, as well as the one-day-only Tri-State Santa Train about 50 minutes away. You could also consider a day trip to the Catskills, or a weekend getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country for the Santa's Paradise Express. No matter which Santa Train experience you choose, your family can combine the annual Santa Claus photo op with lasting memories of a sweet adventure.

Remember: these train rides sell out quickly, often months in advance, so book now if you want to go.

Foliage on Foot: 10 Great Fall Hikes for Westchester Kids

It officially feels like fall, and the leaves have begun to change. While fall foliage drives can be fun, bringing the kids on an outdoor hike has the added bonus of letting them burn off some energy.

We polled our writers and readers and have gathered up a list of some of our favorite places in Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley to bring kids to hike for beautiful autumn views. (Does the word “hike” make you instinctively grimace? No worries—we’ve included some easy options for those who are used to seeing the leaves from behind a windshield.)

Be sure to consult our Fall Fun Guide for more seasonal activities, and follow us on Facebook

21 Halloween Movies with Kid-Friendly Thrills and Chills

Are the kids excited for Halloween? Build on their anticipation with a family Halloween movie night that brings all those witches, ghosts, and goblins to life!

Pop some popcorn or whip up an on-season batch of scarecrow snack mix and candy corn punch while you settle in for a cozy night on the couch with one of these top Halloween movies. It's the perfect family-friendly nightcap to fall days spent apple and pumpkin picking or puzzling your way out of a corn maze.

With so many spooky films available to rent or stream, it can be hard to choose the right one for your family. From preschool to preteen, our list of the best Halloween movies for kids has something to put everyone in the Halloween spirit.

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