Westchester

A Dozen New Dessert Spots for Westchester Families

Sweet news: a host of new sweet spots have opened in Westchester recently, and we’ve rounded them up below. (We also conducted a few taste tests—strictly in the interest of research, of course.)

Our list includes several new ice-cream parlors, three spots for trendy Thai rolled ice cream, and a few eateries offering acai bowls, juices, and smoothies. There’s also new fro-yo, as well as a new bakery that hosts classes and parties.

Read on to get the skinny on these dessert destinations—and be sure you’re signed up for our newsletter and following us on Facebook to stay in the know about news (and more) of interest to Westchester families!

Vancouver With Kids: 30 Great Things To Do as a Family

One of Canada’s most ethnically diverse and densely populated cities, Vancouver, British Columbia is the crown jewel of the country's West Coast.

Less than an hour by car from the border with the United States, Vancouver is the gateway to the Pacific Rim and draws visitors from all over the world. It’s not just the city’s location that makes people flock there, but also the stunning backdrop of mountains, temperate weather, and world-class parks and amenities.

With the ocean and mountains within a short drive, Vancouver is a veritable outdoor playground. This cosmopolitan city is waiting for your next adventure. With a favorable exchange rate in Canadian dollars, free public parks, and an easy-to-navigate public transportation system, Vancouver offers great value and seemingly endless and unforgettable experiences.

Top Swim Lessons and Classes for Westchester Kids

Hoping to get your child more comfortable in the pool? You’re in luck: there are lots of swim class options for Westchester kids, from babies through teenagers. With classes focusing on everything from basic swimming skills and safety to mastering specific strokes, there’s something for every level of swimmer. Choose from group lessons, private lessons, or even lessons in your home pool.

Ready to dive in? We've rounded up a list of swim schools to get you started.

For more ideas, check out our Classes Guide for a full rundown of classes available in the area. Or sign up for our newsletter to stay in the know!

Weekend Fun: Country Fair, Fireman's Carnival, Corn Festival

Here’s hoping you’re staying in town this weekend, ’cause there’s plenty for families to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

It's a great time to visit the New York Renaissance Faire, as there are perks for kids—including FREE admission and a costume parade and contest. The South Salem Fire Department's Carnival is in town, featuring rides, games, and food, as is the Otisville Country Fair, which offers distinctive twists like a chainsaw competition and a cast-iron frying-pan toss. Bring your pixie lover to a Fairy House Workshop, or join a citizen-scientist project at the Great Hudson Estuary Fish Count.

Read on for more details on our top weekend picks—many of which are FREE. Planning the rest of the summer? Check out our August GoList for our top picks for the month. And remember to check out the extensive weekday and weekend events listed in our Event Calendar!

How to Get the Most Out of a Caregiver Interview

Whether you’ve found them through personal recommendations, a nanny agency, a local parenting website, or even a chance encounter at the playground, you’ve narrowed your potential-Mary-Poppins list down to a few great choices. Now it’s time to conduct the in-person interviews. But can you really figure out, in one meeting, which caregiver will be the best fit for your kids—and for you? With preparation and some self-reflection, you can use a caregiver interview to help decide whether this is someone you feel not just comfortable with, but excited about. Read on for the top eight interview questions to ask in a caregiver interview. 

25+ Things To Do with Kids Before School Starts Again in Westchester

The start of August sets me in a panic every year: Have I made summer fun enough? How will we squeeze in all the great outings I had hoped to take my kids on? Below are some pointers for maximizing fun through Labor Day, with an emphasis on activities that sing summer. Then, when it’s time for “How I Spent My Summer Vacation,” the responses will make any parent proud!

Be sure to check out our Summer Activity Guide for more ideas, along with our August GoList for our top picks for the month. As always, our Event Calendar is full of many more ideas, and you can sign up for our newsletters to keep on top of our top picks and new finds.

Harry Potter Heaven: Warner Brothers Studio Tour Is a London Must

Most American Potter fans know that Universal Studios has created a little piece of Hogwarts heaven in two locations—The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Hollywood and at Universal Studios Orlando—but it should come as no surprise that the true center of the Potter universe is in London, England, where all of Harry’s adventures began. Apart from all of the real life British places a muggle might want to snap a photo (e.g. Kings Cross Station for platform 9 3/4, which British Rail good naturedly erected a few years back), the true wizard Mecca is Warner Brothers Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, housed at the film studio that was Harry's world for the decade or so that the films were in production. Fans of wizardry and magic can walk in the very footsteps of their heroes at the Warner Bros Tour.

12 Mommy and Me Classes You Can Take on the Weekend in Westchester

Whether you’re interested in music, dance, or yoga, Westchester has no shortage of classes you can take with your child. But for working parents—or any parent who’s short on time during the week—it can be tough to find a class that fits your family’s schedule.

The good news: There are a number of classes that meet on the weekends. Here, we’ve rounded up 12 parent/child classes that take place on either Saturday or Sunday.

Looking for more ways to spend your weekend? Sign up for our newsletters to have them delivered straight to your inbox, and follow us on Facebook

Six Flags NJ: An Amusement Park with Big and Little Thrills

Braving the thrill rides at Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari in Jackson, NJ, is practically a rite of passage for kids who live in and around the Garden State. Perhaps for this reason, I wasn't 100-percent sure my young children (ages 2, 5, and 7) were old enough to fully enjoy it—but we decided to test the waters. And as I did my planning, I realized, "Holy cow! There's a ton of things to do at Six Flags!"

New Jersey's largest theme park, Six Flags is known for heart-dropping roller coasters like Nitro and Kingda Ka (the world's tallest coaster)—but there are also plenty of attractions geared toward the smaller set and those who enjoy tamer thrills. You can see zebras, giraffes, and other cool creatures on the Safari Off-Road Adventure; ride the Porky Pig Ferris Wheel in Bugs Bunny National Park; make a splash on the Saw Mill Log Flume; and much, much more. You also might want to set aside another day for Hurricane Harbor, Six Flags' massive water park.

Read on for details of our visit, along with tips for making your trip super-fun for kids of all ages. 

Weekend Fun: Slide the City, Renaissance Faire, Lighted Boat Parade

This is a great weekend to stay local, with so many standout events happening in Westchester and the Hudson Valley! Several, in fact, made the cut in our newly released August GoList.

For starters, the beloved New York Renaissance Faire returns this weekend, which is a must-do if you’ve never been.

Kids need no excuse to get messy, but there are three reasons to approve of the Muddy Puddles Mess Fest:  It supports a good cause; the mess isn’t at your house; and oh, the gobs and gobs of fun! A different kind of slippery fun awaits at Slide the City.

The annual Lighted Boat Parade returns to illuminate New Rochelle harbor, and the annual Bear Mountain Native American Heritage Celebration and Powwow offers teepees, musical instruments, and other cultural encounters.

Read on for more details on these and the rest of our top weekend picks. And remember to check out the many weekday and weekend events captured in our Event Calendar—there's no shortage of fun things to do to make the most of the summer

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