Crystal Springs Resort: Two NJ Hotels Host Mountains of Family Fun

Sometimes, it's all about the location when you travel. Exploring new areas of your state or country are exciting. But other times, it's all about the amenities. When you pack two sister resorts full of skiing, snow adventures, water play, and spa options, there's really no need to go past the grounds—which is the case with Crystal Springs Resort in northern New Jersey.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals Hotel, and if they're right for your family.

Find more vacation destinations in our Family Resort Guide, which is packed with reviews.

Book Worms Unite! Book Clubs for Westchester Kids and Tweens

While there are all sorts of clubs and classes for kids to try in Westchester (Chess! Music! Photography!), if your child is the one who’s reading books by flashlight way past her bedtime, it might be a great time to try a book club. We’ve rounded up 20 book clubs in Westchester County—whether your child is into graphic novels or YA fiction.  

Looking for even more fun activities? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters

Empowering Kids and Parents After a School Shooting

By Susan Jara

It’s a terrifying scenario that has become all too familiar: A gunman walks into a school and starts shooting. Parents rush to the scene and wait in desperation to find out whether their child survived. Some of them do not.

The shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, is one of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. Since the tragic 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, more than 400 people have been shot at schools, according to the New York Times.

As a parent watching these tragedies unfold over and over again, I felt powerless, frightened, and bewildered as to how to discuss these events with my children—and really, how to keep them safe going forward. Many parent friends say they’re afraid to send their kids through the school doors every day in light of these mass shootings. We wonder: Are the active shooter drills they’re participating in even helping?

“Every day I leave the house, thinking, ‘What if something happens at my school or at my child’s school,’ says Jill Murray, a mom and social worker in a high school near Newtown, Connecticut. “What if this is the last time I see my son?”

So I sought the advice of experts to help guide myself and other parents through this. What can we do to keep them safe, and what can we do to prevent anxiety from taking over?

4 Workouts for Westchester Families to Try Together

While there are lots of Mommy and Me classes to take in Westchester, they’re usually geared towards the under-5 set. But what if you’re looking to spend time trying a fitness activity with your kids, like swimming or yoga, once they’ve made their way to elementary school? We’ve got those too!

Here are a few places in where families can work up a sweat together. The best part? You’ll get in a workout, kids will see firsthand the importance of staying healthy and active—and everyone will have fun. 

Prefer to workout solo? Check out a list of gyms in the area with on-site childcare.

Presidents' Day Weekend Fun with Westchester Kids: Circuses, Curling

If you’re staying in town for the three-day weekend, get ready for lots of local fun for families right here in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

As we reported in our February GoList, the circus is in town! With the recent closing of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, the performance by The Royal Hanneford Circus is that much more special. If clowns aren’t enough ha-ha for you, grab some more giggles at Mr. Pennygaf's Cirkus Sideshow Spectacle. Or, for less comedic entertainment, the kid-adventure film Swallows and Amazons looks promising.

If the Olympics has your family asking, “What’s curling and where do people do that?” then take advantage of the local Curling Open House and skip the flight to Pyeongchang. And since Presidents’ Day is intended to honor our presidents, celebrate accordingly at Washington’s Birthday Celebration.

Read on for more of our top weekend picks and check out our Event Calendar for an even bigger selection of activities this weekend and beyond. Kids off from school next week? Check out 40 Things to Do with Kids on a Westchester Winter Staycation to avoid cabin fever.

40 Things to Do with Kids on a Westchester Winter Staycation

While some families fly south for winter break and others head north to ski, there’s no reason why families can’t enjoy a winter “staycation” right here in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

With numerous tourist attractions, a slew of play spaces, family-friendly restaurants and loads of outdoor romping spots, Westchester has plenty to without the need for air travel or pesky traffic. Below we’ve rounded up some of our favorite ways to spend the week off from school without breaking the bank or packing a suitcase.

Looking for more things to do? Make sure to check out our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook!

Outside Fun: Maple Sugaring Activities for Kids in Westchester

Finding enough family-friendly activities in the cold weather months can be a challenge. Luckily, Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley offer many ways for families to beat the winter blues.

Maple sugaring is a great winter activity for kids. The season begins in February and runs through late March. Ideally, temperatures must dip below freezing at night and warm up during the day so that the sap flow increases. Another fun fact: To make just 1 gallon of pure maple syrup, it actually takes more than 40 gallons of sap. Who knew?!

We've rounded up maple sugaring fun in and around Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Read on for details on where to learn and celebrate this centuries-old tradition. Looking for more winter fun? Check out our Event Calendar

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: EagleFest, Fairies, Chinese New Year

So much fun, both indoors and outdoors, awaits Westchester and Hudson Valley families this weekend! Our February Go List included several of our faves, and below are some more to choose from.

One of the headliners is the annual Hudson River Eaglefest, a multi-site event that celebrates the eagle’s return to Westchester, with viewing points up and down the river plus various attractions. It’s also time to celebrate the Year of the Dog, and we’ve identified several ways to do so, including the grand poobah Chinese New Year Festival. If that isn’t enough international flair for you, snag your seats for the Russian Folk Dance performance. For mommy-and-me fun, make Flower Faeries and Forest Friends with your little one. With the maple-sugaring season allowing a brief window of opportunity, carpe diem at Tappin’ the Maple Trees. Plus, don’t forget about the panoply of free workshops for all ages at the new art school this weekend!

Be sure to consult our Event Calendar for tons of activities every single day. If you haven't done so already, sign up for our newsletters to stay in the know! 

25 Exercise Games and Indoor Activities to Get Kids Moving

Whether it's rainy, snowy, or even too hot to hit the park or backyard, exercise games are a great way to get everyone in the family giggling and away from the screens for a bit.  

We've put together a list of 25 easy indoor exercise ideas to do with kids at home. It's a really simple way for a family to integrate movement and exercise into any day. Most of these can be done right in your living room, and will even work in tight city apartments (or hallways). We promise everyone will be tired and laughing after attempting just a handful.

Looking for more indoor boredom busters for kids? We have lots of ideas, including science experiments and sensory activities for all ages.


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