Westchester

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.

Weekend Fun: Jack O'Lantern Blaze, Warwick Applefest, Touch-a-Truck

Fall fun continues this weekend with apple picking, pumpkin picking, fall festivals, and the like, and now Halloween is really in view. In addition to all the big Halloween events recurring throughout the month (add Scared By the Sound to that list, which starts this weekend), there are also numerous ways to celebrate autumn and other fun events for Westchester and Hudson Valley families. 

Returning this year are the apple-licious Warwick Applefest, featuring assorted attractions and delicacies, and the Junior League of Bronxville's Touch-A-Truck Event, offering big-vehicle fun and the chance to support local charities. New this year is Apple Cidering, which demonstrates the process and allows samples of the sweet stuff. And for the utmost in sweetness, bring your fluffy friend to the Teddy Bear Clinic and Health Fair.

This is just the beginning! Read on for our top weekend picks, visit our Event Calendar for more, and refer to our October Go List for our top choices for the rest of the month!

Painted Rocks Is the Newest Kid-friendly Scavenger Hunt & Hiking Craze Since Geocaching

The popular geocaching phenomenon has proven over the years to be a great way to channel your inner treasure hunting abilities as a family. Chances are someone in your family has also played at least one round of Pokemon Go. One positive impact these types of activities have is that they get kids up and moving, many times in parks or on local trails. Painted rocks is a trend that offers yet another way to get moving as a family and connect with the community, with a little crafting thrown in.

Free, Family-Friendly Halloween Parades and Events for Westchester Kids

If you think Halloween town and library programs are only about storytime and paper pumpkins, think again! Many towns in Westchester offer standout events that are frightfully fun—not to mention the parades, parties, and more free activities for families who love Halloween. 

Below we’ve listed two dozen places with fun Halloween programs. Best of all—they’re all FREE! (And, OK, there are storytimes and crafts, but we do like those, too.) 

Read on for our top picks, and then continue on to our Event Calendar for many more fun October happenings.

Hersheypark's Brand-New Chocolatetown Looks Mighty Sweet

Just when you thought a visit to Hersheypark couldn't get any more tempting, the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, amusement park announced a sweet surprise for fans of its chocolate emporium. It's adding a Chocolatetown, an all-new section of the theme park that will connect Hersheypark and Hershey's Chocolate World, opening in the summer of 2020. Expect a major new roller coaster, and yes, plenty of chocolate, including new dessert spots.

The expansion will further the vision of Milton S. Hershey, a real-life Willy Wonka, who brought his sweet dream to life in 1907 when he built the 121-acre amusement park as a perk for his chocolate factory workers and their families.

Spooky Fun for Westchester Kids at Lasdon Park’s Halloween Train Show

With so many Halloween happenings in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, it can be hard to narrow down the choices. While many events are clearly geared toward older kids, the Halloween Train Show at Lasdon Park in Katonah is perfect for preschoolers, younger elementary kids or anyone who falls on the lower end of the scare-o-meter. 

The 2018 show is open on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October, plus Monday, October 8, and we have the scoop on what you need to know! Looking for more spooktacular things to do? Consult our Halloween Guide and sign up for our newsletters.

NYC Hotel Rooms with Views of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Chances are you're not even thinking about Thanksgiving yet. After all, we still have Halloween to get through! But as anyone in the NYC hotel industry will tell you, families looking to book a hotel where they can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Midtown Manhattan do so up to a year ahead of time. For a room with a view of Snoopy, Spidey, Hello Kitty, and their other inflatable pals, you've really got to plan in advance.

It's not just NYC tourists who splurge on hotels for the Thanksgiving parade, either. Over the past few years, we've had many New Yorkers write in asking which hotels looked out on the Macy's Parade route (it sure beats watching from the street). While most of these hotels still have availability at the time of this writing, call right away as they'll most likely sell out soon. And if you do get shut out, it's worth checking closer to Thanksgiving since there are sometimes last-minute cancelations.

For a budget-saving alternative, catch a prime viewing spot the night before the parade as the giant balloons are inflated on the Upper West Side.

The Gerber Baby Photo Search Is Happening Now on Instagram

Think your kid is the cutest? Well, baby food maker Gerber just opened its annual Gerber Baby photo contest, so it’s time to take your best shot.

Parents can enter newborns to children up to age 4 in the photo search contest that selects a child ambassador for the brand. Simply post a photo of your cutie to Instagram with the hashtag #GerberPhotoSearch2018 between October 1 and October 20 to join in the fun. Remember to make your profile public, so Gerber can see your photo.

Columbus Day Weekend Events for Westchester Kids

Thank goodness Columbus Day weekend is three days—you’ll need every minute to soak up the tons of fun we’ve identified for Westchester and Hudson Valley families!

For starters, the headliner of the holiday weekend is the Eastchester Columbus Day Carnival and Parade, featuring a big carnival, a parade, meatball contest, fireworks, and more. 

There are all the big Halloween events recurring each weekend throughout October. Other seasonal fun can be had at the Pumpkin Picking Autumn Celebration (or pick your pumpkin at any of the other destinations we’ve rounded up), as well as a few of the fall festivals we’ve rounded up, such as Heritage Applefest.

While supporting a charitable cause for kids, get loads in return at Heroes for a Cure Carnival and Fall Festival, including hot-air balloon rides, helicopter rides, and extensive fun over the four-day event. The Yorktown Festival & Street Fair is a similar affair in terms of diverse sources of family fun.

If you’re hoping for the return of Croton Comic Con, you’ll have to wait till next year, we’re told.

Read on for all our top weekend picks—but don’t stop there! We’ve got fun happening all month long, so visit our Event Calendar, consult our guide for scenic autumn drives, and check out our October GoList for our hot-off-the-press top picks!

October GoList: The Best Things To Do with Westchester Kids

October is loaded with Halloween and fall fun, and there's no shortage of either in Westchester and the Hudson Valley! We've mentioned the best places to go apple and pumpkin picking, and we've rounded up fantastic fall festivals to check out, but there's even more fun to be had. Historic Hudson Valley shines this month with Halloween events including the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze and other seasonal events happening all month long. Many of these are super-hot tickets, so book yours soon to avoid missing out.

Not all the fun centers around seasonal events, however. There’s also the wildly popular Eastchester Columbus Day Carnival and Parade, family performances like Cirquetacular Spooktacular, and festivals that don’t fall under the “autumn” category, like the Warwick Children's Book Festival.

With so many tremendous events this time of year, we barely scratch the surface here, so be sure to check our Event Calendar for many more options. Now grab your calendar and read on for the best events happening this month in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

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