Westchester

Weekend Fun: Fairy Festival, Fol-de-Rol County Fair, Run the Runway

If it feels like there’s a fair, festival, or carnival every week in June, that’s because there is—in fact, often two or three! The good times keep rolling in for Westchester and Hudson Valley families, so brace yourself for another happening weekend.

Soak up assorted fun at the Annual Fol-de-Rol County Fair, or savor international flavor at the Greek Food Festival. If you haven't had enough fair fun, add the Katonah Fire Department Carnival to your list—but if you have, then mingle with pixies at Fairy Festival, or test your ability to Survive in nature—without an electronic device (shocking, we know). And good news: The UFO Fair we touted last month was canceled due to rain but has been rescheduled for this coming weekend.

This is just a sampling of the varied events we’ve rustled up for you on our Event Calendar—check them all out! Consult our June GoList for highlights for the rest of the month, and view our hot-off-the-press roundup of summer festivals to plan through Labor Day. And if you haven't done so already, sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get a Free Chromebook 2GB for All your Summer Family Screen Time

Don't get us wrong. We're all about avoiding summer brain drain by keeping kiddos engaged with swim lessons, crafts, drama camps, and robotics clubs. But with all that busyness—plus parents' packed work and home calendars, which don't slow down just because it's school vacation—we'll take any opportunity to fit in some quality time with our kids. And what beats spending a sun-showery afternoon catching up on your family's favorite TV shows, or blasting the AC and curling up on the couch to watch a movie on a hot summer night? I doubt I'm the only one who has fond childhood memories of picking out a video tape and kicking back with the whole crew and some microwave popcorn...

Verizon Fios gets it. And that's exactly why they're sweetening the deal for anyone looking to make the switch before school lets out, by offering new customers a free Samsung Chromebook 3 (2GB) or $200 credit toward other Samsung tech, including all 2018 UDH TVs over 40" or 2018 Soundbars, select Samsung tablets, earbuds, fitness trackers, and more. For just $79.99 a month (plus taxes, equipment charges, and other fees with Auto Pay and paper-free billing) you'll get the super reliable Fios Gigabit Connection, a Custom TV package, and phone service for two years with a two-year agreement and price guarantee.

Summer Festivals and Fairs in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Summer has arrived, and although the season holds promise in many ways, one of our favorite features is the abundance of family-friendly summer festivals and fairs. We’ve rounded up 15 of our favorites in Westchester and the Hudson Valley—from strawberry festivals to county fairs—all of which include fun activities for kids. Although plans were still being finalized for some of this season’s festivities, we’ll be sure to keep this roster updated as summer progresses.

Looking for even more family-friendly activities? Consult our Event Calendar and sign up for our FREE newsletters!

Outdoor Games and Toys to Make Your Kids' Summer a Hit for Cheap

When the temperatures soar and school lets out, it’s time to break out the outdoor games for the kids. Whether trying to keep them entertained at the beach, a backyard BBQ, or just at the park, parents everywhere know that an engaging outdoor toy for toddlers to teens can be the perfect antidote to the inevitable “We’re bored” summer refrain with which we’re all so familiar.

Unfortunately, just walking into your nearest retailer and grabbing the most interesting looking outdoor game off the shelf doesn’t always work out. It could end up overly complicated, not age-appropriate, break upon contact—or even worse: not hold their attention! So we at Mommy Poppins rounded up our favorite summer toys for kids from over the years, including water games, and even tested out new ones, to bring you this list of more than a dozen, inexpensive options to play with your kids this summer.

Family Getaway to Hershey, PA: Hersheypark, Chocolate World, Zoo

While there are plenty of family vacation options in our area, my family's destination of choice this year was Hershey, Pennsylvania. The town, smack dab in the center of the state, has been dubbed the Sweetest Place on Earth thanks to the region's namesake chocolate factory and iconic candy bar. 

The main attraction, Hersheypark, is the perfect short-week or long weekend getaway solution for kids who aren't ready for a long car, train, or plane trip. It’s just over three hours away from the New York City area and barely two hours from Philadelphia. (Tip: Leave before dawn and the kids will sleep through half of it).

I was hesitant that my 5- and 2-year-old boys would be too small to enjoy the trip, but Hershey offers much more than just roller coasters. There's water park fun, a zoo and gardens, chocolate galore, and plenty of great places to stay, including right on site with the treat-filled amusement park. There are even additional family sights in nearby Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Here is a breakdown of the top sights to see with kids.

Weekend Fun: Illuminated Festival, ICS Carnival, GlassBarge

Super-fun, large-scale events abound throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley this weekend, and choosing our top picks was no easy task.

Festivals and carnivals are springing up all over, including the ICS Carnival and the return of the annual Newburgh Illuminated Festival—a 13-hour extravaganza punctuated by more than 40 performances, a Colorfest, and other outdoor attractions.

We’re intrigued by the fleeting opportunity to witness FREE glass-blowing demonstrations aboard the GlassBarge, and aficionados of visual arts might also enjoy the Annual Peekskill Open Studios, featuring studio tours, gallery visits, meet-the-artist opportunities, and more.

Looking to enjoy fresh air, get some exercise, and support a children’s charity? Sign up to raise funds for the Autism Speaks Walk.

Read on for details about the above, as well as other enticing options (many of which are FREE). For more options, peruse our Event Calendar, and plan the rest of the month with our hot-off-the-press June GoList. If you haven't done so already, sign up for our weekly newsletter. ​

Corning Museum of Glass: GlassBarge Drops Anchor with Free Glass Blowing Demos and Ship Tours

Families in Yonkers and up the Hudson can climb aboard a river adventure to see molten glass take shape before our very eyes. A boat that serves as classroom, workshop, and history lesson, The Corning Museum of Glass's first ever floating exhibit, GlassBarge, has set sail for four months through nearly 30 communities en route to a homecoming celebration in Corning, NY. We got a sneak peek when it set off from Brooklyn, where glass and kids' minds were equally blown.

June GoList: Best Things To Do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley with Kids

June ushers in summer, Father’s Day, and the end of school, as well as loads of outdoor fun in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. This month, be on the lookout for cultural celebrations, music under the clouds, carnivals, and camping out.

The beloved Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival returns for more inspiring music, environmental activism, food trucks, boating, and amazing activities for kids—this time with a discounted rate for older kids. On the subject of good causes, the Autism Speaks Westchester/Fairfield Walk continues to serve the community of people on the spectrum with fundraising, consciousness-raising, and camaraderie.

We’ve already told you about the ICS Carnival, which continues in the early days of June; this is followed by several other carnivals throughout the month, as well as festivals that include carnival attractions. Among these is the annual Ukrainian Heritage Festival, whose added appeal is the cultural immersion.

Another standout this month is The Big Bounce America, a traveling inflatable playground that touches ground locally for three days, wielding 20,000 square feet of (exhausting) fun for all ages. Craving more action? Scale new heights at the treetop Glow in the Park.

If you’re looking for the return of A Night on Fire, we’re told this show will take a hiatus this year, but a new event by Historic Hudson Valley will be offered this summer.

These are just a few of our top picks for June. Get your calendars ready and read on for all our best bets for the month. If you're looking for even more options, check our Event Calendar, sign up for our newsletters, and follow us on Facebook

Nickelodeon Punta Cana: All-Inclusive Caribbean Resort with a Side of Slime

If your dream vacation is one where the kids are out of their minds with fun, while you sip piña coladas by your private plunge pool, have I got a place for you. Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, gives little ones all the fun of a theme park visit while providing adults with a luxurious, all-inclusive vacation that doesn’t leave you needing another getaway when you get back.

From the best rooms, pools, experiences, and eats, read on for our review of everything you need to know to enjoy your Caribbean family vacation at Nick Resort Punta Cana.

Best Water Theme Parks Near NYC for Families

While there are no full-fledged outdoor water theme parks in NYC (yet), you don't have to go too far to find some awesome ones. We've rounded up 13 of our favorites for families in the tristate area, mostly in New Jersey, including beachside spots, and Pennsylvania, and all are less than a two-hour drive from Midtown Manhattan. There's also a great pick in the Hudson Valley and on Long Island. No two are alike: Each one offers different experiences and thrills.

Find more rides in our Theme and Water Parks Guide, including indoor water parks for those rainy or cold days.

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