Westchester

Father's Day Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids

It’s time for Dad’s special day, and we’ve combed Westchester and the Hudson Valley to find the best ways for families to honor the important men in their lives.

The big headliner of the weekend is the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival, a two-day, grand-scale festival celebrating environmental protection with a vast and impressive lineup of music, exhibitions, assorted entertainment, an instrument “petting zoo,” wholesome food, and more. This is just one of several summer festivals taking place this weekend; others include the Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival.

Another highlight is Caramoor's Hot Jazz Age Frolic, which begins with a family-targeted program and includes dance instruction. If Dad loves sports, head to the stands of the Speical Olympics and cheer on the many spirited athletes assembled from throughout the state.

Read on for all of our top picks, and check out our Event Calendar for even more options to choose from. Our June GoList can help you plan the remainder of the month, and signing up for our FREE weekly newsletters keeps you in the know! 

Have a very happy Father’s Day!

Build-A-Bear Has a New Pay-Your-Age Contest, without the Lines

Making a puffy, fuzzy DIY toy at Build-A-Bear is a great experience, especially for a birthday gift, but those bears are far from free. So it was no surprise last year that the company's big Pay-Your-Age Day (5 years old, get any toy for $5) resulted in lines not only out of the stores but out of the buildings—and lots of angry parents when lines were shut down. The good news? Build-A-Bear is doing the popular event again, but doing it differently this year.

Free Outdoor Summer Movies for Westchester and Hudson Valley Families

Summertime means loose schedules and later bedtimes, which is perfect for taking advantage of the abundance of FREE outdoor movies offered throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

We’ve rounded up an assortment of outdoor flicks for your family’s enjoyment—films both old and new, and for a range of ages, with the added appeal of a Hudson River view or sand in your shoes. Some offer added amenities like pre-film entertainment (from live bands to magic shows and more), complimentary refreshments, or food for purchase. But all have one thing in common: FREE summer fun! 

For an alternative take on outdoor movies, check out our roundup of drive-in movie theaters. Looking for outdoor concerts? We've got you covered there, too! And don't forget to consult our complete Summer Activity Guide and Event Calendar

Asheville with Kids: 40 Best Things to Do in Asheville, NC

Asheville, NC, is a popular destination for visitors, including families, with so many fun things to do like the Biltmore Estate, a thriving food and arts scene, a Vanderbilt mansion with extensive grounds, and its kid-friendly local breweries. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the plentiful hiking trails, waterfalls, and swimming holes. I frequently visit my sister’s family in Asheville and get to explore this charming Southern city with my young nephew, so I wanted to share the inside skinny on the best family-friendly attractions, restaurants, and what to do in Asheville with kids.

Find more family fun destinations in our Family Travel City Guides, and be sure to check our picks for North Carolina's best beaches for families.

Best Swimming Pools for Westchester and Hudson Valley Families

Nothing says summer like a day at the pool, and there's no shortage of spots in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley to take a dip. These area pools offer everything from water slides and three-foot waves to a lazy river! Need a break? Many have concession stands and places to picnic, as well as playgrounds, hiking trails, mini-golf, and other activities to truly make it a great day out. 

Here, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites. Some of these—particularly the Westchester pools—require county residency, so take note before you head out. Another note: Yonkers' Sprain Ridge Pool remains closed for repairs, but a 2019 reopening may still be in the cards, so stay tuned! 

Prefer splash pads instead? Check out our list of go-to spots—and look to our Summer Guide for even more warm-weather fun. 

How Can I Find Free Summer Meal Programs for Kids?

Many parents rely on the free breakfast and lunch available through the local school system to keep their kids' engines running—but what happens in the summer? Thankfully, there are still free meal programs available when school lets out.

Parents will find free breakfast, lunch, and sometimes afternoon snacks and more meals served up at certain parks, schools, community centers, hospitals, and elsewhere this summer. Many of the summer meal programs are federally funded through the USDA's Summer Food Service Program, but administered by local organizations, cities, or states. Read on for tips on how to find a free kids meal near you.

Weekend Fun: Fairy Festival, Fol-de-Rol, Poughkeepsie Pride

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! Summer fun has begun 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 be a marine biologist at STEM Sails. If you haven't had enough fair fun, add the Katonah Fire Department Carnival to your list—or mingle with pixies at the Fairy Festival, and wear your favorite wings. Or wear your brightest rainbow to celebrate Pride Month at the three-day, multi-faceted Pride 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

Free Outdoor Summer Family Concerts in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Grab a blanket, picnic dinner, and family and friends: A free outdoor concert is just the thing to end your day on a relaxing note. 

This summer, many towns and villages are hosting bands playing everything from rock and jazz to country and swing. Some concerts are even dedicated specifically to the younger set, with local kid-bop stars piling on the entertainment. While some events involve a modest fee for parking and perhaps the optional food purchase, admission is our favorite price: FREE.

Looking for more summer fun? We've also rounded up FREE outdoor movies for yet more ways to soak up the season. Also consult our Event Calendar and Summer Activity Guide, 'cause there's loads more in store. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to stay informed of more great ways to rock this summer!  

Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark: Next-Level Family Fun in New York's Catskills

Billed as the biggest indoor water park in New York state, the Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark is finally open! 

Since we first learned about this exciting new indoor water park in the Catskills more than a year ago, our New York-area families have been anticipating its grand opening, which took place in April. 

Eager for a weekend getaway, I recently visited the family-friendly resort for an overnight stay with my 5-year-old daughter. Sitting on two beautiful acres, with 318,000 gallons of water running through it, and 80,000-square-feet of water attractions—plus lots of splashes and sprays—the Kartrite does not disappoint.

Enter to Win the Summer Boredom Busters Giveaway!

What's the secret to a happy summer? Keeping kids busy! We've rounded up a great group of prizes in our Summer Boredom Busters Prize Package (total value $220.82) includes games, toys and activity books for fun and enrichment to keep kids from falling into the dreaded summer slide. This prize package is recommended for children ages 4 and up. 

The Summer Boredom Busters Giveaway Package Includes:

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