Westchester

60 Free Places to Play at with Westchester & Hudson Valley Kids

We spend a lot of money on kids—not just clothes and other necessities, but also camps, pool memberships, enrichment classes, and extracurricular activities. Tack on the annual birthday bash, and poof—there goes the paycheck!

To help ease the financial pile-on (especially during the pricey holiday season), we’ve identified a long list of ways to keep kids entertained and stimulated without spending a dime. Read on for our thrifty finds.

Looking for more free fun? Keep tabs on our Event Calendar, which is always loaded with free (and low-cost) activities for all ages!

Halloween Weekend Events for Westchester Kids

Eek! It’s the final weekend before Halloween! Westchester and the Hudson Valley crank up the fun on Saturday and Sunday, and below we’ve highlighted some of our faves.

In addition to all the large-scale events found in our Halloween Fun Guide (as of press time, some are nearly sold-out, so pounce on these if they’re part of your plan), a don’t-miss event is the annual Nyack Halloween Parade, whether you march in it or spectate. This is the second-largest in New York State (second only to the Greenwich Village event). Also for Halloween, we’ve rounded up free ways to celebrate and our ultimate bucket list, so no stone is left unturned! Need a diversion from pumpkins and spooks? The YoFi Film Festival kicks off with a weekend of FREE family films and activities, including a workshop called, “How to Watch a Movie.”

Meanwhile, unrelated to Halloween, Bear Mountain Oktoberfest wraps up this weekend—last call for your fix of bratwurst and apple strudel!

We can’t fit all the fun in our top picks, so be sure to visit our Event Calendar for extra Halloween happenings and much more!

Easy Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for Kids

Maybe your daughter changed her mind about her Halloween costume for the bazillionth time. Or maybe your son got an invite to a last-minute Halloween party. Or maybe you're just a proud member of the Procrastination Club. Whatever your case may be, we’ve found the easiest Halloween costumes for kids that even a non-crafty mom or dad can pull together on the fly.

Most of the costumes on our list don't call for an arm's-length list of crafting supplies or Halloween props: Headbands, pom-poms, markers, solid t-shirts, and a glue gun can go a long way with a little imagination. In fact, these DIY kids' costumes are so easy, you might just have time to whip up a few frighteningly tasty Halloween treats, too.

12 Great Places to Trick-or-Treat with Westchester Kids

Whether it’s because the homes are too spread out, they’re lining a busy road, or the neighbors are super cranky, some families just don’t live in neighborhoods that are great for trick-or-treating. We've done a little of our own local research. All kids deserve a safe and candy-filled Halloween, so check out some of these family-friendly areas and events if you need an alternative.

For more Halloween-related fun, visit our Halloween Fun Guide and Event Calendar. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!    

The NYBG Holiday Train Show: What's New in 2018

The towering skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan are ready for their star turn in this year's Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden, opening November 17, 2018 and running through January 21, 2019. We may still be a few weeks from Halloween, but the annual train show is a NYC Christmas tradition worth looking forward to.

New York old and new takes center stage as replicas of the Woolworth Building, completed in 1913, and the soaring One World Trade Center, opened in 2014, highlight the new additions. Read on for a peek at what else is new, plus everything you need to know about visiting this popular holiday attraction with kids.

10 Westchester Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving

There are two types of families when it comes to eating at a restaurant on Thanksgiving: Those who swear by it and those who are simply confounded. We know families in each category and can relate to both. For those of you who want the deliciousness of a Thanksgiving feast served with a side of ultra-convenience, we’ve gathered a list of Westchester restaurants serving turkey with all the trimmings on the big day. 

Many of these spots require reservations, so don’t delay! Heading into the city for the parade? We have a list for that, too.

For more family-friendly restaurants, be sure to sign up for our newsletters

Weekend Fun: West Nyack Festival, Boo Walk, Hastings Spooktacular

Halloween fun is on the rise in Westchester and the Hudson Valley this weekend with the addition of the Hastings Spooktacular Weekend, plus the continuation of all the other big Halloween events  throughout the month. In addition to the recurring events, a one-time performance of Cirquetacular Spooktacular fuses Halloween and circus fun, and the all-new Battle of the Jack-O'-Lanterns is a two-night tour of entries in a high-level carving competition. For wee little ghosts and witches, try the Boo Walk and check out the farm.

Among the fall festivals taking place this weekend, the standout is the two-day New York Sheep and Wool Festival, which features exciting workshops and live entertainment specifically for kids, as well as such eccentricities as llama acts.

Read on for our top weekend picks, visit our Event Calendar, and check out our October GoList for our top choices for the rest of the month!

Are Daycare Kids Better Behaved? This Study Says Yes

Torn between a nanny, daycare, or staying home with your kids? Choosing childcare can be a difficult—and deeply personal—decision for any family, and of course involves a number of factors, from costs to the length of your commute. A new study out of France suggests that daycare might offer some significant advantages in terms of our kids' development.

Researchers at Sorbonne Université in Paris followed nearly 1,500 kids from the womb to age 8 as they either attended a center-based daycare or were cared for by a nanny or family member. The daycare kids, particularly those who attended at least a year before the age of three, were less likely to have problems with peers and other emotional and behavioral issues, according to the researchers.

Ultimate List of Halloween Fun for Westchester Kids

Halloween is almost here, and the number of activities in our area can be overwhelming. Have no fear, for we are here to give you the nitty-gritty on more than two dozen(!) of our favorite events for kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley—and many of them are FREE!

Looking for more family fun, with or without a costume? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels for a San Diego Family Vacation

Whether you're driving down from Los Angeles or flying in from afar, a weekend in San Diego is the perfect getaway to find rest and relaxation all year long. The SoCal destination offers a wide array of family activities to keep everyone entertained, in between the requisite visits to Seaworld, Legoland, and the Safari Park. Here, we round up eight of our favorite spots to kick back and unwind in this picturesque beach town.

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