Westchester

Revamped Saxon Woods Park Playground in White Plains Is Worth a Visit

Westchester and the Hudson Valley have no shortage of great playgrounds—whether you’re looking to entertain your toddler, host a party, or even make an entire day trip out of your visit. And now there’s one more to add to the list: the playground at Saxon Woods Park in White Plains, which was recently renovated.

Looking for even more outdoor fun? Check out our summer guide for ideas!

Weekend Fun: American Roots Fest, Fireman’s Carnival, Boat-Building Challenge

Summer has officially arrived, and there is no shortage of ways for families to celebrate this weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

One of our top picks for June is the return of the American Roots Music Festival, a full day and evening of performances by both established and up-and-coming artists in a bucolic outdoor setting.

Two uncommon competitions take place this weekend, both of which are open to spectators: The Tree-Climbing Championship will test the mettle of 25 arborists as they ascend impressive trees. The Brightwork Boat-Building Festival features not only adult boat-building and racing but also gads of nautical-themed fun for kids—all FREE.

An annual favorite is the Yorktown Fireman’s Carnival, which runs daily through Sunday, and the African American Heritage Celebration. This weekend is also the last call for the interactive literary experience Tillys’ Tea with Alice.

More of our top picks are below, and many more events are on our Event Calendar. If you haven't done so already, sign up for our weekly newsletters and follow us on Facebook!

July 4th Fireworks in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Independence Day means summer fun, barbecues, and, of course, stunning pyrotechnics. We’ve identified fireworks displays over the course of an entire week (the benefit of Independence Day falling on a Wednesday!) along with lots of added attractions—a carnival, a fair, concerts, sports, bouncy houses, a parade, and other perks.

If you’re feeling adventurous, the famous Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular is best visited strategically, and we have the best spots to watch with your family; there’s also a show-stopping fireworks display that’s less frenetic over the bridge in Jersey City, which also features a full agenda of fun.

Be sure to keep tabs on our Event Calendar, and sign up for our newsletters to stay on top of our frequent updates and announcements!

Cabo with Kids! All Inclusive Decadence at Mexico's Grand Velas Resort Los Cabos

Sometimes as parents we're happy to plan the family vacation around theme parks and cartoon characters; other times we want to be pampered like a real princess, not a Disney princess. A vacation that provides grown-up decadence and luxury with fun and entertainment for kids (including time supervised by someone else)—that is the ultimate family getaway. And that is what we found in Los Cabos at Grand Velas' new seaside resort.

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 Cuban. 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!  

Ocean City: Family-Friendly Summer Fun on the Jersey Shore

Summertime at the Jersey Shore means beach days and boardwalk rides, mini-golf and arcade games, topped off with fresh seafood dinners or pizza and ice cream. Shore towns from Sandy Hook to Cape May offer the best bets for family vacation fun, and Ocean City, a classic family beach destination at the southern shore, is one of our favorites.

Nicknamed America's Family Resort, Ocean City draws families from across New Jersey and Pennsylvania to enjoy its wide beaches, kid-centered boardwalk, and family events. Read on for details about visiting Ocean City with kids. And for more beach vacation ideas, check out our inside look at southern shore gems Wildwood and Cape May

Father's Day Weekend: Big Bounce, Clearwater Fest, Children's Day

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. Sure, a nice dinner or sporting event is often the just-right excursion, but in case you’re looking for something more, we’ve got lots to choose from.

The big headliner of the weekend is the Clearwater Great Hudson River Revival, a two-day outdoor event celebrating environmental protection on a grand scale 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 musical highlight is Caramoor's Family Concert, when the illustrious venue presents a performance tailored to younger audiences. Fans of inflatables, this one’s for you: The Big Bounce America is bringing 20,000 square feet of jumpy fun to the Hudson Valley, including assorted variations on the bouncy theme. There also are a couple of kid-focused historical events this weekend, including Family Fun Day at the Piermont Railroad Station Museum, which offers particular appeal for young fans of locomotives.

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!

Summer Camps with Availability for Westchester Kids

Summer vacation may be staring you in the face, but there's no need to panic—we've rounded up a dozen camps that still have spots. Whether you're looking for a day camp for your preschooler or a sleepaway camp for your tween, you'll find it here! And to make your life even easier, many of them actually offer door to door transportation. Sign up for the whole summer, or just one week, depending on the camp and your needs. (After all, you might want to leave time to work your way through all the activities in our Summer Fun Guide.)

You can find even more camps in our Westchester Summer Camp Guide, or in our Directory.

Free Outdoor Summer Movies for Westchester and Hudson Valley Families

Summertime means loose schedules and later bedtimes. Perfectly suited for those lazy days and longer nights is 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 a dip in a local pool. Some offer added amenities like pre-film entertainment (from steel drumming to a petting zoo), complimentary refreshments, or food for purchase. But all have one thing in common: FREE summer fun! (Just be sure to check with the event organizer for any change to the schedule.)

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

Splash Pads and Water Playgrounds in Westchester and Hudson Valley

Ready to cool off this summer? There are plenty of local pools and beaches, but if you’re looking for something a little different, a splash pad or sprayground is a great choice. The setting—particularly the smaller splash pads—is especially fun for younger kids, who can run through the sprinklers and water jets. Lucky for us, there are a whole slew of family-friendly sprinkler parks to choose from in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, whether you’re looking for a quick morning trip or an all-day adventure.

We’ve rounded up a few to check out, from Yonkers to Wappingers Falls, including several that offer FREE entry. Looking for even more outdoor activities? Be sure to check out our Summer Guide.

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