Westchester

6 Awesome Holiday Light Displays in the Lower Hudson Valley

We just can’t get enough of these holiday lights. Whether you live in the Hudson Valley or you’re taking a trip across the bridge, we’ve collected some of the best home holiday light displays in the area to visit with your family. There’s even a Guinness World Record winner in here! 

For more holiday fun, be sure to check our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook. Know of any other light displays we should check out? Drop us an email, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters to stay in the loop. 

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Santa's Workshop, Holiday DIY

As we segue from November to December, the holiday events start piling on, with a particular concentration of tree-lighting ceremonies this time of year. A highlight among those is this week’s Bronxville Hometown Holiday Tree Lighting, which includes  a caroling procession to the grand opening of Santa’s Workshop. This week is also a great time for Holiday DIY, and even if you’re no Martha Stewart, you can make gifts and décor at any of these hands-on opportunities.

If your kids are hard on themselves when they make a mistake, bring them to The Art of Science, where they can learn about all the wonderful inventions that were born from blunders (the Slinky, Silly Putty and chocolate-chip cookies to name a few!).

Read on for our top picks for each weekday—all of which are FREE!—and visit our Event Calendar for even more options. And be sure to consult our Holiday Fun Guide, full of yet more activities and ideas to help you get the most out of the holidays with kids. 

Breakfast with Santa for Kids and Families in Westchester

Though Santa is busy preparing for his famous ride on Christmas Eve, he still somehow has time to break bread (or pancakes) with children in Westchester this holiday season. These cozy get-togethers have become increasingly popular, typically featuring a full breakfast and holiday activity, with added perks at some. The best part? Quality time and photo-op with St. Nick.

We’ve rounded up some top picks for Breakfast with Santa throughout Westchester to help you spread some holiday cheer. Advance registration is either required or recommended, so don't delay. And don't forget to bring your wish list! 

If you're looking for more holiday activities, check out our coverage of holiday tree lightings, performances of The Nutcracker and other holiday shows—all happening in Westchester.

Best Places To Visit Santa Claus with Westchester Kids

For those who celebrate Christmas, the holiday season is hardly complete without a trip to visit Santa. Lucky for us, there's no shortage of places in Westchester where kids can have a meet-and-greet with the big guy, and we’ve rounded them up for you here. If you’re looking for a photo opp for your little ones (and your pets!), these Santa sightings are sure to delight you and your little ones this holiday season.

Want an even more relaxed environment? Check out some of the breakfasts with Santa occurring throughout Westchester. 

For even more holiday activities, see our coverage on holiday tree lightings, live holiday shows and performances of the The Nutcracker, all happening in Westchester.

Moana: A New Disney Princess for Our Multicultural World

The heroine of Disney's new animated feature Moana may be the daughter of her Polynesian tribe's chief, but don't go calling her a princess. When her partner in adventure, the demigod Maui, snarkily insists that, "If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you’re a princess,” Moana challenges his preconceived notion—as she does throughout the movie. Yes, from a marketing point of view, she's the latest in a long line of Disney royalty. Yet her character defies and redefines that role. She's a powerful, self-possessed young woman of color who battles climate change and doesn't need a man to save her. In fact, there's zero romance in this film; it's not even mentioned. Instead, she spends most of the flick bickering and bonding with Maui, who acts as a kind of goofy, surrogate big brother on their mission to save Moana's imperiled island homeland.

But while the film's feminist and multicultural elements make Moana feel decidedly 21st century, story-wise it follows the studio's tried-and-true formula of a princess—make that future chieftain—on a dangerous (but inevitably successful) quest. Just how scary is it? We've got the scoop, plus whether it's worth splurging to see her escapades in 3D.

Thanksgiving Weekend for Westchester Kids: Winter Wonderland, Frosty Day

Thanksgiving is upon us, as is the official kickoff of the holiday season in Westchester. With a four-day weekend ahead, there are plenty of great events happening in our area to keep families together and entertained.

As we shift gears from Thanksgiving to Christmas and Chanukah, the holiday events start to really pick up. Several recurring events make their debut this weekend, including the return of the annual (and enhanced) Winter Wonderland, Frosty Fest and Holiday Spirit Festival, to name a few. Also this weekend is the return of Frosty Day, featuring a town-wide celebration of the pride that comes from claiming Frosty as a native son. 

Read on for our top weekend picks and click through for full details. Looking for more holiday options? Browse our Holiday Guide, full of events, activities and ideas for every day of the holiday season. Also be sure to check our Event Calendar for more fun happening this weekend and beyond.

We wish you a wonderful holiday weekend filled with family, friends, great food—and lots of fun activities!

All Aboard the Catskill Mountain Railroad Polar Express in Kingston

Family traditions can be the best part of the holidays, and bringing the kids on a “real” Polar Express is one of the more exciting options in our area. These interactive experiences—there are several of them in the tri-state area—let families relive the magic of the story, while holiday photo opportunities abound. 
 
We recently took a trip on the Catskill Mountain Railroad’s Polar Express in Kingston, which featured an amazing crew committed to delivering an unforgettable experience. We have what you need to know about riding this holiday train, including what to expect on your journey. 

Looking for more holiday fun? Sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook

The Best Kid-Friendly Holiday Shows (Other than The Nutcracker!)

The holiday season is fast upon us, and while there are some ways we can self-pace how we savor the season, one recommendation for advance planning is to purchase tickets for holiday performances. Not only do they often sell out in advance, but claiming choice seats can avoid the familiar whines of “I can’t see …”

Fortunately for Westchester residents, there are various holiday productions to choose from in addition to the The Nutcracker performances in our area. We’ve rounded up the best kid-friendly productions—from traditional concerts to new musical theater—to help you ring in the holiday season. Read on and click through for details. Also be sure to visit our Event Calendar, where you’ll find an ever-growing number of other holiday events we’re curating for your family to enjoy! 

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Thanksgiving Cookies, Turkey Balloons

It’s Thanksgiving week, and our top picks for the week offer sure-fire ways to enjoy festive holiday fun.

First, prepare Thanksgiving treats for your dessert table at Festive Holiday Cookies, and then craft festive home décor at Mad About Mason Jars. Can’t make it to see the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade balloons? Try making your own turkeys at Balloon Bonanza.

The program just described are all FREE, and there are plenty more where those came from! Read on for our top picks for each weekday, and click through to our Event Calendar for additional details and more options to choose from!

10 Holiday Craft Fairs and Markets in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

‘Tis the season for holiday craft fair, where an abundance of handmade goodies is presented by the local makers across Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Whether it’s soft-smelling soaps, handmade jewelry or blown glass, you are sure to find something special for everyone on your Nice list. 

We’ve gathered up some of our favorite holiday markets occurring across the area, many of which pack in extra kid-friendly events like games and photos with Santa. Looking for more holiday activities? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters!

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