Westchester

16 Free Ways to Have Fun with Westchester Kids this Week

Halloween is drawing near, and this week’s activities for Westchester families are largely reflective of that. Below we’ve rounded up 16 fun things to do for kids of all ages—all of which are free!

You’ll find eclectic takes on Halloween fun—like making a mask using objects found in nature and navigating a spooky Halloween maze (if you dare!)—plus a smattering of alternatives like Coding the Droids from Star Wars and a Harry Potter party if you’re all pumpkin-ed out.

Read on for all this and much more; then visit our Event Calendar which is practically exploding with exciting activities every day of the week! 

Petting Zoos & Farms: 9 Places to Bring Westchester Kids for Animal Fun

Have an animal lover on your hands? Westchester and the Lower Hudson Valley are filled with opportunities to see animals up close and personal—including some places that even let you get hands-on at a petting zoo. Many of the farms also offer kid-friendly activities in addition to the chance to see, touch and feed animals like horses, goats, cows, pigs, chickens, alpacas and more.

Read on for our top picks, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters for more family-friendly autumn activities. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook!

Polar Express and Santa Trains Near NYC This Holiday Season

The magic of Chris Van Allsburg’s popular Christmas picture book, The Polar Express, comes to life again this winter with festive holiday trains within a whistle's blow of the New York City metro area. A huge hit with kids and parents alike, these trains spark the imagination and holiday spirit with seasonal snacks, stories, even token gifts—not to mention a visit from Santa himself.

These old-school cabooses (some harking back to the 1920s) offer a classic holiday ambience. There's a Polar Express just an hour south into New Jersey, or the one-day-only Tri-State Santa Train about 50 minutes away, or consider a day trip to the Catskills or weekend getaway to Pennsylvania Dutch Country for this Santa's Paradise Express. Best of all, families can combine the annual Santa Claus photo op with a sweet adventure sure to create lasting memories.

Remember: these train rides sell out quickly, often months in advance, so book now if you want to go.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Explore-a-thon, Festivals, Halloween

Halloween fun is on the rise this weekend with the addition of the new Jay Ghoul's House of Curiosities, plus the continuation of all the other big Halloween events recurring throughout the month. There’s also the tamer Ragamuffin Parade and Carnival for the younger set.

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

Not all the fun this weekend is autumnal, though.  A stage production of Alice in Wonderland is set in the 21st century, and Explore-a-Thon offers multiple activity stations for hands-on discovery.

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!

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

Whether it’s because the homes are too spread out, or 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. There are a few sites out there known for rating the best trick-or-treating in the country, but we’ve done a little of 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!    

Build an Indoor Obstacle Course for Kids in 7 Easy Steps

When beautiful fall days turn into gray, wintry ones that get dark at 4pm, you need ideas of things to do indoors, including sneaky exercise games for the kids. Or, why not build an obstacle course for your kids? They'll love the challenge of having to complete each task, and you'll love the energy it can burn off and time it will keep them occupied. The best part? You can build this one with things you already have around the house. So read on for our guide to building your own in seven easy steps.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Spooktacular, National Pasta Day

Such a fun week lies ahead, with a mix of both seasonal and anytime activities to delight Westchester families!

As the Halloween countdown continues, the options for mood-setting increase. Making its debut is an all-new Jay Ghoul's House of Curiosities, a murder mystery set in the days of flappers, and you’re the detective. Hastings Spooktacular Weekend offers a smorgasbord of Halloween fun over a four-day period—from a haunted house to baking contests and more. And because “National [fill in the blank] Days” are silly but fun, celebrate a great carb at National Pasta Day.

Read on for our top weekday picks and be sure to also check our Event Calendar and our October GoList for more family fun throughout the month! 

Where to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in Westchester

Even if Christmas isn’t your holiday, its hard not to smile when the distinctive smell of fresh pine, balsam or fir fills the air this time of year. The smell can only be sweeter when you've picked through live trees to choose the perfect one then, with your family, chopped it down, loaded it on your car and brought it home as a labor of love. The experience offers a chance for family bonding, photo opportunities and surely lots of laughs.

Following is a list of farms in our area where families can choose and cut their own Christmas tree. Not quite sure you're up to the challenge of chopping a tree? Don't worry. Many also offer fresh-cut trees all offer help to make sure your experience runs smoothly. (Not all farms are open every day, so be sure to call ahead.) Most of the farms here begin selling trees the day after Thanksgiving.

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

25 Cool and Free Halloween Programs for Kids in Westchester

If you think Halloween town and library programs are only about storytime and paper pumpkins, think again! Many towns in Westchester offer stand-out events that are frightfully fun—not to mention the parades, parties and more free activities for families who love Halloween. 

Below we’ve listed more than two dozen places with fun Halloween programs. Best of all—they’re all FREE! (And, OK, there are some storytimes and crafts, but we do like those too.) 

Read on for our top picks, and then continue on to our Event Calendar for many more fun October events.

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