Westchester

10 Westchester Restaurants Open for Thanksgiving

I know two types of families when it comes to eating at a restaurant on Thanksgiving: those who swear by it and those who are confounded by it. I was born into one type and married into another, so I can relate with both. For those of you who want the deliciousness of a Thanksgiving dinner served with a side of ultra-convenience, we’ve gathered a list of Westchester restaurants serving Thanksgiving dinner for families. 

Many of these restaurants require reservations, so don’t delay! For more family-friendly restaurants, be sure to sign up for our newsletters

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Imagination Movers, Maker Faire

With the Halloween hullabaloo behind us, now’s the time for a more motley assortment of family activities in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

For entertainment with a reputation preceding it, Imagination Movers travels from TV to the stage, as the Disney Jr act brings its special brand of antics to Westchester. This weekend is a great time to roll up your sleeves for hands-on fun. The return of the annual Mini Maker Faire runs concurrently at locations nationwide for a two-day maker extravaganza, while the more local Family Day offers a hands-on art workshop inspired by the current exhibition of Matisse line drawings. Earn a certificate—and some trust—when you complete the half-day Teen Babysitting Workshop, and for outdoor fun, slither over to For Goodness Snakes!

Read on for these and other top picks, then continue to our Event Calendar for more options and to our November GoList for our top picks for the month!

Choose a Pediatrician: How Second-Time Parents Pick a Doctor

Choosing your kid's pediatrician may seem like just one more "before baby" chore to soon-to-be parents running down a checklist that includes everything from assembling the crib to finding child care. But actually, this single decision is going to impact your family more than you might think.

Of course you need to ensure a doctor is licensed, and ideally, certified by the American Board of Pediatrics, accepts your insurance, and works with a top-rated hospital in case of emergencies, but beyond those practicalities, there are a few things that make for standout pediatricians. The best pediatricians (IMHO) treat the whole family, especially new parents. They ask mom if she's getting enough sleep and offer breastfeeding and other postpartum support. The can offer discipline suggestions and address behavior issues as kids grow up. 

But don't just take my word for it. We asked our amazing group of second-time parents at Mommy Poppins with kids ranging from newborns to teens on what to ask when interviewing a new doctor for your children and what to look for when choosing that very first pediatrician for your brand-new baby. Read on for our 13 top questions to consider before choosing your next doctor.

November GoList: The Best Things to Do with Kids in Westchester

November is a month of transition, as the celebrations of Halloween, Thanksgiving and the December holidays merge, and Westchester and the Hudson Valley are rich with related family activities. If you haven't made it to some local Halloween haunts, there's still time; then, before you can say gobble-gobble, it’s time for the Thanksgiving Day Parade and Frosty Day.

In between, there are some exciting family performances and other activities this month that provide a respite from the holiday hoopla. Clearpool Father-Son Weekend offers 27 hours of male bonding on a (comfortable) wilderness adventure; STEAM Fest features FREE hands-on stations in various sciences; and liquid spheres are the medium on stage at Bubble Time!

Below are our top picks for November, but remember that our Event Calendar has many more fun and enriching activities. Savor the season and enjoy it all! 

99 Sensory Activities for Any Child

All kids can be affected by sensory processing issues. Certain situations just make them freak. So it makes sense that exposing kids to a variety of sensory activities in a calm, playful manner can alleviate some of these problems.

In that spirit, we've put together this list of 99 sensory activities for any child. Though these activities involve sensory stimulation, they are great all-around activities for any child, from toddlers on up. Some are even good for babies. These sensory activities also can help you. My kids' school's occupational therapist once gave a seminar to parents on sensory balance and activities for maintaining a sensory-savvy schedule. I now realize my engine tends to run too low and I need to work harder at energizing myself throughout the day. I have incorporated some of these activities to keep my own energy up.

For more tips on dealing with sensory issues, see our posts on sensory savvy-snacks and OT-recommended toys.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Halloween, Day of the Dead, STEAM

What with all the Halloween build-up this month, the big question to resolve now is what to do on Halloween itself! While there are recommended numerous ways to spend the Big Day, we're zeroing in on Scared By the Sound. Since most younger kids will probably be out trick-or-treating, our focus is the older kids in search of a good fright fest.

On the heels of Halloween comes the Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos, and to celebrate you can attend one of the Day of the Dead activities we rounded up. This week is also a good time for STEAM events, like It's All About Chemistry!

These are just some of our top picks for the week—most of which are FREE. Read on for the rest and check out our hot-off-the-press November GoList for our top picks for the whole month. Our Event Calendar has many more options to choose from—every day of the week!

Happy Halloween!

STEM Party! 6 Places to Have a Lego or Robotics Birthday Party in Westchester

Have a young robot fan or STEM-minded kid with a birthday coming up? Sure, you could host a Minecraft party at your home with all of the kids fixated on their individual screens in a haze. But why not fuel his or her creativity with a robotics party at a high-tech hub?

We've gathered several ways you can help your child celebrate with science and robotics, either on location or in your home. Looking for more birthday ideas? Consult our Kids' Party Planner Guide

Scary Easy Ideas for a Spooktacular Halloween Party

It's never too late to organize a super simple Halloween Party. This year I hosted our fifth annual neighborhood party and tested out some frighteningly easy Halloween snack recipes. They must have been a hit, because my little ghosts and goblins didn’t let out a single boo in protest. Now that I have my fifth party under my (witch's) hat, here are a few tricks for how to host your own Halloween Party.

Halloween Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Parades, Festivals and More!

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

In addition to all the large-scale events found in our Halloween guide, like Horseman’s Hollow and Jay Ghoul's House of Curiosities, 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). Preschoolers will enjoy the abundant offerings at Harvest Moon Festival, and Howlin' Halloween offers evening spookiness in an outdoor nature setting. Also for Halloween, we’ve rounded up fun ragamuffin parades, our favorite programs at Westchester nature centers and freebies at Westchester libraries.

Meanwhile, unrelated to Halloween, Bear Mountain Oktoberfest wraps up this weekend--last call for your fix of bratwurst and apple streudel! Other outing options include Survive, which dares tweens to overcome various challenges in nature—gasp!—without their electronic devices.

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

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