Westchester

Silver Screen in Style: iPic Luxury Movie Theater Now Open in Westchester

There's a new option in Westchester for watching those summer blockbusters or going on a date night: iPic Theaters in Dobbs Ferry.

The eight-screen luxury movie theater is the newest in a chain of iPic Theaters throughout the country—and the first of its kind here in Westchester. With other nearby locations in Manhattan and Fort Lee, N.J., the Dobbs Ferry theater marks the company’s 16th location and is set to open on Friday, May 5.

We received a first-hand sneak peek at this upscale—but family friendly—theater. Looking for even more fun places to visit this spring? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

May GoList: Best Things to Do in Westchester with Kids

May is a festive month in Westchester and the Hudson Valley! We continue to celebrate spring with lots of festivals and fairs, but it isn’t all daffodils and tulips. Take note of the Gardiner Cupcake Festival, which boasts three times the number of cupcakes than the residents of the town that hosts it. 

Numerous opportunities for cultural enrichment return, such as the multi-venue Yonkers Arts Weekend and the ultra-hands-on Family Arts Bash. Historic Hudson Valley has announced a new event called Djembes and Dance (replacing Discover Pinkster! of years past), celebrating African-American customs and arts, with drumming, dance and historical relics.

In May we also celebrate Mother’s Day (our calendar will soon be bursting with ways to honor Mom!) and Memorial Day, with not only a roundup of parades but also larger-scale events like the Annual Memorial Day Races & Fair.

For unadulterated fun, don your best antennae and head to the annual UFO Fair, or indulge in assorted Star Wars-themed activities at any of the many events called May the 4th Be With You (get it?).

We've rounded up our top picks for family outings this month in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, below. If you're looking for even more options, check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our FREE newsletters to stay in the know!

FREE Bilingual Story Times for Westchester Kids

Because a public library’s mission is to serve the varying interests of its community, it’s fitting that many offer bilingual programming for children, especially in towns with diverse communities. Bilingual programming for Westchester families, however, is often attended not only by native speakers but also by those wishing to expose their children to a second language from an early age. One local mom we know strategically hired a Spanish-speaking nanny for her toddler and brought him to Spanish story time to increase this exposure.

Beyond the 30 to 60 minutes of weekly immersion, these programs can also provide a cultural hub—an opportunity for families to connect with others from their heritage and socialize both within and outside of the library setting. And since most are intended for young learners accompanied by a caregiver, you're sure to pick up some new phrases yourself!

We’ve explored the bilingual programs offered by Westchester libraries to round up some highlights. Though Spanish-language programs are the most abundant, a variety of languages are in focus—and one in particular offers a smattering of more than 20 languages, from Dutch to Urdu and Ashanti! One note: Although we confirmed with the libraries that these are ongoing programs, be sure to check before you go because dates can change.

Weekend Fun for Kids: Westchester Children's Museum Party, Comic Con

It wasn't easy narrowing down our top picks for the last weekend in April—there are so many incredible events worth mentioning, our Event Calendar is bursting with possibilities!

Everyone’s favorite rubber-duck race returns at Y Healthy Kids Day (which we’ve profiled in our review). Lyndhurst Design & Build Weekend will get kids to practice problem solving, basic city planning, architectural concepts and, above all, creativity.  The Westchester Children's Museum 1st Birthday Party takes place this weekend—and you’re invited! For those who love FREE: At Comic Con, aficionados of comics and manga can indulge their pleasure by participating in assorted graphics-related fun, while at Family Fun Day kids can visit assorted stations and participate in fun workshops like circus techniques.

Would you believe that’s not all? Earth Day fun also continues this weekend, too. Read on for all this and more, but definitely don’t stop there. We've got oodles more in our Event Calendar

A Visit to Amish Country: 13 Fun Things To Do with Kids in Lancaster

A trip to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, offers a surprising number of family activities, from farm visits and more country fun to train rides and cool museums. My family, including two little ones, recently tried to squeeze as much of the area's top attractions into a day trip as we could, and we're already planning a return trip to see more.

Whether you love that rural vibe or are just looking for an alternative to the standard beach-type of family weekend getaway, I can assure you that Pennsylvania Dutch Country and Amish Country make for a sweet destination with kids in tow. It's not just fields, pastures, and cows!

Read on for the top family sights, including The Science Factory, Strasburg Railroad, Dutch Wonderland, and even a train-themed hotel. 

Looking for more family getaways? Check out our travel guide with real parent reviews of resorts and destinations. Find more Pennsylvania family fun with our Poconos Guide.

Spring Fun at the 2017 Tarrytown Duck Derby and Y Healthy Kids Day

Nothing says spring in the suburbs like a team of rubber ducks bobbing and bumping down a river. The annual YMCA Healthy Kids Day and Rotary Duck Derby, a four-hour affair at Sleepy Hollow’s Patriot Park, is a family favorite of ours. The event typically draws more than 1,500 people, all of whom come to enjoy the live music, vendors, crafts, entertainment and, of course, hordes of rubber ducks. 

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, April 29, 2017, 11am - 3pm, and we have what you need to know. Looking for more spring family fun? Check out our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Magical Creatures, Egg Drop, Yoga

Mid-week fun lies ahead for Westchester families, and it comes in many forms!

Escape to another world or another time at a new program called Magical Creatures Club or combine reading and relaxation at Story Book Yoga. Alternatively, test your intellectual mettle at Egg Drop or one of the many chess clubs we’ve rounded up. 

Many more fun and stimulating activities can be found on our Event Calendar, so head there after reading on for more of our top picks!

Have you cast your ballot yet in The Westchester BESTIE Awards 2017? Vote for your favorite Westchester and Hudson Valley businesses—they’ll get the honor, and you might win a prize from Mommy Poppins! 

18th Century Spring Fun at the Philipsburg Manor Sheep-to-Shawl Festival

Few events herald spring for our family quite like Philipsburg Manor’s Sheep-to-Shawl festival. We included this event in our AprilGo List—our top picks for events happening all month long—and Sheep-to-Shawl definitely delivers.

Part of the Historic Hudson Valley network, based largely in Westchester County’s charming Rivertowns, Philipsburg Manor is a working historic farm that dates back all the way back to the 1690s. Each year, just as us humans are getting ready to shed our winter coats in favor of spring jackets, so too are the sheep getting ready to shed their winter wool, and that is where the festival begins. Read on for all the details on this weekend-long event, including what to expect and what not to miss!

Looking for more ways to ring in spring? Check out our Spring Activity Guide and sign up for our newsletters!

Where to See Cherry Blossoms in the Lower Hudson Valley this Spring

Spring is in the air, and that means it's cherry blossom time. These beautiful flowers typically start blooming in late March through early June in the New York region. In addition to the opportunities to see cherry blossoms in New York City—including the famous Sakura Matsuri annual cherry blossom festival at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden—there are some great spots north of the city. 

Looking for more springtime adventure ideas? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Earth Day Celebrations, Sheep-to-Shawl Festival

This Saturday marks the 47th annual Earth Day, and with the event falling on a weekend, there are many ways for Westchester families to go green.

Among the many Earth Day activities we’ve rounded up are Green Ossining’s Earth Day Festival, an in-park event offering conscience-raising information about food sustainability and fun kids’ activities, as well as Sky and Earth Day, a motley indoor event combining cloud study, telescope viewing and a screening of The Victorian’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Another headline event is the return of the annual Sheep-to-Shawl, a historic-themed festival for contemporary sheepish fun. Another fun way to step back in time is at the annual Colonial Day, where visitors can buy sweets from the colonial baker and practice their ABCs in a one-room schoolhouse. Sports fans, on the other hand, can browse collectibles and memorabilia (and snag a free pack of cards) at the Baseball Card Show.

All this and much more can be found on our Event Calendar (including ways to spend spring break), and our April GoList can help you zero in on some of our favorites throughout the month.

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