STEM Camps and Classes for Robotics, Coding, and Engineering Fun

It's no secret that today's kids will need a robust education in STEM subjects to thrive in an economy exploding with science and technology careers. Both in and outside of schools, educators and parents are looking for ways to provide more science, technology, engineering, and math studies for children. There are many programs out there, but which ones really teach the skills that kids need? We checked out a Sylvan Learning EDGE class to see what Sylvan Learning, long-known for tutoring and test prep programs, offers with its Sylvan EDGE STEM programs.

Sylvan EDGE offers six week programs for kids from grades 1 to 6 in Robotics for Kids, Engineering, Coding for Kids, Math EDGE, plus Sylvan EDGE Camps. My 10-year-old son tried out a Robotics for Kids class, and it definitely stood apart from many of the other STEM activities we’ve tried.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Colonial Nutcracker, Hanukkah Party

The holidays are closing in, and Westchester and Hudson Valley families are scrambling to soak up all the fun! This weekend, the festivities are ratcheted up, so put on your jingle bells, light those lights and don’t miss these highlights!

Adding to the various iterations this month of the Tchaikovsky classic, this weekend showcases The Westchester Ballet Company Presents The Nutcracker and The Colonial Nutcracker. Additional options for holiday entertainment include The Laurie Berkner Band's Holiday Celebration. Among the Hanukkah celebrations that are kicking off, the Family Chanukah Party stands out as worth a visit. And all ages can enjoy assorted seasonal activities at Holiday Family Crafts.

Read on for just a few of the many happenings we’ve culled from our Event Calendar, and also view the many options in our Holiday Fun Guide we’ve worked hard to identify for you. Enjoy it all!

Indoor Play Spaces: Where Westchester Kids Can Burn Off Energy

Even if you have a backyard and rooms full of toys, we still run into the problem of stir-crazy children in need of exercise. While many of the beautiful nature centers and great hiking trails are still options for families in the winter, its good to know there are a number of fantastic indoor play place options in Westchester that range from steals to splurges. Read on to find out where to play and what to know before you go!

Looking for more indoor ideas when inclement weather dampens outdoor fun? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters. We also have a list of indoor play spaces in the rest of the Lower Hudson Valley that are worth the drive. 

Hot Holiday Deals: Diggerland, Sahara Sam's, Rockettes, and More

We've rounded up some great deals from our partners to get your holidays hopping with special savings. Help yourself to extra servings of fun and convenience with discounted tickets to area amuseument parks, top shows like the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Gazillion Bubble Show, and more. With so much going on, it's the perfect time to try delivery from Babeth's Feast. Your special offer will make dinner a snap and a great deal. As always, you'll find lots more holiday fun in the Mommy Poppins Holiday Guide.

Santa Visits 100 Toys 'R' Us and Babies 'R' Us Stores in 2016

Count your local Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us as one more spot where you can score that cute photo with Santa.

The national toy and baby gear retailer teamed up with WorldWide Photography to bring a Santa photo package experience to 100 select stores across the country in 2016, including in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, Texas, and California.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Hip-Hop Nutcracker, 3D Holiday Printing

The coming week is a great time for Westchester families to indulge in pre-holiday activities.

A particular highlight is a couple promising holiday performances. As noted in our roundup of Nutcracker productions, The Hip-Hop Nutcracker offers an untraditional twist on the holiday classic, and Cherish the Ladies - A Celtic Christmas returns with Celtic holiday music (one of the highlights in our recommended holiday performances). Other top picks for the week include various holiday crafting programs, the most high-tech being Seasonal Decorations.

Read on for additional details and more highlights below, and then turn to our Event Calendar for many more options to choose from. There's lots more seasonal fun in store, so consult our Holiday Fun Guide to help you get the most out of the season with kids!

The Best Holiday Train Displays In and Around Westchester

Train displays have become as much a part of the holiday season as the Nutcracker and holiday tree lightings. They are so festive and fun, it’s no wonder families look forward to them each year.

The Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden is a sure crowd pleaser for all ages; however, there are other train shows in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, and we’ve rounded up several local options to celebrate locomotion for the holidays. Read on for more info about holiday train shows in and around Westchester. (Looking for a "real" Polar Express? We have details on that too!) 

Calling Santa: Mostly Free Apps for St. Nick Fun with Kids

Ready or not, Santa Claus is coming to town, and the kids couldn't be more excited. Thanks to technology, families today have a lot more ways than a quick photo with the mall Santa to catch up with (or just plain catch!) the jolly bearded man. 

Now kids can talk directly with St. Nick via the phone or an app, track his progress on Christmas Eve, and even watch a live reindeer cam. Want to really blow their minds? There are apps that let you share a photo of Santa handing out presents in your very own living room. Christmastime is already among the most magical seasons for children, but these fun tools take it to the next level. Read on for our favorite ways to check in with Santa before Christmas and follow all his antics on Christmas Eve. Our special gift for you: These 11 special Santa experiences are (mostly) FREE!

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: A Christmas Carol, Hanukkah Kick-Off

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and Hanukkah, as evidenced by the abundance of holiday happenings in Westchester and the Hudson Valley!

The recurring holiday events taking place throughout the month are now supplemented with a fresh batch of holiday fanfare, including Dickens' Christmas Carol. For a nature-themed holiday excursion, get crafty with your centerpiece at Winter Wildflower Arrangements. Plus, Hanukkah events are beginning to roll out this weekend, with assorted fun to be had at One Community, One Hanukkah Celebration, and holiday performances continue, including a family-focused opera: Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Read on for our top picks—then be sure to consult our Event Calendar for the full panoply of options! Don’t forget to check out our Holiday Fun Guide to plan the remaining days of the holiday season and our December GoList for our top picks for the month (including events that are independent of the holidays). Of course, don't miss the best places to visit Santa in Westchester!

Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletters to stay up to date on all kinds of fun—holiday and otherwise!

10 Best Holiday Things To Do with Kids in the Hudson Valley

There are only so many weekends left in December left to celebrate the holiday season, which can put some pressure on parents. Just which family fun is worth the trip and your time? Fret not, for Mommy Poppins has come up with a list of our 10 favorite things to do with kids in the Lower Hudson Valley during the holiday season. 

We’ve already told you our favorite things to do with kids in Westchester during the holidays, and now we’re going to turn our attention to the rest of the area. All of these family-friendly attractions are worth the drive and are a great way to explore the counties around Westchester. Check out our Holiday Guide for more Christmas and Hanukkah fun, or our Event Calendar for the latest doings. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to share what you’ve done!   


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