Westchester

10 Easy New York State Park Hikes for Families

Late spring is the perfect season for hiking, before the sweltering summer heat takes hold. The beautiful Hudson Valley is home to 18 New York State Parks that offer tree-lined trails, stunning panoramic views, and lots of special features like waterfalls, swimming lakes, and sandy beaches. With so many parks and trails to choose from, it's hard to know where to start!

To help, we've picked 10 of of our favorite kid-friendly hikes in the Hudson Valley. In addition to opportunities to enjoy nature and wildlife, some of these parks—like Bear Mountain and Franklin D. Roosevelt—boast additional attractions such as a zoo, playgrounds, pedal boats, and even a giant swimming pool. Best of all, these hikes are just a quick day trip away from NYC or southern Westchester.

Mother's Day Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids

At last, the weekend we moms have been waiting for! We know how hard you work, how many balls you juggle, how many diapers you’ve changed, and we want to help you savor the moment when your family puts on their best manners and honors the lady who holds it all together. The tried-and-true Mother’s Day brunch is a popular way to celebrate, but we've also rounded up 35 ways to spend Mother’s Day that don’t involve a restaurant reservation. 

The Albany Tulip Festival will showcase Dutch traditions and festival-type fun in addition to loads of beautiful blooms. The season-opener of Rye Playland includes FREE admission for moms on Mother’s Day, and the season-opener of the Science Barge offers FREE STEAM fun for all. Westchester County parks are hosting events with multiple variants on the theme Art in Nature, and wee ones can create abodes for wee woodland creatures at the Fairy House Workshop.

Looking for more ideas? Read on for all our top picks, head to our Event Calendar for additional options, and plan the rest of the month with our May GoList. For more seasonal activities, be sure to check out our Spring Activity Guide.

From all the parents at Mommy Poppins: Have a very happy Mother’s Day!

Pick-Your-Own Strawberry Farms and Festivals in the Hudson Valley

With spring in full swing, it's almost time to head out to the Hudson Valley's pick-your-own farms to gather some sweet, sun-ripened strawberries. There are plenty of places throughout the Hudson Valley where kids of all ages can try their hand at picking, and we've rounded up a few of our favorites here. 

The season usually starts around the beginning of June, but be sure to call ahead first. Not into picking them yourself? We've also included a few strawberry festivals you can check out instead! 

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50 Fun Things To Do in Las Vegas with Your Kids

Once America's playground for adults, in the last decade Las Vegas has become one of the most popular family vacation destinations. While it is possible to book a sitter to enjoy some grown-up time on the strip, it would be a shame to visit this desert town and not experience the great natural attractions, museums, and family fun you can find a little further afield.

We took a recent trip to Vegas with our young children (aged two and six) and really had a blast exploring kid-friendly activities both on and off the beaten track. Here are my recommendations for the top things to do with kids in Las Vegas.

Upstate NY Day Trip: 25 Things To Do with Kids in New Paltz

Similar in spirit to nearby Woodstock, New Paltz is laid-back college town in the shadow of the Shawangunk Mountains that offers plenty of outdoor and indoor attractions for all ages, especially in warmer months. Families can swim in a mountain lake, enjoy a hike amidst beautiful scenery, pick produce at local farms, visit quaint shops and restaurants, and explore a historic 17th-century community.

While New Paltz is just 90 minutes away by car from NYC and even closer to Westchester, the scenery suggests a faraway land. Adding to this appeal are the many festivals and other annual events that readers might consider timing their visit to coincide with.

Read on for 25 ways to enjoy New Paltz with kids. You'll find plenty of reasons to stay more than a day!

Weekend Fun: Matsuri, Duck Derby, Cupcake Festival

Spring fun peaks for Westchester and Hudson Valley families this weekend, and not only because of four spring festivals on our radar. Our May GoList is bursting with seasonal fun from this weekend straight through Memorial Day, and this coming weekend just might be the most jam-packed.

Falling on the weekend this year is “May the 4th Be With You,” a.k.a., Star Wars Day, and various venues have scheduled celebratory activities. All this Jedi fun overlaps with Free Comic Book Day, and several festivals that celebrate comic books and literature will also take place, among them the two-day Undiscovered Realm Comic Con.

Other highlights include Y Healthy Kids Day, featuring the famed Rubber Duck Derby; the Hudson Valley Cupcake Festival; and the hot-ticket alert Madeline and the Big Hat.

If you’re looking for Yonkers Arts Weekend, traditionally held the first weekend in May, stay tuned for its appearance later in the month. The Hudson Valley Fair, however, will not take place this year.

Although our top picks pack a wallop, you should see the great finds that we ran out of room to include! For those, head to our Event Calendar for many more options. And with Mother’s Day around the corner, be sure to plan ahead by referring to our Mother’s Day brunch guide and our list of 35 ways to celebrate Mother’s Day that aren't brunch.

May GoList: Best Things To Do with Westchester Kids

May is a lively month in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, with events honoring Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and spring. Below we've rounded up our top picks; limiting them was no easy task!

Numerous annual traditions return, such as the UFO Fair, the zaniest of the many spring festivals we’ve rounded up, while the two cupcake festivals are the most caloric.

Of course, the main event of May is Mother’s Day, and we’ve rounded up both where to go for Mother’s Day brunch and 35 alternatives (or supplements) to the family meal. And be sure to indulge in assorted Star Wars–themed activities at any of the many events called May the 4th Be With You (get it?).

If you’re looking for the return of Valley Con, you’ll have to wait till July. In the meantime, head to Rye Playland or the Science Barge, both of which open for the season on Saturday, May 11, or soak up the sun at a Westchester County beach

Read on for the rest of our lowdown. If you're looking for even more options (and trust us, there are many), check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our free newsletters to stay in the know!

Secrets of Atlantis: 10 Tips for a Bahamas Family Vacation with Kids

Like many kids, my boys started begging to go to Disney around the time they could walk. Once they were swimming, however, the object of their spring break fantasies became Atlantis—the Bahamas mega-resort known for its gigantic water park, marine life encounters, and luxe casino. For years, unsure whether a place nicknamed "Vegas by the Sea" was the best choice for a family vacation, my husband and I brushed aside their pleas. But after another harsh Boston winter, we broke down and booked a trip, figuring our boys were at the ideal ages—12, 10, and 7— to appreciate all the 'tweeny bopper fun that Atlantis offers (and for which it charges big).

We had a fun-packed five-day stay, and along the way, accumulated plenty of advice for other families who are considering an Atlantis trip, including whether or not it is a kid-friendly destination. Here are the main things moms and dads should know to make sure their vacation in Paradise (Island) lives up to the hype.

Find more top places to stay on vacation in our Hotels & Resorts Guide for Families.

35 Mother’s Day Activities in Westchester That Aren't Brunch

It’s almost time to celebrate Mom! While we love nothing more than a great Mother's Day brunch (in fact, there are a lots of kid-friendly area restaurants to try), wrangling little ones in a restaurant isn't always the most relaxing experience.

So whether you’re trying to avoid a mid-meal meltdown courtesy of your toddler or just looking to get outside and enjoy the beautiful spring weather, we rounded up 35 things to do this Mother’s Day that don’t require restaurant reservations. Some take place on Saturday—because, let’s face it, we deserve more than a day!

Looking for more things to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley? Consult our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters!

Weekend Fun: KidVenture, Earth Day Celebrations, Spring Fests

We wrap up April by shifting our attention to the many Earth Day celebrations and spring festivals taking place this weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. One of our favorite things about this weekend’s top picks? Most are FREE!

There are numerous ways to celebrate Earth Day and pay homage to Mother Nature. Some of the events on our radar invite hands-on help like clean-ups, while others emphasize fun activities like nature crafting and animal encounters. We’re keen on Greater Ossining Earth Day Festival and the Hudson Highlands Earth Day Celebration, but you’ll find other noteworthy offerings both below and on our calendar, as well.

Other fun in store this weekend are the White Plains Comic Fest, the two-day Hudson Valley KidVenture, and the last hurrah of the annual StrawFest.

We hope you heeded our earlier advice to snag tickets to the Sheep Shearing Fest and Rosie Revere, Engineer; as predicted, both are now sold out.

Read on and click through for details on these and other highlights of the coming weekend. Looking for more? Consult our Event Calendar, check out our Spring Activity Guide, and sign up for our newsletters!

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