Westchester

Preschool Directors Share How To Pick a 'Good Fit' Preschool

Applying to preschool is one of the most important (and potentially harrowing) experiences for young children and their parents. It’s the beginning of their education, their introduction to schooling and their foundation for a life of learning. In NYC, we are lucky to have many preschool choices available, but it can be a lot of work to figure out which one is best suited to your child.

We asked directors from participating preschools at one of our recent Preschool Fairs to share their insights about the admissions process and what parents should look for in a program. Who better to explain how to navigate this journey than these experts, who help families find the right schools for their kids every day? Read on for their top tips.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Welcome Autumn, Festivals Galore, Touch-a-Truck and More, Sept. 20-21

This weekend we officially welcome fall and the many seasonal events we can look forward to. Last week we noted the beginning of the fall-festival craze, and this weekend continues that trend. Take your pick among Fieldhome's Annual Fall Festival, the Southern Westchester Food and Wine Festival, the Peekskill Rotary Horse Show and Country Fair, the Hudson Valley Harvest Festival, the FDR Pow Wow and the ANDRUS Run for Kids Fall Festival. Additionally, the New York Renaissance Faire ends this weekend, and Bear Mountain Oktoberfest continues.

For alternative entertainment, little kids will enjoy the Junior League of Bronxville's Touch-A-Truck Event, which combines fun and a good cause (and not just trucks, either!). You can also take in a Family Concert, “let it go” at Fall Flicks or, if your kids are mature enough, catch a double feature of the first two Godfather movies at The Alamo Plays the Hits Film Series.

Read on for our top weekend picks. If you see something interesting, click through to the event listing to view full details. Looking for more options? Be sure to check our Event Calendar for more fun happening this weekend and all week long!

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Festivals, Oktoberfest, Crafts at Lyndhurst and More, Sept. 13-14

We're entering peak season for festivals in Westchester and the Hudson Valley and this weekend is rife with the first batch. This weekend marks the return of Oktoberfest at Bear Mountain, where you can join in the celebration of all things German. Another returning cultural celebration is the Holy Trinity Greek Festival, running through Sunday, with food, dancing, rides and games.

Also back this year are the American Gold Cup, Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst, the Armonk Cider & Donut Festival and the Arts on Third Festival. Also, a new festival is making the scene this year--the first annual Tribes Hill Music Festival at John Jay Homestead, featuring a long lineup of musical performers, a jam session and other fun features.

Two film events are worth noting, both of which run all weekend: The Alamo Plays the Hits Film Series, where you can get jazzed by a big-screen showing of Singin’ in the Rain, and Patema Inverted, a Japanese animated film about friends with opposite gravities.

Read on for details on these and other great events happening this weekend. If you see something that piques your interest, be sure to click through to the listing for full details. And don't forget, our Event Calendar has even more fun happenings this weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

Remembering 9/11: Things to Do with Westchester Kids on September 11

Every year on September 11th, I think of the 17 children who were in my pre-K class that day, many of whom had parents working in Manhattan just a short train ride away. This year, those former 4 and 5 year olds have the distinction of being the last group of children who are likely to have personal, albeit fuzzy, memories of what happened that day.

Parents, teachers, friends and the media play the primary role in introducing kids to the events of that day in Manhattan, Washington DC and Pennsylvania. Because of Westchester's proximity to New York City, and because so many local families were affected, country residents and visitors have many local options for honoring the day. We've rounded up several ways to commemorate 9/11 with kids, ranging from visiting a local memorial, to volunteering your services, along with recommendations for helping explain the complex events of 9/11. Families interested in traveling into Manhattan on or around September 11th can also take a look at our suggestions for things to do with NYC kids.

Open Houses and Classes with Free Trials: After School Enrichment Options for Westchester Kids

Back to school is upon us and with it comes the dizzying to-do list—school supplies, new clothes, pressed uniforms, meeting new teachers, coordinating carpools and more. If, through this hustle and bustle, you've managed to also get extracurricular activities in order and your kids signed up, you're a step ahead of many of us that haven't yet signed our kids up for classes. With so many wonderful class options throughout Westchester, how do you decide?

You can start by attending an open house at one of the many class offerings in and around Westchester. Some host only one open house while others offer multiple dates. There are many coming up and we've gathered up the details for you. Take a look; you just might find your kids' next great passion. For more options, peruse our Class Directory. We'll continue to update our listings so check back often. Better yet, sign up for our FREE newsletter to stay up to date on everything Westchester has to offer families and kids.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: River Festivals, Grandparents Day, Jazz and More, Sept. 6-7

It may be back to the grind at work and school, but for recreation in Westchester, the party is still on this weekend, including three events we highlighted on our September Go ListCelebrate the Hudson River at the Yonkers Riverfest, the Annual Take Me to the River Festival or the Croton Yacht Club Hudson River Day. For a jazz theme, take in theWhite Plains Jazz & Food Festivalor theJazz Ensemble Performance by the NAACP Youth Organization.

Also this weekend, the NY Metro Reptile Show returns to White Plains, the Leukemia Cup Regatta is raising money for cancer research and Greenburgh Nature Center hosts its annual Harvest Party. And, of course, you can still check out the New York Renaissance Faire.

For those of you who don't know, this Sunday is Grandparents Day and Legoland Discovery Center is celebrating with FREE admission for grandparents all weekend. Visit our event calendar for more ways to celebrate Grandparents Day, plus lots of other fun events happening around town.

Read on for the best events happening this weekend in Westchester. If you see something interesting, click through to the event listings for full details.

Where To Play Tennis Like a Pro in Westchester: The Best Private Clubs for Families

The US Open is here and in full swing. We've already told you about about fantastic public tennis centers in lower Westchester and in the northern part of the county. However, for tennis enthusiasts of all ages, Westchester also offers several private tennis clubs, offering everything from lessons and leagues to special family events. 

These clubs, offering varying levels of membership, offer fun opportunities and wonderful amenities to introduce even the youngest players to the game or sharpen the skills of more seasoned athletes. Read on for details on these family-friendly tennis clubs. Also, be sure to check out our Classes Guide and Class Directory for even more ideas for classes of all kinds, from athletic and enrichment to performing arts and more. 

Best Family-Friendly Restaurants in Yorktown

With so many opportunities for hiking, biking, boating and more, it's easy to work up an appetite exploring Yorktown. Luckily, you'll find a variety of restaurants to help you satiate that hunger.

We continue our month-long coverage of Yorktown with a look at our favorite restaurants to enjoy with kids. From kid-and-vegan-friendly cafes and family BBQs to Himalayan curries and sushi, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Read on for our top dining picks in Yorktown.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Fairs, Pirate School, Cheese-Making and More, August 23-24

Though the end of summer is on the horizon, there's still a lot of fun happening this weekend in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley. Take your pick of large-scale fairs this weekend--the Dutchess County Fair and the Otisville Country Fair make their annual return and the New York Renaissance Faire continues. For a list of even more New York fairs, view our roundup of other fun options!

More eclectic offerings include Living History: Military Reenactment Day, Cheese Making 101, Pirate School and the return of Fairy WalkRead on for details about these events and more happening this weekend. If something piques your interest, be sure to click through to the event listing for all the details. And remember, our calendar of events has even more ideas for fun this weekend and beyond in Westchester. 

NYC Labor Day Weekend Family Getaways & Day Trips: Water, Animals & Themed Destinations

Even though summer officially continues through late September, Labor Day weekend is your last chance to enjoy fun like beaches, pools and water parks, which all close for the season on the holiday. The three-day weekend is also a great opportunity to get out of the city for a quick family getaway before school starts.

In previous years, we've rounded up car-free Labor Day getaways and day trips by region. This year, all of our ideas are organized by theme. So whether you're looking to get your adrenaline pumping, cool off, romp in the country, enjoy face time with animals or soak up some history, we hope to give you plenty of destination inspiration.

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