Westchester

5 Local, Must-Try Ice Cream Shops in Lower Hudson Valley

Few summer traditions are as timeless as ice cream melting down your wrist on a hot day. My kids and I don't need much of an excuse to indulge in this tasty treat and though ice cream stands, shops and chains are plentiful throughout lower Hudson Valley, there are a few local shops that really stand out. All of these are destination worthy, using handmade or locally sourced ice cream for their creative concoctions and traditional favorites. Here is our list of 5 destination-worthy ice cream shops in lower Hudson Valley. Also, be sure to check out our top picks for local ice cream shops in Westchester County!

Learn, Play and Explore at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum

Kids are natural explorers and scientists, investigating and trying to understand the world around them, and nature makes a perfect laboratory. For budding naturalists, we previously told you about some of Westchester County’s wonderful nature centers and covered kid-friendly hiking trails in the Hudson Valley area. Now we are heading to Orange County to explore the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall. I recently visited the museum’s Outdoor Discovery Center with my two sons (ages 4 and 8). We had a great time and plan on visiting again. So what does the this nature museum offer, and is it worth the drive?  

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Pirates, Festivals, Captain Underpants, July 11-12

Summer celebrations are in full swing throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley. This weekend, you'll find festivals—like the Hudson Valley Balloon Festival, the Haverstraw RiverArts & Music Festival and the Pleasantville Music Festival, to name a few. Plus, pirates invade Tarrytown at Pirates of the Hudson: The Greatest Pirate Story Never Told!.

Once you’ve had your fill of fanfare (balloons, pirates, festivals…) take the hoopla down a notch and enjoy silly fun at Adventures of Captain Underpants.

Read on for details and for additional weekend highlights—then explore our Event Calendar for many more options for fun events throughout the weekend and all summer long! 

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Magic Show, Films at the Pool, Colonial Games, July 6-10

​Rev your engines, folks, because there’s a lot going on this coming week for Westchester families! With so many great events, it was hard to choose a select few as our top picks for the week. No worries--we're up to the task! Among our highlights: Family Film Frenzy, which combines evening swimming with an outdoor film, Colonial Games Day and Magic Beyond Imagination. Also see our roundup of FREE skills-building classes--many of which begin this week.

For details and other top picks, read on--and definitely visit our Event Calendar, as there are many more where these came from!

Free Summer Skills-Building Classes for Westchester Kids

With school over and more free time available, summer is the perfect time to learn a new skill, though we know how pricey summer fun can be with camp tuition, pool membership, vacations and so forth. That's why we’ve identified several FREE class series to help you out.

Whether your kids are looking to indulge a newfound interest, or you simply want to find a productive way to spend free time, you and your kids are sure to find something from the list below that will add extra substance to the eventual “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” recap.

Interested in more? Our Events Calendar includes many other skills-building workshops that don’t require a multi-session commitment.

Day-Trip Destination for Families: Hil-Mar Lodge in Orange County

When the sun is blazing and the temperatures are soaring, you'll likely find yourself looking for a quick way to cool down. Beaches are great; however there’s often something just a little easier about dealing with swimming pools vs. a beach: no waves to contend with; no rip tides to worry about; no mucky river bottoms to grimace over. And while Westchester offers many options for poolside fun, Hil-Mar Lodge in Orange County has become my family's go-to for a day at the pool. At just under an hour from central Westchester, Hil-Mar makes a great day-trip destination from anywhere in the Lower Hudson Valley area.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: 4th of July, Circus Workshop, Magic Instruction, June 29-July 3

Woo-hoo, no school! While Westchester families are relieved of the daily grind that the school year brings, the reality is sinking in: What do we do with all our free time? Fear not: Mommy Poppins has you covered with activities we’ve identified for every day of the week!

Several of our top picks for the coming week help you celebrate the 4th of July—like Music Fest and Fireworks—but be sure to also consult our listings of fireworks and other festivities in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Other mid-week fun includes a Circus Performance and Workshop and magic instruction—both of which are FREE!

Many more options can be found on our Event Calendar. Stay calm and rely on Mommy Poppins all summer long!

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: A Night on Fire, Circus, Festivals, June 27-28

School's out for the summer, and Mommy Poppins has you covered! This weekend features a robust lineup of fabulous performances, eclectic festivals and more great fun for Westchester families. The fire-eating and sword-fighting antics at A Night on Fire are sure to dazzle, and who doesn’t love the Big Apple Circus? Outdoor festivals this weekend include Sidewalk Chalk Art, American Roots Music and Irish Heritage.

For more seasonal fun in and around Westchester, check out our Event Calendar and our Summer Fun Guide, where you'll find plenty of ideas—many of which are FREE. Check back often, as new listings are added frequently. And be sure to sign up for our FREE weekly newsletters to get our posts delivered to your inbox.

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Outdoor Concerts, Carnival, Summer Reading, June 22-26

Welcome summer and with it, an increase in fun events for Westchester families. We've rounded up our top picks for the week, most of which are FREE. Options include one of several Summer Reading Kickoff events, outdoor concerts and more.

But that’s not all: Our Event Calendar and our Summer Fun Guide are loaded with even more great family activities. Be sure to subscribe to our FREE newsletters so we can help you plan your entire summer!

Lower Hudson Valley Destination: Sally's Dream Playground

At almost 9, my older is son is getting a bit jaded when it comes to playgrounds. He loves a good game of Frisbee in an open field, and he’s always up for tag, but take him to a typical playground and his attitude is meh. If there are no other kids his age, conquering the monkey bars quickly loses its shine and he starts asking to leave way before my 4-year-old is ready to go.

But Sally’s Dream Playground at Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery is an exception. This playground features engaging challenges and fun for kids young and old, along with lots of open green space, paved trails for biking and scootering, picnic areas and more attractions. Sally's Dream Playground really lives up to its name; with everything this park offers, it's definitely worth the drive.

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