Westchester

Mostly Free & Fun Things to Do this Weekend with Westchester Kids: Live Shows, Last-Chance Holiday Events, Kwanzaa and More, Dec. 25-28

Seasonal fun abounds all weekend long in Westchester and due the short holiday week, we've decided to run our weekend roundup a day early. You'll find lots of fun things to do with kids around town--we've even listed a few events happening on Christmas Day! For this coming weekend, we'll highlight the wrap-up of a few seasonal events in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Additionally, in light of all the high expenses incurred around the holidays (not to mention the exhaustion!), we’ve selectively zeroed in on activities that are FREE, inexpensive and/or restful.

If you haven’t yet squeezed in enough holiday events, get your last licks with Frosty Fest, Holiday Spirit Festival, or Mr. Dickens Tells a Christmas Carol, all of which end this weekend. Continuing this weekend (as well as Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) is It's a Wonderful Life.

If you’re looking for FREE, celebrate the start of Kwanzaa with The Black Candle or enjoy Family Holiday Program, Lionheart Puppet Company, Spring Valley Puppet Theater, The Polar Express or Alamo Kids Camp, to name a few.

For other forms of low-key, low-cost entertainment, your kids might enjoy a comical performance by The Paper Bag Players, cheering at the Slam Dunk Tournament or getting artsy at School’s Out/Art’s In.

Read on for our top weekend picks, and click through to the event listing to view full details. Looking for more options? You can count on our Event Calendar to keep you busy, and check out our roundup of holiday mini-camps. Sign up for our FREE weekly newsletter to get top picks delivered straight to your inbox. 

Kid-Friendly Winter Productions: The Best Live Performances for Westchester Families

After the hustle and bustle of the holiday season winds down, we may soon find ourselves with a surprising amount of free time on our hands. The winter is a perfect time to head indoors for a live performance, so to help guide you in your scheduling, we’ve rounded up some promising, kid-friendly productions in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Plan ahead to get the performances and seats you want!

Read on and click through to the event listings for full details. For more fun winter events, be sure to check our events calendar or sign up for our free newsletter which will keep you up to date on all of the fun, educational and exciting happenings around Westchester and beyond.

Mostly Free & Fun Things to Do this Weekend with Westchester Kids: Frozen Craft Workshop, Chanukah Village, Holiday Performances & More, Dec. 20-21

The holidays are closing in, and Westchester 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 there’s The Westchester Ballet Company Presents The Nutcracker and The Colonial Nutcracker. Additional holiday entertainment options are a screening of It's a Wonderful Life and Family Concert - Songs of the Season.

Whether or not you celebrate Chanukah you might be enticed by either Car Menorah Parade & Menorah Lighting Ceremony or Chanukah Village. Kids can get crafty at "Frozen" Craft Workshop or at A Gift for the Birds Family Weekend. Also in the nature theme is Celebrating Winter Trees and Winter Animals.

Read on for just a few of the many happenings we’ve culled from our Event Calendar, and also view our roundup of FREE holiday craft workshops for holiday fun without breaking the bank!

Mostly Free & Fun Things to Do this Weekend with Westchester Kids: Frosty Fest, Christmas and Chanukah Fun & More, Dec. 13-14

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and Chanukah as evidenced by the abundance of holiday happenings taking place in Westchester and the Hudson Valley! This weekend check out Frosty Fest, Holiday Spirit Festival, and SPARKLE: Nights of 10,000 Lights.

Make Holiday Decorations from Nature—perhaps some nice Winter Wildflower Arrangements--or for nature, as you Decorate a Tree for Wildlife. Enjoy the Hanukkah Celebration at RJCC, shop till you drop at the Chanukah Fun House and Gift Shop or take in the sounds of the season at Holiday Music and the Holiday of Christmas.

For a breather from the holidays, there’s the annual Toy and Train Show, Candy Bingo, a live performance of Curious George and NBA FIT Dribble, Dish & Swish.

Read on for just a few of the many happenings we’ve culled from our Event Calendar, then check out our December GOList for our top picks for the rest of the month. If you haven’t handed in your wish list yet, check out the best places to visit Santa in Westchester, and don’t miss our roundup of Chanukah events too! 

Max And Ruby Live in The Nutcracker Suite: A Fun Twist on the Classic Ballet at Tarrytown Music Hall

“Max and Ruby! Ruby and her little brother Max!”…and so begins Max and Ruby in the Nutcracker Suite. This re-imagined performance at the Tarrytown Music Hall was so much fun (especially for my Max-and-Ruby-adoring daughter), we've seen the show two years in a row. This unique live performance is filled with original music and dance numbers, colorful characters and some interesting twists on the classic Nutcracker tale.

If you are looking for a theater experience that will engage the whole family, allow for a certain amount of noisy restlessness and leave you with some great stories to tell at the next parenting meet up, this is the show for you. Read on for details about this live performance and tips to know before you go. Looking for more holiday productions? Check out our post on kid-friendly holiday shows. Also, be sure to check out our Holiday Fun Guide.

Mostly Free & Fun Things to Do this Weekend with Westchester Kids: Winterfest, Chanukah Fun House, Gingerbread Festival & More, Dec. 6-7

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and that’s just what’s in store for you this weekend in Westchester! We’re in full-on holiday mode, with Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa upon us, so get ready for some festive, sparkly, wintry fun!

Several towns and villages come alive with holiday tree-lighting events and other festive soirees, like Tuckahoe's Winterfest. For added charm, take in any of several holiday spectacles in historic homes: Somers Holiday Celebration, Holidays at the Homestead and Gingerbread Festival, Holiday Open House and Tree Lighting or SPARKLE: Nights of 10,000 Lights. Also check out our holiday tree-lighting roundup for five more illuminating events taking place this weekend!

Several holiday performances take the stage including two nontraditional interpretations of the Tchaikovsky classic ballet--Danse Elite Performing Artists Presents The Nutcracker and The Nut/Cracked--and Community Holiday Musical "Christmas Every Day," an original, holiday-themed musical performed by talented local children.

For a fun twist on holiday shopping (regardless of your heritage), the Chanukah Fun House and Gift Shop combines a boutique experience with a surprising slew of fun stuff for kids.

Read on for further details, visit our December GOList for our top picks of the month and be sure to consult our Event Calendar, which is bursting with fun events every day of the week! 

Mostly Free & Fun Things to Do this Weekend with Westchester Kids: Turkey Run, Parades, Giving Thanks & More, Nov. 22 & 23

As we reach the final weekend before Thanksgiving, a few provocative events in Westchester are worth noting. Gospel Concert: Giving Thanks is a FREE performance sure to step up gratitude. And, as Thanksgiving is as much about Native Americans as it is pilgrims, The Lenape of Westchester will enlighten attendees about this tribe that used to inhabit our area. Another top pick is Turkey Run Peekskill, which combines both charity and comedy (and even calorie-burning). Also be sure to check out our roundup of other upcoming turkey trots in Westchester. If you’re ready to gear up for Christmas too, there’s the Annual Tree Lighting Celebration at Cross County Shopping Center.

Unrelated to holidays, there are two noteworthy performances taking place this weekend: Lily's Purple Plastic Purse and An Arabian Adventure: A Puppet Show. For a heads-up on upcoming holiday performances in Westchester, check out our roundup of some highlights.

Heading to NYC? Check out our exclusive Mommy Poppins reader event this Saturday night at the New Victory Theater.  Readers get to enjoy a performance of 360 Allstars, a thrilling athletic spectacle, a post-show cookie decorating activity and save 20% on their ticket by using MommyPoppins1 at checkout. 

Read on for more details about these activities and be sure to consult our Event Calendar for daily activities and the abundance of holiday events!

Mostly Free & Fun Things to Do this Weekend with Westchester Kids: Turkeys, Santa, Silent Films, Bubblemania & More, Nov. 15 & 16

Mid-November is the time of year when multiple seasons seem to collide in Westchester. The weekend ahead features the continuation of autumnal events, like Brick House Harvest Festival; preparation for Thanksgiving, such as Turkey Scavenger Hunt and Gobble Gobble; as well as the arrival of the holiday shopping season, with Santa's Grand Arrival Event and “The North Pole Adventure”: A DreamWorks DreamPlace.

Other themes this weekend are silent movies Charlie Chaplin Shorts and Silent Film Series, as well as culinary offerings with Culinary for Children: Panzerotti and Pie Making. And for stimulating fun that’s FREE, register your kids for Bubblemania or STEAM Fest—but hurry, as space is limited!

While we’re talking turkey, be sure to consult our roundup of Turkey Trots—a listing of Westchester fun runs and walks that help people stay active around feast time and also, typically, support a good cause.

If you're planning on heading into NYC this weekend, 360 Allstars, a thrilling athletic spectacle at the New Victory Theater, opens this weekend. And check out our exclusive Mommy Poppins reader event next Saturday night at the New Victory Theater.

Be sure to peruse our November Go List for our top picks for the month, and visit our Event Calendar for daily listings of great activities for families!

Mostly Free & Fun Things to Do this Weekend with Westchester Kids: Special Needs Expo, Spider-Man, Emergency Preparedness & More, Nov. 8 & 9

Three common themes dominate the Westchester events we’re highlighting this weekend: entertainment, classes and FREE.

For entertainment, there’s Family Concert: Washboard Slim and the Bluelights, featuring an eclectic array of musical styles (FREE); Spider-Man Double Feature—a staggering four hours of the beloved superhero (FREE); and Gone with the Wind—shown on the big screen, the way it’s supposed to be seen.

Opportunities to learn include Make and Bake Thanksgiving Treats, where kids can make their own apple treats (FREE); Being Prepared for Emergencies, which can help you feel confident in the face of an emergency; Special Needs Expo, where you can learn about numerous service providers in our area (FREE); and Kids' Classes: Learn to Sew, Knit or Crochet, which allows kids to sew their own creation in a single session.

But that’s not all! There are a lot of other options in our Event Calendar all week long, and if you check out our November Go List, you can plan ahead for more great happenings coming up! 

SAT and ACT Prep: Free and Low-Cost Fall Workshops for Westchester Teens

High-stakes testing is a controversial issue that has been fueled in recent years with an increased emphasis on standardized tests nationwide. Though some of these high-stakes tests are new, having been implemented in the last several years, the SAT and ACT tests conjure up memories from many a parents' own high-school days. The tests have changed over the years and if you now find yourself navigating the test-taking waters as a parent, you may find that you have just as many questions as your teen.

Fortunately, there are helpful resources here in Westchester. We've rounded up various workshops and events taking place this fall, designed to help prep your teen for the tests and answer any questions you may have about the process. Resources include proctored practice tests that simulate the real deal, test-taking strategies from the experts, advice as to whether to take the SAT or ACT and more. Best of all, many of them are FREE!

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