Westchester

American Dream Mega-Mall Finally Set To Open This Fall in NJ

It's been a long time in the making, but the mega entertainment complex in the New Jersey Meadowlands, now known as American Dream, announced it will finally open its doors to the public on October 25, with additional offerings added into the new year. 

Its many family-friendly attractions will include the western hemisphere's largest indoor amusement park AND North America's first indoor snow sports center—not to mention an indoor water park, ice skating rink, aquarium, mini-golf, LEGO Discovery Center, and much, much more.

Weekend Fun: Jazz Festival, Dragon Boat Race, Orange County Fair

Below we’ve listed eight of our top picks for family fun in Westchester and the Hudson Valley this weekend, but several particularly stand out.

With the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing on Saturday, it's the perfect time to check out the Hudson River Museum's new Magic Tree House Space Mission Planetarium Show, along with the venue’s other Apollo 11–related attractions planned throughout the day.

The high-caliber Jazz Festival, an annual day-long concert we’ve previously reviewed, will take place Saturday at Caramoor in partnership with the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center (with appeal for kids, too).

Other standouts are the Dutchess Dragon Boat Race & Festival, the return of the Orange County Fair, and Shakespeare in the Park.

Read on for more details and more picks—and our Event Calendar includes other events you’ll want to review before choosing what to do. Don't forget to consult our July GoList for our favorite events for the rest of the month, and check out our Summer Activity Guide for things to do all summer long, including the best swimming lakes and rivers for Westchester families.

7 Smart Summer Screen Time and Tech Tips for Families

Summertime often means screen time, amirite? School's out, the days are long, and even moms and dads are feeling a little more laid back. With the relaxed phone, tablet, and TV rules, a media overdose starts to become inevitable without some thoughtful boundaries.

So, how do you make tech work for your family over the summer instead of against it? With a little help from our sponsor, Verizon, we've put together 7 smart tech tips to help your crew make the most of screen time for kids without going over the top.

Bonus tip: Get an extra $200 off a premium device when you sign up to Fios* — not to mention crazy fast internet speeds, custom TV plans for kids and teens, and reliable cell service to keep everyone safe and connected.

Westchester's Rivertowns with Kids: 75+ Things To Do

There's so much to do in Westchester’s Rivertowns, the scenic and charming cities, towns, and villages that line the eastern shore of the Hudson River, from Yonkers to Peekskill.

The best part about the Rivertowns, of course, is their location along the water. This affords them not only scenic views and aquatic activity, but also a rich history from centuries of settlement along its banks. 

Below we've rounded up assorted highlights of Westchester's Rivertowns for family fun, including kid-friendly restaurants, cool museums, beautiful parks, historic mansions, and much more. There are also numerous family-friendly events—from festivals to performances—that can be found year-round on our Event Calendar and via our free newsletters.

Nantucket with Kids: 35 Fun Things to Do as a Family

What's so special about Nantucket? This charming Massachusetts island 30 miles off of Cape Cod is more than just a prepster paradise: It's just about as family-friendly as can be. In fact, there are so many things for kids to do in Nantucket, the trick is packing it all into a single family vacation. Perhaps that's why we always come back! Luckily, with just 48 square miles to cover, it is possible to fit in a number of Nantucket highlights, including a surf lesson, aquarium trip, critter cruise, and lobster dinner.

So catch the Nantucket ferry over to the island (or fly in), and try these kid-friendly activities. We're sure you'll have a family getaway that's one for the photo books.

Pick Your Own Blueberries and More at These Hudson Valley Farms

Strawberry-picking season may be coming to an end, but never fear: we've got the scoop on Hudson Valley farms and orchards where you can pick your own blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and more all summer long.

Here are a few of our favorite places to go berry picking in the lower Hudson Valley, whether you decide to go for the morning or to make an entire day of it. Either way, be sure to call ahead to make sure the farm has berries on hand.

Looking for even more outdoor fun? Check out our Summer Activity Guide for Westchester Kids.

Weekend Fun: Food and Farm Day, Balloon Festival, Orange County Fair

Summer fun is in full swing throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley, with several summer festivals and fairs offering plenty of weekend fun. This weekend’s headliners include the all-day Pleasantville Music Festival and the opening weekend of the Orange County Fair. The real attention-grabber is the annual Hudson Valley Balloon Festival, when the sky is painted with dazzling displays of color and whimsy, but there’s a lot more to this event that makes it worth a visit. 

Several of our top picks this weekend are FREE, including the Bastille Day Celebration and Food and Farm Day. Want more FREE? Check out our roundup of 50+ FREE summer activities, including outdoor concerts and movies under the stars.

Read on for details and for yet more weekend highlights—then explore our Event Calendar for additional options for fun events throughout the weekend and all summer long. Don't forget to consult our July GoList for our top picks for the rest of the month, and follow us on Facebook!

25 Water Games for Kids To Play All Summer Long

Water games are an easy way to keep the kids entertained—and cool—this summer. From a simple water balloon toss to fancier DIY fun like sprinkler Twister, these outdoor games are sure to please all ages.

One year, I found myself home with both kids for a whole summer due to a shift in my career path, so we got pretty creative with the water games. There were 10 weeks to fill after all! Read on for our favorites—and you can also download this free printable with all 25 top water games for kids.

Need more free and cheap activities for the kids this summer break? Our family started a Boredom Busters jar: a painted Mason jar full of ideas to keep them busy (and tired out). Anyone complaining of boredom can open it and pick out an activity. Many of the ideas come from the Mommy Poppins' 100 Summer Play Activities List and Free Summer Fun Ideas. But their absolute favorites are the water games for splish-splashy, low-key summer fun.

10 Destination Parks for Westchester Families

Westchester County and the lower Hudson Valley area are brimming with beautiful state, county, and local parks that are wonderful places to spend a day in the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley. We've rounded up several day trip–worthy spots that feature amenities like cool playgroundsswimming in lakes and riversboat rentals, splash pads, picnicking, and hiking trails. Want to extend your stay? Some also offer camping.

Read on for more details about some of the area's best parks for all-day family fun. For even more outdoor activities, check out our Summer Activity Guide for Westchester Kids.

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