Westchester

6 Writing and Art Contests and Opportunities Just for Kids and Teens

When my daughter was in fourth grade, she was struggling socially and academically—but I noticed that any free time she had was used typing away on the computer. Eventually, I took a peek into her writing folder. There were several compelling short stories and poems, way better than the writing assignments she was turning in for school. With the hope that positive affirmation from a source outside of school would inspire her, I sought out kid-focused writing initiatives that might encourage her to develop her budding skills.

As children get older and their interests and personalities develop, special opportunities and internships can foster their passions and develop their strengths. If you have budding artist, writer, or future game designer in your home, take note of these contests and opportunities from the likes of Scholastic and Time to help kids, tweens, and teens explore and showcase their creative work, while boosting their skills and confidence—including two amazing opportunities with deadlines that are right around the corner! 

Weekend Fun: Bunny Breakfast, Dia:Beacon Free Day, Peppa Pig

A highlight of the coming weekend is the chance to have Breakfast with the Easter Bunny—one of many FREE programs we’ve chosen for our top picks and one of more than a dozen Easter Bunny events we've identified). Another fun freebie is a puppet show with the Tanglewood Marionettes, while older kids can explore STEAM-focused colleges and careers at the FREE Engineering Expo.

If you’ve been unsure how to celebrate National Jump in Muddy Puddles Day, look no further, as Party with Peppa has the answer. Or take advantage of the weekend-long Maple Fest, as with the end of March comes the end of the maple-sugaring season.

After reading on for all this and more, head to our Event Calendar for additional fun options to choose from. To stay up to date with everything kid-related in our area, be sure to sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Land of Make Believe: A Charming Family-Friendly Amusement Park in NJ

For more than 60 years, Land of Make Believe in Hope, NJ, has entertained and amused families and kids of all ages. Designed as an amusement park where kids and adults can have fun together, there’s literally something for everyone. And the best part is that it’s affordable. The Pay-One-Price policy covers both the amusement park rides and water park, giving you the convenience to move from attraction to attraction without the hassle of endlessly having to reach into your pocket. Parking is also free, and you can even bring your own food and drinks to picnic right inside the park.

Perhaps you visited Land of Make Believe when you were a kid. I know I did. That’s why I was eager to talk a walk down memory lane and introduce my 5-year-old daughter to the thrills and adventures of my own youth. While I found that a lot has changed since then, the essence of this charming amusement park remains.

Read on to experience a bit of this magical-sounding amusement park for yourself.

Westchester Children's Museum Expansion Underway

Good news for families in and around Westchester: The Westchester Children's Museum has broken ground on a much-anticipated expansion to its already popular space.

Phase 1—now called the Hoch Laager Boardwalk Galleries and spanning approximately 6,500 square feet—opened in 2016 with interactive exhibits, play spaces, and a book nook where children can explore, play, and create. The current capital improvement and renovation project will transform the remainder of its 22,000-square-foot space into a haven for learning and creating. 

15 Super Easy April Fools' Day Pranks to Play on Your Kids

There are few things more satisfying than pulling a fast one on your own kid, but elaborate prep work is sure to sap the fun out of any good April Fools' Day joke. In the past, we've shared ideas for old-school gags and fun tricks to play on children, but more recently, we've found that the very best pranks are also the simplest.

Here, we run down 15 easy ways to show kids that we still have the upper hand—at least when it comes to April Fools' Day!

25 Things To Do with Westchester Kids on Spring Break

Staying in town for spring break? Enjoy a family staycation and save on entertainment with the fun activities we’ve identified in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Many of our picks are FREE! Because some schools’ breaks include the day after Easter, our list does, too.

We've included celebrations of Easter, Passover, and Earth Day, as well as STEM activities, crafting, camp options, cultural excursions, places to play, and more.
 
Many other options can be found on our Event Calendar (with more on the way), and in our Spring Activity Guide for Westchester Kids. To stay up to date with everything kid-related in our area, be sure to sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook.

Orlando's Wyndham Bonnet Creek Offers Disney-Adjacent Suites and Resort Amenities

Finding the perfect place to stay for your Orlando family vacation can be hard. You want a location with good proximity to the amusement parks, but don't forget there’s lots more to do in Orlando than just theme parks, so a resort that is fun on its own can save you a bundle and also be a whole lot more fun. Family-sized suites, kitchens, and laundry options bring the comforts of home that take the stress out of a family trip, too.

Wyndham Bonnet Creek offers luxurious condo-style one-, two-, three-, and four-bedroom family suites adjacent to Walt Disney World and close to other Orlando attractions. With a full schedule of resort activities, five pool complexes, including a lazy river and water slides, it’s no wonder it ranks No. 4 on Condé Nast Traveler's 2018 Readers’ Choice Awards list of Top Resorts in Orlando.

Easter Egg Hunts for Westchester Kids in 2019

An annual rite of spring is the magical scattering of eggs on lawns, said to be left by a certain bunny for children to gather. Watching the children scurry about in search of the treasured eggs is a picture-perfect sight.

Below we’ve rounded up a dozen egg hunts—scattered, like the eggs themselves, throughout Westchester. Some involve prizes or an appearance by the Easter Bunny; one involves a map, one requires flashlights, and others include live-animal encounters and face painting. 

If you’re looking for more Easter Bunny action, shake your cottontail over to one of the Easter Bunny encounters we’ve rounded up, like train rides, meals, and other fun with the fluffy guy.

If you're looking for more activities, check out our Event Calendar and Spring Activity Guide for Westchester Kids, which is filled with seasonal fun for children of all ages.

Pip's Island Interactive Theater Experience Makes Kids the Stars

There's no shortage of great theater here in New York, but there are very few shows where children actually get to play an interactive role in the story. Enter Pip's Island, a production in which young audience members become characters—no, stars—themselves, engaging with the actors in a roving, room-to-room adventure.

After a successful trial run in 2016, the show has re-opened in a custom-built space giving Pip, his friends Finn and Pebble, and countless kids a whole new immersive environment where they can play out their adventure as they attempt to save Pip's Island from the villainous Joules Volter.

Weekend Fun: St. Paddy's Parade, WHUD Kids Fair, Steampunk

Welcome, spring! Lots of warm-weather fun lies ahead for Westchester and Hudson Valley families.

St. Patrick’s Day might be over, but the party isn’t! Keep it going at the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade. For more festive fun, try the St. Gregory the Great Annual Carnival, offering rides, games, and food, or the WHUD Kids Fair—a highlight of our March GoList—featuring STEM fun, inflatables, children’s theater, and more.

For mash-up fun, hit Steampunk Sunday, with tea duels, items from the Museum of Interesting Things, and other quirky attractions. Or for animal adventures, get to know turkey vultures.

All this and much more can be found on our Event Calendar, so head there after reading on for details and other highlights. Also check out our guide to FREE things to do in March!

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