Westchester

Westchester Winter Wonderland at Kensico Dam Plaza: A Holiday Carnival

The Westchester Winter Wonderland at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla has returned for its third year, and we recently returned to check out the full experience. We have some tips for this year's fun winter carnival, which will be open on select dates through January 2.

Check out our Event Calendar for more holiday hooplah, and be sure to sign up for our FREE newsletters to keep up with all family-friendly Westchester happenings. 

Already attended? Share your photos with us on Facebook

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Coding, STEM, Holiday Fun

You might expect a slew of holiday-related programs to dominate our top picks for the coming week, especially given the multitude of holiday activities taking place every weekend this month. And while this week's picks don't completely ignore the season, we have even more ideas for those seeking something a little different. Best of all: Most of them are FREE! 

STEM fans can learn what makes lights light and clocks tick at Electricity and Circuitry, while programming buffs can create games or stories at the Teen Coding Workshop. To introduce your kids to opera, snag a seat at the family-friendly—and holiday favorite—Amahl and the Night Visitors.

As always, there are additional details and more highlights below, plus a lot of other events to be found on our Event Calendar. And for a bigger fix of that holiday fun you might be craving, consult our Holiday Fun Guide to help you get the most out of the season with kids!

25 Things To Do with Westchester Kids During the Holidays

There are so many family activities in Westchester this time of year that it can be hard to decide which ones to choose. To help you out, we’ve collected our favorite 25 things to do during the holiday season.

Need even more inspiration? Check out our Holiday Fun Guide and Event Calendar to stay in the holiday loop, or follow us on Facebook to share some of your experiences! 

Where to Cut Your Own Christmas Tree in Westchester

Even if Christmas isn’t your holiday, its hard not to smile when the distinctive smell of fresh pine, balsam or fir fills the air this time of year. The smell can only be sweeter when you've picked through live trees to choose the perfect one then, with your family, chopped it down, loaded it on your car and brought it home as a labor of love. The experience offers a chance for family bonding, photo opportunities and surely lots of laughs.

Following is a list of farms in our area where families can choose and cut their own Christmas tree. Not quite sure you're up to the challenge of chopping a tree? Don't worry. Many also offer fresh-cut trees all offer help to make sure your experience runs smoothly.

Looking for more holiday activities? Sign up for our newsletters and follow us on Facebook

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Snowkus-Pocus, St. Nicholas Day

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and you’ve come to the right place for kicking off a season of holiday fun for Westchester and Hudson Valley families!

Some weekend events get a boost from period charm at historic sites, including the St. Nicholas Day Celebration and Somers Holiday Celebration, while several live holiday shows and Nutcracker productions take the stage this weekend, including the eccentric Cirque-Tacular - Snowkus Pocus. But if you’re not ready for total holiday immersion, another highlight is the cultural celebration Diwali, Hindu Festival of Lights. Many of our top picks this weekend are FREE!

Read on for more details, and know that there are many more events to choose from on our Event Calendar and our brand-new December GoList. Be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletters to stay up to date on all kinds of fun—holiday and otherwise!

December GoList: The Best Things To Do in Westchester with Kids

The holiday season is so hectic, it’s easy to get caught up in the tasks of the season at the expense of the enjoyment. Luckily, there are many festivities in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, so be sure to clear some time to savor the magic, the splendor and the thrill that families can enjoy together. 

So far, we've told you where to go for holiday tree-lighting celebrationswhere to catch a live holiday show, where to see The Nutcracker and where to have breakfast with Santa. And with Hanukkah falling late in the month, we’ll soon follow up with our top picks for celebrating the Festival of Lights—though our Event Calendar is already populated with many of those highlights (plus many more events throughout the month).

Our top picks for the month include holiday highlights as well as a diverse assortment of other fun activities. For even more great options, be sure to peruse our Holiday Guide, full of yet more ideas to help you get the most out of the holidays with kids. Also, sign up for our weekly newsletters to stay up to date on all kinds of fun—holiday and otherwise!

6 Awesome Holiday Light Displays in the Lower Hudson Valley

We just can’t get enough of these holiday lights. Whether you live in the Hudson Valley or you’re taking a trip across the bridge, we’ve collected some of the best home holiday light displays in the area to visit with your family. There’s even a Guinness World Record winner in here! 

For more holiday fun, be sure to check our Event Calendar and follow us on Facebook. Know of any other light displays we should check out? Drop us an email, and be sure to sign up for our newsletters to stay in the loop. 

Weekday Picks for Westchester Kids: Santa's Workshop, Holiday DIY

As we segue from November to December, the holiday events start piling on, with a particular concentration of tree-lighting ceremonies this time of year. A highlight among those is this week’s Bronxville Hometown Holiday Tree Lighting, which includes  a caroling procession to the grand opening of Santa’s Workshop. This week is also a great time for Holiday DIY, and even if you’re no Martha Stewart, you can make gifts and décor at any of these hands-on opportunities.

If your kids are hard on themselves when they make a mistake, bring them to The Art of Science, where they can learn about all the wonderful inventions that were born from blunders (the Slinky, Silly Putty and chocolate-chip cookies to name a few!).

Read on for our top picks for each weekday—all of which are FREE!—and visit our Event Calendar for even more options. And be sure to consult our Holiday Fun Guide, full of yet more activities and ideas to help you get the most out of the holidays with kids. 

Breakfast with Santa for Kids and Families in Westchester

Though Santa is busy preparing for his famous ride on Christmas Eve, he still somehow has time to break bread (or pancakes) with children in Westchester this holiday season. These cozy get-togethers have become increasingly popular, typically featuring a full breakfast and holiday activity, with added perks at some. The best part? Quality time and photo-op with St. Nick.

We’ve rounded up some top picks for Breakfast with Santa throughout Westchester to help you spread some holiday cheer. Advance registration is either required or recommended, so don't delay. And don't forget to bring your wish list! 

If you're looking for more holiday activities, check out our coverage of holiday tree lightings, performances of The Nutcracker and other holiday shows—all happening in Westchester.

Best Places To Visit Santa Claus with Westchester Kids

For those who celebrate Christmas, the holiday season is hardly complete without a trip to visit Santa. Lucky for us, there's no shortage of places in Westchester where kids can have a meet-and-greet with the big guy, and we’ve rounded them up for you here. If you’re looking for a photo opp for your little ones (and your pets!), these Santa sightings are sure to delight you and your little ones this holiday season.

Want an even more relaxed environment? Check out some of the breakfasts with Santa occurring throughout Westchester. 

For even more holiday activities, see our coverage on holiday tree lightings, live holiday shows and performances of the The Nutcracker, all happening in Westchester.

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