Westchester

25 Spring Festivals and Fairs for Westchester and Hudson Valley Families

Despite the mild winter we’ve had, it’s always exciting to anticipate the arrival of spring! We've rounded up a host of spring festivals, fairs, and related festivities happening throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley. These include sheep-shearing festivals, Earth Day festivals, cherry-blossom festivals, cupcake festivals, spring-themed festivals, and assorted others.

Note: The White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival, held annually in June, has announced a hiatus this year, and the return of the Hudson Valley Fair doesn’t look promising in light of storm damage suffered last year. Still others haven't yet announced their plans, so stay tuned for updates.

Be sure to check out our Spring Activity Guide for more seasonal fun, sign up for our newsletters, and keep tabs on our Event Calendar to stay informed of more great family events!

Insider’s Guide to Haines, Alaska: 21 Top Things to Do with Kids

Alaska is a dream destination on many family travel bucket lists. The way most people experience the state is to hop on one of the many cruises that travel up the Inside Passage. Cruising is particularly suited for Alaska travel because the scenery from the ship is beautiful and the destinations are hard to reach otherwise. But, as with many things in travel, the easiest road often passes by the best destinations.

Haines, Alaska, is one of those gems that is often missed by family cruisers. If you have the option to take a cruise that stops in Haines, or can take an excursion to Haines (an option from Skagway), I highly recommend it. Or, if you want to plan your own Alaska trip, you could easily spend a week in Haines without running out of amazing things to do with the kids, from bear watching and fishing to exploring some really unique museums.

Easter Bunny Breakfasts, Photos, and More Fun for Westchester Kids

Just as Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a visit to Santa, for many Westchester families, the same holds true for Easter and the Easter Bunny. While encounters are often possible at town egg hunts, there are many other opportunities to meet the bunny this spring.

Below we’ve rounded up 14 ways to say cheese with the rabbit. These include breakfasts, train rides, photo-ops for kids with special needs, and even the chance to go ice skating with the Easter Bunny. And more! Read on for the rundown and additional details.

Looking for more? Hop across the border to find out where you can dine with the Easter Bunny in Connecticut. And keep tabs on our Event Calendar for numerous other ways to celebrate Easter.

Weekend Fun: St. Patrick's Day, Purim, Maple Sugaring

With the March snow melting, this weekend is a great time to combat cabin fever and enjoy any of the many activities we’ve identified for Westchester and Hudson Valley families.

St. Patrick’s Day falls on Sunday, and the weekend is chock-full of opportunities to wear your best green. Among the many parades are the Mamaroneck-Sound Shore St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Rockland County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which is reported to be the second largest in the state.

Other seasonal fun includes Purim Carnival, featuring a magic show, inflatables, and other kid fun in honor of the holiday. And, with the maple-sugaring season drawing to an end, carpe diem at maple sugaring with a pancake feast, where you can not only learn about the maple-sugaring process but get instant gratification atop a stack of pancakes. For sheer entertainment, catch a family performance by the Bindlestiff Family Cirkus.

For more options to choose from, read on, consult our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters!

STEAM Camps for Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

STEAM classes (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) are all the rage these days, and with good reason. Job opportunities in many of these fields continue to grow as our world becomes ever more dependent on technology.

Kids may not care about their career prospects just yet, but that doesn't mean they can't have a blast while learning these subjects. The best STEM/STEAM camps keep fun at the forefront. We've rounded up camps throughout Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley that offer educational and interactive experiences for school-age kids. Looking for more camp ideas? Consult our Summer Camp Guide and sign up for our newsletters.

Star Wars, Potter, and More New Theme Park Rides at Disney and Beyond

Amusement parks are a spring break and family vacation staple. From coast to coast, amusement and water parks abound, offering fun and thrills to parents and children ranging from toddlers to teens alike.

While there's never any shortage of excitement, having an opportunity to check out new attractions only adds to the kids' enjoyment. Take a look at which popular destinations are introducing everything from state-of-the-art roller coasters to gentle kiddie rides, and which are celebrating the opening of entirely new sections of their already-enticing parks in 2019. We've rounded up new rides (including water park fun) from California's Disneyland to Orlando, Florida and even along the New Jersey Shore boardwalks and in Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Texas.

Weekend Fun: Peter Pan on Ice, Brazilian Carnival, St. Paddy's Parade

This weekend's excitement includes an abundance of promising performances. These include Cumbia for Kids, a foray into Colombian music and dance; Trusty Sidekick Theater Company’s Shadow Play, a multimedia production about a mischievous shadow; and Peter Pan & Friends on Ice. At the FREE Brazilian Carnival, catch a Batucada dance performance and engage in a mask-making workshop.

With St. Patrick’s Day a week away, it’s not too early to don your green and eat corned beef. Among the numerous parades in Westchester and the Hudson Valley is one of the largest in the state: the Annual Northern Westchester-Putnam St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Maple sugaring is still in peak season, as are the events that celebrate it, including pancake breakfasts and additional attractions.

Read on for further details and additional options—then head to our Event Calendar for yet more. Also refer to our March GoList for our top picks for the rest of the month and our roundup of FREE family events in March

Ski Free All Spring with the 2019 Ikon Pass - And Save $100 on Kids’ Passes

If you hit the slopes at least one week a year, a ski pass can mean serious savings for your family. Ikon Pass is an annual ski pass that gives you access to over 30 skiing and snowboarding destinations across 12 states, 4 Canadian provinces, and 4 continents. And even better, if you buy your pass now, you get this year’s spring skiing for free!

While you might think of skiing as a quintessential winter activity, the higher temps, longer days, and shorter chairlift waits make spring break the perfect time for a family ski trip. Whether you're a bunch of black diamond die-hards or some of your gang's still all about the bunny hill, an Ikon Pass will definitely help you make the most of spring on the slopes—and since the pass for the 19/20 season literally just went on sale, you can use it for the rest of this season, as well as all of next year.

A Dozen Spring Break Mini-Camps for Westchester Kids

If you're not heading out of town for spring break, you may be wondering how to keep the kids busy during their time off. Spring break camps offer a great way to keep them active, learning, and engaged while they're out of school.  

Westchester offers many specialized programs, so there's sure to be a camp to please most interests. We've rounded up a dozen choices, including those focusing on nature, arts, and sports.

Be sure to check out our Event Calendar for more fun things to do during the break. And if you're looking ahead to the end of the school year, don't miss our Summer Camps Guide for Westchester Kids!

Family-Friendly Farm Stays: Meet the Animals and Work the Farm

Farm stays provide guests of all ages with a taste of farm life. Whether by milking cows and collecting eggs, or gathering fresh fruit from a pineapple plant for breakfast, families who choose to stay at a farm hotel, which might be cabin, house, or even a tent, will likely have more fun than Old MacDonald led you to believe is possible.

Time your farm stay with the kids for spring, summer, or even fall. Check out which seasonal activities might be going on before picking the dates of your farm vacation, as well as the location. We've rounded up 10 of our favorite farm "hotels" around the country, from Maine to Texas to California.

I've found that farmer-hosts have a strong desire to educate little farmers on how to live a more sustainable and balanced life. Unplug, relax, and enjoy the fruits of a hard day’s work around a campfire. Lessons learned on these farms will stay with you long after you return home. 

Find more vacation ideas and weekend getaways in our Family Travel Guide, or check out your local Farm Fun Guide for local petting zoos, harvest festivals, and pick-your-own fun.

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