Hudson Valley Balloon Festival 2018 Takes to the Sky in Rhinebeck, NY

What kid doesn't love a balloon, especially a entire sky filled with huge, colorful, hot-air balloons? Every year, families flock to the annual Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival, which includes synchronized launches from sites across the area. Even if you don't live in the Hudson Valley, this experience is worth a day trip—spectators come from all over the tri-state area!

The 2018 Balloon Festival will be held in a new location—the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck—from Friday, July 6 to Sunday, July 8. Read on for details about this annual favorite, and be sure to check out our Summer Activity Guide for more fun all season long.

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Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Moon Mouse, St. Patrick's Parade, Purim

Seasonal fun abounds this weekend for Westchester and Hudson Valley families, with the convergence of holidays and late-winter traditions.

Celebrations of the Jewish holiday Purim are varied and vibrant, with festive themes like Purim Luau and the Purim Carnival. At the other end of the holiday spectrum is the start of the St. Patrick’s Day festivities, kicking off with the Dutchess County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the largest in the state. For stage entertainment, Moon Mouse: A Space Odyssey will “electrify” you.

The maple-sugaring season is now in full swing with numerous tapping experiences scheduled, and one of our favorite ways to tap into the action is the Maple Sugaring Party

Incredibly, most of the programs just mentioned are free, and there are many more to be found on our Event Calendar. Also refer to our hot-off-the-press March GoList for our top picks for the month! 

March GoList: The Best Things to Do in Westchester with Kids

March winds bring not only April showers but also much fun in and around Westchester—so if you’re getting tired of Ol’ Man Winter, don’t despair!

The first half of the month brings the peak of maple-sugaring season, allowing families to join naturalists in tapping maple trees and evaporating this blasé-looking liquid into the sublime sticky stuff we all know and love. Some events—like Sugarfest—are loaded with assorted embellishments, including the ultimate pleasure—eating it atop pancakes!

As for holidays, the month kicks off with inventively fun Purim carnivals, like the Xtreme Purim Party Featuring Pogo Fred, followed by numerous ways to celebrate being Irish (or pretend that you are), like Rhythm in the Night. Closing out the month comes the start of Spring Break and baskets of Easter fun, as with the The Great Green Egg-travaganza. And if that’s not enough, there are several hot-ticket alerts for live kid shows, including Disney Live!

If you’re looking for the Annual WHUD Kids Fair, generally held in March, note it’s been pushed back to April this year.

Grab your calendars and read on for our top things to do with kids this month in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Also be sure to check out our Event Calendar to be up to date on all the great goings-on this month!

10 Best Indoor Water Parks for Kids in the US

Whether it's the middle of winter and you need a family getaway or you have a special occasion to celebrate but don't want to risk your party being washed out by rain, it's nice to have indoor water options. And we're not talking the dip pool at the downtown Best Western. We're thinking mega water slides, relaxing lazy rivers, toddler-friendly water play, and thrilling wave pools that only a water park can offer.

Those living in the North and Midwest no longer have to seek sunny locales to beat the winter blues. And residents of the South and West now have ways to beat the heat when even water won't cool you off from a blazing sun. The year-round fun of an indoor water park is a bonus for everyone!

Here are our picks for the best indoor water parks for kids around the country. For more ideas, check out our local coverage of indoor water parks near New York, New Jersey, Boston, and Philadelphia.

16 of the Best Party Places for Toddlers and Preschoolers in Westchester

As adorable as first, second and third birthday parties can be, the idea of my toddler and 10 to 15 of her closest friends wreaking havoc on my living room and our unsuspecting cats is enough to make me consider just skipping the festivities until she is old enough to lend a significant hand in the post-party clean up. Luckily, there are professionals all across Westchester County who have mastered the delicate science of toddler birthday parties.

If you prefer to party at home, check out our post on in-house party entertainers and stand back as little ones are delighted and amazed. For those of us who opt to leave the work entirely in the hands of the professionals, read on for our top picks for celebrating yearly milestones with the 4-and-under-crowd.

Family Travel Bucket List : Kayaking California's Channel Islands on a Trip from Ventura

Despite its location so close to Los Angeles, Channel Islands National Park is one of the least visited parks in the country. Only accessible by boat, the Channel Islands’ isolation reliably staves off the hordes, offering an opportunity to enjoy a unique ecosystem in an untrammeled setting. Make the trip at the right time of year, and you could even spot some whales along the way. Visiting the Channel Islands offers a true getaway, just off the coast of Ventura.

21 Wacky Ways to Celebrate Dr. Seuss' Birthday with Kids

“If we didn’t have birthdays, you wouldn’t be you. If you’d never been born, well then what would you do?” Thank goodness Dr. Seuss’ birthday comes once a year—and it always gives us great reason to cheer!

On March 2, we’ll celebrate literacy and Seuss with fun crafts, treats, and other activities in honor of the literary rhyming master. Dr. Seuss’ birthday kicks off a nationwide reading celebration known as Read Across America Day. Schools, libraries, and community centers across the country observe the day with read-alouds, crafts, and Seuss-a-rific treats!

Use this list of 21 zany activities to commemorate the day at home with the kids. Whether you want to start it off with some green eggs and ham or plan your next family vacation to the birthplace of Dr. Seuss himself, there is something for everyone on this list—no matter how small. 

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Maple Sugaring, Cardboard Explosion

Both Winter Break and February wrap up with a weekend that might not offer large-scale events, but many of our top picks are easy on the wallet. So if you’re just returning from a pricey vacation or otherwise looking for low-cost fun, look no further than this weekend guide for Westchester families!

A predominant offering is maple sugaring, as peak season runs from mid-February through mid-March. You’ll find several opportunities on our calendar this weekend alone, including ones that are free, such as Sugarhouse Chat. Though not free, the modestly priced Maple Sugar Tours offers tree-tapping plus other assorted activities on Saturday, while for a mere $7 per ticket, catch the wacky performance of Cardboard Explosion with Brad Shur. For more low-key fun, work in teams on a Monster Hunt or savor the season with free Snowshoe Lessons.

Read on for more options to choose from and find even more options on our Event Calendar! If you haven't done so already, sign up for our newsletters to stay in the know.

Crystal Springs Resort: Two NJ Hotels Host Mountains of Family Fun

Sometimes, it's all about the location when you travel. Exploring new areas of your state or country are exciting. But other times, it's all about the amenities. When you pack two sister resorts full of skiing, snow adventures, water play, and spa options, there's really no need to go past the grounds—which is the case with Crystal Springs Resort in northern New Jersey.

Read on to discover everything you need to know about Grand Cascades Lodge and Minerals Hotel, and if they're right for your family.

Find more vacation destinations in our Family Resort Guide, which is packed with reviews.

Book Worms Unite! Book Clubs for Westchester Kids and Tweens

While there are all sorts of clubs and classes for kids to try in Westchester (Chess! Music! Photography!), if your child is the one who’s reading books by flashlight way past her bedtime, it might be a great time to try a book club. We’ve rounded up 20 book clubs in Westchester County—whether your child is into graphic novels or YA fiction.  

Looking for even more fun activities? Check out our Event Calendar and sign up for our newsletters


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