Westchester

Weekend Fun: Maple Sugaring, Lunar New Year, African Drumming, Magic Show

Both Winter Break and February wrap up with a weekend that might not offer large-scale events, but good things come in small packages (and our top picks are generally easy on the wallet). 

A predominant offering is maple sugaring, as peak season runs from mid-February through mid-March. For added fun, Maple Sugar Tours kicks off with assorted extra activities on Saturday, beyond the tapping experience. 

The celebration of Chinese New Year also continues this weekend with the enchanting Lunar New Year Festival, featuring performances, workshops, and cooking demos (with tastings, of course). This event ties in with a concurrent exhibition of lunar-themed art, in honor of the 50th anniversary of that famed giant step for mankind.

Catch a magic show as part of the Saturday Morning Family Series or celebrate Black History Month with an African Dance and Drum Performance. Animal enthusiasts can learn about Endangered animals and ways they can be helped.

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

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 of Dr. Seuss-themed crafts, recipes, and activities—no matter how small. 

Indoor Gyms Where Westchester Kids Can Learn, Play, and Exercise

We've rounded up seven fun-filled kids' gyms (many with more than one location) that offer everything from classes and camps to open play and more. Whether you're looking to drop off the older kids for a class, join in with the little ones during a parent-and-me, or simply sit and enjoy a nice break while the tots get their sillies out, these gyms are sure to please both kids and their parents.

Read on for more details on seven indoor kids' gyms in Westchester. And be sure to sign up for our FREE weekly newsletter to have all our latest posts delivered straight to your inbox!

Museums with Cool Kids' Programming in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

While there are many fantastic family-friendly museums and exhibits in New York City, you don't necessarily have to travel to NYC for an enriching cultural outing. We've rounded up 11 museums right here in Westchester and the Hudson Valley that offer lots of stimulating fun, in subjects ranging from fine art to firefighting.

All of these museums offer family programs that allow kids (and grown-ups) to explore and learn about the collections by engaging in a variety of hands-on activities. Best of all, a lot of these programs are free with museum admission—and many of the museums themselves offer free admission to children under a certain age. Don't forget to check with your local library to see if it offers free passes.

Read on for more about these cultural gems, which make for great family day trip destinations.

The Frozen 2 Trailer Is Out and We Are So Here for It

Elsa and Anna are BACK! Disney just released a Frozen 2 trailer, the sequel to the Let It Go fever that swept up both parents and kids a few years ago.

When Frozen debuted back in 2013, I had an instantly obsessed 4-year-old Elsa wannabe. We knew, like so many other families with young kids, that this Disney musical franchise was going to be a mainstay in our home. Catchy songs and strong, independent princesses, what's not to love?

Fast-forward to 2019, and that obsessed 4-year-old's baby sister is now a kindergartner pining to see the Broadway iteration of Frozen.

All three of us were thrilled to watch the Frozen 2 teaser together. Take a peek to see what you think! My girls are already making me promise we'll see the flick this fall.

Presidents Day Weekend Events for Westchester Kids

If you’re staying in town for the three-day weekend, get ready for lots of local fun for families right here in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

As we reported in our February GoList, the circus is coming to town! The Royal Hanneford Circus will perform daring feats and other dazzlers over three days. For a different take on the circus, check out Cirque Zuma Zuma, a performance that includes acrobatic feats and prowess but with a taste of African culture.

For outdoor activities, savor the season with chilly-time fun at the Greenwood Lake Winter Carnival or take advantage of the start of maple-sugaring season. In anticipation of the release of the sequel, Legoland Discovery Center is kicking off a six-week Lego Movie 2 spectacle this weekend, with loads of interactivity and building.

And lest we should forget that Monday’s holiday is intended to honor Washington and Lincoln, celebrate accordingly with a fun historical event, such as the local Presidents’ Day celebration.

Read on for more of our top weekend picks and check out our Event Calendar for an even bigger selection of activities this weekend and beyond. Kids off from school next week? Check out 40 Things To Do on February School Break with Westchester Kids to avoid cabin fever and keep the fun rolling all week long!

Hunter Mountain Expansion Offers New Family Skiing in New York

It’s expensive to expand a ski resort. The folks at Hunter Mountain invested $9 million to construct an 80-acre addition to New York’s second most-visited ski destination.

Did they get their money’s worth without compromising all that made Hunter one of the top ski destinations for families near New York City?

After visiting the now 320-acre Catskills resort that is 2½ hours north of the city, one is tempted to say, yes.

Westchester Play Cafes with Fun for Kids and Perks for Parents

While it’s fun to take the kids to a dedicated play space—and trust us, there are lots of those to choose from in Westchester—there are times when you want to go somewhere that has something for both you (read: coffee, brownies, both) and the kids. You’re in luck: There are a few spots in our area where you can meet a friend for tea or linger over lunch with your spouse while your kids have fun—whether it’s reading a good book, drawing on a chalkboard wall, going down slides, or building with blocks and construction sets.

Looking for even more places to take the whole family? Check out our kid-friendly restaurant guide

Cheap Spring Break Travel Ideas for Families on a Budget

Is there a way to travel for cheap with kids during spring break? The short answer is... yes!

While some might automatically head to Orlando or even the Caribbean for spring break, airfare for a family of four can quickly add up to waaaay over budget. Families-in-the-know deploy a few tricks to plan a fun spring break vacation for the kids without blowing their mortgage payment, from scoring a secret deal to compromising a bit on the location.

There are plenty of family-friendly cities and destinations that cost a bit less but don’t scrimp on the family attractions, including top museums, eateries, beaches, and even amusement parks.

Read on for some of our editors’ favorite hacks in planning a cheap spring break and where they like to vacation as a family!

Maple Sugaring Events for Westchester and Hudson Valley Kids

Here in the Northeast, what apple picking is to fall, maple sugaring is to winter. The season begins in February and runs through late March. Ideally, temperatures must dip below freezing at night and warm up during the day to stimulate sap flow. Thus, the maple-sugaring season is brief. And to make just one gallon of pure maple syrup, it takes more than 40 gallons of sap!

We've rounded up maple-sugaring fun in Westchester and the Hudson Valley. Read on for details on where to learn about and celebrate this centuries-old tradition. Looking for more seasonal fun? Check out our Westchester Winter Fun Guide, and look to our Event Calendar for new events added daily. 

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