NYC Labor Day Weekend Family Getaways & Day Trips: Water, Animals & Themed Destinations

Even though summer officially continues through late September, Labor Day weekend is your last chance to enjoy fun like beaches, pools and water parks, which all close for the season on the holiday. The three-day weekend is also a great opportunity to get out of the city for a quick family getaway before school starts.

In previous years, we've rounded up car-free Labor Day getaways and day trips by region. This year, all of our ideas are organized by theme. So whether you're looking to get your adrenaline pumping, cool off, romp in the country, enjoy face time with animals or soak up some history, we hope to give you plenty of destination inspiration.

Best Karate Classes for Westchester Kids

Karate is one of the most popular extracurricular activities for children of all ages. It is a sport that promotes self discipline, concentration, self control, respect and perseverance. While just about every town in Westchester County has a dojo, a few locally owned and operated establishments have earned reputations as Westchester’s best.

In addition to improving focus and motor skills from tots to teens, karate is also a fun way to introduce ancient customs and practices while instilling life-long lessons in respect, confidence, strength and skill. 

We've rounded up seven outstanding karate centers throughout Westchester County. Who knows--you may even be inspired to be join the fun with family sessions!

Introducing Our Westchester Kids' Classes Guide

As hard as it may be for some of us to believe, Back to School is just around the corner. Part of getting ready for the new school year (in addition to shopping), is trying to decide what extracurricular classes you kids will take this year. If your kids are anything like mine, they've got a mile-long list of classes they simply MUST take. After narrowing the list down to a workable number, there's still the question of  where to take classes. That's where we come in. We've designed a Westchester Kids Classes Guide, filled with reviews and roundups of different classes throughout the county, to help you find just what you and your kids are looking for. We've also launched a brand new Class Directory where you can browse programs by location, category and age range.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Lego City Weekend, Jewish Music Festival, Pow Wow, Canoe Trip and More, August 16-17

Keep the summer going this weekend in Westchester, with an array of fun options ranging from a chess tournament to a Jewish Music Festival and Lego City Weekend. There's truly something for everyone.

The New York Renaissance Faire continues this weekend, so dust off those princess crowns and pirate costumes! Also this weekend--celebrate Native American culture at the Nimham Pow Wow

Read on for more details on our top weekend picks--many of which are FREE. Be sure to click through to the event listing for full details. Making plans weeks in advance? Check out our August Go List for our best bets for fun outings happening throughout the month. And remember to check out the myriad of weekday and weekend events we've captured in our event calendar--you'll find there's no shortage of fun things to do this summer in Westchester! 

Tennis in Northern Westchester: Five Great Centers for Kids and Families to Play and Learn

Last month we told you about great places to play and learn tennis in lower Westchester. Now, we're back again with a round up of the best tennis centers in the upper part of the county! With the US Open quickly approaching, tennis is in the air and families and kids of all ages are getting out there and enjoying the game.

Westchester is home to some of the finest tennis establishments for private and group instruction, camps, parties and more. Read on for our picks of the top tennis facilities in upper Westchester. Looking for more ideas for fun this month? Check our our August Go List and SUMMER OF PLAY Guide

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Moonviewing Concert, Wildlife Adventure, Renaissance Faire and More, August 9-10

There's something for every taste this weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley, with a variety of offerings--culture, nature, entertainment and a good cause. For starters, and adding to the numerous events this summer that expose Westchester residents to international culture, the Annual Moonviewing Concert allows visitors to experience Japanese culture and arts.

Get in touch with nature at the Wildlife Adventure or the hands-on workshop Preserving the Harvest: Canning. Additionally, the Art & Science Workshops continues with a nature theme.

Also on tap this weekend, there’s Family Fun Night, the South Salem Fire Department's Carnival, Worldfest: Free Performing Arts Series and the final installment of Arts in the Amphitheater: Movie Nights, which presents a twist on the traditional movie under the stars. Additionally, the New York Renaissance Faire continues this weekend.

To support a good cause—and quench your thirst—patronize Annual Lemonade for Leukemia, which offers more than just lemonade!

Read on for more on these events and be sure to click through to the event listing to get full details. Also, our August Go List highlights our top picks for the month! And be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter to stay informed about area events every weekend. Don't forget: our event calendar includes suggestions for every day of the week, so check back often to keep your kids engaged and having fun this summer!

Historic Mansions for Westchester Kids: Step Back in Time with Interactive Fun for Westchester Families

Historic mansions may not be the first thing kids (or their parents) think of when planning a fun-filled outing, but take a closer look. Westchester County is home to several historic homes that offer visitors more than just a glimpse into the past. Many have dedicated kids programming, annual and seasonal events, fairs and festivals and stunning displays and exhibitions. We've covered many of these events on Mommy Poppins, including the debut of Lightscapes, and the annual Sheep-to-Shawl and Great Jack O'Latern Blaze at Philipsburg Manor.

Now we've got the scoop on six historic mansions throughout Westchester that are worth checking out with the entire family. These architecturally stunning homes have been restored or maintained throughout the years (and in some cases, centuries) and offer a peak into prominent, wealthy family life (in the case of the Rockefellers), colonial life during the 18th century and so much more, as well as interactive programming that brings history to life in fun, educational and unforgettable ways.

Stargazing in Westchester: Best Places to See Meteor Showers, Comets and Stars

Several times a year I find myself outside on my tiny patio at all odd hours, staring up at the sky in hopes I will catch a glimpse of some spectacular astronomical happening in the skies over Westchester. There are meteor showers, comets, planet alignments, super moons, eclipses, oppositions and conjunctions--not to mention man-made events like shuttle launches and space station pass-overs.

Recently, a friend asked if I knew of any public spaces in the area where the skies are dark enough for stargazing--places that welcome families and amateur astronomers to observe the skies. Happily, there are several places in Westchester and the surrounding area where families can see and learn about the night sky and we've rounded them up for you.

Pack a thermos of hot chocolate, grab some warm blankets and check out these local astronomical viewing sites and activities--one might even say the views are out of this world!

NYC Labor Day Weekend Trips: 8 Car-Free Family Getaways Near New York City

The (unofficial) final weekend of summer is just a few days away and with the kids going back to school, the three-day holiday is the perfect time for one last family getaway.

Over on our Travel site, we posted about a bunch of cool last-minute travel deals, most involving plane or car rides. But for those looking to vacation without having to hit an airport or rent a vehicle, we've rounded up some of our favorite family destinations that are less than three hours from New York City and accessible via public transportation. From gorgeous beaches to ride-filled amusement parks to out-of-town culture spots, here are eight great Labor Day weekend trips for NYC families.

Weekend Fun for Westchester Kids: Renaissance Faire, Hip-Hop Shakespeare, Pow-Wow and More, August 2-3

You'll feel like you've traveled the globe (and back in time) after attending the events on tap this weekend in Westchester and the Hudson Valley! For starters, the beloved New York Renaissance Faire returns this weekend and if that's not enough Renaissance fun for you, indulge further at Hip-Hop Shakespeare. Also on the global itinerary are the Native American Heritage Celebration of the Hudson Valley and the Indian Heritage FestivalAnother throwback this weekend is a showing of the Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup

For an entirely different excursion, the Lighted Boat Parade lights up the night in New Rochelle this weekend and Rye Playland is celebrating International Friendship Day with discounted admission, fireworks and more.

Read on for more details on our top weekend picks--many of which are FREE. Be sure to click through to the event listing for full details. Making plans weeks in advance? Check out our August Go List for our best bets for fun outings happening throughout the month. And remember to check out the myriad of weekday and weekend events we've captured in our event calendar--you'll find there's no shortage of fun things to do this summer in Westchester! 


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