Looking for fun and affordable family events in Westchester County NY? We've rounded up the best things to do with your kids from our February 2012 calendar of events. You'll find details on family shows, the Hudson River EagleFest, the biggest camp fair in the area, the return of the Royal Hanneford Circus, and what parks are open for sledding and skating.
For even more upcoming family events in Westchester and the NYC area, check out our full (searchable!) calendar of events.
Dickens of a Show
Random Farms Kids' Theater presents Lionel Bart's Oliver!, a retelling of Dickens' famous novel Oliver Twist. The plot concerns the adventures of an orphan boy in 19th-century London as he escapes abusive treatment in an orphanage and joins a group of pickpockets. Songs include "Where is Love," "Consider Yourself," "I'd Do Anything," and "As Long As He Needs Me." The production is made up of more than 100 young people who are divided into four casts. They come from throughout the tri-state area and have a wealth of theater, film, and television experience. January 28 at 7pm; January 29 at 1pm and 7pm; January 30 at 10am; February 3 at 7pm; February 4 at 1pm and 7pm; February 5 at 1pm. $18; $16 seniors and children ages 12 and younger.
Tarrytown Music Hall, 13 Main Street, Tarrytown. 877-840-0457. www.tarrytownmusichall.org.
Fly Like an Eagle
Westchester's Croton Point Park becomes the destination for nature lovers when it hosts the 8th Annual Hudson River EagleFest, a celebration of the vibrant bald eagle population in the Hudson Valley. The event, held on February 4 (snowdate February 5), includes an abundance of activities, from guided and independent eagle viewing to storytelling, children's programs, raptor shows, bus tours, and displays. Eagle viewing sites are hosted by collaborating organizations all along the Hudson River. Entertaining and educational shows will take place all day in the Eagle Theatre and Eaglet Stage heated tents. Bus tours ($25) with a Teatown Lake Reservation educator, offering an in-depth view of eagles in their natural habitats, are available for ages 12 and older at 9:30am and 2pm. Riverfront Green Park in Peekskill will feature a storytelling presentation by Jonathan Kruk, a live falcon demonstration, and ice sculptures. The City of Peekskill is providing a free round-trip shuttle bus from Croton Point Park to Riverfront Green all day. Those traveling by rail can take the Eagle Train from Grand Central Station at 9:52am with special guest naturalist Gabriel Willow. At Croton-Harmon, attendees can board a free shuttle bus to Eagle Headquarters at Croton Point Park. And from the Peekskill stop, Riverfront Green Park is just a short walk away. A suggested donation of $5 per person is requested.
For a full schedule of shows and events, call 914-762-2912 ext. 110 or visit www.teatown.org/eaglefest.
All About Camp
For many kids, summer camp is a monumental life experience-one they'll look back on and draw from well into their adult lives. With such an impact imminent, the pressure is on parents to find the right camp and ensure this life-altering encounter is a positive one. Enter the 30th annual Westchester Camp & Summer Activities Fair. Sponsored by NYMetroParents, Maine Camp Experience, and Webster Bank, the fair will bring together more than 40 nearby camps, including day, specialty, and sleepaway camps. Parents can speak to camp directors and staff members, learn more about camp programs, get their questions answered, and leave with a brochure full of useful information.
There will also be two presentations. At 1pm, visitors can attend "Selecting a Sleepaway Camp," a panel discussion between several camp directors from Maine Camp Experience, an organization of overnight camps in Maine, who will offer parents tips on how to know when their child is ready for sleepaway camp and how to find the right fit for children with special needs or interests. And at 2pm, Westchester mom and family coach Catherine Pearlman, Ph.D., LMSW, will present "How to Choose the First Camp for Your Child," providing visitors with the tools to find the best camp for their kids, plus questions to ask camp directors and tips on how to prepare themselves, their families, and their children for camp. February 5. 12-3pm. FREE. Crowne Plaza, 66 Hale Avenue, White Plains. For more information, visit www.westchestercampfair.com.
One Rockin' Mama
Tots (and their moms and dads!) will rock out at a high-energy, interactive family rock concert by the award-winning Mama Doni Band. Doni's quirky, offbeat, and unpredictable blend of reggae, rock, disco, Latin, bluegrass, klezmer, and tango is woven together with a hip sensibility and a zany sense of humor. The band's catchy pop songs are considered "funky music with a Jewish twist." Prizes like CDs and T-shirts will be handed out during the show, and each family will also receive a gift from Mama Doni and Streit's Matzos. Doni herself will stay after the show to give out more gifts, hugs, and autographs. February 5. 3pm. $25; $18 for children.
For more information, contact Julie Dorfman at 914-472-3300 ext. 412 or firstname.lastname@example.org. JCC of Mid-Westchester, 999 Wilmot Road, Scarsdale. 914-472-3300. www.jccmw.org.
That's a Beautiful...
Figure It Out is an exhibition of functional works inspired by the human form. The exhibit includes whimsical pieces like "Ratso Rizzo," this very sculptural teapot by Jim Budde, along with works by more than 70 other artists. The artists were challenged to interpret the theme in a way that best suited their own voice. For instance, the artists could have surface or glaze decoration that incorporates the figure or parts of the body in some way, or they might exaggerate a pot's "human" parts, such as the "foot," "neck," "shoulder," and "body." The gallery will be filled with cups and mugs, plates, platters, bowls, vases, candlesticks, teapots, salt & peppers, vessels, etc. Some will have subtle reference to the human form, others will be more obvious. The exhibit will give viewers the opportunity to view (and take home) works that have the ability to enhance their in-home dining and living experiences. On display February 18 through March 31. FREE admission.
Clay Art Center, 40 Beech Street, Port Chester. 914-937-2047. www.clayartcenter.org.
Through stunning acrobatics, striking visual effects, physical comedy, and inventive choreography, Galumpha brings to life a world of imagination, beauty, and merriment. The three performers (including Mamaroneck-native Kate Parlato) create a sensory feast of images ranging from the ridiculous to the sublime, consistently bringing audiences to their feet. February 18. 11am and 1:30pm. Recommended for ages 4 and older. $18; $13 children 12 and younger.
Emelin Theatre, 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck. 914-698-0098. www.emelin.org.
The Circus is in Town!
A family favorite returns to town for Presidents' Day weekend. The Royal Hanneford Circus will stop by the Westchester County Center with tigers, acrobats, mother and baby elephants, a human cannonball, ATV daredevils, trapeze stars, and much more. February 18-20. 10am, 2pm, and 6pm. $22.50-$28.50; free for children 2 and younger. Purchase tickets at the Westchester County Center Box Office, www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Westchester County Center, 198 Central Park Avenue, White Plains. 914-995-4050. www.countycenter.biz.
Sledding and Skating in the Parks
I've lived in Westchester for more than 30 years, and until now, I had no idea there were "officially sanctioned" sledding locations around the county. Imagine all the time I could have saved, the things I could have accomplished, if I hadn't been driving around looking for that perfect hill. So keep this list; stick it on the fridge or somewhere accessible. It will definitely come in handy -- maybe on a snow day, and certainly over the upcoming mid-winter break, when the days are still short and the boredom factor can go sky-high. Have fun and stay safe!
Sledding is permitted seven days a week during daylight hours at the following locations:
- Croton Gorge, Route 129, Cortlandt
- Lasdon Park, off Route 35, Somers (8am-4pm only)
- Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Route 35 and 121 South, Cross River
- At the following golf courses: Dunwoodie (Wasylenko Lane, Yonkers), Sprain Lake (East Grassy Sprain Road, Yonkers), Saxon Woods (Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale), Mohansic (Baldwin Road, Yorktown Heights), and Maple Moor (North Street, White Plains)
And, when conditions permit, ice skating is allowed at the following locations seven days a week during daylight hours. (Ice is checked daily at all locations; look for a "Skating Today" sign that indicates safe conditions.)
- Blue Mountain Reservation, Welcher Avenue, Peekskill
- Mountain Lakes Park, Hawley Road, North Salem
- Wampus Pond, Route 128, Armonk
- Willson's Woods Park, East Lincoln Avenue, Mount Vernon
- Tibbetts Brook Park, Midland Avenue, Yonkers
- Twin Lakes Park, California Road, Eastchester
To check skiing and skating conditions on weekdays, visit http://parks.westchestergov.com.