We've selected the best family events in Westchester County, New York, from our September 2011 calendar. This month, don't miss the Yorktown Grange Fair (including the tractor parade and dog show!), the TOUGHKids Triathlon in Croton Point Park, a Chinese festival in North Salem, the John Jay Homestead Barn Dance and Country Fair in Katonah, and a special family day at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. Read on for details on these and more great events.
Westchester also has some wonderful options to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11 this month -- see our roundup of kid-friendly options.
Come to the Fair!
The 87th Annual Yorktown Grange Fair highlights the contributions and accomplishments of local residents, encouraging the community to exhibit their best and "show off" their homegrown (or homemade) goods -- from vegetables and flowers, to needlework, baking, photography, livestock, or poultry. Highlights of the 2011 fair, themed "Sew It, Grow It, Show It!," include a horse show, livestock animals, audience participation games, carnival rides, and a special Saturday night performance by the chart-topping band The Smithereens. The annual tractor and antique farm equipment parade will be held, as well as special animal shows including The Marvelous Mutts, A Canine Spectacular, a dog sport show featuring a cast of shelter-rescued dogs. The always popular Chase's Racing and Swimming Pigs return this year for another round of fun competition. September 8-11; tractor and farm equipment parade September 10 at 11am. $9; $4 children under 12. Yorktown Grange Fair Grounds, 99 Moseman Avenue, Yorktown Heights.
So You Think You're TOUGH?
At press time, more than 600 kids, ages 4-14, were already registered for the 3rd Annual TOUGHKids Triathlon at Croton Point Park, as part of the TOUGHman Triathlon weekend festival. This year's race, presented by the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital, will feature "Team A Step Ahead," a Long Island challenged-athlete group of kids with prosthetic legs who compete in triathlons. All kids can participate in one of three divisions: 4- to 6-year-olds with one helper will swim/run 20 yards, bike one mile, and run 100 yards; 7- to 10-year-olds will swim 100 yards, bike two miles, and run a half-mile; 11- to 14-year-olds will swim 200 yards, bike five miles, and run one mile. All entrants will receive a free cinch bag, T-shirt, water bottle, medal, and PowerBar. Registration will remain open until the day of the race. Children must be members of USA Triathlon to compete in the race. Visit www.usatriathlon.org/member-services to obtain a membership card for $5. TOUGHKids Triathlon takes place September 10 at 10am (the adult race will be held September 11) at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Harmon. Visit www.toughkidstri.com or call 914-564-0521 for race and registration information.
Local Living History
Who says you have to go out west to find a genuine archaeological site? During the 1640s, the bold Puritan rebel Anne Hutchinson lived near Saint Paul's Church in Mount Vernon. The 18th-century church, a National Historic Site, was used as a Revolutionary War hospital. It helps tell the story of the development of colonial society and the road to the American Revolution. In conjunction with the current exhibition, A Clash of Cultures: Anne Hutchinson's Brief Life near St. Paul's Church, archaeologist Dr. Eugene Boesch will explore the physical and human history of the area. Light refreshments will follow, as well as a tour of the historic church, bell tower, and cemetery -- one of the nation's oldest burial yards. FREE parking and admission. September 10. 1pm lecture; 3pm tour. St. Paul's Church, 897 South Columbus Avenue, Mt. Vernon. 914-667-4116.
Celebrate the Year of the Rabbit
The Mid-Autumn Festival at the Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden will host Chinese Theatre Works performing Hao Bang Ya, three puppet vignettes for the Year of the Rabbit that include sing-alongs, audience participation, and a post-show hands-on demonstration. After the show, kids can decorate paper lanterns and taste Chinese snacks. September 10, 1-3pm. $20 per family (up to four people); $5 each additional person. 28 Deveau Road, North Salem. 914-669-5033.
A Toe-Tappin' Good Time
Don't miss live music, swimming swine, horse-drawn wagon rides, and tons more fun at the 19th Annual John Jay Homestead Barn Dance and Country Fair. The weekend's events kick off with the Barn Dance, complete with barbecue, ice cream sundaes, kids' arts and crafts, a raffle for an Apple iPad, music by local bands, and crowd-pleasers like swimming pig races and a mechanical bull. The fun continues the next day with the Homestead Country Fair, where visitors will be greeted by Benjamin Franklin. Historically-themed activities include an American Revolution-era encampment, a tree-sawing contest, pony rides, sheep and duck herding demonstrations, a homemade apple pie contest, and more. Members of the Fifth and Second New York Regiments will be on-hand to commemorate the 235th anniversary of the Battle of White Plains, recreating marching drills and aspects of military life during the Revolutionary War. Barn Dance: September 17, 5-9pm; $50-$250, $20-30 children. Homestead Country Fair: September 18, 11am-4pm; $25 per car, separate ticket sales for various activities. John Jay Homestead, 400 Jay Street, Katonah.
Get Your Gears Turning
"Improvement in Swings (Patent #109,165)," pictured, by inventor Lucius Winston, is part of The Curious World of Patent Models, an exhibition of more than 50 working scale, one-of-a-kind models of inventions submitted to the U.S. Patent Office from the 1880s to the early 1900s.
America's manufacturing success is primarily due to the dreams and inventions of its many citizens. Few people realize that from the time Thomas Jefferson formed the U.S. Patent Office in 1790, and throughout the American Industrial Revolution, inventors were required to submit a working, scale model of their inventions, when applying for a patent. "Problem-solving with American ingenuity" is seen in more than 50 intricately crafted, working scale, one-of-a-kind models of inventions that were submitted to the U.S. Patent Office from the 1880s through the early 1900s. Intriguing to viewers of all ages, gadget- and invention-buffs, and everyday folks, the inventions are now a permanent part of our culture from the first patented rocking chair and foldout bed to a burglar alarm. On display September 24, 2011 through January 1, 2012. Wednesday-Sunday 12-5pm. $5; $3 seniors/children 5-16 years old; free children under 5. Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers.
Family Fun for the Birds
Wave Hill's fall birding series "migrates" upstate to the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers. Join naturalist Joe Giunta, from Happy Warblers, on a Family Birding Walk to observe hawks, falcons, and other raptors on their southerly route along the Atlantic flyway. Ages 8 and up welcome with an adult. September 25. 9:30-11:30am. $18; $5 children ages 8-18. To register, call Wave Hill at 718-549-3200, x305. For weather-related updates, call x245 by 8am on the day of the walk.
And that same afternoon, enjoy Family Day at the museum. Check out fun family workshops, take in a planetarium show, attend a puppet-making class, make a leaf light-catcher, and tour the new fall exhibitions, The Curious World of Patent Models and Elihu Vedder: Voyage on the Nile. 12-5pm. $5; $3 children 5 and older; FREE children under 5. Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers.
Also see: Our Calendar of Events, for even more fun things to do in the NYC area