Our list of fun and low-cost things to do with kids in Westchester County this August includes fairs, festivals, shows, and more in Crompond, Croton-on-Hudson, Katonah, Mahopac, New Rochelle, Pleasantville, Rye, Tarrytown, White Plains, and beyond.
Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown
Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, Random Farms Kids' Theater brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life on stage. Part romance, part twisted fairy tale, and all irreverent fun, 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.
Camp Kiwi, Mahopac
The first-ever Muddy Puddles Mess Fest, a celebration of all things messy and delightful, is scheduled for Aug. 10 at Camp Kiwi in Mahopac. The event honors Ty Louis Campbell, a young boy who lost his battle with brain cancer last year at the age of 5. In remembrance of Ty, this day is devoted to laughing, playing, and getting messy. The event will include carnival games, zip lines, splatter paint, whipped cream pie tosses, hay rides, musical performances, food fights, a giant mud-jumping contest, and more. The “mess fest” is a fun family event, but more importantly, it is a fundraiser for childhood cancer research through the Ty Louis Campbell Foundation. Throughout Ty’s cancer treatment, he yearned for the day when he would be well enough to jump in muddy puddles again, a simple pleasure that his disease took away from him. In Ty’s honor, children are invited to enjoy the simple pleasures of being a kid, for all those who are no longer able to.
Mohegan Colony, Crompond
Everyone loves a good story! Kids and adults of all ages will be enchanted and entertained by traditional and original stories related by nationally acclaimed storytellers at the 13th annual Mohegan Colony Storytelling and Music Festival. The day begins with a workshop for storytellers of all levels from 10am-12pm, followed by a full afternoon of professional storytelling on two stages from 1-5:30pm (“Stories for Grown-ups” is under the huge outdoor pavilion; “Stories for Families and Children” is in the adjacent Stone Schoolhouse). The event extends into the evening with “Twilight Tales” (a.k.a. ghost stories), told in flickering candlelight, beginning at 7:30pm. The lineup includes nationally and regionally known storytellers and musicians such as The Storycrafters, Christopher Agostino, Bob Reiser, Thelma Ruffin Thomas, Robin Bady, JJ Reneaux, Julie Herrera, Judith Heineman, Sheila Harris, and musicians Ellen and John Monten’s musical duo No Soap. Plus, there are always surprise guests. The festival is held in Mohegan Colony’s country setting, under the shade of a spacious pavilion with outdoor picnic areas on the grounds. Registration is recommended.
Sterling Forest, Tuxedo
Aug. 3-Sept. 22
An annual favorite, the New York Renaissance Faire welcomes revelers one and all. Come in costume (or not) to this theatrical interpretation of a 16th-century fair. Kids can enjoy lots of circus-type performances, including juggling, tight-rope walking, trapeze acts, a hilarious father-and-son knife-throwing act, and silly stage shows. Fair-goers can also try their hands at a variety of carnival-type games and rides, try human-powered amusements (Jacob’s Ladder, Test O’ Strength), ride a camel, pedal a boat, get their faces painted, and more. Special highlights include a giant chess match on the lawn featuring human “pieces,” and of course, a real jousting match on horseback. Enjoy lots of delicious food (giant turkey leg, anyone?), strolling troubadors and fools, zany performances, intrigue (follow the Merry Adventures of Robin Hood as he tries to foil the plans of the Sheriff of Nottingham), and an Artisan Marketplace. Opening weekend only: Buy a Quest Kit for $10 that leads you on a scavenger hunt around the fair’s 35-acre grounds; proceeds benefit the Lustgarten Foundation to Cure Pancreatic Cancer.
Bronxville, Croton-on-Hudson, Katonah, Larchmont, New Rochelle, Ossining, Pleasantville, Rye, Tarrytown, White Plains, Yonkers
It’s hard to believe, but there was a time when the only places you could find fresh, locally grown produce and herbs, artisanal cheese, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, and organic whole-grain breads were stores like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. And if you weren’t in one of the lucky few communities where these stores opened, you had to do with whatever the nearest supermarket chain offered. Well, those days are in the past, with farmers’ markets popping up in most local communities. Stop by to shop and participate in family-friendly activities like cooking demos, free corn roasts, arts and crafts, and much more.
Wolf Conservation Center, South Salem
Many believe that drumming heals the body, mind, and soul, as well as the Earth and all its creatures. In Cadence Carroll’s African Drumming with Wolves workshop, participants will learn the basics of African percussion, including how to hold the drum, create the three basic tones, and play without pain. Participants will learn one African rhythm and join songwriter Barbara Garriel in singing her original and inspirational song, “One Voice,” in the spirit of protecting wolves. After the 45-minute workshop, guests will visit ambassador wolves Atka, Alawa, and Zephyr, as well as the Wolf Conservation Center’s critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves (so don’t forget a camera!). Recommended for families with children ages 10 and older. Registration is required; visit the WCC’s website.
Dutchess County Fairgrounds, Rhinebeck
For six days each August, Rhinebeck hosts the second-largest county fair in New York State. The Dutchess County Fair attracts nearly half a million visitors, who come to see farm animals on display, pig races, a horse show, milking demonstrations, and a variety of free shows throughout the day. Fair-goers can shop hundreds of vendors selling crafts, clothes, jewelry, and more. Indulge in a mind-boggling array of fair food, including the fair’s specialty: milkshakes made by kids in the local 4H. And if you have energy left at the end of the day, there’s a carnival with rides and games that light up the summer nights. The bathrooms are always clean, parking is plentiful, and there’s a very accommodating tent for nursing mothers to take a break and get some privacy. It’s like stepping back into a simpler time and place.
Find a farm where you can with pick your own berries
It's still summer! Visit a nearby beach
Head to a miniature golf course for some friendly family competition