This Weekend's Kids & Family Activities in Westchester

Don't miss out on fun family and kids activities this weekend in Westchester! Fairs, theaters, concerts, museums-your choices are endless. Find these and more in our list of this weekend's best family and kids activities in Westchester. Or, browse the NY Metro Parents' calendar for upcoming weekend family and children events.

Paper Arts & Mixed Media - Star Ornaments - John C. Hart Memorial Library
December 05, 2012 - Shrub Oak

Led by Lavinia Wiggins, learn how to create paper star ornaments. Registration required.

Forever Families Through Adoption: Art-Themed Socialization Group for Adoptees - St. Paul's Lutheran Church
December 05, 2012 - Rye Brook

A free art-themed socialization group for school-age adoptees. The group focuses on the expression of emotions through art, and creating an open forum for discussion about the participants' feelings about adoption. Groups will be co-led by FFTA employees Becca Leitman, MSW, adoption counselor, and Megan Ice, EdM. Adoption will be the common thread that holds the group together and will be addressed as it is brought up by the participants.

Music and Merriment - Yonkers Public Library - Crestwood Branch
December 05, 2012 - Yonkers

Interactive stories and songs for children ages 1-1/2 to 4 years. No registration required.

Upper Campus Admissions Open House (Grades 5-9) - Rippowam Cisqua School
December 05, 2012 - Bedford

Prospective and current families are invited to the Upper Campus (Grades 5-9) Admissions Open House. For more information or to RSVP, contact Ashley Harrington at or 914-244-1248.

CRITTERS, CRAFTS, AND KIDS - Greenburgh Nature Center
December 05, 2012 - Scarsdale

Enjoy wonderful fall days at the Nature Center with walks, live animals, and stories. Dress for outdoor activities. For children ages 18 mos.-5 years with a parent/caregiver.

Elf Workshop Activities: Make Your own ornament - Stew Leonard's - Danbury
December 05, 2012 - Danbury

Children will decorate their very own ornament to take home and hang on their Christmas tree. Customers must sign their children up in advance at the customer service desk. All events will be held in the Danbury store?s conference room, located on the store's second floor.

Special Storytime at Chanukah Wonderland - Ardsley Shopping Center
December 05, 2012 - Ardsley

Enjoy story time and music with ELMO, gelt, and hot chocolate at this Chanukah gift shop and family fun house offering Judaica, toys, Chanukah merchandise, and activities for every age group. Chanukah Wonderland is open daily from 11am-6pm, Sun.-Fri., through Dec. 21.

Look and See: Let It Snow! Children's Book Art - Bruce Museum
December 05, 2012 - Greenwich

Children ages 3-5 years and their adult caregivers explore the Museum's galleries through hands-on experiences, crafts, and stories. After exploring the exhibition, children make their own snow pictures.

Make a Bead Bracelet - Grinton I. Will Library - Children's Department
December 05, 2012 - Yonkers

Boys and girls ages 7 and older are invited to make a fun and unique beaded bracelet. Make one for yourself, or to give as a holiday gift. Supplies are provided. Registration required.

Thursday Morning Storytime: The Toe Show - Barnes & Noble City Center
December 06, 2012 - White Plains

Join Toe every Thursday morning for stories and singing.

Puppets Read Poems - White Plains Public Library
December 06, 2012 - White Plains

Make a puppet, then learn how to use the puppet and practice reading short funny poems.

Elf Workshop Activities: Make Your Own Christmas Cards - Stew Leonard's - Danbury
December 06, 2012 - Danbury

Children will create a three pack of Christmas cards. Customers must sign their children up in advance at the customer service desk. All events will be held in the Danbury store's conference room, located on the store's second floor.

Tales for Tails - The Field Library
December 06, 2012 - Peekskill

Children in Grade 1 and up are invited (with a parent) to read to a special dog. All volunteer dogs are certified through The Good Dog Foundation. Sign-up required.

Claymation - Chappaqua Public Library
December 06, 2012 - Chappaqua

Kids in grades 4-6 can learn clay animation techniques. Registration required.

Free Information Session - Sensory Stepping Stones
December 06, 2012 - Mount Kisco

Learn about all the programs offered, and take a tour of the facility. Space is limited; RSVP at 14-244-4101.

Stroller Tours - Katonah Museum of Art
December 07, 2012 - Katonah

New parents, grandparents, and caregivers can enjoy this exhibition tour specially designed for adults with children under 18 months old. Following light breakfast snacks provided by DeCicco Family Markets, participants will join an interactive tour, and engage in discussions and art activities inspired by the "Ice Age" to the Digital Age: The 3D Animation Art of Blue Sky Studios exhibition. No registration required. Crying babies are welcome!

'A Year With Frog and Toad' - THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. - Westchester Sandbox Theatre
December 07, 2012 - Mamaroneck


Elf Workshop Activities: Make Your own Special hot cocoa mix - Stew Leonard's - Danbury
December 07, 2012 - Danbury

Children make a special hot cocoa mix for Santa Claus using candy canes. Customers must sign their children up in advance at the customer service desk. All events will be held in the Danbury store's conference room, located on the store's second floor.

Tales for Tots - The Field Library
December 07, 2012 - Peekskill

Stories, songs, fingerplays, and fun. Interactive, drop-in storytime for tots ages 2 and older with a caregiver.

Storytellers' Club - Chappaqua Public Library
December 07, 2012 - Chappaqua

Kids in grades 4-6 can listen and learn traditional storytelling. Registration required.

The Nutcracker - The Perfoming Arts Center at Purchase College
December 07, 2012 - Purchase

Purchase Dance Company's version of this family holiday treat bridges tradition and innovation, and is a creative collaboration of faculty and internationally known guest choreographers, as well as Conservatory dancers and over 130 children from the community.

Born Learning: Teachable Moments for Children Ages 0-5 - Child Care Council of Westchester
December 08, 2012 - Scarsdale

The Child Care Council of Westchester, Inc. and United Way of Westchester and Putnam are partnering to promote BORN LEARNING, a public awareness campaign that helps caregivers and parents explore ways to turn everyday moments into learning experiences for children ages 0-5 years. Workshop participants will explore BORN LEARNING materials and learn ways to use them with both children and families.

Musical: 'Disney's 101 Dalmatians' - Irvington Town Hall Theater
December 08, 2012 - Irvington

The Clocktower Players Kids Troupe presents the musical with a whimsical, charming and fun score, lovable characters, and one of the most deliciously evil villains in the Disney canon. Snow Date: Monday, Dec. 17, at 6pm.

Performathon 2012 - Music Conservatory of Westchester
December 08, 2012 - White Plains

An all-day marathon of music! More than 150 Conservatory students of all ages will perform all styles of music, from classical and rock to jazz and opera, to raise funds for the installation of much-needed digital and audio recording equipment in MCW's Recital Hall. Performathon also features an exclusive holiday crafts fair offering jewelry, musical-themed gifts, and more, as well as an array of gourmet foods from around the world. Open to the public.

Holiday Movie: 'The Polar Express' [PG] - Yonkers Public Library - Riverfront
December 08, 2012 - Yonkers

A delightful holiday movie based on the picture book by Chris Van Allsburg. On Christmas Eve a boy waits up for Santa Claus, and climbs aboard an express train headed to the North Pole. In the Community Room.

Grand Opening of New Live Animal Enclosures - Westmoreland Sanctuary
December 08, 2012 - Mount Kisco

A year in the making, Westmoreland's new enclosures will provide the Sanctuary's live animal collection with a more natural environment, while still giving visitors a chance to view and learn about each unique animal.

Lego Donation Day - White Plains Public Library
December 08, 2012 - White Plains

Wanted: used Legos! Are they gathering dust, no longer being played with? Why not donate them to The Trove's Lego Club? The Club is especially in need of Lego mini-figures. Bring them anytime today.

Peekskill Project V: Holiday Art Crawl - HVCCA
December 08, 2012 - Peekskill

Tour the window installations created for the downtown by PEEKSKILL PROJECT V artists.

'A Year With Frog and Toad' - THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED. - Westchester Sandbox Theatre
December 08, 2012 - Mamaroneck


Saw Mill River Audubon 2nd Saturday Walk - Brinton Brook Sanctuary
December 08, 2012 - Croton-on-Hudson

Monthly walks take place year-round on second Saturdays. No pre-registration necessary. Meet in main parking area off Route 9A. Good for ages 6 and older. Held regardless of weather except in cases of severe storms. For directions, see

Holiday Crafts: Chanukah - Field Library
December 08, 2012 - Peekskill

Children are welcome (with a helping adult) to create their own special Chanukah craft. No sign-up required.

Time out for Reptiles - Teatown Lake Reservation
December 08, 2012 - Ossining

Winter's chill will soon be do native turtles survive those long, cold months? Discover the survival strategies of their reptilian cousins - snakes and lizards - and Westchester's abundant amphibian population. Call x110 to RSVP.

Dickens' Christmas Carol - Philipsburg Manor/Old Dutch Church
December 08, 2012 - Sleepy Hollow

Nestle in to the cozy confines of the Old Dutch Church and let master storyteller Jonathan Kruk, complete with musical accompaniment, regale you with his adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. Afterwards, enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, cider, and cookies at Philipsburg Manor. Buy advance tickets online at

Ardsley Community Menorah Lighting - Legions Park
December 08, 2012 - Ardsley

Join the community of Ardsley to light the Chanukah Menorah. Plus, live music, latkes, and donuts.

Gingerbread Cookie Decorating Workshop - The Ritz-Carlton Westchester
December 08, 2012 - White Plains

After donning chef's hats and aprons, children will be taken on a tour of the hotel's kitchens. Then, kids ages 3-8 will decorate gingerbread cookies, and those older than 8 will decorate gingerbread houses, alongside The Ritz-Carlton's pastry chefs. Refreshments will be served. Call for reservations.

Christmas on the Farm - Muscoot Farm
December 08, 2012 - Katonah

Tour the first floor of the main house which is ornamented for Christmas with traditional decorations, musicians, and freshly baked cookies. Visitors are also encouraged to visit the animals on a special nighttime tour of the farm.

Wag Your Tale! - Read to a Dog - Scarsdale Public Library
December 08, 2012 - Scarsdale

Independent readers can practice their reading skills with a story-loving dog. Registration required but not limited to Scarsdale Library cardholders.

Parachute Playtime for Toddlers - Scarsdale Public Library
December 08, 2012 - Scarsdale

Big, bright, colorful parachutes and lots of singable songs for children ages 2-1/2 to 4 years. Registration is required but not limited to Scarsdale Library cardholders.

Movies for Kids (and Their Families) - 'A Christmas Story' - Jacob Burns Film Center
December 08, 2012 - Pleasantville

All young Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun - but how to convince his parents that it's an appropriate gift? This warm-hearted, nostalgic comedy (based on humorist Jean Shepherd's novel) has become a perennial holiday classic for good's a gift worth opening again and again. 1983. 94 mins. Rated PG.

The Tartan Terrors - 'A Celtic Christmas' - Academic Arts Theatre at Westchester Community College
December 08, 2012 - Valhalla

Celebrate the holiday season with Celtic cheer and mayhem! Bolstered by the blistering piping of a two time World Champion bagpiper, the driving tones of drums, and a guitar played unlike any you've ever heard, The Terrors combine music with championship-caliber Highland dance, and internationally recognized comedic performances.

Holiday Music and the Holiday of Christmas - St. Paul's Church National Historic Site
December 08, 2012 - Mt. Vernon

A performance of Holiday music, featuring harp, French horn, and voice. At 1pm, there will be a presentation about the historical development of Christmas as a holiday in America.

Performathon 2012 - Music Conservatory of Westchester
December 08, 2012 - White Plains

Music Conservatory of Westchester's all-day marathon of music is back. More than 150 Conservatory students of all ages will perform all styles of music, from classical and rock to jazz and opera, to raise funds for the installation of much-needed digital and audio recording equipment in MCW’s Recital Hall. Performathon also features an exclusive holiday crafts fair offering jewelry, musical-themed gifts, and more, as well as an array of gourmet foods from around the world.

'Narnia, The Musical' - The Play Group Theatre
December 08, 2012 - White Plains

The mystical, magical land of Narnia waits for someone to free it from the evil White Witch, who keeps Narnia in a state of everlasting winter (but never Christmas!). When four humans stumble into the frozen world through an old wardrobe, the adventure to bring hope and spring back to Narnia begins. With help from the ancient magic that encompasses Narnia and the mythical Aslan, four children set out to fulfill a prophesy and help restore Narnia. Don't miss this wonder-filled production that brings to life C.S. Lewis' beloved tale and magical creatures. Tickets are available online at or by calling the PGT box office at 914-946-4433.

Rudolph and the Reindeer Games - Downtown Cabaret Theatre
December 08, 2012 - Bridgeport

The 73rd annual Reindeer Games features familiar names, characters along with music and dance. Santa's North Pole Team is hoping the odds are in their favor for the Games. Rudy, the young, new contestant who's a "chip off the old buck," looks like he may "sleigh" the competition, but five-time Champion Donner isn't giving up his title without a fight.

Brio: Breakfast with Santa - Brio Tuscan Grille at Ridge Hill
December 08, 2012 - Yonkers

Featuring a special plated breakfast, coloring activities, and a holiday treat bag for children. Don't forget a camera for photos with Santa! Bring a new, unwrapped toy for charity and be entered to win prizes. RSVP to 914-709-1000.

Family Art Project: Season's Greetings - Wave Hill
December 08, 2012 - Bronx

See the inspiring signs of Wave Hill's wintry wonderland. Draw cold-weather tales in surprise, pop-up holiday cards that come alive with scenes of the season.

Dreidel Island - Dreidel Island
Through December 09, 2012 - Ossining

Dreidel Island is chock-full of all things Hanukkah - from a shop featuring every kind of menorah and dreidel, to craft tables and games for kids of all ages. Visit the Gift Shop, enjoy the giant dreidel maze, Hanukkah Dance machines, Arts & Crafts, Tot Room with Legos, crayons, and more, and special programs which include: making a Hanukkah plate, story and craft hours, chocolate Hanukkah making, and challah baking.

Chanukah Wonderland - Ardsley Shopping Center
Through December 13, 2012 - Ardsley

A Chanukah gift shop and family fun house with Judaica, toys, Chanukah merchandise, and activities for every age group. Featuring a clay bar, giving menorah, Chanukah art and edible crafts, a Tot Zone, a giant holiday piano mat, Lego menorah competition, glow-in-the-dark room, and Dreidel Movie House, plus special events all month long.

Larchmont Farmers' Market - Larchmont
Through December 15, 2012 - Larchmont

Fresh, local baked goods, artisinal bread, cheese, cut flowers, dairy products, fish, fruit, herbs, meats, organic produce, plants, specialty foods, vegetables, wines, and more.

Ossining Farmers' Market - Ossining
Through December 15, 2012 - Ossining

Fresh, local baked goods, artisinal bread, cheese, cut flowers, dairy products, fish, fruit, herbs, meats, organic produce, plants, specialty foods, vegetables, wines, and more.

Pleasantville Farmers' Market - Pleasantville
Through December 15, 2012 - Pleasantville

Fresh, local baked goods, artisinal bread, cheese, cut flowers, dairy products, fish, fruit, herbs, meats, organic produce, plants, specialty foods, vegetables, wines, and more.

A Christmas Carol at Boscobel - Boscobel
Through December 15, 2012 - Garrison

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's presentation of Charles Dickens' classic. Performed live in the grand entry hall, this lively reading of excerpts delivers a fresh view of this holiday tale that is funny, moving, charming, and inspiring. Nov. 30, Dec. 7, and 14 at 7pm; Dec. 1, 8, and 15 at 4pm and 7pm. Email with any questions.

Rye Farmers' Market - Rye
Through December 16, 2012 - Rye

Fresh, local baked goods, cheese, cut flowers, dairy products, fruit, hand-made soaps, herbs, meats, organic produce, plants, prepared foods, specialty foods, vegetables, wines, and more.

Christmas Tree Sale - North White Plains Fire Co.
Through December 23, 2012 - White Plains

Various sizes and types of trees available. Proceeds benefit the North White Plains Fire Company. For more information, email

4th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa's Workshop - McArdle's Florist & Garden Center
Through December 24, 2012 - Greenwich

Families can visit Santa's live reindeer and have their photo taken with Santa at his workshop. Hours for the Photos with Santa are: Monday-Friday 12-5:30pm; Saturday 9am-5:30 pm; Sunday 9am-4pm. Reindeer feedings will take place daily, 9am-4pm. Reindeer facts and educational information about reindeer will also be available.

Visit with Santa - Cross County Shopping Center
Through December 24, 2012 - Yonkers

Visit Santa in his Winter Wonderland House and receive a free gift. Santa's hours: Mondays-Saturdays 11am-8pm; Sundays 12-6pm. Friday Dec. 14 and Dec. 21 9am-6pm; Sunday Dec. 2, Dec. 9, Dec. 16, and Dec. 23 11am-7pm; Christmas Eve 9am-6pm.

Holiday Musicales - Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Through December 31, 2012 - Katonah

A magnificent way to usher in the holiday season. Each concert of holiday music includes an audience sing-along. In the Music Room. December 1, 6-7, 9, 13-15, 2:30pm.

'The Little Engine That Could' Puppet Show - New York Botanical Garden
Through December 31, 2012 - Bronx

This classic tale is brought to life in a presentation by New York City-based puppet master Ralph Lee. The whole family can join the fun to get the determined train over the mountain.

Magician Philip Klipper Will Astound You! - Ciao! Restaurant
Through December 31, 2012 - Eastchester

Every Thursday from 6-8pm, Magician Philip Klipper will astound and delight the whole family with his incredible sleight of hand during dinner. Dec. 6, 13, 20, 27.

Magician Philip Klipper Will Astound You! - Cheeburger Cheeburger Restaurant
Through December 31, 2012 - White Plains

Every Friday from 7:30-9:30pm, Magician Philip Klipper will astound and delight the whole family with his incredible sleight of hand at tableside. Hours/dates are subject to change; please check with restaurant. Dec. 7, 14, 21, and 28.

Free Crafts Saturdays - Straight A's
Through December 31, 2012 - White Plains

Every Saturday Straight A's invites kids of all ages to enjoy free arts & crafts. Drop in any time between 1-3pm, no reservation necessary. Dec. 1: Create a Snow Globe; Dec. 8: Celebrate Hanukah with a Paper Plate Menorah; Dec. 15 Make a Happy Holidays Windsock; Dec. 22 Create a special Christmas Tree Cone or a Kwanzaa Kinara; Dec. 29 Make a New Year Shaker.

Free Adaptive Basketball Fun - Tuckahoe Community Center
Through December 31, 2012 - Tuckahoe

A new Adaptive Basketball program for children with special needs ages 4-12 focusing on fun and motivation. Presented by Fun For Cure, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to promoting health and wellness in children with chronic illness or special needs through therapeutic recreational endeavors, group support, and quality time. The program meets on Mondays, December 4, 11, and 18, from 4:30-5:30pm. Refreshments for those with food allergies and restrictions will be available. Online sign-up required at, or call Florence at 914-713-4065.

Holiday Exhibit - Trains: Your Ticket to the Great Outdoors - Greenburgh Nature Center
Through December 31, 2012 - Scarsdale

A display of model trains, presented by the Westchester Model Railroad Club. See the model-sized scenic wonders of New England, upstate New York, and even the Greenburgh Nature Center. Grand opening Dec. 8 at 10am. Exhibit runs December 8-16, weekdays (except Friday, Dec. 14) from 9:30am-4:30pm; weekends: from 10am-4:30pm.

Family Science Projects - Hudson River Museum
Through December 31, 2012 - Yonkers

Physical-science demonstrations and projects in the Hudson Riverama gallery that each explore an aspect of the natural world or relate to the Museum's Planetarium shows. Explore rainbows Dec. 2, 16, and 30; explore clouds Dec. 8 and 22.

Wolves of North America - Wolf Conservation Center
Through December 31, 2012 - South Salem

Learn about the mythology, biology, and ecology of wolf families. Whether living on the Arctic tundra or the high desert of the southwest, wolf families are out searching for prey as their pups prepare for their first winter season. Guests will visit the Center's wolves. Don't forget a camera. Pre-registration required. December 1, 8, 15, 16, 26, and 30 at 11am; December 27 and 28 at 2pm.

'Miracle on 34th Street' The Musical - Westchester Broadway Theatre
Through December 31, 2012 - Elmsford

Based on a holiday tale written by Valentine Davies and made famous by the movie of the same name, "Miracle On 34th Street" has music composed by Doug Smith and book and lyrics by Vern Stefanic. Kris Kringle takes on the cynics among us in this musical adaptation of the popular holiday favorite. A white-bearded gentleman claiming to be the real Santa Claus spreads a wave of love throughout New York City, fostering camaraderie between Macy's and Gimbel's Department Stores, and convincing a divorced, cynical single mother, her somber daughter, and the entire state of New York that Santa Claus is no myth. Filled with humor, spectacle, and such wonderful songs as "This Is What I Live For," "Just Imagine," and "I Believe In Miracles," "Miracle on 34th Street" is a traditional celebration of the magic that is Christmas. A joyous, heart-warming musical is pure family entertainment! The movie won three Academy Awards, and has been selected for preservation in the United States Film Registry of the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." Through December 31, 2012.

Africa: From the Desert to the Sea - Maritime Aquarium
Through January 01, 2013 - Norwalk

Learn about the importance of habitat preservation and conservation while observing such exotic African species as the air-breathing lungfish and electric catfish that use bioelectric radar to sense surroundings and zap their food.

'The Polar Express' - IMAX Theater, Maritime Aquarium
Through January 01, 2013 - Norwalk

See this popular holiday film about a young boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus and gets taken on a magical Christmas Eve trip to the North Pole. Through January 1, 2013.

Craft-Tastic: An Exhibiton and Sale of Handmade Goods - Pelham Art Center
Through January 05, 2013 - Pelham

An annual artisan exhibit and craft sale featuring one-of-a-kind and affordable crafts and gifts, including ceramics, artwork, jewelry, glass, and furniture. Through Jan. 5, 2013.

'White Christmas' - Westchester Broadway Theatre
Through January 05, 2013 - Elmsford

Make your days merry and bright by warming to an unforgettable tap-dancing delight! Based on the beloved, timeless film, this heartwarming musical adaptation features seventeen Irving Berlin songs. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis have a successful song-and-dance act after World War II. With romance in mind, the two follow a duo of beautiful singing sisters en route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge, which just happens to be owned by Bob and Phil's former army commander. The dazzling score features well known standards including "Blue Skies," "I Love A Piano," "How Deep Is the Ocean," and the perennial favorite, "White Christmas," that will fill you with the joy of the season. Through January 5, 2013.

Native Voices: New England Tribal Families - Stepping Stones Museum
Through January 06, 2013 - Norwalk

This exhibit is an introduction to Native Americans living in New England today. By visiting five different communities from northern to southern New England, visitors learn about Native American traditions and how modern families balance contemporary life with preservation of important cultural identities through stories and songs.

Holiday Happenings at Stepping Stones - Stepping Stones Museum
Through January 06, 2013 - Norwalk

Enjoy sock skating, a life-sized igloo, festive train rides (weather permitting), caroling, decorative snowmen, a Celebrations Maze and visits with Santa, Frosty and other friends from the North Pole.

Nybelwyck Hall: A Mansion in Miniature - Hudson River Museum - Glenview
Through January 08, 2013 - Yonkers

Nybelwyck Hall, a dollhouse representing Lilliputian life at its most luxurious, makes its appearance in Glenview, the Museum's 1897 river home. The 24-room, granite-and-mortar Glenview, and Nybelwyck, the 24-room dollhouse, share architectural features - a Great Hall and a double staircase that curves from the top floor down to the Hall. Nybelwyck's central facade is loosely based on the Hudson River estate, Staatsburg, the Ogden Mills House. The orange-and-green colors on its Victorian addition are reminiscent of Wilderstein, in Rhinebeck, the family home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's personal secretary. Dollhouse enthusiast Mark O'Banks created Nybelwyck Hall over the course of a decade and looked to the wisdom of a ouija board to name his creation. The house is furnished with found objects in its 24 rooms, as well as rugs O'Banks designed. Among its 900 objects are minute musical instruments that play, doors with intricate locks that work, and a tiny dollhouse within the dollhouse's nursery.

Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney - Hudson River Museum
Through January 13, 2013 - Yonkers

In 100 books, Jerry Pinkney has turned his artist's eye and hand to the story - a classic, a folktale, a fable - and readers all over the world saw something new, something they wanted to read and to remember. Pinkney is the master of the American picture book. More than 120 watercolor illustrations by the artist, who lives in Westchester, will be on view in the first major overview of his career as a designer and illustrator in "Witness: The Art of Jerry Pinkney." The exhibition follows his 2010 award of the Randolph Caldecott Medal for "The Lion and the Mouse." The Hudson River Museum is the only New York showing for this exhibition on national tour, organized by the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Pinkney has found it interesting to trace how the chapters of his life have knitted themselves into his art, touching on the cultural themes of the African-American experience. He uncovers, again and again, the energy in a small moment that surprisingly can change a life or turn an event in history. Most recently in his almost wordless adaptation of the Aesop fable, "The Lion and The Mouse," two creatures on a faraway African plain choose not the hard chase and bloody battle but, instead, exchange kindnesses. Fascinated with wildlife, Pinkney, in many books including "The Brer Rabbit" in "The Last Tales of Uncle Remus" shows us the human qualities of an animal as he shows us the animal in its natural setting. Pinkney, Philadelphia born and bred, and now a long-time New Yorker, has illustrated children's books since 1964, but it was not an easy path. Blacks were not expected to be able to forge careers in the art field. Trained as a commercial artist at a vocational school, he persisted and won a scholarship to the Philadelphia College of Art where his work took on the shading and detail for which he is now renowned, and he where he began to use color to convey mood and emotion. He has most often worked on children's books that celebrate multiculturalism and African-American heritage, as he took on the task of reshaping the perceptions of the stereotypes of blacks. He designed the first nine stamps of the US Postal Service's Black Heritage series. Art critics will look at the color of Pinkney's illustrations, the scarlet curve of Little Red Riding Hood's cloak, the golden blade of grass on the Serengeti plane. Sociologists will look at Pinkney the little boy, who without a visit to a museum or an art class, drew at home on the back of wallpaper samples. What the viewer will see though, in "The Art of Jerry Pinkney" is his wish: "It has always been my intent for my work to continue to breathe after publication. My hope is that (museum visitors) will believe that Jerry Pinkney cares deeply for people, making art, and visual storytelling." The exhibition includes a 96-page illustrated catalog that provides new scholarship into Pinkney's work in essays by the exhibition's co-curator Stephanie Haboush Plunkett, Dr. Gerald L. Early, and others. On view through January 13, 2013.

Holiday Train Show - New York Botanical Garden
Through January 13, 2013 - Bronx

Marvel at the charming model trains and New York City landmark replicas, stroll the spectacular grounds, and decorate (and eat!) gingersnaps. Within the enchanting setting of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, model trains zip over bridges and past replicas of New York landmarks made of plant parts such as nuts, bark, and leaves. Show favorites include the original Yankee Stadium, Statue of Liberty, and Brooklyn Bridge. The Artist's Studio provides an insider's look at how the replicas are constructed as you get up close to G-gauge trains.

Sea Rex: Journey to a Prehistoric World - IMAX Theater, Maritime Aquarium
Through January 17, 2013 - Norwalk

Explore an underwater universe inhabited by such creatures as Liopleurodon and long-necked Elasmosaurss, enormous animals that were ruling the seas before dinosaurs conquered the earth. Encounter the gigantic Shonisaurus, the T-Rex of the sea. Through January 17, 2013.

To the Arctic - IMAX Theater, Maritime Aquarium
Through January 17, 2013 - Norwalk

The changing climate of the earth has effected people and animals that call the Artic home. See the impact on polar bears, a migrating herd of caribou and walruses. Meryl Streep narrates. Through January 17, 2013.

Born to Be Wild - Maritime Aquarium
Through January 17, 2013 - Norwalk

Academy-Award winner Morgan Freeman lends his voice to this film which follows orphaned baby orangutans and elephants, and the people who rescue and raise them for eventual release back into the wild. Through January 17, 2013.

Search for the Great Sharks - IMAX Theater, Maritime Aquarium
Through January 17, 2013 - Norwalk

Join shark experts Dr. Eugenie Clark and Rodney Fox on a round-the-globe expedition for close encounters with some of the world's largest sharks, including whale sharks and great whites. Swim with a whale shark (life-sized on the giant IMAX screen), witness the birth of a baby shark and see if Fox survives when dropped into great white-infested waters while inside a clear diving tube. Through January 17, 2013.

'Ice Age' to the Digital Age: The 3D Animation Art of Blue Sky Studios - Katonah Museum of Art
Through January 20, 2013 - Katonah

This unique interactive exhibition looks at the imaginative work of Greenwich, Connecticut-based Blue Sky Studios, a leader in the animation industry for over 20 years. Creator of such blockbuster films as the "Ice Age" series, "Robots," and "Rio," the studio prides itself on technical innovation, while retaining a strong narrative heart. '"Ice Age" to the Digital Age' will guide visitors through Blue Sky's entire process of creating computer-animated films: from initial concepts, storyboards, character design, background art, and three-dimensional modeling, to the highly technical work of animation, rigging, materials, lighting, special effects, and sound. In addition to final movie clips, the exhibition will feature rarely-seen original concept drawings, sculptural models, props, and digital stills. Interactive stations will allow visitors to sketch a scene or manipulate computer-generated images to better understand the innovative technology that brings the films to life. Katonah resident Chris Wedge, a co-founder of Blue Sky in 1987, believes that the secret to the studio's success is in its inventive process. In his view, the art challenges technology and technology inspires the art. The Museum will be turning all the galleries, including the Learning Center, over to this exhibit. There will be gallery talks with Blue Sky co-founder Chris Wedge and "Ice Age: Continental Drift" directors Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier, as well as a calendar of programming in partnership with the Jacob Burns Film Center. Details about these programs are available at The exhibition will be on view from Sunday, September 16, 2012 through January 20, 2013.

2012 Festival of Lighthouses Contest - Maritime Aquarium
Through January 21, 2013 - Norwalk

The Maritime Aquarium is decorated for the holidays with 24 hand-crafted lighthouses. Visitors can follow these homemade beacons through the galleries and cast a vote for their favorite. The builder of the lighthouse with the most votes will receive $1,500 at an awards ceremony on Jan. 25.

All Aboard with Bill Probert and Friends III - Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Through January 27, 2013 - Stamford

Bill Probert will be making an encore performance with his All Aboard LEGO train exhibition. He creates visual puns, pastoral scenes with unexpected surprises, and urban scenes where railroad tracks, weeds, carefully-tended gardens, and busy streets blend seamlessly into one another. A special feature in this year's exhibition will be the addition of four creations from winners of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center's All Aboard competition. LEGO enthusiasts in four age categories from five-years-old and up will be submitting entries for inclusion in the exhibition. Through January 27, 2013.

Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects IV - Stamford Museum and Nature Center
Through January 27, 2013 - Stamford

See creative confections, consisting completely of edible materials, from the area?s bakers, chefs and caterers. Returning favorites, along with new competitors, will show off their gingerbread skills. Visitors will be able to vote for their Fan Favorite." Through January 27, 2013.

Annual Holiday Exhibit - 'It Takes A Village' - Yorktown Museum
Through March 16, 2013 - Yorktown Heights

The museum's annual holiday exhibit takes you on a stroll down memory lane through miniature rural towns, farms, and village shops sprinkled with antique toys and foreign dolls. A French lithographed dollhouse, 1950's diner, and New England fishing hamlet are just some of the buildings that will be on display. On view through March 16, 2013.

Magnificent Trees of The New York Botanical Garden - New York Botanical Garden
Through April 14, 2013 - Bronx

Larry Lederman, landscape photographer and member of NYBG's Board of Advisors, has spent years walking the garden grounds to observe and photograph trees and vistas in all seasons and at all times of day. Lush images featuring their diversity and visual impact are on view in the gallery space. The New York Botanical Garden is home to more than 30,000 trees, some in woodland, some in groves, and some standing in solitary majesty. Magnificent Trees is lavishly illustrated with photographs by Larry Lederman and accompanied by descriptions by Todd A. Forrest, Arthur Ross vice president for horticulture and living collections at the garden. An authority on the diverse species present across the 250-acre landscape, Forrest details their fascinating histories -- from their vital role in Native American life and culture to their function in neutral territory during the Revolutionary War. Lederman captures their grandeur in hundreds of stunning images and portrays their diversity with photographs that reveal the trees in myriad fascinating perspectives: in landscape views that convey the garden's genius loci; portraits illustrating the architecture and profound visual impact of select trees; remarkable details of flowers, fruit, leaves, and bark; and impressionistic images, abstract in character yet beautiful in composition.

Manolo Valdes Monumental Sculptures - The New York Botanical Garden
Through May 26, 2013 - Bronx

Drawing inspiration from the natural landscape of the Botanical Garden, seven towering sculptures by acclaimed Spanish artist Manolo Valdes showcase the relationship between art and nature.