Westchester 2007 Fall Preview


  There’s no better way to celebrate fall than with a festival! The 24th Annual Fall Festival takes place September 30 at Westmoreland Sanctuary, with live animal demonstrations, pony rides, and a petting zoo. The sanctuary also hosts Halloween Night Hike in October, for kids 12 and under. A spooky hike through the Westmoreland Forest kicks off the night’s fun, followed by games and refreshments at the museum. Children should bring a bag of candy and come dressed in costume as a winner will be announced for best costume. Westmoreland Sanctuary offers over 30 programs for school and Scout groups during the week. Pre-registration for the Halloween Hike is required by October 24.  Suggested donation, $8. 260 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Bedford Corners, (914) 666-8448; www.westmorelandsanctuary.org.


   Westchester families can take advantage of the varied children’s programming at the Katonah Museum, which is coordinated by a dedicated education department at the Learning Center. The new exhibition, Children Must Be Seen: The Image of the Child in American Picture-Book Art, has been planned in conjunction with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, and features the work of over 85 artists.  This exhibition runs through October 21. To celebrate the Center’s tenth birthday on this day, authors Dan Yaccarino and Rosemary Wells will read and sign books. Children will have the chance to create their own book, make a hat, and enjoy cake at the celebration to mark the end of the exhibition.  Sunday, October 21, noon-5pm. Route 22 at Jay Street, (914) 232-9555; www.katonahmuseum.org.


   It’s never too early to expose your child to the classic works of William Shakespeare. Westchester Community College presents its Shakespeare Unplugg'd Series with two performances in October. First, The Merchant of Venice on October 13 at 8 pm. Then, the daunting task of showcasing Shakespeare’s entire repertoire is undertaken in The Complete Works of Shakespeare on October 21 at 3pm. In this epic undertaking, three actors condense 37 plays and 154 sonnets into an under-two-hour time frame. They’ll be aided by props such as football, swordplay, and hip-hop music — Elizabethan style! Tickets are $20 (general admission), $17 (students/seniors), $12 (children under 13). Academic Arts Theatre at Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla, (914) 606-6262


   There’s something for every family member at Tarrytown Music Hall.  A full line-up of musical events with a large selection of performers kicks off September 7 and runs through November 23.  Westchester Symphonic Winds is a season highlight on Saturday, November 3 at 8pm, and is led by Dr. L. Fernando Jimenez, professor of music at Western Connecticut State University. Celebrating their 20th anniversary, this 70-member group consists of area wind and percussion players, in residence for the first time at Tarrytown Music Hall. Other concerts at Tarrytown this fall: Roger McGuinn, September 7, 8pm; Golden Oldies Forever, September 15, 7pm; Cowboy Junkies (pictured), November 23, 8pm. 13 Main Street, (914) 631-3390; www.tarrytownmusichall.org.



   Wave Hill, the cultural oasis located right in the middle of the city, abounds with educational family activities. One of their finest programs is Family Art Project, a weekend series for ages 3-12 which gives kids the chance to connect with nature in an active, hands-on setting. Some of this fall’s offerings include: Be a Bee (September 15 & 16): Kids don wings and antennae, use a kazoo for buzzing effects, and surface from a mock beehive. Water Lily Wonders (September 22 & 23): Participants become Monet for a day as they sketch and paint water lilies. Pumpkins, Poe, and Rhythms and Song (October 20 & 21): Ghostly Poe verses are accompanied by multi-cultural songs, dance, pumpkin poems, and instrument making. Cost: Free for children under 6. Tuesdays, free all day; Saturday mornings, free 9am to noon. Wednesday-Sunday and Saturday afternoons: $6 adult, $3 students and seniors 65+, $2 children 6+. West 249th Street and Independence Avenue Bronx, (718) 549-3200; www.wavehill.org.


   Hudson Valley offers countless cultural offerings for Westchester families. Celebrate Labor Day weekend by exploring the history and culture of the Native American residents of the area at The Green Corn Festival, September 1-3. Activities include folk tales, songs and storytelling, and a participatory presentation of traditional Native American dance.  Games, live music and hands-on craft activities for kids. Demonstrations of Native American cooking and medicine making, wampum-making and treenware (wooden bowls and utensils). Admission: $12; $10 seniors; $6 children, 5-17. Free, children under 5. Philipsburg Manor, 381 North Broadway, Sleepy Hollow. (914) 631-3992.