Luckily, Westchester is blessed with a bevy of ice-skating options, both indoors and out. For those who like to avoid frostbite, indoor options include Rye Playland’s skating rink (the kids-only area is a plus) and Elmsford’s Westchester Skating Academy, plus the newly renovated Murray’s Skating Center in Yonkers, which upped its concessions game with a rink-side café from the Waffle Box Truck (think gingerbread coffee and hot waffles drizzled with Nutella). If skating outdoors is more to your family’s liking, head to one of several area parks that offer free ice-skating during daylight hours, including Wilson’s Woods in Mount Vernon and Wampus Pond in Armonk.
If you enjoy bonding with your little one over the sports heroes of yesteryear, give this welcoming Baseball Card Show a look. Overtaking the Westchester County Center each year in January, this exhaustive array of collectibles comprises more than 175 tables of sports memorabilia, baseball cards, and other rare finds. Plus, kids under 12 get in for free.
If you’ve thought of mini-golf as an activity to do only during warmer weather, think again. You’ll stay toasty warm and the kids will be entertained at Monster Mini Golf, scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2020 at Ridge Hill in Yonkers. This state-of-the-art, indoor, 18-hole miniature golf course is completely under the luminescent glow of black lights. Or, swing by New Roc City’s FunFuzion, where players push their putts on an 18-hole golf course featuring the sights and sounds of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Photo by Nicole Fiftal
Skip the trashed kitchen and let the kids go nuts at the new D.I.Y. Slime shop in Larchmont. This genius idea comes courtesy of local mompreneurs Stacey Sarver and Nicole Fiftal, who wanted to create “a fun place for kids to be creative” while scoring points with parents. At D.I.Y. Slime, you get the instructions and ingredients to make slime, including more than 40 varieties with 75 add-ins — everything from gold leaf to cotton candy scent to glow-in-the-dark pigment. Prices start at $10, and drop-in hours are generally after school and on Saturdays (Sundays are booked with birthday parties).
Photo by MSG Photos
No need to schlep all the way to the Garden to see some Knicks action — you can catch the Westchester Knicks right at the County Center (for a fraction of the price, btw). The G-League team plays home games here from November through March, giving plenty of opportunities to see the next rising stars of the NBA as they dribble, dunk, and shoot their way to the big time.
For years, Grand Prix New York in Mount Kisco has ranked high on the list of must-go places for family fun in Westchester, thanks to its wide variety of activities: go-kart racing, bowling, arcade games, and Hologate virtual reality. Now, the buzzy entertainment center offers two more reasons to check in on a cold winter day — its recent $3 million renovation has added a 20,000 sq. ft. Extreme Play Park, as well as an updated multilevel race track. Extreme Play includes 13 climbing walls, a ninja obstacle course, an 80-foot zip line, and bouldering wall, among other awesome attractions.
Photo courtesy of The Kartrite
Pretend it’s August, pack up your swimsuits, and hit the road with a family-friendly indoor waterpark as your destination. Several are under a three-hour drive from Westchester, including the newly opened, ultra-luxurious Kartrite Resort, in the Catskill Mountains, which boasts a balmy interior temperature of 84 degrees under the world’s largest Texlon transparent roof. Thrilling water slides and rides should convert even the most water-phobic family members. Or, head over to the Poconos, to Camelback Resorts, where after a day of skiing and snowboarding, your crew can splish-splash in one of seven onsite pools or speed down one of the 13 water slides. Did we mention they have a swim-up bar for adults who’d like to sip while taking a dip?
Photo courtesy of the Cliff’s at Valhalla
What better way to bond with your little ones than inside one of the top rock-climbing complexes in the county? The Cliffs at Valhalla boasts 13,000 sq. ft. of terrain, including spots for bouldering, top-rope climbing, and lead climbing, as well as informative classes and an on-site gear shop, all aimed at adventurers aged 6 and up.
After a serious bout of shopping, sometimes adults and kids alike need a little break. Enter this oasis of action located inside The Westchester in White Plains. PLAY is a free-of-charge children’s activity center featuring fun digital, musical, and physical activities, as well as other enjoyable ways for younger kids and toddlers to release a little excess energy.
The world’s steepest roller coaster? Check. A massive wave pool? Check. A wonderland of rides and eateries? Check. Stop by the largest indoor theme park in the entire nation, Nickelodeon Universe, located within the recently opened American Dream mall in East Rutherford, NJ (about an hour away), where kids of every age will likely find something great to ride, eat, or beg their parents to purchase.
If your kid prefers food to Fortnite, sign them up for a culinary class. Trade Kraft Singles for the good stuff at Plum Plums in Pound Ridge, where tiny turophiles learn about cheesemaking, taste different varieties, and make homemade ricotta. Enroll in a winter- (or summer-) break class at Pelham’s Flowerbake by Angela to decorate cookies and unicorn cakes like a pro. And older kids with adventurous palates can take a stab at cooking an ambitious menu with a chef at ZWILLING in Pleasantville.
Planetarium at the Hudson River Museum
Photo by Todd Voremkamp
Who says learning can’t be fun? STEAM-oriented play includes making items fly in a wind tunnel, building looping roller coasters, and getting creative in the MakerSpace at the Westchester Children’s Museum in Rye. Mini-Matisses might prefer to paint and collage at the Katonah Museum of Art’s Learning Center (the sculpture garden is fun, too!), while amateur Armstrongs and Aldrins can explore the universe at the Planetarium at the Hudson River Museum.
Don those ever-stylish shoes and get your ball shined for some family bowling action at Bowlmor White Plains. Whether you’re a competitive crew or fully expect to throw all gutter balls, the Westchester location of this hip chain has what you need: Lanes are decked out with black lights, lounge seats, and HD video walls, plus a complete menu of food and drinks. A video-game arcade and full sports bar round out the offerings.