Bell Middle School, Chappaqua
(914) 263-5566; www.ccbfestival.org
From Mo Willems to We Were Liars, it’s an excellent time for children’s books—and many of their authors and illustrators live right here. Nearly 80 of them descend on Chappaqua’s Bell Middle School for a day of readings, signings, and other events. Find Peter Sís (The Pilot and the Little Prince), Victoria Kann (Pinkalicious), James Howe (Bunnicula), Eric Velasquez (The Price of Freedom), and many, many others in the crowd. Your kids might actually want to read something longer than a tweet.
Late September (exact dates TBD)
Stepping Stones Museum for Children, Norwalk, CT
(203) 899-0606; www.steppingstonesmuseum.org
Your kids have unlimited energy. The planet? Not so much. In honor of National Energy Month in October, teach your kids the importance of conservation by taking them to the Stepping Stones museum. There, the newly opened Conservation Quest exhibit gives a hands-on lesson in how central energy is to our national prosperity, security, and environmental well-being.
October 18 – 19, 25 – 26
The Grisly Kids and The Unsightful Nanny
Rivertown Artists Workshop, Sleepy Hollow
Even if your kids don’t like dance performances, chances are they’ll like this one. Just in time for Halloween, The Grisly Kids—a variety-show-style collaboration between the Rivertown Artists Workshop (RAW), Pace Conservatory of Dance, and the acclaimed Riedel Dance Theater—takes its inspiration from Edward Gorey, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon, and other macabre favorites. It’ll be paired with Jonathan Reidel’s equally twisted The Unsightful Nanny. The event takes place over multiple weekends in Sleepy Hollow, which is the perfect place to perform anything darkly mysterious at that time of year, when you think about it.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Mike Teavee
Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, Yonkers
(914) 226-3082; www.drafthouse.com/nyc_area/yonkers
He might not have taken a ride in the Great Glass Elevator, but the bratty, boob tube-loving Mike Teavee was one of the most memorable characters in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory—a movie we’ll take any excuse to sit down and watch. Actor Paris Themmen, who played Mike Teavee, will be on-hand for a screening of the film at the Alamo Drafthouse, where he’ll talk about what it was like to be (spoiler!) shrunk by Willy Wonka.
The Magic Garden
Emelin Theatre, Mamaroneck
(914) 698-0098; www.emelin.org
If you’re a certain age, the phrase “open up the window” is almost always followed by “listen to the wind blow”—conditioning created by the theme song to Carole and Paula’s The Magic Garden, a children’s TV show that aired for more than a decade on WPIX-11. If you’re in that demo, it’s probably time to introduce your kids to Carole and Paula through their stage show (and get them into the theme song, too).
I Scream for Books
Your kids are going to beg for ice cream no matter what. Wouldn’t you rather have their sugar rushes go to a good cause? In honor of the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival on September 27, Pinkalicious author Victoria Kann teamed up with Chappaqua’s Hall of Scoops to create a custom ice cream flavor for the event, available throughout September. The ice cream will be made by Best of Westchester-winning Longford’s Own-Made Ice Cream, and 30 percent of all sales will go to the Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival. “Cotton candy is one of our most popular flavors,” says Hall of Scoops’ Lori Ceisler. “So the Pinkalicious flavor will be a cotton candy-based flavor that’s pink in color, and it’ll have pastel confetti running through it. We’ll also have a second flavor, the Rocky Read—based on the traditional Rocky Road, but this will be a nut-free flavor since so many kids have allergies—that’s chocolate with marshmallow, cookie dough, and chocolate drops.” Reading never tasted so good. Hall of Scoops, Chappaqua (914) 861-8080 www.hallofscoops.com