iD Tech Summer Camp in Westchester Offers a Different Camp Experience

This post is sponsored by iD Tech.

As soon as spring break is over, this momma is ready to start thinking about summer camp. After all of that togetherness (and knowing how much activity is going to be crammed into the next two months), figuring out a summer plan suddenly moves much further up my priority list. The problem? My girls aren’t interested in a traditional summer camp experience. In fact, they couldn’t be less interested.

Arts and crafts? Yes please. Singing and dancing? Bring it on. Sports? Mmmm, not so much.

My daughters know what they like and a run-of-the-mill summer camp experience is not it. But mention a tech camp that teaches them coding and game design or lets them experiment with 3D printing and they are all ears.

iD Tech provides just that with both summer day camps and overnight camps separated by age groups (kids ages 6–12 and teens ages 13–18). They even offer an all-girls summer camp program for ages 10–15 to encourage girls to get involved—I love this about them (in 2018, 30% of their camper population will be female and they plan to continue advocating for girls in STEM with a goal of achieving a 50/50 balance).

Do you have a kid interested in the STEM fields? Read on to see what iD Tech summer camps have to offer.

iD Tech summer technology camp in Westchester NY

iD Tech STEM Summer Camps

iD Tech can be found at distinguished campuses all over the country including Stanford, UCLA, Princeton, and MIT. Westchester is lucky enough to have two locations offering their programs: Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville and (in its inaugural year!) Manhattanville College in Purchase.

Courses are taught by hand-selected staff (recruited from universities like Caltech, RIT, and Stanford) in small groups of 8 students per instructor. Students get to choose from courses in coding, game design, virtual reality, robotics, engineering, 3D printing, and more and will be able to use professional software from Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, and other industry leaders.

Is your kid really into Minecraft? Both campuses offer courses in Minecraft game design. Or, maybe, like my daughter, your child has gotten really into coding classes offered at school. He or she can build on that with a DIY Build Your Own Laptop & Learn Coding course. There are so many different options available—from 3D Printing and Mobile Game Design to Cryptography & Cyber Security.

iD Tech has been at it for 18 years and their alumni have gone on to start companies, found nonprofits, and land jobs at tech powerhouses like Facebook and Google. If your child shows any interest in tech, these camps are a great way to bring them to the next level.

iD Tech computer camp in Westcheser

Courses start at $879 for a one-week session and run all day. And, in case you’re not too into the idea of them sitting inside behind a computer all day, outdoor play and other camp activities are included as part of each day.

Because they’re so awesome, iD Tech Camps are offering Westchester with Kids readers $75 off one week at any iD Tech Camps program. Use code WWKTECH17 through June 15th.

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Fun Kids Birthday Party Ideas in Westchester + a FREE Party Planning Printable

Kids birthday parties somehow manage to be both the best and most annoying things imaginable. Planning them can be a huge pain (especially if you’re like me and put everything off until the last second), but the look on your little booger’s face while she’s having the time of her life with her friends is totally worth it.

If the thought of getting to that happy place makes you break out in hives, I found help!

A one-stop shop for planning kids birthday parties, Booked Parties makes life a trillion times easier by offering local parents online access to unique birthday party vendors and venues throughout New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. Want someone to come to your house and keep the kids entertained? They’ve got it. Want to find a venue as far away from your house as possible so that you don’t have to clean for guests? They’ve got you covered there too!

They even have a marketplace where you can get gifts, favors, decor, and more just with the click of a button (ok, maybe a few buttons). Sounds like the least annoying kids birthday party planning experience ever, right?

And if you’re sick of the same old parties for your kids, but feel like you already know about all of the birthday party ideas Westchester has to offer, I bet Booked Parties will prove you wrong! I collected a few of my favorite outside-the-box ideas to show you the diverse options they have to offer. (Also, make sure you read all the way to the end for a free birthday party planning printable!)

Fun Kids Birthday Party Ideas in Westchester

Westchester Kids Birthday Parties | Bang & Boom

Bang & Boom birthday party in a box

Do you kind of wish you could throw a party at your house but that someone would do all of the work for you? You’re in luck! Bang & Boom will send you a party in a box—these guys are outside of the box while simultaneously being inside a box! 😉 They cover everything—from invitations and activities to decorations and even matches! I love that their themes are totally unique and original. I mean, look at the cups that go along with their I Love New York box! Activities for this box include design-your-own subway car, a big city scavenger hunt and a large-scale poster of New York’s skyline to color and decorate. Each of the party guests also gets a Lady Liberty crown. I’m obsessed!

Westchester Kids Birthday Parties | Penny Lick Ice Cream

Make ice cream at Penny Lick Ice Cream Company

Um, enough said, no? Seriously though, they host kids birthday parties at their Hastings-on-Hudson location and your little party people get to learn how to make (and eat—although they probably won’t need any help with that part) ice cream from the ingredients right down to the final product. That sounds awesome! If there’s another party idea you had your heart set on, but are drooling at the thought of homemade ice cream, Penny Lick also brings their ice cream push carts to parties.

Westchester Kids Birthday Parties | TumbleBusNY

TumbleBusNY, a kids party bus

This is a pretty cool idea. TumbleBusNY is basically a kids gym inside of a converted school bus! They’ve got monkey bars, a mini trampoline, ropes, mini parallel bars and so much more. And, since they’re completely mobile, you can have a party with them anywhere. They can come park outside of your house, at a park, at your kids’ favorite pizza place—there are so many possibilities!

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10 Things to Do with Kids in Westchester This Spring

Right now I’m looking out my window and I actually see green everywhere. Spring has officially sprung, which means we can burst out of hibernation and jump back into all of the fun Westchester has to offer families. In case your brain has collected a few cobwebs over the winter (mine definitely has) and you’re at a loss for what to do with your kids, I put together a list of 10 things to do with kids in Westchester this spring.

Sit back, take a sip of coffee and get your calendar ready!

Things to Do with Kids in Westchester This Spring

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Celebrate Earth Day with Kids in Westchester

Earth Day is this coming Saturday, April 22nd and there are plenty of ways to get kids involved. Whether you’re looking to get dirty with some hands-on experience (say, cleaning a local park), you want to teach your kids about recycling, or you want to explore our gorgeous county a little bit, there are a bunch of options over the next two weeks.

Here are some kid-friendly Earth Day events throughout Westchester, broken down by day. I’ll be adding more as I find them, so check back!

earth day fun for kids in westchester

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Easter Fun Around Westchester

Easter fun in Westchester

With Easter rapidly approaching, I put together a big list of family-friendly Easter fun in and around Westchester.

Whether you’re looking for an Easter egg hunt or a visit with the Bunny himself, look no further! I’ve got a comprehensive list of what Easter fun is happening in Westchester.

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Top 10 Reasons to Send Your Daughter to Girl Scout Camp This Summer

This post is sponsored by Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson.

Girl Scout summer camp for Westchester kids

1. That Family Feeling

There’s nothing better than the feeling of community when a bunch of positive and friendly individuals come together to have fun. Girl Scout camp fosters healthy relationships and creates lifelong friendships.

2. Safety, Safety, Safety

Did you know that Girl Scout safety standards are stricter than the Department of Health? At Girl Scout camp, we have higher adult to girl ratios, well-trained staff, and stringent safety policies insuring that no matter how much fun she’s having, it’ll be in the safest way possible.

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Presidents’ Week Camps and Special Classes in Westchester

Looking for something to help bite boredom in the butt while the kids have a couple of extra days off? Whether they’re home for a couple of days or for the whole week, there are lots of options to keep them busy. This list of Presidents’ week camps and special classes in Westchester covers just about any interest and spans the entire county.

Know of a camp or class that isn’t on the list? Leave me a note in the comments and I’ll add it!

Presidents' week camps in Westchester 2017

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Westchester Kid | Amanda Carlson Gives Back to Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital

Westchester Kid is a series that shines a light on Westchester county’s best and brightest kids. Through their cool achievements, go-getter attitudes and desire to give back to our community, these kids are people we can all look up to.

Westchester Kid

Our newest Westchester Kid is Amanda Carlson, a 12-year-old from Yorktown Heights who took a scary hospital stay and turned it into a much more positive experience by giving back to the local hospital that treated her and helping other sick kids in the process.

Westchester Kid Amanda Carlson during her hospital stay at Maria Fareri Children's HospitalTell us a about your hospital stay.

On November 17th I was admitted into Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and diagnosed with a rare strain of E. coli know as Shiga toxin. During this time, I was isolated to my room and in a lot of pain. After five days, I developed a very rare side effect from this E. coli called HUS (Hemolytic-uremic syndrome). This syndrome caused the breakdown of my red blood cells, platelets and kidney function. There is no treatment for HUS, only support. I was under the care of a team of awesome doctors and nurses. They would test my blood twice a day. I had to get three red blood cell transfusions. These were kinda painful.

What inspired you to start your project and how did you get it off the ground?

I spent 16 days including Thanksgiving at Maria Fareri and during this time I wasn’t allowed to leave my room. The Child Life & Creative Arts Therapy Department at the hospital would always bring me arts & crafts, games, and movies to entertain me and help the time pass.

The hospital also has “Fun Centers” to keep kids entertained. The Fun Center is powered by Nintendo. It is a large screen on a cart that has the Wii. The cart can be signed out through the Child Life Center and is brought to your room so you can play. All the games are there also. You are also able to get on the internet from the console. I would have loved to have been able to play with a Fun Center but there were so few of them and so many sick kids. I never got the chance.

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Let Kids Go Wild: Indoor Play Spaces in Westchester

indoor play spaces in Westchester

February is generally when winter starts to get really real for parents. The kids have more or less been trapped inside for months. It’s cold and gray and everyone is bored out of their minds. That, my friends, is when it’s time to get the little boogers out of your house and into a space where they can run wild without breaking all of the things.

The problem? Well, it can be completely overwhelming to try and think of some place new and exciting when you’re simultaneously trying to tame your dragons. But that’s why I’m here.

I put together a list of indoor play spaces in Westchester that will let kids burn off some of their pent up energy.

All of the places below have drop-in hours—which means you don’t have to sign up for a class. You can just pop in when tension and energy are high.

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Westchester Kid | Abigail Rosenbaum

Westchester Kid is a series that shines a light on Westchester county’s best and brightest kids. Through their cool achievements, go-getter attitudes and desire to give back to our community, these kids are people we can all look up to.

Westchester Kid

This week’s Westchester Kid is an 11-year old Cortlandt Manor girl who got a grant from the Candreva Environmental Foundation for $500 to put recycling bins in every classroom in her school. Impressive, right? Abigail Rosenbaum explains how she came up with the idea and how she made it happen.

Tell us a little bit about your project. 

I started it in 4th grade. I was assigned to write up a book report on any topic I wanted. I chose to look up stuff about recycling because I thought it would be cool. After I researched it, I realized that trash in landfills is a problem especially because most people, including our school, don’t have recycling bins and recycling systems.

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