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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Outdoor Fall Family Fun in Westchester

outdoor fall family fun in Westchester

If you’re anything like me, you want to get your family outside as much as you can this fall. Luckily for us, Westchester is full of outdoor fall fun for kids! From festivals and farms to Halloween fun, there is so much to do outside in the fresh air before winter rolls in. Here are a few of my favorites!

Outdoor fall family fun in Westchester

  1. Go apple or pumpkin picking at one of our area’s farms—we’re big fans of Fishkill Farms!
  2. Throw on a costume and take a short (but gorgeous!) drive to the Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo, NY.
  3. Explore Scarecrows and Pumpkins at NY Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.
  4. Wander through The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze.
  5. Visit one of the Hudson Valley’s many fall festivals.
  6. Shop til you drop and support local businesses at a vendor fair.
  7. Take older kids on a guided tour at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and learn all about Washington Irving and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
  8. Participate in some hands-on farm fun at Stone Barns Center.
  9. Go for a fall foliage hike—there are plenty of child friendly trailways in Westchester, including Croton Gorge Park and the RiverWalk at Peekskill Riverfront.
  10. Experience one of Washington Irving’s spooky tales on a walk through the woods as part of Sunnyside’s The Legend Behind the “Legend”.
  11. Enjoy an evening howl with the wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem.
  12. Put on your costumes and head to the Bronx for Boo at the Zoo.
  13. Visit a local farmers market before they pack it in for the winter.
  14. Check out Lyndhurst’s Scarecrow Invasion this October—and be sure to also see the skeleton family and wacky cemetery before you leave.
  15. Try to find your way through the corn maze at Outhouse Orchards.

Am I missing any of your favorite outdoor fall activities? Let us know in the comments!

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Taking Advantage of Westchester’s Trailways

taking advantage of Westchester's trailways

Between my husband’s weird work schedule, my neuroticism about the people who I let watch my children, extracurricular activities and straight up laziness, we don’t get out alone very often. In fact, “date night” at our house generally consists of Netflix and ice cream. Most of the time, that’s totally ok. We’re busy and tired and it’s easy. But it’s also really, really nice to have a little chunk of time set aside once in a while when you aren’t listening for the pitter patter of feet above your head.

Enter date morning.

Yeah. I know. It’s weird. But bear with me.

With the girls back in school—and our littlest one in full time now [insert teary sobfest here]—we’ve found ourselves with a little pocket of time some mornings between when the bus comes and when my husband has to be at work. Instead of using it to scroll through Instagram or chortle at Twitter (that last one is all him, by the way), we now have a running (albeit untraditional) date: a two-mile morning walk along the river.

No, it’s not drinks or a movie, but we’re willing to work with what we’ve got—and if there’s anything I’ve learned since becoming a mom, it’s that sometimes you have to get creative.

Luckily, there are a lot of pretty trailways in Westchester to take advantage of before the snow rolls in. Many of them are paved and perfect for walking with strollers or little walkers if you’re looking to get them outdoors and in the sunshine. While we love the RiverWalk, which runs just about top to bottom of the county, there are so many other options!

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Summer Adventures | NY Renaissance Faire

The Summer Adventures series focuses on affordable summer fun for families in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. It’s all about exploring our own backyard and is the perfect resource for planning a killer staycation or finding something awesome to do this weekend.

Hudson Valley fun NY Renaissance Faire

Last weekend, my husband and I surprised the girls with a trip to the New York Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo, NY. Huge fans of anything theatrical, we had a feeling they would love it. We were right, of course.

Open on Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day between August 6th and October 2nd this year, the Renaissance Faire is a summer/fall staple for lot of families in the Hudson Valley. If you’ve never been, you absolutely have to check it out. Tickets regularly cost $25 for an adult and $12 for a child (5-12), but there are definitely sales and coupons available if you look hard enough.

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Summer Adventures | Indian Brook Falls

The Summer Adventures series focuses on affordable summer fun for families in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. It’s all about exploring our own backyard and is the perfect resource for planning a killer staycation or finding something awesome to do this weekend.

summer adventures | indian brook falls

 

I’ve been completely obsessed with visiting a waterfall this summer. Maybe it started with our adventure at Croton Gorge Park. The water rushing over the dam is so damn beautiful (see what I did there?). The girls and I were completely entranced by it.

Still, I wanted to feel like we found some hidden gem in the middle of an enchanted forest.

After a couple of friends posted about visiting Indian Brook Falls in Garrison, I knew we had to check it out. Hidden right down the road from Constitution Marsh Audubon Center and Sanctuary, it was everything I had hoped for.

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Summer Adventures | Trinity Cruises Family Boat Ride

The Summer Adventures series focuses on affordable summer fun for families in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. It’s all about exploring our own backyard and is the perfect resource for planning a killer staycation or finding something awesome to do this weekend. 

summer adventures | trinity cruises

 

While exploring the walk along the Peekskill Riverfront one day, the girls and I noticed the little building for Trinity Cruises down by the Peekskill Yacht Club. It was immediately decided that we absolutely had to go on a cruise on the Hudson River as quickly as possible [Please, mommy! Mommy, please?!].

Luckily for all parties involved, Trinity Cruises has special one-hour family boat rides in the summer on most Fridays and Saturdays at 3pm. I felt much better about taking two (dramatic) little ladies on a boat for the first time for one hour as opposed to three. Three hours made me see nausea, a little boredom and a lot of whining in our future. One seemed much more manageable.

In the end, I didn’t have anything to worry about. We had so much fun! Ellie was nervous at first because it was her first time on a boat and the swaying and rumbling of the engine freaked her out. Once we were out on the river though, she totally forgot about any fear and soaked in the gorgeous scenery.

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Summer Adventures | Dancing at Dusk at Caramoor

The Summer Adventures series focuses on affordable summer fun for families in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. It’s all about exploring our own backyard and is the perfect resource for planning a killer staycation or finding something awesome to do this weekend.

Westchester family fun learning Filipino dance moves at Caramoor

 

I can’t for the life of me remember how I heard about Caramoor in Katonah, NY. It’s an absolutely gorgeous center for music and arts set on beautiful grounds with lush gardens and Mediterranean-style architecture that makes you feel like you’ve been transported to a faraway place. When I saw that they had family programs, including Dancing at Dusk in the summer, I knew we had to check it out.

We bought tickets for Dancing at Dusk: Filipino Music & Dance with Kinding Sindaw Melayu Heritage last week and it was so much fun.

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Summer Adventures | Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Summer Adventures series focuses on affordable summer fun for families in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. It’s all about exploring our own backyard and is the perfect resource for planning a killer staycation or finding something awesome to do this weekend.

summer adventures | Brooklyn Bridge Park

This weekend we packed the girls up to head down to Brooklyn Heights to visit my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. They live within walking distance from Brooklyn Bridge Park and, let me tell you, we fell absolutely in love with the area. Samantha is still insisting that we need a summer home there. If a summer home in Brooklyn was the sort of thing we could afford, we would completely agree with her.

It’s not surprising that we love the area. We’re big fans of waterfront parks and Brooklyn Bridge Park is a tough one to beat. It’s huge and full of gorgeous gardens and greenery, lots of spaces for fun (like playgrounds and splash parks, volleyball courts, soccer fields and more), and absolutely unbeatable views of Manhattan.

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Summer Adventures | Perkins Memorial Drive

The Summer Adventures series focuses on affordable summer fun for families in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. It’s all about exploring our own backyard and is the perfect resource for planning a killer staycation or finding something awesome to do this weekend.

summer adventures | Perkins Drive at Bear Mountain

We decided to keep our Hudson River loving going this week. We took a trip over the Bear Mountain Bridge to Rockland county and Perkins Memorial Drive. Part of Bear Mountain State Park, the top of Perkins Memorial Drive and the tower that stands there offer completely breathtaking panoramic views.

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Summer Adventures | Walkway Over the Hudson

The Summer Adventures series focuses on affordable summer fun for families in Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley. It’s all about exploring our own backyard and is the perfect resource for planning a killer staycation or finding something awesome to do this weekend.

summer adventures | Walkway Over the Hudson

Our latest adventure took us to Poughkeepsie and the incredible Walkway Over the Hudson. If you live in the Hudson Valley and have never checked it out, you absolutely have to put it on your adventure list.

The Walkway Over the Hudson is a 1.28 mile linear park that stands 212 feet above the Hudson River. It’s the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. It’s pretty awesome and with entrances in Poughkeepsie and Highland, it’s convenient no matter which side of the river you live on.

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