Earthplace is a private, nonprofit organization with a mission to educate the community about nature and how to take action in preserving and protecting our environment. There are many entertaining AND educational things to do at Earthplace. These include adventurous ‘treasure hunts’ on its 6 main trails through the woods, a visit to the Bird & Butterfly Garden or Animal Hall, as well as many more thrills to seek both indoors and outdoors. Offering kid-friendly programs and workshops like Eagle Eyes: Nature Detective, Earthplace Explorers Club, Tots Mommy & Me, and Critters & Crafts, children are encouraged to explore the environment and enjoy each new discovery. Earthplace reaches out to adults through programs including Animal Care Volunteer Workshops and Stream Exploration & Monitoring as well as ongoing volunteer opportunities. Earthplace also offers a Preschool for 3-4 year olds, School Outreach Programs, as well as children’s birthday parties. Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane, P.O. Box 165, Westport, CT. Call 203.227.7253 or visit www.earthplace.org.
* This is not necessarily a recommended list, the following businesses are dedicated advertisers.
When planning your next birthday party, check out Grand Prix New York. With over 120,000 sq. ft. of space in a state of the art racing and entertainment facility, Grand Prix New York is sure to blow you away with their flexible booking schedule and affordable pricing. For kids, GPNY offers on and off track instruction from their professional track staff to make sure everyone has a safe and thrilling experience. Available for kids as young as 8. Grand Prix New York, 333 North Bedford Road, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549. Phone: 914-241-3131. Visit www.gpny.com.
The Jacob Burns Film Center (JBFC) is a nonprofit cultural arts center dedicated to presenting the best of independent, documentary, and world cinema; promoting visual literacy; and making film a vibrant part of the community. The Film Center is also a place of learning. Educational Programs offered in collaboration with local schools focus on visual literacy, to help children develop the skills needed to view visual images critically. Together, a regular schedule of films for young audiences and the JBFC educational programs, promote greater appreciation of film among the community’s youth. JBFC is located at 364 Manville Road in Pleasantville. For more information, call the box office at 914.747.5555 or visit www.burnsfilmcenter.org
Jodi`s Gym has been providing New York kids the highest level of fun and fitness for 29 years! Their step-by-step, no fail approach ensures that every child feels a sense of accomplishment. From the tiniest tumblers to advanced gymnasts (9 months-12 years old), there is something for everyone. They offer Mommy & Me Gym and Gym + Music classes, preschool gymnastics, school-aged gymnastics, Motion Evolution, summer and holiday break camps, free monthly perks, free open playtime, play groups, private lessons, Super Soccer Stars, Krazy Kool Creation Lego class, and the best birthday parties ever. For more information, visit www.jodisgym.com.
The Katonah Museum is a non-collecting institution dedicated to encouraging the enjoyment, appreciation, and study of the visual arts by visitors of all ages. 2004 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Museum, which each year presents a series of changing exhibitions that span a wide range of cultures, media, historical periods and social issues. The Museum offers lectures and symposia by noted artists and scholars; tours of private collections, special exhibitions, and regional museums; children and family workshops and community festivals; free summer jazz concerts; and volunteer opportunities. The Museum also offers children’s art classes and features a drop-in center for kids to create their own art! Located off of Route 22 in Katonah, NY. Call 914.232.9555 or visit www.katonahmuseum.org.
Muscoot is a 777 acre early 1900′s interpretive farm that depicts life as it would have been lived on a country gentleman’s farm circa 1880-1950. Visitors can view a variety of farm animals, tour historic farm buildings, see a collection of historic agriculture equipment and tools, walk to the ice pond, and hike over 7 miles of woodland trails. Educational programs and workshops are offered on weekends. Hayrides are offered on Sundays from May through October. Refreshment stand open in season. Admission and parking are free. Rte 100, Somers, NY 10570. 914.864.7282. Visit muscootfarm.org.
Playland Park features arcade games and 45 major rides for children and adults, including roller coasters, vertical thrills, log flume, and plenty of twists, turns and shouts. The Park also offers the following attractions: beach and boardwalk, swimming pool, lake boating and kayaking, picnic area, entertainment, miniature golf and ice-skating. Playland, operating since 1928, is a famous 279 acre recreational complex owned and operated by Westchester County. It overlooks the Long Island Sound and is highlighted by historic Art Deco structures and a beautiful grassy, flowered mall. Playland Park was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1987. Minature Golf Available. Playland Ice Casino, indoor ice skating on 3 climate controlled rinks is open September through May. The Casino features a snack bar, skate rental, games arcade and lounge. Playland Skating School offers ice skating lessons. Visit www.ryeplayland.org. Playland Parkway, Rye, NY 10580. 914.813.7000.
Let “party animals” entertain and educate your family and friends! Enjoy a live animal presentation for the first hour of your party from our menagerie, including a visit from our hungry friend Hercules the Bearded Dragon, an “air show” with our winged friend Paloma the Dove, and wear a snake necklace: our friend Popcorn the Snake. Other party themes available (orienteering, rocks and minerals, tracking, and more). Please call for more information. Guests are limited to 20 youngsters. The fee is $350. RNC parties are for family members only. For more information on becoming a family member, visit www.ryenaturecenter.org.
This is several venues in one! Check out the different visiting exhibitions in the Museum. This always includes a child-friendly hands-on activity. Then tour Heckscher Farm– ask for The Heckscher Farm Activity Guide & Scavenger Hunt booklet. Then stop by for a visit at Animal Embassy, an independent venture that rescues exotic pets. Maybe you’ll stumble upon lunch time for the giant turtles when they amble between your feet to eat off the vegetable plate that the caretakers set on the floor for them. Or maybe you’ll be able to hold a snake or chinchilla! And don’t miss the amazing playground. That’s a great place for mom to bring a book for a long read while kids play! Call theStamford Nature Center at 203.322.1646, 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford CT 06903, www.stamfordmuseum.org.
Explore the marine life and maritime culture of Long Island Sound. Watch sharks, jelly fish, sea turtles, and more than 1,000 other marine animals, or enjoy a film at the area’s only IMAX theater. Watch the professionals feed the seals, the river otters, or allow your kids to touch the animals in the “Touch Tank” where children can touch green crabs, sea stars, and horseshoe crabs. As well as the wonderful exhibits, when the kids have had enough, take them to the “Ocean Playscape”, a great play area for children under 5 years old. 10 North Water Street, Norwalk, CT 06854. Call 203.852.0700 or visit www.maritimeaquarium.org
Built in 1996, the Westchester Skating Academy is the only NHL twin rink facility in Westchester. WSA offers top level figure skating and hockey programs. Birthday Parties, Group Rates, Public Sessions, Daily Freestyle, Full Service Cafe, Skate Rental, Hockey Clinics, Hockey Figure Skating Camps, Youth and Adult Hockey Leagues, Adult Coffee Club. Open Year Round. Call 347-8232 for times, Group or Individual Lessons (8 Week Programs) for Beginners to Adults, In-House Hockey Leagues (Mites through JV Levels). 91 Fairview Drive, Elmsford, NY 10523. 914.347.8232.
Musical adaptations of children’s classic fairytales, folktales, and legends as well as Broadway musicals, comedies, and dramas for audiences as young as 2 years old. Audience can meet the cast, take pictures, get autographs and ask questions after the show. Located at the Rochambeau Theater in White Plains, the Irvington Town Hall Theater, the Antrim Playhouse in Suffern, and the Westchester Broadway Theater in Elmsford. Also available for Birthday parties. For more information and a calendar of events, call 914.761.7463 or visit www.westcoprods.com
260 Chestnut Ridge Rd, Mt Kisco, NY 10549, (914) 666-8448
Westmoreland Sanctuary was established in 1957 as a private not-for-profit corporation. Surrounded by wooded countryside and suburban areas, Westmoreland’s unspoiled acres offers a variety of activities to its more than 20,000 annual visitors. Visit www.westmorelandsanctuary.org.