With the dog days of summer in full swing, we’re loving finding ways to escape the heat but still enjoy the outdoors. Oh, and by the way, do you know the origins of the term? “Dog days” were used to describe the hottest, stickiest and sultry days of summer in Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs and bad luck? Deep right?! It can certainly feel that way in the city in August!
The good news is that you can get away from it by heading north just one hour. Living on the East Coast we do get the luxury of a few months to really capitalize on the good weather, getting outdoors and exploring what New York has to offer. I still feel like we are newcomers to Westchester, so we all get excited about discovering new spots there.
I was asked to be a guest editor and cover girl on Bedford Magazine for its summer issue, which was a great opportunity for me to really tackle the area and its vicinity for places to eat, drink, take the kids and enjoy right in our own back yard. And as I said, it’s only one hour north of the city! So, if you are in the city and you’re looking to get the kids out of the sweltering concrete jungle, even for the day, here are some great places to take the kids.
With the dog days of summer in full swing, we’re loving finding ways to escape the heat but still enjoy the outdoors...
We never get tired of this spot! My kids love checking out the animals at the barn, going into the expansive greenhouse, and just walking around the beautiful grounds. You can also stop and grab a delicious seasonal snack at the café. There are always kids running around in the courtyard so my kids end up having a spur of the moment play date. And it’s also great for us adults to take a load off for a minute. But what I really love about Stone Barns is my kids get to understand where their food comes from. They are really grasping the concept of farm to table and I love that.
Ok, let me be honest and say that a waterpark is my worst nightmare. The last time I set foot in one was when I was a kid and I can’t say I loved it even then. But my kids have been seeing signs and advertisements for this summer’s latest and greatest ones and they’ve been dying to go. So, I sucked it up (as we do for our kids!) and found this place “Upstate” and went for it. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised! In fact, I kind of had a great time myself! Maybe waterparks have just come a long way since the 80s?
When visiting a water park with young kids like mine, is make sure you have one adult for each child. I decided it was probably better to leave Bruce at home for obvious reasons—so I brought our nanny. I bought some lightweight life preservers for the kids even though they are great swimmers. I am a firm believer that water and kids is nothing to take lightly, so I ALWAYS prefer to err on the side of caution. Water shoes are also a must!
Now I know this is indoors but sometimes it’s just too hot to be outdoors! I picked a hot day for this one. The Lego Discovery Center is a fun spot that we completed in about 1.5 hours. If you have kids that like Lego’s then this is perfect. They have areas for kids of all ages to sit and build, a few easy-going rides, and a Ninjago play space that my kids loved climbing through. We arrived at lunch time, which was like the golden ticket because most the kids were eating lunch and the morning rush had already cleared out so it wasn’t a zoo. Plus we picked a weekday, which I think is always better than the weekend.
Even though the Lego Discovery Center wasn’t a full-day excursion, the bonus was that next door was a Rockin Jump . We went there for an hour. It was all worth the trip because in the end we had a two-for-one day.
Any other Westchester spots you love, please do comment below! I’m always looking for new places to take the kids. Happy summer!