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Note: This article was posted last year and has been updated for Fall 2016, including new events and programs.

Fall has arrived, and so have all the many fall festivals and events. For a lot of people, this is their favorite time of year. What with the cooler temps, changing of leaves and all the amazing foods that abound from fall harvest, plus Halloween awaiting, it’s no wonder people love this season. What’s not to love! Below is a chronological list of the many October goings-on (including apple picking and on-going events at the bottom) in our part of lower Westchester County, NY, as well as a few beyond. Happy Fall! Read More

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This summer in honor of the National Park Centennial, we visited Acadia National Park in Maine. Known as the place where sea meets mountain, that perfect chemistry of land and water, it is as captivating as the guide books say, as the photos suggest. With the rugged coastline of Maine, Cadillac Mountain (the tallest mountain on the East Coast), lakes, beaches, ponds, trails and carriage roads, it is a remarkably beautiful and adventurous park to explore. Covering 47,000 acres mostly on Mt. Desert Island, you can hike, bike, kayak or simply take in the scenery on a coastline walk or beach picnic. We spent 5 fabulous days in Acadia, and could have spent more. There are a number of activities you can do with the kids, and it is known as one of the most family-friendly national parks in the country. Below is my guide to all things Acadia with kids. Read More

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I know what you’re thinking. What exactly is a GPS-guided travel article? Thanks to the creators behind GPSMyCity, a travel publishing site, they have come up with the genius idea of turning travel articles into guided walking apps, by having the GPS coordinates of the author’s destinations and sites embedded into the articles. It is a new technology that is changing the way we travel. And I’m pleased to say that I am teaming up with GPSMyCity to have some of my posts converted into Apple ITunes and Google apps! Read More

A Jaunt Through Boothbay Harbor, Maine

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We recently spent the last week of August in Maine. It was a last minute trip – we were debating between a few other places – and I’m so happy we chose this beautiful state to visit. I hadn’t been since I was a kid. We were headed up to Acadia National Park, and made a couple of stops along the way. One of them was in Boothbay Harbor for lunch. For years I’ve heard about Boothbay and seen pictures of this idyllic little town on the coast of Maine, and have always wanted to visit. So when we were deciding where to stop to eat on our road trip, I said let’s head there. Even just for lunch, I was dying to see this picture perfect town. Yes, it’s touristy and yes the streets are dotted with souvenir shops, but what charming seaside town isn’t. Read More

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There is something about small western towns that I love. Even just for a drive through, I find my eyes glued to the buildings, the people, the storefronts, the cars. Maybe it’s the sense of a past frozen in time, maybe it’s the western culture being so different from what I know or how I was raised, maybe it’s the laid back atmosphere that brings out a little cowgirl in me. Maybe it’s the dust settling in the afternoon light or the wave from a fellow passer-by, but either way it is a world far away from mine and one I am continually intrigued by. Read More

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The New York Water Taxi may just be our new favorite thing to do in New York City. Let me start by saying it is such a fabulous way to see the Big Apple, and loads of fun! I ran into a friend recently who told me she had just taken the tour with her family and visitors from out of town, and highly recommended it. I went onto the website to read more about it (see here), and all I could think of was – how have we not done this before? With 6 different “hop on/hop off” stops throughout the city, and a tour through New York Harbor, it is a sure-fire way to see as much of New York as you can in one day, with spectacular skyline views along the way. Read More

Nantucket: Top Family Beaches

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Nantucket, MA has long been a summer colony for New Englanders, especially those in the Boston and New York areas. The small island, located about 30 miles south of Cape Cod, may not be big in size, but it’s rich in its coastal beauty and plentiful beaches. It’s all about going to the beach in Nantucket. Sure you go for bike rides and peruse the cobblestone streets downtown and check out the harbor, but the beach is where you’ll always end up. With miles of white sand and dunes to protect, how could you not – they’re some of the most sublime beaches on the East Coast. People take their beach life seriously here, and there are a variety of beaches for all types and ages. We’ve taken our girls to Nantucket a few times, when they were toddlers and babies, and now older at ages 6 and 8. Some of the beaches we used to go to were perfect back then, but now that they’re boogie boarding and want some waves, we’ve migrated to new territory. The North Shore, for example, being on the Nantucket Sound, is much calmer, while the South Shore, on the Atlantic, is obviously rougher, with bigger waves. Whatever your speed, there’s plenty of options. Here are our picks for best family beaches: Read More

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My family and I recently went to Untermyer Park and Gardens in Yonkers, NY at the suggestion of my husband, an architect. How I have not visited this spectacular outdoor space just 20 minutes away from my home in Westchester, and just north of the city, I’m not sure. But for anyone living in or visiting the New York area, I strongly urge you to pay a visit, and soon! (and actually, I should’t say pay, as it’s free). It is one of the most exquisite gardens you will ever see. Known as “Eden on the Hudson”, this Persian-Indo garden was designed and based on the Garden of Eden; and, upon entering, indeed it’s like walking into paradise and going back in time. A City of Yonkers public park, it was once the home of Samuel Untermyer, a prominent corporate lawyer (as well as leader of the anti-Nazi movement), who in 1899 purchased the estate, named Greystone, from Samuel Tilden, former Governor of New York. Untermyer expanded the land to over 150 acres, with the intention of building the “finest garden in the world”, set atop and sloping down the Hudson River. Read More

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Cape Cod: lazy summer days on the beach, sand grass blowing in the dunes, the Nantucket Sound illuminating under the sun, a bike ride into town for a lobster roll or ice cream at some old-fashioned New England outpost. That’s what people think of when they think of the Cape. There is a slowness to this Massachusetts summer haven, and a low-key vibe that makes it so popular to visit. Especially with city dwellers in Boston and New York, it’s the ultimate seaside retreat – it’s the very definition of rest and relaxation amidst beauty and tranquility. Read More

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When people think of visiting or vacationing in New York City, usually the term New York is synonymous with Manhattan. That’s where Times Square and Broadway are after all, not to mention the Statue of Liberty and Central Park. So many of the city’s big attractions are located in Manhattan, and indeed it is a fascinating place to visit (see my post on Top 10 Family Destinations in Manhattan). But Manhattan is one of five boroughs, and just a part of the puzzle that makes up New York City. There are four other wonderful boroughs that deserve exploring as well. One of our favorites is the Bronx. Home to the Bronx Zoo of course – one of NYC’s most visited attractions – but there are also some other really great gems in this part of the city. Here are fifi + hop’s Top 5 Family Destinations in the Bronx: Read More