Hudson Valley Holiday Gift Guide {2020 Edition}

If you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet….it’s time. Living in the Hudson Valley, there are some unique gifts that you can give and receive. Our Hudson Valley Holiday Gift Guide will help you find something for everyone on your list!

Magazine Subscriptions: If you want to give a gift that will last all year, give a magazine subscription to either Hudson Valley Magazine or Westchester Magazine. Both, owned by Today Media, highlight the best of the Hudson Valley and Westchester County, respectively. At just $18.97, this is an affordable gift that the recipient will enjoy all year long.

Park Passes:

On my list this year again, is a New York State Empire Pass. This pass costs $80 for the year and enables unlimited day-use vehicle entry into most of the NYS parks. Some favorite area state parks include Bear Mountain, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Minnewaska State Park. However, I see some New York state exploring in our future and think we’ll get a lot of use out of this pass in the upcoming year.

You can also gift/receive a Westchester County Park pass. If you enjoy staying closer to home, but enjoy the great outdoors, then the Westchester Park pass is a great gift option. For $180, the Family Park Pass is valid for three years from the date of issuance. The pass gives discounted admission to all pools, beaches and parking. The pass allows access to the boat launch at Glen Island Park in New Rochelle and the tennis courts at Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers. Plus, you get discounts for camping, golf and more.

Restaurant Gift Certificates – Now more than ever, restaurants need our business. Even though many of us may not feel comfortable dining inside, many restaurants offer takeout. Gift or ask for a certificate to your favorite restaurant.

Memberships: For another gift that recipients can enjoy all year, think about gifting a membership to one of their favorite attractions. In past years we’ve asked for and received family memberships to the Bronx Zoo, the NYBG and the Historic Hudson Valley.

Individuals and/or couples may enjoy a membership to their favorite museum or art or music institution. Memberships are available at the Hudson River Museum, Caramoor, Katonah Museum of Art and more.

Experience Gifts: If you know the interests and hobbies of your gift recipient, give them an experience gift. Because most of these experiences now require a reserved time, you may opt to give a gift card or get input from the gift receiver prior to purchasing. Below are just a few examples of experiences that can be gifted.

Boundless Adventures – For adventure seekers, give the gift of an aerial park experience. This was a fun family experience (read more here)! They sell Gift Tickets.

Thunder Ridge Ski Area – Have skiers or snow boarders on your list? They may enjoy a season pass or gift card to Thunder Ridge Ski Area.

Grand Prix New York – This attraction in Mount Kisco has go-karts, bowling, a GPX ninja course and an arcade. Gift cards are available so receivers can enjoy a visit whenever they feel comfortable going.

Homemade Gift Baskets – The Hudson Valley is filled with tons of small businesses that make everything from sweets, sauces, coffee and soaps to jewelry and tie-dyed or handknit goods. Purchase some of your favorites and create your own custom gift basket to give.

You may also enjoy:

Hudson Valley Holiday Events Guide

Westchester County Experience Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year again, where we start making our lists of everyone we need to buy presents before. Before you run out and buy more “stuff” think about giving an experience gift this year. There are plenty of fun things to do in and around Westchester County. Check out some of these experience gift ideas! Below are links to past posts that offer a comprehensive list of Westchester County experience gift ideas! Even though some of the posts are a few years old, the ideas are still relevant. Only the prices may have changed. Please check websites for the current pricing. If you know of any experience gift ideas that we have not included, please let us know!

Holiday Gift Ideas for Westchester County Families (2016)

Holiday Gift Ideas for Westchester County Families (2017)

Experience Gift Ideas for Westchester County Families (2018)

Subscription Box Gift Guide

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our Disclosure Policy for more info.

The holidays are coming and if you’re not sure what to get someone on your list, a subscription box may be the perfect gift. Depending on how many months you gift, it can be a gift that keeps giving. Plus, there is a subscription box available for everyone that you’re shopping for, no matter what they are interested in. There are even boxes for your pets! If you subscribe through Amazon, some of the boxes even have Prime member exclusive pricing as well.

Food Subscription Boxes:

Carnivore Club – If you have a meat lover in your life, this box is for him/her. Each box features 4-6 handcrafted cured meats. All the meats are cured and shelf stable, so they don’t require refrigeration. They also offer a snack subscription box that includes a variety of jerky and meat sticks ($39/month) and a wooden crate subscription which includes 20 – 32 oz. of cured meats that arrive in a wooden crate ($85/month) Base Price: $55/month Amazon Savings: 30% off first box

SnackNation – This subscription box includes a variety of healthy snacks each month, like nuts, seeds, chips, jerky and more. The small box includes 8 snacks, with other options available for more snacks. For every box received, a meal is donated to a family in need. Base Price: $14.99/month Amazon Savings: 43% off first box

Subscription Boxes for Her:

Allure Beauty Box – The Allure Beauty Box subscription includes full and travel-sized makeup and beauty products that are selected by Allure experts. Each box has a $50-$90 value and includes a mini magazine with tips and step-by-step instructions. Base Price: $15/month Amazon Savings: 33% off first box

Ipsy Bag – Ipsy is a makeup and beauty product monthly subscription. Each month you get 5 deluxe samples of products, customized to your profile, that you complete before ordering. Ipsy is not quite a “box” but even better, each month you get a makeup bag. I have subscribed to Ipsy in the past and liked it. I enjoy trying new products and brands that I’d never buy on my own. Plus, it’s super affordable. Subscription Price: $12/month

Photo courtesy of TheraBox

TheraBox – This is a self care box curated by therapists. Each box includes a monthly happiness activity plus 6-8 full sized wellness items, valued at over $100. Base Price: $40/month Amazon Savings: 13% off first box

Subscription Boxes for Him:

Birchbox Men – Birchbox has a women’s subscription box as well. However, there aren’t nearly as many men’s grooming and personal care subscription boxes available as there are for women. This box comes with five grooming samples from anti-aging moisturizers to facial care supplies and more. Subscription Price: $10/month

Gentleman’s Box – This subscription box includes a variety of products for the, “savvy man” in your life. It includes 4 – 6 grooming items, style accessories and more, valued at over $100. Base Price: $29/month Amazon Savings: 20% off first box

Subscription Boxes for the Kids:

Bitsbox – This is a coding subscription box aimed towards kids ages 6-12. No coding experience is necessary, as kids will learn to code through fun projects like video games and greeting cards. Each box builds off the previous one and includes a grownup guide. Base Price: $29.95/month Amazon Savings: 25% off first box

courtesy of Raddish Kids

Raddish Kids – This is a monthly cooking kit subscription box geared for kids ages 4 – 14+. Each month has a different theme and includes 3 laminated recipe cards, a kitchen tool, shopping list and more. Base Price: $24/month Amazon Savings: 58% off first box Prime Member Savings: 63% off first box

Subscription Boxes for Pets:

BarkBox – This subscription box is perfect for your dog. You choose the size of your dog (small, medium or large) for a customized box. Each themed box has a $45 value and includes two toys, two bags of treats and one dental chew. Base Price: $29/month Amazon Savings: 45% off first box

Photo courtesy of KitNipBox

KitNipBox – Cat owners will enjoy getting this box for their favorite felines. This box includes 5 toys, treats and/or other goodies. Each month’s box has a fun theme. Base Price: $19.99/month Amazon Savings: 15% off first box

Other Fun Subscription Boxes:

Photo Courtesy of Adults & Crafts

Adults & Crafts – This box comes with all of the materials, tools and instructions to complete a craft project. Past crafts have included wood burning, string art, alcohol ink paper project and more. Base Price: $39.95/month Prime Member Savings: $15.98

Hunt a Killer – This immersive game takes place over a six-episode season. Each month you receive a box filled with documents, letters, clues and more to help you eliminate a suspect. With your first box you are given access to an online community of other crime solvers. This box is intended for adults.Base Price: $33.95/month Amazon Savings: 25% off first box Prime Member Savings: 30% off first box

Succulent Studios – Plant lovers will enjoy getting this subscription box. Each month subscribers will receive two organically-grown baby succulents. They arrive in 2″ eco-pots and include care instructions. Base Price: $16.50/month Amazon Savings: 45% off first box

STRONG self(ie) Subscription Box Review

(This STRONG self(ie) quarterly subscription box was provided to NY Foodie Family for review purposes.  As usual, all opinions are our own.)  

Subscription boxes are a lot of fun.  In the past, we’ve received food-related subscription boxes that the whole family could enjoy (MunchPak, Empire Crate, Universal Yums).  Most recently, I signed up for Birchbox and Ipsy as a fun treat for me.  My daughter sees me getting these boxes in the mail and gets as excited as I do to see what’s inside.  When I heard about the STRONG self(ie) subscription box for tween and teen girls, I was very interested.

I was first intrigued by the name of the box – STRONG self(ie).  Just the name is very empowering.  Co-founders and moms Kristen and Stephanie created this subscription box as a means to teach their daughters, “the importance of being strong, confident, and proud of who they are.”

The STRONG self(ie) box is a quarterly box that ships out during the first two weeks in March, June, September and December.  There are two different box choices, BLOOM for ages 8-12 and BURST for ages 13- 17.  Each box includes 4-6 products that inspire girls to be their best self(ie) in four different areas – smart(ie), funn(ie), health(ie) and beaut(ie). Based on the products we received in the spring box, it appears that Kristen and Stephanie try to source many of the products from small start-up and/or family-run businesses.

Each box also goes #beyondthebox and includes a card that showcases a STRONG girl.  The spring box featured 13-year-old Nandi Weziwe Hildebrand and described how she fulfills the four different self(ie) areas.  I also love the note cards included in the box.  There were four cards (pictured above) in the parent envelope that I can give to my daughter, offering words of encouragement and positivity.  There were also four note cards in an envelope for her, that she can give to friends.

The boxes cost $59.95 per quarter.  But readers, you can save 20% off your first box by using code:  “Foodie20”.  You can subscribe or gift a box to your favorite girl.  I think any tween or young teen would enjoy a STRONG self(ie) subscription!

My daughter just turned twelve and the spring BLOOM box was perfect for her!  No joke, it’s like they made this box especially for her.  The spring box included:

BOLD Bandz Headband –  (BEAUT)IE – BOLD Bandz are non-slip headbands that don’t hurt your head.  They come in a variety of designs and patterns.  I’m not sure if the band that we received in the box is a child-size headband.  Although the headband is not supposed to hurt, my daughter complained that it was a bit tight.  I think these headbands would be perfect for girls who play sports and want to keep their hair out of their faces. ($8.99)

Fashion Angels: Organize & Chill Planner – SMART(IE) Since my daughter started middle school last year, organization has been one of her biggest challenges.  I live by my planner and I’m hoping this Fashion Angels planner will help her keep track of her school assignments and after-school activities.  I like that the planner isn’t dated.  Since the school year is almost over, we are debating whether she should hold off on using this until September. ($12.99)

Hayden Girl Ruffle Jacket – FUNN(IE) Having a tween daughter, I can tell you that clothing shop is difficult at this age.  I try not to even mention that I like something because my daughter will automatically not like it!  I have to say that we are both fans of this Molly satin jacket.  She likes the bomber style jacket, I like the feminine details like the ruffle and the color.  This is a size 11/12 and just fits.  She’d probably get more use out of 13/14 but they were out.  I had not heard of Hayden Girls prior to receiving this box, but after checking out their site, I am LOVING all of their clothes!  They have such stylish pieces that are reasonably priced! ($37.95)

Lovely Candy Company:  Sour Honey Gummy Bears – (HEALTH)IE – Sour gummy candies are a family favorite.  We all helped to devour this bag! Lovely is a family owned business and these sour honey gummy bears are one of the most recent additions to their candy line.  These are all-natural gummies made with honey!  So good! ($4.99)

Luv Ur Skin Face Skincare Set – (HEALTH)IE – My daughter has just started getting into the routine of washing her face and moisturizing.  I hadn’t really taken the time to find a skincare line targeted for her age group and she’s been using whatever I use.    This three piece skincare set includes a face wash, a moisturizer and a lip balm, as well as a cloth headband.  My daughter has sensitive skin and had no problems using these products.  I am impressed that the Australian-based company Luv Ur Skin was founded by a 13-year-old girl and uses all-natural ingredients! ($18.50)

Altogether, the value of this box totaled approximately $84, which is more than the $59.99 that you pay for it.  Like I mentioned, my tween daughter was HUGE fan of the STRONG self(ie) box!  Remember, use code “Foodie20” to get 20% off your first box!






Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Tween Girls

Check out this gift guide for ideas of stocking stuffers for tween girls.

(This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through them, NY Foodie Family makes a small commission at no cost to you.  Thank you for supporting this blog!)

Last week I posted some stocking stuffer ideas for tween boys.  Today I’m sharing some stocking stuffer ideas for tween girls.  I find there are many small items, perfect for this age group, that can easily fill a stocking.  Here are a few ideas that my eleven-year-old daughter has enjoyed in the past, or would like this year!


Candy and gum is always a hit with this age group.  Stock up on her favorites so she can share with her friends!


Girls are always in need of hair accessories and they make great stocking stuffers for tween girls.

Hair Accessories – My daughter has long hair and enjoys wearing braids and pony tails.  She is always in need of hair ties.  We found this set at Justice that includes matching colored bobby pins. Claire’s and other accessory stores sell all kinds of fun hair accessories too.

Jewelry – Jewelry is always a great idea for tweens and I don’t think you can ever go wrong with earrings (if her ears are pierced), necklaces or rings.

My daughter loves the variety of lip smacker flavors available. These are a great stocking stuffer idea for a tween girl.

Lip Balm/Chapstick –  As much as my daughter would like to wear makeup, I think that she’s too young.  Since she can’t wear lipstick she loves lip balm. Her current faves include Lipsmackers and eos. They come in a variety of flavors and shades.

A tween girl can never have too many bottles of nail polish! They make a great stocking stuffer for a tween girl.

Nail Polish – Just as with lip balm, a tween girl can never have too much nail polish!  Tweens love fun colors and designs. Nail files also make great stocking stuffers.

Portable Power Bank – 
Although my tween doesn’t have a cell phone, she does enjoy using her Ipod….A LOT.  It’s always in need of charging and with a power bank she can charge it while out.

School Supplies – Even though school started several months ago, kids are always in need of pencils, pens and other school supplies.  Holidays are a great time to replenish their pens, pencils, post-its and more. She will love it if you get fun, designed supplies.


Bath Bombs – Tween girls are obsessed with bath bombs!  This bath fizzers look like a lot of fun.  As it dissolves the user will find a small surprise inside.  It could be a small toy, a key chain, charm or more.

Phone/Ipod cases – This is another item that girls never seem to have enough of.  My daughter is always changing out her Ipod case.  There are so many fun cases with quotes, designs and characters. Unicorns are big right now and my daughter would love this case.

Slime – Slime is still a hit with the tween girls.  They especially enjoy making it and I know my daughter will love this Galaxy Slime starter kit.

86749-29_Soft n’ Slo Medium Assortment-Contents-HR-RGB

Soft’n Slo Squishies – My daughter and her middle school friends are obsessed with Squishies.  Made by Orb Toys, these are squeeze toys that rise back to their original shape, very slowly.  They are stress relief toys for kids!   They come in a variety of collectible shapes and sizes.  The newest Squishies are Costume Cutiez, that come with swappable costumes.

What are you putting in your tween daughter’s stocking?  

Holiday Gift Ideas for Westchester County Families

Some unique holiday gift ideas perfect for Westchester County families.

I’ve been posting various holiday gift guides these past few weeks. However, there are some unique gifts that you can give to families living in Westchester County.  Check out this post that I shared on the Westchester County Moms Blog last year for some holiday gift ideas especially for Westchester County Families!

Some new additions this year include “Experience Gifts”:
While these places may not sell gift certificates, you can give money with a note for its intended use, or ask for a family experience, to these Westchester County family fun venues.

Grand Prix New York (Mt. Kisco, NY) -This venue has Go Karts, bowling and an arcade.  A full day of fun for families with older children.

Legoland Discovery Center (Yonkers, NY) – Designed for children ages 3-10, this venue has 2 rides, 10 build and play zones and a 4D cinema.  Located in Ridge Hill, there are several restaurant choices nearby for lunch or dinner.

Spins Hudson (Peekskill, NY) – Your family can have a day of fun here.  There’s an indoor ropes course, arcade and laser tag in this one venue.



Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Tween Boys

(This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting this blog!)

By now you probably have an idea of what you’re getting your kids for the holidays.  If you’re like me though, you end up at the last minute scrambling to buy the little things to fill your kids’ stockings.  Here’s a collection of stocking stuffer ideas for tween boys.  These are products that my 9-year-old son has enjoyed and make for fun, small gifts.

In my opinion, food is never a bad gift choice for anyone.  But you can never go wrong getting candy for a tween! If you want to go the safe route, buy some of his favorite candy.  Gum is always a good bet as well.  Especially fun gum, like Bubble Tape.  But f you want to give them something more adventurous, try these ideas:



Bean Boozled – This is a fun game that can be played with friends or family.  You spin the spinner and have to eat the jelly bean it lands on.  Will it be juicy pear or booger flavored?  You don’t know until you try the jelly bean!   Be warned, some of these jelly beans taste disgusting!

Ultimate Warheads Candy Lovers Variety Bundle - 8 Great Varieties Including Extreme Sour, Smashups, Chewy Cubes, Hotheads 7 More! (8 Total Bags)

Warheads Candy – According to my son, the new game at lunch is sour and spice wars.  Kids bring in Warheads and other sour candy and face off with each other to see who can last the longest!  This 8-pack has Warheads most popular varieties! 

It’s always nice to give a stocking stuffer that kids actually need and can use.  

Socks – Boys always need socks.  Especially long ones since many tween boys wear shorts to school all year-round, even in winter!  My son’s favorites are long basketball-style socks with either an athletic brand logo or a fun design.

Watchitude – (c/o Watchitude) Who remembers the fun of slap bracelets?!  Watchitude has combined the fun of those bracelets with the usefulness of a watch.  There are many different bracelet including different sports balls, cupcakes, doughnuts, lightning and other fun, colorful designs.

Sometimes, you just want to give your son something fun. Here are a few things they don’t need or maybe they don’t even know they want, but are just fun!

Funko POP! – Funko makes a POP! for almost every interest out there.  Perfect for stockings are POP! minis or Pocket POP! keychains.  Funko has a POP! for fans of Disney, Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter and more.

A great stocking stuffer for the tween boys on your list who love LEGOs.

LEGO mini bags – If your son loves LEGOs, a perfect stocking stuffer is a LEGO mini set.  These are smaller, more reasonably priced sets that kids can put together in minutes.  My son has this parrot set from LEGO Creator. It makes a fun room decoration, or he can take the pieces apart and use them to build something else.  LEGO has several different mini sets including a yellow airplane, transporter plane, mini sports car, clown fish and more.

Manifold origami mind bender puzzles – My son’s friend gave him this after he found it too hard to do.  Each paper needs to be folded into a 4×4 square so the black areas are on one side and the white areas on the other. There are 100 pages that get harder as you progress.  This is recommended for ages 10+ and is perfect if your son is a puzzle lover.  My husband enjoys doing these too!

What are you putting in your tween’s stocking this year? 


Fun Gifts From UnCommonGoods


This is a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own. 

I need to confess. I find it difficult to shop for friends and family.  Since I can never come up with any great gift ideas, I regularly give gift cards. If you ever feel the same, I recommend checking out online retailer UncommonGoods. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, this website has tons of fun and unique gift ideas for everyone on your list. No joke, you can literally spend hours perusing all of the fun gifts that they carry (believe me, I know from personal experience!). They have gifts available in every price range from $10 themed socks to $500+ pieces of jewelry and custom artwork. Half of the items they sell on the site are handmade and a great way to support small business.  And with every purchase, UncommonGoods donates $1 to a Better to Give non-profit  partner of your choice! Here are some of the fun and unique gifts that you can find on their site.

Slate Cheese Board with Soapstone Chalk – ($24.00 for red board)  As a self-proclaimed foodie, when I entertain, there is always a cheese and cracker board.  I found this board super fun because the slate can be written on with chalk. I can label the types of cheeses that I put out and then wipe it clean for the next time.  I will admit that writing with the chalk takes some getting used to and the uneven slate adds to the difficulty. This board is made from natural slate that is sourced from a quarry in upstate New York.  The board is available in red or black and comes with a burlap bag, chalk and anti-slip padded feet.  I also love that this board is made in my home state of New York.  This is a great gift for a foodie or a nice hostess gift!

Shrub Trio Mix – ($38.00) If you are not familiar, shrubs are syrups made from a combination of fruit, sugar and vinegar.  Although, not new (they date back to the 15th century!), shrubs have recently become popular in the cocktail world.  This shrub trio mix is handmade locally in Hudson, New York and includes 8 fluid ounce bottles of Apple Coriander Maple, Concord Grape and Strawberry Rhubarb.  I made a non-alcoholic spritzer with the Strawberry Rhubarb shrub and seltzer.  While my husband found the drink refreshing, the kids and I found it bitter.  I found the taste similar to kombucha.  My husband can’t wait to make some cocktails with the different shrubs.  If you prefer wine, have no fear, UncommonGoods has you covered as well!

 Beer Cap Map – ($35.00) Do you have a craft beer lover in your life?  My husband enjoys drinking craft beers and was excited to receive this beer cap map for Father’s Day.  He is excited to sample different beers and display only the New York state brewed beer caps in this map.   UncommonGoods has a beer cap map for every state as well as a United States map.  If you really want to challenge yourself, you can try to visit different breweries in your state and fill your map with the caps.  This map measures 24” by 16” and is made of Baltic birch plywood.  If this doesn’t interest you, there are tons of other gift ideas for the special men in your life.

State Typography Art – ($40.00/print only) As a lifelong New Yorker, when I saw this state typography art I knew I had to have it.  Each 20” x 16” print has words including landmarks, major cities slogans and more in the outline of the selected state.  Almost every state is available and can be ordered framed or unframed.  I ordered an unframed print and purchased my own frame for a substantially lower price.  It looks great on our wall and reminds us of our beloved state!

This is only a sample of the variety of gifts that you can find on the UncommonGoods site.  They really do have items for everyone on your shopping list, no matter what the occasion!  Plus, many of the gifts can be personalized with names and dates.

What’s a fun and unique gift that you’ve bought or received?