Cookie Decorating Kits {Where in Westchester?}

Cookie decorating is a fun, indoor holiday activity! It keeps the kids entertained and you end up with a tasty treat to enjoy! I am fortunate that my kids are old enough to help make sugar cookies which we recently did. However, making the cookie dough and then letting it chill, baking the cookies, making the icing and then finally getting to decorate the cookies takes a lot of time!

Here are some of the places in Westchester County where you can purchase DIY holiday cookie decorating kits. Everything is prepped, packaged and ready so you can immediately get to the fun part, decorating! Most of these businesses require you to preorder the kits. If you want them in time to do with the kids over the holiday break, get your orders in soon!
*Please check with the vendor directly for the most up-to-date prices and information.

Flour and Sun Bakery: (Pleasantville) Kits cost $15.00 and include 6 cookies (2 different shapes) with 2 tubs of royal icing and sprinkles.

Flowerbake by Angela: (Pelham) Flowerbake by Angela sells puzzle cookie decorating kits. You can purchase a baked cookie kit which includes an instruction sheet as well as all the cookies and icing, a dough kit – which includes a ball of cookie dough, cookie cutters, icing, parchment paper and instruction sheet or a cookie dough mix kit – which includes the sugar cookie mix, cookie cutters, icing, parchment paper and instruction sheet. Prices range between $35=$38. Available for pickup or delivery.

Mama Ingram Bakes: DIY Christmas cookie kits – $15 for 6 cookies or $30 for 12 cookies. Kits include cookies, icing and sprinkles.

Sugar Mama by Kim: (New Rochelle)
Kim sells DIY cookie kits that include 12 cookies, 3 bags of icing, a container of sprinkles and decorations for $35. She also sells Paint Your Own cookie kits. Each cookie is $6 each or 6 for $30. Orders are submitted via a form that can be found on her Facebook page.

Sugar & Sweets by Stacey (Yonkers)
Sugar & Sweets by Stacey is selling Winter themed cookie kits. They are $39 and includes 12 cookies, 3 icings, 6 popsicle sticks and 2-3 containers of sprinkles. There are 4 different themed kits to choose from: gingerbread men and women, snowflakes and snowmen, mittens, hats and penguins and ugly sweaters. They are also selling stencil cookie kits for $33. These kits include 6 cookies and 3 paint brushes. Orders can be picked up in Yonkers or delivered.

Wildly Cakes: (White Plains) Cookie kits are $35 and include 12 baked cookies in the shape of your choice, frosting to match the theme, sprinkles and directions. Orders must be placed one week in advance. Pickup in White Plains. Delivery is available for an additional fee on a first come, first serve basis.

Hudson Valley Holiday Events Guide

The lights, the music and of course Santa Claus! With COVID, things may look different this year, but there are still many Hudson Valley holiday events taking place. Check out our Hudson Valley Holiday Events Guide for all the info!
As always, please check directly with the venue for the most up-to-date information.

A Christmas Carol 2020

A Christmas Carol 2020 at The Center for Performing Arts at Rhinbeck: (Rhinebeck) This year’s performance of A Christmas Carol will be a drive-in live theatre experience. The show is presented on an outdoor stage
Dates: November 19 – December 20, 7 PM (no performances Nov. 26 & 27)
Tickets/Price: $20 /person

A Frosty Fest

A Frosty Fest: (Ulster Park)
Attractions include a Meet and Greet with Dasher the Reindeer, Holiday characters, drive through Frosty’s Enchanted Forest, visit the Magical Mansion, outdoor photo with Santa, walk through Frosty’s Adventure, photo with Blizzard the Bear, “Jingle the Elf” stage show and more.
Dates: Weekends only (Friday-Sunday) November 27 – December 20
Tickets/Price: $15.95/adult + service charge and tax, $12.95/child (under 12) + service charge and tax, Free/children under 12 months
*Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Christmas Tree at the Cross County Center: (Yonkers) The Cross County Center has a new Christmas tree this year. The 44 foot tall tree has a walk through feature where you can look up to the top of the tree. Throughout the season there will be strolling entertainers, a Holiday Food Truck Market and a Pop-Up Ice Skating rink.

Grand Holiday Illuminations at Untermyer Park & Gardens: (Yonkers) This annual holiday light show will take place at Untermyer Park & Gardens. Tickets are not yet available, but check the Untermyer Gardens site for updates.
Dates: December 12 – January 3
Tickets/Price: Free, but timed entry reservations needed

Holiday on the Hill at Lasdon Park and Arboretum: (Katonah) Enjoy the annual Holiday on the Hill exhibit and train show at Lasdon Park and Arboretum. Tickets will be sold online only for scheduled entry. Enjoy the holiday train exhibit, outdoor safe Santa visits and more.
Dates: December 4 – January 31

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Photo Credit: Bronx Zoo

Holiday Lights at the Bronx Zoo: (Bronx)
Enjoy five lantern safaris throughout the park, ice-carving demonstrations, costumed characters and more.
Dates: Select dates November 20 – January 10
Tickets/Price: $34.95/Adult (Age 13+), $22.95/Child (Ages 3-12), $31.95/Senior (Age 65+), $17/Parking

Holiday Lights Parade at FDR Park: (Yorktown) The Yorktown Parks and Recreation department is holding a holiday lights parade featuring decorated floats.
Date: Saturday, December 5 at 7 PM
Tickets/Price: Free

Holiday Light Spectacular at the Orange County Fairgrounds: (Middletown) Enjoy a holiday drive through, multi media projection show, lighted displays and more. Drinks and treats will be available for purchase.
Dates: November 27 – January 3 (Thursday – Sunday, November 27 – December 13), (Daily, December 17 – January 3) 5 PM – 10 PM
Tickets/Price: $25/per car online in advance, $30/per car at the door

Holiday Tea Musicale at Caramoor: (Virtual) Enjoy a special holiday streamed performance and self-paced virtual tour of the Rosen House.
You can add a Holiday Tea Box for $50 that includes an assortment of finger sandwiches, holiday treats and a variety of teas. A Deluxe Tea Set is available for $120 that includes a teapot, two teacups, a tray and a Caramoor tea blend. Boxes need to be picked up at Caramoor December 18, 19 or 20 between 10 AM and 12 PM.
Dates: December 14 – January 1, with special viewing performances on December 18, 19 and 20 at 1 PM, where you can chat with the Director of the Rosen House and fellow attendees
Tickets/Price: $10

NYBG Train Show

Holiday Train Show at NYBG: (Bronx)
This year, the New York Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show is a members only event. Members need to reserve tickets in advance and are limited to one visit.
Dates: November 12 – January 31

Kevin McCurdy’s Holiday Spirit Festival: (Wappingers Falls)
This year the Holiday Spirit Festival will be an all outdoor event. Enjoy the Winter Wonderland Walk through a North Pole village, train exhibit, Santa’s Reindeer Barn, holiday entertainment, characters and more.
Dates: Weekends Only (Friday-Sunday) November 27 – December 27, and December 22 and 23
Tickets/Price: $16/General Admission, Free/under 2 years

Merry and Bright Logo

Merry & Bright: A Holiday Driving Tour: (Hyde Park) The town of Hyde Park is holding a holiday light driving tour created by the community and local businesses. Homes can sign up to be part of the tour and ballots can be printed so you can vote on your favorite display. The kick-off on December 6th at 6 PM will include special one night only light displays at several town locations.
Dates: December 6 – December 20
Tickets/Price: Free

NYBG GLOW: (Bronx)
GLOW is an evening, outdoor illuminated experience at the New York Botanical Garden. During your visit you can also enjoy ice carving displays, dancers, musicians and other outdoor fun.
Dates: November 27, & 28, December 5, 12, 18, 19, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, January 1, 2, 9
Tickets/Price: $30/adults, $18/children (2-12), Free/children under 2
Members: $20/adult, $10/children (2-12), Free/children
under 2

Peace, Love, Lights: Drive-Thru Holiday Lights Experience at Bethel Woods: (Swan Lake) Enjoy an over one mile drive-thru holiday illuminated experience from the warmth of your car.
Dates: November 23 – January 3, 5 PM – 10 PM
Tickets/Price: $20/car

While you are at Bethel Woods, you can also enjoy Dinner with Santa before or after your drive-thru experience.
Dates: December 3- December 27, 5 PM – 8 PM
Price: $45/adult, $20/child

Photos with Santa:

Jefferson Valley Mall: (Yorktown Heights) This year photos with Santa will be looking a little different. Reservations are strongly recommended. Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks and guests are required to wear masks as well. This will be a socially distant experience.
Dates: November 27 – December 24

The Westchester: (White Plains) This year photos with Santa will be looking a little different. Reservations are required. Santa and his helpers will be wearing masks and guests are required to wear masks as well. This will be a socially distant experience.
Dates: November 20 – December 24

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Westchester’s Winter Wonderland: (Valhalla) This year, Westchester’s Winter Wonderland will be a drive-thru experience. Enjoy a 1.2-mile illuminated drive from the warmth of your car. You will enjoy a light and music extravaganza.
Dates: Open every night November 27 – January 3, (except November 30, December 7, December 14, December 24 and December 25)
Tickets/Price: $25/car, $40/van or limo

White Plains Holiday Market: (White Plains)
This holiday market will be held on Court Street between Martine Ave. and Main Street. Over 40 vendors and artisans will be selling their wares in sheds similar to those seen at Bryant Park.
Dates: December 18 – December 23

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)

Books to Celebrate Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Books

Mardi Gras is quickly approaching.  On February 9, the holiday will be celebrated with King’s cake and parades down in New Orleans.  Here are some Mardi Gras books to read with the family to celebrate!

Non-Fiction Books:

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans:  An Alphabet Book by Karen Jansen
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

This picture book goes through each letter of the alphabet and relates it to the celebration of Mardi Gras.  Each page is accompanied by what appears to be a colorful graffiti-inspired chalk illustration.  The text of this book is a bit busy.  The author uses alliteration for each letter so there are several sentences of text for each letter.  Every word on the page that begins with the featured letter is colored and the sentence from one page sometimes flows into the sentence of the next letter’s page.  Almost all the important concepts of Mardi Gras are touched upon or named in the text, but descriptions of them are not provided.  This book is okay to supplement your Mardi Gras reading, but does not provide enough information to make it a primary reference to learn about the holiday.

*This book was borrowed from the library.

Fiction Books:

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Mimi’s First Mardi Gras by Alice Couvillon and Elizabeth Moore
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In this lengthy picture book (yes, this is not a quick bedtime read!) Mimi goes to her first Mardi Gras.  She eats beignets for breakfast and gets dressed up as a princess before heading out to celebrate Mardi Gras with her parents.  Mimi’s parents explain many of the sights that she sees.  She gets to taste cotton candy for the first time and collects beaded necklaces.  Although this is a fictional picture book, I think it does a nice job of describing a child’s first experience of Mardi Gras.

* We borrowed this book from the library.

On Mardi Gras Day by Fatima Shaik
Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

This picture book depicts the Mardi Gras experience  through the eyes of two young children.  From the parades to the food, author Shaik drew upon her own childhood experiences to write this book.

*We borrowed this book from the library.

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Timothy Hubble and the King Cake Party by Anita C. Prieto
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is a cute fiction picture book that helps explain New Orleans tradition of King Cake during Mardi Gras.  Timothy Hubble’s family has just moved to New Orleans.  When he receives an invitation to his new friend and neighbor Adam’s king cake party he’s not exactly sure what to expect.  Adam and his twin sister Amanda explain what a king cake is and when and why the parties are held.  The explanation seems to worry Timothy even more…. a baby in the cake?  Girls at the party?  What happens if he doesn’t get the baby?  And what happens if he does and no girl wants to be his queen?!  This book does a good job of explaining the king cake tradition to young children, as well as touching upon worrying too much and making new friends.

*This book was borrowed from the library.