Get (Safely!) Out and About in Westchester & the Hudson Valley this Winter
Your family could really use a fun outing, but you're committed to social distancing. If you haven't been motivated to get outside in the winter in the past, make this your year to explore new places and try new things, all while staying a safe distance from others. If you can, switch your schedule and do your outings on weekdays to avoid weekend crowds. KIdOutAndAbout offers a few suggestions you may not have considered, and all of them are around Westchester and the Hudson Valley.
Note: Looking at the two different lists may be slightly different, but you'll see a bunch of overlap in the lists.
There's never been a better time to learn a new winter sport. Staying at home all the time is tedious, and we're all hoping that we can make this winter fly by. If you're not sure where to get started, begin with our Embrace the Winter article that offers an overview of some outdoor sports you might like to try. Of course the most popular is downhill skiing and snowboarding, and we've got a list of places within driving distance. Remember, different resorts may be following different protocols, and you may need to pay attention to crossing state lines as well. Be sure to click on the ski resorts website to get all the details before setting out.
Maple sugaring events are a great activity to do while you're socially distancing. Enjoy the great outdoors, meet local farmers and businesses, learn some science, appreciate the often-unappreciated season of late winter, and of course, taste some delicious maple goodness!
Because maple sugaring is weather-dependent, it's a good idea to call ahead and confirm that an event is still taking place before heading out.
When Staying Home is Your Only Option
We know that things are changing quickly, and whether it's new local regulations or your own family's need to isolate, even the safest "out and about" options may not be appropriate for you at some point this winter. If that's the case, keep in mind that we've got plenty of ideas to keep life interesting while you're at home.
Go on a Hunt
Kids love a good hunt! There is something very motivating and satisfying about seaching for something, whether it's treasure or not. One fun way to lean into that impulse is to go geocaching. Did you know that little treasures are hidden all over the place? If you've never tried geocaching, it's a wonderful opportunity for kids to get some activity outside while using using their deductive skills. Local company Rock Paper Scissors Custom Events runs driveable scavenger hunts around Fairfield and Westchester County, often to raise money for charity. There are also tons of companies that offer virtual scavenger hunts, either for items that you can find just about anywhere, or region-specific hunts that provide a tour of a special place. Both activities offer the chance to safely explore while keeping a distance from others.
Visit a Sculpture Park
Sculpture parks offer the opportunity to take in some sculpture while enjoying outdoor space. You can enhance your experience by bringing along sketchbooks or cameras to see how the sculptures can inspire your own compositions. The sprawling grounds allows kids to be a bit more relaxed than in a typical museum, and best of all, it's easy to keep a distance from others. Opus 40 is open from Thursday through Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm, but you need to plan ahead and reserve a time to visit. Unison’s sculpture garden will be open to the public beginning Friday, June 19. There are no bathrooms available and the parking lot fits only up to 15 cars, and some of wooden areas of the garden are narrow, so don’t forget your masks and distancing
If you dress appropriately, you can take a hike year-round. It's great exercise, it lets you connect with nature and each other, and best of all, it's free. Put away the phones (except for cool activities like geocaching, looking up new plants, or making a photo collage or map) and head out to the trail! Click the link below for nearby options, and also check out our article of tips and tricks for making the most of the experience and avoiding whining.