Best of Westchester - Kids


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Favorite Parent Band  
Ask Your Mom

(914) 646-4008
We love this six-piece Bedford-based “classic alternative” rock band, started in 2006. We love that its members are all suburban dads (they have 14 “known” children among them). We love that they don’t take themselves too seriously. We love that their day jobs are cool and diverse (drummer John Trumpbour is advertising director for Sony Music; bass player Buz Abrams is an emergency-room surgeon at Montefiore). We love that their instruments don’t come from Best Buy (guitarist Derek Correia plays a Gibson Les Paul and a Strat and Rob Cavenagh plays a Rickenbacker and a Gretsch). We love that they rock (their influences include the Clash, the Stones, and Eric Clapton). And we love that, as their name implies, they know who’s boss.

Sports Training           
Backyard Sports  
White Plains (914) 304-4052
High-tech this and state-of-the-art that. Whatever happened to plain old fun? It still exists—really. And it’s right in our own backyard. Here’s what we love about Backyard Sports: its focus is on kids, on sportsmanship, on fun. Founder and Scarsdale resident Danny Bernstein hopes Backyard Sports brings back some of the “schoolyard spirit and sandlot magic” that’s been lost over the years. Kids—and not just those destined for greatness—can play basketball in fall, soccer in winter, and baseball in the spring. A program for children with special needs also is offered.

Special Needs Program           
Special Needs Academic and Arts Center at JCC of Mid- Westchester
(914) 472-3300 x 327
Parents and caregivers don’t have to scratch their heads when looking for programs for children with speech and language delays, learning disabilities, or other special needs. At the JCC of Mid-Westchester, their progeny will be in the care of 12 teachers, who are supported by a full team of specialists experienced in speech and language pathology, occupational and physical therapy, social work, and psychology. But kids don’t care about credentials—they care about having fun, and the SNACC lets them have it in spades with their sports, arts, computer, music, and theater programs. The JCC of Mid-Westchester also offers transitional kindergarten for youngsters who’d benefit from an additional year of schooling and respite-care for families exhausted due to the demands of caring for a child with special needs.

Art Class/Instruction  
Clay Art Center
Port Chester (914) 937-2047
The Clay Art Center is a nationally recognized nonprofit ceramic art center is not just an adult art center, it has some of the best kids’ art programs around. Perhaps your eight-year-old would like the eight-week “Clay Afternoons” class, in which she can learn about the magic of molding and creating with clay. Got a teen at home? Sign him up for “Teens on Wheels,” a 10-week intro to working on the potter’s wheel. All classes are reasonably priced, too—$145 to $245 for members and $155 to $255 for non-members.

Indoor Sports Center  
OnTrack Sport Center   
Tarrytown (914) 909-2974
OnTrack Sport Center, adjacent to the Tarrytown Metro-North station, is a 26,000-square-foot indoor sport center with a 200-foot-by-70-foot main field, a field house featuring professional-grade synthetic turf, and a baseball center equipped with pitched-ball batting gages and a soft-toss area. Lots of classes too. Enough said.

Outdoor Family Event            
John Jay Homestead Barn Dance
(914) 232-8119, (914) 232-5651
Yee-ha! If you and your family haven’t been to the annual John Jay Homestead Barn Dance—a Westchester tradition for 16 years (2009 will mark the 17th)—held on the gorgeous 62-acre grounds of John Jay Homestead State Historic Site in Katonah, what in the world have you been waiting for? Why miss out on succulent country barbecue, a rock concert in the barnyard, make-your-own sundaes, and swimming-pig races? Don’t just sit there like a frog on a log—get your kids’ and your dancin’ shoes on!

Kids’ Furniture            
Crib & Teen City   
Hartsdale (914) 686-3331
Crib & Teen City doesn’t look lush or swanky like some of those high-priced kids’ furnishings stores, but we love its huge selection of well-priced quality furniture for babies, kids, and teens from Munire, Stanley, Lea, and Berg. And the staff couldn’t be friendlier or more helpful.




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