March Hike: Cranberry Lake Preserve

Yes, it’s still cold…spring has not yet sprung…and it’s still awfully hard to get everyone motivated to get outside for a hike. I know, I know! But I’m on a mission here, folks – one hike a month. So, this month, I had to plan carefully and find a hike that offered just a little something “extra”. Maybe that’s what you need, too, to get your family out the door.  Consider Cranberry Lake Preserve- one of my favorite hikes in Westchester. Here’s how we made this hike just a little more enticing, to get the family motivated on a cold and partially overcast day: we turned this hike at Cranberry Lake Preserve into a scavenger hunt, full of history and mystery.

Cranberry Lake Preserve has a fascinating past, and remnants of its days-gone-by are preserved all around the trails. Not only that, the Westchester Department of Parks has made available a History Trail Map, which makes the historical markers and artifacts around the park easy to find and explore.  Click here to link to the map, and bring a copy with you.

This hike is easily turned into a scavenger hunt by searching for the many unique points of interest around the lake. This will engage even your reluctant hikers. Here’s  a quick list to get you started – 6 of the many interesting features to hunt for and find on your hike at Cranberry Lake:

1. The quarry – it’s beautiful and there are plenty of areas along the back ridge where the kids can do some rock scrambling….with careful supervision, of course! Continue reading

Wordless Wednesday…Where in Westchester?

The best part about being “an explorer”…stumbling upon things you never knew existed. This is what I stumbled upon this week….no, not on a remote hillside in Germany…right here in Westchester. Do you know where? Take a guess in the comments. I’ll provide the answer on Friday….along with the little bit of information I was able to find about this wonderful…and very old…piece of Westchester history.

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One Cute Puppy + Several Good Deeds = One Very Happy Day at Adopt-a-Dog

The cute puppy in this equation is Alex; sweet, still getting used to people, currently waiting to be adopted from Adopt-a-Dog in Armonk. A little shy, with a non-stop wagging tail, a very cuddly nature, and adorable big brown eyes.

Happy Day Westchester Adopt a Dog Girl with Alex

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#HappyinWestchester…Send me a picture of what makes you happy

You must have heard…today is International Day of Happiness. I’d love to do my small part in spreading a little Happiness right here on this page. Can you help? I’m looking for your #HappyInWestchester photos. What is it about Westchester that makes you smile? Is it the view from the train as you head to work? Is it the park in town where your kids play? The coffee shop that gets you going each morning? Your own backyard?

Email me your photos at HappyDayWestchester@gmail.com. Nothing fancy – a shot from your phone is just fine. Include your first name and where the photo was taken. I’ll do my best to get as many posted as I can. Let’s spread a little Westchester Happiness! Continue reading

Hastings-on-Hudson, Part II: Beyond the Museum in the Streets

A few days ago I wrote about the fun we had exploring the Museum in the Streets in Hastings-on-Hudson– but the Museum was only part of our afternoon in this vibrant little town. In addition to all the things we saw on the walking tour, we discovered many other beautiful spots, delicious eateries, and interesting places. If you remember, I talked about the fun of being an intrepid explorer, even when you’re close to home and you won’t be leaving the ‘burbs anytime soon. When you explore a town you don’t usually visit, you’re guaranteed to find unique places and things your own town doesn’t have. That’s how we discovered The Museum in the Streets – and so much more…

During our day in Hastings, around  every corner we found something novel – a beautiful garden, a playground we’ve never visited, a “Gingerbread House”, a shop selling vinyl records (“What’s a vinyl record, Mom?”). Continue reading

Be an explorer! The Museum in the Streets at Hastings-on-Hudson

Be an explorer. No matter how wonderful your own little corner of Westchester is, everyone needs to do this once in a while: go for a long walk in a corner of Westchester that you usually don’t spend time in.  You’ll feel a little like you’re on vacation, wandering through a funky neighborhood or quaint old village, maybe for the first time, discovering all the wonderful little things the “locals” take for granted.

Happy Day Westchester Museum int he Streets Sign

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Beautiful Sites, Happy Moments: The Bedford Oak

Spring is coming – really, it is – and life is starting to heat up around here. As schedules get busier and spring sports kick into gear, it gets harder to find the time for big family outings or special events. Sometimes the best you can do is string together a few sweet and simple happy moments in between errands, appointments, tournaments and recitals. Luckily, Westchester is filled with so many beautiful places, there’s bound to be someplace nearby to stop and have a few quiet, special moments, or even a mini-adventure.

Not far from the center of town in the historic village of Bedford grows the mighty Bedford Oak.  This wondrous tree first sprouted up out of the ground over 500 years ago. Before our lovely Westchester was a county – before New York was a state – before The United States was even a country – this tree started it’s journey. Continue reading

The Hudson River Museum is on fire!

Well, figuratively speaking, that is. There are just so many great things going on right now! Here are four reasons you should get over there as soon as possible:

1) The Art of Video Games

From the moment I heard about the Hudson River Museum’s latest exhibit, I couldn’t wait to check it out – and it was even better than expected.

Organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the exhibit presents a series of stations which together present the evolution of the art of gaming.  Each station is a visually appealing, interactive and information-packed kiosk highlighting a particular gaming system from a particular moment in time, along with four representative video games for that system. Continue reading