Easter and Passover Celebrations in Westchester
Welcome to spring, and spring break, and Easter, and Passover. It’s a busy time of year — but also a festive one. In addition to savoring the warmer weather, and maybe taking a little time off, this spring brings overlapping holidays. Check out our favorite ideas for Easter and Passover celebrations in Westchester. It’s a great time to bring the family together for some meaningful fun.
Easter Egg Hunts in Westchester
Launch your hunt on Saturday, April 9 (3 – 5:45 pm) at the Maria Regina High School’s annual community-minded Easter egg hunt in Hartsdale. Children are given baskets and can eat what they gather (no limitations on quantity here). There will also be arts and crafts and families can take photos with the famous bunny.
Check out the Easter celebration at Bartow-Pell Mansion in Pelham Bay on April 9 and 16 (10 am – 3 pm), where kids hunt for eggs in the historic mansion’s formal garden and can have their photo taken with the Easter Bunny. BYOB (Bring your own basket).
On April 16 (12 – 5 pm), celebrate Easter at the Barley Beach House in Rye Town Park with egg-hunting, face-painting, a bouncy castle and photos with the bunny. Further incentive includes cotton candy and popcorn, along with a raffle for a basket filled with candy and Fortnite gift cards.
The Yonkers Christian Assembly presents its YCA Easter Egg Hunt on April 16, (11am). The hunt takes place on the assembly’s front lawn and includes a golden egg, which will net a special prize for its finder.
On April 17 (11 am – 12:30 pm), The Wolf Conservation Center’s Egg Hunt with Wolves takes place in Salem (a little outside Westchester but worth the short trip.) Instead of hunting, the guests hide the eggs for the center’s ambassador wolves to find. Kids also learn about the mythology, biology and ecology of wolves in North America, and might spot the WCC’s critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves.
How to Celebrate Passover in Westchester
While many Westchester temples are hosting events for Passover (April 15-23), this is a holiday that is mostly celebrated at home. Because the seder falls on a weekend this year, and Hebrew school students are exempt from Sunday morning classes, it’s a perfect time to create an at-home Passover event. Here are some thoughtful and fun ways that Westchester families can celebrate Passover at home.
Make an Afikomen Bag
The hunt and reward for the afikomen (the middle matzoh piece that is hidden during the Seder) is one of the highlights of Passover for little kids. Follow Tori Avey’s simple no-sew craft project to create an afikomen bag for the hidden matzah treasure.
Create a Matzoh-Holder
You’ve heard of a breadbasket, but what about a matzohbasket? Create your own matzoh-holder with this easy craft activity, and then proudly display it on the table during the seder.
Learn About the Plagues
Create plague cards which explain each of the 10 plagues and how they afflicted the Israelites in Egypt. (History lesson included!) Kids can color in the drawings and paste the story on the back. Parents can even laminate the cards and/or use them as fun flash cards to test the family’s Passover knowledge.
Play Passover-Themed Games
Rite Lite, a company dedicated to making Judaica accessible, offers several twists on standard games with their Ten Plagues Bowling Alley, Tic Tac Wood, Let My People Go, and Who Am I? Gather the family around the table and get competitive.
Go on a Passover Adventure
Younger kids will love K’ilu Kit: Passover Adventure, an audio-led adventure kit using additional storytelling materials to help little ones imagine themselves on the Israelites’ journey across rivers and over mountains into freedom.
Share the Stories
Make your Own Matzoh
Adapted from a recipe by Amy Manheim
- cold water
- Set oven on highest temperature setting.
- Measure 1 part water to 3 parts flour.
- Quickly mix and knead into a firm ball of 1-2 inches.
- Roll out dough as thin as possible.
- Poke holes in the dough with a fork.
- Put dough onto a greased cookie sheet and into the hot oven.
- Bake for 2-3 minutes until done.
Whatever religion you celebrate (or don’t), April’s major holidays (which fall on the same weekend this year) are an ideal opportunity to bring the family together and have some fun with the kids.