Family Favorites Winners 2018

We’ve asked you, our readers, what your family favorites are and then we tallied the numbers. So, drum roll please – here are the results.

Each category has an alphabetized list of the top five finalists with an editorial highlight of the overall winner.

Keep this article handy so you can refer to it all year long. Tell your friends too. In addition, the article is always available just a click away in the complete digital July 2018 issue at westchesterfamily.com. There you can flip through the pages and click on the live links that take you right to the winners’ websites.

This list is compiled through a random survey of Westchester Family magazine readers, enewsletter subscribers and social media followers between April 1, 2018 and May 31, 2018. This list is not meant to represent an endorsement from Westchester Family or Community News Group. Westchester Family and Community News Group do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any liability to any person related to use of any business, service or individual included on this list. As of press time all contact information for winners was verified. All top five nominees are listed in alphabetical order. In the event of a tie in voting, all honorees with votes making them eligible to be in the top five have been listed and a special note of a tie is included.

Family Fun

Amusement Center

Top 5

•Fun Fuzion (New Rochelle)

•Grand Prix New York (Mt. Kisco)

•Legoland Discovery Center (Yonkers)

•New Roc City (New Rochelle)

•Playland (Rye)

The Winner


Playland Pkwy., Rye

914-813-7010 or 7000


Playland was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. Families continue to enjoy the more than 50 rides for children, youngsters and adults. There’s also free entertainment, beach, pool, boardwalk and pier, lake boating, picnic area and mini golf. Kiddyland is dedicated to the youngest visitors with rides that are age appropriate. Check their schedule for summer fireworks displays.

Family Resort

Top 5

• Camelback Mountain Resort (Tannersville, PA)

• Great Wolf Lodge (Scotrun, PA)

• Hersheypark (Hershey, PA)

•Rocking Horse Ranch (Highland, NY)

• Smugglers’ Notch Resort (Smugglers’ Notch, VT)

The Winner

Smugglers’ Notch Resort

4323 Vermont Rte. 108 South

Smugglers’ Notch, VT



This mountainside resort village offers eight pools and four waterslides – more water playgrounds than any resort in New England! There’s also a daylong children’s program for ages 6 weeks to 17 years that offers fun for kids and freedom for parents. There are plenty of daily activities for families to enjoy together. Visit their new $4.2 million FunZone 2.0, a 26,000-square-foot Family Fun complex!

Family Theatre (Live)

Top 5 (* tie for winner)

• Emelin Theatre (Mamaroneck)

• The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College (Purchase)

• The Play Group Theatre (White Plains)

•Tarrytown Music Hall (Tarrytown)

• Westchester Broadway Theatre (Elmsford)

• White Plains Performing Arts Center (White Plains)

The Winners

Emelin Theatre

153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck



Emelin Theatre offers a Family Series that appeals to kids –and the kid in every parent. Presenting the work of talented groups like Theatreworks USA and collaborating with others such as the Missoula Children’s Theatre, Emelin offers quality programming for the junior set. Recent shows include Charlotte’s Web, Pete the Cat, Doktor Kaboom, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Curious George.

The Play Group Theatre

1 N. Broadway, #111, White Plains



It’s a testament to founders Jill and Steve Abusch and their staff that readers have selected Play Group Theatre as the place to see excellent performances. Kids love to see other kids on stage and when the acting is great and the aesthetics are wonderful it’s pure pleasure. Past shows include You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.

Museum for Families

Top 5

• Hudson River Museum (Yonkers)

• Katonah Museum of Art (Katonah)

• Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase)

• Stepping Stones Museum for Children (Norwalk, Conn.)

• Westchester Children’s Museum (Rye)

The Winner

Westchester Children’s Museum

100 Playland Pkwy., Rye



The Westchester Children’s Museum (WCM) is the first and only children’s museum in Westchester County. It was built by a determined grass roots effort that took years. This vibrant, colorful, interactive museum lets children take the lead with numerous hands-on exhibits including a Toddler’s Beach, Build Your Own Roller Coaster, Makerspace, Rigamajig Big Construction, KEVA Planks Construction Zone, Wind Tunnel Design and other spaces for creative inspiration. Young Discoverers is their popular weekly science-based “drop-in” program for children ages 2 to 5 and the Makers and Shakers STEM Afterschool Club is designed for kids in grades 3 to 5. Check their website for more great programs.

Nature Center

Top 5

• Greenburgh Nature Center (Scarsdale)

• Muscoot Farm (Katonah)

• Rye Nature Center (Rye)

• Teatown Lake Reservation (Ossining)

• Weinberg Nature Center (Scarsdale)

The Winner

Greenburgh Nature Center

Nature’s Discovery Playground

99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale



This 33-acre woodland preserve offers trails, a pond, gardens and a live animal museum. There are many great family programs held during the week and on weekends. There’s even summer camp! Make sure to take the kids to the Nature’s Discovery Playground, an outdoor playground suitable for all ages. Here kids can climb, slide and swing in a natural setting. The tree house-like structures are magical.

Place to Pick Apples

Top 5

• Barton Orchards (Poughquag)

• Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Jct.)

• Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard (North Salem)

• Outhouse Orchards (North Salem)

• Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm (Yorktown Heights)

The Winner

Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard

130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem



Picking apples is a time-honored tradition in Westchester. Don’t miss the chance to get out in the orchards and pick-your-own. In September and October Harvest Moon offers seasonal festivals, hayrides, a bounce house, games, live music, farm animals, pony rides, face painting and food and craft vendors. Plus their country store – loaded with homegrown veggies, fruit, eggs and other items – is open April through December. CSA’s are also available.

Activities & Learning

Academic Enrichment Program/Tutoring

Top 5

• Eye Level Learning (Briarcliff)

• Hudson Learning Lab (Pleasantville)

• Kumon (Croton-on-Hudson, Eastchester, Dobbs Ferry, Hartsdale, Mamaroneck, Mohegan Lake, Mt. Kisco, New Rochelle, Ossining, Pleasantville, Port Chester, Scarsdale, Somers, Tarrytown, White Plains, Yonkers, Yorktown Heights)

• Mathnasium (Ardsley/Irvington, Chappaqua, Cortlandt, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, Rye)

• Sylvan Learning (White Plains, Bronxville/Yonkers)

The Winner


Ardsley/Irvington, Chappaqua, Cortlandt, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, Rye



With six locations in Westchester, parents find it easy to locate a Mathnasium center close to their neighborhood. They also appreciate the math-only focus of the program that uses a combination of mental, verbal, visual, tactile and written techniques to help children improve their math skills. Developed by a teacher more than 40 years ago, the program continues to grow nationally and in Westchester County.

Fine Art Studio for Kids

Top 5

• Art Academy of Westchester (Dobbs Ferry)

• Katonah Art Center (Katonah)

• Pelham Art Center (Pelham)

• Rye Arts Center (Rye)

• Young At Art (Scarsdale)

The Winner

Rye Arts Center

51 Milton Road, Rye



Rye Arts Center offers a wide range of art classes for children of all ages. This non-profit organization also offers music lessons, musical theater classes and S.T.E.A.M. programs. There’s a pre-K program as well as Manga Club (Japanese Cartooning), painting, drawing and ceramics. The Center has been operating since 1960 and continues to strengthen and expand their programming. The LOOK! Program brings innovative arts education into many classrooms in the area.

Indoor Playspace

Top 5

• Bounce! Trampoline Sports (Valley Cottage)

• Great Play of Scarsdale (Scarsdale)

• Gymboree Play and Music (Scarsdale, Yorktown Heights/Jefferson Valley)

• The Play Place (Elmsford)

• Rockin’ Jump (Mt. Kisco, Ridge Hill/Yonkers)

The Winner

Great Play of Scarsdale

969B Central Park Ave., Scarsdale



This interactive gym for kids has classes for three age groups including toddlers (ages 6 months to 3 1/2), preschoolers (ages 3 1/2 to 5 1/2) and school-age kids (ages 4 1/2 to 10). Start with a parent/child class and as your wee one grows explore other single or multi-sport options. Kids develop motor and fitness skills in their Interactive Gym™. Their programs are continuous so you can join at any time. Once you are enrolled in a class you can partake in Open Gym, a free unstructured playtime for members.

Rock Club

Top 5

• The Cliffs at Valhalla (Valhalla)

• High Exposure Rock Climbing (Northvale, NJ)

• Life the Place to Be (Ardsley)

• The Rock Club at Pine Brook Fitness (New Rochelle)

• Sportime USA (Elmsford)

The Winner

The Cliffs at Valhalla

1 Commerce St., Valhalla



Interested in rock climbing? At the Cliffs you can pop in for the day or join a climbing club. There are four climbing clubs for kids grouped by age: ages 6 to 9 beginner, 6 to 9 intermediate, 9 to 12 and 13 to 18. For the serious climber there are Competitive Teams. Summer Camp, Scout Badge programs and individual or group instruction are also available.

Pottery Center

Top 5

• Clay Art Center (Port Chester)

• Fun Craft (Scarsdale)

• MADE: My Art + Design Experience (Mamaroneck)

• Plaster Palace Pottery (Larchmont)

• Westchester Putnam Pottery (Mahopac)

The Winner

Fun Craft

590 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale



Drop in with your toddler for the weekday art-infused Toddler Time. You can also walk-in and paint a plaster craft or a ceramic keepsake and personalized gift. There’s something for everyone here – art classes, workshops, camp programs and evening sessions just for adults.

STEM Program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Top 5

• Curious-on-Hudson (White Plains)

• Digital Arts Experience (Scarsdale)

• Engineering for Kids of Westchester County (countywide)

• Mathnasium (Ardsley/Irvington, Chappaqua, Cortlandt, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, Rye)

• STEM Alliance of Larchmont (Larchmont)

The Winner

Digital Arts Experience

303 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale



The Digital Arts Experience (DAE) helps students develop their interest and expertise in all things digital. The fully equipped classrooms feature the latest creative software, a makerspace with 3D printers and scanners, a photo and video studio, a recording studio and other equipment that makes learning digital easy. Experienced instructors are passionate about teaching digital arts to kids and the 1:6 teacher student ratio allows for individual student attention. Summer Camps and after-school programs are available.

Classes / Lessons

Performing Arts Class / Acting

Top 5

• Artistree Performing Arts (Mamaroneck)

• Broadway Training Center (Hastings-on- Hudson)

• Play Group Theatre (White Plains)

• Random Farms Kids’ Theater (Elmsford)

• Star Kidz (Harrison)

The Winner

The Play Group Theatre

1 N. Broadway, #111, White Plains



Jill Abusch, artistic director, and Steve Abusch, executive director, are co-founders of the award-winning Play Group Theatre that offers a full component of programs for students ages 4 to adult. MainStage and Theatre Lab are performance programs culminating in public or open performances. Classes are offered in Design Tech, Little Theatre (ages 4-6), acting, musical theatre, voice, college counseling, audition coaching and camps. Try the newest classes: Cabaret Troupe and Theatre Dance.

Dance Class

Top 5

• Breaking Ground Dance Center (Pleasantville)

• Central Park Dance (Scarsdale)

• Dance for Joy (Mohegan Lake)

• Logrea Dance Academy (Ossining)

• Studio B Dance Center (Eastchester)

The Winner

Studio B Dance Center

277 White Plains Road, Eastchester



Studio B provides a state-of-the-art dance facility with dance training in ballet, jazz, tap, musical theater, modern, contemporary and hip-hop. Classes include Baby Ballerinas for children ages 18-36 months through a series of age appropriate levels right up to the teens. Students can also participate in the Performance Company. Other opportunities such as student ambassador, National Honor Society for Dance Arts and teaching assistant are also available.

Gymnastics Class

Top 5

• American Gymnastics (Bedford Hills)

• GymCats Gymnastics (Yonkers)

• Gymnastics City (Cortlandt Manor)

• Jodi’s Gym (Mt. Kisco, NYC)

• World Cup Gymnastics (Chappaqua)

The Winner

GymCats Gymnastics

1 Odell Plaza, Yonkers



This modern, fully equipped facility offers classes for kids’ ages 20 months and up. Founded more than 30 years ago, GymCats works to help children improve their motor skills, body and spatial awareness, strength and overall fitness level. In addition to classes for seven age groups there are also open gym times and competitive and non-competitive team programs.

Horseback Riding Stable

Top 5

• Fox Hill Farms (Pleasantville)

• Kentucky Riding Stables (Harrison)

• Rocking Horse Ranch (Highland, NY)

• Twin Lakes Farm (Bronxville)

• Westchester Trail Rides (Croton-on-Hudson)

The Winner

Twin Lakes Farm

960 California Road, Bronxville



This riding academy and competitive show stable offers teams, lessons and practice sessions seven days a week. There are two campuses. North Campus is dedicated to lessons, camp, IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Assoc.) and Therapeutic Riding. The South Campus is for boarding, leasing and horse shows. There are miles of trails on the farm that sits on 150 acres of protected parkland. Students of all levels, from the beginning recreational rider to national competitors, are welcome.

Music Lessons

Top 5

• Bach to Rock (Mamaroneck)

• Belle School of Music (Scarsdale, White Plains, Yonkers)

• Harrison School of Music (Harrison)

• Mike Risko Music School (Ossining)

• Music Conservatory of Westchester (White Plains)

The Winner

Harrison School of Music

253 Halstead Ave., Harrison



At Harrison School of Music classes are available in guitar, bass, piano, drums, ukulele, singing, voice, saxophone, violin, flute and clarinet. Professional, experienced musicians teach students of all ages and abilities seven days a week. Students can study rock, pop, jazz, country, blues and classical styles. A comfortable parent’s lounge makes waiting easy. Music recitals are held at least two times a year.

Tennis Program for Kids

Top 5

• Club Fit (Briarcliff, Jefferson Valley)

• New Rochelle Racquet Club at Pine Brook Fitness (New Rochelle)

• The Play Place (Elmsford)

• Westchester Turf & Tennis (Hawthorne)

• Yonkers Tennis Center (Yonkers)

The Winner

Yonkers Tennis Center

493 Sprain Road, Yonkers



Family owned since 1971, Yonkers Tennis offers tennis for all ages and abilities. Private lessons and Junior Tennis Programs as well as summer camp are offered. The USTA (United States Tennis Assoc.) has given them national recognition for their programs.

Services & Shopping

Birthday Party Place

Top 5

• BounceU (Elmsford)

• Fun Craft (Scarsdale)

• Great Play of Scarsdale (Scarsdale)

• Jodi’s Gym (Mt. Kisco, NYC)

• Legoland Discovery Center (Yonkers)

The Winner

Fun Craft

590 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale



Well-known for “no stress, no mess parties,” Fun Craft specializes in running birthday parties for kids ages 1 and up. Their party packages start with a 45-minute craft session followed by dancing to upbeat music. Then enjoy a meal and birthday cake. Different packages offer other highlights including karoke singing, personalized party favors, interactive video games and LEGO tables. See their website for a video about who they are and what they offer.

Consignment Store for Kids

Top 5

• Affordables (Dobbs Ferry)

• Lil Chameleon (Tuckahoe)

• Once Upon A Child (Baldwin Place)

• Once Upon A Child (Scarsdale)

• The Preppy Turtle (Bedford Hills)

The Winner

Lil Chameleon

29 Elm St., Tuckahoe



This kid’s resale boutique buys, sells and trades new and nearly new clothing for kid’s sizes newborn to 12. You’ll also find books, toys, gear and accessories. Take your gently used or new items to the store and Lil Chameleon may select them paying you 30 percent cash or 50 percent store credit, based on the resale price. Have a tea or coffee in the café and check out the classes, events and camps that are also offered! See their website for further details.

Local New Clothing Store (Kids)

Top 5

• Jagger & Jade (Armonk)

• Lester’s Clothing (Rye Brook)

• Little Rags & Riches (Armonk)

• Neil’s Corner Spot (Scarsdale)

• Squires Family Clothing (Chappaqua)

The Winner

Lester’s Clothing

18 Rye Ridge Plaza, Rye Brook



Lester’s carries clothing, shoes and accessories for contemporary juniors, young men, kids and baby. An amazing variety of brands fill the racks. This is a popular spot for sweet 16 and bar/bat mitzvah wear. Lester’s is now looking for new models so fill out the entry form online to enter your kid.

Local Bakery for a Kid’s Birthday Cake

Top 5

• ABC Cakes (Mamaroneck)

• Baked by Susan (Croton-on-Hudson)

• Homestyle Desserts Bakery (Peekskill)

• Lulu Cake Boutique (Scarsdale)

• Riviera Bakehouse (Ardsley)

The Winner

Riviera Bakehouse

660 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley



Whether it’s a birthday, graduation or other special occasion, custom cakes or cupcakes from Riviera Bakehouse adds a magical touch. Everything here is made in-house and from scratch. The baked goods taste great and the whimsical designs are a work of art. Open seven days a week.

Local Ice Cream

Top 5 (* tie for Top 5)

• Blue Pig (Croton-on-Hudson)

• King Kone (Katonah)

• Main Street Sweets (Tarrytown) *

• Murray’s Ice Cream (Harrison)

• Penny Lick (Hastings-on-Hudson) *

• Village Creamery & Sweetshop (Valhalla)

The Winner

Murray’s Ice Cream

240 Halstead Ave., Harrison


Murray’s offers more than 40 different varieties of hard ice cream, soft serve ice cream, frozen yogurt, Italian ice, gelato and gluten-free options in a cute neighborhood shop with friendly service. Ask about the ice cream cakes and cookie sandwiches ideal for graduations, birthdays and other events. They also have other kid-friendly favorites like candy, games and toys.

Place to Dine with Children

Top 5

• Bareburger (Hartsdale)

• California Pizza Kitchen (Scarsdale)

• City Limits (White Plains)

• Smashburger (Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, White Plains Pelham Manor))

• Wobble Café (Ossining)

The Winner


448 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck



Kids are big on burgers and parents tell us the ease of dining at Smashburger makes grabbing a burger here a pleasure. And there’s more than burgers – you’ll find chicken sandwiches, salads, sides and the classic grilled cheese. And you have to love the extensive calorie counts listed on the menu. Plus, Udi’s gluten-free buns are available.

Pet Shop

Top 5

• Bark & Meow (Tarrytown)

• Bird Jungle (Scarsdale)

• Petco (Hartsdale, Larchmont, Mt. Kisco, Mt. Vernon, Port Chester, Yonkers)

• Pet Goods (Scarsdale)

• PetSmart (Greenburgh, Mohegan Lake, Scarsdale, Yonkers)

The Winner


Hartsdale, Larchmont, Mt. Kisco, Mt. Vernon,

Port Chester, Yonkers


Parents say they like the range of choices available at this large chain pet store. Petco carries items for cats, dogs, fish, small reptiles and birds. You’ll find food, treats, play & wear, health products and gear. Ordering online is also an option. Some shops also offer pet grooming and other services.