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December 2016

Growing Great Families for 25 Years

Holiday Gift Guide

Great Gifts for Kids Encourage Your Son

Boys & Dance


Wonderful Ways To Enjoy the Holiday Season

EDUCATION SPECIAL Meet the School Directors

RECYCLING CARTONS IS AS EASY AS 1-2-3 1. EMPTY your food and beverage cartons. 2. ADD cartons to recycling bin with other containers. 3. CELEBRATE less trash and more reuse. Learn more at



Co-Ed • Grades K-12

100 Overlook Circle New Rochelle, NY 10804 | | 914-632-8836 December 2016 |


CONTENTS December 2016 departments

Volume twenty-six • number 12

6 Editor’s Note 8 FAMILY F.Y.I. 10 Fab 4

4 Places to Donate in Westchester


The ABC’s of Safe Sleep for Baby

22 LET’S GO TO ...

The Polar Express Train™ Ride

24 #metime

Facial Cleansers

46 Last word

Forty-Nine Perfect Hearts

calendar Family Activities for December

33 Top Pick 36 Boscobel’s Sparkle 38 Click Clack Moo 39 Connecticut Corner 40 Nutcracker Season 42 City Picks

features 12

NAPPA Gift Guide

Holiday shopping just got easier! Learn which toys and gear won the 2016 National Parenting Publications Award (NAPPA) competition. NAPPA’s distinguished team of judges – with the help of expert child testers – present you with the top children’s gifts to give this season.


Encouraging Boys to Dance

It’s not only girls who love to dance. Boys also enjoy expressing themselves through movement. Learn how dance benefits boys in a multitude of ways, including academics and better performance in a variety of sports. Find out where boys dance classes are being offered in our county and what you should know before you enroll your son.

December 2016

On the cover 12

Great Gifts for Kids!


Encouraging Boys to Dance


26 Meet the School Director 16 Holiday Gift Guide

Coming Next Month Be Sure to Attend the Westchester Family Camp Fair On January 22, 2017 from 1 to 4 p.m. Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club opens their doors for the FREE Westchester Family Camp Fair 2017. Meet directors from the best day and sleep away camps and ask your questions in person. to make this important decision.

Growing Great Families for 25 Years

Holiday Gift Guide

Great Gifts

33 125 Ways to Enjoy the Holiday Season

for Kids


Encourage Your Son

Boys & Dance

Meet the School Directors


Wonderful Ways To Enjoy the Holiday Season

Cover Photo

EDUCATION SPECIAL Meet the School Directors


Westchester Family | December 2016

Family Finance: Alternative Ways to Save Money It’s a new year and a chance for your family to make a new financial start. Make 2017 the year you meet your financial goals. Learn some alternative ways to save money this year. Plus … Westchester Family’s award-winning searchable calendar for families and much more! Look for it starting December 28!

Contests //

OUR DECEMBER CONTESTS Fisher-Price® Bob the Builder Super Scoop Enter to win Fisher-Price® Bob the Builder Super Scoop. Scoop isn’t just a hardworking digger; he’s Bob’s best friend, and he’s ready to show off his new moves as he’s brought to life through remote control motorized action! For ages 3 years and up. Retail value, $49.99. Contest ends Dec. 28, 2016. Enter to win at

The LEGO Christmas Ornaments Book LEGO fans can build lasting memories by making their own do-it-yourself ornaments with the help of this new No Starch Press book featuring 15 designs including classics like a wreath and snowflake and other designs like a computer and lantern. Retail value, $19.95. Contest ends Dec. 28, 2016. Enter to win at PBS KIDS Look and Learn Birds Enter to win PBS KIDS Look and Learn Birds that comes packed with everything a young birder needs to get started, including child-size binoculars. Also included is a colorful, engaging 64-page book, a portable list of common birds that kids can take on their nature walk, and an activity poster that encourages observation and creativity. For ages 4 and up. Retail value, $19.99. Contest ends Dec. 28, 2016. Enter to win at

December 1st-19th Boys and girls ages 2-16

Classes available 7 days a week

Call the studio to pick your class day and time!

277 White Plains Road Eastchester, NY 10709

(914) 793-2799 December 2016 |


Editor’s Note //

Published by Community News Group CEO Les Goodstein President & Publisher Jennifer Goodstein Westchester Family Publisher Clifford Luster co-Publisher/ Editor Jean Sheff Calendar Editor Susan Goldberg

Got to Dance


irls have needed some encouragement to step up and take their place in certain situations, for example, on the athletic field and in STEM classrooms. Most parents would agree that girls deserve all the opportunities that boys enjoy. And yet, there are some instances where boys also could use some support – most notably – in dance class. When my daughter was in preschool there was an incredible demand for pre-K ballet classes at the local community center. Devoted mothers would line up at 6 a.m. to secure a spot in class. There was much contention from those that didn’t get to enroll. Fair enough, but what happened later floored me. Since the children were young, parents drove them to ballet class and would wait for them in the small lobby as the kids danced in the studio. Every little girl showed up in the required pink leotard and tights – and one young boy showed up too. He looked quite handsome in his white T-shirt and black tights. Once the children paraded into the dance studio one mother let out an audible sigh, then another and another. She scanned the room looking to connect with another mother. Soon enough she was speaking at large to the group. “What a waste, my daughter’s best friend didn’t get to enroll in this class and here they let a boy in.” All the other moms just stared at her in disbelief. Finally, one mom spoke up for us

Feedback Share your feedback and ideas! 6

Westchester Family | December 2016

all, “Don’t be ridiculous, boys should take ballet as well as girls.” When we were driving home I took the subject up with my daughter by saying, “I see you have a boy in class.” Without a pause she replied, “Matthew, and he ran the fastest in the circle dance.” End of story. Since that time hip hop has opened up the world of dance for many boys, and well it should. But ballet and other dance forms should also be open to boys, and parents should be delighted when their sons want to sign up. This month we explore the topic with our article, “Encouraging Boys to Dance.” Stacey Pfeffer looks at what dance can offer boys and the local classes that welcome them. And since it’s the time of year when gifts are ever present on our minds, be sure to consult the NAPPA Gift Guide for awardwinning, kid-tested toys and gear. There’s plenty to celebrate this month, so Susan Goldberg has compiled a robust Calendar of Events that can help you find the best family activities in the county. We hope you enjoy exploring these fun activities and creating many wonderful family memories. Enjoy your holidays, Jean Sheff Co-Publisher, Editor

Email us at

ADVERTISING SALES Account Managers LynnMarie Hanley Nina Spiegelman PRODUctION Art Director Leah Mitch Production Staff Arthur Arutyunov Gardy Charles Earl Ferrer John Napoli Michael Shirey DISTRIBUTION & CIRCULATION Rare Sales Inc. Bob Engelman 914-661-3605 Printed by Publication Printers Please recycle this magazine.

Westchester Family (ISSN 1043-6774) is published monthly by Community News Group, LLC. Please note that the advertisements in this magazine are paid for by the advertisers, which allows this magazine to be free to the consumer. Limit of one free copy per reader. Unless specifically noted, no advertisers, products or services are endorsed by the Publisher. All real estate advertised herein is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act, which makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin or intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertising are available on an equal opportunity basis. Editorial submissions are welcome.

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December 2016 |


Family FYI //

Screen Time: A Parents Role

Rockin’ Jump Opens Holiday Shopping in Ridge Hill Just Got Better Taking the kids holiday shopping isn’t always the best idea, but now you can reward their cooperation with quality fun and indoor aerobic exercise at the new Rockin’ Jump at Ridge Hill. And after all that shopping parents deserve to burn off some steam too! So, join the kids on the trampolines. Billed as the Ultimate Trampoline Park®, Rockin’ Jump offers plenty of jumping as well as other activities. How about a game of trampoline dodge ball or try the slam dunk zone or scale the climbing wall? Go online to make your reservation and sign your waiver so you’ll be ready for jumping as soon as you arrive. Rockin’ Jump also hosts class and group trips and birthday parties. Book a Standard Open Jump Time (11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday; until 8 p.m. on Sunday) for 60 minutes at a cost of $19; 90 minutes: $25; and 120 minutes: $29. Or sign up for Rockin’ Tots, a Parent & Me Jump Time (9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Monday through

Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.) $18 for one parent and child ($5 each additional child and $12 each additional adult). Rockin’ Jump, Ridge Hill, 241 Market St., Yonkers. 510-9119. – Jean Sheff

NEW: Now You Can Recycle Cartons! Did you know that you can now recycle cartons like those used for milk and orange juice? Whether it’s iced coffee, apple juice, chicken broth, soy milk or protein drinks, we got your food and beverage cartons covered. It’s easy – just put your clean, empty cartons into your commingled recycling bin along with your bottles and cans. When you recycle cartons, you give them a new life as paper products you use every day, like paper towel, toilet paper and tissues. How does it work? Once collected, cartons are separated from other containers and sent to a recycler. At paper mills, the carton fibers are separated from the thin layers of aluminum or plastic in a hydrapulper (think: giant kitchen blender). That pulp can then be used to make


Westchester Family | December 2016

new paper products like tissue paper! The aluminum and plastic can be further recycled or used to generate energy at the paper mill. Visit for more information about carton recycling in your area. Do the right thing —recycle those cartons and keep them out of the landfills! – Carton Council

The digital world is here to stay and it’s a parent’s job to model good behavior and help kids set limits. Model thoughtful use of technology. Show kids that it’s OK not to be accessible to everyone 24-7. Schedule times for the entire family to log off. Model good habits by unplugging for meals and not texting and driving.  Teach them how to live in an unfiltered world. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of stuff out there that’s not appropriate for children. Filtering will only get you so far – it cannot protect your child from everything. Even if you filter the Internet at home, children can gain access to the Internet elsewhere. Don’t delude yourself – it’s an unfiltered world out there. Learn from each other. You can teach your kids a lot about technology, but they can teach you too. Ask your child to show you how they use their apps or have them help you set up your privacy setting on Snapchat.  Ask permission before posting pics of your kids on social media. This teaches them to respect boundaries and privacy and to be cognizant of online audiences. It shows you respect them, teaches them that it is OK to say no and models that they should ask friends before sharing their photos, too. Promote creativity over consumption. Encourage your kids to be creators – not just consumers. Make stuff together, online and offline. In the digital realm, you can make a family scrapbook, design a videogame, make a photo calendar for grandma, write some code in Scratch or make a movie on YouTube.   – Devorah Heitner, Ph.D. is the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Thrive (and Survive) in Their Digital World.

Kids’ Night on Broadway 2017! Parents, save Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017 for the 21st Kids’ Night on Broadway®. This annual New York City event allows kids ages 18 and under to attend a participating Broadway show for free, when accompanied by a full-paying adult. But even more important, get your phones out and put in a reminder for 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016. That’s when the Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway industry, officially opens Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket sales. Book your tickets on kidsnightonbroadway. com, visit the individual theater box office, or call the theater’s phone listed on the individual show’s page on the Kids’ Night on Broadway website. This is an incredibly popular event and tickets are sure to sell out fast. Participating shows will be announced soon. Many Times Square area eateries are offering specials for Kids’ Night on Broadway ticket-holders, including free entrees for kids. There’s also study guides available for individual shows and a free Kids’ Night on Broadway Activity Book distributed on the day of the event to all ticket holders. See

Give your kids the gift of live theater with tickets to Kids’ Night on Broadway. for all the latest information. Want to get kids in the mood? Log onto the new family website to

watch, learn and enjoy all things Broadway! Sign up for the free newsletter and stay in the know. – Jean Sheff

December 2016 |


Fab 4 //

4 Places to Donate in Westchester Teach your child empathy, tolerance and good citizenship by encouraging them to donate this holiday season. Consider your child’s interests and match them with a donation need in the community. Making a donation together is a good way to introduce volunteering.

Eliminate Hunger Most children can relate to feeling hungry, and helping to feed others less fortunate can be a powerful lesson. Organize a food drive in your neighborhood, school or workplace – or simply make a personal donation by taking your child shopping for items to donate. See the Food Bank’s website for to find the most needed items and other tips and suggestions. Food Bank for Westchester, 200 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford. 923-1100.

Care for Animals Most kids adore animals. While children can volunteer on site, the SPCA also has need for pet supplies and household items. You can shop with your child for cat and dog food, or cat and dog toys, all of which the center can use. You can also go through your linen closet with your child to select old sheets (not fitted), towels and blankets (no comforters) to donate. SPCA of Westchester, 590 N. State Road, Briarcliff Manor. 941-2894.

Dress Up Getting dressed for school might be an easy task for your child, but explain that some children don’t have proper clothes to wear. Shop your child’s closet together and set aside items to donate that are too small. The Sharing Shelf collects gently used or new clothing in sizes newborn to XXL. They also accept gently worn shoes, strollers, pack-n-plays and new school supplies. The Sharing Shelf, 47 Purdy Ave., Port Chester. 305-5950. TheSharingShelf@

Happy Birthday Most kids really enjoy their very special day – their birthday. Explain to your child that not every child gets to celebrate their birthday in style. Consider joining the Birthday Giving Project sponsored by Family-to-Family and put a birthday in a box. Have fun putting together items that can help a kid with ‘less’ have more on their birthday. Family-to-Family, P.O. Box 255, Hastings-on-Hudson. 478-2641. – Jean Sheff


Westchester Family | December 2016

December 2016 |


The Season’s Best

Shown in detail above:

Virtual Explorer Space Expedition, Antopia Adventure and Prehistoric Safari Uncle Milton, $34.99 -$49.99,


Westchester Family | December 2016

Your ’T Guide to Holiday Shopping A Collection of NAPPA Winners By Julie Kertes

is the season for shopping, but don’t let the pressure of finding that perfect gift take the “happy” out of your holidays. Before you hit the mall – or Internet – take a look at the fantastic finds below, all of which were recognized and awarded by the National Parenting Product Awards (NAPPA). For the past 26 years, NAPPA has been the go-to source for parents looking for quality, entertaining and educational products for their families. NAPPA’s team of expert judges and parent and kid testers meticulously evaluate hundreds of submissions each year and award only the best of the best with the coveted NAPPA seal. See more of this year’s winners at

Toys & Games

Arckit Go Colours Arckit, $59.99,, 10+

Folkmanis® Monarch Life Cycle Puppet Folkmanis, $39.99,folkmanis. com, 3+

LOVE2LEARN ELMO Hasbro, Inc., $69.99,, 18 months and up

Mighty Makers Director’s Cut Building Set K’NEX Brands, $34.99,, 7+

Crayola Air Marker Sprayer

Lion Guard Training Lair Playset Just Play, $59.99,, 3+

Crayola, $29.99,, 8+

Hannah the Hanukkah Hero Mensch on a Bench, $29.99,, 3+

Smithsonian Planetarium Projector Nsi International, Inc., $39.99,, 8+

Grabolo PlayMonster, $11.99, playmonster. com, 6+

My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage Set of Four Jumping Sacks Pacific Play Tents, $56.95,, 3+

PlayMonster, $29.99, playmonster. com, 4+

December 2016 |


Toys & Games

Gadgets & Gear

Belli Bloomlife, $29/week,, expectant moms

Zoomer Hedgiez Spin Master, $39.99,, 4+

Roominate - Cotton Candy Carnival PlayMonster, $44.99, playmonster. com, 8+

Rainbow Alligator PlanToys®, Inc., $20,, 12m+

Motorola® MBP853CONNECT Digital Video Baby Monitor with Wi-Fi Internet Viewing Motorola, $249.99,, birth and up

Clean Munchkin, $40, munchkin. com, 0 to 6 months

Pump and Go Complete Starter Set Tommee Tippee, $66 to $99,, expectant parents, parents, birth to 24 months


My First Bananagrams®

Lamaze Mix and Match Caterpillar

WowWee, $199.99,, 8+

Bananagrams, Inc., $14.99,, 5+

TOMY, $19.99,, 6 months and up

Think & Learn Smart Scan Color Chameleon (DRM39)

E-Z Grip Football

Skylanders Imaginators

Worry Eaters

Tucker Toys, $12.99,tuckertoys. com, 5+

Activision Publishing, $74.99,, all ages

The Haywire Group, $22.99,, all ages

Fisher-Price, $24.99, Fisher-Price. com, 3 to 6 years


Westchester Family | December 2016

A GREAT START, FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE Your child’s emotional, intellectual and physical development are all equally important. For infants, nurturing caregivers and “container free” rooms encourage exploration and natural development ENRICHMENT PROGRAMS: Music and Movement • Nature • Science • Yoga

For toddlers, the right balance of independence and teamwork build a sense of self and promote cooperation For preschoolers, a focus on critical thinking and early literacy skills ensures they’re kindergarten-ready CALL TODAY TO SCHEDULE A TOUR: (914) 606-6644

Center hours: Monday – Friday, 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM • 75 Grasslands Road, Valhalla NY 10595 (914) 606-6644 • •

December 2016 |


Holiday Gift Guide Special Advertising Supplement

Bounce! Bounce! has quickly become the most popular activity venue for kids and adults alike in the tri-state area! It is so much fun, you won’t know it’s exercise! This year give a unique fitness gift with a Bounce! Trampoline Sports Gift Card. Bounce! Trampoline Sports 612 Corporate Way, Valley Cottage, NY. 845-268-4000


Pine Brook Fitness Give the gift of fitness this Holiday season! The New Rochelle Racquet Club, The Rock Club and The Studios at Pine Brook Fitness offer a variety of tennis, fitness and rock climbing programs and packages for the whole family! Stop by for a tour or give us a call for more information. // 914-636-1019

The Westchester

Emelin Theatre

Give Sparkle. For the season’s most wonderful gifts, shop Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Burberry and HOBBS London. Sign up for Simon Rewards at Simon Guest Services and receive FREE Parking for the day.

A GIFT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! Emelin’s Award Winning Family Series: • Click, Clack, Moo • The Paper Bag Players • The Berenstain Bears LIVE! • Pinkalicious • Pete The Cat And more! the-westchester

Tickets/Gift Certificates Available 914.698.0098/ Mamaroneck, NY

Westchester Family | December 2016

Westchester Broadway Theatre Introduce your children to the magic of Live Theatre. Gift Certificates include delicious dinner and terrific show! Enjoy Broadway Musicals or our many special events! 1 Broadway Plaza, Elmsford, NY 10526 914-592-2222

Neil’s Every kid loves warm and cozy pajama bottoms! From college, basketball and football for boys to candy, cupcakes and emojis for girls–there are so many choices for the Perfect Holiday Gift! Scarsdale // 1132 Wilmot Rd // 914-472-8120 Mt. Kisco // 195 N. Bedford Rd // 914-244-7010 Albertson // 1063 Willis Ave // 516-294-4425 Delray Beach // 14851 Lyons Rd // 561-883-8952

Westchester’s Winter Wonderland Enjoy the Hanneford Holiday Circus, spectacular light show, outdoor ice skating, the Santa Experience and more at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla for Westchester’s holiday tradition! All for one low price! Tickets can be purchased by visiting:

Pedigree Ski

Rockin Jump

Ski and snowboard clothing and equipment for the family; seasonal leasing – sizes guaranteed for the entire season!

Bring your family to Rockin’ Jump, the all new ultimate trampoline park in Ridge Hill Mall! It features a huge rock climbing wall, dodgeball arenas, slam dunk zones, spacious trampolines and more! Kids and adults are welcome to jump! Visit RidgeHill. for their special holiday jump times and to book your jump times in advance! Gift cards are available!

355 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains // 9482995532 N. Bedford RoadBedford Hills // 244-8960 350 Bedford St.Stamford, Conn // 203-324-2200

December 2016 |


Encouraging Boys  to


By Stacey Pfeffer


he energy in Jared Schiro’s 5 p.m. Thursday hip-hop class is palpable. A gaggle of 5- and 6-year-old boys are gliding across the floor while the latest Justin Timberlake hit plays in the background. The teacher helps the boys perfect their moonwalk in preparation for their winter recital. Schiro, a first grade student from Chappaqua is listening intently to his teacher and memorizing all of the dance moves. His focus is laser sharp and needs to be to ensure that the moves are done in sequence and in unison with his classmates. Schiro

started dancing three years ago after causing a sensation on the dance floor at a relative’s bar mitzvah. Diana Schiro, Jared’s mother likes that “dance helps with his hand-eye coordination, which is good for the sports that he’s committed to and it contributes to Jared’s well-roundedness.” And there’s more, “Dance is creative and it is an entrée into appreciating the fine arts. It also gives him a lot of confidence to know he can dance well,” she says. With hip-hop entering the mainstream, many boys are exercising their dance muscles throughout Westchester as a way to emulate stars they see on MTV or in YouTube videos.

Dance studios The following dance studios offer classes that can introduce your son to dance. Some have mixed gender classes, while others have classes solely for boys. • Academy of Dance Arts, 11 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford. 741-5678. Offers boys-only hip-hop. • Amanda Kupillas Dance, 18 Farragut Ave., Hasting-on-Hudson, 917-217-1104. Has boys enrolled in movement and ballet. • Artistree Performing Arts, 114 W. Boston Post Road, Mamaroneck. 835-2200. Has boys enrolled in hiphop and musical theater classes. • Artistry Dance Project, 141 Tompkins Ave., Pleasantville. 579-2272. Has boys enrolled in a variety of dance classes. • Ballet Muscle, 10 S. Division St., New Rochelle. 365-1862. Has private ballet lessons for boys. • Broadway Training Center of Westchester, 10 Washington Ave., Hastings-on-Hudson. 478-5825. Offers a variety of


Westchester Family | December 2016

courtesy of Peter Cirolia

Lars Londono and James Lisanti in class at Ballet Muscle. mixed gender dance classes for boys. • Central Park Dance, 450 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale. 723-2940. Offers boys-only hip-hop classes and other

While many dance studios offer a multitude of options for hip-hop obsessed boys, finding a ballet, tap, musical theater or jazz class solely for boys still remains challenging. Barriers to Ballet Peter Cirolia, owner of New Rochelle-based dance studio Ballet Muscle, wishes that more parents would bring their boys to the ballet. “There is still this machismo idea that boys think ballet or dance is feminine. But if boys go to a ballet performance, they’ll see other males with the longest, strongest, most beautiful muscles lifting these gorgeous girls.” European-trained Jean Logrea of Logrea

integrated classes for boys. • City Center Dance, 98 Lake St., White Plains. 328-1881. Has boys enrolled in a variety of dance classes. • Dance Cavise, 273 Halstead Ave., Mamaroneck. 381-5222. Has boys enrolled in a variety of dance classes. • Logrea Dance Academy, 2 Dale Ave., Ossining. 941-2939. Has boys enrolled in several dance classes. • MK Dance, 7 Farragut Ave., Hastings-onHudson. 476-8368. Offers boys-only movement class for 1st through 5th grade. • Pure Joy Performing Arts, 69 S. Moger Ave., Mount Kisco. 434-0883. Offers boysonly hip-hop classes. • Steffi Nossen School of Dance, 216 Central Ave., White Plains. 328-1900. Offers a boys-only movement class for kindergarten through 5th grade and has boys enrolled in hip-hop. • Studio B, 281 White Plains Road, Eastchester. 793-2799. Has boys enrolled in jazz, tap and hip-hop.classes.

Dance Academy of Ossining explains that in Europe, “ballet is much more respected as an art form for both male and female dancers and is integrated into the culture.” Cirolia, who also has ex-pat boys enrolled in his program from Europe notes that “anytime I come across foreign-born parents they have a completely different respect for ballet that differs from American parents.” In Westchester, team sports have taken over the county with many parents spending their weekends watching games on the sidelines. “There is a social aspect to organized sports whereas ballet or other forms of dance are not social at all,” explains Cirolia. The Benefits of Dance Ballet offers many benefits for boys that are harder to obtain in organized team sports. Ballet enhances athletic performance and the musculoskeletal system. “With ballet, boys build deep-tissue muscle fibers. These deep-tissue muscle fibers help in soccer, football or any other sports and the strength that is gained helps with injury prevention. That’s the reason that elite athletes such as professional football stars now have ballet incorporated into their training programs,” explains Cirolia. Ballet and other dance forms also require a great deal of memory skills. “If you start to

learn an instrument or take a role in a play, you have notes or a script to guide you. In a dance class, you don’t have anything like that. You have to listen to the teacher and you have to memorize the movements,” explains Logrea. He believes that dance can greatly enhance a student’s memory skills, which will also serve them well academically. Many parents of boys enrolled in dance classes also like the etiquette, discipline and self-control that is learned. “When you enter a ballet class there is a certain respect and etiquette. The best comparison is the military. You need self-control and if you have a question you have to wait until the combination is done,” Cirolia notes. When to Start Dance Lessons Opinions differ on what is the best age for boys to begin dance classes, but Logrea feels that 5 is a good age. He notes that many girls begin dancing at 3 but feels that their attention span is longer than boys of the same age. Maria Bai, the Artistic Director of Scarsdale’s Central Park Dance also feels that 5 is a good age for boys to start lessons. Cirolia believes that ages 6 to 8 are good because at that point there is less judgment from peers and a longer attention span. Caty Lisanti’s son, James, actually started taking ballet lessons at age 15 at Ballet

Muscle. He began initially taking personal training with Cirolia who also offers that at his studio. After training with him for three years, they decided to add dance to his schedule as another part of his fitness regimen. “James wanted a long, lean and strong body and ballet transforms your body in a way that other sports can’t. He also works out every day at the gym or does boxing, and ballet has been instrumental in injury prevention for him,” notes Lisanti. If Cirolia had to give parents of boys any advice on dance he’d suggest that parents enroll their boys in a dance class even for just a few months because it will enhance them and their athletic performance whether they play sports casually or as an elite athlete. The muscle memory that they gain through dance will help them down the road. “As a parent, you need to know that dance has athletic benefits and offers better alignment and injury prevention. Your boys will learn etiquette, respect and focus. Just because dance may have been foreign to you, doesn’t mean it should be foreign for your boys,” advises Cirolia. Stacey Pfeffer lives with her husband and three young children in Chappaqua. She has written for New York Family Magazine, Westchester Parent, and Inside Armonk. December 2016 |


Ask the Specialist //

The ABC’s of Safe Sleep for Baby By Jean Sheff with Jennifer Canter, M.D., MPH, FAAP


here is nothing more adorable than a sleeping baby. While there are a variety of tips for getting baby to sleep, it’s critical that you adhere to using only the latest safe sleeping practices for your infant. To understand the most recent recommendations for safe sleep we spoke with Jennifer Canter, M.D., MPH, FAAP, director of the Child Abuse Pediatrics Program and Forensic Acute Care Team at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network. Simply Put When discussing the dangers of unsafe sleep Canter puts it simply and succinctly, “The number one cause of preventable infant death is unsafe sleep.” Canter has the task of evaluating cases of infant death and she stresses the most difficult part of her job is to evaluate cases where a baby has died of preventable causes. Unfortunately, babies in the Hudson Valley have died due to unsafe sleep practices. Canter, who is the mother to two sets of twins, says, “Parenting is challenging and no one is perfect.” For her, educating parents about safe sleep practices is all important. To illustrate the important concepts of safe sleeping for infants Canter shares the ABC’s of safe sleep for infants: A is for Alone. Your baby needs a separate sleep space. That means no adults (including a parent or caregiver), no siblings – not even a twin, and no pets. Baby should sleep without pillows, blankets or bumpers of any kind. Baby should also sleep without toys or stuffed animals. B is for Back. Babies should sleep flat on their back. That means not on their side and not on their tummy. Never use wedges, pillows or a rolled blanket for elevating or propping up a baby. If you offer baby tummy time, your baby should be awake and the session should be completely supervised. C is for Crib. Baby is safest sleeping in a crib. The crib can be either portable or traditional. The crib mattress should be designed for that particular crib and topped with a tight fitting bottom sheet. Baby should not sleep on a couch, chair or adult bed. If you are going to use a hand-me-down crib do not use one that has been recalled. If the crib was made prior to 2010 it may


Westchester Family | December 2016

not adhere to current standards. Check for recalls and other safety requirements with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, Other Concerns Remember, do not overheat a sleeping baby. A comfortable room temperature for a sleeping baby is ideal at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Babies can sleep comfortably in one more layer than an adult would wear in the same environment. If a parent were to wear flannel pajamas, a baby would need just pajamas and a baby sleeper. Parents who make the decision to breast fed can keep the crib in the same room. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatricians recommends keeping the crib in the same room as the breastfeeding parent. It is also important that all infant caretakers should be free from alcohol and

drug use. Share information about safe infant sleep practices with those caring for your baby and insist they follow the guidelines. For further information on the educational aspects of safe sleep visit Safe Babies New York,, a statewide effort to educate all parents about normal infant crying, stress management and safe sleep. Leadership for the Downstate Region program is provided by health professionals at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Jennifer Canter M.D., MPH, FAAP, is a Child Abuse Pediatrician at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network and the children’s hospital for Westchester, the Hudson Valley and Fairfield County, Conn. Jean Sheff is editor of Westchester Family.

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December 2016 |


Let's Go To ... //

When You Go …

The Polar Express Train™ Ride By Bob Berry

The Saratoga and North Creek Railway 3 Railroad Place, North Creek, N.Y. 877-726-7245 • The ride operates this year from Nov. 18 to Nov. 26, and nearly all December until Dec. 23, 2016. • Tickets range from $40 to $80 per person.

and we all enjoyed a recording of Chris Van Allsburg reading his classic tale. We’ve Arrived There was excitement in the air as we could feel the train begin to slow. We were approaching the midway stop on our journey. The train stopped and we all craned to look out the windows. Outside at the small station on the “outskirts of the North Pole” was a group of elves and St. Nick himself to greet us. Santa and one of his elves entered the train and car-by-car visited each family and group as the train reversed direction and headed back toward Saratoga Springs. The return trip was filled with singing carols led by the chefs and conductors. Saratoga and North Creek Railway

Saratoga and North Creek Railway’s Polar Express™ train ride offers holiday fun for the entire family.

The Conductor: Well, ya comin’? The Boy: Where? The Conductor: To the North Pole, of course! This is the Polar Express! If you are one of the millions of fans of the wonderful 2004 holiday film The Polar Express written, produced and directed by Robert Zemekis, this experience kicks off an enchanted adventure that you probably relive every Christmas season. Based on Chris Van Allsburg’s equally enchanting children’s book of the same name, The Polar Express has come to be part of our shared holiday tradition. Now you and your family can capture part of the adventure, on a train ride inspired by the Polar Express and hosted by the Saratoga and North Creek train line. A Magical Evening Last December, my family and I, along with several other families made the twohour drive to Saratoga Springs in upstate New York. We drove caravan style with


Westchester Family | December 2016

our teenage kids vying for seats with their favorite friends. Upon arriving at our hotel, the more festive of our group quickly donned pajamas … pajamas, incidentally, are practically a requisite for riding the Polar Express. Properly attired, we piled back into our cars and drove the short distance to the Saratoga Springs train station, which was decorated in holiday lights. The long train hummed and steamed at the platform, the passenger cars already filled with the bustle of excited riders. We boarded the train line and made our way to the upper levels of the dome cars. Soon we were underway, the winter landscape rolling past our windows in the gathering darkness. The magic of the Polar Express wasn’t lost on our otherwise jaded high school students, especially as performers appeared singing and dancing the “Hot Chocolate” number from the film and served us a tasty snack of, yes, hot chocolate and cookies. During the 30-minute ride the film’s wonderful score played in the background

A Treat for Everyone Everyone received a keepsake from their journey; a gold ticket and a sleigh bell taken from Santa’s sled. We had opted for the slightly pricier observation car so we were all given a limited edition mug to enjoy hot chocolate for many holidays to come. The actors portraying the characters from the film were all very engaging. We were even lucky enough to see the “Hobo” who stows away on the Polar Express. Home We Go Upon returning there is a well-placed gift shop featuring Polar Express merchandise. Our group made our journey on a Friday night so we were able to see some of the other sights in Saratoga Springs the following day. This was one of those trips I wished I had known about when my kids were younger, although our teenage kids and their friends had little trouble getting into the fun. Seeing so many younger families on board, it was fairly easy to drift back and imagine how my own kids would have glowed with wonder as they rode the Polar Express. Bob Berry is a frequent contributor to Westchester Family.

Register for Winter/ Spring 2017

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Celebrate the entrance of 2017 with an exciting noon-time countdown to a climactic 3,000 balloon drop in the Times Square-inspired atrium of New Roc City. Date: Sat., Dec. 31st Time: 10:30 a.m. til 12:30 Who: Children 2–10


December 2016 |


#metime //

Facial Cleansers By Meryl Joerg, M.D.


ashing our faces should be one of the least complicated things most adults do all day. But the huge and confusing array of facial soaps available to fulfill this need has turned a simple task into a breakoutinducing dilemma. Take a moment to learn the truths and misconceptions about skin type and facial cleansers. Normal, Oily, Dry or Combination? How to pinpoint which facial soap is right for you among so many choices? The answer lies in knowing your skin type. Is your skin normal, oily, dry or a combination? Normal skin rarely experiences breakouts or dry patches, and has few imperfections. It’s the lucky individual that can claim normal skin. Normal skin isn’t much impacted by changes in the weather and generally looks healthy and radiant, with few enlarged pores. Oily skin, particularly in younger adults, carries an ever-present “acne alert.” Typically caused by overactive sebaceous glands on the face that produce oil, oily skin can feel dirtier than it really is and the oil can clog pores, causing acne. There is an upside, however, oily skin is less prone to wrinkling over the long haul. Dry skin can be problematic because it’s always trying to assert itself - peeling, sometimes red, and looking flaky and dehydrated. While low air humidity can contribute to dry skin, those with chronic cases often produce less natural oil to lubricate their facial skin. Combination skin is self-explanatory. The face includes various “zones,” some of which are oily, some dry, and others normal. Many people have heard of the T-zone, where the forehead and nose area tend toward oiliness while the rest of the face doesn’t. That’s the epitome of combination skin.   There’s one myth about facial cleansing that can readily dispel regardless of skin type: More washing isn’t necessarily better. It’s important to keep skin cleansed, particularly in the mornings and evenings, but washing more often than that, or extremely vigorously, can irritate many skin types. Tips for What Cleansers to Use  Once you’ve figured out your skin type, you


Westchester Family | December 2016

can more easily select facial cleansers that can keep your skin squeaky clean and in tip-top shape. Here’s what to look for on soap or cleanser labels: • Normal skin types can use a wide variety of cleansers. Look for those containing antioxidants, hydroxy acids, botanical anti-inflammatory agents and retinol, all of which will slough off dead skin and contribute to a younger-looking complexion. • Oily skin types need a “de-greasing” agent such as salicylic acid to help exfoliate the skin and reduce breakouts. Benzoyl Peroxide washes help to decrease bacterial counts in skin and are drying thus helping to control acne,” she says. Also, those with oily skin should avoid products containing

natural or synthetic oils, perfumes or additives. • Dry skin types should use creamy, moisturizing facial cleansers that soothe flaky, irritated skin. Look for products containing glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which hydrate the skins and avoid foam cleansers, which tend to dry out the skin. • Combination skin types can bridge their dual needs by washing with a gentle, water-based cleanser that doesn’t leave skin feeling dry or tight. Most of these patients benefit from gel-based or mildly foaming cleansers. Meryl Joerg, M.D., is board certified and specializes in dermatology at Advanced Dermatology P.C.

December 2016 |


Special Advertising Supplement Meet the School Director // Special Advertising Supplement

Meet the School Director Nearly 90 years of Exceptional Catholic Education

Pre-K3 & 4 to Grade 8 After School Program Available OPEN HOUSE

February 1st, 2017 9am – 11am Please contact us for information or to schedule a tour Visit us at Mrs. Teresa Sopot, Principal 201 Boulevard, Scarsdale, NY 10583 • 914-723-5608

A Child’s Dream, LLC. Where your child’s dreams are discovered Nursery & Pre-K 10 Mill Rd. New Rochelle, NY 10804 (914) 633-4332 Now Registering for 2017–2018 Experienced Teachers and Staff

Directors: Tiffany Amaya & Ana Caldararo Curriculum includes: Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, Science, Developing Motor Skills,and Social Skills. Our goal is to create a secure and structured environment where your child enjoys socializing and interacting with other children while learning.


Westchester Family | December 2016

Tiffany Amaya & Ana Caldararo A CHILDS DREAM 10 Mill Road, New Rochelle 633-4332 Tiffany has special teaching abilities and runs a classroom with compassion and structure. Ana has the parental experience that enables her to effectively deal with a child’s emotional, social and developmental needs. Together they create a secure and structured environment where your child enjoys socializing and inter-acting with other children.

Monica Zenda Co-Executive Director ALCOTT MONTESSORI SCHOOL 27 Crane Road, Scarsdale, 472-4404 46 Fox Meadow Road, Scarsdale, 725-7551 535 Broadway, Dobbs Ferry, 693-4443 Monica has worked in preschool and special education for 35 years. The Alcott School is a Montessori Preschool and Special Education Program. They provide all children the opportunity to develop independence and self-worth, and to reach their full potential through developmentally appropriate practices.

Nora Anderson Head of School CARMEL ACADEMY Carmel Academy 270 Lake Ave., Greenwich, Conn. 203-983-9663 Nora Anderson is in her fourteenth year as Carmel Academy’s Head of School. Her commitment to a child-centered education, dedication to best practices, and her emphasis on professional development has put Carmel Academy on the map of Jewish day school education. Carmel Academy is a private school for children of all Jewish affiliations serving students through 8th grade.

Michael Schultz Principal THE CHAPEL SCHOOL 172 White Plains Road, Bronxville 337-3202 Schultz has been at The Chapel School (TCS) for 21 years. TCS is known for balancing instructional innovation and character development while providing a loving, nurturing Christ-centered environment. TCS earned Westchester Magazine’s BEST Private School and BEST Preschool for 2016.

Rebecca McCuller HUDSON COUNTRY MONTESSORI SCHOOL 340 Quaker Ridge Road, New Rochelle 636-6202 Hudson Country Montessori School creates an interactive envi-ronment where children discover the joy of learning and social skills by using specifically designed manipulatives, working in co-operative groups and pursuing their personal interests. Toddler to grade 8. P/T, F/T, extended day programs available.

Teresa Sopot Principal IMMACULATE HEART OF MARY SCHOOL 201 Boulevard, Scarsdale 723-5608 With over 36 years of excellent experience and Master in Catholic school leadership and reading, as well as undergraduate studies in Spanish and Italian, Teresa Sopot oversees IHM’s exceptional Catholic education program. IHM has been recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence and offers a curriculum for children ages 3 through 8th grade.

Ann Pardes Early Childhood Director JCC OF HARRISON 130 Union Ave., Harrison 835-2850, ext. 109 For 30+ years, Ann has devoted herself to the world of Jewish early childhood education. She began as a pre-K teacher at the JCC in the 90s. 2016 is Ann’s “Chai year” as a Director of Early Childhood Education. She holds Bachelor’s Degrees in Education and a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education. In 2014, she attended an Early Childhood Leadership Seminar in Israel through the JCC Association.

Dr. P.R. Jagoda Director LIBERTY MONTESSORI SCHOOLS Mamaroneck, 777-1382 New Rochelle, 636-3461 Celebrating over 45 years! Dr. Jagoda wanted to create an ideal learning environment for all children just as she did for her own. She operates two state-of-the-art Montessori facilities that have become “home away from home” for toddlers through elementary grades. Now enrolling for 2017/2018. Facility tours from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. by appointment only.

Jody Glassman MAZEL TOTS Scarsdale Synagogue / Temples Tremont & Emanu-El 2 Ogden Road, Scarsdale 723-3001 Jody Glassman has more than 30 years of experience with preschoolers. Mazel Tots’ strength is its warm, nurturing staff that creates a wonderful, child-centered environment, which encourages children’s social, emotional and intellectual growth. Mazel Tots considers it a privilege to be part of this exciting time in a child’s development.

December 2016 |


Meet the School Director // Special Advertising Supplement

JCC of Harrison

Early Childhood Center Licensed & Registered

• Toddler to Pre-K • Modern Classrooms, Gym, Playground, Outdoor Classroom • A.M. & P.M. Programs, Afternoon Enrichment • Summer Camp • FREE Synagogue Membership For info or a visit:

914-835-2850 x109 •

Angela Freeman MS, ED. Founder & Head of School MILESTONE SCHOOL 70 West Broad St., Mt Vernon 667-3478 Founded on the principles of the Montessori education system, The Milestone School is proudly celebrating their 37th year. Milestone knows how important education is in the early years and how a warm, stimulating environment helps children succeed in school, and in life. At Milestone, each child is special and Mile-stone’s staff is committed to meeting their educational and emotional needs.

Ann Pardes, Director

Give Your Child the Best in Early Childhood Education MONTESSORI SCHOOL in PELHAM

A Tradition of Excellence since 1973


Register Now for 2016/2017! Call for Open House Dates 3HOKDPGDOH$YH DW6KRUH5G Â&#x2021;3HOKDP1<


Elizabeth G. Capuano Director MONTESSORI SCHOOL OF PELHAM 1415 Pelhamdale Ave., Pelham Manor 738-1127 Elizabeth G. Capuano heads the Montessori School as director/ teacher. The school provides a nurturing atmosphere where children develop independence, self-esteem and a love of learning. They become competent, confident, content and at peace with themselves and the world. Registration ongoing for 2017/2018 (toddler class, ages 2-3; Montessori class, ages 3-6). Please call for personal tour and information.

Patty Goldstick Director TEMPLE ISRAEL CENTER NURSERY SCHOOL 280 Old Mamaroneck Road, White Plains 948-2800, ext. 126 Patty Goldstick holds a BA in psychology and holds a Master in Early Childhood and Special Education from Bank Street College. She has worked with children for more than 25 years. She enjoys building community, getting to know each Nursery School family, striving to meet their individual needs and offering a flexible schedule.

Debra Frankel Director TEMPLE SHAARAY TEFILA 89 Baldwin Road, Bedford Corners 307-0464 Debra brings a great love of working with children and families with her to the ECC. She is passionate about early childhood education and has implemented many new initiatives since beginning in July 2013. She graduated from SUNY Purchase and holds a Master Degree in Education from Hunter College.

TEMPLE ISRAEL CENTER NURSERY SCHOOL NEW Stay & Play extended hours for 2â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, 3â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and 4â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s til 4:00pm!!

A Warm and Nurturing Community for Growth and Learning Mommy & Me, Music Classes and FREE drop-in Babies & Bagels Program 2, 3, 4 Year Old Classes Early Drop-off, Afternoon Enrichment and Lunch Programs Newly Renovated Kmee]j;YehBm\Ya[Hjg_jYe Classrooms! Nature, Music and Movement Specialists

Call Patty Goldstick at (914) 948-2800x126 280 Old Mamaroneck Rd. White Plains, NY


Westchester Family | December 2016

Scarsdale Synagogue/Temples Tremont + Emanu-El

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Nursery School classes for toddlers and children 2, 3 and 4 years of age Extended Day Available for 3’s and 4’s

Summer camp for toddlers through 6 years of age

For more information about our programs, please call: Jody Glassman, Director Jocelyn Gross, Assistant Director To Join Our Synagogue, call Roberta Aronovitch, Executive Director

2 Ogden Rd, Scarsdale • 914-723-3001 •

• Preschool Classes, 2s, 3s & 4s • Enrichment / Lunch, 3s & 4s • Mini-Camp & Summer Play Place • Free Weekly Babies & Bagels Play Group includes Shabbat

Enrollment for 2017-2018 begins in November Susan Tolchin, Director WRT Early Childhood Center 255 Mamaroneck Rd. Scarsdale

Licensed by NYS OCFS



‘•…Š‡†—Ž‡ƒ–‘—”ǡ…ƒŽŽ͚͛͘Ǧ͚͚͞Ǧ͙͚͙͠ ‘”˜‹•‹–™™™Ǥ–‡’Ž‡•Š‘Ž‘Ǥ…‘Ȁ••

Learning the right answers will get your child through school. Learning how to learn will get your child through life!


weekdays Please call to join one of our tours.

Inspiring curious, creative, and gifted minds. Toddlers through 8th grade. • email: 340 Quaker Ridge Road • New Rochelle, NY 10804 • 914-636-6202 December 2016 |


Meet the School Director // Special Advertising Supplement David Cohen Pre-School Director TEMPLE SHOLOM SELMA MAISEL NURSERY SCHOOL 300 East Putnam Ave., Greenwich 203-622-8121 David Cohen joined SMNS in August 2016. He has 25+ years of early childhood experience and 15 years of senior management experience. He believes in a pre-school curriculum that is devel-oped according to each childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s strengths, needs and interests, and plans to enrich the current program by finding additional ways to engage young families.

The ECC at Shaaray Tefila embraces individuality and helps lead children on the magical journey of personal growth and development while infusing Jewish values and traditions in classroom life. We provide a developmentally appropriate, hands-on environment for every child.

Virginia Keating THORNTON DONOVAN SCHOOL 100 Overlook Circle, New Rochelle 632-8836 Virginia Keating, Thornton-Donovanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lower and Middle School Director, oversees students and teachers working in K-8, Grade 5, and Math 6. She has her BA Early Childhood Ed., Psychology, Concordia College. MS Education K-9, Iona College. She pioneers in thematic education and plans curricular offerings for the school year. For 2016-2017 Keating and faculty are studying â&#x20AC;&#x153;Flying With The Condors: Machu Picchu, Peru, Galapagos, & Ecuador.â&#x20AC;?

Please call us at 914.307.0472 or email for more information or a tour of our facility

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Carmel Academy

Sue Tolchin Early Childhood Center Director WESTCHESTER REFORM TEMPLE 255 Mamaroneck Road, Scarsdale 723-5493 Sue Tolchin joined Westchester Reform Temple in 2004 as the ECC Director. As an educator for over 30 years, she is dedicated to enriching young childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives spiritually, intellectually emotionally, socially and physically, in addition to being highly family focused. Sue earned a B.A. in Elementary Education with honors from Russell Sage College and holds an M.A. from Teachers College, Columbia University.

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Westchester Family | December 2016

¡ Early Childhood Program for ages 3-5 ¡ Co-ed Grades 1-8 ¡ Small class sizes and Individualized teacher attention for each child ¡ Early Drop-off and extended care available ¡ Accredited by Middles States Association and AdvancED TOURS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT- BOOK YOURS TODAY! ¡ 2 Broadway, Valhalla, NY 10595 ¡ (914)761-4423 Your online resource for all things parenting

2017 WeSTcheSTer FAMily

YOUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;RE INVITED

Meet the directors and representatives of some of the best day camps and sleep away camps all under one roof. Take your time speaking with some of the best camp experts in the camping world. Sending your child to camp is a big decision â&#x20AC;&#x201D; make sure you select the right camp!

Children are welcome to attend.

JANUARY 22, 2017 Mamaroneck Beach & Yacht Club 555 S. Barry Ave., Mamaroneck From 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

December 2016 |


Join us

as we light the tree…

$15 Admission...Unlimited Fun! featuring

Friday, ~ovember 25 through Monday, January 2

The Hanneford Holiday Circus O The Santa Experience O RangersTown Rink Ice Skating O Holiday Rides O A Dazzling Light Show and more! A All included, and children age 5 and under are free.

Westchester’s Holiday Tradition! W ww 914-231-4600

OPEN HOUSE DATE: Saturday, January 21, 2017, 10am

French-American School of New York Growing Global Citizens

Accepting non-French speakers: • In Nursery, Pre-K and Kindergarten: Bilingual immersion • In High school: IB Diploma Programme taught in English Bilingual Co-ed School • Nursery (3 years old) through Grade 12 Campuses in Scarsdale, Larchmont, Mamaroneck • (914) 250-0401 32

Westchester Family | December 2016



By Susan Goldberg

Meet Atka and his friends at the Wolf Conservation Center in December.

Photo by Rebecca Bose

Calendar What’s Inside Pack Chat for Kids Pack Chat for Kids is the best introduction to wolves for families with young children. Come learn about the mythology surrounding wolves and visit with Ambassador wolves Alawa, Zephyr and the beautiful Atka (above). Make sure to bring a camera! 11am December 4, 11, 17, and 28. For all ages. $14 adults, $11 children. Reservations are required. Wolf Conservation Center, South Salem. 753-2373.

Editor’s Pick: Boscobel Sparkle


Editor’s Pick: Click Clack Moo


Connecticut Corner


Nutcracker Season


City Picks


December 2016 |


Calendar December //

1 Thursday

Boscobel. This elegant, beautifully decorated Federal-period house is open for the season. Set on landscaped grounds and gardens overlooking the Hudson River, Boscobel combines both natural and man-made beauty for the pleasure of visitors. 9:30am4pm Wednesdays-Mondays (tours run from 10am-4pm) through Dec. 31. $17 adults, $8 children. Boscobel House and Garden,1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-3638. Bronx Zoo. Come see giraffes, lions, birds, penguins and more. As a special treat; there are now five toddler gorillas at the Congo Gorilla Exhibit, watch their playful interactions with their parents and each other. Open daily. Check website for fall schedule. For all ages. $19.95 adults, $12.95 children. The Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd., Bronx. 718-367-1010. Festival of Lighthouses Contest. The aquarium’s galleries are filled with lighthouses, creatively built by local artists and amateurs. These handcrafted lighthouses are on display throughout the aquarium, and visitors can vote for their favorite during this annual holiday contest. 10am-5pm daily today through Jan.16, 2017. For all ages. Free with admission: $22.95 adults, $15.95 children (includes an IMAX movie). Reservations not required. Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk, Conn. 203-8520700. Holiday Train Show. More than 150 New York City landmarks

Photo by Joshua Bright

Kids make beautiful and aromatic projects out of pine at Wave Hill on Dec. 17. are recreated in miniature out of bark, nuts, leaves and other plant parts. Large scale model trains zip around such familiar sites as the Statue of Liberty and Rockefeller Center. A recent addition of 3,000-square-feet of exhibition has made room for new trains, bridges and tracks. Timed tickets from 10am-5:30pm, Tuesdays-Sundays, through Jan. 16, 2017 (see website for extended hours). Weekdays: $20 adults, $10 children; Weekends: $30 adults, $18 children. Reservations strongly

recommended. New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx. 718-817-8700. I Approve This Message. See City Picks page 42. Immigration Exhibit. “Yonkers: A City of New Beginnings,” is Manor Hall’s first new exhibit in over a decade. It is being installed in a multi-year, multiphase process and explores the growth and changes Yonkers underwent due to immigration.

The exhibit features oral history interviews, an interactive global map and a collection of historical photos. Noon-4pm TuesdaySaturday, through March 2017. For all ages. $5 adults, $3 children. Philipse Manor Hall, 29 Warburton Ave., Yonkers. 965-4027. nysparks. com Rudolph. See City Picks page 42. Rye Park Sculpture. Damien Vera’s “Cope,” an imposing 14-foot modern steel sculpture

Look for our complete calendar of events and activities online at

Submissions Send all calendar submissions via: • Email: Fax: 914-462-3311. Include: Dates, times, location with address, age recommendation, cost, public telephone number and Web site address. • Information to be considered for the February 2017 calendar must reach us by December 19, 2016. • If you miss our print deadline, submit your event directly to our online calendar at Click the “Post Your Own Event” link beneath the calendar on our home page. Online postings appear on the Web in approximately 48 hours after submission. Please call ahead to confirm dates, times and locations of all events.


Westchester Family | December 2016

December 2016 |


Calendar December // is temporarily on display in Rye Town Park. This shining abstract sculpture adds a creative flair to the park’s natural landscape and is on display through the summer of 2017. For all ages. Rye Town Park, Forest and Rye Beach Avenues, Rye. Westchester Winter Wonderland. This celebration of winter and the holiday season is bigger and better than ever this year, featuring circus performers under a “big top” tent, a skating rink, pony and hay rides, carolers and a 32 foot Christmas tree. Santa is making an appearance too! 5-9pm weekdays, 5-10pm Friday and Saturdays, today-Dec. 4, Dec. 8-11, 15-23, 26-31. For all ages. $15 per person. Reservations required. Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla.

2 Friday

Boscobel’s Sparkle. See Editor’s Pick page 36. Cladies Night. Adults kick off the weekend in a fun and messy evening of art. Trying out the potter’s wheel makes for a great date night or girls’ night out. BYOB while making a clay project to be picked up after it’s fired. 7-9pm Fridays in December through Dec. 16. For adults only. $50 per person. Clay Art Center, 40 Beech St., Port Chester. 937-2047. Historic Holiday Tea. See Connecticut Corner page 39. Origami Holiday Tree. See City Picks page 42.

3 Saturday

Around the World Creative Kids. As part of the Museum’s month-long exploration of Vietnam, children decorate a bamboo dragonfly and learn about Vietnamese culture. 2-3pm. For children ages 2 and up. Free with admission: $15. Reservations not required. Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 303 West Ave., Norwalk, Conn. 203-899-0606.


Editor’s Pick

Photo by Laurie Spens Photography

Boscobel is alive with lights and attractions for the holidays in December. Boscobel’s Sparkle. “Sparkle” is a favorite holiday treat, featuring beautiful lighting displays in Boscobel’s gardens and on the grounds, as well as many other attractions. Mr. and Mrs. Claus make an appearance in the Sprinkle Garden; there is also the Sparkle Queen Stilt Walker, a magician, a jazz trio and a “Puppet Power” show with renowned ventriloquist Jonathan Geffner. Each evening’s attractions differ so check the complete schedule on the website. But every evening features a tour of the mansion, which is elegantly decorated and lit with candles. There are two levels of tickets available: Grounds Only and Grounds Plus which includes a Twilight Tour of the Mansion. Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 16-17. Grounds and Attractions: 4:30-7:30pm. $17 adults, $12 children. Grounds Plus: Tours from 4:30-7:30pm. $25 adults, $20 children. Boscobel House and Garden,1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-3638. Boscobel’s Sparkle. See Editor’s Pick page 36. Cirque-tacular’s “Snowkus Pocus.” This Smart Arts presentation of Snowkus Pocus invites the audience to come along on a journey to a fantastic Winter Wonderland. Characters from The Nutcracker come alive on stage as they juggle snowflakes and perform an acrobatic snow ballet. 8-10pm. For all ages. $24 adults, $18 children. Reservations required. Academic Arts Theatre, Westchester Community College, 75 Grasslands Rd., Valhalla. 606-6262. Click Clack Moo. See Editor’s Pick page 38. Drop in Program at Westchester Children’s Museum. On the first Saturday of every month, the museum offers a drop-in arts and crafts program

Westchester Family | December 2016

with A.I. Friedman. 10:30am-3pm. For all ages. Free with museum admission: $7 per person. Westchester Children’s Museum, Boardwalk Galleries, Rye Playland. 421-5050. Family Studio: Arts and Science Projects. On every weekend day, the Museum offers creative activities inspired by the collections and exhibitions. These programs are led by Junior docents and arts and science professionals. 1-4pm every Saturday and Sunday. On Saturdays: Experiment with shells and limestone, etching your own designs to take home. On Saturdays and Sundays: create a symbol that represents the holidays on a rustic wooden ornament. Both programs are geared to children ages 7 and up, but can be adapted for younger visitors. Free with museum admission: $6 adults, $2 youth. Reservations not required. Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers. 963-

4550. Holiday Stroll Weekend. This is the eighth annual holiday celebration – a happy tradition for Greenwich that features horse drawn carriage rides, carolers, a live nativity, musicians, professional ice sculptors, bouncy castles and a family art workshop. Plus a chance to visit live reindeer! In addition, many participating retailers and restaurants are offering special promotions, refreshments, food trucks and holiday cheer. 10am-6pm today; noon-5pm Dec. 4. Downtown Greenwich. FREE (including free parking). Holiday Train Show. The Yonkers Model Railroad Club provides a treat for train lovers of all ages, with this display of HO gauge model trains, along with replicas of area landmarks. 10am-4:30pm today and Dec. 4. For all ages. $10 adults, $8 children. Reservations

are not required. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd., Scarsdale. 723-3470. Kids Art and Pizza Night. Parents get a night to themselves by dropping the kids off for an evening of creative, artistic fun. Children spend the evening eating pizza and creating art in a supervised, informal environment. 6:309:30pm. For children in grades 1-5. $35 child, $30 siblings. Reservations required. The Katonah Art Center, 65 Old Bedford Rd., Goldens Bridge. 232-4843. katonahartcenter. com. Historic Holiday Tea. See Connecticut Corner page 39. Holiday Sing Along. Get into the holiday spirit and sing along when The Chappaqua Orchestra plays some of the seasons favorite songs. The sing along is followed by the lighting of the town’s Christmas tree and a reception at the New Castle Community Center. 3:30-4:30pm. For all ages. Robert E. Bell Middle School, 50 Senter St., Chappaqua. chappaquaorchestra. org. Teaching Trails: Weekend Walks for All Ages. A guided trail experience through the woodland forest. Specially trained “Trail Ninjas” provide information on trees, plants and wildlife. Today and Dec. 4, 10-11, 17-18. For all ages. Reservations not required. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd., Scarsdale. 723-3470. greenburghnaturecenter. org.

4 Sunday

Festivals of Light. Join in to celebrate Festivals of Light holiday traditions from around the world. 1-1:30pm today and Dec. 11, 18. For all ages. Free with admission: $15. Reservations not required. Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 303 West Ave., Norwalk, Conn. 203899-0606. steppingstonesmuseum. org.

Holiday Train Show. See Dec. 3.

School / Vacation/ Camp Outfitters

New York City Ballet at Tarrytown Music Hall. See Nutcracker Season page 40. Pack Chat for Kids. See page 33.. Planetarium Show. Take a live tour of the heavens and see what the sky is going to be like on the very night you visit the Museum! “The Sky Tonight” shows the heavens as seen from our area. Led by a planetarium educator. 2-2:45pm. For children ages 8 and over. $4 adults, $2 children plus museum admission. Reservations not required. Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers. 963-4550. Sherlock Holmes at Lyndhurst. The audience roams the Lyndhurst Mansion looking for clues in this interactive Sherlock Holmes mystery, presented by M&M Performing Arts Company and Red Monkey Theatre Group. 5pm. For all ages (parents use judgment). $35 adults, $25 children. Reservations required. Lyndhurst Mansion, 635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown. 962-3431.




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5 Monday

Holiday Shoppe and Craft Fair. Come take a tour of the Danbury Museum; then stop off to do some holiday shopping! Find handmade crafts and unique items to make the season special at this 9th annual Fair. 10am4pm Monday-Saturday, through Dec. 23. For all ages. Admission and tour: $6 adults, $2 students. Reservations not required. John & Mary Rider House, Danbury Museum and Historical Society, 43 Main St., Danbury, Conn. 203-743-5200. Young Explorers Storytime. Enjoy a nature-themed story and discover the wonders of nature while exploring fields, forest and landscaped grounds. This is a drop-in program; dress for


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December 2016 |


Calendar December // outdoors. 1-2pm today and Dec. 12 and 19. For children ages 3-5. $12 per class. Reservations not required. Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Rd., Scarsdale. 723-3470.

Editor’s Pick

6 Tuesday

Book Club Storytime. Join the Pottery Barn Kids Book Club story time club and hear a special story every Tuesday morning. Become a member and receive a special gift after five visits. 11-11:30am. For children who are preschool age. Pottery Barn Kids, 125 Westchester Ave., White Plains. 949-494.

Drop In Clay Class. See Dec. 3.

Click Clack Moo is a family-friendly musical, onstage at the Emelin Theatre Dec. 3.

Rudolph. See City Picks page 42.

7 Wednesday

Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum. The Museum is open for the season, with docentled tours of the Victorian era mansion. Tours run on the hour: Noon, 1, 2 and 3pm Wednesday-Sundays, through early January. For all ages. $10 adults, $6 children 8-18. Reservations not required. Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Ave., Norwalk, Conn. 203-8389799. lockwoodmathewsmansion. com. Westchester Children’s Museum. Now open: 6,000square-feet of interactive, handson exhibits for children including a beach-themed Toddler Zone, KEVA Planks construction exhibit, the Build Your Own Roller Coaster exhibit and two Makerspaces. A new development at the museum: year round free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel and their families.10am4pm Wednesdays-Sundays. For all ages. $7 per person. Westchester Children’s Museum, Boardwalk Galleries, Rye Playland. 421-5050. Wolves Homeschool Series. This special workshop gives homeschooled children the chance to explore the natural world and learn all about wolves. Children


zoo’s mascot is just one of the special visitors who add fun to waffles and eggs. 9-10am today-Dec. 11. Dec. 17-18 and Dec. 24. For all ages. $20 (includes zoo admission and breakfast). Reservations strongly recommended. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo,1875 Noble Ave., Bridgeport, Conn. 203-394-6565.

Click Clack Moo. This whimsical live production tells the story of Farmer Brown and his unruly animals; the cows and chickens are up in arms and typing up a list of demands. All day long the farmer hears the clickety clack of the typewriter as the animals use the computer to stage a protest. Theatreworks USA created and produced this hilarious musical, based on the Caldecott Honor Book by Doreen Cronin and Betsey Lewin. 11am and 1:30pm Dec. 3. For children ages 4 and up. $15. Reservations required. Emelin Theatre, 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck. 698-0098.

Rudolph. See City Picks page 42.

hurst. Mr. Dickens Tells a Christmas Carol is a recreation of Charles Dickens’ own performances of the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and the visiting ghosts. Actor Michael Muldoon plays Charles Dickens as guests travel the main floor of Lyndhurst Mansion, meeting different spirits and characters. 7pm today; various times Dec. 10-11, 16-23, 26-30. For all ages. $35 adults, $25 children. Reservations required. Lyndhurst Mansion 635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown. 962-3431.

The Yorkville Nutcracker. See Nutcracker Season page 40.

The Yorkville Nutcracker. See Nutcracker Season page 40.

Westchester Winter Wonderland. See Dec. 1.

10 Saturday

have the opportunity to participate in “field biology” activities, photograph the wolves, and study the biology, ecology and mythology of wolves. 1pm today for children ages 7-11; 1pm Dec. 8 for children ages 12 and up. $25 per child/adult team. Reservations required; space limited. Wolf Conservation Center, South Salem. 753-2373.

8 Thursday

Wolves Homeschool Series. See Dec. 7.

9 Friday

A Christmas Carol at Lynd-

Westchester Family | December 2016

Boscobel’s Sparkle. See Editor’s Pick page 36. Breakfast with Frosty. Frosty the Snowman and several of his friends drop in to add holiday spirit to breakfast at the zoo. Stripes, the

Dickens’s Christmas Carol. Master storyteller Jonathan Kruk regales audiences with his adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. The one hour performance, with musical accompaniment, takes place in a cozy Sleepy Hollow church. 4, 5:15 and 6:30pm todayDec. 11 and Dec. 17-18. For all ages. $2 adults, $20 children. Reservations required. The Reformed Church of the Tarrytowns, 42 N. Broadway, Tarrytown. Holiday Handbell Performance. Shelton’s Trinity Lutheran Church Bell Choir performs the sounds of the season with holiday handbells. 2pm. For all ages. Free with admission: $15. Reservations not required. Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 303 West Ave., Norwalk, Conn. 203-899-0606. Santa Visits the Rosen House. Jolly Saint Nick comes to Caramoor for an event that features holiday games and a 30 minute concert of sing-alongs before being joined by Santa Claus. Milk and cookies are served to top off a fun-filled holiday and photo op. 10am. For all ages. $12.50 adults, $9 children. Reservations required. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, 149 Girdle Ridge Rd., Katonah. 232-1252. Science Center Overnight. See Connecticut Corner page 39. Take the Kids to Boscobel. Kids explore Boscobel, inside and outside, through the seasons, by taking a brief, focused tour followed by a hands-on craft activity.

Connecticut Corner

Courtesy Photo

Overnight visitors get to camp out at the Connecticut Science Center on Dec. 11. Historic Holiday Tea. This holiday party is a favorite Danbury tradition. Enjoy a fine selection of teas as well as sweet and savory treats in a warm and charming Colonial setting. Dec. 2-3. For all ages. $25 per person. Reservations required. Danbury Museum and Historical Society, 43 Main St., Danbury, Conn. 203-743-5200. Holiday Open House. The Museum creates a festive family event with several hours of entertainment, all in the spirit of an old-fashioned community celebration. The party features holiday displays, a visit from Santa, holiday music and refreshments. Noon4pm Dec. 11. For all ages. $5. Reservations not required. Lockwood Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Ave., Norwalk, Conn. 203-8389799. Science Center Overnight. Find out what happens at the Connecticut Science Center when the lights go out! Families can sleep over and kids can explore the exhibits, enjoy hands-on science activities and camp out in their favorite parts of the Museum. The theme for this month’s overnight is “Secret Agent Science” and some themed activities are learning stealth tactics, uncovering tricks and exploring a laser maze. Also on the agenda: a 3D movie, spending time with live animals and exciting science challenges. A late night snack and a light breakfast are included. 6pm Dec.10-8am Dec. 11. For families with children ages 5-12 years old. $55 per person. Reservations required. Connecticut Science Center, 250 Columbus Blvd., Hartford, Conn. 850-520-2117. A Very Electric Christmas. A magical and captivating tale of family friendship and hope, enlivened by the holiday hits of Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky. Presented by the Lighthouse Theater, this is an electric treat for all ages. 1 and 4pm Dec. 18. For ages 5 and up. $20. Reservations required. Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport, Conn. 203-227-4177.

December 2016 |


Calendar December // 9-11am on the second Saturday of every month. Today’s event is called “Stamp Away,” and children create original notecards. For children ages 5-11 accompanied by an adult. $20 for adult and child. Reservations required, space limited. Boscobel House and Garden, 1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison. 845-265-3638. Teaching Trails: Weekend Walks for All Ages. See Dec. 3. Toy and Train Show. This is the largest toy and train show in the Northeast, featuring all gauges, train parts, appraisals, toy soldiers and books. Refreshments are available 9am-3pm. For all ages. $12, free for children under 12. Reservations not required. Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains. 995-4050. The Yorkville Nutcracker. See Nutcracker Season page 40.

11 Sunday

Capitol Theatre Nutcracker. See Nutcracker Season page 40. Family Art Project: Snowflakes, Candles and Stars. Candles brighten up the shorter days of winter; decorate simple candlesticks with colorful images of the season. 10am-1pm. For all ages. Free with admission to grounds: $8 adults, $2 children. Reservations not required. Wave Hill Garden and Cultural Center, 675 W. 252nd St., Bronx, New York. 718549-3200.

Nutcracker Season Capitol Theatre Nutcracker. Scarsdale’s Central Park Dance Studio, a professional training company, is putting on a performance of one of the holiday’s most exciting and traditional events: the Nutcracker Ballet. 5pm Dec. 11. For all ages. $25-$540. Reservations required. The Capitol Theatre, 149 Westchester Ave., Port Chester. 937-4126. Hip Hop Nutcracker. It’s a holiday mash-up for the whole family when a dozen dancers, an onstage DJ and a contemporary New York setting update this traditional story. 8pm Dec. 15. For all ages. $17-$52.50. Reservations required. The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Rd., Purchase. 251-6171. New York City Ballet at Tarrytown Music Hall. The New York Ballet is famous for its artistry and elegant revivals of classic masterpieces. They are staging this beautifully choreographed holiday ballet, and this performance of The Nutcracker is only one hour long – perfect for younger audiences! 3pm and 6pm Dec. 4. For all ages; geared to younger audiences. $35 adults, $25 children. Reservations required. Tarrytown Music Hall,13 Main St., Tarrytown. 631-3390. Nutcracker in Connecticut. Tchaikovsky’s score soars as high as the bigger-than-life Christmas tree that appears onstage with wooden soldiers and graceful ballerinas in this holiday classic. 6pm Dec. 16; 2 and 6pm Dec. 17; 11am and 2pm Dec. 18. For all ages. $25 adult, $20 children. Reservations required. Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge, Ridgefield, Conn. 203-438-5795. Westchester Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker. Enjoy the magic of The Nutcracker close to home with this professionally produced

Photo by Julieta Cervantes

Enjoy The Nutcracker Ballet close to home, at The Westchester County Center on Dec. 16-18. classic ballet with inspiring choreography, beautiful costumes, and spectacular scenery. The cast of this production features over 100 students from the Logrea Dance Academy, ranging in age from 6 to 18; it also features professional dancers, many from the Westchester area. School Performance 10am Dec. 16; General Admission 12:30am and 4:30pm Dec. 17 and 2pm Dec. 18. For all ages. Advance tickets: $26 adults, $22 children. $32 day of performance. Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave., White Plains. 995-4050. The Yorkville Nutcracker. Set in 1895 New York, this production features lavish sets which take the audience on a tour of Olde New York. Young dancers and seasoned professionals from the Dances Patrelle Company perform this classic holiday ballet against the backdrop of such winter landmarks as The Botanical Gardens, the Central Park ice rink and a Gracie Mansion holiday party. 7pm Dec. 8-10; 2pm Dec. 10; noon and 5pm Dec. 11. For all ages. $45-$85 (student discounts available). Reservations required. The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College, E. 68 th St., New York. 212-773-4448.

Family Studio: Arts and Science Projects. See Dec. 3. Festivals of Light. See Dec. 4. Holiday Open House. See Connecticut Corner page 39. Polar Express Pajama Parties. Celebrate the season by watching a wintry movie in your jammies. There are four early morning IMAX showings of The Polar Express and kids are invited to


come in their pjs for a cozy viewing experience. The movie is preceded by a hot chocolate bar, where visitors can choose from a variety of sweet toppings and baked treats. There is also a crafts table, handson activities and photo opportunities. 9am (film starts at 10am) today-Dec. 11 and Dec. 17-18. For all ages. $17 adults, $15 children (does not include Aquarium admission after the film.) Reservations

Westchester Family | December 2016

required. Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk, Conn. 203-8520700. Snow Globe Workshop. Visitors join a museum educator for a morning of seasonal crafts. Learn how to make a winter wonderland snow globe out of a recycled jar. Makes a great holiday gift. 10am. For all ages. $7 adults, $5 children. Reservations not required. Hudson

Highlands Nature Museum, Outdoor Discovery Center, Muser Drive across from 174 Angola Road, Cornwall. 845-534-5506, ext. 204. The Yorkville Nutcracker. See Nutcracker Season page 40.

12 Monday

Origami Holiday Tree. See

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Celebrate the Season at the WBT with this Delightful Family Musical with Santa, Mrs. Claus and the Christmas Elves

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Enjoy a delightful evening of holiday music, laughter, and a story of Christmas magic, as the families of two feuding stars try to get them to reunite and recreate the act which made them famous at a quaint New England inn.

Join us for your favorite holiday music and a dash of wonderful Christmas magic!

On Stage December 1 thru 23 A Proud Sponsor of WBT

Santa, Mrs. Claus, and their friends are taking a break from their busy holiday schedule to host a family brunch at WBT! Musical entertainment including a good old fashioned sing along! Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget to bring your camera so you can take a holiday picture with Santa!


TWO SEATINGS: Doors open 9:00 AM & 12:30 PM. Children 13 & under $27.00 per person plus tax. Adults $40.00 per person plus tax.


TOYS FOR TOTS DROP OFF LOCATION New, unwrapped toys accepted at the theatre box office. These toys will be distributed to underprivileged area children by U.S. Marines.

The Management reserves the right to make schedule or program changes if required. All sales ďŹ nal. No cash or credit card refunds.

December 2016 |


Calendar December // City Picks page 42.

Dickens’s Christmas Carol. See Dec. 10.

City Picks

Young Explorers Storytime. See Dec. 5.

Drop In Clay Class. See Dec. 3.

David Crosby and Friends. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David Crosby is out on tour with a new group and he’s performing music from his new CD Lighthouse along with many of his greatest hits. 8pm. For all ages. $65-$128. Reservations required. Tarrytown Music Hall,13 Main St., Tarrytown. 631-3390.

14 Wednesday

A Darlene Love Christmas: Love for the Holidays. Darlene Love brings her band and her incomparable voice to the stage to perform holiday favorites. See the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer sing her classic hits and songs of the season. 7:30pm. For all ages. $60. Reservations required. Ridgefield Playhouse, 80 East Ridge, Ridgefield, Conn. 203-438-5795.

15 Thursday

Hip Hop Nutcracker. See Nutcracker Season page 40. Westchester Winter Wonderland. See Dec. 1.

16 Friday

Boscobel’s Sparkle. See Editor’s Pick page 36. Nutcracker in Connecticut. See Nutcracker Season page 40. Rudolph. See City Picks page 42. Westchester Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker. See Nutcracker Season page 40.

17 Saturday

Around the World Performance Series. The Museum’s month-long focus on Vietnam culminates in today’s performance by member of the Vietnamese Heritage Center. Kids learn about


Courtesy Photo

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer is live on Madison Square Garden’s stage through December 18. I Approve This Message. A lighthearted, educational and bipartisan introduction to the political system, “I Approve This Message” is an exhibit that introduces children to our political system. The exhibit features fun facts, presidential autographs and documents, loads of activities and fun photo ops. 10am-5pm Tuesday-Sunday (open until 7pm Saturdays, closed Mondays). Dec. 1-31. $12. Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 W. 83 rd. St. New York. 212-721-1223. Kids and Yiddish. Join the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene for a reunion concert of its popular family show. Described as “SNL meets Sesame Street,” this is a great family event. 11am Dec. 25. For families with children ages 4 and up. $20 adults, $10 children. Reservations not required. Jewish Heritage Museum, 36 Battery Place, New York. 212-213-2120, ext. 206. Origami Holiday Tree. The Origami Tree is an annual tradition at the Museum, a 13-foot holiday tree with over 1,000 pieces of folded paper as vibrant, colorful decorations. Volunteers are on hand to teach visitors the art of origami folding. 10am-5:45pm daily, Dec. 1-Jan. 8. For all ages. $22 adults, $17 children. Reservations not required. The American Museum of Natural History, Central Park West at 79th St., New York. 212-769-5100. Rudolph. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (who is, let’s face it, the most famous reindeer of all) is the star of this live holiday stage show. Based on the 1964 animated classic, this production includes actors, puppets, projections and music to tell the story of how Rudolph and his friends help Santa save Christmas. Various times Dec. 1-18. For all ages. $25-$130. Reservations required. Madison Square Garden, Two Pennsylvania Plaza, New York. 212-465-6741.

the country’s language and culture while enjoying a traditional dance and game. 2-3pm. For children ages 5 and up. Free with museum admission: $15. Reservations not required. Stepping Stones Museum

Westchester Family | December 2016

for Children, 303 West Ave., Norwalk, Conn. 203-899-0606. Boscobel’s Sparkle. See Editor’s Pick page 36.

Family Art Project: Pine Scents and Sensations. The majestic conifers at Wave Hill lend their scents and textures to winter crafts. The Center provides live pine boughs and kids add cones, dried herbs and shiny foil for a beautiful and aromatic decoration. 10am-1pm. For all ages. Free and admission to the grounds is free until noon. Reservations not required. Wave Hill Garden and Cultural Center, 675 W. 252nd St., Bronx, New York. 718-549-3200. Laurie Berkner Band. Known as the “Queen of kindie rock,” Laurie Berkner and her band celebrate the season with traditional seasonal songs such as “Jingle Bells,” and “Frosty the Snowman,” while also performing original hits from her albums. 11am. For all ages. $35-$100. Reservations required. Tarrytown Music Hall, 13 Main St., Tarrytown. 631-3390. Nutcracker in Connecticut. See Nutcracker Season page 40. Santa Dives with Sharks. On select dates in December, Santa joins the dive team to visit the shark tank and show that sharks aren’t the bloodthirsty creatures people think they are. Wearing scuba gear, Santa dives into the “Ocean Beyond the Sound” tank, which is home to 7 foot sharks.12:15 and 2:15pm on select Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays in December (schedule subject to change; check website before visiting). For all ages. Free with museum admission: $22.95 adults, $15.95 children (includes IMAX movie.) Reservations not required. Maritime Aquarium, 10 N. Water St., Norwalk, Conn. 203-852-0700. A Strega Nona Christmas. Experience the magic of the holiday (called Natale in Italian)




FEB 28 TH, 2017 TICKETS ON SALE D E C E M B E R 6 TH, 2 0 1 6






Nutcracker Westchester County Parks & Westchester Ballet Company’s Producing Partners, Members and Friends present


a production off the Westchester Ballet Company | choreographed by Beth Fritz-Logrea an and Jean Logrea



A MAGICAL HOLIDAY TREAT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY! 2016 Performance Dates Friday, December 16, 10 a.m. Saturday, December 17, 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, December 18, 2:00 p.m.

Tickets on Sale at the County Center Box Office Tues – Fri (10 to 5) and through Ticketmaster: or (800) 745-3000

Advance Ticket Sales $26 adults • $22 children * & seniors † $32 day of performance * Ages 10 and under. † Ages 60 and over.

For Information

Visit or call the Box Office at: (914) 995-4050 Tues - Fri (10AM - 5PM)

Westchester Ballet Company | P.O. Box 694 Ossining, NY 10562 | (914) 941-4532 |

December 2016 |


Calendar December // by helping to make a traditional pizelle and enjoy a special show based on Tomie DePaola’s classic story Merry Christmas Strega Nona. 2pm. For all ages. $40 for one parent and one child. Families up to five: $70. Reservations required. Pre-paid registration required. Westchester Italian Cultural Center, One Generoso Pope Place, Tuckahoe. 771-8700. Westchester Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker. See Nutcracker Season page 40.

18 Sunday

Breakfast with Frosty. See Dec. 10. Chanukah Gift Boutique. The JCC is the place to go for one-stop Chanukah shopping. Pick up candles, dreidels, menorahs, decorations and more. Times vary, check website; today-Dec. 25. For all ages. Stamford Jewish Community Center, 1035 Newfield Ave., Stamford, Conn. 203-322-7900. Festivals of Light. See Dec. 4. Nutcracker in Connecticut. See Nutcracker Season page 40.

Santa jumps into the Maritime Aquarium’s shark tank on selected dates in December. Check website for schedule. A Very Electric Christmas. See Connecticut Corner page 39. Special Needs Religious Service. Once every month, The Church of St. Barnabas offers an Episcopal worship service for special needs families. The church offers a warm and accepting environment and features games, music, storytelling and multisen-

sory activities. This Rhythms of Grace service offers a new way to worship and foster a sense of community. 4pm. For all ages. The Church of St. Barnabas, 15 North Broadway, Irvington-on-Hudson. 591-8194. Teaching Trails: Weekend Walks for All Ages. See Dec. 3. Westchester Ballet Company’s The Nutcracker. See Nutcracker Season page 40.

19 Monday

Holiday Art Camp. Kids get creative and inspired during the holiday break by exploring the mediums of painting, clay, drawing and crafts. There are camps for preschoolers, Grades 1-5 and Teens (grades 6 and up). Morning sessions 9:30am-12:30pm; afternoons 1-4pm. Half days $70 per day. Full day 9:30-4pm. $140 per day. Today-Dec. 23. Reservations required – no walk-ins. The Katonah Art Center, 65 Old Bedford Rd., Goldens Bridge. 232-4843. Photo by Jayme Thornton

The Queen of Kindie Rock performas at The Tarrytown Music Hall on Dec. 17.


Westchester Family | December 2016

Westchester Winter Wonderland. See Dec. 1.

Young Explorers Storytime. See Dec. 5.

20 Tuesday

Santa Comes to Stepping Stones. Meet and greet with Santa, take pictures with St. Nick and meet some of his special friends. While you wait your turn, enjoy a special holiday art activity. 11am-noon today-Dec. 24. For all ages. Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 303 West Ave., Norwalk, Conn. 203-899-0606.

21 Wednesday

Holiday Art Camp. See Dec. 19. Santa Comes to Stepping Stones. See Dec. 20.

22 Thursday

A Christmas Carol at Lyndhurst. See Dec. 9. I Approve This Message. See City Box page 42.

23 Friday

Holiday Art Camp. See Dec. 19. Westchester Winter Wonderland. See Dec. 1.

24 Saturday

Breakfast with Frosty. See Dec. 10. Chanukah Gift Boutique. See Dec. 18. Santa Comes to Stepping Stones. See Dec. 20.

25 Sunday

It’s a Wonderful Life. Everyone’s favorite Christmas story is on screen as a holiday treat. See the touching story of George Bailey, who learns his life has been well-spent, thanks to his guardian angel Clarence. Noon today; also Dec. 23-29. $13 adults, $7.50 children. Jacob Burns Center, 364 Manville Rd., Pleasantville. 747-5555. Kids and Yiddish. See City Picks page 42.

26 Monday

School’s Out, Stars Are In. Planetarium Shows and STEAM activities are free with Museum admission for students on holiday break from school. Some activities are inspired by the “Red Grooms” exhibit and feature Civil War photographs. Star Shows: “The Girl Who Walked Upside Down” 12:30; “The Sky Tonight Holiday Edition” 2pm; “The Victorian’s Guide to the Galaxy” 3:30pm. Noon-5pm todayDec. 30. $6 adults, $3 children. Children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers. 9634550.

27 Tuesday

A Christmas Carol at Lyndhurst. See Dec. 9.

Westchester Winter Wonderland. See Dec. 1.

28 Wednesday

School’s Out, Stars Are In. See Dec. 26. Pack Chat for Kids. See page 33.

29 Thursday

Westchester Winter Wonderland. See Dec. 1.

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30 Friday

December Vacation Program: Magic and Comedy Show. Much-loved magician Jim McClenahan performs clever magic tricks with hilarious antics and side-splitting fun. A great way to add fun to a vacation day! 2-2:45pm. For all ages. First come first served. New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle. 632-7878.

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School’s Out, Stars Are In. See Dec. 26.

31 Saturday

Family Studio: Arts and Science Projects. See Dec. 3. Ring in the New Year at New Roc! See a 3000 balloon drop at noon. Kids can partiicpate in face painting, arts and crafts, rides, clowns, a wheel of chance, games, snacks, goody bag, raffle prizes and more. All proceeds benefit Westchester Children’s Museum, an interactive learning space in Rye that provides children, families and school groups the opportunity to nurture curiosity and ignite imagination through creative hands-on exploration. Today 10:30am– 12:30pm. $10/family up to 4, $5 each additional. Preregistration for this event is strongly encouraged. Families can register online and download their entry pass at Roc City, 33 LeCount Place, New Rochelle.

December 2016 |


Last Word //

Forty-Nine Perfect Hearts By Cindy Hudson


pulled back the dining room chair and saw a small, wrapped present sitting atop my seat. Dinner plate in hand, I stopped short, thinking of the unwrapped gift that lay hidden away in my dresser upstairs. “Oh,” I said to my husband. “Are we doing this now? Yours isn’t ready yet.” “Open it,” he said. I knew what lay inside, even though I didn’t know the color, or the size, or even the material it was made of. I knew, however, that when I untied the bow, lifted the lid and unwrapped the tissue I would find a perfect heart. An ornament for our Christmas tree. My first heart arrived when we were newlyweds decorating a tree we had chopped down ourselves from a nearby farm. We had finished hanging the few ornaments from our blended households on its branches when Randy placed a small box in front of me. “A present?” I squealed. “But it isn’t even Christmas yet.” He just smiled and nudged the box a little closer. I lifted the lid and gasped. A blown-glass, heart-shaped ornament with swirling colors lay inside. “A heart for my sweetheart,” said Randy. I kissed him and found a place on the tree where we could admire the heart all season long. The next year I decided to surprise Randy with a heart bought especially for him. Weeks in advance I started looking for the perfect ornament to take its place beside the one he


Westchester Family | December 2016

gave me. Finally, I chose one made of wood, something pretty yet sturdy, to last through the years. We finished decorating our tree, and I pulled the package from my pocket. “I got something for you,” I said with a grin. “I got something for you, too,” he answered, pushing another package my way. And so a tradition was born. Much like our new marriage, in the beginning giving the hearts was easy. With no kids, few possessions and time on our hands, we could shop until we found the perfect heart to add to our growing collection. Then our daughters came along. Within a few years Christmas became a whirlwind of things we had to do with shrinking amounts of time to do them in. We hit the ground running the weekend after Thanksgiving and didn’t stop until we sprawled exhausted beside a mountain of discarded wrapping paper on Christmas morning. As our daughters grew, the rest of the year seemed to pass in a blur as well. We ferried the girls to art classes, soccer games, piano lessons and set aside evenings to help with homework. There hardly seemed time for us as a couple; we were a family, a team of four, united in the purpose of raising girls who could take on the world. Even so, every year Randy and I still gave each other a heart, despite feeling at times as though shopping for it was just another chore. Some years all the hearts we found looked like ones we had already given. Some

years, heart-shaped ornaments were hard to find. Some years, we fought on tree-cutting day, hurling angry words at each other as we crammed one more event into our overbooked holiday schedule. Those years, the hearts helped us put our anger aside. For how could we nurse a grudge when a tissue-wrapped heart lay waiting, a symbolic olive branch to put things in perspective? Year after year, heart after heart, we filled our tree with ornaments of porcelain, glass, wire, raku and wood, in colors of blue, red, green, purple, gold, silver and swirling mixes. Each delicate piece is a reminder that though our relationship is fragile, it is also sturdy, and like the ornaments, with careful tending it will last. Now, with our daughters in college, Randy and I once again decorate the tree on our own. We hang our favorite ornaments in prominent places, but every piece in our collection is precious in some way, for they remind us that at the core, at the heart of things, we started out as two. And with any luck, we will face the world together as two once again long after our children go off to make lives of their own. “You know,” I say, as I unwrap this year’s heart, a vibrant blue, blown-glass piece with a beauty separate from any that have come before it, “we’re up to 49 hearts. At some point, we’re going to have to quit this.” Randy looked at me as a quiet smile made its way from his eyes to his lips. “Never,” he said. “Never.” Cindy Hudson writes about family life, books, and reading. This essay originally appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Merry Christmas!

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Westchester Family  

December 2016

Westchester Family  

December 2016