Westchester Family - November 2022

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The Best Birthday Party Roundup! Our Special NeedS Guide+ Julee Wilson The beauty editor extraordinaire shares how she learned her worth and what advice she has for other women trying to find their way in the world NovemBer FuN! Great seasonal events, museums & more November 2022 WestchesterFamily.com
@americandream • americandream.com • 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073 Plan an epic Birthday today Book a Better Birthday at American Dream! Reserve one of our exclusive, world-renowned indoor attractions for your next birthday.
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4 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022 Novem B e R 2022 WestchesterFamily.comcontents F e Atures 8 | Family Day o ut-Westchester Family-friendly Museums 16 | s pecial Needs 5 common myths about Autism Spectrum Disorder 20 | s pecial Needs The many benefits of OT and what parents need to know 34 | cover- Julee Wilson 28 | Parties Westchester’s Best Birthday Party Places 30 | h oliday h ighlights Start planning your seasonal celebrations stories & colum N s 6 | editor’s letter 12 | Family Day o ut-Westchester Exploring Teatown, get closer to nature at this preserve in your own backyard 24| s potlight-Westchester Meet Tami McCarthy of KAHLO Collective FA mily F u N 36| c alendar All the fun events and activities for November Directories 22| s pecial Needs listings o N the cover Photo: Yumi Matsuo | yumimatsuostudio.com Hair: Anthony Dickey of Hair Rules | hairrules.com Makeup: Buffy Hernandez | buffysaintmarie.com Cover Story: Cris Pearlstein | crispearlstein.com Produced by: Cris Pearlstein & Donna Duarte Ladd Clothing credits: Family Shot: JULee: Dressed in Joy “cora” blouse, eloquii sequin column skirt, eloquii faux leather moto jacket, nike sneakers, Gwen Beloti “nina” classic gold hoops. RAHsAAn: Zara shirt, Vintage jacket, Zara pants, nike sneakers. oRIon: Primark shirt, Janie and Jack pants, nike sneakers. nADIR: Primark shirt, Ade + Ayo jumper, Van sneakers pg. 34 pg. 36 pg. 12 pg. 20 pg. 28
November 2022 | Westchester Family 5 Behavioral Consultations and Interventions Autism Services including ABA Therapy Mental Health Counseling including Parent and Family Counseling New Location: 311 North Street Suite 406 White Plains Therapeutic Services including Physical Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Parent Training, and more Special Education Services familyofkidz.com/west Family of Kidz Our services and evaluations are available to all children and are offered in the home, at our location, in schools, and via remote platforms, where applicable. Providing Therapeutic And Educational Services To Help Kidz Reach Their Full Potential Most major insurance plans accepted for Mental Health Counseling 914-878-5117 info@familyofkidz.com

November Shifts

November is a gorgeous month for the weather shifts from warm days to crisp and chilly fluffy coat weather.

It is also a time when you may be looking for inside adventures- check out our roundup of our favorite Family Friendly Museums (page 8.)

On a special needs note, if you have been told your child may need OT, our expert piece on How Can Occupational Therapy Help My Child? (page 20), is informative on its many benefits that will answer many of your questions.

If your child’s birthday is coming up (or you’re like me and plan in advance), we have

a superb round-up of the 8 Westchester’s Best Birthday Party Places(page 28) you must check out!

Lastly, this month’s cover mom (page 34) Julee Wilson (and her gorgeous family) grace our cover. Writer Cris Pearlstein chatted with this beauty editor extraordinaire and executive at BeautyUnited on how she learned early on that dimming your light to make others feel comfortable is no way to live. Julee shares how she came to know her worth and her advice for other women trying to find their way in the world.

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6 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022 eDItoR ’s note Share your feedback and ideas about family life in New York! Email us at editorial@newyorkfamily.com and tag us at #newyorkfamily get in touch
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Amuseum outing is typically associated with an adventure to New York City. However, there are actually tons of Westchester museums that you and your family can explore this fall/winter — and beyond. From history to arts and culture to play-focused museums, Westchester has something for everyone as you soak in the arts and culture that’s right in our backyard.

Westchester Children’s Museum

For parents of younger kids, Westchester Children’s Museum is the ultimate indoor escape for play and discovery. With Rye Beach on one side and Rye Playland on the other, you can make your visit a full day experience. At the museum, families can enjoy interactive exhibits such as the


immersive toddler beach, a construction zone to build and create, a cozy book nook, and maker space, to name a few options. The museum also offers regular programming, such as STEAM programs, Science Saturdays, printmaking, and Museum Minis every Wednesday. In November, enjoy the “My Superpower Workshop Series,” designed to help kids understand themselves, the world around them, and learn tools to identify differences and celebrate themselves. There will also be an interactive storytime and author signing with author Christina Geist of the book “Hear “Buddy’s New Buddy” on November 19th.

$9 per person; free for kids 1 and under. Westchester Children’s Museum at the Playland Bathhouse, 100 Playland Pkwy, Rye, NY 10580. www.discoverwcm.org

Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden

This museum and garden is quite stunning

in the summer where you and your kids can stroll and soak in the beauty of its grounds. Located in South Salem, the garden is revealed as you walk through its meandering 3.5-acre path where you will see a pond, rare Japanese plants and trees and species native to Westchester. There is also an on-site museum with various routing art exhibits.

Adults, $8 and kids under 12 are free. 28 Deveau Road, North Salem, NY 10560.

Katonah Museum of Art

Known for their interesting and stimulating rotating exhibits, the Katonah Museum of Art also hosts tons of programs for families throughout the year. In November, enjoy Saturday Story Corner on November 5th at 10:30am where you and your kids will enjoy a story together in their cozy reading corner, creative community Fridays with stroller tours on November 18th from 9:30am10:30am and artful families on November 18th from 10:30am-11:30am. In December,

8 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
FA mILY DAY oUt Family-Friendly
to discover in Westchester!
Westchester children’s m useum
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visit for family day on December 3rd from 12:00pm-4:00pm, celebrating the work of Jerry Pinkney.

Adults, $12 and children under 12 are free. 134 Jay Street, Katonah, NY 10536, katonahmuseum.org.

The Neuberger Museum of Art

Located in Purchase College, The Neuberger Museum of Art features modern, contemporary and African art. Current exhibitions include Tomashi Jackson: SLOW JAMZ (running until November 27, 2022) with Nicolás De Jesús: A Mexican Artist for Global Justice and Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece running until December 23, 2022.

Free admission. 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY 10577. neuberger.org

Hudson River Museum

Located in Yonkers, the Hudson River Museum has some incredible routing exhibits, planetarium shows, tours of Glenview, and their gorgeous outdoor courtyard.

Adults, $8, youth (3–18) $4 and kids under

3 are free. 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10701.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester

Lego fans will love spending a day of brickbuilding adventure at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester. Dubbed as the “ultimate indoor playground,” your kids will instantly be “wow-ed” by Miniland and its 1.5 million bricks, the Merlin’s Apprentice ride, Lego Friends, Duplo Village, and more. $26.99 for kids and adults. 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, NY 10710. www. legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester/

Lyndhurst Mansion

Take a mansion tour of the historic Lyndhurst Mansion. Located in Tarrytown, this one-hour covers two floors of the mansion where you can see the opulent and lavish decorative arts and furniture from the previous owners. They also have daily grounds passes where you can explore the grounds and walk around.

Adults, $20 and kids ages 6-17, $15. 635 South Broadway, Tarrytown, NY 10591.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children

One of the best museums for Westchster kids is just beyond the Westchester border. Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk, Conn. is another great museum for kids. No parent will ever have to say, “don’t touch,” because this museum encourages hands-on exploration. The museum is specially designed for children ages 10 and under. You’ll find more than 100 hands-on activities. There are also family programs and special events. Be sure to see the landmark exhibit “Energy Lab.” Here kids learn all about science and energy in a wet and wild environment. Then try the popular water play table. Infants and toddlers can enjoy Tot Town. This soft play space for infants and toddlers has a gated entrance. Babies interact with toys, games, sounds and each other. In November, attend Music Makers; Let’s Move; Turn the Page; and much more.

Stepping Stones Museum for Children, 303 West Avenue, Norwalk, CT. 203-899-0606. steppingstonesmuseum.org

10 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
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Exploring teatown

There are so many cool places to see and explore in Westchester County. One location to get on your radar is a visit to Teatown.

Located in Ossining, New York, Teatown is a non-profit nature preserve and environmental education center. The location is open year-round where you can find 15 miles of hiking trails, a two-acre island refuge home to 230 species of native wildflowers, educational and nature-focused events,

wildlife exhibits, programming for kids, and much more.

Below, we’re sharing some of the many ways you can explore Teatown with your kids.

take a h ike

With over 15 miles of trails (open yearround), you and your family will have access to appreciate and soak in nature in over 1,000 acres of protected land. Over the course of your hike, you’ll see native plants, maybe some animals, and more.

Families with young kids will love their

easy trails, ranging from .9 miles to 1.5 miles. These trails offer beautiful views of Teatown Lake and natural wooded areas. They also have moderate and strenuous trails with different scenic overlooks. All of the trails showcase the incredible biological diversity of the lower Hudson Valley, connecting to the Briarcliff Peekskill Trailway and the Croton Aqueduct Trail. Check out the trail map to plan your hike before you visit. Trails are open from dawn to dusk.

From May-June, you can take a guided tour of Wildflower Island, a refuge within the greater Teatown preserve. This island is home to 280 species of wildflowers, trees, shrubs, ferns, grasses, sedges, and rushes where you can see and experience the beauty of the everchanging blooms. Reservations are required for this tour.

12 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
Get closer to nature at this preserve in your own backyard
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check o ut an event

There are tons of events offered at Teatown. For the fall, check out Natural and Native Crafts where you can learn skills of the Lenape children by hand weaving phragmites mats, creating a corn husk doll, and more. The event Misunderstood No More will teach you more about the importance of snakes, bats, spiders, and bugs for a healthy world. See the beauty of the fall foliage in the Color Hike. This hike is moderately difficult and best for kids ages 8 and up.

For Halloween weekend, adults can take a haunted hike as a part of Teatown at Twilight on Friday, October 28th. On Saturday, October 29th and Sunday, October 30th, you can visit with your family as a part of their Enchanted Forest event. This includes a 30-minute guided walk with whimsical characters and familiar forest friends.

cindy’s g arden

Visit Cindy’s Garden, an educational sensory garden. Open everyday from 9am-5pm, guests are invited to interact with the plants and insects. You can smell leaves, watch

a butterflies, writre, listen to the insects’ conversations, or simply relax.

visit the visitor center

The on-site visitor center is a fun place to see exhibits, gardens, art from local artists, and take home a souvenir from the nature store.

The exhibits feature non-releasable birds of

prey include great horned owls, red-tailed hawks, opossums, snakes, turtles, and more.

visit teatown 1600 Spring Valley Road, Ossining, NY 10562 Parking is $7 for non-members 914-762-2912

Saint Thomas Choir School in the heart of

nurtures and educates the treble choristers of the Saint Thomas Choir of Men

a passion

singing can grow

meaningful journey through adolescence and

Saint Thomas Choir School in the heart of New York City nurtures and educates the treble choristers of the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys. The school’s small size and low faculty-to-student ratio allow teachers to address the academic strengths and needs of each child, while a school-wide focus on music ensures that boys with a passion for singing can grow in extraordinary ways. The unique choir school experience prepares boys for a meaningful journey through adolescence and beyond, regardless of their professional goals. Contact Ruth Cobb at rcobb@choirschool.org for more information.

rcobb@choirschool.org for more information.

low faculty-to-student ratio allow teachers to address the academic strengths and needs of each child, while a school-wide focus on music ensures that boys with a passion for singing can grow in extraordinary ways. The unique choir school experience prepares boys for a meaningful journey through adolescence and beyond, regardless of their professional goals. Contact Ruth Cobb at rcobb@choirschool.org for more information.

choirschool.org n 212-247-3311

14 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
FA mILY DAY oUt Do you know a boy who loves to sing? Saint Thomas Choir School in the heart of New York City nurtures and educates the treble choristers of the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys. The school’s small size and low faculty-to-student ratio allow teachers to address the academic strengths and needs of each child, while a school-wide focus on music ensures that boys with
in extraordinary ways. The unique choir school experience prepares boys for a
beyond, regardless of their professional goals. Contact Ruth Cobb at
The opportunity of a lifetime for boys in grades 3–8 n choirschool.org n 212-247-3311 Do you know a boy who loves to sing?
New York City
and Boys. The school’s small size and
The opportunity of a lifetime for boys in grades
3–8 n
Do you know a boy who loves to sing?
The opportunity of a lifetime for boys in grades
3–8 n
choirschool.org n


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Common Myths

Autism Spectrum Disorder

While the awareness of autism spectrum disorder has grown due to social media, increased research, Autism Awareness Month, and more, there are still many misconceptions about ASD, from its causes to the characteristics and abilities of those on the spectrum.

As its name denotes, autism is a spec-

trum, meaning not everyone diagnosed with autism displays the same traits, exhibits the same behaviors, or has the same abilities— just like you or me. So applying blanket statements to those on the spectrum would be like saying girls can’t throw or boys don’t cry.

We spoke to experts about stereotypes of ASD, and uncovered the truth behind five big misconceptions about the disorder and those diagnosed with it.

Myth 1: Vaccines cause autism. Unfortunately we do still hear the misconception that autism is related to vaccinations, commonly the measles, mumps, rubella vaccination, says Sarah Kuriakose, Ph.D., BCBAD, clinical assistant professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at NYU Langone Health. “Not only was the initial study that showed that a fraudulent study, but follow-up studies have debunked that many times,” she explains.

16 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
There are a lot of stereotypes about autism that just aren’t true. Here’s what parents should know
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There are other concerns that autism is caused by “various environmental factors that a pregnant mother may be exposed to and in utero some of those environmental causative factors may have somehow affected the fetus,” says John Pfeifer, senior director of Clinical Services and the Family Center for Autism, part of Life’s WORC, a Long Island nonprofit that supports people with developmental disabilities and autism. “There’s still ongoing research about the expansion of electromagnetic technology and various environmental chemicals and such that may be at play, but not knowing everything in the environment that may be affecting a fetus, either seen or unseen, makes it hard to decipher that.”

“What we do know about autism is there seems to be a genetic component, and about ten to twenty percent of cases with ASD are linked to an identified genetic disorder,” says Dr. Kuriakose, who is also senior director of the NYU Langone Autism and Developmental Neuroscience Initiative and the clinical direc tor of the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical and Research Program at NYU’s Child Study Center. “We anticipate that that number will go up with more genetics research. But even in identical twins, the concordance rate is not one-hundred percent, so we know there is some factor that is not genetic as well.”

Myth 2: People on the spectrum are anti-social and don’t have feelings. Dr. Kuriakose says parents, teachers, and even doctors will tell her things like, “that child can’t have autism because…he’s affectionate, …she makes eye contact, or …he’s interested in other kids.”

“So what can end up happening is people have this very black-and-white picture that a person with autism is someone who is anti-social and isn’t interested in other people,” she says. “We know that those aren’t necessarily true.” Yet thanks to this persistent myth, a child who does have autism might not be given a diagnosis—his parents may be hanging on to the fact that their child is affec tionate though he is struggling in other ways.

“It is often thought that people with autism don’t have feelings, which is a very sad misconception and very far from the truth,” adds Janet Koch, CEO of Life’s WORC. “They are capable of having loving relationships with family members and friends.”

Myth 3: People with autism exhibit challenging and/or maladaptive behaviors.

“It’s not fair to say that challenging behaviors are inherent in the diagnosis,” Pfeifer says. “They are often a byproduct of ineffective treatment of some of the things that are inherent in the diagnosis, which are communication and socialization difficulties.” These behaviors could include flapping hands, rocking, or other selfstimulatory behaviors.

“We still unfortunately have the misconception from previous media portrayals that kids with autism are nonverbal, are going to sit in the corner, and just rock or flap their hands,” Dr. Kuriakose says.

As society becomes more educated about autism, people are learning about adapting communication efforts. “I have young children, and they’re learning in integrated classrooms about what these behaviors may mean. It could actually help a person [on the spectrum] to not escalate to such a significant behavior because they’ll be able to communicate more easily with people who have been taught how to communicate with them,” Koch says.

Myth 4: Those on the spectrum are savants and/or are fixated on one topic.

The media commonly portrays those with autism as being savants or having restricted interest in a singular subject area: Sam Gardner in Netflix’s Atypical and Shaun Murphy in ABC’s The Good Doctor are two recent portrayals. “Certainly we have kids and adults with autism who have an amazing depth of knowledge in a particular area, incredible memory, incredible pattern recognition skills, things like that that are going to set them up for a particular career,” Dr. Kuriakose says, but not all people on the spectrum show these characteristics.

In fact, the most recent criteria for an ASD diagnosis from the Diagnostic and

Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fall into two categories: social communication and restricted, repetitive behaviors (RRB). There are four traits that fall under the RRB category—repetitive speech or behavior/ mannerisms, restricted interest, sensory challenges, and difficulty with transitions or insistence on sameness—and a person needs to only exhibit two of the RRB traits (and meet criteria from the social communication category) to receive a diagnosis of autism, according to Dr. Kuriakose. “So you could have a kid who has some sensory challenges and insistence on sameness without any restricted interest at all and you could still have the diagnosis,” she says.

Myth 5: People with ASD can’t go to college, have jobs, or get married. Because some people with autism may struggle with social situations, have commu nication challenges, and have difficulty with flexibility, there’s the misconception that they will not be able to attend higher education, have a job, or get married and have kids.

“There are lots of examples of folks with au tism who do successfully do those things, and the big thing that’s important is it’s all about the supports the environment can provide,” Dr. Kuriakose says.

When working with a patient who is looking at colleges or employment opportunities, Dr. Kuriakose looks for a setting that is supportive of that patient’s strengths and challenges. In fact, “a lot of individuals with autism are actually really great, dedicated, passionate employees, but it has to be a setting that can understand that they might process information and interact in ways that are slightly different from typical.”

In terms of getting married, Dr. Kuriakose says there are quite a few instances where she’s diagnosed a child with autism, and a few months later their parent will observe that they’re seeing some of the same characteristics in themselves or another family member. “And these are all people who had families,” she says.

Combatting the myths So how can we continue to combat these and other myths about people on the spectrum? “Just like with any other group, you shed your misconceptions when you have more close relationships with people in that group,” Dr. Kuriakose says. “And so I really would encourage people to engage with lots of individuals with autism.”

18 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
“It is often thought that people with autism don’t have feelings, which is a very sad misconception and very far from the truth.”
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Occupational Therapy

“Every child develops at their own pace.” I have repeated this (absolutely true) statement countless times before, always in an effort to comfort a concerned friend or relative who is wondering why their child isn’t walking yet, talking yet, playing yet or reaching any number of milestones a parent will anxiously await when their kids are young. I’ve even said it to myself a few times. A parent’s job is to worry, right?

But what happens when it becomes apparent that “their own pace” is nowhere near that of other children their age? Words of comfort from a friend should be replaced by the advice of a professional, which is when the occupational therapist might come in.

We chatted with Nicole Benedicks, a school-based certified Occupational Therapist, who shared with us what the OT

does and what a parent should expect if their child is starting this kind of therapy.

What does an Occupational Therapist do?

Generally, occupational therapists work with people of all ages in a variety of settings to enhance or recover function, teach or modify a skill, or adapt a task or the environment to promote independence. Occupational therapy helps people live more independent lives and engage in everyday activities that are purposeful to them.

I work with children in a special educa tion school environment (K-5) to support and enhance students’ school-based skills. I work with a team, which can include the teacher, speech therapist, and physical therapist, guidance counselor and/or social worker. I typically work with students 1:1 or in a small group to develop or enhance skills to help them function and be as independent as pos sible within the school environment. Areas of

focus can include writing, cutting, dressing, feeding, visual perceptual skills (e.g. puzzles), and visual motor skills.

What is the difference between Occupation al Therapy and Physical Therapy?

There is a lot of overlap between the two professions. The most common assumption is that occupational therapists focus on the upper extremities and that physical therapists focus on the lower extremities, but that is not always the case. Both professions focus on the entire body and movement, but occupational therapy typically focuses on improving a person’s ability to engage in everyday activities, and evaluates limitations that might be affecting their daily performance. Physical therapy, on the other hand, focuses on movement, specifically a per son’s physical abilities and limitations in their mobility, strength and range of motion, and evaluates their movement dysfunction.

How can you prepare your child for Occupa tional Therapy?

It is beneficial to start therapy immedi ately once you notice there is a problem or de lay in development. When your child is very young there isn’t much you can do to prepare them for occupational therapy. However, if

20 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
special needs
The many benefits of OT and what parents need to know

therapy begins when your child is old enough to understand that they are meeting someone new, preparation will depend on your child’s age and level of cognition.

Typically, OT sessions include play activities, so explaining to your child that someone new will be coming to play with them may help to prepare for their session. I typically recommend having a child’s sessions scheduled for an optimal time of day where you would expect them to perform their best (i.e., not too tired, not overstimulated). Avoid allowing them to be engaged in a desired task (e.g., playing with a tablet, watching television) just before their scheduled session because removing the desired item can lead to a meltdown and your child may make a nega tive association with their therapist.

How long can treatment last?

The length of time a child receives treatment varies based on the child’s needs. Treatment can be on a consultative level where a child may not receive direct services and an OT can provide useful information and strategies that families can implement

and use in their everyday lives. For children with more severe cognitive and/or physical deficits, treatment can last through child hood into adulthood.

What does treatment look like for a child who mildly needs OT versus a child who has a disability?

Typically, treatment for a child with mild delays focuses on specific areas of deficit and the OT will work to develop those problem areas to promote independence.

When a child has a more severe disability, an OT will typically work on a range of skills focusing on helping children play and learn in a purposeful way. When physical disabilities are involved, treatment can include strength ening tasks, fine motor muscle development, improving dexterity, and adapting a task or the environment so they can engage in tasks in a modified way.

What should a parent consider when select ing the right OT professional for their child?

I would recommend finding a therapist that works mostly with children, and more specifically, if your child has a diagnosis (e.g., autism, cerebral palsy), finding a therapist that has a lot of experience working with that population. You might want to schedule a “trial” session before making a decision to see how well your child responds to them.

You should also consider what works best for your family and your schedule. Children can be seen in their home, at school or in a clinic-based setting. Finding what works best for your child is really going to differ from one family to the next.

November 2022 | Westchester Family 21
"Occupational therapy helps people live more
and engage
in everyday
activities that are purposeful to them."
F ounded in 1935, The School for Adaptive and Integrative is a small private school providing a range of educational, therapeutic, and health care services for children with intellectual disabilities. 1 Cross Road, Ardsley, NY 10502 914-968-4854 x1224 Director of Admissions The School for Adaptive & Integrative Learning at Ferncliff Manor PROGRAMS AND SERVICES: • Art Instruction • Behavior Training Outreach Services • Vocational Training • Interactive Theatre Arts • Music • Adaptive Physical Education • PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) • Physical Therapy • Occupational Therapy • Speech Therapy • Social Work • Psychology

b iondi education center 463 Hawthorne Ave., Yonkers 914-375-8969 risingground.org/program/ biondi-elementary-school awhite@RisingGround.org

Biondi’s nurturing setting and individualized therapeutic support help students build academic skills, grow self-esteem and learn to overcome frustration. At Biondi, evidence-based approaches allow students to continue their academic and emotional progress. Certified Teachers and Teaching Assistants, Clinical Psychologists, School Social Workers, SpeechLanguage Pathologist and an Occupational Therapist support students at their Elementary and Secondary Schools.Serving K-12.

c ardinal o ’ connor school 16 North Broadway, Irvington 914-591-9330

jcoschool.org admissions@ johncardinaloconnorschool. org

The John Cardinal O’Connor School is a Catholic school dedicated to providing an affordable, language-based, academic curriculum for children in grades K-8 with mild Learning Disabilities (LD), Speech or Language Impairments (SPL), or other Health Impairments (OHI). Students are taught by certified special education teachers in small classes. Teachers utilize multisensory instructional techniques to help children succeed academically and socially.

creative Wonders therapy center

470 Mamaroneck Ave, Suite 204, White Plains 101 South Bedford Rd Suite 404, Mt. Kisco 914-421-8270 ext. 2 914-373-6823 ext. 3

creativewonderstherapy.com Creative Wonders is a pediatric therapy center with locations in both White Plains and Mt. Kisco. Seasoned occupational, physical, and speech therapists trained in specialties including sensory integration, PROMPT, Feeding, and evaluations including SIPT evaluations. Private speech and toddler rooms as well as a sensory gym! Strict cleaning guidelines and precautions as well as 75i True HEPA Air Purifiers in both locations.

Family of k idz 311 North Street Suite 406, White Plains 914-898-5117 familyofkidz.com info@familyofkidz.com

Family of Kidz has been a leader in providing services to children for over 25 years, including Educational & Behavioral Services, Speech

Therapy, Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Mental Health Services. Their mission is to help all individuals reach their full potential.

g reen chimneys school Campuses in Brewster & Carmel 845-279-2995


Green Chimneys School is an accredited special education program for students K-12 who benefit from a highly structured and supportive setting. An enriched curriculum for individualized academic, behavioral and emotional support features an innovative nature-based approach that integrates animal-assisted activities, horticulture and outdoor exploration into therapeutic treatment and education programs.

22 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022 s peci A l N ee D s Directory | Special Advertising Supplement
• Occupational Therapy • Physical Therapy • Speech Therapy/Prompt • Home & Facility Based Services • Sensory Gym • Rock Climbing Wall • Feeding Therapy OUR FACILITY FEATURES: Therapists in masks & Alen BreatheSmart 75i True HEPA Air Purifier in both locations! WWW.CREATIVEWONDERSTHERAPY.COM Mt Kisco 914-373-6823 White Plains 914-421-8270 OPENINGS AVAILABLE Contact us to schedule an appt. Telehealth AND IN PERSON available ww w.wes tc hes ter sc hool.or g The Westchester School 914 - 376 - 4 3 0 0 • • • C us tomized cla s sr o om ins tr uc tion ba sed on I E P goals, enhanced wit h S MA R T boards, I P ads, and compu ter s in ever y cla s sr o om • C ounseling, B ehavior al S er vices, O ccupational T her apy, P hysical T her apy, a s well a s S peech and L anguage T her apy • A s sis t ance wit h t r ansitioning to po s t academic life by pr oviding Vocational and J ob S k ill oppor t unities • A daptive P hysical Education and a S ens or y R o om NYS approved and funded non-public school providing therapeutic and educational services to students diagnosed with AU, MD, ID, OHI, OI, ED, & PWD, ages 3 - 21, with locations in Yonkers & North Salem Ungraded, self-contained classrooms with a student to staff ratio of 12:1:4 & 8:1:2 in SchoolAged classrooms and a ratio of 10:1:2 in Preschool classrooms.

littman k rooks, llP 800 Westchester Avenue, S-436, Rye Brook, 914-684-2100


Littman Krooks Special Needs Planning and Special Education Advocacy

Attorneys work for the empowerment of individuals with special needs. Planning for your child’s future can seem overwhelming but you do not need to face these tasks alone. Seeking the assistance of an attorney can be the best approach. receptive language disorders.

m ain street Pediatric Dentistry

115 Main St., Suite 302 Tuckahoe, NY 10707 914-633-4440

drpennydds@aol.com mainstreetpediatricdentistry. com

Main Street Pediatric

Dentistry’s experienced staff has specialized training to work with special needs patients and those with disabilities. They focus on behavior management, working closely with the patient and their families to make the experience as comfortable as possible. Patients of all ages are welcome.

m onster m ini g olf Yonkers Ridge Hill Mall 221 Market St., Unit 2950, 2nd Floor, Yonkers 914-346-5072

monsterminigolf.com/yonkers yonkers@monsterminigolf. com

Monster Mini Golf is an indoor, fun, affordable, upbeat experience for special needs humans of all ages. Their 18 holes of monster-themed mini golf, glow-in-the-dark experience is wheelchair accessible,

climate controlled, with interactive team members. For more excitement they have an on-course DJ, arcade games, bowling, and private party rooms!

sail at Ferncliff m anor 1154 Saw Mill River Rd., Yonkers 914-968-4854 Sailatferncliff.com info@sailatferncliff.com

The School for Adaptive and Integrative Learning (SAIL) at Ferncliff Manor is a NYS Education Dept. approved private, nonpublic school program serving residential and day students with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. SAIL provides specialized instruction, intensive staff to student ratios, positive behavior interventions and supports, social services, rehabilitative therapies, dietary programming, and

living accommodations for children who require the specialized care.

Westchester school 45 Park Avenue, Yonkers 520 Route 22, North Salem 33 Seymour St., Yonkers 914-376-4300


The Westchester School’s main campus is a year round, NY state approved special education day facility located in Yonkers NY. The school’s three locations serve individuals with autism and multiple handicaps as well as children who are medically fragile. In addition to serving Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Dutchess and Orange counties, they also support the Mid-Hudson area, New York City and Fairfield County, CT.

Do You Know a Child with Learning Disabilities? The John Cardinal O’Connor School helps children

Meet Tami McCarthy

Owner of KAHLO Collective

One of the things many of us look for when we move to Westchester is community. Tami McCarthy, mom, entrepreneur, and actor is a firm believer in the power of community and connection, along with curating eco-conscious items with a give-back mission, in her eco-luxe Westchester shop, KAHLO Collective.

Located in Pound Ridge, the boutique is a beloved part of Scott’s Corners where you can find artisan-made goods, apothecary, slow fashion, beautifully curated home goods, jewelry and gifts, spiritual wellness, and much more.

The space also serves as a hybrid gathering space where Tami regularly interviews members of the community in her Instagram series, “Who’s In The Chair?” (check out the complete list of past guests on Instagram at @kahlocollective).

Tami also curates numerous experiences throughout the community. Some past events include Sip-N-Paint parties, Full Moon Circles, and more. She is also the chair of the upcoming Yellow Brick Road Fest with Bedford Playhouse, along with many more exciting things to come. Read on to learn more about Tami and her vision behind KAHLO Collective.

Westchester Family: Tell us more about KAHLO Collective and how the idea came about.

Tami McCarthy: I was transitioning from owning a PR agency based in Manhattan, while launching my eco-centric company that featured two brands – one was a holistic “meditation retreat in a box” and the other was my signature clean skincare line, TAMBRA: sea and botanicals.

I had a vision for a community hub, a physical brick and mortar space where people could shop conscientiously – part artisan boutique and part workshop and a gathering space. Thus, KAHLO Collective was born!

I opened the shop in 2018 as an eco-luxe space to celebrate all things good for people

and planet, and feature goods with a giveback mission, locally and globally.

Westchester Family: How do you find the products/items that you curate at KAHLO Collective?

Tami McCarthy: I am a passionate curator. I have relationships with artisans, fair trade communities, designers and makers. Since I have been doing this for a long time, people also refer and introduce artisans to me.

I am also looking forward to traveling again and sourcing abroad.

Westchester Family: You have been hosting a lot of events in different venues in Westchester. Tell us about some of these collaborations and what events we can expect from you.

Tami McCarthy: I love collaborating with

likeminded people, and in unexpected ways, including cool venues. As a multi-hyphenate entrepreneur, it’s really fun to find partners and create experiences together.

Recently, I have been doing a Wellness Series at Maple Grove Farm in Bedford. These events are amazing, and so much fun. We have had awesome Sip – N – Paint Nights, as well as Sound Healings and Shamanic Sessions, Crystal Workshops, and Full Moon Circles at the barn venue.

I also loved doing a pop-up yoga class in New Canaan at the Jean Jacobs Gallery. I also love collabs such as with The Bedford Playhouse and a new collaboration coming up with POUR (a fabulous cocktail lounge in Mount Kisco) that I am super excited about.

Westchester Family: You are also organizing the Yellow Brick Road Fest for The Bedford Playhouse. Tell us more about the event and

24 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
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November 2022 | Westchester Family 25 Special Birthday Packages for Groups of 10+. WWW.BLUEMAN.COM/GROUPS bmg.sales@blueman.com  Flip, jump and bounce through our state of the art gymnastics facility.  Enjoy a private party room with customized menu choices.  Choose one of our many great packages and themes.  Parents sit back and relax while our instructors and party supervisors do the work! Call 914Call 914--238 238--4967 4967Book Your Party Today Book Your Party Today Chappaqua · NY www.worldcupgymnastics.comChappaqua · NY www.worldcupgymnastics.com Gymnastics PartyGymnastics Party Kids Flip for a WORLD CUPKids Flip for a WORLD CUP

what to expect.

Tami McCarthy: The fine folks at the Bedford Playhouse asked me to chair the Yellow Brick Road Festt and I happily agreed! The Bedford Playhouse is an important cultural gem in our community that is worthy of our support. What’s great about the Yellow Brick Road Fest is a family fun event, with a BBQ, live music and games and activities along with an outdoor screening of “The Wizard of Oz” in the rolling meadow at Maple Grove Farm.

The event is structured to be affordable and inclusive for families all around our town. It’s a true collaboration of many people throughout our community, which is great too. Attendees bring their own picnic blanket or chairs and enjoy an old-fashioned outdoor farm experience and all the proceeds go to the Bedford Playhouse – how cool is that?

Westchester Family: What are some of your favorite things to do in Westchester?

Tami McCarthy: We are so fortunate to be surrounded by so much nature in Westchester. Whenever I get the chance, I

love to spend time outdoors.

One of my favorite places is Ward Pound Ridge. I also like to hit up the orchards in Northern Westchester. Harvest Moon is the best!

Westchester Family: How have you found community as business owner/event curator in the area?

Tami McCarthy: I’m lucky to have met amazing people just by having them walk through my shop doors. I feel so blessed to have connected with warm, friendly creatives, healers, musicians and artists…I found my tribe! I’m also supportive of customers who appreciate the passionate I put into my business.

Westchester Family: Anything else to add?

Tami McCarthy: Owning a small business in a small town is challenging, but I wouldn’t change the joy that I have experienced owning my own shop. At the same time, growth brings change, so watch out for more ways that KAHLO Collective will be popping up and expanding over the coming months.

visit kahlo collective 65 Westchester Avenue Pound Ridge, NY 10576

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November 2022 | Westchester Family 27 announcing!! donate your clothing to address clothing insecurity and help families here in westchester Visit our website to schedule
for more information We Pick Up! Limit 10 bags. clothing only Suggested Donation $10 to off-set pick-up cost Presents What the Neuroscience of Spirituality Reveals About Our Capacity for Health, Happiness and Resilience With author Lisa Miller, Ph.D. Tuesday, Nov.1, 2022, 4 p.m. ET Curious Children, Wise Elders: How Childhood and Elderhood Shape Intelligence and Learning With Alison Gopnik, Ph.D. Tuesday, Nov.17, 2022, 4 p.m. ET Register for FREE at WestchesterFamily.com/ParentEd


8 Best

Birthday Party Places

Birthday Party planning can be right up there with trying to find the right daycare provider. Ok, fine, they aren’t that stressful. Yet, we want our kids to have a fantastic birthday experience, and if your kids are like ours, they may start bringing up their birthday at least ten months before the big day. So yes, there is a bit of pressure.

And, of course, all parents want their kids to have an amazing birthday party. Fortunately, we got you covered! What if we told you we could take a large chunk of that worry from your to-do list? We can, as we have 8 of the best spots to throw a birthday party in and around Westchester. From parties that include an indoor water pool to a venue where the kids can dance their socks off, we have 8 of the best places to start planning that birthday party!

american Dream

Head to this fun spot for a memorable birthday party at the world-renowned indoor attraction American Dream for your child’s next birthday. Stay cool by the pool at DreamWorks Water Park or coast into thrills at Nickelodeon Universe! At the American Dream fun destination- the birthday possi bilities are endless. Kids can enjoy visits with their favorite characters, customizable food & drink menus, face painting & glitter tattoos, Magic Memories photo & party favor pack ages, Candy raid, Graffiti wall and more. 1 American Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073, 833-263-7326, americandream.com/ locations, americandream.com/birthdays.

Dream Wheel NJ

Take a day trip and head to The new Dream Wheel NJ at The American Dream Mall in East Rutherford, NJ. This fun destination offers a

wide range of kids’ birthday party packages to make the special day unique and unforgettable! Private areas and café space paired with private “gondolas” to experience amazing views of the NYC skyline from almost 300 feet in the air. For yummy food, partygoers can eat at Deep Fried Love; the in-house carnival-type treats café. Munch on Deep Fried Oreos, Corndogs and cotton candy, and it is not a party if you don’t have four choices of flavored lemonade. Your party kid and friends will make memories that last forever! Dream Wheel NJ, 1 Ameri can Dream Way, East Rutherford, NJ 07073, 201-800-4261, DreamWheelNJ.com, info@ dreamwheelnj.com.

g rand Prix New york racing Grand Prix New York Racing is the ultimate venue for an adventurous birthday celebra tion. Its multi-level racetrack goes from 0 to 8.6 ft high. For the littlest partygoers, there is a unique 141 ft of track perfect for ages 4 – 6. In addition to its racetrack, Grand Prix New York’s Extreme Play Park features 20,000 square feet of attractions, including 13 climbing walls and structures, a ninja obstacle course with gravity-defying obstacles, an 80’ zip line, a bouldering wall, and rotating log elements. For more party fun Grand Prix New York goes beyond an average entertainment complex with bowling lanes, a massive arcade, and many separate or combined function ar eas for an almost never-ending variety of pos sibilities and excitement for the whole party to enjoy. Grand Prix New York Racing333 N Bedford Rd, Mt Kisco, NY 10549, 914- 2413131, gpny.com.

gym c ats gymnastics GymCats Gymnastics is famous for its funfilled birthday parties. Their energetic staff and dazzling facility make every birthday party experience memorable. Children start

the party with an exciting warm-up and move on to an awesome obstacle course. After jumping, swinging, and rolling through the obstacle course, children move on to their trampoline and foam-filled pit. Then, they get to climb up and slide down their giant airfilled slide (ages 4 & up) and jump around in their inflatable castle. After an hour of actionpacked activities, the guests spend 30 minutes in the party room. 3 and 4-year-old parties spend 45 minutes in activities and 45 minutes in the party room. GymCats Gymnastics , At Equalize Fitness, 1 Odell Plaza, Yonkers, 914-965-7676, gymcats.net/westchesterbirthday-parties.

28 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022

If your kid is a thrill seeker looking for a bit of a Birthday rush, then Spins Hudson is where they will want to celebrate. It’s the largest entertain ment venue on the Hudson with 40,000 square feet of intense adventure, including an indoor/ outdoor aerial ropes course outfitted with ob stacles and swinging elements. The challenging fun continues in their massive two-story laser tag arena with towers, fog, and hidden ramps. Still, It doesn’t end there; the kids will have a blast trying the new climbing walls featuring Legos, Rubik’s Cubes, and Space themes and finish the day in the sprawling arcade. What’s more, it’s in a simply gorgeous setting right on

the Charles Point Marina that the adults will ap preciate even if the children are distracted by the exciting activities. Spins Hudson , The Factoria at Charles Point, 5 John Walsh Blvd, Peekskill, NY 10566, 914-930-7920, spinshudson.com

m onster m ini g olf Monster Mini Golf is the planetary leader in glow-in-the-dark mini golf every day of the year. Their goal is to provide an exceptional and engaging family entertainment experience in a unique and cool environment that is fun for humans and monsters of all ages. At Monster Mini Golf, prepare for a monstrous birthday party experience like no other! Their full-service

memory makers will make your child’s birthday an unforgettable experience for not only the little monsters but for all the big monsters as well! Their two-hour events provide nonstop entertainment and engagement with memory makers who specialize in turning wow moments into lasting memories. From set up to clean up and everything in between, your dedicated memory maker will handle everything for the duration of the event. Monster Mini Golf guar antees a stress-free experience for party parents, at an affordable cost. Monster Mini Golf, Ridge Hill Mall, 221 Market Street, Unit 2950, 2nd Floor Yonkers, NY, 914-346-5072, yonkers@ monsterminigolf.com, monsterminigolf.com/ yonkers

the rock club

Bring excitement and adventure to your child’s next birthday party at The Rock Club. Climbing is the perfect way to create a memorable and unique birthday party experience. Partygoers will spend 90 mins climbing and then 30 mins in their private party room that overlooks the gym where they can provide pizza and soda or you can bring your own refreshments if you like. Their expert staff ensures every one of all skills and abilities will be excited and engaged while scaling walls and conquering challenges. They even have a ton of extra add-ons to make your party even more memorable like blacklight glow-in-the-dark climbing and a variety of party favors. The Rock Club, 130 Rhodes St, New Rochelle, NY 10801, 914-633-7625, frontdesk@ climbrockclub.biz, pinebrookfitness.com/ the-rock-club.

World cup gymnastics

Head to World Cup Gymnastics, where kids are allowed to be kids. Your birthday crew can jump on trampolines and air castles, flip on the Tumble Trak and swing into the foam and ball pits, then settle down in a private party room to enjoy more birthday fun with friends and family. Parents can choose one of their many packages, then sit back and enjoy while World Cup does all the work! There are two excellent gyms. Parties for children aged 3 and under take place in the Romperee Gym, which is filled with special gymnastics equipment and toys for the younger birthday revelers. Parties for children ages 4 and up take place in their 19,000 square foot gymnastics complex that features special pre-school equipment and obstacle courses us ing its state-of-the-art competition and training equipment. World Cup Gymnastics 170 Joan Corwin Way, Chappaqua, NY 10514, 914- 2384967, worldcupgymnastics.com, worldcup gymnastics.com/birthday-parties

November 2022 | Westchester Family 29

Holiday Highlights

For some, the holiday season does not truly begin until the Thanksgiving turkey is carved and eaten. For others, the magic begins the moment the Halloween decorations come down. We here at New York Family are definitely more the latter (we’ve already swapped out the apple cider for some eggnog). So although it’s still early, we just had to reach out to some of our partners to find out what they have in store for the most wonderful time of the year. Check out their holiday highlights below and be sure to stop by NewYorkFamily.com all season long for TONS more holly jolly fun!

14th Annual Greenwich Reindeer Festival & Santa’s Workshop

Sam Bridge Nursery & Greenhouses 437 North Street, Greenwich, CT 06830 203-869-3418 greenwichreindeerfestival.com

Every day from November 25th through December 24th, enjoy a holiday wonderland with three LIVE reindeer and photos with Santa Claus! Proceeds benefit Kids in Crisis. Get a photo taken with Santa and receive a complimentary gift bag.

HERSHEY’S Melted Hot Chocolate

Hershey’s Chocolate World Times Square, 47th St & 7th Ave chocolateworld.com/locations/times-square.html

Warm up the holidays with a HERSHEY’S Melted Hot Chocolate. The signature recipe uses a full HERSHEY’S Milk Chocolate bar mixed with white milk and topped with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, chocolate chips and a snack-sized HERSHEY’S Bar.

Christmas Fantasy with Lights Storybook Land

6415 Black Horse Pike (routes 40/322) Egg Harbor Township, NJ 08234 Storybookland.com

Experience Christmas magic in real life! Watch as Santa Claus waves his magic wand and lights up Storybook Land with over 1 million lights! Visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus until December 23. All rides and snack bars are open. Check the website for holiday hours.

Holiday Events at Cross County Center

8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers, NY 10704 914- 968-9570 crosscountycenter.com Cross County Center offers an action-packed lineup of holiday events for everyone! Stop by this holiday season and enjoy photos with

Santa, a pop up Ice Skating Rink, Holiday Food Truck Market and the largest Christmas Tree in Westchester that you can walk thru!

Westchester’s Winter Wonderland Drive Thru Holiday Light Extravaganza Kensico Dam Plaza, 1 Bronx River Pkwy Rd, Valhalla, NY 10595 wwinterwonderland.com Guests will be dazzled and delighted along the 1.2 miles of holiday lights by several new additions for 2022, including a new North Pole and live Santa display; breathtaking Kaleidoscope Corrido; cheerful Snowmen Caroling Corner; more electrifying lights

30 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
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November 2022 | Westchester Family 31 GymCats Gymnastics & Birthday Party Center One Odell Plaza, Yonkers (Exit 9 off Saw Mill River Pkwy) ������������������������������������������������������� Private Birthday Parties • Develop Strength, Flexibility, Balance, Coordination �������������� • Ages 20 mos & Up • Boys & Girls • Beginner – Advanced • Private Lessons • HOLIDAY CAMPS • Competitive and Non-competitive Team Program All of our Parties are Private. Our interactive staff will make your child’s party a very special one. Obstacle courses, Trampolines, Airslide, Foam Filled Pit, Air Castle & More! Gymnastics Classes Our goal is to build a physical and mental foundation for ALL sports and to promote athleticism and good health through participation in gymnastics. Ages 3 & Up / Book Early! “We specialize in beginners.” playgroup.org (914) 946-4433 Action packed D&D adventure meets heart felt self discovery November 12-20 Rated PGT13: ages 13+ The delightful Ugly Duckling musical that’s a real quack up December 10-18 Rated: Full Family Fun The classic tale in a musical that will sweep you away January 14-22 Rated: Magical for All Get IN on the ACT! Register now for PGT Show Auditions Theatre Classes and Summer Camps www.playgroup.org/shows for tickets and info www.annaandandychildcare.com 914-592-3027 2170 Saw Mill River Rd, Elmsford, NY Serving Children 2 months–14 years Field Trips Stimulating Environment Flexible Schedules Beautiful Campus Setting FALL PROGRAM Family Owned & Operated Since 1973 Experienced Teachers

surrounding the largest holiday Christmas tree in Westchester and a new 30-foot glistening star guests will be able to make their New Year’s wish upon! Tickets are $25 weekdays, $35 weekends per vehicle.

Holiday Fair & Craft Sale Hand and Hoe Lot

241 Hungry Hollow Road Chestnut Ridge, NY 10977 fellowshipcommunity.org/hand-and-hoe

The Fair and Craft Sale will be held mostly outdoors, with the nostalgic feel of a Winter Street Fair - Christmas trees, cider & chestnuts, holiday treats, children’s activities, festive music and caroling, puppet shows, a silent auc tion, and a wide array of beautiful and unique handmade gifts, crystals, candles, and more.

Palisades Center- Shop Small 1000 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack, NY palisadescenter.com

Palisades Center in partnership with the Greater Nanuet Chamber of Commerce will host a special event highlighting small busi nesses throughout the mall! Meet the business

owners, listen to live music, enjoy free give aways, and more! Check Shop Small Saturday on November 26,.

Holiday Fun at Palisades Center 1000 Palisades Center Drive, West Nyack, NY Palisadescenter.com

Holiday events are taking place at Palisades Center! Check out Santa’s Arrival - November 19 (5 PM - 7 PM), Visits with Santa - November 18 - December 24, Santa Cares (sensory friendly event) - December 5 (9 AM - 10:30 AM) and Pet Night with Santa - December 11 (4 PM - 6 PM.)

Ramsey Farmers’ Market

Ramsey Main Street Station Ramsey, NJ


The Ramsey Farmers’ Market is hosting the Second Chance Toy Collection on November 13 and graciously accepting donations of gently used plastic toys. The market will begin its winter hours effective December 4, taking place every Sunday from 10 AM to 1 PM during the months of December through April. The market will be closed on December 25 and January 1.

RYDE Nutcracker Performances

Rockland Community College 145 College Road Suffern, NY 10901


The Rockland Youth Dance Ensemble’s annual performance of The Nutcracker will be held December 9th through 11th at Rockland Community College. Six full length performances, including special narrated shows for younger guests. Discounted tickets available for Girl Scout Troops.

32 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022 SALES OPPORTUNITIES Schneps Media, the publisher of New York Family, is seeking motivated Account Executives to sell comprehensive marketing packages across our digital and print network. Our media and event products include iconic brands throughout New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Philadelphia, and Florida, and reach millions of readers and digital users weekly, including in NYC’s largest print publication — amNewYork Metro. The right candidates will be highly motivated with effective written and verbal communication skills, and have the ability to create engaging marketing programs for their clients. Compensation includes salary plus commission. Benefits: 401(k) matching, Flexible spending account, Health insurance, Dental insurance, Vision insurance, Paid time off Interested? We’d love to hear from you. Email your resume to twells@schnepsmedia.com SCHNEPS MEDIA IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER OCTOBER established NEWYORKFAMILY.COM On being a cancermom and a cancersurvivor (who writesabout her highs andlows @alexawilding)and shares abouther rollercoaster journey to acceptingher many identitiesand her take on theword resilience Alexa �ildin� 56 PAGES We're all about you! • Find & Post Local Jobs Free at QNS.com/jobs Photo courtesy of Queens Borough President’s NORTHEAST pgradestoPomonokHousesparkWhere to go and what to do in Queens OPEN FOR ALL Looking to Get Back into the Work Force? Then we’re looking for you. September 2022 BROO BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, WILLIAMS GREENPOINT FIND AND POST LOCAL JOBS FOR FREE AT BROOKLYNPAPER.COM/JOBS Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue INSIDE Keeping biz-yNorth BK networks asboro’s recovery continues PAGE 17 Changemaking Brooklyn’s interruptersviolence get to work Axed! Tree pruning service onpause after alleged scam PAGE FROM THE ASHESMorgan’s Brooklyn BBQ to reopen after fireVol. 45, No. 38 ades DansPapers.com Volume LXI / Issue 42 October 21, 2022 Art by John Joseph Hanright WeddingINSIDE: Guide& Dan’sPapersNorthFork Dan Rattiner’s Podcast: Carolyn Snyder, Round Swamp Farm Founder interrupters The Center New York.thecen wyork.com FREE NIGHT coupon for a 1-week stay.am disrs Center Guesthouse Business Complex RateRoomsShareRoomsRm$28-$38. DailyPrivate $48-$78.ShareWeekly $168-$$188. WklyRooms$275-$445&Up.Furnished.Private TranslationEvaluationsAuthenticationbathroomApostleNotary.RentCarsDaily$45&UpConsultationmay available. UNHEALTHY INEQUALITY Reports findstroubling trendin NYC’s low-income areas DO-OR-DIE GAME 5 FOR YANKSFull recap available now at amNY.com HI�� LO NEW YORK CITY’S NO. � CIRCULATED NEWSPAPEROctober 19, 2022 TIGHTENINGUP:NewpollsindicaHochul,Zeldinracegettingcloser Page15 VISIT AMNY.COM UPDATED DAILY Find & Post Local Jobs Free at amNY.com/Jobs PAGE � PITCHED INA PINCHCity unveils massive tent city on Randall’s Islandthat will serve thousands of migrants Page 4
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Fall Activities at American Dream

american Dream is the ultimate destination for indoor fun and action-packed attractions for kids of all ages. Home to the DreamWorks Water Park, Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, Black Light Mini Golf, Angry Bird Mini Golf, Big SNOW, The Rink, SEA LIFE Aquarium, the fun doesn’t stop there!

Shop at North America’s largest Zara, Lululemon, Saks Fifth Avenue and more! Don’t forget to stop by the first-ever MrBeast Burger, House of ‘Que – BBQ prepared Texas Style, and fine-dining Italian by Carpaccio.

This fall, you’ll also find tons of special events and activities that will truly be a dream for you and your family.

Dream Day Sundays – The Ultimate Fan Zone Watch football with your family every Sunday at House of ‘Que. Wear your

favorite jersey for an all-day indoor tailgating experience.

Women’s Pro Hockey Skates Into American Dream

See The Metropolitan Riveters take the ice at American Dream this fall. This women’s team from the Premier Hockey Federation will be playing on The Rink during opening weekend on November 19th at 1:00pm and 20th at noon.

Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience

Experience the artistic wonders of Van Gogh through this immersive experience. Kicking off on December 1st, the exhibit features the use of cutting-edge technology and original music that breathes new life into 300 of his paintings. Guests will love walking through this 30,000-square-foot space, soaking in the fusion of art and technology.

Get a Dream Pass and Season Pass

Enjoy all of the awesome experiences at American Dream – for both parks at a dis count! Dream Passes allow you and your kids to experience the fun of DreamWorks Water Park and Nickelodeon Universe this fall and winter at a discount. The Season Splash Pass for DreamWorks Water Park cost $179 per person and the Season Thrill Pass for Nickel odeon Universe is $125 per person.

Soaring Skies Bundle

Save on a thrilling adventure to American Dream with a Soaring Skies Bundle. The bundle combines a day pass to Nickelodeon Universe and a pass to Dream Wheel, NJ’s only observation wheel for $89 per person. Passes can be used for one day or over two days.

Check out the full experience at americandream.com!

November 2022 | Westchester Family 33 westchester Family partner

Full disclosure: I’ve known Julee Wilson since 2007, when we were both young, hard-working magazine editors trying to find our way in the fashion industry. I liked her from the day we met. She was outgoing, confident as hell, really funny, and always kept it real. She had a magnetism to her that drew you in—when she told a story, people hung on every word. I need to tell you before I go any further with this piece that she is the same exact way today, 15 years later. Except today she has two beautiful sons (Orion, 8, and Nadir, 21 months), a rockstar of a husband, and almost 72K followers on Instagram—who also hang on her every word. She still keeps it real, sharing the highs and lows of her life with an openness and vulnerability that Instagram could frankly use more of (everything from pep talks she gives to herself when she’s having a bad day, to being open about her diastasis recti and how she has not “snapped back” after having kids). Since those days of hustling as a young editor, Julee left fashion behind and has become a force in the beauty industry, making a major impact from the inside out (she counts publishing a story in Cosmo about how Black women interact with beauty as one of her proudest moments). You can also rely on her to introduce you to all the other smart, successful women in her life (and there are many) because she believes in lifting women up, and helping them to shine their light. Oh and let’s not for get, her feed is full of photos of her absolutely adorable boys (if you haven’t clicked on the hashtag #wombfire yet, do yourself a favor). So, dear reader, do you now understand why I’ve been manifesting this cover story for so long?

I knew you would love her. I knew you would learn from her. And, most of all, I knew you would want to know her. Read on to hear about how she got her start as a young Black woman in publishing, her incredible rise to beauty edi tor powerhouse, and why she never lets a day

go by without being grateful for the family she came from and the family she has now.

CP: Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself, and how you ended up where you are today?

JW: So my professional journey kind of actually started in college, when I decided I wanted to write fashion. That was when I was laser focused on getting the type of experience I needed in order to break into this industry. I knew being a young Black woman that I didn’t see much of myself in the industry, so I knew I had to start early. Most people do internships between their junior and senior years, I started interning after my freshman year. I interned at Bergdorf Goodman, because the father of one of the girls who went to my high school was a senior vice president there.That was my first “in”. After that experience I interned at Vibe magazine, then, between my junior and senior year, I got into the Condé Nast Internship Pro gram and was at Condé Nast Traveler magazine. It was exciting because I was able to write so I had bylines. I was able to go to the newsstand and pick up the magazines and see my name in print, which was crazy. Later I found my fulltime job at Real Simple, and then that started my real journey. I stayed there for six and a half years. It was great. I feel like it was such a strong brand during that time. The magazine was thick, they had international editions. It was so sick. I was traveling, I did media training, I was able to go on the Today Show. I’m like, 24 years old going on the Today Show doing segments, it was amazing. They really trusted me. But by the time 2011 rolled around magazines were folding and keeping their websites it was very clear that digital was about to take over. HuffPost reached out to me about Black Voices and I was like, why not? I got the job and it was a turning point. I’ve had very challenging jobs before, but I always say I went from a monthly to a minutely. I used to work on three to four stories a month. Now I was writing three to four stories a day. Writing

three to four fashion stories a day was a lot, so when they added beauty it really helped diversify my content and my voice and I just started to fall in love with beauty. It feels more universal. It feels like an industry that I can really make a difference in. But the real turning point in my career was when Essence reached out to me to write a cover story.

CP: I’ll never forget something you said to me back then: “Don’t let anyone dim your light” or “They will not dim my light.” And I think for you that was really it.

JW: I mean, look, people get threatened by what you have to offer. And to me, everyone has magical talents and traits. I’m just here to show mine off, you show yours off too. But whatever relationships I had or personality that I had that was exciting, or drew people or whatever, they would see it as some type of indictment on their own light. And I’m like, that’s got nothing to do with you. That’s just me being Julee. But I do stand by that today: Don’t let anyone dim your light. I used to dim my own light to make others around me feel comfortable. I have learned over the years— and I wish I had learned it sooner—that I am not responsible for how those people feel when I’m shining my light. And whatever conse quences come from that, I just have to ride with it. If that means them being, you know, cruel or bullying me and passive aggressive, I just have to eat it and know that what’s to come is better. Because yeah, it takes a lot of energy, stressed anxiety to dim your own light—while also hav ing their hand on the knob dimming you.

CP: So tell me about being a Black beauty director at a legendary brand that is not maybe known for its coverage of diversity. And tell me about the importance for you of your impact there and your mission.

JW: I first got hired…this is another func tion of age, and again, the journey of continuing to know your worth, right? When I went into

34 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
Shining Bright
Julee Wilson, @missjulee, beauty editor extraordinaire, shares how she learned her worth and what advice she has for other women trying to find their way in the world

that interview with Cosmo, I was very self as sured and very aware of who I am, what I bring to the table. I never was like that in interviews before. It was always like, what do they want? What do they want to hear? Like, how do you want me to fit into this box? And I’m telling you every year that has gone by, I’ve been more like, this is who I am. I literally remember saying this to Jess Pels, in that interview. I was like, “I am a Black woman, but my superpower is the fact that I tell stories from that lens. And that I can know about everyone’s beauty, too.” Because I’ve had to know about everyone’s beauty. My white counterparts have not had to learn about me, they can be like, oh, that’s a Black girl thing. I have to write about me, I have to write about you, I have to write about our Asian brothers and sisters. I’m a true expert in this thing. And the fact that I tell stories through my lens, a lot of my story ideas and the things I want to talk about are Black, Black, blackity, Black. And I can’t hide that. And in fact, I don’t want to, I actually want it to be celebrated. So if you are down for that, and that is something that you see in Cosmo’s future, then I’m your girl. If it’s not, no hard feelings. But that is the space I need to live in, and if that is not something you’re down for, I will not take it personally, but this partner

ship won’t work out. And she was just like, “No, I love this!” And speaking to your light dimmer thing, Cris, I hand to God, I literally said to her in the interview, I was like, “I’ve worked for a lot of light dimmers. That’s my question to you, how do you interact with your talent and your leaders on staff? Are you someone that uplifts them and pushes them to greater things? Are you happy when you have stars on your team?” I was like, “I’m the type of manager that I want stars. It only makes me look better. I’m not here to dim people’s lights, I’m here to make them better.” We literally had this conversation. And she was like, “No, I love that. I’m not a light dimmer. I want everyone to be great.” And she’s proven that to me, she has pushed me in every way and has allowed me space and grace to be me, so I’m so grateful for that. I wrote a whole story about how Black women interact with beauty and how the world should take note. I’ve written about headscarves and bonnets.

CP: So what’s next for you?

JW: A few months ago, I got a new job. I am now the executive director of BeautyUnited. My part-time job is being editor-at-large at Cosmo. I am very grateful for that. Cosmo made a way that I could stay but also run this non-profit. So

the future is full and exciting! I get to still be an editor, I get to run a non-profit that I really, truly believe in. I have the freedom now to say, yes, no, maybe. Every day offers a new opportunity that I get to either say yes to and dream around, or say no, that’s not right for me right now. And even that feels magical.

CP: What’s your advice to someone who may be struggling with impostor syndrome and knowing their worth?

JW: Surround yourself with people that do know your worth and will constantly tell you in a real authentic way like, you can share your woes and your wells with them. And they will tell you the truth, they will be the battery in your back. They will tell you you’re being silly. Or they’ll tell you that, no, you’re right. Just a village of people that remind you of who you are. Whether that is a difficult conversation or a cel ebratory conversation. Also, don’t beat yourself up, don’t take yourself too seriously. And every year, know you’re going to get closer and closer to the ultimate you.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. To read the full version, please visit us online at Newyorkfamily.com.

November 2022 | Westchester Family 35
Photo by Yumi Matsuo

santa’s village at american christmas

WheN: Nov. 4 - Dec. 24, Mondays-Fridays, 11am-7:45pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 9:20am-8:20pm

Where : American Christmas, 30 Warren Place, Mt. Vernon ages: All What: Immerse yourself in a 10,000 square-foot holiday walk-through featuring over 50 mesmerizing animatronics or lighted scenes.

WaNt to go?: $11.29-$16.54, tinyurl.com/santas-village

veterans Day


WheN: Friday, Nov. 11, 11am-3pm

Where : St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site, 897 S. Columbus Avenue, Mt. Vernon ages: All

What: Commemorate the day with a special recollection of servicemembers that were involved in the Korean War and World War II.

WaNt to go?: 914-667-4116, nps.gov/sapa cornucopia collage

WheN: Saturday, Nov. 12, 1:303pm

Where : Pelham Art Center, 155 5th Ave., Pelham ages: All What: Make a Thanksgiving cornucopia utilizing a variety of materials with step-by-step instructions.

WaNt to go?: $25; $23 members (includes 2 participants, adult/child and one project); $15 per additional child. 914-738-2525 x111, pelhamartcenter.org

holiday train show

WheN: Nov. 12 - Dec. 4, Saturdays and Sundays, 10am-4pm

Where : Greenburgh Nature Center, 99 Dromore Road, Scarsdale ages: All

What: This special display of model trains travel through countryside scenes featuring a mountain with a train tunnel, a ravine with a train trestle crossing over it, a model village, and much more.

WaNt to go?: $7; $6 seniors; free for members and children younger than 2. 914-723-3470, greenburghnaturecenter.org

santa Photos and christmas tree

WheN: Nov. 17 - Dec. 24, varies

36 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022
Westchester’s Winter Wonderland Drive-t hru Holiday Light extravaganza opens nov. 25.

per day

Where : Cross County Center, 8000 Mall Walk, Yonkers ages: All

What: Meet and take photos with Santa and walk through a 40ft tall Christmas treeperfect for family photos and selfies!

WaNt to go?: cost varies. 914-968-9571, crosscountycenter.com

58th annual thanksgiving Parade

WheN: Saturday, Nov. 19, 10am

Where : The New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce and the City of New Rochelle, Eastchester Road, New Rochelle

ages: All

What: Celebrate the holiday with floats, giant balloons, and more and while commemorating the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce’s 100th Anniversary. WaNt to go?: business. newrochellechamber.org storytime and author

signing! ‘ buddy’s New buddy’

WheN: Saturday, Nov. 19, 11am-12pm

Where : Westchester Children’s Museum, 100 Playland Parkway, Rye ages: 3-7

What: Buddy is feeling sad and lonely after his best friend moves. Who will be his field trip partner to the museum?

Join author Christina Geist for a special story time and learn how Buddy finds ways to navigate making new friends. WaNt to go?: Included with admission: $10; $9 seniors. 914420-5050, discoverwcm.org

World ballet series: Nutcracker

WheN: Saturday, Nov. 26, 7-9pm

Where : Paramount Hudson Valley Theater, 1008 Brown St, Peekskill ages: All What: This fairytale will take you on a Christmas night adventure with Clara and the Nutcracker to the Land of



SAT, DEC 10, 2022 @ 11AM

A hilariously moo-ving



about negotiation and compromise

A TheaterWorks USA Production



SAT, JAN 21, 2023 @ 11AM & 2PM

Dazzling visuals, poignant storytelling and an eclectic score bring this classic tale into brilliant new light Ages 5-9 | A Lightwire Theatre production


SUN, FEB 5, 2023 @ 11AM & 2PM

Spin the wheel of science and experience scientific wonders like optical illusions, chemical reactions,

and more! Ages 8-13

November 2022 | Westchester Family 37
homemade hovercraft,
t hunderbird American Indian Dancers visit the Hudson River museum
on nov. 25. Your online resource for all things parenting WestchesterFamily.com provides a rich array of local resources, useful content, directories and interactive tools to help families meet and celebrate the challenges of parenting. Visit us online today ! WestchesterFamily.com


WaNt to go?: $33$175. 914-739-0039, paramounthudsonvalley.com

holiday bricktacular

WheN: Nov. 25 - Dec. 31, Mondays-Fridays, 12-5:30pm; Saturdays-Sundays, 10am-5:30pm

Where : LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers ages: All What: Explore an indoor Winter Wonderland filled with all kinds of LEGO® holidaythemed creations made up of thousands of LEGO bricks.

WaNt to go?: Tickets start at $27.99. 866-243-0770, legolanddiscoverycenter.com/ westchester

thunderbird american indian Dancers

WheN: Friday, Nov. 25, 1pm and 3pm

Where : Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers

ages: All What: Celebrate Native American Heritage Day with Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, one of the best-known and oldest resident Native American dance companies in

New York.

WaNt to go?: Included with admission: $10; $7 seniors 65 and older, students with valid ID; veterans; $6 ages 3-18. 914963-4550, hrm.org

rodgers & hammerstein’s cinderella

WheN: Nov. 19 -27, Friday, 2pm; Saturdays, 7:30pm; Sundays, 2pm

Where : Yorktown Stage, 1974 Commerce Street, Yorktown Heights ages: All

What: See this classic live on stage and find out if Cinderella gets her fairy tale ending.

WaNt to go?: $25-$35. 914962-0606, yorktownstage.org

Westchester’s Winter Wonderland Drivethru holiday light extravaganza

WheN: Nov. 25 - Jan. 1, 6pm weekdays; 5pm weekends

Where : Kenisco Dam, 1 Bronx River Parkway, Valhalla ages: All

What: This Light Extravaganza returns bigger than ever with thousands of more lights, holiday animations and Santa!

WaNt to go?: $25 per car weekdays; $35 weekends. 914231-4033, maingatetickets.com

38 WestchesterFamily.com | November 2022 calendar N Ov EMBER
santa’s Village at American christmas in m ount Vernon opens nov. 4.


Welcome winter in New Jersey—from candlelight tours in Cape May to snow tubing in the Skylands. View dazzling light shows and live performances of The Nutcracker and other classics. Experience Holiday in the Park at Six Flags Great Adventure and shopping at Palmer Square in Princeton. Discover museums like the Liberty Science Center and enjoy journeys with American Revolution and Black Heritage Itineraries.

Get your free official travel guide and discover more at VisitNJ.org

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