My daughter recently attended a cooking-themed birthday party at Williams-Sonoma in The Westchester, and it was so much fun that I was surprised we’ve never been to one before. There are two locations in Westchester, one in White Plains at The Westchester, and one in Yonkers at Ridge Hill.
If your kids are serious about cooking, 42 Restaurant, at the top of The Residences at Ritz-Carlton Westchester in White Plains, is offering a cooking camp this summer with certified teacher Angela Bastone-Concalves, restaurant owner Anthony Goncalves and several guest chefs. For the younger set there’s CPK, which will host pizza-making birthday parties for kids as young as 2.
Menu: Pork Loin Chops with Apple Cider-Mustard Sauce, Oven-Dried Tomato, Avocado and Farro Salad, Roasted Cod with Creamed Leeks and Bacon, Apple Walnut Galette. Musicians will teach kids ages 6 to 17 what it’s like to be in a band and how to write songs, and the week will culminate in a performance.
There’s no better way to spend a week this summer than learning to be a rock star and being a part of a real band. Young kids take so naturally to yoga, as I’ve seen from the lessons my son has had at preschool. Topsy Turvy Yogi offers preschool yoga classes in your home, and will supply all the equipment. For younger children (18 months to 3 years), Topsy Turvy Yogi offers a toddler-and-me class that incorporates more parent participation. Class offerings are based on age groups, from the youngest “Buddha Babies” to the older “Master Yogis,” and range from $25 a child for a group lesson (minimum four in a group) to $60 for a private, one-on-one lesson (semi-privates are also offered). Topsy Turvy Yogi is running a free toddler yoga class at the Temple Israel Center Nursery School in White Plains on Wednesday, April 13, at 9:30 am.
Whether exploring colors through the song “Yellow Submarine,” working as a team with “All Together Now,” or having fun with bubbles to “Octopus’s Garden,” this workshop is designed to address educational firsts such as counting and letter sounds while having fun dancing and marching to the beat of The Beatles. A few weeks ago we mentioned that iFly, an indoor skydiving facility, recently opened at Ridge Hill in Yonkers. Everyone got two flights, with each flight lasting between one and two minutes, depending on your package.
Flight packages start at $80 per person, and iFly does birthday parties, too, with prices starting at $670 for a group of 12. You may remember hearing about the Fashion Arts Studio when they first opened their doors last spring in New Rochelle. Taught in a small-class studio format, students work independently on their own designs, cultivating self-expression, confidence and a sense of empowerment, yet the open space lends itself to a highly creative class synergy and encourages team collaboration.
Su recently added a Little Fashionistas program for kids ages 8 and under who are interested in hosting a fashion event either at home or at Fashion Arts Studio’s Ground Floor space. Monday, February 29, 7pm: Free fashion drawing class at the Scarsdale Library for kids in grade 3 and up. As a former adjunct professor at both FIT and Parsons (where she graduated from), Ying Su also offers tutoring and portfolio development. Founded more than 40 years ago, the New Rochelle Racquet Club continues to be a leading indoor tennis facility in the Westchester community. Founded in 2007, The Rock Club was the first of its kind and continues to be the premier rock climbing gym in the New York area. They offer a variety of children’s programs, host annual summer and vacation camps and they’re an awesome venue to host your next birthday party, group outing or event!
For the younger yogis in the family, yoga is presented playfully, but the postures and concepts still deliver invaluable developmental skills and support. And coming to Excel Fitness Larchmont in December is BootyBarre Sculpt! If you’re ready to take your barre practice to the next level, look no further. There’s a new art studio in Mamaroneck, and it’s offering visitors the opportunity to paint pottery, create mosaics, paint on canvas or fuse glass. When a 2-year old shows off her “art hands” … when a 5-year-old makes a found-object sculpture on the beach … when an 8-year-old buys a drawing from a friend … when a teenager curates his own art show … we call this The Scribble Effect. At Scribble Art Workshop, we treat our students, no matter what age, as artists from the moment they enter the studio.
For toddlers, being an artist means directly engaging with the art materials, exploring the qualities of paint with their hands, and more often than not, their feet! As Scribblers approach school age, they start to understand the impact of their choices and take calculated risks, creating with more intention and confidence.
At Scribble, treating kids as artists is not about copying the work of another artist or “learning” how to draw. The belief at Butler Nursery School is that children thrive in an age appropriate program within a safe and nurturing environment. This summer, both are offering a cooking series for kids ages 8 to 12 (although I’ve heard they’ll accept slightly younger kids as well). Kids will work in small groups and rotate between stations that demonstrate everything from culinary techniques to professional kitchen equipment.
The guests are presented with half-cooked pizza pies, which they get to cover in sauce and decorate with toppings.
Kids will dress in rocker clothes and wait to perform in a green room — back stage passes included.


Your child will learn from real musicians, what it’s like to be in a rock band – from choosing a name to writing songs, they will be involved in the whole process.
This one-week intensive workshop will enable all kids to shine as they learn to sing, act and dance using scenes and songs from their favorite shows. They will participate in voice class, drums, guitar, ukulele, musical arts and crafts, theater improv and musical theater. The lessons, which involve storytelling and imaginative play, are led by Jessica Brown and Diana Scharf, two friends, Westchester moms and certified preschool yoga instructors.
Jessica and Diana offer just the right combination of nurturing warmth and high energy, using relatable characters like Spider-Man and Rapunzel to draw the kids into poses.
I couldn’t help thinking what a great thing this would’ve been for us three years ago, before my son was in preschool.
If you do decide to book an at-home lesson, mention Wee Westchester and receive a 10% discount! They also do yoga birthday parties and are teaching a class this summer at Central Park Dance in Scarsdale. Give mom the morning off or bring the whole family to a very special workshop celebrating the Boss and all the moms!
This workshop will have even the littlest fans dressing up with a very special face painting activity as they spin right round to some classic tunes from the 1980s. We started the hour-long session by watching an instructional video on some simple hand signals that the instructors give in the wind tunnel, since it’s too loud to be heard in there. If your kids catch the flying bug, the facility also offers private instruction and levels of advancement, much like any other sport. Registration is required (contact children’s librarian Aisha Bell) but not limited to Scarsdale residents. She knows the ins and outs of the application process as well as the corporate world, and even had her own dress collection, which was carried and sold at Barneys and Henri Bendel, to name just a few places!
They’re a fitness experience for you and your entire family to have fun, improve your skills, and test your limits in a safe, friendly, and rewarding atmosphere.
Their pros are among the best in the industry and well versed in all levels of instruction.
Their 40 foot climbing wall with terrain ranging from easy to extreme provides a fun and challenging experience for climbers of all levels. In addition to adult tennis and climbing, their new fitness facility, The Studios, features 2,500 square feet of training equipment and studios where they offer specialized classes, group and personal training and sports specific training classes that integrate the latest fitness trends and show you results. Motor skills and body awareness, personal confidence and physical exercise are among the big take-aways for little kids. Not much beats a healthy, unique activity that pulls the family together to drop mobile devices and get moving to good tunes. Starting January 8, a preschool yoga class for ages 3 to 5 will run on Fridays at 1:15 (8 sessions for $160). Childcare is available on site, provided by Larchmont Toddler, during weekday classes and some weekends. Kids yoga, barre and Pilates classes are also offered in four-week sessions. Excel Fitness Larchmont will even work to accommodate you if you don’t see a class that fits your current schedule! Located near the Mamaroneck waterfront, among all the cute restaurants and shops, MADE caters to kids and adults alike in a fun, wide-open space. When we visited last month, the canvas painting and glass fusing weren’t happening yet. Although, the kids get so much pleasure seeing their creations after they’ve been fired in the kiln, the experience was worth the cost. They have access to artists’ materials, tools, spaces, as well as responsibilities and expectations. For preschoolers, who are having their first experiences of true independence from their parents or caregivers, this means experimenting with the materials in a more reflective way: engaging with the materials through all of their senses but also using and voicing their observations as they work and beginning to make artistic choices informed by these observations. It is about creating a space (literally and figuratively) where kids can explore and learn the qualities of the materials and tools that artists use so that they have understanding of and inspiration for what’s possible. The curriculum is designed to foster children’s growth, stimulate their curiosity, and challenge their mental and physical needs. Through play, children explore the world around them by learning how to socialize with others, expressing feelings through language, testing muscular skills, and developing math concepts. If your kids are budding chefs or foodies in training – or simply love to eat – here are four places that will cook up a storm with them.
There’s a different theme each week; check out the schedule online and call ahead to reserve a spot.
Themes range from “the science of cooking” to “cooking around the world” to “sweet treats.” Classes are only available as a one-week session. The young chefs will even get to visit the White Plains farmers’ market to select their ingredients. Each class lasts approximately two hours and each person gets a generous taste of each dish. So I was interested when I heard about a new camp at Mike Risko Music School, a music and performance school in Ossining founded in 1995.


A showcase for family and friends will close out the week, with backstage passes, a green room for the bands, and cool rock star outfits to help the campers celebrate their success and rock-out.
At the end of the week, parents will be able to watch a small showcase and enjoy an art show of their projects from the week.
So when the founders of a new Westchester-based kids’ yoga program contacted us to offer a demo class, I was happy to check it out. They’re trained to work with kids ages 18 months to 5 years specifically, and currently teach at two preschools in lower Westchester.
They also set up an obstacle course and had the ingenious idea of bringing “presents” to the lesson – wrapped boxes containing their teaching tools. At the time, we’d participated in a group play date that rotated among different homes every week, and this would’ve been the perfect activity for those get-togethers. Never mind that they’re only 6 and 4 – iFly’s largest demographic is tweens, and children as young as 3 can be taught to fly! Then our instructor, who was a natural with kids, reviewed the signals again to make sure that everyone understood them. They enjoyed floating just above the ground as they got acclimated, and especially loved the “high flight” portion, when the instructor took them high up in the wind tunnel and did a couple of simple tricks with them. It’s not cheap, but I think the experience is well worth the splurge as a present or reward.
Their recently renovated club has been operating in the same location with the same ownership group for over 40 years. They offer a variety of programs for children starting at age 3, host annual vacation and summer camps and are a great venue for birthday parties! They have about 80 climbing stations with over 200 individual routes that are continuously changed so there are always new obstacles to conquer.
Once we’re warmed up, we’ll scale the walls at The Rock Club with help from our friendly belayers. The goals shift to address key concerns for that age group — stress management, self-care and physical condition among the heavy hitters. Breathe, stretch, learn, maybe sweat, and definitely relax together with siblings, spouses and other relatives at dedicated family classes on the weekend. Also starting in January, there will be a Saturday 12:30pm class and Thursday 4pm class for Kindergarten to 3rd graders (pricing is the same for Saturday and Thursday class, 8 sessions for $160). Under the guidance of Scribble teachers, the reminder to think and behave like an artist becomes a powerful self-fulfilling prophecy. We are creating the next generation of artists: not a generation of copycats, but of innovators and problem solvers. Development of socialization skills and the building of self-esteem is encouraged, while respecting each child’s uniqueness as an individual. The camp is divided into three week-long sessions, two running in June and July for kids ages 10 and up, and one taking place in August for kids 7 to 9 years old. The kids were so eager to see what was in those boxes that they hung onto their every word. Well, it’s technically floating on a cushion of air in a wind tunnel, but I was told that the experience realistically simulates free fall, minus the terrifying jumping out of a plane part! After their flight was over, our instructor showed off a few advanced skydiving moves in the tunnel. The ecstatic looks on my kids’ faces as they flew in the air, arms spread out, was priceless. They are home to The New Rochelle Racquet Club, The Rock Club and their newest facility, The Studios. Led with a vibe that’s relatable to that age, valuable and usable life lessons come through the yoga classes and are a welcome boost to tweens and teens. The classrooms at Butler Nursery School are bright and cheerful, and complimented with a large, muraled indoor playroom and a well-equipped outdoor playground.
At the party my daughter attended, the theme was healthy cooking, followed by some decidedly unhealthy cupcake decorating. Small-size birthday parties featuring pizza or pasta making, as well as cupcake decorating, can also be held at the store.
My husband was excited to see a Sur La Table, and I was intrigued by all of the cooking classes they offer because they seem like a great excuse to spend time together.
They hold annual vacation and summer rock climbing and tennis camps for children as young as age 3 and provide a fun and exciting venue for birthday parties.
But before you read on, quickly rid your mind of the image of the cliched painter with the beret rendering a bowl of fruit.
For older artists, learning to balance a pre-conceived idea with the sometimes unpredictable properties of the materials exercises their skills of aesthetic understanding (why doesn’t it look “good”?) and problem solving (how do I make it look the way I want?). No matter where they are in their self-concept as an artist, all our Scribblers exhibit and sell their work in professionally-curated shows to sponsor kids to take our classes for free.



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