Halloween has come and gone and as we turn the page of our calendars I cannot believe it is November already. Before we know it we will be full force into the Holiday season with Thanksgiving feasts, Christmas events and trying to fit as much holiday spirit into two months as we can. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the weather getting colder and the thoughts of being thankful for those close to us on our minds it is a great time of the year to spend time with family and friends exploring all the the Hudson Valley has to offer this November. Plan your month around some of these wonderful November activities with your kids.
1. Gear up for Thanksgiving. Instill a virtue of gratitude while raising thankful kids and begin to talk about the origin and true
meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday. Taste and experience a traditional 19th century Thanksgiving at Museum Village in Monroe where your family can experience the smells, tastes and displays of an old fashioned Thanksgiving cooked over an open hearth. Begin to work on Thanksgiving feast plans, trim your turkey day if you are on a budget this year and start decorating with holiday crafts you and the kids can do together. Two of my favorites; Gratitude Turkey and Thanksgiving pot holders There are a number of other Thanksgiving craft ideas that are sure to keep you busy this month.
2. November is Native American Heritage month. Join the community for a traditional Native American Thanksgiving including basket weaving, Native American Drumming and more at the Native American Thanksgiving festival in Pine Hill this month. Get a real feel for Native American culture with storytelling, kids crafts, vendors and drumming. Bring a dish to share for the feast! Celebrate Native American Heritage with books from the library, or making your own dream catchers, or rain sticks.
3. Hudson Valley restaurant week runs this year from November 3rd to the 16th and there are plenty of kid- friendly favorites on the list! Take a bite out of the Hudson Valley with over 200 participating restaurants offering 3- course dinners for $29.95 and lunches for $20.95. Skip on the cooking and cleaning and cross reference our featured guide on the Top Kid Friendly Restaurants in the Hudson Valley. You can enjoy a family- friendly meal that’s affordable too!
4. Enjoy a day with family or friends at Bear Mountain State Park this month. Bring or rent a pair of ice skates, the outdoor ice rink is open on November 1st for public skating. The Trailside Zoo is open weekends this month as is the carousel house which operates 10-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Pack a picnic lunch, take a hike around the lake and enjoy lunch by the water. If it’s too cold to eat outside, there are 3 indoor dining options serving brunch, lunch, dinner and more. www.bearmountainicerink.com
5. Shop local! One of the best things about living in the Hudson Valley is the ability to shop local and support local families. Get a jump start on your holiday shopping at the various holiday craft shows, bazaars and vendor fairs in your area. Check our calendar for local events and ask around, I can bet your friends know of a few in your area!
Here are a few to start: Holiday Bazaar, Semi-Annual Craft Fair, Merrie Olde Crafte Faire and British Festival, Hudson Valley Hullabaloo, Holiday Craft and Book Fair, 44th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival, Holiday Crafts Fair. See More.
6. November is National Model Railroad Month and the Mid- Hudson Civic center is holding an Annual Railroad Exhibition with more than 20,000 feet of models and exhibits. If your kids aren’t quite old enough or you aren’t brave enough for the crowds and large displays at the civic center you might want to take the short drive over to the Danbury Railway Museum to see the model train displays (http://www.danbury.org/drm). They have a Thomas train table for the kids and you can take a short train ride in the yard for a small fee. Up in Ulster County, and not quite a model train but still great fun for the kids The Catskill Mountain Railroad begins their Polar Express Train on November 21st (http://www.catskillmtrailroad.com). If getting out and about to see the model trains this month isn’t going to work for you, set up a train display in your living room with wooden tracks and trains, or get creative with cardboard boxes and some paint!
7. While December is really Santa’s month, he begins to arrive everywhere this November on helicopters and fire trucks, with music, crafts, festivals and more! Santa arrives at many local malls the first two weekends in November and is available for photos at many locations throughout the Hudson Valley. Our Calendar has a dates for Santa arrival events in the area.
8. And don’t forget about the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade at the end of the month! If you aren’t brave enough the make the trip into NYC with your family on Thanksgiving day, gather with family to see the magic and one of the most favorite parades in the country, a true November tradition.
9. You won’t want to miss The Festival of the Trees November 15th and 16th in Leeds, NY. This wonderful event for the whole family displays beautifully decorated trees and wreaths, live entertainment, food, a vendor area for shopping, Santa and more!
10. Set an example and teach your kids the power of good deeds and giving this month. Clean out your pantry of things you may no longer need or want to make room for your Holiday meal prepping and donate to your local food pantry. This is a great way to de- clutter while helping your community. Let the kids join in on the fun and good deeds buy going through their toys to donate. You teach them a valuable lesson on giving and the toy room gets a good clean out before Christmas, win- win for everyone!
What are some of the things on your November bucket list this year?