Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend

Last weekend, our family headed to Westchester to experience a little Christmas magic. With so many New York City holiday traditions, I thought it would be fun to escape the city, during the last crazy weekend before the festivities. As soon as school let out, we packed the kids in the car, and drove north to Doral Arrowood Hotel, in Rye Brook. In the lobby, we were greeted by a life size gingerbread house, created by their in house chefs, and situated adjacent to a warming fire pit. The smell of the holidays was abundant, so I was certain it would be a great weekend.

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

Doral Arrowood offers guests a Winter Wonderland package, which includes overnight accommodations, tickets to Westchester’s Winter Wonderland, buffet breakfast, Christmas movies played throughout the day, gingerbread making, and a holiday gift for each child. There was also a breakfast buffet is hosted by  Santa Claus, himself. The Santa breakfast is over, but the package will be available until January 2nd, so there is still some time to book if you are looking for a quick and easy getaway, while the kids are on break. And if weather permits, Doral Arrowood also offers guest hot chocolate & s’mores by the outdoor fire pit as well as sledding on the golf course. And they will provide the sleds!

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In WestchesterFestive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

Coming off a long school day, the kids were pretty exhausted, so we grabbed a quick bite at a nearby restaurant and came back to the hotel to enjoy some hot cider while we watched movie, Elf.

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

To our surprise, we woke Saturday morning to falling snow. I didn’t realize we were expecting an accumulation, so we were without snow gear. The kids weren’t bothered, because we were able to watch the beautiful first snowfall of the season, from Doral Arrowood’s Atrium restaurant which overlooks 114 acres. Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

What better thing to do on a snowy day than go in the pool! And thats just where Jason took Ryder and Gemma after breakfast. The pool is half indoor and half outdoor, so those brave swimmers could swim around outside, as snowflakes land on their noses. While they enjoyed a dip, Siella and I watched another Christmas movie, since she was feeling a bit under the weather.

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In WestchesterFestive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

In addition to swimming, the kids had access to tons of activities like marshmallow roasting, arcade room, and even a gingerbread cookie decorating event, hosted by the hotel chefs. Gemma’s little gingerbread man was my absolute favorite, as it probably weighed ten pounds with all of the toppings she loaded on top. Shockingly, she refused to take one bite, because we wanted to save it for Santa on Christmas eve.

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

On the glowing recommend of the hotel staff and many friends who live in the neighboring area, Westchester’s Winter Wonderland was one of the biggest draws of coming to Doral Arrowood. At only 10 minutes from the hotel, we didn’t mind braving the super chilly temps on Saturday evening. Located at Kensico Dam, the Winter Wonderland is a cross between a cold weather amusement park and holiday carnival.  This one of a kind holiday event experience features an outdoor ice skating rink, mini roller coasters, pony rides, camel rides, the Hanford Holiday Circus tent, and of course, a booth where you can meet and take photos with Santa. One of the coolest things about the Winter Wonderland was the holiday lights. The decor and lights on most of the trees are synchronized to the holiday music, that echoes throughout to the park. As the music plays, the lights flash on and off, “dancing” to the music.

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

The kids had an absolute blast on the rides, watching the lights, and taking a couple of spins around the ice rink.

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

The dancing trees…

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

All of this couple with some hot cider and warm apple cider donuts left us oozing in the festive spirit, at the Winter Wonderland.

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

Typically, its difficult to coax the kids out the door early on a weekend morning, but Sunday morning was quite the opposite. With Santa Claus hosting breakfast, they were up and dressed before Jason and I. So much for sleeping in!

Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In WestchesterFestive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

It was so cool to watch Santa bring joy to all the other families in the dining room. And if that wasn’t enough, Olaf made an appearance to hang with everyone, while Santa was busy gathering Christmas lists, and taking photos.
Festive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In WestchesterFestive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In WestchesterFestive Lights & Gingerbread Weekend In Westchester

We’ve been on plenty of trips that require a cab to the airport, plane to the destination, and then another cab to the hotel, so it was nice to simply jump in the car, and be somewhere in under an hour. I think we will take a trip back to Doral Arrowwood in the summer, to see what type of fun warm weather activities they have to offer. Excited to offer you all a 10% off when you book the Winter Wonderland experience, use code STROLLER. To redeem call reservations 914-323-4497. Happy Holidays!

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About Brianne

Once a fashion showroom owner now turned mom and blogger/writer. Brianne Manz lives in New York City with her husband, three children and enjoys their fast paced city life. Her blog Stroller In The City boasts about city living, family travel, kids fashion and all things that are mommy. Being a mom doesn't mean you need to lose sight of the cool stuff. Brianne has has been featured on the Today Show, E! News, and People Magazine to name a few.

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