From the comforts of your hotel room or living room enjoying the best food Westchester has to offer to running through a corn maze, here are 10 amazing ideas—indoors and out—for safe activities to do this fall and winter in Westchester.
10. Corn Mazes
Get lost on purpose at one of the area’s many corn mazes, from Outhouse Orchards in North Salem to the farther north Kesicke Farm in Rhinebeck and Barton Orchards in Poughquag.
9. Enjoy Local Produce or Milk, Delivered.
No need to leave your hotel room or living room to sample the region’s locally-grown meats, cheeses, and produce. You could try the fresh eggs, milk, yogurt, and meats from The Hudson Milk Co in Shrub Oak, delivered right to your door. For fresh vegetables, you could try Mike’s Organic Delivery, a CSA, which also delivers from their warehouse in Stanford, CT. The owner, Mike Geller, told Westchester Magazine, ““I want to be a direct conduit to the highest-quality, most responsibly sourced food in the area.”
You can also pick up a gourmet box of fresh food from the legendary Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown. Different boxes are available but you could try the “Garde Manger” box, a rotating selection from the best of Blue Hill’s pantry, including vegetable stews and purees, fresh pasta, condiments, crackers, butters and more.
8. Live Comedy
The show goes on! Levity Live in Nyack got creative recently with some outdoor shows live in the Palisades Center parking lot, with the crowd watching from their vehicles. But check out the schedule at Levity Live and Yonkers Comedy Club this fall, as the venues plan to be showcasing a whole host of national headliners, while guests just have to observe certain rules, of course, including wearing masks.
7. Live-Streamed Music & Shows
While some in-person concerts are on pause, experiencing a show from the most talented musicians—whether on stage or in their living room, live Youtube or Zoom, can really be an intimate experience. Tarrytown Music Hall and Caramoor, among other venues, are hosting live-streamed shows—just go to their websites for the schedule. As a spooky bonus: you can even get tickets to a virtual ghost tour of the Tarrytown Music Hall.
6. Explore The Grounds
Many of Westchester’s estates, mansions and gardens are open. To name a couple, you can head to Rockefeller State Park, where the parking lot is at 50 percent capacity and they encourage social distancing, or make a reservation to explore the Italian-style gardens at Caramoor.
5. Animal Lovers
The motto at the Wolf Conservation Center is The Environment Needs Wolves, and they will show you why. Arrange a private group visit or make a reservation to book a photo session for special vantage points to snap shots of the center’s endangered Mexican wolves and red wolves.
4. Kids’ Workshops
Register for one of the many weekend workshops on site at the Westchester Children’s Museum on topics like marine life and jazz standards and pop music for kids. Spots are limited. Each class is one hour.
3. Pumpkin Patches & Hayrides
Plenty of places to pick your pumpkin and go on a hayride this year, although research it in advance because a reservation may be required. Some of the patches include: Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard in North Salem (reservations required), Outhouse Orchards, also in North Salem, and Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights, and Stuart’s Fruit Farm in Granite Springs
2. Holiday Lights
The Westchester Winter Wonderland at North Kensico Dam is the holiday light extravaganza where you can drive through to catch sight of elves, dancing trees, and Candy Cane Lane. It will be open most nights from November 27 to January 3.
There are also more homemade shows every year. Check out Lights on Jenkins Court, a show accompanied by medleys, at 12 Jenkins Court in Ossining. There is also the New Rochelle Christmas House at 155 Vaneck Drive. And Roy’s Christmas Land at 50 Parsons Street in Harrison.
1. Kick Back With A Beer
In recent years, Westchester’s beer scene has fully taken off. The pioneer is Captain Lawrence in Elmsford, around since 2005, where, the beer list is long and impressive—full of their famed “core” beers along with special, limited-time releases. You just need to make a reservation online as the brewery complies with social distancing and works to keep everyone safe.
Head to Sing Sing Kill Brewery, in Ossining of course, the town that’s home to the infamous max security prison by the same name, where you escape with both the brewery’s homemade brews (much better than hooch) or a rotating list of “guest taps” and spirits from local New York and Hudson Valley producers.
In the county’s capital of White Plains, the relative newcomer Wolf & Warrior Brewing Company has been making a major impact. Head to their taproom or beer garden to eat a taco or flatbread pizza as you savor one of their super creative beers—from a tropical stout to an Argentine golden ale to a selection of New England IPAs, a very trendy style at the moment.
Over at Broken Bow Brewery in Tuckahoe you can sample a very strong 10-percent-alcohol Belgian Golden Strong Ale, which won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, along with a lineup of porters, stouts, lagers and ales on tap—just call to make a reservation or walk right up to see if there’s a table. And steps away, you’ll have a rotating selection of food trucks on Fridays and weekends to accompany your brew.