10 Fun Things to Do in the Hudson Valley this Spring and Summer
With the arrival of the warmer spring weather, it’s no surprise that many people are eager to get out and about after the long winter months.
We’ve rounded up 10 fun, family-friendly activities that you can enjoy in and around Westchester right now and into the summer months.
The wearing of masks and social distancing is required at all outdoor and indoor attractions.
- Caramoor Summer Music Festival, Caramoor Center for Music & the Arts, Katonah
Now that performing arts venues such as the Caramoor Center for Music & the Arts is allowed to safely open its doors to a limited number of guests this summer, there’s no excuse not to book a ticket to the Caramoor Summer Music Festival, a favorite with audiences across Westchester and beyond.
Past performances have included symphonic, opera, chamber, American roots and jazz music. Go to the website, http://caramoor.org, for more information.
- Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Tours
Andrew Carnegie, members of the Astor dynasty and Walter Chrysler are among the famous people buried at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
Spring is the perfect time to take a walking tour of one of the oldest cemeteries in New York State and hear the stories behind its interments.
Walking tours include the “Original Knickerbocker: Washington Irving & The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and the popular “Classic Evening Lantern Tour.”
They begin in May and will run through October. Visit sleepyhollowcemetery.org to purchase tickets.
- Bannerman Castle
The Scottish-style Bannerman Castle built by gun merchant Frank Bannerman is a fun spring/summer diversion.
The castle is located on the 6.5-acre Bannerman Island in the Hudson River.
Public tours of the island and house, built in 1902 by gun merchant Frank Bannerman, are available from the Beacon Institute Floating Dock in Beacon (Dutchess County) from May through October.
Enjoy a 1.5-hour guided walking tour of the island, including a tour of the castle. Self-guided tours are also available.
A series of Third Sunday Music Concerts will begin May 16th with a performance from the Storm King Duo. Other scheduled concerts include the June 20th SWP Classic Rock concert featuring Daryl Brown; the July 18th performance from the Klettner Brothers; the Aug. 15 concert from the Toland Brothers; the Sept. 19 event featuring harpist and singer Thistle, as well as the guitar and sax duo Josie & Nico on Oct. 17.
Visit the website at https://bannermancastle.org/ to book tickets.
- Untermyer Gardens, Yonkers
A grand mansion called Greystone once stood on the property that is now known as Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers.
The house is no longer there, but the gardens that were designed by William Welles Bosworth are enjoyed by countless residents of Yonkers and visitors to the area.
And did we say that the views of the Hudson River are gorgeous from this southern Westchester location?
Some of its features include a walled garden, The Temple of Love and The Vista, a concrete descending staircase that, when built, was modeled after the Villa D’Este in Italy.
Ninety-minute guided tours are available every Sunday. Family Adventure tours are also available Sundays at 10 a.m. from May 16 through Sept. 26.
For more information and to purchase tour tickets, go to the website at https://www.untermyergardens.org/
- Old Croton Aqueduct Historical Trail (Yonkers to Ossining)
If hiking and history interests you, the 22-mile-long Old Croton Aqueduct trail that runs from Cortlandt in Northern Westchester to Yonkers is sure to please.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the trail runs parallel to the Hudson line of the Metro North Railway and can be accessed from various train stations from Yonkers through Scarborough.
It also parallels the Rockefeller State Park Preserve for a short time.
Some of the historical sites you’ll see along the way include Van Cortlandt Manor, Philipsburg Manor, Lyndhurst, and Washington Irving’s Sunnyside.
- Clay Art Center, Port Chester
If you’re visiting Westchester this spring and you want something creative to do with your kids, be sure to check out the amazing mini clay activities that are available at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester.
An exciting exhibition is being launched May 10th titled, “State of Emergency,” featuring the work of emerging artists of color.
The exhibition speaks to the obstacles that many of the artists face, including fewer opportunities, resources and the lack of a physical community. The exhibit also addresses institutional racism and how it has impacted artists of color.
Visit the Clay Art Center website at https://www.clayartcenter.org/ for more information.
- Mario Cuomo Bridge Walk
Get your sneakers on, grab a bottle of water and some snacks and be prepared to enjoy a good Hudson River view on the newly constructed Mario Cuomo Bridge.
The bike and pedestrian path have six scenic overlooks, with public art displays that showcase the history of the river.
You can enter the path at either Tarrytown or on the other side in Nyack. The parking lots on either side have 4-hour limits.
If you’re on a bike, the journey across should take no more than 20 minutes. The speed limit is 15-mph. It takes about 80 minutes to walk across the bridge. Blue light phones are available along the route if you need assistance.
For more information, visit this website: https://mariomcuomobridge.ny.gov/visit-visitor-info
- Bear Mountain State Park
About 30 miles upriver, you’ll find Bear Mountain State Park, a popular spot for hikers and picnickers.
Attractions include a swimming pool and a zoo. Kids will enjoy the Merry-Go-Round and the 42 hand-carved seats of animals that are native to the park, such as black bears, turkeys and bobcats, to name a few.
For a dramatic view of the park and surrounding area, hike to the Perkins Memorial Tower, which sits on top of Bear Mountain.
For more information, visit https://parks.ny.gov/parks/bearmountain/
- Boat Ride Around Playland Lake and Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary
Take a relaxing jaunt in a two- or four-person paddle boat around Playland Lake (also known as Manursing Lake) and get up-close to the 179-acre Edith Read Wildlife Sanctuary.
The sanctuary, a salt-marsh wetland, can be visited separately.
It is adjacent to Rye Playland, a National Historic Landmark and a popular destination for families during the summer months. The lake cruises take about 15 minutes.
Tickets for the paddle boat rides are included in the general admission ticket for Playland. For more information, visit the website at https://playlandpark.org/
- Westchester Children’s Museum, Rye
Looking for a fun day out with the kids while visiting Westchester? Look no further than The Westchester Children’s Museum in Rye.
The 20,000-square-foot space includes interactive play spaces for kids and lots of really amazing exhibits that will keep them occupied for hours.
They include the Build Your Own Rollercoaster, MakerSpace, the Wind Tunnel Design Challenge, the Creativity Table, the Construction Zone, the Book Nook and so much more.
Discover more by visiting the website at https://discoverwcm.org/