By Bob Marrone
Spring, a time of renewal. The grass grows, the flowers bloom and the trees sprout their sun-catching leaves. Nature’s newborns take their first fledgling steps and flights, their calls accompanying the sweet fresh air of spring. The days grow longer, and everything is new. Westchester, too, comes alive with activities to match the mood of lighthearted optimism that only spring can bring. The parks are open from Kensico Dam Plaza to Glen Island. Weddings and graduations abound, and the list of things to do seems endless. Whether you wish to bike ride across the county’s floral plains, or visit its museums, it is all here. There are art fairs and music fests, comedy clubs and theater festivals; nature walks and star gazing. Come be our guest as we celebrate spring in Westchester County.
The Great Outdoors
Spring not only moves the soul, it calls us to join it, to bask in its warmth and beauty. And so, we flee the confines of home for our own renewal. Some just want to smell the roses or more to the point, witness spring’s birth by visiting the many floral gardens, available through the Garden Hill Conservancy. One Chappaqua tour stop features an incredible 13-acre garden of flowers. Others will head to Van Cortlandt Manor on one or more of the 20 evenings for a walk through LIGHTSCAPES, a nighttime festival of lights. You can even watch sheep shearing at the Sheep Shearing Day at Stone Barn Center at Pocantico Hills. If you love horses, you might want to head to the Old Salem Horse Show. Many will simply want to enjoy a visit to Rye Playland, Westchester’s own major amusement destination.
And, of course, there is plenty to do for the physically active: hiking, some trails are even dog friendly; jogging races, such as the Westchester River Walk; or bike riding events, like Bicycle Sundays. Amateur astronomers won’t want to miss Astronomy Day at the Hudson River Museum. The museum also has a Kite Festival.
The Fair Season
Speaking of festivals, Westchester’s spring season is home to more fairs and festivals featuring more themes than one could possibly imagine. The White Plains Outdoor Arts Festival is a must-see for spring time visitors. Armonk will host the 42nd Annual Fol de Rol County Fair, featuring pet and car parades, games vendors and more. Harrison will once again host its Festa Italiana. The food alone is reason to stop by! The Tarrytown Craft, Food and Street Fair offers more than 90 vendors. Cortlandt Manor puts on their Mother Nature Spring Craft, Gift & Psychic Festival. And, of course, there are Farmers Markets too many to mention here, filled with succulent fruit, vegetables, pastries and goodies of all sorts.
Activities for Children – Of all Ages
Spring is a special time for children. Bored with their holiday presents, confined by the elements, they too are ready for the joys of spring. One again, it is all here. From the simplicity taking in the Harbor Island Playground, to the Magic of Legoland, Westchester has it all. National Train Day will offer rides on a Thomas the Tank Engine pulled railroad. Speaking of trains, take the little ones to watch the Trains at Starbucks in Scarsdale. You might want to take them to Muscoot Farm, to visit the Baby Animals. If you have kids that like to dig, take them to Trucker Paradise at Roselle Park in Pleasantville. Trucks, dozer, diggers to play with. You better make extra time. And if you feel like driving, there is always Sesame Place. There is always the time-honored tradition of a family picnic at one of the county’s many parks.
Food and More Food
So much to enjoy, and that includes food and refreshments. Plus, you need energy to keep up. Westchester has that too, in abundance. From casual brunches at the Bedford Post Inn, or Ramen at Rye’s Village Social, or grabbing a hot dog at one of the many fairs and festivals, you will find plenty to eat. Speaking of hot dogs, Walters will begin their truck service in April. Be on the lookout. The Captain Lawrence in Elmsford will host its annual Tap and Pour Fest. There is food and beverage for every budget and every taste bud.
Tours and Shopping
Many will head to Westchester this spring to attend a wedding or graduation. Some will need a place to stay, others will need to buy that last-minute gift or, themselves, will be planning an event next year. Still others will decide to stay awhile and take it the sights. Westchester poses some of the finest shopping venues in the northeast. From The Westchester and Galleria in White Plains, to the fine shops in Scarsdale, Rye and up-county. BTW, Woodbury Commons offers a shopping tour by Limo. As for party and catering destinations, Westchester features facilities for every purpose and price point.
For the ambitious traveler, there are tours to and from Westchester. You can take a train or limo to Broadway or see Westchester or New York City by helicopter. Spring in Westchester County. There is nothing like it.