Summer is the perfect time to be outside, and we've compiled a list of the top 20 things to do in Westchester County in the summer, including where to pick strawberries, outdoor music festivals and concerts, county fairs, and where to see fireworks.
1. Go to an amusement park.
Willson’s Waves water park, featuring a wave pool, water slides, and a water playground, opens at Willson’s Woods Park in Mount Vernon around Memorial Day weekend. Also, check out our full list of nearby amusement parks.
2. Walk for a good cause.
Kids could meet Geoffrey the giraffe from Toys “R” Us during the Westchester/Fairfield Walk Now for Autism Speaks in White Plains, which typically takes place in early June. The 2-mile walk raises funds for those affected by autism and includes family-friendly activities.
3. Experience Colonial times.
In mid-June, experience old-fashioned music, dancing, crafts, hayrides, and games during Colonial Day at St. Paul’s Church National Historic Site in Mount Vernon. See our full list of kid-friendly historical sites in the NYC area for other places to visit.
4. Walk among the butterflies at Greenburgh Nature Center.
Walk Among Live Butterflies at Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale. See New York-native butterflies such as monarchs and painted ladies and learn about the lifecycle of these colorful creatures. The exhibit is hosted outside in the meadow from June through early August.
5. Go to a music and environmental festival.
Clearwater’s Great Hudson River Revival, held at Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson in mid-June, is the country’s oldest music and environmental festival. The festival always features an impressive lineup of musical performers and includes family activities such as storytelling, crafts, boat rides, and a Green Living Expo. Proceeds benefit efforts to help preserve and protect the Hudson River and its tributaries.
6. Take the free trolley to City Island.
Take advantage of the First Friday! Music & Trolley program at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum in the Bronx, which allows visitors to explore the museum, enjoy live music and refreshments, and then board the free trolley to explore City Island (first Friday of the month, April through December).
7. Gather berries at a U-pick farm.
Gather your brood and pick your own berries at Ochs Orchard in Warwick (in nearby Orange County) or another berry farm in the area.
8. Ride a carousel.
Take a spin on the Grand Carousel at Playland in Rye (there’s also a Kiddy Carousel for little ones between 36 and 48 inches tall), or find another merry-go-round near you.
9. Join science and art workshops on a boat.
The Science Barge in Yonkers opens in July for weekend art and science workshops, which run through October. Cross the gangplank and board the barge, a greenhouse and educational center that floats on the waters of the Hudson River, to learn about everything from growing hydroponic plants to the dynamics of juggling.
10. Celebrate different cultures.
Check out Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, which hosts cultural celebrations throughout the summer, including an African-American Heritage Celebration in June and an Italian Festival in July. Also see our list of more festivals in the NYC area.
11. Celebrate July 4th.
Celebrate the Fourth of July at Pops, Patriots, and Fireworks at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah. Or see our list of more places to watch fireworks in Westchester.
12. Attend a pirate festival.
Gather ye scallywags at Tarrytown Music Hall in mid-July for Pirates of the Hudson, a swashbuckling Off-Broadway musical presented by Philipsburg Manor that calls on the audience to help write and perform the tale.
13. HIt the beach.
Go swimming and visit the beach and sprayground park at Harbor Island Park Beach in Mamaroneck or another beach in the area.
14. Check out a free concert at SummerFest.
SummerFest at Cross County Shopping Center includes a whole summer’s worth of free outdoor concerts, kids’ shows, fireworks, and Sunday Fun Days for the whole family (early May through mid-August). Check our calendar for details on specific events.
15. Play mini golf.
Play a round of miniature golf at Fairview Golf Center in Elmsford—which boasts two outdoor 18-hole courses—or another course in the area.
16. See Shakespeare plays outside.
Introduce the kids to The Bard’s timeless work during the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, a summer-long event that allows you to watch Shakespearean tales unfold as you picnic and lounge on the lawn of Garrison’s Boscobel House and Gardens in nearby Putnam County. Check for special family performances.
17. Have fun at the firefighter fundraiser.
Mamaroneck Fire Department’s Annual Carnival, which takes place at Harbor Island Park, has been a staple summer event for nearly 70 years. If you like rides, games, and carnival food, you’re in luck! It goes on for nine nights in late June and early July, with all proceeds going to the fire department.
18. Go to the Renaissance faire.
The New York Renaissance Faire in Tuxedo Park’s Sterling Forest (Orange County) kicks off in early August and runs through late September. Bring the kids for circus-type performances by costumed characters, a jousting match starring knights in shining armor, and lots of carnival-inspired games, all in a 16th-century setting.
See our list of top family day trips in the NYC area for other ideas.
19. Learn to ride a horse.
Take a horseback riding lesson at Boulder Brook Equestrian Center in Scarsdale or one of the other horse stables in Westchester.
20. Visit the Dutchess County Fair.
Head to the area’s nearest county fair, the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck (Dutchess County), in mid- to late August to see farm animals and pig races, watch a variety of performances, shop for crafts, ride and play the amusements, and enjoy a mind-boggling selection of food.
MORE SEASONAL FUN IN WESTCHESTER