Originally founded in 1919 as the Yonkers Museum, the Hudson River Museum has continued to expand throughout the years and features art galleries, programs for children, and educational performances. During the summer, the open-air Hudson River Museum Amphitheater hosts free family concerts, movie nights, and plays.
Since 1969 the museum has also been home to the Andrus Planetarium, the only public planetarium in Westchester. Featuring views of its namesake, the Hudson River Museum offers culture-seeking families year-round fun.
Year-Round Fun at Hudson River Museum
Permanent installations at the museum include Red Grooms: The Bookstore, a cartoonish and colorful bookstore that visitors can actually walk through.
Dollhouse lovers will also be able to view Nybelwyck Hall, based on real historic Hudson Valley homes, such as Ogden Mills House in Staatsburg and Wilderstein in Rhinebeck. It features 24 rooms overflowing with detail and showcasing the members of the dollhouse family, the Van Nybelwycks.
Created by dollhouse enthusiast Mark O’Banks, Nybelwyck Hall is 8 feet wide, 3½ feet tall, and features 24 rooms with more than 900 interior objects.
The permanent teaching gallery at the museum, Hudson Riverama, is an interactive experience for kids to learn about the Hudson River and how to care for it. Live fish, videos, and interactive computers teach visitors about finding environmental solutions and identifying local birds.
Visitors at the Family Studio can create their own art and science projects on the weekends. For the younger kids, the Early Explorers Space in the Education Center is a safe place to explore books, blocks, a dollhouse, and a puppet theater with their families.
Located on the property is Glenview Mansion, built in 1877, which overlooks the Hudson River and contains six period rooms displaying furniture and décor from that era. Visitors can explore the home’s sitting room, dining room, parlor, and library. The Great Hall features the large and elaborate grand staircase, and the Billiards room is the home of the Van Nybelwyck dollhouse.
Kids can learn about the Hudson River and how to care for it in Hudson Riverama.
Andrus Planetarium at Hudson River Museum
The gem of the museum is the Andrus Planetarium, which was restored in 2014 and includes a projector that is capable of displaying millions of stars.
Shows take place on Saturdays and Sundays and are geared toward different age ranges. Younger visitors might enjoy the One World, One Sky show, an adventure with Big Bird from Sesame Street, while older museumgoers can experience the hunt for alien life in We Are Aliens, narrated by Rupert Grint from the Harry Potter films.
Red Grooms’ Lincoln on the Hudson, on display through May 14, is a larger-than-life walk-through scene of the historic appearance of President-elect Abraham Lincoln in the village of Peekskill.
Visiting the Hudson River Museum
Address: 511 Warburton Ave., Yonkers
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5pm
Admission: $6; $3 ages 3-18; $4 seniors and students with ID. Planetarium tickets are in addition to museum tickets: $4; $2 ages 3-18; $3 seniors and students.
For more information: 914-963-4550 or visit hrm.org
Main image: Hudson River Museum’s Andrus Planetarium screens its shows Saturdays and Sundays, including The Sky Tonight, which shows what the sky will look like the very night you see the show.
All photos courtesy Hudson River Museum
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