Where to Taste Wine and Cider in Westchester and Beyond

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Adobe Stock / minastefanovic

These orchards and taprooms will satisfy every facet of your wine and hard cider dreams and needs around Westchester.

In the whirlwind of pumpkin spice, cider doughnuts, and pick-your-own orchards, those who consider themselves autumn-crazed need somewhere to kick back and relax while still taking advantage of all the season has to offer. Enter: autumnal cider and wine tastings.

Whether you prefer your cider after a long day’s work picking apples and pumpkins on the many acres of farmland Westchester and its surrounding counties have to offer, or you simply want to enjoy the crisp breeze of fall with a nice, cold cup of hard cider on tap, these places have all you could wish for and more during this short-lived but long-revered fall season.

Hardscrabble Cider at Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard

North Salem

Started by three brothers more than 10 years ago, micro-farm cidery Hardscrabble Cider serves up the epitome of farm-to-table cider. The complete process takes place on the Harvest Moon Orchard farm, from growing the apples (10 varieties for the cider) to bottling the final product. The farm itself has apple picking, live music, a pumpkin patch, and a café dishing out farm-raised, grass-fed burgers. At the cidery, enjoy a wide array of ciders on tap, as well as specialty cider-infused cocktails such as the Cider Mimosa and ‘Scrabble Mule.

Merchant’s Daughter Hard Cider at Outhouse Orchards

North Salem

Merchant’s Daughter of Purdys has partnered with Outhouse Orchards to create the combination of your autumnal, apple-obsessed dreams: hard cider trucks on a property with apple picking, apple cider doughnuts, and more. Merchant’s Daughter ferments cider onsite at its orchards, using premium varieties of Hudson Valley-grown apples, and presents us with ciders on tap as well as bottles to take home for a festive fall dinner. The hard cider pairs perfectly with Outhouse Orchard’s apple cider doughnuts and homemade pies after a long day of apple picking.

White Hill Vineyard at Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm

Yorktown Heights

Saturdays and Sundays can be spent at the White Hill Vineyard at Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm, where a family tradition turned into a lively business of wine expertise and tasting. The granddaughters of the farm’s founder, Jimmy Wilkens, opened the winery in 2016 on the farm, blending the past and the present, the farm and the wine, all to create a tasting room like no other. The farm hosts a corn maze, apple picking, and an apple market and bakery alongside the wine tastings for even more fall fun.

Nearby in the Hudson Valley

Don’t mind a picturesque ride full of fall foliage? Check out these places serving up the best cider not too far from Westchester.

Dutchess County

Treasury Cider Bar at Fishkill Farms

Hopewell Junction

Offering cider by glass and flight on the covered outdoor porch, Fishkill Farms’ Treasury Cider Bar is the perfect destination for fall-enthused cider fanatics to gaze at the yellowing trees of the orchard, the flower garden, and the Catskill Mountains. In addition to ciders on tap from a true tree-to-bottle process, the bar offers local beer, wine, non-alcoholic kombucha, and a menu of light bites and snacks to soak up all that hard cider.

 

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Orange County

Angry Orchard Hard Cider

Walden

The most well-known hard cider company has roots in an orchard only about an hour away from Westchester. For true cider lovers, Angry Orchard’s cider house and orchard will spoil you with a multitude of cider-centered activities and experiences, from guided tastings and a treehouse visit to a barrel room tour and an orchard tour. Of course, more traditional cider tastings are on offer at the Cider House, with flights, canned or bottled ciders available for purchase, delicious bites from the kitchen, and, during fall weekends only, a rotating schedule of food trucks.

Related: Where to Buy Apple Cider Donuts in Westchester County

Orchard Hill Cider Mill

New Hampton

Self-proclaimed creator of “cider for wine drinkers,” Orchard Hill Cider Mill & Taproom at Soons Orchards follows the tradition of the great cider regions of Europe with the even greater apples of upstate New York. Orchard Hill aims to let the apples speak for themselves, utilizing a minimalist approach to cider making with modern winemaking techniques to present a wholly unique variety of apple ciders curated for cider and wine lovers alike.

Pennings Farm Cidery

Warwick

Inside an Amish-built barn that sits on a field surrounded by acres and acres of fruit trees at Pennings Orchard lies its one-of-a-kind Cider Taproom. At the Pennings Farm Cidery you can not only get a taste of 12 locally grown and created ciders and beers, but you can also try a selection of New York State wines, farm-grown apple vodka, signature cocktails like cider sangria, and homemade Neapolitan old-world-style brick-oven pizzas. Loved it so much that you want more? You can fill a Pennings 64-ounce growler with a cider on tap to go or bring one and get it filled for you. There’s also a bottle shop of pre-packaged hard cider in bottles and cans.

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery

Warwick

Located in the foothills of the Hudson Valley, Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery’s 120 acres of manicured grounds and orchards are home to the first distillery in New York State since prohibition and a critically acclaimed wine collection. The tasting room offers a wine, cider, or spirits guided tasting or a combination of all three. With live music every weekend, a tasty farm-to-table café, and apple picking during the peak fall season, Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery is a must-visit this fall.

Ulster County

Bad Seed

Highland

Bad Seed will lure you into its hard cider taproom with a selection of 22-plus rotating taps of local, small-batch ciders and beers that highlight a large range of unique flavors, including pumpkin (for fall fanatics), blueberry lavender, and honey mint tea. With a four or six cider flight, you are guaranteed an adventure for your taste buds.

Weed Orchards & Winery

Marlboro

Offering guided signature wine tastings as well as HomeGrown Hard Cider from onsite apples, Weed Orchards & Winery’s newly renovated tasting room is a must-visit. With a farm-to-table café, a bakery filled to the brim with autumnal goodies, and apple picking, Weed Orchards provides a well-rounded autumn experience.

BONUS: MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Hudson Valley Beer, Whiskey & Wine Festival at Barton Orchards

Poughquag, Dutchess County

On Saturday, November 4, immerse yourself in the world of Hudson Valley beer, whiskey, and wine at a one-day fall-themed festival at Barton Orchards. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., enjoy samplings of various drinks, live music and entertainment, take-home bottles of your favorites, vendors for shopping, hayrides, a corn maze, gourmet food trucks, and more. For tickets, consider a VIP ticket, general admission, or a designated driver ticket for this adult-centered festival of fun and booze.

 

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3 Creative Ways to Decorate Your Westchester Table for Fall

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Adobe Stock / Anjelika Gretskaia

Westchester’s Trim Queen offers up clever and stunning design ideas to dress your table to impress for fall parties and get-togethers.

Are you all about the arrival of fall in Westchester? There are so many fun things to do in the county this season, from picking apples and pumpkins to stocking up on cider donuts. Of course, one of the best ways to get into the seasonal spirit is to bring the fall feels indoors via tasteful decorations, To help, Westchester’s very own Trim Queen, Jana Platina Phipps, shares her favorite ways to spruce up your fall table for any get-together. Try these simple, yet elegant ideas out in your home and prepare to wow your guests.

Add a touch of gold

Wrap a gold ribbon around your cloth napkin and add a vintage brooch or gold tassel as bling. Adding some gold accents to your table is like adding that finishing touch of jewelry to your outfit that pulls everything together. The sparkle will unite all of your dining accoutrements and leave your guests trying to figure out exactly why your table is so gorgeous.

Use gold placemats down a table runner to unite the gold accents from the table.

Tack the ends of a gold frog closure and use as a napkin ring.

Contrast the gold with something natural, like seasonal greenery, berries, or flowers.

fall table
Adobe Stock / Anjelika Gretskaia

Create pattern play

For a contemporary look, buy a few yards of a graphic patterned performance fabric to use as your tablecloth, hem the edges (or not, after a cocktail no one cares). Mix fancy china with more casual ceramics to create a high-low bohemian vibe. Mix many patterns on your table for a global yet relaxed elegance. Make sure there is a color that unites all the pattern, such as orange for autumn.  Or use napkins with pattern to bridge the china to the textiles. It will be Instagram-worthy, so share it with the tag #PatternPlay or #Tablescape.

Add a runner that gives the table a center focal point and you won’t need placemats under your dishes.

Use matching water and wine glasses so there isn’t too much visual chaos.

fall table decor
Adobe Stock / Тоня Коренева

Vary heights for more space

Use cake stands, even stack them, to create varying heights to allow for more room on your table. Copy an effective visual merchandising trick by using varying heights to give your table more surface area for serving dishes and room for a seasonal centerpiece.

Add height to serving bowls and platters by setting them on flipped over saucers and small bowls.

Use tall candlesticks to add a sense of celebration without taking up too much room.

Related: This Fall Floral Arrangement Will Warm Your Westchester Home

What to Know About Lighting Your Westchester Landscaping

Photo by Paolo Luciano, Courtesy of National Lawn Sprinklers & Outdoor Living

Attilio Petroni, landscape lighting expert, shares his tips for illuminating your yard and why it’s so important.

As homeowners, we all want beautiful curb appeal and often think about landscaping to achieve this; however, one thing that can further enhance your landscaping is lighting. “Many clients have a limited understanding of the design process involved in lighting or what can be done with light to create an atmosphere,” says Attilio Petroni of National Lawn Sprinklers & Outdoor Living. “They might have preferences about atmosphere but have no idea how to achieve it.”

Petroni and his team start by getting to know the client, how they will use the space at night, feelings about lighting, their budget, and the timeline.

“What is important in landscape lighting for the customer is always the end result of what a specimen tree or plant looks like in the evening,” says Petroni. “What I show the customer is a daytime picture of the lighting then the evening picture so they can see exactly what their outdoor living space can look like.”

Lighting your landscaping can be done for a variety of reasons and the client should consider what their priorities are before starting. Viewing out from inside a room, use of space for one or more activities, identification of the property, and safety and security are the reasons Petroni notes.

DO NOT REUSE landscape lighting
Landscape lighting can add dimension and interest as well as security and safety measures to your outdoor space. Photo by Paolo Luciano, Courtesy of National Lawn Sprinklers & Outdoor Living.

Safety – lighting can be added to avoid injury. “Landscape lighting should provide a clear view of any potential obstacles in the environment such as steps, intersections of land and water, and furniture,” says Petroni.

Security – avoiding intrusion by trespassers. “Light can be a deterrent to an intruder and adds psychologically to an inhabitant’s feeling of protection,” adds Petroni. He says that security lighting can be a separate system or an integral part of the overall lighting system.

Aesthetics – enjoyment of the property. “Lighting the exterior can provide a view from the interior out into the landscape, enlarge the interior space by visually fusing it with the exterior landscape, and provide for activities such as entertainment and sports,” says Petroni.

The Key Spots for Lighting:

  • Pool perimeter landscape lighting
  • Fire pit and surrounding landscape
  • Pergola being highlighted with surounding plants
  • A Jacuzzi that is not attached to the pool, but is located on the property adjacent to landscaping to make it a calming experience

“These are all different lighting scenes that the client experiences in various locations of their living space,” says Petroni. “Not only is it important to highlight these areas separately, but the art is having the outdoor lighting all come together by transitioning each lighting scene to the next without creating any dark areas as they move throughout their property.”

Petroni adds that the homeowner needs to determine what type of atmosphere they want to create. “Words like ‘dramatic’ and ‘theatrical’ present a different image than ‘simple’ and ‘subtle,’’ says Petroni.

Next up is determining the budget. If the budget is limited, the project can be done in phases and should be discussed with the designer. You will then have a landscape lighting design plan in place and can start work on the contract documents that include specifications such as dimensions, locations, materials, quality, and installation standards, and who is responsible for what.

Other professionals who may be involved in the landscape lighting process are architects, builders, landscapers, and electricians. “Sometimes architects are involved in the design and product specification process,” says Petroni. Coordination meetings often happen during jobs including the architect, lighting designers and installers, landscapers, builders, and electricians to discuss the plan. Petroni adds that depending on the town or city where the home is located, licensing requirements will be different. “The lighting contractor will be able to inform the owner what the regulations are in their town,” says Petroni.

Whatever your reason for wanting to light your landscape it certainly adds ambience to your exterior. Just make sure to hire a pro and have a plan in place before getting started.

Related: How to Create a More Eco-Friendly Yard in Westchester

Fjord Vineyards Crafts Sustainable Wines in the Hudson Valley

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Photos courtesy of Fjord Vineyards

A husband-wife team make balanced, sustainable wines that reflect the Hudson Valley’s distinctive landscape.

For the past 10 years Matthew Spaccarelli (winner of the 2023 New York State Unity Award as winegrower of the year) and Casey Erdmann have produced top-notch wine in Ulster County’s hamlet of Milton. “It’s our unique microclimate, on a site overlooking one of the oldest fjords in the country, that allows us to grow a number of varieties of high-quality grapes here in the Hudson Valley,” says Spaccarelli. The couple endeavors to craft wines based on a terroir that is a gateway to the Hudson Highlands with Storm King Mountain to the west and Mount Beacon to the east.

White

2021 Fjord Albarino ($22)

Akin to wines made from this varietal grown in Portugal and northeastern Spain, it has a lemony-pineapple bouquet and taste with a dry, smooth finish that marries well with garlicky fare, like pasta with pesto.

2020 Fjord Estate Riesling ($22)

This wine shows a bouquet and taste of ripe peaches and pears with hints of apricots in its finish and makes an excellent accompaniment for sushi and shrimp.

2021 Fjord Chardonnay ($25)

Fans of oaky, lemony chardonnay will love this wine (made from grapes grown on the North Fork of Long Island) that has just enough taste of crisp apples and vanilla to mate perfectly with grilled grouper, halibut, and branzino.

Rosé

2021 Fjord Rosé of Cabernet Franc ($22)

This wine shows a bouquet and taste of ripe peaches and apricots, with a bit of spritz on its finish. Serve it well-chilled with hors d’oeuvres, like hummus with chips, crudite with dip, and pretzels with mustard.

Matthew Spaccarelli has sustainably grown world-class wines in his native Hudson Valley for 10 years. Fjord Vineyards is located near where the Hudson River flows through one of the oldest fjords in North America. This position helps create a microclimate that promotes the development of high-quality wines.
Matthew Spaccarelli has sustainably grown world-class wines in his native Hudson Valley for 10 years. Fjord Vineyards is located near where the Hudson River flows through one of the oldest fjords in North America. This position helps create a microclimate that promotes the development of high-quality wines.

Red

2021 Fjord Cabernet Franc ($30)

Usually a blending grape, this light, fruity wine needs some time after opening to develop its full flavor of raspberries and herbs that pair well with spicy Thai and Chinese fare.

In addition to the winery, Fjord Vineyards wines are offered to taste and buy at the Pleasantville Farmers Market and for purchase at several retailers, including Westchester Wine Warehouse in White Plains and Uncorked Wines & Spirits in Somers.

Fjord Vineyards
Milton

Related: Augustine’s Salumeria Adds Italian Flair in Mamaroneck

Keep Your Westchester Garden Growing With These Fall Vegetables

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JackF | Adobe Stock

Summer may be over, but there’s still time to plant more veggies in your garden before the first frost touches down in Westchester.

Labor Day may have come and gone in Westchester County, but that doesn’t mean your vegetable garden has to stop growing.

The average first frost date for fall in our area is mid-October (give or take), so that means there’s still plenty of time to plant certain vegetables and garner a harvest. After all, who doesn’t love fresh produce straight from the backyard?

Fast maturing vegetables include beets, bush beans, carrots, cucumbers, kohlrabi, radishes, spinach, Swiss chard, and zucchini. If for some reason these do not mature fast enough before the first frost, you can use row cover or garden fabric to keep them safe from the colder weather.

If you’re looking for vegetables that are frost-tolerant, try broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, kohlrabi, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, scallions, spinach, and turnips.

And, of course, as soon as your lettuce starts to show signs of age, you can pull it up and plant new varieties in its space. Lettuce can produce well into the fall months, making it perfect for use in autumnal salads.

Some herbs are also hardier and will last into the fall months if left outdoors, including thyme and rosemary, but of course you can also pull herb planters indoors to keep them going all year round. Bringing them indoors is a nice way to incorporate greenery into the home as well.

Before you plant anything, read the labels and check that the plant’s instructions match our plant hardiness zone. To ensure that the soil is ready come fall, make sure it is moist and shaded. You can even use mulch to ensure it does not dry out from the hot summer months.

Related: How to Get Your Garden Ready for Spring in Westchester

What to Expect From Hudson Valley Restaurant Week This Fall

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Adobe Stock / Kzenon

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week returns to the region this fall, bringing with it a special pricing system to make dining even more delicious.

By Dave Zucker and Sabrina Sucato

When it comes to our favorite biannual events, the equinoxes and solstices come in a distant second and third to our one true love: Hudson Valley Restaurant Week (HVRW).

Valley Table, our sister publication and the creator and orchestrator of this wondrous collection of the region’s top restaurants all coming together to offer prix-fixe menus of their signature and specialty dishes, recently announced its fall dates for 2023.

Foodies, mark your calendar for October 30 to November 12, 2023, when HVRW returns with a special pricing program available at 120-plus eateries across Westchester and the greater Hudson Valley. Participating restaurants can choose between four price points: $24.95, $29.95, $39.95, or $44.95. The prix-fixe menus are available from dine-in, and restaurants can choose to offer them for takeout as well.

 

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“Since 2006, Hudson Valley Restaurant Week has always highlighted the bounty of culinary greatness that our region has to offer,” notes Mike Martinelli, Today Media’s Hudson Valley Group Publisher. “Increasing the number of participating restaurants is good for both the restaurants and their customers.”

With restaurant registration for the October 30 through November 12 iteration of HVRW taking place now, excitement is building to see which restaurants will be participating, not to mention which dishes they’ll be offering, this fall. Past participants have included Harrison’s The Greekish, Fin & Brew in Peekskill, and White Plains favorite Benjamin Steakhouse, to name only a few of the hundreds of locations throughout the Hudson Valley participating in the celebration of all things gormandizing.

So make a note, save up your vacation days, and stay tuned as the list of this fall’s participants comes rolling in!

For restaurants, registration is open for fall 2023 and spring 2024 Restaurant Weeks. Visit the Valley Table’s website to sign up.

Related: These Are Westchester’s Newest Michelin-Rated Restaurants

This October Wedding in Tarrytown Is Fit for French Royalty

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This October wedding is stunning. Photos by Loreto Caceres Photography

When a local couple tied the knot at Castle Hotel & Spa, they leaned on Björn VW Events to deliver the royal academia vibes.

By Ann Loynd Burton and Sofia Scappatura

Katy & Mike
October 2022
Tarrytown

Though it may have seemed like pure chance to have matched on a dating app, Michael Morse and Katherine Doe Morse had been circling one another via family and friend connections for years. After a first date of tapas and a comedy show, the two eventually became official and moved in together a year-and-a-half later. Their Elmsford apartment overlooked Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown, and the two joked they would stay there together one day.

After enduring both COVID and the unfortunate passing of Mike’s parents, Carol and David, the couple knew they could make it through anything. They decided to celebrate their union at that very castle they once only saw from a faraway window. “Our vision was intended to reflect aspects of our story, heritage, professions, and interests,” Doe Morse explains (she is a professional vocalist and teacher, and he is in the culinary industry). “Autumn is our favorite season, both aesthetically and for comfort, so an autumn wedding with rich fall colors fit perfectly.”

The couple also wanted to reflect their heritage (both are American with European backgrounds, but Mike is also Jewish and Katy has close Irish/Celtic ancestry) by incorporating elements like the breaking of the glass and a handfasting into the ceremony.

They enlisted planner Björn Van Wyngaardt of Westchester’s Björn VW events to help execute their dream day. “I looked at the venue as a whole and knew exactly which vendors I would collaborate with to execute the design flawlessly,” Van Wyngaardt remembers. “With a venue like Castle Hotel & Spa, I find that it’s best to look at the history and architecture of the building, so that every aspect of it works in harmony with what’s already there.”

In addition to the eclectic academia vibe, it was important that the food take center stage, including in the florals and decor with herbs and edible arrangements. Guests were able to focus on the food during a seated coursed dinner in the cathedral-esque dining hall before transitioning downstairs for dancing.

Since Katy works in classical music, every ceremonial and processional song throughout the day had very personal meaning to the couple. Katy and Mike have a particular love of European medieval arts and aesthetics (Katy particularly loves historically informed medieval music, and Mike has a love of fantasy media and literature) so she called up members of the medieval ensemble Alkemie to assist in the ceremony and dinner, and they absolutely nailed it.

The couple’s favorite part of the day was their wedding dance, for both romantic and practical reasons. “Dance may be the one performance activity that we both do with somewhat equal ability, and the act of going to dance class gave us an emotional and physical outlet leading up to the wedding,” Doe Morse says. “We still take weekly lessons at Fred Astaire Tarrytown to this day, so it’s like a tiny weekly reminder of how much fun we had dancing on our wedding day, and it requires us to maintain a regular date night.”

Both Francofiles, it was important to add subtle nods to France throughout the day, like with the classically French croquembouche wedding cake, the medieval band during dinner that played French and Occitan medieval dances and love songs, and classically French-inspired food prepared by Chef Yann Nury.

“Basically, we wanted to be king and queen for a day and give everyone a royal wedding and meal, and that mission was accomplished,” the bride adds.

wedding

Related: 5 Stunning Outdoor Wedding Venues Around Westchester County

The Details

Planner & Designer: Björn VW Events 

PhotographyLoreto Caceras Photography

Venue: Castle Hotel & Spa

Catering: Yann Nury New York

FlowersIvie Joy Floral Art & Events

Music & Entertainment: More Than Music

Videography: Vargas Videography 

Ceremony Musicians: Alkemie Medieval Music

Rentals: Westside Party Rentals & Luxe Event Rentals 

Grooms Tuxedo: D.Leak Bespoke Experience

Groomsman: Robbie & Co. 

Bride’s Wedding Dress: Virginia’s Bridal, White Plains

Stationery: Polk Paper

Hair: Stylez By Adelia

Makeup: Minella Artistry 

Wedding Cake: Frenchette

Dance Floor Wrap: Trust J Events

Lighting: Universal Lighting & Sound

Raise a Stein at Westchester County’s Oktoberfest Celebrations

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tiagozr | Adobestock

Some of the best Oktoberfest festivities are happening right here in Westchester County, and we want to help you celebrate them all.

With additional reporting by Ryan Noel

FYI: You don’t have to go all the way to Bavaria to experience a great Oktoberfest. In Westchester County, plenty of towns, public groups, and even individual businesses are getting their lederhosen on in October. Here are some of our top picks in case you feel like grabbing your stein and joining in on the local fun.

Cross County Center Oktoberfest 

Oktoberfest makes its way over to the Cross County Center this season. The festivities will be held on The Green in the center of the mall on Saturday from 1-7 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. The beer garden will be stocked with local beers from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, and grilled brats and pretzels will be available for snacking.

When: Saturday, September 16, 1- 7 p.m. & Sunday, September 17, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Cross County Center, Yonkers
Cost: Free to enter

Hoppfest XL

Bedford’s eight annual “Oktoberfest with a twist” returns in 2023 with seasonal beers from Captain Lawrence as well as wine, bourbon, tastings, music, pub games, food trucks, fire pits, and loads more on the Village Green. Plus, all proceeds benefit the Bedford Historical Society’s Properties Preservation Fund so, really, you’re drinking to help support educational initiatives. That’s civic volunteerism if ever we heard it.

When: Saturday, September 30, 6:30-10 p.m.
Where: Bedford Village Green, Bedford
Cost: Starting at $150 — Does not include food trucks

Sleepy Hollow Oktoberfest

More frequented in October for its spooky history, the Village of Sleepy Hollow also has an annual Oktoberfest celebration. Classic German food and drink will flow, Bavarian music will sound, and younger kids can enjoy their time drinking hot chocolate.

When: Saturday, September 30, 1-5 p.m.
Where: Kingsland Point Park, 299 Palmer Ave, Sleepy Hollow
Cost: Free to enter; Parking: $5

Growler’s Oktoberfest

Growler’s Beer Bistro in Tuckahoe will host its October celebration on October 7. It will serve up traditional German food (even more than it normally does) alongside fun and games, live music and entertainment, and—again—plenty of beer. If you’re familiar with Growler’s, you can imagine how delighted your bellies will be, and, if not, then you really do need to come down this year!

When: Saturday, October 7, 12 p.m.
Where: 25 Main St, Tuckahoe
Cost: Free to enter

 

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Croton Oktoberfest 

Croton-on-Hudson’s third annual Oktoberfest returns to the Upper Village this year. There will be live music, over 60 artisanal food and art vendors, craft beer, wine, cider, and kids activities for the little ones.

When: Saturday, October 7, 12- 6 p.m.
Where: Upper Village, Croton-on-Hudson
Cost: Free to enter

 

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Pound Ridge Harvest Festival

The Pound Ridge Partnership’s 11th annual fall fest is back for another year of food, drinks, live music, and family fun. Local eateries and vendors will have plenty on offer, and the drinks will flow freely: craft beer for the adults and a “root beer garden” for the kids. The musical headliner for the day is Galactic.

When: Saturday, October 7, 1-6 p.m.
Where: Pound Ridge Town Park
Cost: Free entry

White Plains Oktoberfest

This 11-year tradition makes its return to the streets of downtown White Plains. Join thousands of locals and visitors decked out in lederhosen and dirndls, sip German beer, and munch on German food. Walter’s Hot Dogs will provide seasonal food to the crowd. The band Melina & the Oompahs will be performing traditional German Oompah hits from all decades. The lead singer, Melina, grew up in Germany and now resides in NYC.

When: Sunday, October 8, 1- 6 p.m.
Where: Mamaroneck Ave, between East Post Rd., and Maple Ave., White Plains
Cost: Limited advance tickets are $11, day-of tickets will be available for $15

Related: 7 Westchester Craft Fairs to Give You All the Fall Feels

Plan the Perfect Late-Summer Barbecue Party in Westchester

Adobe Stock / oneinchpunch

Hosting family and friends for a cookout over Labor Day weekend? Skip the stress and deliver the fun with these party-ready tips.

One of the best ways to enjoy the hazy, lazy days of summer is to invite friends over for an alfresco feast. And if you want to ensure that your barbecue party goes off without a hitch, take a look at these tips to plan ahead and keep the party going when night falls.

Test Your Equipment

Before you send out the invitations, check that your barbecue is up to the job. It may sound obvious, but, if it’s gas, make sure it’s working. And the size of your grill should determine how many people you invite to the barbecue party, as the last thing you want is people waiting for their food when you run out of room.

If you’re planning to entertain often or are a serious cook, it may be worth investing in a larger barbecue with a prep area.

bbq
Adobe Stock/ Kien

Consider Your Seating

Guests will need a comfortable place to sit and eat, so think about seating for your barbecue party. In a compact space like this one, consider bench seating so that everyone can squeeze in. Of course, you may not have this kind of built-in option, so a stash of collapsible chairs could be good standbys, too.

Think about practicalities: Some people are happy to hold plates in their laps, but others prefer a surface. A mix of both is a good idea. If you have nothing at hand, stacked pallets could be a quick solution. Employ trays or even suitable pieces of wood as makeshift tabletops. 

Be Prepared

Behind every laid-back barbecue party is a deceptively high amount of planning time. Ensure that your party goes smoothly with plenty of prep. As soon as you know who is coming, ask all confirmed guests for any dietary requirements and write up your shopping list accordingly. The day before your barbecue, take time to marinate any meat, and prepare salads and accompaniments.

bbq
Adobe Stock / Jayme Burrows/Stocksy

Put Away Breakables

Avoid broken glass and plate mishaps by swapping your regular tableware for brightly colored outdoor tableware. There are some stylish melamine plates, cups and bowls available. You could opt for a mix of bright colors, or choose blue and white or a monochrome set for a pared-back look.

Get the Drinks Ready

If you’re planning to mix up some cocktails, how about using a bar cart?

You’ll also need plenty of water and soft drinks, flavored syrups for the kids, and perhaps even a fruit punch for the adults. Ice buckets or coolers are a great idea for keeping drinks cold and can be left in the shade for easy access.

Create a Kids’ Area

It’s a good idea to give children a designated seating spot of their own at the barbecue party. It will keep them safely out of the way of the grill and free up seats for the grown-ups. A picnic tent is perfect as a shaded den and can be set up with rugs, pillows, and blankets.

dessert
Adobe Stock/ imagesab

Make Simple and Fun Desserts

Give yourself plenty of time to socialize with your guests by not adding extra work. Keep desserts fuss-free and make them ahead of time if you can. Quick-to-prepare jam tarts like these are a good choice and easy to eat without plates. Alternatively, set up an ice cream bar with a selection of flavors and toppings.

bbq
Adobe Stock / Gorodenkoff

Don’t Let the Rain Stop You

At least one of the summer’s barbecues is bound to be accompanied by a downpour. Plan for all eventualities with a temporary gazebo, or go for a fairly simple garden sail. For an even easier solution, you could keep a garden parasol (or two) on the sidelines to bring out when the heavens open.

Hopefully your barbecue party will go swimmingly and carry on into the evening. Make sure you have plenty of lighting so that you’re not plunged into darkness when the sun goes down. Dot solar-powered lamps around the flower beds to give a glow to your greenery, string up fairy lights, and add even more atmosphere with candles (just make sure they’re safely placed away from children).

Stay Warm

If the party does continue when night falls, be ready with plenty of blankets and throws. A brazier-style pit can be used as both a barbecue (if guests get hungry again) and a heat source.

bbq
Adobe Stock/ Usman

Related: Where to Dine With Your Dog in Westchester County

How to Spend a Perfect Saturday in Mamaroneck

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Photography by Doug Schneider

From Asian fusion to Walters and a whole alphabet of adventure in between, we plan out your perfect weekend day trip to Mamaroneck.

By Samantha Garbarini and Anthony Tornatore

Mamaroneck is full of contradictions. Italian delis and pizza shops are just as plentiful as Asian fusion restaurants and whiskey bars. Boutiques attract customers who also shop at the town’s century-old toy store. And the stretch of shore along the Sound is home to private country clubs and public parks.

Because of that, a day trip in town is something special. Without further ado, browse through our itinerary, then plan a visit to check out all that Mamaroneck has to offer. If you go, don’t forget to tag us @westchestermagazine on Instagram. We may just regram you!

10 a.m. – Grab breakfast and a coffee at The Roaster Cafe

Who doesn’t want a cup of coffee to start their busy day in Mamaroneck? Exactly…no one. Hence, take a trip to The Roaster Café (419 Mamaroneck Ave; 914.630.2954) for a freshly brewed coffee and a breakfast meal from the Mediterranean menu. It’s impossible to go wrong with the blueberry pancakes and a Turkish latte.

 

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11 a.m. – Head to Miller’s for a spot of shopping

Browse the mom-and-pop shops along Mamaroneck Avenue (everything from massive floral showrooms to tiny country stores) but make a point to stop in Miller’s (335 Mamaroneck Ave; 914.698.5070). In business for nearly 100 years, this iconic, family-run toy store stocks a wide range of summer-appropriate outdoor equipment and beach gear.

 

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12 p.m. – Stay on Mamaroneck Ave. for lunch

Order a classic Italian combo — thinly sliced imported meats, shredded iceberg, paper-thin rings of onion, and a splash of oil and vinegar, on a seeded hero — at Cosmo & Alex Pisano Bros. (252 Mamaroneck Ave; 914.381.4402). Then, pop next door to Boiano Bakery (258 Mamaroneck Ave; 914.698.2070) for a few of our favorite pignoli cookies. Or order a slab of ribs, some sides, house-made lemonade, and a tall stack of napkins to go from Smokehouse Tailgate Grill (320 Mamaroneck Ave; 914.341.1655).

1 p.m. – Take a stroll around Harbor Island Park

Make your way to Harbor Island Park at the base of Mamaroneck Avenue. The 44-acre waterfront park is home to a slew of perfect picnic spots, plus playgrounds, tennis courts, small gardens, and winding paths along the water’s edge. As the weather warms, visitors come here to get wet (you did remember to bring a swimsuit, right?) at a short swath of sandy beach and the kid-friendly sprinkler park.

 

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3 p.m. – Scout out niche shops on Boston Post Road

Turn right as you exit the park, and it’s a 15-minute walk (or two-minute drive) to a cluster of niche shops along Boston Post Road. Stop by Katules, (501 E Boston Post Rd; 914.341.1333, temporarily closed for maintenance) for tees, bags, and home goods printed with snarky sayings. Next door, Knit Shoppe’s (501 E Boston Post Rd; 914.630.7647) shelves are stacked high with a rainbow of high-quality yarns and knitting supplies. Then treat yourself to ganache-filled truffles and a wide selection of chocolate barks at nearby Chocolations (607 E Boston Post Rd; 914.777.3600).

 

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5 p.m. – Make your way to Augustine’s Salumeria or Walter’s for dinner and drinks

Augustine’s Salumeria (213 Halstead Ave; 914.315.6541) is one of Westchester’s hotspots for local, seasonal fare. This Michelin star restaurant and Best of Westchester winner serves up classic Italian dishes paired with an extensive wine menu. If you prefer to dine at a Westchester staple, take an Uber over to Walter’s (937 Palmer Ave; 914.500.5029). While lines stretch down the block at lunchtime, waits are much shorter now for the same split-and-griddled dogs slathered with mustard.

 

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7 p.m. – Finish your night with a show at the Emelin Theatre

After a long day of walking, eating, and shopping, what better way to finish it off than by sitting down and enjoying a show? The Emelin Theatre (153 Library Lane; 914.698.0098) is home to a plethora of different acts ranging from comedy and dance to family-friendly performances and movies. There is something for everyone, and all are bound to have an amazing time.

 

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10 p.m. – Get a good night’s rest at the Hotel NoMa

After your eventful day, you can head four miles south to New Rochelle and stay at the beautiful Hotel NoMa (1 Radisson Plaza; 914.576.3700). This four-star hotel is equipped with a fitness center, outdoor pool, light room service, and a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, NoMa Social, onsite.

 

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Related: Here’s How to Spend a Beautiful Weekend Day in Scarsdale

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