Best of Westchester: Fun & Leisure in 2023

We’re looking for your top spots to have fun in the county.

Photo by Gabe Palacio/ Courtesy of Caramoor

These Best of Westchester winners offer a medley of fun and leisure experiences, from art and music to classes and trivia.

Editors’ Picks: Fun & Leisure

New Arts Center

David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center

Tarrytown; rbf.org/pocantico/historic-site-tours/dr-center

Once an orangery owned by the investment banker David Rockefeller built to hold rare trees, this new Tarrytown arts center now contains an array of performances, exhibitions, and services benefitting both area artists and everyday art lovers. The David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center is redefining culture in the county with a four-season multipurpose performance and rehearsal space, retractable seating for approximately 200 people, an expansive terrace, exhibition gallery, visual arts studio, and a welcoming reception area.

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David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center
David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center. Photo © Frederick Charles/ Courtesy of David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center.

Library Music Series

Greenburgh Public Library

Greenburgh; greenburghlibrary.org/home

In a monthly Sunday afternoon groove for over a decade, with high-profile musicians booked a year out, this series spans jazz, Latin, folk, and more, such as Punk Rock Vegan Movie (opera and jazz disfusion groups also thrive here). The large, bright space with equally popular art exhibits draws folks from grandparents to teens, coffee and snacks in tow — but close your eyes and you’re in a club.

New Jazz Club

Jazz on Main

Mount Kisco; jazzonmain.com

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It isn’t every day that our county gains a new jazz club boasting a welcoming vibe, unique drinks, and an outstanding roster of locally and nationally recognized acts. Bringing smoky sax and velvety vocals to downtown Mount Kisco, Jazz on Main offers three-course prix-fixe meals, Sunday brunch, creative cocktails, wine, and light fare alongside its community open mics, Thursday jam nights, and superb performances by genre masters like Abe Ovadia, Peter Slavov, and Marianne Solivan.

Bike Path

South County Trailway/North County Trailway

parks.westchestergov.com/trailways

Experience the freedom of riding your bike for 36.2 continuous miles on a traffic-free, paved trail. Spanning the county from the south portion on the New York City border, reaching all the way to the Putnam County border, the trailway (situated along the former Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad lands), is the most utilized park facility managed by Westchester County Parks, according to spokesperson, Linda Lovallo.

Girls’ Afternoon Out

Tea at Caramoor’s Rosen House Music Room

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Katonah; caramoor.org

Where better to swap secrets than over a tiered tray of finger sandwiches, scones, and desserts, with vintage china, amid Renaissance artwork (is that a della Robbia? why yes). Sit down to hot and iced teas, with vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, and children’s menu options; in December, Caramoor’s famed music is on the menu as well. Add on a tour of the exquisite 1930s house, hit the gift shop, and stroll the grounds.

Girl's Afternoon Out
Photo by Gabe Palacio/ Courtesy of Caramoor

Park Vistas

Croton Gorge Park, Cortlandt

parks.westchestergov.com/croton-gorge-park

A footpath gently climbs to the top of the Croton Dam, 300 feet above the Croton River, where expansive views of the New Croton Reservoir’s cascading spillover are breathtaking any time of year. A fountain at the dam’s base sends a glorious shower 20 feet skyward, a homage to the magnificent stonework that has stood for more than a century.

Croton Gorge Park
Croton Gorge Park. Adobe Stock / Dronandy.

Knitting Instruction

Pick Up Every Stitch

Mount Kisco; pickupeverystitch.com

In addition to classes for groups of beginners, intermediates and advanced knitters (as well as crocheters and even “tatters”), the owners of this recently enlarged full-service knitting store (Felicia Lonigro and Karen Altabef) will provide individual instruction on projects. Moreover, a popular activity here is group supervised knitting on individual projects on specific days and times.

Team Bonding Experience

Bananas’ Axe Cabana

New Rochelle; bananasaxecabana.com

No offense to the bagels in the breakroom, but hurling axes side by side with the coworkers who were just in that same meeting that could have been an email is significantly more cathartic. With 10 lanes to hurl weapons in, along with a full food and drink menu (by press time), it is the ideal way to shake off the Monday blues.

Nuptials Entertainment Company

Extreme Music Productions

Ardsley; extrememusicprod.com

From sleepy little Ardsley comes the “EMP Way,” which Extreme Music’s principals say is built on excellent music, top-shelf emcee work, and a modern, high-class esthetic presentation. Over the years, the team has performed for many A-list celebrities, corporate titans, and even presidents of the U.S. EMP is available for weddings as well as private, corporate, and retail events. Creating wonderful, lifelong memories is what EMP considers its stock in trade.

Bingo Night

Wolf & Warrior Brewing Co.

White Plains; wolfandwarrior.com

Remember the joy of shouting, “BINGO” as a kid when you thought you were taking home the big prize? Now you can do that as an adult with the same joy, but with an inventive and delicious beer in hand too. With over a dozen house-brewed rotating beers on tap at any given moment, there’s no end to the nostalgia, good times, and better brews.

Music for Special Occasions

Hal Prince Music & Entertainment

Bedford Hills; halprince.com

Whether you’re looking for a top-notch DJ for a bar mitzvah or a big band for your wedding, Bedford-based Hal Prince Music and Entertainment will have your guests hitting the dance floor and humming tunes long after your event is over. Jay and Jill Prince currently lead the entertainment agency formerly run by their parents, orchestra leader Hal Prince and vocalist Anabel Prince.

Public Art Display

Amanda Browder’s “Metropolis Sunrise” at ArtsWestchester

White Plains; artswestchester.org

Public art is a superb way to introduce passersby to works they might never have noticed, but it was difficult to miss Amanda Browder’s nine-story fabric installation draped across the façade of ArtsWestchester’s White Plains headquarters and gallery. “Metropolis Sunrise” took 135,000 yards of thread, 10,000 square feet of donated and recycled fabric, and 1,000 area volunteers toiling 55 sewing days to create. The result was a quilt-like menagerie of colorful chevron patterns produced by the community, as well as a truly noteworthy moment in the county’s rich history of public art.

Arts Westchester
Photo by Lynda Shenkman / Courtesy of Arts Westchester

Across the Border

Museum

Bruce Museum

Greenwich, CT; brucemuseum.org

With its fascinating wildlife, nature, art offerings, and location next to a park with playground, this museum is an incredible find for a family looking for a fun way to unplug together. Literally right over the border from Rye, this impressive facility is the premier museum in the local area with its unique blend of both permanent and visiting art and science exhibits.

Readers’ Picks: Fun & Leisure

Adult Dance Classes

Arc Stages

Pleasantville; arcstages.org

Annual Festival

Pleasantville Music Festival

Pleasantville; pleasantvillemusicfestival.com

Art Gallery

Katonah Museum of Art

Katonah; katonahmuseum.org

Cigar Shop

Doc James Cigar Lounge

Mamaroneck; docjames2.com

Drink with a View

Harvest on Hudson

Hastings-on-Hudson; harvesthudson.com

Event Space

The Capitol Theatre

Port Chester; thecapitoltheatre.com

Girls’ Night Out

The Capitol Theatre

Port Chester; thecapitoltheatre.com

Guy’s Night Out

The Capitol Theatre

Port Chester; thecapitoltheatre.com

Hike/Bike Trail

Rockefeller State Park Preserve

Pleasantville; parks.ny.gov/parks/rockefeller/details.aspx

Historic Site

Untermyer Park and Gardens

Yonkers; untermyergardens.org

Hotel

The Abbey Inn & Spa

Peekskill; theabbeyinn.com

Irish Pub

Rory Dolan’s Restaurant and Bar

Yonkers; rorydolans.com

Library

Ossining Public Library

Ossining; ossininglibrary.org

Local Parade

Tarrytown Halloween Parade

Tarrytown; tarrytownhalloweenparade.com

Magician

Phil The Magic Man

Pleasantville; philthemagicman.com

Movie House

Jacob Burns Film Center

Pleasantville; burnsfilmcenter.org

Music Venue

Tarrytown Music Hall

Tarrytown; tarrytownmusichall.org

Place for a Date Night

Hudson River Museum

Yonkers; hrm.org

Place to Take Visitors

Rockefeller Preserve State Park

Pleasantville; parks.ny.gov/parks/rockefeller/details.aspx

Public Park

Rockefeller Preserve State Park

Pleasantville; parks.ny.gov/parks/rockefeller/details.aspx

Sports Bar

Brazen Fox

White Plains; thebrazenfox.com

Theater (Community)

The Community Stage at Arc Stages

Pleasantville; arcstages.org

Theater (Professional)

White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC)

White Plains; wppac.com

Tourist Attraction

Playland

Rye; playland.com

Trivia Night

Soul Brewing Company

Pleasantville; soulbrewingco.com

Related: The Cove Offers Fun for Kids at the Yonkers Public Library

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