11 Fun No-Kids Activities In Northern Westchester

Leave the little ones at home and enjoy fine dining, celeb watching, live music, and well-crafted libations at these Northern Westchester venues.

Characterized by its celebrity residents and country-chic vibe, Northern Westchester features thousands of acres dedicated to outdoor activities, and boasts two of the county’s major art and music venues. 

The Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture (630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills 914-366-6200; www.stonebarnscenter.org) is a must-see for fans of the farm-to-table food movement. Located on the former estate of David Rockefeller, the farm promotes the education and production of sustainable food through tours, educational programs, and special events. Sign up for the Insider’s Tour, which takes you on a guided tour through some of the farm’s 80 acres, and learn about Stone Barns’ diverse work. Visit their weekly farmers’ market (monthly in winter) on Sundays to bring home a taste of Stone Barns, or check their calendar for a schedule of educational events, ranging from Backyard Beekeeping to Flower Arranging. Stone Barns is also home to the critically acclaimed Blue Hill at Stone Barns, where you can enjoy a multi-course farmer’s feast menu, highlighting the best local and farm-fresh foods. 

Established in 1790, Crabtree’s Kittle House (11 Kittle Rd, Chappaqua 914-666-8044; www.kittlehouse.com) began as a barn on Ivy Hill Farm in Chappaqua. The Kittle House played a number of roles including schoolhouse and guesthouse before it became the award-winning restaurant and inn it is today. Start your Sunday off right with their Best of Westchester-winning prix-fixe brunch from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. Enjoy a glass of Champagne as you marvel at the buffet spread, which includes a raw bar, carving station, breakfast favorites, and freshly made omelets. Don’t forget to save room for dessert and indulge in Crabtree’s famous Alsatian-style cheesecake or warm Valrhona chocolate gift (pictured above).

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With a diverse and ever-changing events calendar, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (149 Girdle Ridge Rd, Katonah 914-232-5035; www.caramoor.org) is the county’s esteemed live music and art epicenter. Pack a picnic during the summer and lounge on Friends Field and the Picnic Lawn, for alfresco Sundays, and enjoy the nearby concert music for just $10. Channel your inner aristocrat at Caramoor’s Afternoon Tea & Tour—embark on a guided tour through the historic and elaborately decorated Rosen House before nibbling on tea sandwiches and scones in the Summer Dining Room that overlooks the majestic Spanish Courtyard. Explore the grounds, and stroll through the Italian-style gardens, which act as a backdrop to many of their live concerts.  

Stroll the main street of cute and eclectic Katonah (Katonah Ave, Katonah; www.katonahny.com), and pop into one of the many unique boutiques that line the heart of the village. Delicate handmade jewelry hangs from the walls of Ebba (107 Katonah Ave, Katonah 914-401-9333; www.shopebbacom), while scented candles, home décor, and beautiful Indian-inspired cotton tunics fill the shelves. Suburban Groove (33 Katonah Ave, Katonah 914-232-3300) is packed with odds and ends ranging from vintage furniture and décor, to funky jewelry, making it a must-see shop. Rejuvenate your chi at Awakenings (215 Katonah Ave, Katonah 914-232-0382; www.awakeningskatonah.com) by browsing through their collection of crystals, books, and statues. If you’re in need of some spiritual guidance, you’re in luck—the shop offers tarot card readings, astrology readings, and psychic energy healings.

Enjoy the county’s celebrated art scene at the Katonah Museum of Art (134 Jay St, Katonah 914-232-9555; www.katonahmuseum.org), which features 10 to 12 exhibitions a year in its 10,000-square-foot building. During the warmer months, explore the Sculpture Garden, which also acts as an outdoor concert venue. The museum offers a rotating schedule of free learning center programs and guided tours from Tuesday through Sunday at 2:30 pm. 

The 4,315-acre Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is one the county’s most beautiful parks. 

As the county’s largest park, 4,315-acre Ward Pound Ridge Reservation (4 Reservation Rd, Pound Ridge 914-864-7317) offers miles of wooded trails including many unmarked ones, perfect for more experienced hikers, as well as areas for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Headquarters to Westchester’s Art in Parks initiative, the reservation is home to Gallery in the Park, where you can find changing art exhibitions throughout the year. History lovers should check out the park’s Trailside Nature Museum, which exhibits Native American artifacts, nature relics, and interactive displays. 

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Built in 1907 by J.P. Morgan, Le Château (1410 Rte 35, South Salem 914-533-6631; www.lechateauny.com) offers a range of dining options—from high-end French cuisine at their main eatery, to casual dining and cocktails at JP’s Lounge & Grille—all with breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley. During the winter, cozy up with cocktails and light bites by the lounge’s fireplace. Enjoy the warmer months basking in the glow of a summer sunset with a cold drink in the garden area. Check Le Château’s calendar for a schedule of their signature events, including dinner dances and wine tastings. 

Climb to the county’s highest peak, Bailey Mountain (982 feet) and admire three of the five lakes of Mountain Lakes Park (210 Hawley Rd, North Salem 914-864-7312). If you’re looking to extend your stay and glamping is your style, rent the fully loaded (and heated) Laurel Cottage, which comes with a screened-inporch, indoor wood-burning stove, and row boat. With moderate difficulty hiking trails, seasonal rowboat rentals, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating, the park provides plenty of activities to satisfy your every outdoor whim. 

Natalie Hays Hammond was inspired in 1957 to create the Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden (28 Deveau Rd, North Salem 914-669-5033; www.hammondmuseum.org) as a peaceful place where “the East meets the West.” Hammond meticulously designed the garden using the basic Japanese principles of the stroll garden. Walk through the 3.5-acre garden on a guided tour or explore the lush landscape on your own. The Hammond Museum features a collection of both Eastern and Western art, and frequently holds art programs, lectures, and seminars.

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