12 Excellent Entertainment Destinations In Southern Westchester

If you’re looking for an A&E fix, hit the town at one of these Southern Westchester cultural hot spots.

As you would expect, White Plains is a cultural destination of its own, with art galleries, a downtown theater, an arena, and even a philharmonic orchestra calling the city home. But entertainment offerings can be found throughout the south, especially on the campus of Purchase College. 

ArtsWestchester

Since 1965, the nonprofit organization now known as ArtsWestchester has been working to support the arts in the county. Its home at the Arts Exchange, a former bank building, hosts exhibitions, live performances, and classes. It’s also a haven for those who want to create art, as there are artists’ studios and rehearsal spaces for rent. 

Arts Exchange 31 Mamaroneck Ave, White Plains
(914) 428-4220; www.artswestchester.org

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Downtown Music at Grace

Members of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and other major ensembles—along with professional singers and members of West Point Brass—form the core of three resident ensembles dedicated to bringing a variety of music to downtown White Plains. The cornerstone of Downtown Music at Grace’s programming is its Noonday Getaway series, consisting of free, half-hour concerts, usually held on Wednesdays at 12:10 pm and designed to fit within a lunch hour. 

Grace Church 33 Church St, White Plains
(914) 949-0384; www.dtmusic.org

Neuberger Museum of Art

Located on the campus of Purchase College in a building designed by Philip Johnson, the Neuberger Museum of Art showcases the art of the 20th and 21st centuries. African art is a large part of the museum’s collection, with a special focus on the arts of Central Africa. Rotating exhibitions in the past have focused on Andy Warhol, Forrest Bess, Hannah Wilke, Chuck Close, and William Wegman. Free family events take place on the second Saturday of each month. 

Purchase College 735 Anderson Hill Rd Purchase
(914) 251-6100; www.neuberger.org

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The Neuberger Museum houses Modern, Contemporary, and African art.

The Performing Arts Center

There are four theaters that comprise The Performing Arts Center complex, located on the campus of Purchase College, and each one is optimized for a different type of live performance. This allows for a diverse program schedule, with appearances by orchestras, solo classical artists, films, chamber ensembles, dance troupes, and theater groups. For the popular Talk Cinema series, film critic and historian Harlan Jacobson screens a yet-to-be-released film and then discusses it with a critic or filmmaker afterward.

Purchase College 735 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase
(914) 251-6200; www.artscenter.org

Pelham Art Center

The Pelham Art Center hosts free art events that focus on some aspect of world culture. A cherry-blossom festival held in April, for example, offered workshops in Ikebana (flower-arranging), a demonstration on how to weave a cherry blossom using a traditional hand-weaving method, and a performance of Japanese classical dance. The center also offers regular classes and workshops, in addition to a rotating art exhibition.  

155 Fifth Ave, Pelham
(914) 738-2525; www.pelhamartcenter.org

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Brooklyn artist Amanda Browder’s soft sculpture installation at Pelham Art Center.

The Picture House

A group of concerned citizens saved this 1920s theater from the wrecking ball. Now, it operates as an art-house cinema specializing in documentaries, repertory classics screened in 35mm, family films, and curated series such as the Westchester Italian Film Festival. Classes are also offered for students through 12th grade.  

175 Wolfs Lane, Pelham
(914) 738-7337; www.thepicturehouse.org

Saint Paul’s Church National Historic Site

Saint Paul’s Church is notable for its role in the Revolutionary War, when it served as the site of a wartime hospital after the Battle at Pell’s Point; graves in the church’s cemetery date back to 1704. Today, you can see living-history interpretations, take a tour that climbs a wooden staircase to see the 1758 bronze bell in the church tower, or hear a history lecture or organ concert. During first Thursdays, free events are held from 1 pm to 9 pm.  

897 S Columbus Ave, Mount Vernon
(914) 667-4116; www.nps.gov/sapa

Westchester County Center

The Art Deco Westchester County Center, opened in 1930, is primarily known to host bigger happenings, like sporting events and live trade shows. But there are cultural offerings as well, including an annual performance of The Nutcracker by the Westchester Ballet Company. Past events, put on by WM Concerts & Events (www.wmconcerts.com), include performances by Aretha Franklin, Bill Cosby, and Paul Anka. A renovation in 2012 upgraded the venue’s sound system with these types of events in mind.

198 Central Ave, White Plains
(914) 995-4050; www.countycenter.biz

Westchester Philharmonic

After being helmed by the legendary Itzhak Perlman and then a rotating series of guest conductors, the Westchester Philharmonic has announced that world-renowned Jaime Laredo will lead the 2014-2015 season with co-principal conductor Ted Sperling. Laredo has received worldwide acclaim as a soloist, conductor, recitalist, pedagogue, and chamber musician. The Philharmonic is based in White Plains, but performances take place at the Performing Arts Center in Purchase. 

123 Main St, 9th Fl, White Plains
(914) 682-3707; www.westchesterphil.org

White Plains Performing Arts Center

Look for big-name musicals to make regional stops at the White Plains Performing Arts Center, where past productions have included Les Misérables, RENT School Edition, and Man of La Mancha. In addition to bigger mainstage shows, the venue hosts one-night-only special events, including live music, comedy, and family events. 

11 City Pl, White Plains
(914) 328-1600; www.wppac.com

A dancer from Sleepy Hollow Performing Artists on stage at the White Plains Performing Arts Center.

Westchester Broadway Theatre

A staple in the county theatrical scene since 1974, the Westchester Broadway Theatre is the longest-running 52-week-a-year Equity theater in the state of New York. At this dinner theater, many of the actors hail from Broadway or touring companies, and a lot of big names—such as Chicago director Rob Marshall and The Producers director Susan Stroman—came up through its ranks. While most of the schedule is devoted to musicals, you can also find dance, comedy, and music events here. 

1 Broadway Plz, Elmsford
(914) 592-2222; www.broadwaytheatre.com

Westchester Italian Cultural Center

This is where to go for all things Italia, from language classes to films to—our favorite—cooking demonstrations. (There are adult classes, and the Piccoli Cuochi series is a cooking class for kids.) Professors often stop by to give a lecture in an area of their expertise and sometimes even lead trips to Italy.

24 Depot Sq, Tuckahoe
​(914) 771-8700; www.wiccny.org

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