Your Official Guide to Summer Fun in Westchester County

Westchester has all the summer activities you could want to feed not only your usual yearnings for amusement, but also lesser-known options.

It’s hot, humid, and the children are climbing the walls, crying, “I’m boooorrrred.” Or it’s so sunshiny and welcoming outside that it feels plain rude to stay cooped up indoors. Looking on your social accounts (or outside, in real life), it seems everyone is out and about, enjoying summer more than you are. And hey, even though 2020 was four years ago, you still want to celebrate that no government or health official is advising you to avoid crowds. But you need tips for something out of the ordinary — or the obvious activities that slipped your already jam-packed mind.

No worries. We’ve got you. Dive into these summer-fun ideas we’ve curated and circle your favorites. You’re welcome. Now, go: Make it happen.

When…you crave an adrenaline rush

Spins Hudson

Peekskill

This is 40,000 square feet of intense adventure including axe throwing, a two-story laser tag arena, an arcade, and an aerial ropes course for those seeking physical thrills. Overlooking the Charles Point Marina, guests can have a meal and try some suds from a satellite brewery. When weather permits, huge hangar doors open the ropes course and rock-wall challenge to the refreshing summer breeze.

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Boundless Adventures

Purchase

Harness up, take the 10-minute safety course, and then explore the treetops while navigating ropes, bridges, and ziplines through this forested aerial park based at Purchase College. There are 11 courses on the main track for beginners to experts. In 2023, Boundless Adventures added five courses for kids 4–6 years old. Choose your adventure based on age, fitness, and comfort level.

Boundless Adventures
Courtesy of Boundless Adventures

iFLY

Yonkers

Seek the thrill of skydiving — without jumping out of a plane. Soar to new heights at this indoor sky-diving center, where you’ll dress in a flight suit and helmet before you take your turn in the vertical wind tunnels.

When…outdoor sports are calling your name

Get sporty in less obvious ways than the summertime standards of baseball, tennis, soccer, volleyball, and now pickleball (the newest standard).

Horseback riding

Eastchester and Croton-On-Hudson

Trot, canter, and gallop the sunshiny trails atop these gorgeous animals with the help of River Ridge Equestrian Center in Eastchester and Westchester Trail Rides in Croton-On-Hudson.

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horse back riding
Adobe Stock/ Citikka

Cricket

Croton Point Park

and back-to-back for the day. It’s on the left-hand side after you drive over the bridge to the park. Call the Westchester County Parks permit office at 914.231.4575 to reserve and for fees.

Golf

countywide

Swing and putt your way through summer. The six Westchester County-managed public courses include: Dunwoodie Golf Course, Hudson Hills Golf Course, historic Maple Moor Golf Course, recently renovated Mohansic Golf Course, Saxon Woods Golf Course, and Sprain Lake Golf Course.

Yonkers Raceway

You can bet at least someone you know hasn’t seen horse racing like this, where the jockey isn’t perched atop the thoroughbred horse but is instead steering the horse from behind, on two wheels. Yonkers Raceway is the proud home of three major harness events: the Yonkers Trot, Art Rooney Pace, and Messenger Stakes.

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Bicycle Sundays

Bronx River Parkway

A Westchester tradition since 1974, cyclists of all ages and abilities have roamed the 13.1-mile loop of the parkway when it’s closed to vehicular traffic for this series. It’s a traffic-free opportunity to walk and run too, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in June and September (except September 1) and from 8 a.m. to noon in July.

When…it’s raining but you need to get out of the house

No Limit Ninja

Yonkers

You (ahem, the kids) can wear yourself out on a rainy day within a whopping 10,000-square-foot space filled with obstacle courses as seen on popular TV competitions. The place opened in January 2024 but held a grand-opening party in April.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester

Yonkers

If a journey to LEGOLAND Park in Goshen is too much of a hassle, especially last-minute, then consider a more local, more intimate visit to the Yonkers indoor LEGO center. There are rides, a theater, and of course, places to build with LEGOs.

Jacob Burns Film Center

Pleasantville

When you need a change of rainy-day scenery, immerse yourself in the world within Jacob Burns Film Center. Watch new, old, art, and cult films, enjoy the new café and wine bar, and take part in special events, such as the series, Pride: A Celebration of Queer Stories, kicking off June 6 with a Pride Parking Lot Party and screening of camp-classic But I’m a Cheerleader. Or consider bringing the kids to a Frozen singalong July 13.

Jacob Burns Film Center
Photo by Lynda Shenkman

When…you want to pluck your food (and flowers) straight from the source

Honeybee Grove Flower Farm

Somers

Grab a jug and scissors and snip your own flowers at what may be the prettiest farm you’ll see all summer. Starting late July, come for zinnias, snapdragons, ageratum, and celosia. In August, you can also get gladioli and dahlias grown from seed. Honeybee hosts sunset u-pick evenings and Blooms & Bubbly nights, which are limited, ticketed workshop events with refreshments.

flower farm
Photo by Sarah Coldwell

Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard

North Salem

While u-picking’s peak is in the fall for apples, June offers opportunities to pick plump, juicy strawberries. In July, it’s all about those gleaming sapphire globes we call blueberries. Tickets are available based on crop conditions, so check frequently. On Instagram, @harvestmoonorchard has updates. Also, try the kitchen for a menu full of farm-sourced dishes, the open-daily farmstand, and special events.

Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm

Yorktown Heights

This pick-your-own farm in northern Westchester is usually open daily (except Tuesdays) from late August through mid-December. You could pluck some sweet August peaches, depending on the crop, before the fall crop picks up with apples and pumpkins.

When…you need to see sparks

Across the county, those sparks fly in the darkened sky on Independence Day, but you can also gaze upon glittering fireworks on other days surrounding the national summer holiday. Many of these events include live music, food, and children’s activities, but check the websites to confirm specific dates, pricing, tips, and more details.

Pops, Patriots, & Fireworks at Caramoor

Katonah

Music Fest & Fireworks at Kensico Dam Plaza

Valhalla

Kensico Dam Plaza
Photo courtesy of Westchester County Parks Department

Fire Department’s Fireworks Display at Harbor Island Park

Mamaroneck

Pierson Park

Tarrytown

Playland

Rye

Playland
Photo courtesy of Playland

Ossining RiverJam at Louis Engel Waterfront Park

Ossining

Peekskill Fourth of July Parade, Concert & Fireworks, at Riverfront Green Park

Peekskill

Pound Ridge Town Park

Pound Ridge

Spark the Sound

Viewed from Hudson Park, Joe Curtis Fire Island Park, and waterfront restaurants in New Rochelle

Yonkers Historic Pier

Yonkers

2 Must-Do’s (year after year)

Playland

Rye

This 1928 art deco amusement park is basically a summer requirement. After all, it has rides, fireworks, waterplay, live music, events, art, shopping and an arcade. It’s a rite of passage for anyone with a child — or an inner child that needs to be released.

Beaches

various locations

It’s not summer if you haven’t found sand where it’s not supposed to be. Sink your toes into the essence of summer at these Westchester waterways bordered by the good stuff.

  • Glen Island Beach New Rochelle
  • Croton Point Park Croton-On-Hudson
  • Hudson Park & Beach New Rochelle
  • Playland Rye

When…the ice cream is good enough to become a destination

These ice cream shops are worth a special trip.

Mama Mia Dessert Bar

Rye Brook

Westchester’s first taiyaki ice cream shop (taiyaki ice cream is the reimagination of the classic Japanese fish pastry, taiyaki, a grilled cake filled with red-bean paste) opened in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center, serving shaved snow, gelato-style ice cream, mochi doughnuts, boba milk teas, Korean corn dogs, and the signature taiyaki cones. Flavors include the Straight Outta Japan with matcha and black-sesame ice cream and the It’s Chocolate-Lit with chocolate ice cream, chocolate drizzle and powder, and a wafer stick.

Ice cream
Ice cream photo by Ken Gabrielsen. Sky photo Adobe Stock/ Alinamd.

La Tulipe Desserts

Mount Kisco

The La Tulipe kitchen staff led by Chef Maarten Steenman uses European techniques in all they do, including the exquisite gelato and sorbet. Like all the desserts here, the gelato is made in-house, using the finest ingredients (nothing artificial, no trans fats, GMO ingredients, or stabilizers), and it shows in the superior taste experience. The mouthfeel of the gelato is creamier than ice cream, and flavors change per season. Sit out front in the chairs shaped like ice cream cones, or take your prepackaged choice home for your freezer.

Longford’s

Rye and Larchmont

Longford’s has its own shops in Rye and Larchmont, but it’s also found in other sweets shops, such as Cookies N’ Cream in Bronxville and Yonkers; JJ Scoop House in Yorktown Heights, Croton Creamery in Croton-On-Hudson, and Bedford Candy Bar in Bedford. So, what’s the big deal about Longford’s? It’s house made in small batches, spends little time in storage, and is shipped to the client in freezer trucks within a short turnaround.

Bona Bona Ice Cream

Port Chester and Somers

The popular ice cream shop — the toasted Italian meringue is deliciously dreamy! — has been thriving with its Port Chester location and ice cream truck, but now there’s a new spot in the Somers area since March. Chef Nick Di Bona hasn’t created a one-trick pony, however. The ice cream itself is painstakingly hand-crafted and worthy of a scoop (or three) even without the meringue. For example, the backyard mint chip uses 5 pounds of fresh mint leaves in each batch with no mint extract. The Key lime pie flavor incorporates creamy lime ice cream with zested fresh lime juice and graham cracker crumble. The real vanilla uses hand-scraped vanilla beans. There are several vegan flavors too.

Village Creamery & Sweet Shop

Valhalla

Try the blueberry cheesecake, or Captain Crunch berry, holy cannoli, apple pie, bananas Foster, or Cookie Monster peanut cup for something different.

Penny Lick Ice Cream

Hastings-On-Hudson and Mamaroneck

This place prides itself on old-fashioned ice cream: short ingredients list, local dairy, and no artificial ingredients. Plus, these cups, cones, pints, milkshakes, and cakes are peanut free and tree-nut free. Flavors change often but can range from blueberry jam made with teeny-tiny wild blueberries, creamsicle made with oranges and vanilla cream, honeycomb made with caramel sponge candy, vegan dark chocolate coconut, and vegan strawberry lemonade sorbet.

The Blue Pig Ice Cream

Croton-On-Hudson

At The Blue Pig, the ice cream is made with locally sourced ingredients, the shop’s garden, and the local coffee roaster. Staff washes and hulls every strawberry, juices pounds of fresh ginger, handgrates cups of lemon zest, and finely toasts each nut that goes into this ice cream. The milk and cream are sourced from Hudson Valley Fresh, which is free from steroids, antibiotics, high-fructose corn syrup, and gums. The not-for-profit dairy cooperative preserves nine family-owned farms in Duchess and Columbia counties. Flavors can change daily, but expect things like strawberry Nesquik, matcha latte, fresh orange with bittersweet chips, chocolate fluffernutter, fresh creamy lemon, and fresh banana with rum raisins. There are also sundae specials, baked goods, and ice cream sandwiches.

Blue Pig
Photo by Ken Gabrielsen

When…you must become one with nature

Trails Without Limits

Countywide

Nature is for everyone. Those with mobility issues can explore one to two miles of trails with a guide in an all-terrain trackchair through November.

Trails Without Limits
Courtesy of Trails Without Limits

The Center at Mariandale

Ossining

Situated on 61 wooded acres, this center offers spiritual retreats and programs in contemplative practices. Center yourself with yoga, outdoor painting classes, writing workshops, religious programs, and more.

Caramoor

Katonah

From soundscapes and lawn concerts to music and meditation in the garden, this venue combines the arts with the tranquility of nature. Many indoor programs are available too.

Untermyer Gardens Conservancy

Yonkers

Free and open daily, this hidden gem of horticulture and architecture comprises 150 acres, including views of Hudson River and Palisades. Explore the Walled Garden, Persian Pool (renovated in 2023), Temple of Love, Ruin Garden, and Rock and Stream Garden. Bring water, but food is not permitted. There are many programs and events, such as the July 7, one-hour tour exploring the history of the estate, taking visitors from the vegetable garden and Rhododendron Walk to the Ruin Garden and Temple of Love.

Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard

North Salem

Do yoga at the farm Saturday mornings in June and July or enjoy music by Caribbean Vibes Steel Drum Band on August 4. Children can meet exotic animals August 10 in an Animal Adventures program, and there’s also master-storytelling August 31.

Croton Gorge Park

Cortlandt Manor

Picnic and stretch out on the expanse of green in full view of a breathtaking Croton Waterfall that’s part of the massive dam and spillway. The park has 97 acres, also partly wooded for hiking.

Croton Gorge Park
Courtesy of Westchester Parks Department

Hiking

countywide

Our beautiful county has a ridiculous number of hiking trails, but some especially notable ones include:

  • Briarcliff-Peekskill Trailway
  • Bronx River Parkway Reservation
  • Anthony’s Nose, Peekskill
  • Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Pound Ridge
  • Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary, Mount Kisco
  • Westmoreland Sanctuary, Mount Kisco
  • Mianus River Gorge Preserve, Bedford
  • Silver Lake Preserve, White Plains
  • RiverWalk, paved along the Hudson through several municipalities
  • North County and South County Trailways, much of it is paved

When…you need to be among animals

Faraway Farm Alpacas

Yorktown

Faraway Farm offers educational farm tours, photo shoots, workshops, and private events. During farm tours, you meet the alpacas, Icelandic horses, and donkeys while learning about their care, natural history, uses, and unique characteristics. After the tour, visitors can browse in the farm store featuring homegrown yarn, sweaters, shawls, hats, scarves, gloves, ultra-soft throws, hand-woven rugs, and the world’s softest stuffed animals. Farm visits and store hours are by appointment only.

Faraway Farm Alpacas
Photo courtesy of Faraway Farm Alpacas

Rochambeau Farm

Mount Kisco

Wednesday through Sunday, meet some sheep, chickens, goats, and a pig or two, swing on the tree swings, look at the rows of produce, try the wood-fired pizza, and shop the farm store, packed with farm-grown vegetables and other locally sourced and gourmet food.

Wolf Conservation Center

South Salem

Sign up for one of many onsite educational programs for children and adults to learn about these mysterious animals and see them up close. There’s even a Sleeping with Wolves nocturnal adventure experience where you can camp overnight with as many as 20-plus wolves that call this center home. Note: There is no physical contact with the wolves.

Bulldog Walking Gallery

Irvington

Walk along the public street gallery of 25 bulldog statues painted by local artists, available June 1 to September 30 in downtown Irvington. The dog is the Rivertown’s school mascot, and the event, backdropped by the Hudson River, is sponsored by local businesses. Patrons can purchase the statues at an auction after the event.

Muscoot Farm

Katonah

Every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., visit this farm for free to see livestock and poultry in barns and pens, explore the farm museum, hike trails, have a picnic, or time your visit for events like the Sunday farmers’ market or Big Equipment Day June 16.

Firefly Festival

Cross River

Commune with these vespertine creatures while you participate in a Firefly Festival 6:30–9:30 p.m. June 28, with food, games, music, and firefly-catching at Trailside Nature Museum. Sign up on Eventbrite.

When…waterplay is calling your name

Whether it’s paddling, sailing, playing in a pool, or slipping down slides, there are many sand-free options for cooling off while soaking in the sun. Try the parks and recreation options in your city, town, or village, and then also explore these other options countywide.

Hudson River Recreation

various locations

Take a guided tour, sign up for lessons, try standup paddleboarding, or just rent a canoe or kayak from this popular local company. With locations at Rye Beach, Tarrytown Lakes, Croton River, and Croton Point Park, Westchesterites need not go far to muscle through the water.

Hudson River Expeditions

Cold Spring and Peekskill

Another superlative spot to rent a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard, this service offers instruction to novice water warriors, as well as abundant vessels for hitting the river once you know the ropes. You can also go on guided tours and overnight expeditions.

Rowboat rentals

Yorktown Heights and Armonk

parks.ny.gov
westchestergov.com

To “row, row, row your boat” locally, you can rent the vessels to make your way around a pond and lake at Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Yorktown and at Wampus Pond in Armonk.

Port Sailing School

New Rochelle

Set sail on the Long Island Sound: Rent sailboats, take sailing lessons, or enter your children in the junior sailing camp.

Croton Sailing School

Croton-on-Hudson

Take sailing lessons, join the sailing club, try the youth program — or charter a private, captained, 24- to 36-foot vessel to navigate the Hudson River with two to five people.

Croton Sailing School
Photo courtesy of Croton Sailing School

Saxon Woods Park

White Plains

Try the county’s largest swimming pool and children’s aquatic playground. There’s also a golf course with miniature golf, hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, picnic areas and an accessible playground for children of all abilities.

Willson’s Waves

Mount Vernon

At 23-acre Willson’s Woods Park, find Willson’s Waves with four water recreation areas. The wave pool has a graduated depth from 0 inches to 6 feet and offers 3-foot waves to bounce bathers around for six-minute intervals. Two 18-foot-high water slides offer riders a quick splash downward to 10 inches of water. An interactive water playground shoots out sprays, fountains, cascades, and “curtains.” The level surface of the spray deck has 57 different spray heads to cool off.

Playland

Rye

Splash and float in the brand-new family pool with zero-depth entry, relax on the state-of-the-art lounge furniture, and take in panoramic views of the Long Island Sound. There’s a boardwalk shop, snacks, and beach, too, with a waterfront slide and an under-the-boardwalk band playing tropical tunes.

Tibbetts Brook Park

Yonkers

Here, you’ll find an aquatic complex with a spray playground for kids, in-pool basketball and volleyball for some cool competition, lap lanes for getting in a daily swim workout, and the signature “lazy river” that inspired the renaming of this destination as “The Brook.” Lounge on new in-pool benches, or find a cool, shady spot under a tree. Aquatic fitness classes are also available.

Sprain Ridge Park

Yonkers

Besides the 278 acres with the large pool and two picnic areas, most of the park is wooded with hiking and mountain bike trails.

When…you’re feeling festive

Westchester Magazine’s 2024 Wine & Food Festival

various locations

For food lovers in Westchester County, nothing hits the spot quite like our very own Wine & Food Festival June 4–9. This year, the festivities are bigger and better, with events like the June 5 Party on the Pier at Playland and June 6 Burger & Beer Blast. Of course, local foodies know the crowning event is the June 8 Grand Tasting Village at Kensico Dam Plaza, before the June 9 Bubbly Brunch and Beats. Come hungry.

Pleasantville Music Festival

On July 13, the Pleasantville Music Festival returns for live rock music lovers, who will set out their chairs, blankets and tents, and dance near the stage. There’s food and drink, a beer and wine garden, and activities to keep the children happy. Past festivals included They Might Be Giants, Paula Cole, Crash Test Dummies, 10,000 Maniacs, Everclear, and Soul Asylum.

White Plains Juneteenth Parade and Festival

On Facebook

On June 8 in downtown White Plains, expect music, dancing, food, vendors, and Grand Marshal Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. being honored for his commitment to civil and social justice for all.

Westchester Pride White Plains and Yonkers Pride Festival

loftgaycenter.org/westchester_pride_hosted_by_the_loft
yonkerspride.org

Organized by The Loft LGBTQ+ Community Center, June 2, this is the county’s official celebration on Court Street and Renaissance Plaza in downtown White Plains, featuring music, food, dancing, flag raising, a pet parade, family zone, and an after-party. And coming to downtown Yonkers June 8, the Yonkers Pride Festival is an inclusive, secure, fun event to promote freedom of expression, motivate activists for equal rights, and to celebrate the diversity of the Yonkers LGBTQ+ community and their families.

Hudson Valley Summer Arts Pass

countywide and beyond

It’s five arts opportunities in one with the Hudson Valley Summer Arts Pass, available to purchase until June 30. You’ll be able to see movies at Jacob Burns Film Center, tour Historic Hudson Valley’s national landmarks, see a concert at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, take in a performance at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, and explore large-scale sculptures on 500 acres at Storm King Art Center. It’s now available in two-person and four-person passes.

Hudson Valley Summer Arts Pass
Photo by Gabe Palacio

American Roots and Jazz Festivals

Katonah

Caramoor’s annual American Roots Music Festival, headlined by Madison Cunningham, is back June 29, with a day of music performed throughout the grounds and Venetian Theater, spanning the genres of blues, Americana, folk, and bluegrass. The jazz festival July 27 at Caramoor is presented with Jazz at Lincoln Center, headlined by Matthew Whitaker, and is also held throughout the Caramoor grounds and Venetian Theater.

Kensico Dam Plaza Heritage Festivals

Valhalla

This popular outdoor venue traditionally hosts several fests celebrating various cultures, such as Asian, Albanian, African American, Italian, Indian, Jewish, and Muslim.

Yonkers Ukrainian Heritage Festival

Yonkers

June 14–16 on the grounds of St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church, expect carnival rides, dancing, music, and food (i.e., varenyky, holubtsi, chicken Kyiv, potato pancakes).

Sleepy Hollow Music Festival

Sleepy Hollow

June 8 at Kingsland Point Park, see a lineup of internationally touring bands and music festival standouts, with headliners Cold War Kids; Danielle Ponder; The Nightingale All-Stars, featuring the legendary Blues Traveler frontman John Popper, Jono Manson, and special guests; and The Verve Pipe.

When…you can’t let summer go

Yorktown Grange Fair

Yorktown Heights

This authentic country fair (which screams summertime yet is in early September) will celebrate 100 years September 6–8, with livestock exhibits, sensational art shows, thrilling rides, delicious food, and live music.

Yorktown Grange Fair
Photo courtesy of Yorktown Grange Fair

CatastrophiCon

Purchase

The rock ‘n’ roll horror convention returns September 28, to Reid Castle at Manhattanville College. Musicians, filmmakers, artists, and superfans can indulge in deep fandom through collectibles, live music, role-playing, panels, discovery, and camaraderie. See actors from Jaws 2 and other sequels, original punk rock and metal stars, indie artists, authors, cosplayers, live music by Spike Polite featuring Michelle Shocked and more.

Related: 7 Must-Do Events in Westchester County Throughout the Year

Our Westchester Home Design Awards event is June 26!

Our Wine & Food Festival returns June 4-9!

Our Wunderkinds event takes place on May 23!

Our Best of Business Ballot is open through May 15!

Our Healthcare Heroes Awards event takes place on May 9!

Our Westchester Home Builders Awards take place on April 4!

Our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Forum is March 14!

Unveiled: A Boutique Bridal Brunch is February 25!

Our Best of Westchester Elimination Ballot is open through March 6!

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