The next time your kids—whether they’re two or 17—whine “I’m booored,” bring them to one of these 18 spots.
White Plains, (914) 304-4052
It’s basketball in fall, soccer in winter, and baseball in spring here—and scholarships are given to children whose families can’t pay. Ages: PreK-10th grade. Cost: $275-$500.
Belmars Martial Arts & Fitness
White Plains, (914) 426-0359
Belmars offers kickboxing and fitness programs. Says co-owner Peter Belmar, “We incorporate fun elements so they don’t necessarily realize that they’re working out.” Ages: six to 14. Cost: $80 for six sessions.
Blue Mountain Reservation Sportsman Center
Cortlandt Manor, (914) 862-5280
Yes, a firing range in Westchester. The Sportsman Center offers a multiple-range pistol facility; large-bore and small-bore high-power rifle ranges; an archery range; and a trap and skeet area. Free instruction is offered, and ammunition and ear protecctors are for sale. Ages: Kids must be over 12 to use the facilities. Cost: $8 to $10/hour.
BX Player Development
Mamaroneck, (914) 522-6167
Have your eye on an athletic scholarship? Send your athlete to BX Player Development for strength and speed training. These trainers don’t mess around: they are certified by the United States Weightlifting Federation and their programs are custom-designed. Ages: Middle school to college (and adults). Cost: $600 for twelve 90-minute workouts over six weeks.
The Cliffs at Valhalla
Valhalla, (914) 328-ROCK
If your kids are bored and climbing the walls at home, take them here. The Cliffs offers more than 50 top rope stations, 13,000 square feet of climbing terrain, and 2,500 square feet of bouldering, outdoor climbing, and more. Ages: 4-up. Cost: $16 to $99.
Dino Dig USA
Mamaroneck (914) 381-DINO
Westchester’s own Jurassic Park is part excavation, part treasure hunt, all fun. Ages: Toddlers/preschoolers-early elementary school students. Cost: $15 to $20.
Edward J. Murray Memorial Skating Center
Yonkers, (914) 377-6469
A Westchester staple for nearly a half-century, this skating center, which was recently renovated, offers figure skating, speed skating, and hockey instruction—but we just like going around the rink in circles. (The prices are a throwback, too.) Ages: All. Cost: $6 to $7, depending on age and season. Skate rental is $3.50.
Elmsford, (914) 592-5375
Talk about old-school. Elmsford Raceway has hosted slot-car racing since 1965. Kids (and adults) can race slot cars on any of its three tracks. Ages: All. Cost: $10 to $15/hour, depending on track size.
Racing at Grand Prix New York is way more fun than Mario Kart Wii.
Grand Prix New York
Mount Kisco, (914) 241-3131
Kids as young as eight (and at least 54 inches tall) can race in a Sodi GT2 junior kart after taking a class or with the signature of a parent or guardian, or they can race in a two-seater kart with a parent or guardian; kids older than 13 or so get to race on two 24-foot-wide, quarter-mile tracks. Karts race at speeds of up to 40 mph. Cool. Ages: Eight-up. Cost: Memberships (ages 16-up), Daily $5; Annual $50; Races are $25 per person on the weekends, $20 on Monday to Thursday.
Scarsdale, (914) 713-3470
In this bright, cheery gym, children as young as six months get to tumble, balance, wiggle, bounce and, when they get older, dance, run obstacle courses, climb, and play sports. Ages: Six months to 12 years. Cost: $199/8-week session; $99 (per family annual registration fee).
Yonkers, (914) 969-5592
The moonlight bowling with laser lights may be a draw, but, for our money, nothing beats Pizza Night on Fridays: 15 bucks gets you three games, shoes, and a pie. Ages: All. Cost: Weekdays, $5 (adults); $4 (kids under 12); weekends, $6.50.
Patterson, NY (845) 878-6300
Liberty Paintball offers shooters 350 acres to shoot paint at their friends. Don’t ask, but apparently many find this to be fun. Age: 10-up. Cost: $30/day ($25 with your own paint gun). Paint must be purchased on-site and costs $25 to $70.
OnTrack Sport Center
Tarrytown, (914) 909-2974
A huge indoor sport center with a field, a baseball center, batting cages, and a soft-toss area. Sometimes less is more. Ages: 3-14. Cost: Varies.
New Roc City/Funfuzion
New Rochelle (914) 637-7575
Video games, rides, a go-kart track, glow-in-the-dark bowling, and music and dancing. ’Nuff said? Ages: All. Cost: Varies by activity.
Elmsford, (914) 592-2111
Over-stimulate them with video games, a billiards room, bumper cars, batting cages, and games. (Skee ball, anyone?) Ages: All. Cost: Pay as you play.
World Cup Gymnastics
Chappaqua (914) 238-GYMS
Listing World Cup’s many programs would take half an issue (the “Romperee” program alone is divided into subgroups for infants, crawlers, new walkers, runners, and jumpers), so we suggest you check out World Cup’s website or schedule a complimentary trial. Ages: 3 months-up. Cost: $380 to $480 for 16- to 20-week programs.
Yorktown Golf & Baseball Center
Mohegan Lake (914) 526-8337
Kids can get themselves ready for future networking on the green at this year-round, 14-acre sports complex. Private lessons are available. Ages: All. Cost: Golf: $7 to $720
A Country Club for Tykes
Citibabes, a Manhattan-based organization that touts itself as “an upscale private family club,” will launch its second location this month in Scarsdale. Co-founded by Tracey Frost Rensky, Citibabes has 680 members at its Manhattan location and, according to the company, “a huge response” to its Westchester location. Pay $2,100 a year for a family
membership (caregivers included), and you and your family can enjoy the 1,100-square-foot indoor playground (for children under five), an adults’ gym, and two family events (concerts, seminars, etc.) per month. “If you use the club, it’s incredibly economical,” says Frost Rensky, a 39-year-old mother of two. Citibabes offers a summer camp, a pre-school program, and an on-site café with child-sized tables. Citibabes also offers “child minding” (that’s babysitting in regularspeak) for $8 an hour, which is, according to Frost Rensky, “almost free.” Frost Rensky’s background? “It’s in banking.”
One Fish, Two Fish
A Westchester Fishing Wiz
Richard DeMarte, a 15-year-old sophomore honor student at White Plains High School, is one of just a few junior professional fishermen in the world. An expert saltwater inshore fisherman, Richard, who’s been fishing since the age of seven, is known in the Northeast as “the Striped Bass Wiz Kid.” He’s also a steward (and proactive conservationist) of the local inshore saltwaters of the Western Long Island Sound along the shorelines of Rye, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, and New Rochelle (check out his website, NYCTFishing.com). We asked him to recommend some of his favorite fishing spots—and to give some fishing advice—to young fishermen.
Best Shore Spots to Fish: “The top three spots are Hudson Park in New Rochelle and the fishing piers in both Mamaroneck Harbor and at Playland.”
Best Times of Year to Fish: “May to August”
Places in Westchester to Buy Bait, Tackle, and Equipment: “The Sports Authority has some nice, simple, inexpensive outfits. The best places to buy bait for saltwater fishing [in the Long Island Sound] are Hudson Park Bait & Tackle, at the harbor in New Rochelle, and Mamaroneck Bait & Tackle, right in Mamaroneck Harbor. They both also carry extensive lines of fishing equipment, are local experts, and can even help you pick out gear and give you tips on where the fish are biting best that day.”
Fishing Clubs and Organizations for Kids: “Anglers’ Legacy [takemefishing.org] and the Fisherman’s Conservation Association [joinfca.org] are the two best websites/organizations that focus on supporting kids’ fishing.”