These Are the Best Things to Do in Westchester This Week
How to keep the whole family happy and occupied around the county.
Gregory Lee | AdobeStock
Tuesday, December 10
First up this week, United Way of Westchester and Putnam will be holding its annual “Take a Walk in Her Shoes” Breakfast to celebrate women in philanthropy at 8 a.m. on Tuesday. Proceeds will benefit the organization’s programs, such as the recently launched Alice $ence family financial education program, and the event will be hosted this year by award-winning financial editor for NBC’s TODAY Show, Jean Chatzky. Tickets start at $125.
Wednesday, December 11
Wednesday brings the first holiday celebrations of the week, starting with the opening night of the Grand Illumination at Untermyer Gardens at 5:30 p.m. Thousands of lights will adorn the Walled Garden, festive music will ring out, and hot cocoa will be available to all. Guests who can’t make it can still enjoy the lights every evening starting at 4:30 p.m. through New Year’s Day. Cost is free.
In neighboring Ridgefield, the eponymous a cappella all-stars return to the area for Rockapella Holiday at The Ridgefield Playhouse. One of the most long-lived and oft-imitated vocal groups around — theirs will always be our definitive version of the Folgers Coffee jingle — the team’s current incarnation hits the stage at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $47.
Thursday, December 12
Local history and holidays are like the chocolate-and-peanut butter of the winter season for Westchesterites, and the John Jay Homestead is busting out the metaphorical Reese’s Cup Christmas Tree (the ideal ratio of chocolate-to-P.B.) with its annual Candlelight Tours starting this Thursday. The limited-time tours will take guests through the 1820s home for a period-perfect recreation of Christmas for the Jays, featuring historically accurate decorations, food, and a special holiday gallery showing. Gather for refreshments around the tree after. Tours run from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday just this week and next, with tickets costing $15. ($12 for seniors, students, and members; $5 for kids.)
Stop by Yonkers Brewing Co. from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for the 8th Annual Footprints Family Toy Drive. The Footprints Family will be collecting new, unwrapped presents for kids ages 0-16, while the brewery helps guests raise a cup of holiday cheer. For more details, contact Tom Lore at 914.490.3730.
At 7 p.m. the Mamaroneck Chorus hits the stage at the Emelin Theatre, featuring an intergenerational choral group and original arrangements of holiday favorites across genres like rock, funk, jazz, and more! Tickets start at just $10.
Friday, December 13
Fans of A Christmas Carol have two choices this Friday, one at The Palace Theatre in Stamford at 7:30 p.m. with a 24-member ensemble and interwoven arrangements of classic Christmas carols (tickets start at $35). The other, at Lyndhurst Manor, recreates the story as originally read by Mr. Dickens himself, in the midst of a walking tour of the iconic Westchester estate. Tickets are $40, with repeat performances running through December 29.
If you prefer a little more pep in your ensemble’s step, Friday also brings with it two fantastic dance ensembles. Kyle Abraham, Purchase College graduate and MacArthur “genius” will bring his dance company A.I.M. to Purchase’s Performing Art Center at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $13.75.
At County Center in White Plains, meanwhile, the Westchester County Ballet Company will be performing the now timeless The Nutcracker with nearly 100 talented young dancers and a bevy of world-renowned guest dancers. Tickets start at $23 and repeat performances continue through the weekend.
Saturday, December 14
Start off Saturday with a couple kid-friendly events! Lasdon Park’s Holidays on the Hill features a massive Lionel model train displays, including one of the Harlem line from Grand Central to Katonah. Santa will be busy in his workshop, but will make time for visits with guests, while the Conservatory will spotlight Christmas poinsettias. Tickets are $5-$10.
For more hands-on fun (please don’t touch the trains), The Clay Art Center’s Saturday Drop-In Workshop this week will feature Ornament Making suitable for everyone aged 5 and up. Handmade gifts are always appreciated, and no experience is needed for these projects. Registration starts at $20 (including supplies).
For the more musically inclined, head back to The Performing Arts Center at Purchase for Handel’s Messiah and Christmas Carol Sing-Along with the Central Presbyterian Church of NY (tickets $25) or on the more modern side, up to Peekskill’s Paramount Hudson Valley Theater for Jessica Lynn’s A Very Merry Country Christmas (tickets start at $25).
If cinema is more your Christmas tradition, the Lewisboro library will be holding a special rendition of Jimmy Stewart’s iconic It’s a Wonderful Life at 7 p.m. in the form of an old-school radio play! Featuring live music and sound effects, the one-hour condensed play is perfect for all ages. Registration is free, but a $5-$10 donation to the library programming fund is suggested.
*This event has been postponed. Tarrytown House Estate is currently rescheduling its first Yappy Hour for early spring.*
Lastly, if you just want a way to unwind, the Tarrytown House Estate is hosting its first-ever Yappy Hour at 3 p.m. Guests, visitors, and just any old animal fan will be able to bring their puppers for complimentary dog treats and (for the humans) hot cocoa, bourbon apple cider, and dim sum prepared by Chef Dale Talde of the recently opened Goosefeather. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, December 15
Sunday features THREE ways to meet Santa! First, he’ll be at Benjamin Steakhouse in White Plains for the restaurant’s annual Santa Brunch. $49.95 ($24.95 kids menu) gets you a three-course prix fixe, plus a family photo with Kris Kringle. In Port Chester, you can also meet the man at the Bona Bona ice cream shop for Santa, Sundaes, and Spirits where $20 admission includes Santa time and either a bitty cone or an ice cream cup. Bonus: The Sharing Shelf will be hosting a sock-and-underwear challenge donation drive! Lastly, 3 Westerly Bar & Grill in Ossining will host another Brunch With Santa (the man likes to eat, okay?) at 1 p.m. featuring live music and story time, plus plenty of delectable eats!
On the music front, Canadian Brass: Christmas Time Is Here will bring the quintet’s decidedly north-of-the-border Baroque-Dixieland hybrid sounds to the Purchase Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Tickets start at $16.25.
Lastly, in the spirit of the holiday, Rabbi Stacy Presents: Rock Hanukkah will hit up the Whipporwill Hall Theater at the North Castle Public Library at 5 p.m. Uniting eight themes of Hanukkah with modern rock, pop, and R&B hits from the likes of Queen, Tina Turner, Stevie Wonder, and more in a performance that is definitively too cool for shul. Tickets are $25 (free for kids under 10) with 10% of proceeds going to the Mount Kisco Interfaith Food Pantry.