A Guide to Westchester County’s Museums, Historic Sites, Theater and Music Venues
Westchester County blends internationally acclaimed arts and cultural outlets with local charm for an always-entertaining experience.
Neuberger Museum of Art
Arich local history is showcased at many Westchester museums. Among these are the Peekskill Museum, located inside the Victorian-style Herrick House, and the Ossining Historical Society Museum, which contains Native American and military artifacts.
The Yonkers-based Hudson River Museum, considered the largest cultural institution in the county, features six galleries, a 19th-century mansion and a planetarium. Modern and contemporary art enthusiasts will find plenty to see at the Neuberger Museum of Art, which houses works by Georgia O’Keefe and Jackson Pollock, and the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, which features exhibits from well-established and emerging artists.
Westchester hosts dozens of exhibitions annually, as well as lectures, symphonies, films, workshops, and concerts.
Walk the well-trodden paths of Westchester’s earliest luminaries and tour some of the more than 150 locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Stop in the legendary village of Sleepy Hollow to visit Philipsburg Manor, where a historic house, water mill and trading site date back more than 300 years to when Frederick Philipse of Yonkers was granted a royal charter for the land.
Just eight miles southeast sits the Jacob Purdy House, which was used as General George Washington’s headquarters in 1778. History buffs should also visit the Thomas Paine Cottage in New Rochelle. For Paine’s service as author of Common Sense and a Revolutionary War hero, the New York State Legislature presented him with the cottage and 320-acre estate in 1784.
Leland Castle, a 19th-century Gothic revival structure, was once the residence of Simeon Leland, a New York City hotel proprietor. It is now located on the campus of the College of New Rochelle. Serving as another local architectural achievement, Kykuit is the 40-room John D. Rockefeller Estate, with scenery overlooking the Hudson River.
Whether you’re a Broadway buff, a fan of fringe or just crazy about classic theater, Westchester guarantees an unforgettable night on the town. The venues are as unique as the shows they produce, offering ballets, classical recitals, cabaret shows, theater for children, art exhibits, and cultural and nature programs.
Theaters are housed among traditionally designed Japanese gardens, silent-film-era movie houses and the homes of the county’s rich and famous. Broadway-caliber shows are being produced by the Westchester Broadway Theater, which offers a night of dining and entertainment.
Westchester’s diversity is reflected in the variety of sounds that flow throughout it. Experience Beethoven and Mozart via the talented artists of the Westchester Philharmonic. Emelin Theatre, a multi-purpose performing arts facility in Mamaroneck, appeals to all ages and tastes with top-notch acts, ranging from jazz orchestras to Broadway favorites. The Tarrytown Music Hall is one of the most popular venues in the region, attracting more than 80,000 people annually. For a more laid-back atmosphere, visit the Lazy Lounge, which hosts some of the area’s best jazz and blues performers.
• Rye Playland, a shoreline amusement park that has been delighting county residents and visitors for more than 80 years, is being refreshed with a small water park, a fieldhouse, ballfields and more.
• Seventy-five years ago, Our Town author Thornton Wilder wrote “The Merchant of Yonkers” about a wealthy Yonkers businessman in search of a wife. In 1964, the play was adapted as Hello, Dolly! and earned the Tony Award for Best Musical.