Who says culture is bound indoors? When the weather drives people outside, great entertainment goes with them. Check out these open-air events.
Shades of Jazz
Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah
(914) 232-9555; katonahmuseum.org
Sure, it’s always lovely to visit the Katonah Museum’s outdoor sculpture garden, but during select evenings in the summer, the museum really jazzes up the space—literally. Stroll past the monumental works while listening to talented musicians, including the a cappella “vocal-afro-jazz” of Gino Sitson on July 16, or virtuoso Israeli musician Anat Cohen on August 6.
Current: A Sculpture Tour
Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY
(845) 424-3960; garrisonartcenter.org
Go art-hopping through five beautiful landmark locations, each of which has been outfitted with sculptures from among 20 regional, national, and international artists. The tour is hard on the walking shoes, but easy on the wallet: it’s free. Current is on view through August 10.
Screenings Under the Stars
Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
(914) 864-PARK; westchestergov.com/parks
Long for the days of drive-in theaters? Well, you can’t sit in your gas-guzzler, but you can still park yourself outside (sans auto) and watch a film at one of the county’s outdoor movie screenings. The Kensico Dam Plaza opens at 5 pm for picnicking, and the feature begins at sundown. Catch Bee Movie on July 10 and Shrek the Third on August 21; those 17 and older can also stay for a midnight showing of cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show on August 21.
(914) 232-5035; caramoor.org
The area’s largest music festival, the Caramoor International Music Festival brings world-class players to its gorgeous outdoor Spanish Courtyard and Venetian Theater. Don’t miss John Pizzarelli performing, fittingly, works from the Great American Songbook on July 4, and superstar violinist Sarah Chang on July 19.
Caramoor’s gorgeous outdoor Spanish courtyard almost outshines the festival’s musicians.
The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
Boscobel Restoration, Garrison, NY
(845) 265-7858; hvshakespeare.org
You’re allowed to arrive up to two hours early for one of the festival’s performances just so you can take advantage of prime picnicking hours on the sculptured grounds of the Boscobel Restoration. (Boscobel is conveniently included as one of the sites on the Current sculpture tour.) The 2008 festival season includes Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, and a short run of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged).
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture Pocantico Hills
(914) 366-6200; stonebarnscenter.org
Alliums are in season, and Stone Barns’ four-season grower Jack Algiere is ready to take you into the field for a first-hand look at how the farm grows its onions, leeks, and garlic (7/19). If you have a hot date and don’t want to walk away with garlic breath, opt to see how Stone Barns’ garden grows on one of its vegetable tours, which takes you through the production fields and greenhouse.
Kids can get into bubbles—literally—at the Stepping Stones museum.
Stepping Stones Museum for Children Norwalk, CT
(203) 899-0606; steppingstonesmuseum.org
If you’re looking to pump your little ones full of vitamin D, the outdoor Bubbles exhibit is a hands-on way to keep them entertained outside all afternoon. Kids can romp in the courtyard and learn about the science of bubbles while making giant bubbles, standing inside a bubble, and generating wacky bubble shapes.
Peekskill Open-Air Market
Bank and Park Sts, Peekskill
Who wants to be cooped up in a mall on a beautiful sunny day? Take your reusable canvas bag and shop to your heart’s content at Peekskill’s Open-Air Market, located right in the artsiest part of the city. Between 25 and 50 vendors are expected each week, and they change constantly, so return trips might be necessary. The market is open from 8 am to 4 pm every Sunday through October 26.