More Fun to Be Had: Westchester Magazine Editors' Favorite Summer Fun Activities

Couldn’t get enough of our 2013 Summer Fun guide? Our editors pick their favorite activities from years’ past


(page 2 of 3)

summer fun 2011

From our 2011 Guide:

Farmers’ Markets

The best meals come from the freshest ingredients—and the freshest ingredients come from local farms. But keeping track of when and where the county’s farmers’ markets are up and running isn't easy, so save this handy list for when culinary inspiration strikes.

Chappaqua Train Station
Saturdays, 8:30 am to 1 pm, May through November

Municipal Lot across from Municipal Pl and Riverside Ave
(914) 923-4837
Wednesdays, 1:30 to 6:30 pm, June through November

Hartsdale Train Station
Saturdays, 9 am to 2 pm, June through October

Hastings-on-Hudson Library parking lot
Saturdays, 8:30 am to 1:30 pm, June through November

Metro-North Parking Deck No. 3
(914) 923-4837
Saturdays, 8:30 am to 1 pm, May 25 to December 21

Mount Kisco
Location not set at press time
(914) 923-4837
Saturdays, 9 am to 1 pm, year round

Muscoot Farm
Muscoot Farm, Katonah
(914) 864-7282
Sundays, 10 am to 3 pm, May 12 through October

New Rochelle
Library Green
(914) 923-4837
Fridays, 8 am to 3 pm, June 7 to November 22

Corner of Main St and Spring St
(914) 923-4837
Saturdays, 8:30 am to 1 pm, May 25 to December 21

Bank St
(914) 737-2780
Saturdays, 8 am to 2 pm, June through November

Pelham Town Square
(914) 923-4837
Thursdays, 4:30 pm to dusk, May through October

Memorial Plaza
(914) 923-4837
Saturdays, 8:30 am to 1 pm, May 25 to November 23

Pound Ridge
Antiques & Tools of Business & Kitchen
(65 Westchester Ave)
(914) 764-0015
Sundays, 11 am to 4 pm, April 14 to December 29

Parking Lot No. 2 on Theodore Fremd Ave
(914) 923-4837
Sundays, 8:30 am to 2 pm, May 26 to December 15

Pocantico Hills
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
(914) 366-6200
Sundays, 10 am to 4 pm through November 17

Tarrytown’ Patriot’s Park
(914) 923-4837
Saturdays, 8:30 am to 1 pm, May 25 to November 23

Barbecue Redux

Sure, summer means fresh vegetables and ripe, local fruit—but we really just crave pulled pork, Carolina ribs, and brisket slathered in barbecue sauce. Don’t feel like manning the grill? Last month, we surveyed our local barbecue dining scene. If you missed it—or, heaven forbid, didn’t save the issue—here are the highlights. Bring wet-naps at your own discretion.

AJ’s Burgers
New Rochelle
(914) 235-3009
Though this may look more like a diner than a smokehouse, its super-secret barbecue sauce makes it rival any BBQ joint.

Shrub Oak
(914) 214-8239
If you don’t have the time to make it to Bob’s Shrub Oak location, keep your eyes peeled on the road for its flame-detailed mobile food truck.

House of Soul
Mount Vernon
(914) 663-7685
The former owners of Yvonne’s make their barbecue with old family recipes before heaping large portions onto your plate.

Memphis Mae’s
(914) 271-0125
CIA-trained chef Andreas Nowara, or “Ace,” packs just as much flavor into side dishes as he does in the entrées.

Q Restaurant and Bar
Port Chester
(914) 933-7427
Take the family to Q: On Wednesdays, kids eat free (with the purchase of an adult meal), and they’ll love drinking iced tea out of a mason jar, which they get to keep.

(914) 833-3317
If the ribs and wings here are your favorites, it’s because Sherwood’s has had a lot of practice—the restaurant has been in business since 1989.

Smokehouse Grill
New Rochelle
(914) 813-8686
Grab some suds to wash down that barbecue—the bar is stocked with local and craft beers.

Take in Art—Outside

Museums are fantastic, but not necessarily where you want to be on a gorgeous summer weekend. But your desire to be outdoors and your love of art don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Instead, bring a picnic lunch to one of these outdoor sculpture gardens. Take in the works of some talented artists and get your vitamin D all in one shot.

Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate
381 N Broadway (Rte 9), Sleepy Hollow
(914) 631-8200;
Say what you will about the Rockefellers—they had an eye for art. Thank Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller for the 120 sculptures displayed throughout this estate. Find sculptures by, let’s see, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, Pablo Picasso, and David Smith, among many others. Oh, yeah—the 2D artwork inside the house isn’t half-bad, either. Tours range from $13 to $23 for the "Classic" and other tours to $30 to $40 for the "Grand Tour."

The Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Gardens
700 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase
It seems antithetical to the principles of big business that one of Westchester’s largest corporations would offer access to world-class works of art completely free-of-charge, but that's the case at the Donald M. Kendall Sculpture Garden. Former PepsiCo CEO Donald M. Kendall sees Rockefeller’s Calders, Moores, and Noguchis and raises him Claes Oldenburg, Max Ernst, and Robert Davidson on PepsiCo’s 168-acre park. Forty-five monumental works of art take their place on the grounds. After you’ve scoped them out, if you haven’t tired of art, head across the street and visit the Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College (914-251-6100;

Storm King Art Center
Old Pleasant Hill Rd, Mountainville, NY
(845) 534-3115
Think 168 acres of sculptures are impressive? Try 500. With such a vast space, the sculptures are given room to spread out and be placed so they’re in perfect artistic harmony with the backdrop of the Hudson Highlands. The collection includes works by post-war artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Richard Serra, and Richard Hunt, but the center garnered lots of attention in 2009 with the addition of Storm King Wavefield, a site-specific work of carefully calculated hills made to look like ocean waves, created by artist Maya Lin. Admission is $8 for students, $10 for seniors, $12 for adults, and free kids under five.

Water Parks

Your kids have waded in the pool. They’ve swum in the pool. They’ve played Marco Polo (a thousand times). They’ve even gone to the beach. Now they’re looking for something more exciting. So, pack them in the car and take them to one of these nearby water parks.

Great Wolf Lodge
Scotrun, PA
(570) 688-9899
Distance from White Plains: 2 hours
You needn’t wait for a sunny day to schlep the clan here; this 550,000-gallon operation is indoors. Though more family-focused, with a blissfully static “Fort Mackenzie” water playground, there are a few rides here for daredevils.

Six Flags New England
Hurricane Harbor
Agawam, MA
(413) 786-9300
Distance from White Plains: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Though the Six Flags of choice in these parts may be Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, Six Flags New England is almost equidistant and has a bigger selection of water rides. The Tornado takes you and two of your nearest and dearest through a funnel that’s 60 feet in diameter—talk about dizzying. Or, try to ride the crest in the 500,000-gallon wave pool—one of the largest in the country.

Splish Splash
Calverton, NY
(631) 727-3600
Distance from White Plains: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Budget Travel chose this as one of the 15 greatest water parks in the United States—probably because it aims to be a little more thrilling than your average water park. Try the Tunnel of Terror: you’ll be taken on a series of twists, turns, and loops—all in total darkness.

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom
Allentown, PA
(610) 395-3724
Distance from White Plains: 2 hours, 15 minutes
When you’re riding the Aquablast, you’re 70 feet up in the air—this is one of the longest elevated water slides in the world, according to the park. Competitive? Try the Patriot’s Plunge, where you choose either the red, white, or blue slide and see who gets to the bottom first.

Take a Swing

There’s nothing like spending a day out on the links. But 18 holes of golf can be so time-consuming—and, let’s face it, you’re not that great of a golfer. There’s no shame in scaling back a bit and taking a couple of practice rounds on a mini-golf course. (Unless you call it “putt-putt.” That is embarrassing for all involved.) Leave your driver at home and perfect your short game on one of these greens.

Brookside Mini Golf
Yonkers (914) 557-5046
Cost: $7.50
New York artist Mike A. created “Freaky Dinkys,” brightly colored characters that pop up along the course, which is located in Tibbetts Brook Park.

Fairview Golf Center
Elmsford (914) 592-1666
Cost: $5
Fairview has two 18-hole mini-golf courses to choose from—the “Legends” course is reputed to
be a little bit harder than the “Masters” course.

New Rochelle
(914) 637-7575
Cost: $8.75
Taking a cue from the popularity of galactic bowling, this indoor mini-golf course is lit by black light, so everything glows.

Rye (914) 813-7000
Cost: $4
This course, which has views of both the beach and the park, features a 19th hole for good measure.

Yorktown Golf and Baseball Center
Mohegan Lake (914) 526-8337
Cost: $5.50 to $7

For families with boundless energy, if mini-golf isn’t enough, this center also has batting cages and picnic tables.

Go for a Swim

Air conditioning may make us cool, but it doesn’t always make us happy. Sometimes we feel trapped, like hamsters in a habitat. Swimming can cool us off and help us celebrate our self-determination. Shake off the shackles of climate control by heading to one of these oases—and don’t forget your swimmies.

The best places to dip your toes in the waves between here and the Hamptons:

(914) 813-7010;
Distance from White Plains: 15 minutes
Fees: $3 (seniors); $3 (children 5 to 11; for pool, add $1); $4 (adults; for pool, add $2).
Open: Wednesdays through Sundays, except holidays.
After taking a spin on the Dragon Coaster, come to this beach to set out a blanket and relax.

Oakland Beach
(914) 967-0965
Distance from White Plains: 15 minutes
Fees: Beach access is $7 on weekdays and $8 on weekends and holidays for residents, and $9 and $10 for non-residents. In addition, there is a parking fee for residents ($8 to $9) and non-residents ($10 to $15).
Open: Daily, 9 am to 5 pm.
After a day of sunbathing, towel off and head to Seaside Johnnies, also located within Rye Town Park.

Croton Point Park Beach
(914) 862-5290
Distance from White Plains: 25 minutes
Fees: Parking fees only—$4 with park pass, $8 without park pass.
Open: Wednesday to Sundays, and holidays only, from 11 am to 6 pm.
For something different, eschew the ocean and take a dip in the Hudson River (it’s safe here, we promise).

Glen Island Park
New Rochelle
(914) 813-6720;
Distance from White Plains: 25 minutes
Fees: Must have a Westchester County Park Pass or picture ID, plus $2 (seniors Monday to Friday), $3 (children 5 to 11), $4 (adult); $10 (adults without a park pass); season swim passes range from $75 to $200.
Open: Wednesday to Sundays, and holidays only, from 11 am to 6 pm.
Stake out a spot near the boat launch; there are 65 to 70 launchings per weekend.

Orchard Beach
Bronx, NY (718) 430-1825
Distance from White Plains: 30 minutes
Fees: None—as with many New York City beaches, admission and parking are both free.
Open: Daily from 7 am to 7 pm.
This mile-long, 115-acre beach was once called the “Riviera of New York.”

Calf Pasture Beach
Norwalk, CT
(203) 854-7806;
Distance from White Plains: 35 minutes
Fees: $15/car on weekdays; $20/car weekends.
Open: Every day from Memorial Day through September.
Practice your putting—there’s mini-golf on-site.

Compo Beach
Westport, CT
(203) 341-1000;
Distance from White Plains: 35 minutes
Fees: $20 per person on weekdays; $40 per person on weekends.
Open: Daily, 4 am to 10 pm.
Compo gives you reason to keep visiting even after the summer ends: dogs are allowed off-leash in designated areas after October 1.

Sherwood Island State Park
Westport, CT
(203) 226-6983
Distance from White Plains: 35 minutes
Fees: Weekdays: $9 for in-state vehicles and $15 for out-of-state vehicles ($6 after 4 pm); weekends: $13 for in-state vehicles and $22 for out-of-state vehicles ($6 after 4 pm).
Open: Daily, 10 am to 6 pm.
Bird-watchers can ignore the gulls and visit the birdhouse in the park’s nature center.

Jacob Riis Park
Rockaway, Queens
(718) 318-4300
Distance from White Plains: 45 minutes
Open: Daily, 9 am to 5 pm.
Fees: None.
This beach—known as “The People’s Beach”—is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area and features an art deco bathhouse.

Jennings Beach/Penfield Beach
Fairfield, CT
(203) 256-3191
Distance from White Plains: 45 minutes
Fees: $15/car weekdays; $25/car weekends.
Open: Daily, dawn to 11 pm.
Jennings Beach is Fairfield’s largest, but the Penfield Beach Café is a better place to score a beachside snack.

Brighton Beach/Coney Island
Brooklyn, NY
(718) 373-5862
Distance from White Plains: 1 hour
Fees: None
Open: Varies but often daily, 12 pm to 12 am.
Head to Coney Island for a chance to check out the new rides at the new “Luna Park,” or choose Brighton Beach if you want to sample some Russian delicacies at one of the boardwalk eateries.

Jones Beach State Park
Wantagh, NY
(516) 785-1600;
Distance from White Plains: 1 hour
Fees: $10/car.
Open: Varies. At the Central Mall: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 7 pm; weekends and holidays, 9 am to 8 pm.
Check out who will be playing at the amphitheater before you go; you can hear concerts from the beach.

Long Beach
Long Beach NY
(516) 431-3890;
Distance from White Plains: 1 hour
Fees: Beach passes are $12 and required for
visitors 13 and older.
Open: Daily, 9 am to 6 pm.
The historic boardwalk here was built in 1914 and was once frequented by the likes of Clara Bow and Flo Ziegfeld.

Long Beach/Short Beach
Stratford, CT
(203) 385-4052;
Distance from White Plains: 1 hour
Fees: $10/car.
Open: Every day.
Both of these Stratford beaches are known to birders and are mating areas for piping plover and the least tern (as well as horseshoe crabs).

Rockaway Beach
Queens, NY
(718) 318-4000
Distance from White Plains: 1 hour
Fees: None.
Open: Daily, 10 am to 6 pm.
Surf’s up—this is one of the only places to go surfing in New York City.

Robert Moses State Park
Babylon, NY
(631) 669-0470;
Distance from White Plains: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Fees: $10/car.
Open: Monday through Friday, 9 am to 7 pm; weekends and holidays, 9 am to 8 pm.
Feel free to really spread out; there are five miles of usable beach here.




What To Read Next

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module