Summer Fun in Westchester County: Leisure and Culture
Snag a hot ticket.
Snag a Hot Ticket
As the weather heats up, so do the cultural offerings in the County. Here, a sampling of summer’s best events.
Federico Uribe: Fantasy River
June 1 to August 4
Hudson River Museum, Yonkers
(914) 963-4550; hrm.org
Shoes, colored pencils, hangers, and other everyday objects are given new life in ways you never could have guessed in an exhibition of wildly imaginative works by Colombian artist Federico Uribe.
Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown
Indie rock meets Tex Mex when this Arizona-based band brings their Southwest-influenced music—including songs from their 2012 album, Algiers—to the Tarrytown Music Hall.
Donna Dennis: Coney Night Maze
June 7 - September 15
Neuberger Museum of Art Purchase
(914) 251-6100; neuberger.org
How did we last so long when the Neuberger Museum of Art was closed for repairs? We don’t know, but, thankfully, it’s back with a bang—and an art installation inspired by Coney Island’s Cyclone. Go on opening night for a “Neu Nights Out” party that includes Brooklyn Brewery beer and the most thematically appropriate of hors d’oeuvres: hot dogs.
Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers
Stamford Center for the Arts
(203) 325-4466 stamfordcenterforthearts.org
The legendary comedian comes with a banjo on his knee, combining hearty laughs and bluegrass music from his new album, Love Has Come for You. Edie Brickell collaborated with Martin on the album and also joins him on stage.
David Byrne & St.Vincent
The Capitol Theatre, Port Chester
(914) 937-4126; thecapitoltheatre.com
Having dazzled audiences with their stunning musicianship (and coordinated choreography) supporting their joint album, Love This Giant, last summer, David Byrne and St. Vincent re-team for another go-around, including a stop at The Capitol Theatre.
Pirates of the Hudson
July 4 - July 7
Philipsburg Manor, Sleepy Hollow
(914) 631-8200; hudsonvalley.org
Join the scourge of Sleepy Hollow for a festival that features a treasure hunt, a Museum of Oddities, a Thieves’ Market, musical pirates and gypsies, and, best of all, pints of Captain Lawrence beer.
Big: The Musical
July 20 - 28
Yorktown Stage, Yorktown Heights
(914) 962-0606; yorktownstage.org
The four-time Tony-nominated stage adaptation of the beloved Tom Hanks movie is worth it for the FAO Schwarz scene alone.
Audra McDonald in Concert
(914) 232-1252; caramoor.org
The Croton-on-Hudson resident just snagged a Tony—her fifth—for The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, but you don’t have to travel to Broadway to see her perform. When she appears as part of Caramoor’s annual summer festival, she’ll sing show tunes from all her favorite musicals, plus classic songs from the movies and original numbers.
August 15 - September 8
Westchester Broadway Theatre Elmsford
(914) 592-2222; broadwaytheatre.com
The Westchester Broadway Theatre presents a musical so perennially beloved that, when the run is over, fans will be saying, “Please, sir, I want some more.
The Ridgefield Playhouse
(203) 438-5795, ridgefieldplayhouse.org
We’ve stolen the comedian and author of I Still Have It; I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It back from Vegas, where she has been performing since 2000. Don’t let her “Born to Be Mild” voice fool you—her jokes pack a punch.
Let’s Go to the Fair!
For many who grew up in Westchester County in the ’80s and ’90s, the official start of summer wasn’t Memorial Day, but when the commercials started airing for the Westchester County Fair, which took place at the Yonkers Raceway from the end of May through early June. While it sadly no longer exists, there are still plenty of rides and attractions and nonstop action at the many carnivals and festivals that take place in the County during the summer. And unlike the County Fair, some of these festivities have been annual traditions for decades, and, in at least one case, more than a century!
Finding these fun-fests, however, is not so easy: Since many of them are hosted by local fire departments and churches, you won’t find information by doing a search for Westchester fairs or carnivals or even many towns’ websites. Instead, folks usually learn about them through word-of-mouth or via a flyer taped to a telephone pole or a pizza-joint window. So we did a little legwork, and got the low-down for you. This is by no means a complete list of all of the fairs, festivals, and carnivals in the County, but it’s a starter to keep you in thrill-seeking, zeppoli-eating hog heaven all summer long.
June 5 - 8: The 139th Annual Katonah Fire Department Carnival and Parade
Parade: Wednesday, 7 pm. Carnival: Wednesday, 7 - 11 pm.; Thursday and Friday, 6 - 11 pm; Saturday, 1-11 pm. Wristbands for unlimited rides on Thursday night from 6 to 11 pm, and Saturday from 1 to 5 pm. 65 Bedford Rd; katonahfd.org.
June 28 - July 5: The 64th Annual Village of Mamaroneck Fireman’s Parade and Carnival
Parade: Tuesday, 7 pm. Fireworks: Thursday, 9:15 pm. Carnival: Friday and Saturday, 7 -11 pm. Harbor Island Park (914) 777-7784.
July 17 - 21: Our Lady of Mt. Carmel’s 91st Annual Italian Feast, Verplanck
The longest-running Italian Feast in the Hudson Valley, it features an Italian Idol contest! Wednesday - Sunday, 6 pm - midnight. Parade: Saturday, 6 pm. (914) 261-1719; ourladyofmountcarmelsociety.com.
July 23 - 28: The 36th Annual St. Augustine Italian Festival, Ossining
Tuesday-Sunday, 6-11 pm. Fireworks: Wednesday. Wristbands for unlimited rides every day but Wednesday. 381 North Highland Ave (914) 941-0067.
August 6 - 10: The 75th Annual South Salem Fire Department Carnival and Parade
Parade: Wednesday, 7 pm. Carnival: Tuesday-Thursday, 6-10 pm. Friday, 6-11 pm. Saturday, 5-10 pm. Wristbands for unlimited rides all nights. South Salem Fire Department, 1190 New York 35; (914) 763-3706; southsalemfire.com.
Sept 5 - 8: The 89th Annual Yorktown Grange Fair
Thursday, 6 - 10 pm; Friday and Saturday, 10 am - 11 pm; Sunday, 10 am - 9 pm. Wristbands for unlimited rides available every day. In addition to rides and live music, there are competitions in baking, flowers, produce, livestock, needlework, and more. 99 Moseman Ave, Yorktown Heights; yorktowngrangefair.org.
See Shakespeare in Full Bloom
When it comes to the season, Shakespeare, as always, said it best: “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.” Make the most of the summer and honor Shakespeare’s wisdom simultaneously by heading out to see the works of the Bard performed en plein air.
This year’s Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival offers two choices for you: King Lear and All’s Well That Ends Well. (And, if you’re not a fan of Shakespeare—philistine!—they also have a production of The Three Musketeers in the mix.) They will be performed in rotation from June 11 to August 31. As always, performances take place in an awe-inspiring tent on the grounds of Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, and audiences are invited to bring a picnic and enjoy dinner on the gorgeous lawn overlooking the Hudson River.
Afterward, you can move from one shore to another with Shakespeare on the Sound’s production of As You Like It. Performances, which run from June 13 to June 30, are at Pinkney Park in Rowayton, Connecticut—a short walk from the Rowayton Metro-North’s station, and right smack on the shore of the Long Island Sound. Before the show, make sure to stop by the on-site food tent and pick up a lobster roll from Brendan’s 101.
The best thing about these performances? You don’t have to line up in Central Park at 6 am to get seats. Wish we could say the same for New York City’s Shakespeare in the Park. (No water views, there, either.) But if you’re feeling intrepid and want to pull an all-nighter in the hopes of getting one of the free seats, this year’s roster includes The Comedy of Errors (through June 30) and a new musical version of Love’s Labour’s Lost (July 23 - August 18). Just cross your fingers that, in the event that you do get seats, you can stay awake through the performance.
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival
Boscobel House and Gardens, Garrison
(845) 265-9575; hvshakespeare.org
Shakespeare on the Sound
Pinkney Park, Rowayton, CT
(203) 299-1300; shakespeareonthesound.org
Shakespeare in the Park
Delacorte Theater, Central Park, New York, NY
(212) 967-7555; shakespeareinthepark.org
Save Some Cash
Trying to tackle everything we’ve lined up in our Summer Fun feature sure takes a toll on the wallet. When you’re looking for a little financial respite, check out some of these events—no ATM required.
Concert Series at Ridge Hill
1 Ridge Hill Rd, Yonkers
(914) 207-2900; westchestersridgehill.com
There’s never a charge to window-shop (well, excluding the parking), but Ridge Hill goes a step further in the summer by adding a free concert series. The festivities begin on June 27 with a performance by former New York Yankee and guitarist Bernie Williams, who brings along his band for an evening of Latin jazz music. The series continues with performances by bands like Wade Preston and the Movin’ Out Band (featuring songs by Billy Joel; July 25), or Tramps Like Us (a Bruce Springsteen tribute band; August 1).
Family Saturdays at the Neuberger Museum of Art
735 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase
(914) 251-6100; neuberger.org
Tickets to museums can be expensive when it’s just you—but when you want to bring your entire family, the bill can get astronomical. The Neuberger Museum of Art feels your pain (and eases it, too). Family Saturdays at the Museum—taking place June 1, July 6, and August 10 (and every second Saturday of the month thereafter)—will not only give you free access to the museum’s exhibitions, it’ll set up a hands-on workshop for kids. In June, for example, kids can illustrate a book about an imaginary character, inspired by Enrique Chagoya’s Aztec-book-inspired work in Pre-Columbian Remix.
Get Into It! FREE at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children
303 West Ave, Norwalk, CT
(203) 899-0606; steppingstonesmuseum.org
Similarly, the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Connecticut, lets you extend that thriftiness earlier into the week. On the first Thursday of every month, the museum stays open late—from 5 to 8 pm—during which time admission and activities are free.
Outdoor Movie in the Park at Memorial Park
(914) 381-7865; townofmamaroneck.org
No, we don’t have a drive-in, but we won’t let that stop us from enjoying a movie alfresco. Memorial Park hosts its annual outdoor film screening on July 17. The feature: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted. (We’ve seen the movie, and, if you’re a parent, you’re going to want to sneak in some booze in a Starbucks travel mug.) If you’re not the movie-going type, the park also has a free concert series every Monday in July.
…and one that’s near-free
Open Mike Night at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center
300 Riverside Dr, Sleepy Hollow
(914) 332-5953; writerscenter.org
If you’re a musician, poet, writer, singer, or other performer, instead of looking for free events, maybe you’ll get just as much enjoyment entertaining others. Each month, the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center Open Mike Night isn’t free, but, at $3, a ticket won’t break the bank. Plus, you’ll get to show off your chops—and see your friends and neighbors show off theirs.
Celebrate the Dog Days
There are plenty of County spaces and events for those with a BFF who has four legs and chases squirrels. Take your pooch to one of these dog parks and be prepared for extra licks at day’s end.
Village of Elmsford Dog Park
Corner of North Everts and Winthrop Aves
The Elmsford Dog Park is an off-leash, fenced-in, quarter-acre park with two separate run areas—one for large-breed dogs and one for small-breed dogs. Waste bags, disposal cans, and benches are available. Police conduct spot checks of vaccination tags so make sure Captain Fido has all his shots.
Ossining Dog Park
Cedar Lane Park, 235 Cedar Ln, Ossining; ossiningdogpark.com
This dog park is an enclosed two acres of wood chips, trees, and varied terrain. Separate entrances lead into areas for large and small dogs. There is a water fountain for dogs and a (thankfully separate) one for humans. A warming shield was installed in the park to protect owners from the wind. Open year-round until dusk.
Paws Place at Ward Acres
Broadfield Rd and Quaker Ridge Rd, New Rochelle
Paws Place at Ward Acres Park is a three-acre dog park offering separate areas dedicated to small and large dogs. A permit is required ($50 for residents and $100 for non-residents) along with a New York State dog license.
Sleepy Hollow Dog Park
Kingsland Point Park (at the end of Palmer Ave in Philipse Manor section of Sleepy Hollow)
Situated at the south end of the upper parking lot of Kingsland Point Park, the Sleepy Hollow Dog Park is open to all residents and dogs of Westchester County. Running water is available for dogs. A $25 usage permit is required for entry, and the park offers free parking during summer months.
Bark Park, White Plains
Off Lake St, across from Field 2 at Delfino Park, White Plains
This 14,520-square-foot park is filled with pea-sized gravel and has a separate run for small dogs, a doggie water fountain, and benches. Doggie waste bags are also available.
Outdoor fun for those with two or four legs
Hardscrabble Wilderness Area Trail
Dogwood Ln, Briarcliff Manor Primarily used for hiking, this 3.5-mile loop trail takes approximately two hours to complete. Hardscrabble Wilderness Area Trail is a scenic, easy- to moderate-skill-level hike, with running water for thirsty dogs. Leash regulations do apply. Open year-round.
Blue Mountain Reservation
Welcher Ave, Peekskill parks westchestergov.com/blue-mountain-reservation
Featuring a range of trails suited for all ability levels, Blue Mountain Reservation is one of Westchester’s largest parks (1,538 acres). Bring your dog for a stroll through the beginner level trails or bike the advanced trails with them. Leash regulations do apply; doggie bags and water are available in the park. Parking is $5 with a County park pass, $10 without. Open seven days a week, 8 am to dusk.
Write these dates in on your Snoopy calendar.
Thursday, June 13
New Rochelle Humane Society Fundraising Gala Dinner
Proceeds from this event benefit the Help Heal Fund, which provides support for those who care for sick or injured animals giving them a second chance at finding a forever home. Guests can bid on silent and live auction items, and can participate in raffles and win prizes. Smaller dogs (up to 30 lbs) are welcome.
Time: 6:30 pm; Place: Glen Island Harbour Club, New Rochelle newrochellehumanesociety.org
Sunday July 21
(Rain date: Sunday, July 28)
New Rochelle Humane Society’s 13th Annual
Bring your pup for a fun-filled day of pampering, nail clipping, food, raffles, and vendors to the New Rochelle Humane Society’s 13th Annual Dog Wash. Take a family portrait or stop by the “Ask the Trainer” booth, or have your dog take the Canine Good Citizen Test.
Time: 10 am - 3 pm; Place: 70 Portman Rd, New Rochelle; newrochellehumanesociety.org/category/news-events
Sunday, October 6
5th Annual Hounds on the Sound Dog Walk and Festival
Hosted by the New Rochelle Humane Society, this fundraising event invites owners and their dogs for a walk around the 1.5-mile perimeter of Glen Island. There will be music, food, vendors, obedience demonstrations, games for pets with owners, animals for adoption, and children’s activities like face painting and crafts.
Time: 10 am - 3 pm; Place: Glen Island Park, New Rochelle
Friday, October 18
SPCA of Westchester’s Top Hat & Cocktails Benefit
Bring your dog to this special benefit hosted by the SPCA of Westchester. There will be music, dancing, dinner, a nightlong silent auction, an animal psychic, and a K9 ice cream bar and bakery. Sponsorships or ticket purchase necessary ($200).
Time: 6:30 - 9 pm; Place: The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, White Plains; spca914.org