5 Fantastic Westchester Museums
The best places to observe art and culture locally.
The Hudson River Museum
Westchester County is rich in history—it’s not secret. Luckily for us, the county is also rich in high-quality museums that preserve that history. With a world-class collection of African art in Purchase to a three-acre Japanese Stroll Garden in North Salem, the area proves that you don’t have to extend your journey to the city for your culture. Westchester’s best museums:
Hudson River Museum
The Hudson River Museum has a lot to offer—after 75 years of history, the museum continues to expand its available attractions and programs. Known for more than just art, the museum also focuses on history and science by utilizing Glenview, a 19th-century Hudson River home; the Hudson Riverama, a 2,500-square-foot environmental teaching gallery; the Andrus Planetarium; and art galleries. There is always something going on for attendees of all ages, most frequently on the weekends.
511 Warburton Ave, Yonkers
(914) 963-4550; hrm.org
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; Friday to 8 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and youths 5 to 16, and free for children 4 and under; free for all Friday, 5 to 8 pm.
Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden
The Hammond Gardens — photo courtesy of Hammond Museum
When we think of museums, the feeling of stuffiness and snobbery comes to mind. However, that feeling is nowhere to be found at the oasis that is the Hammond Museum & Japanese Stroll Garden. Founded in 1957 by Natalie Hays Hammond, the offbeat treasure was created to promote understanding of Eastern and Western culture through both art and nature. The museum offers many frequent programs for children and adults alike on designated Saturdays, along with annual events including the Moonviewing Picnic and Concert and the Blessing of the Animals. The Guild Hall is the museum’s main exhibit space, complimented by two galleries that feature a variety of Asian and Contemporary art. Of course, the garden is the main attraction featuring a bamboo grove, a waterfall, blossoming trees and two ponds filled with frogs and fish.
28 Deveau Rd, North Salem
(914) 669-5033; hammondmuseum.org
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, noon to 4:00 p.m.
Admission: $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and free for children under 12.
Katonah Museum of Art
The Katonah Museum of Art (KMA) is among the most celebrated small museums in the country. It showcases art from all different cultures and time periods, appealing to both museums regulars and newcomers. The KMA originates about 10 to 12 exhibitions each year, promising unique offerings at each one. Looking for something a little more interactive? Visitors can also learn about the art in the museum after appreciating it at one of the many lectures, films, workshops, and other events the KMA offers. Also, don’t forget to bring the kids to the KMA’s Learning Center, the only space in the county where kids can go every day to explore and create art.
134 Jay St, Katonah
(914) 232-9555; katonahmuseum.org
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday noon to 5 p.m.; Guided tours daily at 2:30 p.m.
Admission: $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and free for children 12 and under.
Neuberger Museum of Art
The Neuberger is more than just a part of Purchase College—it’s a high-quality museum that deserves its own recognition. Since it’s founding, the Neuberger has championed the art our age and is known for its collections of modern, contemporary, and African art. The permanent collection at the Neuberger has over 6,000 pieces, and if that isn’t enough, there are rotating exhibitions throughout the year as well. As a teaching museum, the Neuberger also offers an, array of programs (that are often free), including Gallery Talks, Art Sandwiched-In, and Family First Saturdays.
735 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase
(914) 251-6100; neuberger.org
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.; closed major holidays.
Admission: $5 for adults, $3 for seniors and students, free for children 12 and under, and free the first Saturday of every month.
Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA)
If you’re tired of looking at the same old stuff you studied every year in school, visit the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art (HVCCA) for some of the most current works being created by artists around the world. Boasting both a permanent collection and works on loan in a 12,000-sq-ft exhibition space, the HVCCA champions Peekskill as a major arts destination. The museum offers an Artist-in-Residence program that gives artists the opportunity to create long-term installations as well as many educational programs, like lectures and varying special events.
1701 Main St, Peekskill
(914) 788-0100; hvcca.org
Hours: Friday 11a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Admission: $8 for adults, $4 for seniors and educators, $2 for students and children, and free for children 8 and under.