Westchester County is full of amazing family activities and resources; after all, that is one big reason many of us choose to live here. With the arrival of the warmer months (and many indoor activities still closed or restricted), outdoor activities have become even more appealing.
Here are five amazing FREE activities to do with the family in Central Westchester County.
1. Lasdon Park and Arboretum
Lasdon is located in Katonah, on Route 35. Whether you want to spend a day doing a nature walk, exploring beautiful gardens, or among dinosaurs, Lasdon is the perfect spot to spend a few hours as a family. You read that right, free dinosaurs! Lasdon has an amazing dinosaur trail containing large dinosaur models and plaques with dinosaur facts, plus a virtual reality experience. This is a unique activity young kids will want to return to time and time again! Lasdon is also home to the Westchester Veteran’s Memorial and Museum and often hosts unique exhibits such as fairy gardens and model train shows (though certain programming may require admission fees).
Lasdon Park is located at 2610 Route 35, Katonah, NY, 10536.
2. Spend a Day at the Water
Westchester County residents are fortunate to live along both the Long Island Sound and the Hudson River. While the beaches tend to charge fees, you can enjoy a day on the water for free in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow! Start at the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse, then explore beautiful murals along the path south to Tarrytown. Loop through Horan’s Landing (if your family has kayaks, this is a great spot to launch from), and grab lunch at Hudson Farmer and the Fish if you are looking for an amazing waterfront meal.
You might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the old fireboat that often docks there! After lunch, walk through the native plant gardens and end at Pierson Park’s playground and splash pad. Bonus? There is an ice cream stand with a coffee bar just across the way, by Rivermarket! A word of caution: parking is limited in this area.
3. Greenburgh Nature Center
Conveniently located near White Plains on Rt. 100, Greenburgh Nature Center is another unique Westchester amenity. While the manor house and indoor animal exhibits are not free, the grounds are! Explore the trails, play on the playground, see various animals, visit the Native American village exhibit, and much, much more.
Greenburgh Nature Center is located at 99 Dromore Rd, Scarsdale, NY 10583.
4. Family Bike Ride Along the County Trailways
The South County Trailway runs from Elmsford south, while the North County Trailway runs north. There are plenty of trailheads available with free parking, so select the entry point that is most convenient for your family, and spend the day leisurely riding through scenic Westchester County.
If you have older children who are more experienced riders, Graham Hills Park offers more advanced bike trails and can be found close to the North County Trailway, off 117 in Pleasantville (near Pace). Once you are done with your ride, stop at one of the many small downtowns (Briarcliff and Millwood come to mind) to grab a snack or coffee.
5. Muscoot Farm
If you haven’t been to Muscoot, you are really missing out. While some of their programming requires a fee, exploring the farm and grounds, along with many of their festivals, are free. Meet heritage breed farm animals, learn about historical farming practices, and take a hike. There is also a snack bar open on select days.
Programming includes helping with farm chores, story time and crafts, bird watching, and blacksmithing classes. Festivals throughout the year include sheep shearing and their annual pumpkin picking festival (one of my family’s favorite fall activities). The farm also hosts a farmer’s market every Sunday.
Muscoot Farm is located at 51 Rt. 100 in Katonah (NY, 10536)
Bonus Outdoor Family Activities
- Kensico Dam Plaza typically hosts a free music fest and fireworks around the 4th of July. It was canceled last year, but there is no word on whether it will be canceled for 2021. Keep an eye out for announcements from the County.
- Pleasantville Farmers Market
- Parks and Preserves in Pleasantville, Armonk, and Chappaqua