We all love our own little cozy corners of Westchester. There are so many things to do and see, places to eat, parks to visit. We love exploring the county and “finding” the kid-friendly gems! Even if you have lived here your entire life, you can still find new fun things to do all the time. It is our mom-bloggin’ duty to highlight some of those awesome places so that other moms can take advantage too! With each installment one or two new towns/cities will be highlighted to give you a glimpse into the awesomeness that is Westchester! Be sure to read all posts in our Spotlight on Westchester Series.
If you are planning on spending some time in lower Westchester, a great little village to explore is Larchmont. Ok, so technically it is a part of the town of Mamaroneck, but it really has its own identity. The main “town” is charming and studded with unique shops and eateries. There are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, creative arts, and family fun.
What To Do
Sporty Skating Fun: Hommocks Middle School is home to a large ice skating rink that is open to the public. Here you can free skate, take lessons, participate in youth hockey leagues, and even have a birthday party. Prices are reasonable and there is usually a Groupon! Check their website for open skate hours before you go. Rentals and concessions are available. Parking is free and ample.
Art Time: If you are looking for a fun, indoor arts activity, Plaster Palace Pottery offers an open paint-your-own style studio. It is a little pricey but it is a great place to go if you have kids of varying ages because they have a variety of ceramics to choose from. They carry characters (like Elmo) and piggy banks for little ones, while older ones may like to challenge themselves to paint a platter or jewelry box. The artists will help you choose paint colors and give you hints about different techniques to try. This is also a great spot for a unique birthday party opportunity. Limited free parking is available in their lot.
Relaxation with A View: Larchmont is a waterfront village with many parks that offer spectacular views of the Long Island Sound. Manor Park, located on Park Avenue in Larchmont, offers many benches and trails to walk along sound shore. All year round you will see people taking pictures, lounging, walking dogs, and enjoying the view. There is parking available on the public streets but you need to read the street signs. The only downfall, mamas, is that there is no play equipment. So, if you have little ones in tow, you may want to try Flint Park instead.
Flint Park is located at the end of Locust Avenue in Larchmont and offers a large area with many different options for outdoor activities. There are baseball and soccer fields (including a soccer turf) and multiple tennis courts. The playground is large, includes swings, and has different play structures for children of all ages. There is a small sand pit as well. My favorite part of Flint Park is that there is a public restroom (toddler moms understand why this is so important). There are also many benches and tables available for use. If you are a naturalist, you may enjoy their natural trails. In the summer, there are evening concerts at Flint park on Thursdays. This large park offers something for everyone in the family and is a must visit. Parking lots are free and parking is ample.
Where To Eat
Burgers and Brew:Larchmont Tavern is a fantastic pub style restaurant with a bar in the next room. This is a fantastic place to bring the kids, who will be greeted with a kids menu attached to the back of an etch-a-sketch, instant entertainment! Each menu item is better than the next, with delicious sandwich and burger choices topping my list. People come for the wings and stay for the dessert. Their Gorgonzola salad is also second to none. The wait staff is always friendly and the family atmosphere is welcoming to children. This restaurant is a must-try! If you’re into a more adult night out, ditch the kids; the drinks are strong and plentiful!
From Brunch to Lunch: If you are in the mood for a delicious sandwich, omelet, salad, or all of the above, head over to Stan’z Cafe (26 Chatsworth Avenue). Stan’z is a local hot spot with a variety of fresh and delicious menu items. You order at the counter first, then find a seat. They have limited seating and it can get crowded, but it is worth the wait. Stan’z also caters and has take out options. They do have a few outdoor tables as well, for people watching on Chatsworth Avenue. Everything I’ve tried is delicious and their coffee is fresh and hot, which is a bonus for us mommas! Although they do not have a specific kids menu, they will make thinner sandwiches and offer staples like pancakes and oatmeal.
On The Go: If you want to take a meal to go (and perhaps have a picnic in on of the beautiful parks in the area) try Larchmont Meateria. Larchmont Meateria is a minimarket that also has a deli counter and an assortment of prepared foods. The owners of this long standing Larchmont staple are friendly and will help you put together a menu for a special catered event. They are more than willing to give you a taste of one of their many delicious and fresh salads. They even have cookies for children at the checkout counter. (Bonus! I like to use the behave and you can have a cookie line – it works every time!). They are a little more expensive then the grocery store down the street, but the quality and courteous attention they pay to their customers makes this a worthwhile stop.
Larchmont is absolutely worth the trip, especially on a bright, sunny day when you can walk up and down Chatsworth, Palmer, and Larchmont Avenues. It has a charming feel with lots of shops to wander in and out of.