We all love our cozy little corners of Westchester. There are so many things to do and see, places to eat, and parks to visit. Who doesn’t love exploring the county and “finding” the kid-friendly gems! We are spotlighting some of those awesome places so that other moms can take advantage and get a glimpse into the awesomeness that is Westchester! Read all posts in our Spotlight on Westchester Series.
Longing for the big city feel without leaving Westchester? New Rochelle may be the place for you. It is the seventh largest city in New York state, which means lots of opportunities for fun! Here are a couple of great places to visit while you are there.
What To Do
Family Fun: I’d be remiss in writing about New Rochelle without mentioning New Roc City. Feel like a movie? Go to New Roc. Bowling your thing? New Roc. Want to buy a new book and sip a latte? Go to Barnes and Noble in New Roc. Locally known as New Roc, New Rochelle Center is located at 33 Lecount Place in the heart of New Rochelle. There is plenty of (paid) parking, making New Roc a one-stop location for everyone!
Let your kids burn some energy at Sky Zone trampoline park. Or take the kids (especially the young ones) to run their energy out at We Rock the Spectrum on Main street, which is a gym for all kids. It “provides children with a fun and motivational environment to help them in the areas of strength, movement, sensory processing, communication, positive behavior modification, social interactions, and self-care skills. Their unique equipment assists all children in their neurological growth and development.”
Outdoor Fun: New Rochelle is home to many beautiful parks. At the peak of COVID, going to these parks was our safe haven. Want to take a stroll along the water or hit the beach, check out Glen Island Park and Beach. It is a great place to stroll, run, picnic, swim, sunbathe, and have your kids get their energy out on the playground or in the grass. A bit further down Main Street is also Five Islands Park, which connects the islands. It is a perfect place to walk or run, have a picnic, or play in the sand. It is where my daughter used to practice riding her scooter.
Another favorite park of mine is Davenport Park, located on Davenport Avenue. This park is especially great if you are downtown and want to walk or run by the water. This was my little piece of heaven last year, where I would run and take some time to meditate while sitting on one of the big rocks.
New Rochelle is home to some great playgrounds for your little ones to expend their energy. Jack’s Friendship Garden sits right behind the only children’s library in Westchester County on North Avenue and is a fun place to have play dates after reading a good book at the library. It also sits alongside a huge duck pond so kids can watch the ducks and geese that visit. On Meadow Lane, head to the VFW Totlot, the perfect park for toddlers ages 2-5. We spent so much time here during my daughter’s early years.
Children’s Entertainment: As mentioned above, the Huguenot Children’s Library is a great spot to visit, and it is currently hosting outdoor events, such as Yoga Tots and Garden Storytime, so be sure to check those out. The Main Library also has wonderful events for your littles and big ones.
Shopping: The Curtain Shop, off Main Street, is the place to get shades, curtains, bathroom supplies, or unique kitchen and bath items. During the peak of COVID, they also carried the coveted Lysol Spray that was impossible to find. They have some hidden gems here, and I love to support a good mom-and-pop establishment.
When you’re in a hurry and in need of a party gift in a pinch, head to TP Toys and Accessories on North Avenue. The owner, Kemesha, is such a gem to the community and a special person. She offers curbside pick-up and will select a toy for your when you can’t decide or need one in a hurry.
Where To Eat
Comfort With a Twist: Look no further than The Wooden Spoon, which offers a make-your-own mac and cheese option. The restaurant offers an amazing array of mac and cheese creations, fun burgers, and classic comfort food entrees. To take it up a notch, they also serve delicious drinks, including thick and creamy milkshakes. It is family-friendly but also a great after-work or brunch spot. They also offer tasty salads when you want a healthy option.
Coffee/Tea Spots: Looking for a great coffee/tea spot, head downtown to R Cafe & Tea Boutique. When you walk in, you will feel like you are in an artsy section of Brooklyn with its comfortable couches, folks working at distinct tables, and art for sale on the walls. It is also close to Metronorth, so stop in on your way to/from the train. Their Alfajores cookies are to die for.
Another absolute favorite coffee shop of mine is POP’S Espresso Bar on Huguenot Street. I still frequent this coffee shop, even though I no longer live in New Rochelle. They have a unique menu of delicious breakfast and lunch options. My favorites are the Pop’s Chicken Sausage Sandwich, the NR Future Sandwich, the Breakfast Burrito, the Gluten-Free Veggie Tacos, and the Chipotle Chicken Burrito. Clearly, you can’t go wrong! They are also home to the famous Danoli (a donut and cannoli combined – what’s not to love!). Their coffee is equally delicious!
Smoothie/Juice Spots: Head to I Got The Juice on Main Street downtown, New Rochelle, for great smoothies, juices, acai bowls, and even sandwiches.
Ice Cream: On a hot summer day, when you’re craving something sweet, head down North Avenue to Mickey Dubbs for some frozen custard or Italian ices. They also have delicious hand-dipped donuts. Looking to try something different, then check out Yum Ice Cream & Bubble Tea on Anderson Street right near New Roc City for some rolled ice cream or delicious bubble tea.