The Rivertowns are special all year, but when warm weather rolls around the summer outings are musts!
I know I’m biased, but this area has so many great places to visit during the summer, either for an hour or a full-day trip. Your family will have strong opinions about where to spend the day I’m sure, so you will need options. But between all the pools, parks, farms, hiking trails, outdoor markets, historical sites and more, you should be covered!
Here are my favorite outdoor outings to add to your summer calendars:
This state park preserve in a Pleasantville, NY has a beautiful lake you can hike around and with a few surrounding trails. Laurance S. Rockefeller donated the property to NY in 1999. Those Rockefellers were generous! The area is beautiful and if you can get your family out into nature, which will do everyone some good, you won’t want to miss this spot.
Walk to this center for food and agriculture from your hike at Rockefeller Preserve or leave it for another day. Stone Barns is an amazing nature center to visit with the family. It has a farm and greenhouse, which creates ingredients for their famous farm-to-table restaurant. Their mission is to transform the way America eats and farms by creating a healthy, sustainable food system. You will be inspired by their mission! Go on tours, take classes, check out their animals and visit their cafe for a yummy farm-based treat.
What kid doesn’t love a nice pool in the summer? Well, actually mine doesn’t, but that’s another story. The Rivertowns offer some good pool options. If you’re a Hastings-on-Hudson resident (or are willing to wait in line for a limited nonresident pass), check out Chemka. Dobbs Ferry is renovated their community pool but check for updates. I’ve heard some Irvington people go to the Ardsley country club. Also, check out the Sprain Ridge Pool, which should reopen this summer. You just need Westchester parks pass for access.
In Tarrytown, Pierson Park has a nice playground and a fun splash and spray area, which your kids will adore. It’s super cute and in a beautifully renovated park by the Hudson River. There’s also a cafe nearby with ice cream for your snack and bathroom breaks, which keeps everyone happy.
Outdoor Farmers’ Markets
There are three wonderful farmers’ markets in the Rivertowns. All have live music, which can entertain your kids, at least for a little! First, check out the Hastings Farmers market on Saturday mornings, overlooking the river. Irvington’s Farmers Market is on Sunday mornings and it’s right next to a nice park for kids. The TaSH Market in Sleepy Hollow, at Patriots Park is also special and every Saturday morning through the summer.
Though not in the Rivertowns, this non-profit and farm with free admission is only 30 minutes away in Katonah. On special weekends, they offer activities like apple picking, hay rides or even magic shows. The Farm itself has all your kids’ favorite animals friends: pigs, chickens, horses. And side note: It’s a great place to have a birthday!
Trips are great, but sometimes a great park in your hood is all your kids need for your out in-the-sun fix. My favorite parks are in this order: Reynolds field in Hastings-on-Hudson, Matthiessen Park in Irvington, Waterfront Park in Dobbs Ferry. For some special fun, check out the park at Greenburgh Nature Center! If those don’t satisfy, here’s a link to more parks in the area.
This famous trail connects all the Rivertowns, running from Yonkers to Scarborough. it was built in 1837 and 1942 to provide water to New York City. Now, it’s perfect for hiking, jogging, biking or just strolling. Whenever you’re in need to get outside for an easy nature walk, the aqueduct is your best bet.
Sunset Jazz Concerts
From July to August, enjoy a sunset picnic with your family listening to music on the property of Lyndhurst, the amazing Gothic Revival mansion. Dobbs Ferry also has a weekly Jazz on the water series, and Hastings-on-Hudson started a music series last year. Check out their village’s websites for up to date schedules!
This zoo is not in the Rivertowns, but it’s the best day trip ever. It’s such a treat to live so close to the Bronx Zoo, so take advantage. The zoo also offers free admissions on Wednesdays. (Though you still pay for parking). Don’t even think twice, and become a member. Your kids will be thrilled!
Maybe big beaches aren’t our strength. We can’t have it all? You might have to escape to NJ, CT or Long Island for your beach fix, or hang by some sand coves by the river.
Oh, the fun places you will go when it heats up in the Rivertowns. Enjoy all your warm family outings and adventures!
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