Holiday Activities to Enjoy
Holiday happenings are kicking off in Westchester County. From incredible holiday light shows and festively decorated historic estates to local markets and cheerful concerts, now is a wonderful time of year to visit Westchester County. Here’s what’s happening:
- Westchester’s Winter Wonderland at the Kensico Dam Plaza (Valhalla) is a 1.2-mile drive-thru experience filled with thousands of lights! Fan favorites include glittering angels of peace and a 50-foot dove, dancing trees, glowing snowballs, candy cane lane, a spectacular 100-foot light tunnel and Westchester’s impressive 40-foot Christmas tree. Open Friday, November 25 – Sunday, January 1, 2023.
- Untermyer Gardens Conservancy’s Grand Holiday Illumination (Yonkers) is a holiday tradition with more than 100,000 lights on display. The free nighttime light show bathes the outdoor park in glittering lights and embraces many secular celebrations. Open Saturday, December 10 – Sunday, January 1, 2023.
- Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard’s LUMAGICA (North Salem) features endless light displays of whimsical animals and Christmas trees. After a fruitful harvest season, the orchard is transformed into an Enchanted Forest filled with over 750,000 lights. The over ½ mile trail will take you on a journey through the 6 spaces, Sparkling Light, Into the Wonderland, Magical Trees, A Great Celebration, Treats and Sweets, and Beyond the Forest. Guests can expect a 20 ft reindeer, a soaring parrot, lots of new photo ops, light tunnels and a Light to music show. Open Friday, November 18 – Friday, December 30.
- New for this year is the American Christmas Experience (Mount Vernon). Guests can wander through Santa’s Village under 50,000 twinkling lights, interact with 50 animatronic displays, and take a photo in Santa’s chair. Visit the “real workshop” for a behind the scenes look at some of NYC’s most iconic Christmas displays being assembled. Open now until Friday, December 23.
- Celebrate the holiday season with a Victorian Christmas Historic House Tour at Armour-Stiner’s Octagon House (Irvington). The restored National Landmark will be filled with elaborate holiday décor featuring wreaths, garlands, and the sparkle of ornaments on a grand Christmas Tree inside the salon. With the help of original feather trees and antique ornaments, the 1-hour tour will fill guests in on the history of Christmas, and how it was celebrated in the 19th Century. Tours available Friday, November 11 – Friday, December 30.
- Check out the Holiday Classic Mansion Tour at Lyndhurst Mansion (Tarrytown) this holiday season. Designed in 1838, Lyndhurst is a romantic Gothic Revival style mansion situated on the bank of the Hudson River and is transformed into an extravagant wonderland of holiday splendor each holiday season. Described as one of the “Ten Best Historic Holiday Tours” by USA Today, Lyndhurst goes all-out during the holiday season, filling the mansion with elaborate tableaus of décor, which change every year. Dozens of Christmas trees are expertly decorated and designed to complement the elegant period furnishings within the rooms of the house. Tours available Thursday, November 28 – Friday, December 30.
- At Lyndhurst Mansion, Mr. Dickens Tells a Christmas Carol (Tarrytown) is a one-hour play recreates the famous performance tour by Charles Dickens in 1867 with his classic tale bringing the travails of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim alive. Taken from the original script, actor Michael Muldoon plays Charles Dickens and tells the well-loved tale in the parlor of the beautifully decorated Lyndhurst Mansion meeting the different spirits and characters. Show runs Sunday, December 4 – Wednesday, December 18.
- Bringing holiday cheer to its visitors, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah) has an impressive lineup of performances through the month of December, including Calmus, a German a cappella ensemble performing holiday classics; Josh Ritter, American singer and song writer; Reggie Harris, American roots musician; and the annual Holiday Tea Musicale filled with festive décor, lively musicians and a tea service. Join the waitlist for tickets online.
- The holiday season wouldn’t be complete without annual holiday markets and local shopping. Markets include:
- Phillipsburg Manor’s Holiday Boutique (Sleepy Hollow) is where visitors can purchase specially designed holiday décor, as well as sip hot cocoa under the stars, roast s’mores, decorate gingerbread cookies and enjoy a holiday tea party. Shop is open Friday December 2 – Sunday, December 18.
- Greenburgh Nature Center Holiday Market (Scarsdale) stays on theme by offering shoppers sustainable and natural gifts ideas and products, along with other items. The outdoor market coincides with the start of the center's holiday train show and features live music as well as homemade apple cider and hot chocolate. Market is open Saturday, November 12 and Sunday, November 13.
- Clay Art Center’s Clay Holiday Market (Port Chester) will showcase the center’s in-residence artists, while also offering shopper the chance to browse featured work from nation and regionally recognized artists. The market will also include sweet treats, hot chocolate and ornament painting for the kids. Market runs Wednesday, November 16 – Saturday, December 24.
- Pelham Art Center’s Holiday Boutique (Pelham)is set to host more than 60 local makers offering handcrafted gifts, such as specialty jewelry, artwork, candles, kitchen gadgets, ornaments and more. Market is open Monday, November 21 – Friday, December 23.
- White Plains 2022 Holiday Market (White Plains) is a wonderful outdoor experience featuring 50 local and regional vendors, including tasty food and drink options. Market is open Friday, December 9 – Sunday, December 18.
- The Great Holiday Train Show (Chappaqua) is held at the Horace Greeley House Museum and will display numerous vintage train sets, including one from 100 years ago, that travel through festively decorated rooms with backdrops such as the Bavarian countryside, the Rip Roaring 20’s, and more. This event is sure to wow adults and kids alike. Trains run Saturday, November 19 – Sunday, January 8, 2023.
- Holidays on the Hill Annual Train Show (Katonah) features over 5,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor exhibit space designed to bring holiday cheer for every age. Learn the origin of gingerbread men and why Santa Claus lives at the North Pole. Then take a family photo around the Holidays on the Hill train engine, surrounded by decorated trees from local girl scout troops. Show runs Saturday, November 26 – Saturday, December 31.
- The Second Annual Winter Stroll (Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown) organized by The Sleepy Hollow Tarrytown Chamber is set to take place on Saturday, December 3 from 5 – 9 p.m. Connecting the two neighboring towns is an exciting route filled with performances from local groups, schools and churches. Along the way, strollers can watch the tree lighting ceremonies for both Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, and enjoy holiday specials, drinks and treats from local community members.
- Walk into the depths of a dark forest and discover fantastic beasts and illuminated wizarding world moments at Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience (Yorktown Heights), taking place this fall in the awe-inspiring woods of Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Yorktown Heights. This nighttime trail experience is designed for the whole family and booking quickly, with select fall dates still available. Tickets are available now, continuing into the winter months.
Rest in Comfort
- After all the excitement and celebration, rest your head in lovely accommodations outfitted with a crackling fireplace at one of the area’s coziest hotels. Pamper yourself at The Abbey Inn & Spa in Peekskill, or retreat to the historic and elegant Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua, home to one of the area’s top farm-to-table restaurants. For comfort with a more modern vibe, The Opus Westchester is conveniently located in White Plains near city transportation and boasts the largest spa in the County.
Winter Dining & Drinks
- Grab a bite to eat at Jewel of Himalaya in Scarsdale. As one of the region’s only Nepali and Tibetan restaurants, visitors will enjoy a variety of momo dumplings and other unique dishes.
- Warm up with a cup of hot cocoa or coffee at a variety of coffee shops in Westchester. Stop by Peekskill Coffee for their delicious specialty drinks, crepes, waffles and more, or try Mimi’s Coffee House in Mount Kisco, serving up vegan options. Additionally, Hastings Tea & Coffee in White Plains serves locally roasted coffee, freshly brewed tea, wine and craft beer and Katonah Reading Room is a bookstore that also features a coffee shop with a gourmet take out menu, ice cream, candy, books, gifts and more.
- Ramen season is back at Bread & Brine in Hastings-on-Hudson. Stop by any Tuesday through March and enjoy a delicious bowl of ramen.
- Visitors should check out Westchester’s craft beverage scene as it continues to thrive with a variety of options from distilleries to craft breweries, a cidery and even a micro winery. A few to note include Peekskill Brewery, which boasts a Hudson Riverfront location, Captain Lawrence Brewing Company in Elmsford, Decadent Ales in Mamaroneck and Hardscrabble Cider in North Salem.
Where to Stay:
- The Opus, Westchester is a contemporary lifestyle hotel in the heart of White Plains. This December, all 90-minute spa treatments at the newly unveiled The Opus Spa will include a complimentary warming peppermint hand and foot revival. Plus, the rooftop-located indoor heated swimming pool and lounge deck are a treat for friends and family during the colder months.
- Peekskill’s The Abbey Inn & Spa is offering a Winter Comfort Getaway package including a welcome wine and cheese plate, plus hot cocoa and cookies to enjoy by the fire pits.
- For close proximity to winter activities, stay at SpringHill Suites Tuckahoe, and see all that Westchester has to offer for winter. The Discover Westchester County package includes breakfast, a 20% coupon for The Market, late check-out and more.
- For travelers planning to explore the historic villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow Hotel and Conference Center is an ideal location near the region’s best attractions and includes an onsite restaurant and café, Bistro Z, featuring dishes with locally sourced ingredients.
Itineraries for every interest
From seasonal getaways that let you explore the best of Westchester to one-day, one-town excursions, we’ve created itinerary suggestions for every interest and travel style.
Discover the Westchester Farm Trail, a state-designated route connecting 13 farms and orchards across the county. Along the 17-mile trail, there’s no shortage of things to do including u-pick apples, farmer’s markets, and family-friendly activities. Taste the bounty of our region and support local farmers.
Tour the 62-acre grounds and gardens at John Jay Homestead State Historic Site in Katonah, home of the founding father and first Chief Justice of the United States.
Hike/bike/explore/picnic and enjoy the county’s natural beauty in Northern Westchester’s large parks –Ward Pound Ridge Reservation and Mountain Lakes Park.
Stroll the wooded trails at Hilltop Hanover Farm, Muscoot Farm, one of our many County-operated nature preserves, or at Teatown Lake Reservation, which has 15 miles of hiking trails spread over 1,000 acres with lakes, streams, waterfalls, hardwood swamps, mixed forests and meadows.
Southern Westchester and Mid-County
Take a guided tour of Untermyer Gardens; Saturday through Monday a limited number of tours, with a maximum of ten people each, will be available. Advance tickets are required.
Enjoy nature at Greenburgh Nature Center, a 33-acre woodland preserve with trails, ponds, two significant wetland sites, and gardens.
Spend the day bird watching and picnic near a pond or stream on the 47 acres at Rye Nature Center. There are forests, fields, ponds and streams with 14 stations on a self-guided trail as well as a paved trail for seniors and disabled.
Explore the grounds of Jay Heritage Center at the Jay Estate. The 23-acre Jay property, overlooking Long Island Sound in Rye, was the boyhood home of New York State’s only native founding father, John Jay. It is part of the Boston Post Road Historic District, a National Historic Landmark and a stop on Westchester County’s African American Heritage Trail.
Hudson River Towns
Lyndhurst’s beautiful grounds make for a good walk, and they connect to the Riverwalk, spanning over 32 miles of the Hudson River shoreline.
Hike/bike/explore/picnic and enjoy the county’s natural beauty in the Hudson River Towns’ large parks – Croton Point Park and Blue Mountain Reservation.
Walk or bike on The Bridge Path on the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, The 3.6 mi (each way) path — with six overlooks and amenities at each landing — offers an exciting and unique recreational experience. Each overlook was designed in partnership with the community and celebrates the rich history of the Hudson Valley. The two landings on either end of the bridge offer amenities including welcome centers, interactive displays, public art and restrooms. The landings offer access to the path for pedestrians to enter onto the bridge and continue to explore the overlooks on their way across the Hudson River. The Westchester Landing is located less than a mile from downtown Tarrytown. For a free mobile audio tour of the Bridge Path and more, check out Historic Hudson River Towns.
Hot culinary news
Six newcomers to the Westchester restaurant scene have made MICHELIN Guide’s Bib Gourmand list, announced May 6: Burrata (Westchester-Eastchester), Badageoni Georgian Kitchen (Westchester-Mount Kisco), Rafele Rye (Westchester-Rye), Boro6 Wine Bar (Westchester-Hastings-on Hudson), Macelleria Italian Steakhouse (Westchester-Pelham) and Tredici Social (Westchester-Bronxville).
Three more new restaurants are also catching an early buzz: The Blind Pig (White Plains) for its elevated cocktails, fine dining and speakeasy vibe; The Greekish (Harrison) for authentic meze and ouzo; and TBoy’s Bistro (Sleepy Hollow) for its sophisticated take on traditional bistro favorites.
Check out Westchester's first and only food truck park, 9A Eats. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week with rotating food trucks. The site offers a safe dining experience with socially distanced picnic tables and hand sanitizer stations.
Westchester loves ice cream and has a long history starting with the iconic soft-serve maker, Carvel, which started here with a single ice-cream truck in 1929. Westchester is home to dozens of local gems and national chains alike – where you can indulge in many variations of this favorite food group: All-American ice cream cones and sundaes, Italian gelatos, Mexican paletas, frozen custards and yogurts. Find one near you, or plan a journey around Westchester County in search of the perfect scoop.
Visit a farmers market for great, fresh and locally produced and harvested food, including produce, meat and fish, baked goods, dairy and prepared food.
- Hilltop Hanover Farm Stand, Yorktown Heights
- John Jay Homestead Farm Market, Katonah
- Tarrytown & Sleepy Hollow
- Muscoot Farm, Katonah
- Fable Farm, Ossining (open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays; Barnside Pickup Saturdays only.)
In the Arts
Check out ArtsWestchester’s Top 5 Arts Picks weekly for new arts events and cultural happenings throughout Westchester.
Our cultural partners are committed to keeping you entertained, informed and engaged with virtual tours, art talks, live concerts, and at-home activities to do with the family.
Meeting the alpacas, horses and donkeys at Faraway Farm Alpacas. Call the farm at (914) 962-2110 to arrange an educational and interactive private Zoom call.
Watching the wolves of the Wolf Conservation Center on their webcam.