Activities to Enjoy
Holiday Events & Festivities
- Westchester’s Winter Wonderland at the Kensico Dam Plaza (Valhalla) is a 1.2-mile drive-thru experience filled with thousands of lights. Guests will be captivated by new additions in 2023, including Snowball the Elf, The Transporter Tunnel, Rudolph's Runway, and dazzling lights, all centered around Westchester's largest holiday Christmas tree. Open Nov. 24 – Dec. 31, 2023.
- Share the joy of the season at Holiday Lane at American Christmas (Mount Vernon). One of the most decorated and festive pop-ups of the season, this immersive walk-through experience is the ultimate holiday happening for groups of all ages. With over 100,000 dazzling lights and more than 100 captivating animatronics, figurines and props in nine uniquely themed areas, it promises to be an unforgettable holiday extravaganza. On select dates, admission price includes a visit with Santa, and 100% of net ticket sales will be donated to local nonprofits. Open Nov. 8 – Dec. 22, 2023.
- Experience the enchantment of the season at Monteverde (Cortlandt Manor) with Holiday on the Hudson, the inaugural outdoor holiday light tour. Visitors can immerse themselves in a delightful evening adorned with festive lights, delectable cuisine and a warm outdoor bar. Open Nov. 16, 2023 – Jan. 6, 2024.
- The Great Holiday Train Show (Chappaqua) returns to the New Castle Historical Society for its third year. Experience the joy of the holidays in the historic 19th-century Horace Greeley House Museum, decorated with charming train sets, miniature landscapes, snowy villages, and intricate details that will leave visitors in awe. New additions to the show this year include a LEGO Harry Potter Village and a custom-made Holiday Tree Train – over six feet tall with six running trains on six levels. Open from Nov. 18, 2023 – Jan. 7, 2024.
- Celebrate the holiday season surrounded by the sights of 1872 with the Victorian Christmas Tour at Armour-Stiner’s Octagon House (Irvington). The restored landmark features elaborate holiday décor, and the guided one-hour tour delves into 19th-century Christmas celebrations. Visitors can also choose "The Spirit of Christmas Past," an interactive tour followed by actor Sean Coffey's reading from his adaptation of Charles Dickens' “A Christmas Carol.” Victorian Christmas Tour is open Nov. 9, 2023 through Jan. 2, 2024, and “The Spirit of Christmas Past” is open Dec. 8-10, 2023.
- Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard (North Salem) will magically transform into an illuminated forest full of marvelous structures and festive decorations for this season’s Festival of Lights. Over half a million brilliant lights set the farm aglow in the form of whimsical creatures, light-changing orbs, thematic installations and interactive light displays. Guests are invited to explore illuminated tunnels, enjoy lights-to-music shows, and discover new photo ops, making it the perfect festive experience for guests of all ages. Open Nov. 17 – Dec. 31, 2023.
- Experience Lyndhurst Mansion (Tarrytown) during the Holiday Classic Mansion Tour, where it becomes an extravagant wonderland of holiday splendor. Explore elaborate décor, beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and rare items from former owners, offering a unique chance to see treasures usually kept in archives. Additionally, visitors can delve into the culinary history of The Gilded Age Cookbook with a mansion tour, holiday-themed culinary exhibits, an author discussion and a tasting of book-inspired items at The Gilded Age Cookbook: Author Talk and Holiday Tour on Dec. 17. Holiday Classic Mansion Tours run from Nov. 27– Dec. 29, 2023.
- Untermyer Gardens Conservancy’s annual Grand Holiday Illumination (Yonkers) is a free holiday tradition featuring more than 100,000 lights on display. The nighttime light show bathes the outdoor park in dazzling lights and encompasses many secular celebrations. Open Dec. 8, 2023 – Jan. 1, 2024.
- See the festive glow of Muscoot Farm (Katonah) during Muscoot Farm's Holiday Lights on the Farm. Explore the festively decorated barns, visit the farm's animals and follow along with a captivating holiday story. Running on Saturdays and Sundays from Dec. 1 – Dec. 16, 2023.
Winter Stroll (Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown) is a festive route between the two neighboring towns filled with Jolly Trolleys, carolers, dancers, storefront decorations, extended shopping hours, festive drinks and more. Kicks off on Dec. 2, 2023, at 5 p.m.
- White Plains’ 2023 Holiday Market is an outdoor experience featuring more than 40 artisanal vendors from around the region, including tasty food and drink options. It is a great place to find unique gifts for loved ones this holiday season. The market is open Dec. 6 – 17, 2023.
- Holidays on the Hill Annual Train Show (Katonah) at Lasdon Park & Arboretum offers a chance to celebrate the season with iconic and immersive exhibits that will delight audiences of all ages. Guests are surrounded by twelve multi-level train tracks, bridges, tunnels, waterfalls, and charming holiday scenes, all adorned with vibrant seasonal plants and decorations. The show runs Nov. 25 – Dec. 31, 2023.
- Bringing the sights and sounds of holiday cheer to its visitors, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah) has an impressive lineup of performances in December, including the family focused Musiquita Nutcracker Tap Dance Special (Dec. 3) and the TENET Vocal Artists holiday concert (Dec. 10).
- At Greenburgh Nature Center’s Holiday Market and Train Show (Scarsdale), visitors can shop for eco-friendly gifts amid 33 acres of natural beauty. Explore unique offerings from local artists and vendors, showcasing sustainable items perfect for the holiday season. Train lovers will find a display of model trains traveling through countryside scenes within the nature center’s Manor House. Holiday market is open Nov. 18-19 and Train Show is available on select dates between Nov. 18 and Dec. 10, 2023.
- Discover the lively ice-skating scene in Westchester, featuring indoor gems like Ebersole Ice Rink (White Plains), Edward J. Murray Memorial Skating Center (Yonkers), Hommocks Park Ice Rink (Larchmont), The Ice Hutch (Mount Vernon), Playland Ice (Rye) and Westchester Skating Academy (Elmsford). Outdoor ice skating opportunities include Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park (North Salem), Twin Lakes Park (Eastchester), Wampus Pond Park (Armonk) and Willson’s Woods Park (Mount Vernon).
- Embark on a journey along the African American Heritage Trail, where a range of historic sites commemorate the significant contributions made by people of African descent to shape America’s identity. The Trail is an ongoing initiative to identify sites, buildings and locations that reflect both the actions and experiences of African Americans in the evolution of Westchester.
- Perched atop a hill, Faraway Farm (Yorktown Heights) is home to Huacaya Alpacas, valued for their plush, colorful fleece. Guests can arrange a farm tour to encounter these charming alpacas and the amiable Icelandic Horses that also reside there. Discover insights into the animals' care, natural history and diverse uses, all within the serene, picturesque countryside setting. Advanced appointments required.
- Witness the majestic sight of bald eagles during their winter migration at Teatown's 20th Annual Hudson River EagleFest (Ossining) in 2024. Additional details and dates to come.
- For picturesque winter hikes, Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining spans nearly 1,000 acres of unspoiled nature, offering over 15 miles of trails ideal for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Meanwhile, Ward Pound Ridge in White Plains, covering 4,315 acres, stands as Westchester's largest park, featuring extensive wooded trails perfect for both cross-country skiing and snowshoeing enthusiasts.
- Stop by Muscoot Farm (Katonah) and participate in their Backyard Sugaring workshops, where visitors can discover the art of maple sugaring. Gain insights into the necessary equipment, identifying sugar maples throughout the year, proper tree tapping techniques and the process of turning maple sap into delicious syrup for pancakes and waffles.
- Explore the Wolf Conservation Center (North Salem) to dive into the mythology, biology and ecology of wolves and their vital role in the environment.
- For days when it is just too cold to enjoy the snowy outdoors, movie buffs can visit The Jacob Burns Film Center (Pleasantville), where the newest independent films, foreign cinema, documentaries and curated series are showcased regularly. Recognized as one of the nation’s premier art houses, JBFC embraces film as a medium for entertainment, education and inspiration.
- Grab a harness and scale the walls of The Rock Club (New Rochelle), the premier indoor climbing gym catering to both beginners and seasoned climbers.
- Explore Westchester's vibrant museum scene, where the Hudson River Museum (Yonkers) offers a diverse experience encompassing art, history and science. The Katonah Museum of Art (Katonah), renowned as one of the country's top small museums, features art from various cultures and eras, appealing to both enthusiasts and newcomers. Meanwhile, the Neuberger Museum of Art (Purchase), stands out with its exceptional collections of modern, contemporary and African art, making it a must-visit destination in its own right.
- For the kiddos, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester (Yonkers) is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground, offering a world of creativity and endless building possibilities for LEGO enthusiasts of all ages.
- Discover a world where creativity and learning collide at the Westchester Children's Museum (Rye), offering a unique and engaging STEAM-based experience for kids of all ages.
Winter Dining & Drinks
- Apropos Restaurant & Bar (Peekskill), the farm-to-table treasure at The Abbey Inn and Spa, has just earned a spot in the Michelin Guide. Its menu celebrates local agricultural abundance while drawing inspiration from pasta artisans in Italy and the vibrant open-air markets of Spain, Greece and Morocco. The Michelin recognition speaks volumes about the commitment to quality and culinary excellence that defines Apropos.
- The Westchester Craft Beverage Trail is a free mobile web-based passport guiding visitors to wonderful experiences and tasty beverages, along with enticing offers. Explore Westchester’s thriving craft beverage scene, featuring a variety of options from distilleries to craft breweries, a cidery and even a micro winery. Notable stops include Peekskill Brewery (Peekskill), which boasts a Hudson Riverfront location, Captain Lawrence Brewing Company (Elmsford) and Hardscrabble Cider (North Salem).
- For those dreaming of warmer weather during the colder months, Westchester County boasts a variety of Caribbean-style restaurants, including The Cube Inn (Tarrytown), Alvin & Friends (New Rochelle) Caribbean Thyme (White Plains), Cravin Jamaican Cuisine (Ossining), and Sleepy Hollow’s Ambar Restaurant and Gustito Dominicano Restaurant.
- Winter marks the arrival of soup enthusiasts' favorite time, where hidden gems of Westchester's best cups of soup can be discovered in unexpected places like burger joints and deli counters. The Cajun corn chowder from The Candlelight Inn (Scarsdale) is both spicy and sweet. Epstein’s Kosher Delicatessen (Hartsdale) delivers an expert bowl of matzo ball soup and the Japanese mushroom, tofu and vermicelli soup from Fogama (Rye) is delicate and full of umami flavor.
- In 2023, thirteen restaurants in Westchester have earned the prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand recognition, showcasing their excellence in culinary offerings. These restaurants include Badageoni Georgian Kitchen (Mount Kisco), Southern Table (Pleasantville), Rafele Rye (Rye), TVB by: Pax Romana (White Plains), RaaSa (Elmsford), Café Alaia (Scarsdale), Chutney Masala (Irvington), The Cookery (Dobbs Ferry), Burrata (Eastchester), Maria Restaurant (New Rochelle), Boro6 Wine Bar (Hastings-on-Hudson), Tredici Social (Bronxville) and Dubrovnik (New Rochelle).
- New year, new eating habits. For those that follow a vegan lifestyle, or just want to include more plant-based dining in their diet, Westchester is home to several veggie-powered eateries. Featuring Mediterranean staples Falafel Place (Yonkers and White Plains) offers a new take on New York falafel. Evoking the ambiance of a Bombay bistro, Masala Kraft Café (Hartsdale) blends flavors from various regions of India, crafting a diverse and flavorful menu. Ideal for a quick bite, PK Blendz Juice Bar (Peekskill) complements a robust juice and smoothie menus with choices such as veggie pasta, nachos and stuffed peppers, all freshly made in-house daily. Pureganic Café (Harrison) offers a plethora of vegan delights and provides nutritionist services along with meal and juice programs.
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.