Activities to Enjoy
Westchester County is preparing for the autumn season. Located a mere 30 minutes from downtown Manhattan – with 500 square miles to explore – travelers will find everything from spooky and spirited delights to bucolic farm and nature preserves and epic musical events await this fall.
- Walk into the depths of a dark forest and discover fantastic beasts and illuminated wizarding world moments at Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience, 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. The event continues into the winter months.
- From September 16 through November 20, The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze will return to Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson where the historic grounds will be filled with a magnificent display of more than 7,000 illuminated jack o ’lanterns.
- Celebrate Día de Muertos with a free family-friendly event at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts on Oct. 16 in Katonah. The event will feature Calpulli Mexican Dance Company for a fun-filled afternoon of live music, dance, and stories, all capturing Mexico's colorful, passionate and inviting traditions.
- Visitors can learn about the history of Lyndhurst Mansion and explore Victorian lore during the Lyndhurst After Dark experience, Oct. 21-23 and Oct. 27-30. Additionally, Lyndhurst will host Spirited Mansion Weekends Oct 22-23 and 29-30, during which guests can walk through the mansion without a guided tour, view the seasonal decorations at their own pace, and take in the wonders of the historic mansion.
- More than 200 years ago Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” introduced the world to characters like the Headless Horseman and Ichabod Crane. These days, the village of Sleepy Hollow welcomes visitors to explore the Old Dutch Church from Irving’s tale and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, with famously historic graves, including Washington Irving, himself. At the latter, not to miss is the chance of an evening tour by lantern light, offered Friday and Saturday nights between September and November. For those that prefer the comfort of the sun’s rays, daytime tours are offered on Saturdays and Sundays in October and November. Either way, advance tickets are required.
- Visit Irving’s historic Tarrytown home, Sunnyside, for the chance to see “Irving’s Legend,” a dramatic outdoor performance by master storyteller, Jonathan Kruk. Complete with live music by Jim Keyes and an appearance from the Headless Horseman, this performance is sure to thrill audiences of all ages all October long.
- For years, local rumors have swirled around The Armour-Stiner Octagon House, implying connections between the eight-sided home and the spirit world. This September and October, visitors to Irvington can visit the historic site with a Myths and Mysteries Tour.
- The Fall Family Festival will return to Rye’s Jay Heritage Center on Oct. 1 with plenty of family-friendly activities including hayrides, a petting zoo, old-fashioned cornhole and ring toss, guided tours, and scavenger hunts.
- Family Fun Day returns to Yonkers’ Untermyer Gardens Conservancy on Oct. 9 with entertainment and tours of this public garden of national significance.
- A Railroad Avenue Makers Market debuts at the Peekskill Metro North train station Sept. 10, open every Saturday into late December, spotlighting the best of Hudson Valley maker culture.
- Farms of all kinds are located in Westchester County, offering fall activities like apple picking and wagon rides. Many of the farms in Westchester are family-owned and operated, some dating back 300 years. Among those to consider are Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard in North Salem, Stuart’s Fruit Farm in Granite Springs and Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights. Each farm brings their own personality to the party – at Harvest Moon, for example, visitors can find everything from live music, BBQ, and a pumpkin patch to other memorable experiences. For a private farm experience, reserve a visit to Faraway Farm Alpacas, Yorktown Heights’ home to a colorful herd of alpacas where guests can meet and learn about alpacas, Icelandic Horses and donkeys. After the tour, visitors can browse the farm store, specializing in everything alpaca such as homegrown yarn and handmade alpaca garments. Tip: the by reservation-only format makes Faraway Farm Alpacas a truly unique spot to capture family photos.
- ArtsWestchester will host two White Plains festivals this fall including JazzFest White Plains from Sept. 14-18, featuring live jazz music including Joey Alexander and Buster Williams, and The Serious Fun Arts Fest which will feature five days of public art, concerts, gallery openings, family artmaking and more from Oct. 12-26.
- Nine-time Grammy-awarded jazz trumpeter and composer Randy Brecker will perform October 7-8 at Jazz Forum in Tarrytown. Brecker has helped shape the sound of jazz, R&B and rock for more than four decades and will perform a quintet featuring Ada Rovatti.
- The legendary Capitol Theatre in Port Chester is commemorating its 10-year reopening anniversary this fall. Sept. 23 is officially proclaimed The Capitol Theatre Day in the village, and the season’s performances include such notable artists as The National, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, ZZ Top, Steve Vai and nine nights with Grateful Dead co-founder Phil Lesh.
Leaf Peeping and Flora Fun:
- Croton Gorge Park in Cortlandt is the perfect place to spend an afternoon on an easy two-mile hike that includes gorgeous vistas of the New Croton Dam and its autumnal color palette.
- For next-level leaf peeping, Mianus River Gorge Preserve in Bedford is a trail that looms 40 feet above the Mianus River. Despite the exhilarating view, the hike is easy and perfect for the whole family.
- An Enchanted Forest event comes to Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining Oct. 28-30. Other nature preserves and parks for fall foliage include Greenburgh Nature Center in Scarsdale, Edith G. Read Wildlife Sanctuary in Rye, Rockefeller State Park in Pleasantville, and Tarrytown RiverWalk.
- Celebrate the change of seasons above ground with Wings Air during a helicopter tour. Guests can soar above the Hudson Valley for a bird’s-eye view of Westchester County’s colorful foliage and spot landmarks including the Kenisco Dam in Valhalla and Kykuit, the Rockefeller Estate in Sleepy Hollow.
Fall Dining & Drinks:
- Hudson Valley Restaurant Week returns Nov. 7-20, 2022, with new tiered pricing to explore the best of lunch and dinner in Westchester, ranging from $24.95 to $44.95.
- The outdoor patio at Rye’s Frankie & Johnnie's Steakhouse is great for a cool fall gathering.
- The Tasty Table will be featuring fall menu items made from scratch such as pumpkin pancakes and blood orange mimosas. Stop by this Ossining eatery and mention the fall guide to Westchester County for a 10 percent discount on food.
- Grab a bite at Horsefeathers in Tarrytown, a Westchester staple since 1981. With 100 different menu items offered daily, there is something to delight every palate.
- Michelin-rated RaaSa in Elmsford is the County’s premier Indian fine dining destination. Featuring traditional Indian fare with a modern twist, RaaSa celebrates all the tastes of India and is created by Michelin Star and James Beard Foundation recognized Chef Peter Beck.
- Westchester’s craft beverage scene continues to thrive, from distilleries to craft breweries, a cidery and even a micro winery. For sunny days, Peekskill Brewery boasts a Hudson Riverfront location and dog-friendly Outdoor Biergarten (with live music Thursday-Saturday), as does Broken Bow Brewery in Tuckahoe (be sure to try to Pumpkin Spiced Octoberfest lager). During a visit to the iconic Sleepy Hollow, be sure to check out The Bridgeview Tavern, which is another outdoor gem.
- For a warming caffeine boost, stop by Sunshine Coffee Roasters in Larchmont for small batch and quality coffee. Or try The Good Witch Coffee Bar in Hastings-on-Hudson for flat whites, icy cold brew, spicy egg sandwiches, and wild bagels.
Where to Stay:
- A new wellness experience has come to Westchester thanks to the spa debut at The Opus, Westchester in White Plains, which opened August.
- Peekskill’s The Abbey Inn & Spa is offering a Leaf Peepers Package including complimentary cider and caramel apples to enjoy while relaxing on the porch at sunset or by the fire pits.
- For close proximity to leaf peeping and hiking, stay at Hotel MTK in Mount Kisco, which will also be offering fall drink and food specials on rotation all season long at The Hub Restaurant & Bar.
- Sonesta White Plains is the perfect place for a fall escape. As temperatures begin to cool down, guests can take advantage of the outdoor fire pits and roast s’mores in the evenings. Plus, Sonesta White Plains is offering guests a Fall Family Fun package which will include a s’mores kit, hot chocolate upon arrival and a coloring activity for children.
- Set on 26 acres of breathtaking property, Tarrytown House Estate offers luxurious lodging and amenities with extensive leisure and recreational facilities all throughout the fall season. The resort is home to Goosefeather, a restaurant offering seasonal, modern Cantonese cuisine by celebrated chef Dale Talde.
- For travelers planning to explore the historic villages of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow Hotel and Conference Center is an ideal location near all of the attractions and includes an on-site restaurant and café, Bistro Z, 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.