Best Picnic-Plus Spots in Westchester

Brooklyn Paper
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Eating outdoors is one of the many pleasures of summer. Try these locations that offer much more than just a patch of grass for dining al fresco.

AMAZING VIEWS

Boscobel is an elegant Federal-period house museum with amazing views of the Hudson River and a majestic front lawn that overlooks Constitution Marsh, toward the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. From mid-April through December the grounds are open Wednesday through Monday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. In addition, most summer evenings hours for picnicking are extended from 5 to 6:30 p.m. On the second Saturday of each month admission is pay-what-you-wish. All other times garden, grounds and seasonal exhibition entrance is $12 adult, $10 child, under 5 free and family-of-four, $35. See the luscious gardens; hike the Woodland Trail of Discovery and then picnic on the lawn.

Plus, on July 28, 2019 attend the Ice Cream Social from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring music and ice cream. See the website for admission to the programs.

Boscobel

1601 Rte. 9D, Garrison

845-265-3638

boscobel.org

PLAY HISTORY

It’s Play Days @ Jay in June, July and August noon to 2 p.m. Explore the six Discovery Centers, visit with the chickens and there’s a short hands-on activity for the kids.

Then tour the formal gardens and stop at one of the picnic benches scattered throughout the property. Grounds open sunrise to sunset year round. The Education and Visitor Center is open May through Oct. 15 on Wednesday through Sunday from 12:30 to 4 p.m. The Discovery Centers open at 10 a.m. Admission id free. Saturday also features a Farm Market with selections of fresh local produce, musical entertainment, demonstrations and workshops. Tours of the historic home require admission.

John Jay Homestead State Historic Site

400 Jay St., Katonah

914-232-5651

johnjayhomestead.org

HEARTY HIKES

Did you know Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is the largest park in Westchester County? This 4,315-acre park has miles and miles of wooded trails ripe for exploring. There’s also the Trailside Nature Museum (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; closed Monday and an occasional Friday) with American Indian artifacts, educational exhibits and kid-friendly interactive displays. Family activities and programs are scheduled nearly every weekend. You can also go butterflying in the meadow and try to find all 83 species that have been seen on the grounds. There’s also a one-half acre wildflower garden containing more than 80 different types of labeled wildflowers. Once you’ve worked up an appetite head to the Kimberly Bridge Picnic Area for a meal by the brook. Grounds open daily 8 a.m. to dusk. Free admission. Parking $10.

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

6 Reservation Road, Pound Ridge

914-864-7317

parks.westchestergov.com/ward-pound-ridge-reservation

GOT A GROUP?

Individual families can enjoy Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park in Yorktown Heights, but it’s great if you’re gathering a large group. Spacious picnic areas accommodate hundreds of people who visit the park daily. There’s a swimming pool, playground, nature trails, fishing, boating and nature trails. Reservations are required for groups of 25 or more, the fee is $30 for 50 people, $60 for 100 people and requires a picnic permit application, which is available online. A variety of picnic areas can accommodate from 30 to 500 guests. Many picnic areas have grills, and are near playgrounds, volleyball nets, basketball courts and softball fields. Two NCAA regulation basketball courts and a soccer field are available and sports enthusiasts can try their hand at Disc golf, located a short distance from the picnic areas. The park is open 8 a.m. to sunset. Parking $10. Take a picnic and spend the entire day.

Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park

2957 Crompond Road, Yorktown Heights

914-245-4434

parks.ny.gov/parks/148

Updated 10:26 am, June 18, 2019
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