You don’t have to go far to have fun this summer because there’s a wealth of family-friendly activities and venues right here in our county!
Croton Point Park
This beautiful 508-acre park offers year-round events and facilities for camping and swimming. It’s also the home of Croton Point Nature Center, which features exhibits about the Hudson River, local history, Native American history and hands-on activities. Beach is closed Monday and Tuesday except holidays. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 1A Croton Point Ave., Croton-on-Hudson. 914-862-5290. parks.westc
There’s 105 acres of park space at this local oasis that offers picnic pavilions, open picnic areas, boat launchings and pathways. There’s a beautiful beach with access to the Long Island Sound where you can take Learn to Kayak classes. Beach is closed Monday and Tuesday except holidays. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Weyman Ave., New Rochelle. 914-813-6720. parks.westc
Besides a small sandy beach there’s also a sprinkler park and playgrounds for kids when they need a break from the sand. 123 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck. 914-777-7784.
Have a little green with your sand. The park features a grassy recreation area with a playground and seating areas. The beach is open every day through Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 1 Hudson Park Road, New Rochelle. 914-654-2000. newro
Besides the old-time amusement center, Rye Playland also boasts a beach and pool. Beach and pool are closed Monday and Tuesday except holidays. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 1 Playland Parkway, Rye. 914-813-7010. playl
Located in Saxon Woods Park (18-hole golf course, picnic areas and a playground that is accessible to children with special needs) this is the county’s largest swimming pool. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 1800 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck. 914-995-4480. parks.westc
Lots of water fun abounds at Tibbets. There’s a spray playground, in-pool basketball and volleyball, lap lanes and a lazy river. The pool here is open seven days a week 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. 355 Midland Ave., Yonkers. 914-231-2865. parks.westc
You’ll find four water recreation areas for all ages at Willson’s Waves. There’s a wave pool with three-foot waves that bounce bathers around for six-minute intervals, plus also two 18-foot high water slides, an interactive water playground and a spray deck with 57 different spray pads. Open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. East Lincoln Ave., Mt. Vernon. 914-813-6990. parks.westc
Try this 18-hole miniature golf course in Playland Park then stroll the boardwalk where you can grab an ice cream cone or play old-fashioned arcade games. 1 Playland Parkway, Rye. 914-813-7010. playl
Saxon Woods Park, which also has an 18-hole golf course, is also home to a miniature golf course, just right for family fun. 1800 Mamaroneck Ave., Mamaroneck. 914-381-4843. parks.westc
Home to Brookside Mini Golf, which has been recently renovated, offers new challenging obstacles, reconstructed bridges, and putting greens. Snack stand on-site. 355 Midland Ave., Yonkers. 914-557-5046. parks.westc
Always open, always free! Weekend family activities, a farmers’ market, baby animals and plenty of space to run and play - and even picnic. Rte. 100, Katonah. 914-864-7282. musco
Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon at the Homestead and explore the Discovery Centers, open Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., plus the education staff leads a short hands-on activity at 1 p.m. Take a tour of the house and property, a special 25-minute Highlight Tour is offered on Saturdays. Free admission to grounds, Discovery Centers, Carriage Barn Education & Visitor Center. Tours $10 adults, free for children under 12. See website for more information. John Jay Homestead Historic Site, 400 Jay St., Katonah. 914-232-5651. johnj
Take a guided tour, attend an outdoor concert, or participate in a living history program – all for free at this National Historic Site rich in local history. Kids can even become a Junior Ranger here. From July to December the site is open Tuesday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 897 S. Columbus Ave., Mt. Vernon. 914-667-4116. nps.gov/
Completed in 1917 the Kensico Dam,
which forms the Kensico Reservoir, is 307 feet high and 1,843 feet long. Summer weekends here are devoted to a wide variety of cultural celebrations. There are scenic picnic areas, places for little kids to ride tricycles and bikes with training-wheels
and you can walk up a set of steps right to the very top of the dam! The playground keeps kids occupied for hours. Bronx River Pkway, Valhalla. 914-231-4033. westc
Rain happens … be prepared.
A great learning environment, shush! don’t tell the kids, this aquarium offers permanent and changing exhibits, special events and seasonal programming. See an IMAX movie or take a cruise on the Aquarium’s research vessel Oceanic. 10 N. Water St., Norwalk, Conn. 203-852-0700. Marit
Stack up the pins and play ball! Bowling is a great indoor sport.
Bowlmor White Plains. 47 Tarrytown Rd., White Plains. 914-948-2677. bowlm
Grand Prix New York/Spins. 333 N. Bedford Rd., Mt. Kisco. 914-241-3131. gpny.com.
Homefield Bowl. 938 Saw Mill River Rd., Yonkers. 914-969-5592. homef
The Cliffs at Valhalla. Don’t climb the walls at home - climb at The Cliffs. 1 Commerce St., Valhalla. 914-328-7625. thecl
Fun Fusion Glow Mini Golf. When you can’t play mini golf outside - here’s the inside alternative! 29 LeCount Place, New Rochelle, 914-637-7575. funfu
LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Lego fun for all ages. Hands-on building fun, a movie and a play make for a full day of indoor play. One Ridge Hill Blvd., Ridge Hill, Yonkers. 844-740-9223 (groups/parties). legol
Rockin’ Jump. Bounce it out at this trampoline park with two Westchester locations. 333 N. Bedford, Rd, Mt. Kisco. 914-743-5730. mtk.rocki
241 Market St.,Yonkers. 914-510-9119. Ridge
Westchester Table Tennis Center. Open seven days a week for drop-in play or group training and one-on-one training sessions. Play all day for $10 adults and $5 for kids under 20! 175 Tompkins Ave., Pleasantville. 914-741-0738. westc
Did you know there are some 38 public libraries throughout Westchester County? And the majority of them all have children’s rooms and programs. See the general website for a list of Member Libraries. Don’t just visit the library in your town - explore what’s in other towns as well. westc
These Museums are the perfect place for some serious hands-on fun!
Stepping Stones Museum for Children.
Mathews Park, 303 West Ave., Norwalk, Conn. 203-899-0606. stepp
Westchester Children’s Museum. 100 Playland Pkwy, Rye. 914-421-5050. disco
Take the ferry and enjoy the cool breeze on your way to the island. Tons of free fun here - exhibits, outdoor music, climbing structures, hands-on art. There are public restrooms, plenty of food trucks, and bike rentals are available. See website for calendar of events.
Take a short drive to Poughkeepsie and explore this 1.28-mile-long walk on an old railway bridge that offers great views and a sense of adventure. Strollers, bikes, dogs on leash, roller-skating, and picnicking permitted. Admission is free. Parker Ave., Poughkeepsie. walkw
And if you’ve completed this list you can fall back on some of childhood’s time-honored favorites:
•Play jump rope, hop scotch, hula hoop
•Get out the sidewalk chalk and bubbles
•Make your own ice pops
•Build forts - inside or outside
•Play in the mud and catch fireflies.
Jean Sheff is co-publisher and editor of Westchester Family.