Exploring Untermyer Gardens with Your Kids

Exploring Untermyer Gardens with Your Kids
The Walled Garden with its classical architecture embellished with lavish plantings. Photo by Jessica Norman

Exploring Untermyer Gardens with Your Kids

There are so many hidden gems to explore with your kids in Westchester. One of our favorites is a visit to the Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers. This gorgeous garden is free (!) where you and your kids can explore and soak in all of its history and nature (you might not even feel like you’re in Westchester anymore.) Check out more about what to expect at Untermyer as you and your kids enjoy this historic location.

History of the Untermyer Gardens

Named after former owner Samuel Untermyer, Untermyer Gardens was once one of the most celebrated gardens in America. In its heyday, it housed over 60 greenhouses and had 150 acres of garden space, including lavish pools and architectural wonders.

In 1946, a part of the gardens were donated to the City of Yonkers. However, there wasn’t enough funding to maintain the estate/grounds, which slowly declined over the years. It wasn’t until the mid-90s when community leaders where able to get the remaining acres and create what the park is today. There is still revitalization projects going on such as with the Persian pool. Once Samuel Untermyer’s swimming pool, it is now in ruins.

During your visit, you’ll see both the decay and progress of the gardens, revealing in the beauty of what was and what it will become.

Exploring Untermyer Gardens with Your Kids
The Temple of Love sits atop a man-made rocky outcrop, with rivulets of water cascading down. Photo by Jessica Norman

The Gardens at Untermyer Gardens

There are six beautiful gardens to explore on the property. This includes the Walled Garden, Vista, Color of Love, Temple Garden, Rock and Stream Garden, and the Rhododendron Walk.

Exploring Untermyer Gardens with Your Kids
The restored Vista, with its 133 steps, has a commanding view of the Hudson River.
Photo by Jessica Norman

Walking around the Vista you will feel like you aren’t even in Westchester anymore. This garden was replicated from a series of descending stairs at the Villa D’Este in Italy. This includes a stunning overlook of the Hudson River and Palisades. A look out point with two ancient Roman columns frames this beauty where you definitely want to take some pictures.

The Walled Garden is another highlight that was inspired by Indo-Persian gardens. It is divided by two columns that lead to an open air amphitheater where you and your kids could dance, move, and sit. The peaceful spot also overlooks a reflecting pool where you can see tropical water lilies, aquatic plants, goldfish, and koi.

The Temple of Love offers breathtaking views of the Hudson River and the Palisades. It also incredible to view the temple at the bottom where you can see rocky formations, various ponds, flowers, plant life, and small bridges.

Tours for Families at Utermyer Gardens

With so much fascinating history, you might want to learn more by taking a tour of the gardens. They offer 60-minute kid-friendly Family Adventure Tours every Sunday at 10:00am from May 1st-October 30th.

Families are taken through the space by guides as they learn more about the secret histories of plants, aquatic plants, mythology, architecture, sculpture, ruins, ancient oak trees, and much more. This includes three tours of the Walled Garden (stroller-friendly), Vista through the Ruin Garden, and Temple of Love through the Dell. Tours are for parents and caregivers with kids seven-12 years old. They cost $12 per child (10 maximum); adults (and children under two) are free. They also offer private tours and tours for adults should you be able to explore on our own.



Untermyer Gardens Holidays
During the Grand Holiday Illumination, a view of the Walled Garden from the Amphitheater past the sphinxes at twilight.
Photo by Jessica Norman

Events at Utermyer Gardens

Utermyer Gardens offers tons of events during the year. In the summer this includes the Minnie Untermyer Concert Series where you and your family can see live music and dance. The performances are held from May-September in the Walled Garden.

Additionally, they offer many workshops and programs where you can soak in the beauty of the space as you learn something new. This includes a walking and sketching tour for kids and the various tours. For adults, you can try phone photography, sunset yoga, drawing and painting, mushroom tour, and much more.

During the holidays, the Walled Garden is illuminated with more than 100,000 lights. Families can stroll through the space and listen to holiday music from many traditions. It is quite stunning to see and you don’t need a reservation to attend.

They also host a winter lecture and symposium, an annual gala, garden walks, and much more.

Visit the Utermyer Gardens

945 North Broadway
Yonkers, NY 10701
(914) 613-4502
Hours: 9:00am-7:00pm (last entry is at 6:30pm)

Looking for more day trip ideas? Have an NYC adventure with your kids to the Statue of Liberty.