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Places To Go

Welcome to our updated page for where to go, we will update this page periodically so please come back and visit! Many of these places are either in Westchester or are within driving distance of Westchester.  Our review stars indicate our ratings of interest for bright children.  We’ve listed our recommended age range, though each parent should take into account their own child’s specific interests and abilities. If you have a favorite local place to go and don’t see it here please let us know! 

Science Museums  (click here to see some Other local Science places to go )

New York Hall of Science

47-01 111th Street
Queens, NY 11368

The New York Hall of Science is New York City’s only hands-on science and technology center. The Hall features more than 400 hands-on exhibits.  We were impressed with this museum’s open space and outdoor exhibits; life-sized rockets, a playground with lots of hands on physics exhibits including Archemides Screw.  Not as big as Liberty Science Center but some of many of their exhibits are just as nice.   We liked their microbe exhibit where you can see real microbes under several microscopes.   The cafeteria has lots of tables but they have a very small selection of food.  They obviously are meant for lots of school and camp field trips where kids bring their lunch.  The gift shop is large and spacious with not too many items, mostly small items that are obviously for the field trip crowds that have a dollar or two to spend.

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Liberty Science Center

251 Phillip Street
Liberty State Park
Jersey City, NJ  07305

All Ages

The Liberty Science Center has 160,000 square feet of hands-on exhibits and the nation’s largest IMAX® Dome Theater. In addition to live demonstrations, the science center has three exhibit floors. The Invention Floor showcases structures, energy and light, images, action and effects. The Health Floor highlights self-knowledge through exhibits on healthy living and the human body, perception, bodies in motion and making healthy lifestyle choices. The Environment Floor is a place to learn about the atmosphere, see marine life and explore the Earth’s many resources and even hold a bug. The best time to go on weekdays is after 3pm, when the parking is free and the school field trips have gone home.

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Hudson River Museum and Planetarium

511 Warburton Ave.
Yonkers, NY

Ages: Planetarium & Art - Elementary
WAA - Middle  School

This small museum is one of Westchester’s best for modern art, a planetarium and historical turn of the century house all in one.  The planetarium has shows on the weekends and also is home for the Westchester Amateur Astronomers (WAA) group. The WAA presents monthly lectures that are open to the public at the planetarium.  If you like art, there are art programs for children given through the year.  Special art exhibits are always interesting for any age. Take a tour of the Glenview Mansion, a turn of the century residence of the John Bond Trevor family.

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Visiting another state or country?  see our Other States and Countries page for some really cool Science Museums!

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Nature Centers

Stamford Museum & Nature Center

39 Scofieldtown Road
Stamford, CT 06903
(about 50 mins from Central Westchester)

Ages: Preschool to Young Elementary

This is one of the best nature centers in the NY area.  They have the biggest, and in our opinion, best playground nestled in the woods. You really feel a part of nature.   There is a working farm children can tour with a small shop for candies and toys.   Take a walk along their small nature trails.  It is best for young children ages 3-12.

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Bear Mountain State Park

Palisades Parks
Bear Mountain, NY 10911
(about 20 mins from Northern Westchester)

Ages: Elementary and Middle School

Where else can you find a zoo, nature and historical museums, an ice skating rink, miles of nature and hiking trails, a hotel/inn and nature’s tallest spot in the lower hudson valley?  While small, the zoo is fabulous, the small museums along the nature trails have historical artifacts from the revolutionary war and the drive through the Palisades parks is one of the best natural gems in the area.  Open all year.

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Greenburgh Nature Center

99 Dromore Rd.
Scarsdale, NY 10583

Ages: Elementary School

 

Greenburgh Nature Center has 33 acres of woodlands and houses a museum in, what they call The Manor House built in 1918.   There are live animals that are in enclosures as well as a greenhouse and hands-on discovery room.  The manor is well laid out and has quite a few small exhibits.  Young children who love nature would enjoy this center. They also host birthday parties. Greenburgh Nature Center has a variety of ongoing children’s programs througout the year at a nominal cost.

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Teatown Lake Reservation

1600 Spring Valley Road
Ossining, NY 10562

Ages: Elementary School

Teatown Lake Reservation has over 830 acres and is a nature preserve and education center.  They have nature programs for children and have a summer camp for elementary school age children.  They have a small shop in their building and an outdoor exhibit with many animals that can be seen up close.  If you visit in the summer you may find a counselor or two walking around with one of their resident animals for kids to come up and ask questions about. 

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Local Farms - See how a real farm works, visit farm animals, go fruit and vegetable picking!

Muscoot Farm

Route 100
Somers, NY

Age: Preschoolers - Elementary School

Muscoot Farm is a great place for preschoolers!  A real farm where young children can learn all about animals and farm workings.  Some of the original farm buildings are still there such as the Milk House and Dairy Barn. Muscoot has quite a few programs during the year for children.

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Barton Orchards

Route 7
Poughquag, NY (Dutchess County)
(45 mins north of central Westchester)

All Ages

Barton Orchards is one of the best farms around for picking almost anything that is locally grown on a farm.  While most local farms allow you to only pick apples, at this farm you can pick all kinds of berries, peaches, plums, nectarines, vegetables such as peppers, eggplants, string beans, and more!  It’s great fun for the whole family.  They also have a haunted hayride, corn maze and haunted barn around Halloween.

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Wilkens Farm

1335 White Hill Rd.
Yorktown Heights, NY

All Ages

Wilkens Farm is a great place to pick apples.  They also have the best cider donuts and apple twists in the county!  Apple picking is easy and fun. You can rent apple picking poles and buy baskets or boxes to collect apples with.  Wilkens has many varieties to choose from.  They provide a tractor and trailer to ride on to take you to the picking area.  Pick your own pumpkins is mostly picking up pumpkins placed in a field.

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Historical Places - there are lots in Westchester!

Philipsburgh Manor

Route 9
Sleepy Hollow, NY

Ages: Late Elementary - High School

 

Philipsburgh Manor actually has live demonstrations of how farmers in the 17th century would harvest wool, mill grain with a still working water-powered gristmill and cook with utensils of the day. Demonstrations of spinning and open-hearth cooking in the tenant farmer's house are scheduled frequently.  This is probably one of the most popular historical sites along the Hudson River.  Of utmost interest is the historical significance of it’s owner Frederick Philipse who owned most of what is Westchester today.  His family sympathized with the British during the revolution and they fled back to England in 1779.

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Washington Irving’s House
(Sunnyside)

West Sunnyside Lane, just off Route 9, in Tarry town, NY

Ages: Late Elementary - High School

Washington Irving is famous for writing “The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle”.  One of the houses he owned is right here in Westchester in Lower Tarrytown on the border of Irvington.  In fact, that is where Irvington got it’s name.

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Van Cortlandt Manor

South Riverside Avenue, off Route 9, Croton Point Avenue exit, Croton-On-Hudson, New York

Ages: Late Elementary - High School

This 18th century stone house contains original furnishings including kitchen and blacksmithing equipment.  There are cooking, spinning and weaving demonstrations offered throughout the year. Tour guides are dressed in clothes of the period and can answer questions about life during the colonial times.  The manor is set right on the hudson river and has some beautiful views.

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Lists of other places in Westchester and vicinity:

Historic Hudson Valley website

National Geographic Online Store for Kids

National Geographic Kids Shop
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