A Mom’s Guide to Parks and Playgrounds in Westchester


playgroundsSpringtime is usually accompanied by cabin fever and a winter hangover…factor in a year-long quarantine, and the term “caged animals” comes to mind. Luckily, Westchester is filled with amazing scenery and tons of fun things to do – device-free! Local parks and playgrounds are available to us year-round, and there are tons of them around for us to choose from.  

Free to Park

Flint Park {Larchmont} Tucked away in the middle of Larchmont is the sprawling Flint Park. Flint offers a large playground with swings and multiple play structures, multiple sports fields, and tennis courts. Parking is available and free. There are some nature preserves on the edge of the field with beautiful walking trails. There are pavilions for party rentals, and bathrooms are available. 

Gedney Park {Millwood} Hidden in the shade, Gedney Park has two interactive jungle gyms and tons of space to hike and explore with your little ones and your fur babies. Yes, dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed. 

Jack’s Friendship Garden {New Rochelle} A wonderful park that is wheelchair accessible. There are two play areas; one for smaller children through the age of five and another for bigger kids through the age of twelve. There are multiple climbing structures, swings, slides, seesaws, a large sway fun ride, and a small sandbox! In addition to all of those fun activities, this playground has some beautiful scenery! A picnic-like seating area is only a few steps away, and you can even spot a few geese soaking up the sun near a little creek on site. 

John Jay Homestead {Bedford} With over 62 acres of park, the surviving home of founding father, the John Jay Homestead core focus is on explorative learning for families and children. Between sensory walks, equestrian trails, weekly farmers markets, and even a mechanical milkable cow name Buttercup, there’s no shortage of outdoor activity. Check the website for monthly drive-in movie experiences in collaboration with Bedford Playhouse.

Kensico Dam Plaza {Valhalla} This outdoor venue is spectacular for concerts and events. The playground is located right next to the dam, which also features a 9/11 memorial. Kensico Dam Plaza is a great place to go for a walk, a bike ride, or a picnic. There is a great lawn for the kids to run around or relax since there is plenty of seating in the shade. Parking is free and plentiful. 

Lasdon Park {Katonah} One of the more interesting parks in the area. Although there is no playground, Lasdon Park includes walking/hiking trails, beautiful gardens, a bird sanctuary, and memorial statues. Be sure to have a ton of time to explore this amazing park. 

Pierson Park {Tarrytown} Another river town park, Pierson has a splash pad for hot summer days. There are also beautiful hiking trails and a bike path. No need to worry about parking. This park is within walking distance from the Tarrytown train station. 

Riverfront Green Park {Peekskill} The park on the river. Surrounded by shops and restaurants, Riverfront Green has a beautiful playground and gazebo equipped with BBQs and tables for an all-day event. This park also hosts a summer concert series.

Rockefeller State Park Preserve {Pleasantville} With over 1700 acres donated by the famous Rockefeller family, the Preserve offers a glimpse into history. Extra-wide carriage trails snake through the scenic preserve. Through a partnership with Stone Barns, you can even catch farm animals grazing the lawns. Lastly, the trail intersects Rockwood Hall, the former site of one of the Rockefeller homes, with stunning views of the Hudson River and open fields for picnics.

Roselle Park {Pleasantville} In the heart of a quiet little neighborhood is Roselle Park, which includes a sandbox, baseball field, and plenty of toys to keep kids of all ages occupied. This park is home to donated toys – trucks, cars, and tons of shovels and pails-that live there year-round. 

Saxon Woods {White Plains} Saxon Woods is home to a mini-golf course, splash pad, a huge pool, and an amazing playground for the little ones. This is one of the only parks in the area that allows access for disabled individuals. Fun for all, and all for fun! 

Turtle Park {Larchmont} Located on Palmer Avenue in Larchmont, this park may be small, but it packs a mighty punch. Turtle Park was just completely remodeled in the winter of 2019, and the play structures are absolutely amazing. There are plenty of swings and playscapes as well as a large flat grass area for running around. Street parking is usually easy to get. 

Untermyer Gardens {Yonkers} Untermyer Park is a 43-acre historical park above the Hudson River. It features a Grecian amphitheater and garden perfect for a picnic.

Willson Woods Park {Mount Vernon} Although Willson Woods is home to a playground and fishing area, this park is known for its amazing pool and aquatic fun. Including water slides, a wave pool, and a water playground.  

Pay to Park 

Many Westchester County Parks require a Park Pass, which provides access to many of the county’s parks, pools, and beaches. Although not necessary for entry, it helps to have one and is good for three years. Learn more about how to get your pass here.

Bear Mountain State Park {Bear Mountain} Just over the bridge, Bear Mountain is equipped with a walk-through zoo, merry-go-round, and fishing area. This gorgeous park has a great restaurant and a beautiful lodge for a mini stay-cation. Don’t forget to check out the amazing views of our home along the Hudson.

Croton Point Park {Croton-on-Hudson} One of the many beautiful Westchester County parks, Croton Point is home to tons of amenities. While there, enjoy two playgrounds, hiking trails, a beachfront, and party pavilions.

Harbor Island Park {Mamaroneck} Located at the end of Mamaroneck Avenue, there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy. This large park features many sports fields, tennis courts, two playgrounds, a beach, and a newly renovated splash ground. You can listen to concerts or watch a movie on the sand overlooking the beautiful long island sound in the summertime. Bathrooms are available, and parking is ample, but you must pay during the summer season. 

Kingsland Point Park {Sleepy Hollow} Located along the Hudson, Kingsland Point is equipped with a playground, a splash pad, and – most noteworthy – a set of teeth for the little ones to climb on. Yes, teeth! 

Tibetts Brook Park {Yonkers} Equipped with an “aquatic complex,” this park has something for everyone. Tibetts has a playground, hiking trails, and picnic area for the summer. It also includes ice skating and sledding for the winter. A great park for a year-round trip!

Blue Mountain Preserve {Peekskill} Complete with a recreation facility, playground, and a 12-mile hiking trail, the preserve is a stunning option for all stages of adventure!

Did we miss your favorite park? Let us know where you and your little ones love to play!

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Angela Bosco is a native of Westchester. She chose Briarcliff Manor as her home after too many hurricanes in Florida and too many people in NYC. She’s mom to her son, Blaise (2016), who’s energy she simultaneously envies and fears. She shares a love of adult beverages with her husband Michael who, like her, is in the spirits industry. A self-proclaimed expert multi-tasker, you can find her on the Hudson Line cramming podcasts, emails and breakfast while penciling in her eyebrows and trying not to spill coffee on her seat mate during her morning commute to the city. On her free time she struggles to choose between doing yoga, reading NY Times best-seller’s or watching all things Real Housewives: the latter usually wins out. In her 20s you could hear her asking when her life would begin- now in her 30s you’ll find her reveling in it-chaos and all.