We all love our own little cozy corners of Westchester. There are many things to do and see, places to eat, and parks to visit. Who doesn’t love exploring the county and “finding” the kid-friendly gems! We are spotlighting some of those awesome places so that other moms can take advantage and get a glimpse into the awesomeness that is Westchester! Read all posts in our Spotlight on Westchester Series.
When my husband and I were in the market for a new home about fourteen years ago, we wanted a town with a suburban feel but didn’t have a complete suburban feel—confused yet? So were we! My husband and I grew up in the Bronx and will always want a sense of “city” in any place we live. When we were looking to move, we occasionally had to go to Manhattan for work, so easy access to NYC was important. We wanted a cross between an urban and suburban town, with a little bit of rural thrown in. The town of Mount Kisco seemed to be just what we were looking for.
Mount Kisco is in Northern Westchester and is conveniently located off I-684, and the Saw Mill Parkway and even the Taconic isn’t too far of a ride. There is a downtown area with a mix of local and chain businesses, all close to the Metro-North commuter rail. On the flip side, if you turn off the main strip (117), you stumble upon farms and huge houses off dirt roads. It is the best of everything.
What To Do – Outdoors
We first learned of Mount Kisco when my husband and his friend began to play disc golf regularly. Disc golf is like regular golf, but players use a flying disc or frisbee instead of a ball and clubs. Leonard Park in Mount Kisco has an 18-hole course. The park has a nice-sized playground, hiking trails, basketball courts, tennis courts, baseball fields, and a greenway where many play soccer. Leonard Park is home to the Memorial Pool Complex, which has a main pool, a wading pool for young children, and a lap pool. Summer camp and various recreational activities are held here. The Tea House can be rented through the local recreation department for family or company events.
Nature buffs will enjoy Westmoreland Sanctuary, a non-profit nature center, and wildlife preserve with 640 acres of land and 8 1/2 miles of hiking trails. They also offer various educational and recreational programs on environmental conservation, nature, and preservation, including teaching almost 10,000 children and adults annually. Westmoreland is free to the public and is open 365 days a year. They offer a full calendar of family-friendly events.
Arthur W. Butler Memorial Sanctuary, with 363 acres of land, is not far from Westmoreland. Several marked trails have flora, fauna, historic stone walls, and huge boulders. Each trail offers different observations and levels of difficulty. The trails are marked well, but I suggest planning a bit to ensure you get the experience you’re hoping for. The trails offer rock formations, stone walls, and walks along the streams, lakes, waterfalls, and awesome viewing platforms. Parts of the sanctuary are quiet and secluded, yet you can hear some traffic from the highway in other areas. The Hawk Watch viewing platform gives you a neat east view and the chance to see various birds.
What To Do – Indoors
The Pottery Factory is a welcome addition. You can walk in anytime to paint pottery, candle-making, glass fusing, stoneware, or soap-making. It’s spacious and has a comfortable atmosphere. And it’s fantastic to have another option for a place to hold birthday parties. You can purchase other create-at-home kits for pottery-to-go, seascape resin projects, or knitting chunky blankets.
At Grand Prix New York Racing & Entertainment, it is tough not to find something to do! They provide various attractions, including indoor race tracks, bowling, laser tag, a ninja course, a fun arcade, and summer camp. District Social is located in the same building with axe throwing and live music.
“Live music is food for the soul” is how Jazz on Main refers to itself. Inspired by the golden age of jazz, they aim to transport guests to another era while engaging all the senses. They provide diverse, live performances, an incomparable sound and lighting system, and a sumptuous Mediterranean menu. Their talented team believes that live music is good for the soul. This is a community gathering place to celebrate the arts and music. This is a space for musicians to share their work and shine. They are passionate about this American-born art form and honor its history and growth. Jazz on Main aims to entertain, enrich, and encourage guests by spreading good vibrations.
Where To Eat
Mount Kisco has a variety of places to eat. It’s over ten years since we moved here, and there are still so many places we have yet to try, but here are a few of our favorites. Thank goodness there are a few local gyms!
Exit 4 Food Hall refers to itself as a “first of its kind in Westchester County offering local, freshly-prepared food and drinks.” Exit 4 offers at least nine different food stations; there is something for everyone! I’m usually partial to the sushi or the pho soups, but they also have stations with oysters, barbecue, pizza, pasta, salads, and a full bar. It’s a casual, fun, communal experience with indoor and outdoor seating. In addition, I love their belief in sustainability. For example, wine and beer are served on tap, and they use Green Box (a box that serves as plates and gets smaller for leftovers) for delivery or take-out items. Exit 4 is quite community-oriented as well. Daily leftovers are distributed to those in need in the local community. And save some room for dessert, diagonally across the street is Frannie’s Frozen Yogurt!
Out of all the places in Mount Kisco, Stone Fire is my family’s fave. The website describes the cuisine as “old world Italian-fare and more with a twist.” I am a huge fan of the Szechaun Cauliflower appetizer, the Neapolitan Pizzas (all of them!), the Chopped Salad, and the Deconstructed Lasagna. Another family fave is the Blistered Shishito Peppers. We have tried so hard to replicate them at home. Stone Fire has an a-la-carte brunch on the weekends. Standouts on that menu are the Chicken and Waffles and the Short Rib Grilled Cheese. All delicious! We have never been disappointed in anything we’ve ordered! Another great offer is the daily meals to-go that serve 4 to 6 people and includes a main dish, pasta, salad, bread, and a bottle of wine – all for $55.
Village Social is a cool gastropub that gives you very little feeling that you’re actually sitting at a restaurant in Northern Westchester! The name of the restaurant pretty much explains the atmosphere. It’s fun, and locals can always trust that they’ll see someone they know. The menus are seasonal, and the ingredients are farm fresh. It’s ideal for a date night and a girl’s night out but also perfect for a family. I love the “bowls” menu, especially the Wok-Styled Salmon. For dinner, I’m all about the Wild Fish Tacos.
Badageoni is an authentic Georgian restaurant devoted to presenting its traditions, values, and the very best of Georgian rich and colorful cuisine, with tremendously artistic dishes and creative mixes of flavors and tastes. Their cozy and hospitable restaurant accurately expresses the Georgian traditions and social cultures that bind friends and families to cherish past and present moments. The owners of Badageoni are lovely and pride themselves on creating a warm, welcoming family atmosphere. If you like dumplings, please head over and try the Khinkali.
When I’ve mentioned to folks that I live in Mount Kisco, a common response has been, “I love the Lexington Square Café!” This was one of the first places my husband and I tried when we moved here. It has impressive 17-foot ceilings and an awesome layout of different-tiered dining areas. The menu certainly provides plenty of options for everyone. It’s often tough to choose what you want to eat, but for now, I’ll say…The Lobster BLT Salad = Yum!
Mimi’s Coffee House is a lovely, independently woman-owned coffee shop in the village. Mimi’s works directly with farmers in Colombia and Ethiopia and prides itself on using direct trade beans, sustainable/compostable products, and revolutionary brew methods. They also offer healthy organic and gluten-free food options to snack on with your caffeine or drink of choice. The environment is friendly, welcoming, and warm. It’s a perfect hide-out for a little solo time and relaxing with a delicious cup of coffee or meeting up with a friend to catch up.
Where To Shop
Beehive is the perfect place to shop for specialized gifts. Hands down. They sell beautiful and original products by independent designers and artists, including home goods and décor, bath and body items, clothing, jewelry, and other accessories. They also have a great kids’ section for those unique gifts you don’t see in typical retail stores.
All Together Now pens itself as “a resource for kids and parents.” The store is a true community partner that sells clothing, toys, books, accessories, you name it, and they sell it! Much of the clothing and toys are from manufacturers that use natural, environmentally friendly products. A photography studio in the store provides special photo experiences for maternity shoots, newborn sessions, cake smashes, etc. All Together Now typically holds classes for young children and can purchase educational toys and games to keep your children busy and learning at home.
The Hamlet sells British goods, including food, books, gifts, home decor, and vinyl records. Most food items are imported from England, allowing customers to taste authentic delicacies not found in other local stores. One of the co-owners lived in England before moving to the US. Quite cool that The Hamlet gives us a taste of Britain close to home! And the owners have plans to open a pub in Mount Kisco in late 2023.
I accompanied my daughter and her Girl Scout Troop on a field trip to Bicycle World many years ago. While we were there, I decided to ask the owner what type of bike is best for a woman in her late 40s to learn to ride. Instead of laughing at me (like most people do), he spoke of a few options, including renting a bike from the store before purchasing. My thoughts went right to how many bicycles get smashed up by people like me! Although I haven’t been brave enough to rent a bike, it’s wonderful knowing I can. It is a pretty cool bicycle shop, and the team is super nice and helpful. One additional fact is the store is a must-see for history buffs. Bicycle World is in a historic building restored to its former glory of the late 1800s. It’s part of Mount Kisco’s history.
For us mainstreamers, there are various chains, including Target, The Gap, Athleta, and TJ Maxx, which is one of the reasons we moved here—the best of both worlds.
Mount Kisco calls itself The Big Little Village. Approximately three square miles, it is geographically small, but it delivers big. Mount Kisco has a true sense of community, and the residents have pride in the town. Over our years here, we’ve met many people born and raised in the town, who, in turn, decided to raise their own families here and open up local businesses. And they truly have nothing but open arms to us “outsiders” moving in. We all quickly become “insiders!” It’s a lovely place to live and fun to visit too! Come eat! Come shop! Come play!