We all love our cozy little 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 incredible 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.
One of the most interesting parts of Somers is the history behind how it became known as the “cradle of the American circus.” An African elephant was bought by Hachaliah Bailey in 1808, who is now known to be one of the founders of the early circus, and he named this elephant Old Bet. Historical records also show an elephant brought to the United States in 1796, but it cannot be proven that this same elephant was Old Bet.
Bailey’s circus became known as the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Bailey also built the Elephant Hotel, a major historical landmark you can find while driving through the main part of town. There is even a statue of Old Bet sitting up high for all to see! My little guy loves to point at the “elffffnt.” The Elephant Hotel serves as the Somers Town Hall and the schools also affectionately use the name Tuskers for their sports teams. The little ones are known as the Tiny Tuskers!
The Gerard Crane House, located on Route 202 in Somers, can be found on a 25-acre estate connecting to the Rhinoceros Brook. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its architectural style can be attributed to the Greek Revival, and it also features beautiful ornamentation, high ceilings, and a third-story ballroom. I drive by this house daily and can attest to its classic beauty.
You can find most Somers residents inside their favorite local spot, Bobo’s Café, which also has a second location in nearby Baldwin Place. There is always a good mix of adults and high school students relaxing and enjoying good company, food, and drinks. Customers will find great coffee, delicious sandwiches, smoothies, baked goods, and more. My personal favorite is the Bo-Ccino shake which is a mix of bananas, peanut butter, espresso, cinnamon, and chocolate oat milk. The G.O.A.T avocado toast is also a go-to when I want something quick, healthy, and yummy. Eggs and goat cheese on toast…a total fan favorite.
Ask someone where to get ice cream in Somers, and they will tell you to go to King Kone. This adorable outdoor ice cream shop, which also has great burgers and fries, will impress you with its delicious variety of flavors, including a S’mores Sundae and a Birthday Cake Flurry! Grab a spot at a picnic table and head over!
Reis Park is another family favorite. Kids love it for their updated playgrounds, which include swings, a mini climbing wall, and a fenced-in baby play area. There is also a concession stand, a pavilion to hold events, basketball and tennis courts, and even nature trails. This is also the spot where you can find soccer and baseball practices on the weekends, and if you need a good book or toddler story time, the library is located right by the main entrance to the park.
Lake Purdys is a personal favorite to me because this is the place where I call home. This tiny, treated lake is where I take my kids to swim in the summer and ice skate in the winter. Residents pay an annual membership fee, but having this wonderful community is priceless.
If you’re a fan of nature and wildlife, you can visit the Angle Fly Preserve. Here you will find bird watching, hiking, and other local wildlife. Don’t forget to download your interactive map!
Muscoot Farm, actually located in Katonah but a Somers favorite is conveniently located on Route 100 and is super close to King Kone! You will find cows, pigs, goats, sheep, and other animals here. If your children love farm animals like mine, this is the perfect place to visit. Did I mention that it’s free to the public?! They also host educational programs, birthday parties, and a Farmers’ Market, which begins in April and goes until November.
This coming fall, please consider a trip to Stuart’s Fruit Farm. This family-owned, beautiful farm is a family favorite when it’s time for apple and pumpkin picking. Feel free to take a hayride while visiting, and don’t forget to check out the fresh produce and the delicious and irresistible apple cider donuts and pies! Apple picking season starts in September!
There are so many wonderful places to visit in Somers, and the rich history adds to the appeal. I feel truly blessed to raise my children in such a wonderful town.