My daughters are fascinated with princesses, so showing them a “real” castle was such a treat and, thankfully, not far from where we live. First opened in 1881, Glen Island in New Rochelle is situated on 105 acres of land. Dubbed “the first theme park,” today it is the second most widely used county park in Westchester, after Rye Playland. Read on for info on those castles and other things to do on Glen Island.
Glen Island offers a gorgeous backdrop to a day of fun, with water views everywhere you look, greenery through and through and two stone castles that once housed a beer garden and restaurant in the late 19th century. These castles were fashioned after German castles of the time and the detail is beautiful and authentic enough to mesmerize my four and five year girls, who were convinced that the tallest of the towers belonged to none other than Rapunzel herself! My son, 9, had a ball playing along like a good big brother, checking out the cannons and scaling the large rocks and stone walls of a nearby gazebo before we headed to the docks to watch the ducks, geese and even a swan in the water.
In addition to the picturesque castles, Glen Island offers playgrounds, benches and tables for picnics and birthday parties, open fields for soccer or football, a volleyball net, and a beach overlooking the Long Island Sound. And if you're looking for a place to host your next big banquet, wedding or bar/bat mitzvah, Glen Island Harbour Club, a stunning catering hall, is located on the grounds as well. The nearby castles and gazebo offer stunning backdrops for photos.
A simply beautiful retreat, Glen Island is open year round. In addition to summer fun, the fall foliage is beautiful and the water views and crisp air are invigorating! In the winter, head over to Glen Island just after a snowfall for an untouched, quiet and white winter wonderland, perfect for making snow angels and building snowmen. There's also more than enough room for an all out snowball fight with the kids!
Glen Island is located on Pelham Road in New Rochelle and is open 7 days a week, year round, from 8am to dusk. The beach is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11am-6:30pm, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission is free but a Westchester County Parks Pass is required for entry.
Top image credit: WalkingGeek. All other images taken by MommyPoppins.com.