Located in the northwest section of the Bronx, Riverdale has long been a home for people looking to escape the city. Once settled with stately vacation houses of wealthy New Yorkers, the neighborhood transformed into a kind of suburb when commuting by train became possible. Today, Riverdale is highly prized for its historic houses as well as its prestigious private schools like Fieldston, Horace Mann and Riverdale Country School—known as the "Hill Schools" to some. The suburbs in the city feeling continues with relatively quiet enclaves of chain stores, shopping centers and upscale high-rises mixed in with nature-filled oases, old-school family-friendly restaurants, charming children's boutiques, synagogues and historic churches.
In June, we’ll be focusing on everything Riverdale has to offer residents and visitors. We will be including all of the northwest Bronx in our coverage from West 254th Street to Edsall Avenue, from the Hudson River to Broadway, which includes Spuyten Duyvil, Marble Hill and Kingsbridge.
Here are our top things to do with kids in Riverdale.
Note: While the neighborhood is accessible by subway and Metro-North, like the suburbs, it's sprawling enough that you can't just get off the train and walk wherever you want to go from there. So plan ahead to hit the places of interest to your family.
- Work on a nature-inspired Family Art Project at Wave Hill on the weekends—admission to the grounds is free until noon on Saturdays
- Hiking, biking and swimming is just some of the fun on tap in the 1146-acre Van Cortlandt Park
- Step into the 18th century at the Van Cortlandt House Museum, the oldest home in the Bronx
- Wander the nature trails in Riverdale Park, where the forest is the same as it was in pre-colonial times
- Play basketball, baseball, football or soccer in Seton Park
- Enjoy high-end seasonal dishes at the rustic Riverdale Garden, which also offers a kids' menu
- Beat on drums and strum guitars with your tots at Big Apple Music Together
- Choose from athletics, arts or culture classes at the Riverdale Y
- See a lovely elevated view of the Spuyten Duyvil Creek at Spuyten Duyvil Shorefront Park
- Enjoy weekly toddler and baby storytimes at the Riverdale Library
- Hit popular local play spot Paul's Playground in Henry Hudson Park
- Explore the thought provoking works at Elisa Contemporary Art, Riverdale's only modern art gallery
- Celebrating the Hudson River at the annual Riverdale RiverFest in June, featuring boat rides, show boats, live music and family entertainment
- Grade schoolers can audition for a part in one of Riverdale Children’s Theatre's family musicals
- Catch a show at the Riverdale Rising Stars Performing Arts Conservatory, which offers professional theatrical training to talented local kids
- School-age kids can practice their Reading Aloud skills every week at the Spuyten Duyvil Library
- Work on some serious painting, sculpting, drawing or sewing projects at the Hudson River Arts Workshop
- Take horseback riding lessons at Riverdale Equestrian Centre
- Learn how to swim at the Whitehall Club with Aquabilities with Jennifer
- Pick up the latest Marvel and DC titles and also browse the wide selection of classics at Magnum Comics & Cards
- Peruse one jam-packed aisle of toys at local pharmacy DJ Drugs
- Chow down on chocolate rugelach, hamantashen, babka and other Jewish treats at kosher bakery Mother’s Bake Shop, which only accepts cash
- Share one of Riverdale Diner's massive family meals
- Meet other local parents with infants by joining the Riverdale, Baby! forum
- Sit on a bench right at the edge of the Hudson River at the Riverdale Waterfront Promenade and Fishing Access Site
- Try the signature treat at Lloyd's Carrot Cake, made from all natural ingredients including huge carrots
- Grab a nosh at Rolen Bagels except on Saturdays when the shop's closed for Shabbat
Read all of our posts about Riverdale.