Take Me to the River Grassroots Festival: Westchester Music Fest for the Whole Family

Things to do with Kids in Westchester

If the only concerts you’ve seen recently involved singing dogs, dinosaurs or puppets, maybe it’s time to check out a cool music festival that you will enjoy as much as your kids will. On September 11th, the 3rd Annual Hastings-on-the-Hudson “Take Me To The River” Grassroots Festival hits Draper Park in Westchester. It is an all day event and in addition to the musical grooves celebrating local and nationally acclaimed blues, folk, jazz and alternative musicians, it is also a festival showcasing an array of art, various art installations, and art activities for the kids. And you don’t need a car to get there.


With two sound stages, one of which is solar powered, and loads of tents, the festival will feature tunes from bands such as: Hazmat Modine, The Kennedys, Milton, Joe Crookston, Ken Butler, Whiskey Logic, MEG, Greetings From Anywhere and many, many more. The Ebony Hillbillies will also be performing, and are one of the last all black string bands in the US.


The children’s area, hosted by local artists, will feature so many amazing interactive art and music projects, your kids will be in a wonderland of uber coolness! In addition to traditional festival fun, like face painting, nail decorating, henna tattoos, bubbles and hula hoops, Take Me To The River knows how to bring it! Here are just a few of the pretty cool sounding activities:


The Zen Tree- Imagine a magnificent Oak tree filled with hanging blank canvases. The canvases are actually special paper for your kids to paint on with water. A design will appear, and then evaporate over time so someone else can have a go at creating a masterpiece, all without wasting paper.


A Giant Sling Shot – Your kids will safely scatter and “sling” acorns which are indigenous to the park. And when they say GIANT, they mean, well, a 12ft-6ft GIANT sling shot!


Music Tree – A tree filled with hanging pipes and instruments for the kiddies to bang on and explore.


VW Bug - In my opinion, the COOLEST art project ever. A 1966 VW Buggy is loaded in for the kids to paint and glue fun cool toys on. For the little ones, I suggest instilling this is only ok here, not on your car at home!


Mosaic Mural – A glass mosaic of a musical instrument which is worked on and contributed to all day and then presented to the Main Stage at the end of the evening.

Plus, Bicycle Wheel Spin Art, Shaving Cream Art, & Creating Your Own Lyrics.


Hard to believe but there is so much more at this unique and earth-conscious event!!

Sustainable Hastings and Haven Colgate will host a Nature Tent that will include animal print castings, pet rocks, vine wreaths, scavenger hunts, eco-games and composting.

Liz Liebeskind, one of the event founders and organizers, calls it a “family ‘sleeper’ festival with enough kid activities to keep everyone happy”.


What a great opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds, in more ways than one. Not only will there be music and fun for you and your tot, you can enjoy the bliss of being in the scenic Hastings on Hudson’s Draper Park. The icing on the cake?? You don’t even need a car to get there. Hastings is about half an hour from Grand Central on Metro North.  The train has great views long the Hudson and getting there will be part of the fun.


Tickets and $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Kids under 17 are FREE.

From NYC take Metro North to Hastings on Hudson. Once in Hastings walk to the south end of the train tracks and walk up Washington Street. Continue up hill, cross Warburton and Draper Park will be on your Right.


Fins out more at the Take Me to the River Music & Art Festival website.   



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