The warm weather is here, which makes it a great time to host an outdoor birthday party. But what if you don’t want the inconvenience, or don’t have the space, to host a bunch of high-energy kids at your house? One of our local parks can be a great option.
Whether you’re looking to have a small party or a big bash, there are lots of parks in the area to accommodate your needs—and many have tons of fun amenities too, from splash pads to playgrounds to soccer fields. Here, we’ve rounded up six of our favorite.
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Harbor Island Park - Mamaroneck
Beach party, anyone? Stock up on sand toys (they make great goodie bags!) and reserve one of the areas at Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck open for parties. There’s an indoor space that can accommodate up to 60 people, as well as three outdoor spaces—a beach deck, a side deck overlooking the beach and a spot right on the sand, all of which can hold about 50-60 people. (You can also rent multiple areas at once.) There are grassy areas for games and, for the beach spaces, you have access to the beach and a splash pad. Food can be catered or you can bring your own propane and grill on one of the provided BBQs. Looking to add a bounce house to the fun? With the vendor's' insurance, they’re a-ok. Parties usually last about four hours and generally rates per space are $200 for residents and $300 for non-residents, though that depends on your exact needs. There are both indoor and outdoor restrooms and parking post-Memorial Day is $10 per car on the weekends.
Pierson Park - Tarrytown
Here’s what’s great about renting the covered pavilion area at Pierson Park in Tarrytown: Right next to the space—which can accommodate up to 85-90 people—you have access to a super kid-friendly plash pad and playground. That’s not to mention places to play volleyball and bocce ball as well as grassy areas close by where you can organize games and other activities. The party can be catered and there are also four grills (including a portable one) provided. Rental fees are $250 for residents and $500 for non-residents, and parking is free. Another plus: If the area is not already being used, small parties of under 15 people can use the space for free.
Sometimes all you need is a playground for a birthday party, and Saxon Woods delivers.
Saxon Woods Park - White Plains
This tranquil, woodsy park—which, surprisingly, is just a quick turn off bustling Mamaroneck Avenue—offers both picnic areas and a covered pavilion that Westchester residents can reserve for parties. The picnic areas, which have nine total tables and two grills, are great for up to 75 people, while the covered pavilion, with 25 tables and five grills, is ideal for larger parties of up to 200. There’s a playground and volleyball net and you’re free to have everything from a bounce house to a DJ, as long as they have insurance. It’s smart to reserve the space early in the year, and parking is $5 per car for Westchester park pass holders and $10 for those without. Pass holders can rent the picnic area on weekends for $175 and the pavilion for $450. Hosting a smaller party? Groups of less than 20 are free to use the space if it's not already reserved. Another option: Check out the picnic tables on the pool side of the park, which are open on a first-come, first-serve basis. One note: Your guests will need to be Westchester residents.
Tibbetts Brook Park - Yonkers
Tibbetts offers tons of options for parents to choose when hosting a party: there are nine different picnic areas, as well as one covered pavilion, and activities range from a playground, a tennis court and a basketball court—all of which are free to use. They’ve also got mini-golf, soccer fields and a great pool, which are available at an additional fee. Have other ideas in mind? Inflatables are allowed, as long as the vendor has insurance. For Westchester park pass holders, it’s $175 to rent a picnic area and $450 for the pavilion on weekends, with parking at $5 for pass holders or $10 per car for those without. Another plus: Groups of 20 or less can use the picnic space for free, as long as they’re available. As with Saxon, guests will need to be residents.
Gedney Park - Millwood
The picnic area towards the back of Gedney Park in Millwood is a fun pick for a kid’s birthday party. There’s a small playground near the space and grassy areas to play games and set up kid-friendly activities. There are about 8 picnic tables and food-wise, you can either bring in your own, grill on the charcoal BBQ, or have it catered. (Just note: catering, bounce houses and other entertainment need to have insurance and get the ok from the recreation and parks department ahead of time.) Rental fees are $250 for residents and $300 for non-residents, along with a refundable security deposit—plus there are bathrooms on site and parking is free. Rather not reserve? There’s a small structure at the front of the park, near the newly renovated playground, that’s available, but there are no amenities (think: possibly no tables), so your picnic might actually be a picnic.
George’s Island Park - Montrose
There are three party areas to choose from at this 208-acre Westchester County park in Montrose: two covered pavilions and one picnic area. The pavilion areas at George's Island Park—one is close to a playground—are great for larger parties of us to 200 people, while the picnic area—which also has a playground closeby—is ideal for up to 75. Grills are available and you can set up your own music from say, a stereo, iPhone or computer. (DJs are ok in the pavilion area.) Bounce houses can be set up, but you’ll need liability insurance from the vendor. Both Westchester and non-Westchester residents can reserve the space, which, on the weekends, is $175 for the picnic area and $450 for the pavilions for Westchester park pass holders. For smaller groups, there are tables available on a first-come, first-serve basis for 20 people or less. Parking is $5 for park pass holders, $10 without the pass, from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The fee is charged on weekends the rest of the year.
Top photo: Saxon Woods has a covered pavilion that's great for large gatherings. All photos taken by the author.