50 Free Things To Do with Kids in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Roam the the cedar walk and gardens at Caramoor for a free, fun outing. Photo by Gabe Palacio
Roam the the cedar walk and gardens at Caramoor for a free, fun outing. Photo by Gabe Palacio
1/7/24 - By Susan Miele

Our favorite price is free. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up 50 free things to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley with kids. From outdoor adventures and museum access to STEM fun and seasonal excursions, we’ve combed the area and our calendar to give you plenty of options for free family-friendly outings. Be sure to bookmark this for year-round reference—your family will never be bored (or broke) again!

Keep tabs on our Westchester and Hudson Valley Family Activity Calendar, which is always loaded with free (and low-cost) activities for all ages, and check out our Local Guide to Free Fun Things To Do.


Get more ideas for fun things to do delivered directly to your inbox when you sign up for our newsletters.

1. Hilltop Hanover Farm

This local farm in Yorktown Heights is free to visit (fees apply for select events and pick-your-own produce).

2. Greenburgh Nature Center

Take a romp through the Discovery Playground, roam the trails, and walk to the pond in search of turtles at the Greenburgh Nature Center. (Note: There is a cost to enter the Manor House.)

3. Marine Education Center

Explore the aquariums and touch tank at the Marine Education Center in Mamaroneck.

4. Muscoot Farm

See what the animals are up to and view the historic buildings and tools at Muscoot Farm in Katonah, where admission is free.

5. Teatown Lake Reservation

Explore the grounds of Teatown, with trails that are suitable for all abilities.

6. Center for the Urban River

Support local scientific research by signing up your teen (ages 16 and up) to study the Hudson River.

7. Stone Barns Center

Admission to Stone Barns Agricultural Center is free in winter.

8. Take a Story Walk

Many towns in the area offer their own version of a Story Walk, like the one at Bryant-Mamaroneck Park in White Plains, that allows you to do something in nature to stimulate a kid's love of reading.

RELATED: Free Museums and Museum Days in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

Boy walks through Untermyer Gardens where admission is free
The sprawling Untermyer Gardens offers free admission and plenty of family-friendly programming. Photo by Susan Miele

9. Untermyer Gardens

Stroll the beautiful, tranquil gardens of Untermyer in Yonkers.

10. National Park Days

Benefit from free admission to select historic sites on one of the National Park Fee-Free Days.

11. Bear Mountain State Park

There’s loads to do on the grounds of Bear Mountain State Park—whether you're viewing fall foliage, sledding, or visiting the trailside zoo (there’s also much to justify the voluntary donation). A parking fee applies.

12. RiverWalk

Take a stroll on the Westchester RiverWalk, which you can pick up in Tarrytown, Croton, or Peekskill.

13. See the Dinosaur Garden

Romp with the dinosaurs and stroll through the lovely gardens of Lasdon Park.

14. Learn to Ski

Take advantage of FREE (or cheap) ski programs in the Northeast. (Just note there's a processing fee.)

RELATED: Birthday Freebies for Kids: 60 Places To Get Free Stuff on Your Birthday

Free things to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley: Caramoor
Spend a day enjoying the grounds at Caramoor. Photo by Gabe Palacio

15. Caramoor

Roam the gardens and have a picnic at Caramoor.

16. Pedal the Parkway

Hop on your bikes and cruise the car-free Bronx River Parkway during Bicycle Sundays from May through October.

17. Follow a New Path

Burn some calories on one of these great bike paths throughout the county.

18. Forsyth Nature Center

Explore more than two dozen animal exhibits at the always-free Forsyth Nature Center in Kingston and explore the nearby playground—one of our favorites in the Hudson Valley—while you're there.

19. Go Sledding

Go sledding in Westchester or catch some air on these Hudson Valley sledding hills.

20. Visit a Waterfall

Commune with nature on an adventure to any of these area waterfalls.

21. Play a Hiking Game

Take a hike and take in the beautiful Hudson Valley landscape, which is especially lovely in the fall. You can even play an adventure game to spice things up!

22. Walkway Over the Hudson

Traverse this breathtaking 1.28-mile-long pedestrian bridge that’s hailed as the “world’s longest elevated park.” Keep an eye out for occasional events, like stargazing.

23. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge

Further south, cross the Hudson along the Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, which features scenic overlooks and public art.

24. Try a New Playground

Be intrepid—explore a great Westchester playground you haven’t yet romped through.

25. See the Cherry Blossoms

Glory in the beauty of spring with a photo-op where cherry blossoms are in bloom.

26. Hit a Splash Pad

Cool down in one of these spray grounds and splash pads.

RELATED: 20 Free Online Games For Kids to Play Together

Free things to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley: Hockey player skates on the free Sal J. Prezioso Mountain Lakes Park pond
Skate for free on a pond in North Salem. Photo courtesy of Westchester County Parks Dept.

27. Go Ice Skating

Take a spin around an outdoor skating pond.

28. Work That Library Card

The 38 branches of the Westchester Library System offer more than just books and storytimes. There are loads of free perks, and the best events are found in our Family Activity Calendar.

29. Sign Up for the Summer Reading Game

Join the library's annual Summer Reading Game, which offers a fun way to promote reading throughout the summer. A new theme is chosen each year, with events, prizes, and challenges.

30. Grab and Go

Many libraries offer grab-and-go kits that are available for pickup on select dates.

31. Stew Leonard's

Enjoy the music and motion entertainment provided by the mechanical characters throughout Stew Leonard's. We love Chiquita Banana and the Farm Fresh Five! Free kids’ activities are offered throughout the year.

32. Hit Up the Sidewalk Sales

Check the lineup at seasonal sidewalk sales and community days throughout Westchester. In addition to shopping for bargains, FREE entertainment and activities for children are often provided as an added draw.

33. Celebrate Pride

Poughkeepsie goes all out for Pride with a festive, rainbow-and-celebration-filled parade through its streets annually in June.

RELATED: 100 Things To Do in Westchester with Kids Before They Grow Up

Free things to do in Westchester and the Hudson Valley: Keeler family's free holiday light display
The Keeler family in Putnam Valley traditionally puts on a spectacular holiday light display. Photo courtesy of the family

34. Let There Be Light

Take a driving tour of Christmas light displays in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

35. Light Up the Holidays

Join a tree- or menorah-lighting event, like the Mount Kisco Festival of Lights, with treats and fun.

36. Easter Egg Hunts

Set kids off searching for sweets at one of these local Easter egg hunts that take place each spring. Many are completely free.

37. Do Good

Kids can learn more about giving back to their local community through national events, like MLK National Day of Service

38. Neuberger Museum of Art

The Neuberger Museum of Art is admission-free, making it a great opportunity to check out cool exhibits.

39. Tarrytown Halloween Parade

The Hudson Valley is ripe with Halloween fun, and this annual parade is a crowd-pleaser!

40. Check Out a Museum Pass

Put that local library to even more good use: Many offer year-round free museum passes you can borrow.

41. Play Farmer

On Saturdays in the warmer months, visit John Jay Homestead’s Red Barn Discovery Center—and check out the grounds, which are also free to explore while you're there.

42. Visit a Children's Museum

With a new name, the Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum in Poughkeepsie continues its tradition of monthly Family Free Nights on the third Sunday of each month.

43. Discover a New Artist

Catch the changing exhibits at a local art gallery.

44. Head to NYC

Pack some snacks and meander through the streets of NYC—we've got plenty of ideas for free things to do!

45. Explore American History

For a slice of local American history, take a self-guided tour of St. Paul’s Historic Church.

46. Follow the Signs

Experience the Museum in the Streets, scavenger hunt-style, in Hastings-on-Hudson.

47. Take a Tour of West Point

Learn about military history and cadet life at the West Point Museum. Short on time: The visitors' center offers a single gallery to explore.

48. Roam the Ruins

Take a short jaunt up to Cornish Estate in Cold Spring to see ruins without having to fly to Pompeii. Yet more ruins are worth exploring at the West Point Foundry Preserve.

49. Catch a Flick

In the summertime, many local parks and venues become a stage for FREE outdoor movies.

50. See a Summer Concert

Those same parks and venues also host many free summer concerts, magic shows, and theatrical performances.

Many more FREE programs can be found year-round on our Family Activity Calendar.

This post has been updated for 2023.