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

The Dinosaur Garden offers a short walk, fun dino sightings, and educational, easy-to-read signs. Photo by  Marisa Iallonardo
The Dinosaur Garden offers a short walk, fun dino sightings, and educational, easy-to-read signs. Photo by Marisa Iallonardo
1/8/23 - By Susan Miele

Our favorite price is FREE. And who doesn’t love a good bargain? Especially to help offset the high costs of vacation, camps, child care, and holidays in Westchester. 

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

Keep in mind that for many of these venues, advance reservations might be required. Also, check directly with each regarding COVID-19 policies.

Keep tabs on our Activities Calendar, which is always loaded with free (and low-cost) activities for all ages, and check out our Guide to Free Fun Things to Do With Westchester Kids

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

FREE Fun at Farms and Nature Centers in Westchester

1. Visit the Farm

Hilltop Hanover Farm in Yorktown Heights is FREE to visit (fees apply for select events and pick-your-own produce).


2. See the Raptors and Turtles

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. Be a Marine Biologist

Explore the aquaria and touch tank at the Marine Education Center.

4. Visit a Historic Farm

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

RELATEDTop Playgrounds in Westchester and the Hudson Valley

trail at Teatown
Trail signs at Teatown offer plenty of info on local ecology and keep you moving in the right direction Photo by  Marisa Iallonardo

5. Choose Your Trail

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

6. Contribute to Scientific Research

Support local scientific research by signing up your teen (ages 14 and up) to study the Hudson River.

7. Meet the Animals in Winter

Admission to Stone Barns Agricultural Center is free in winter.

8. Read a Story—While You Walk 

Many towns in the area offer their own version of a StoryWalk, like in White Plains, that allows you to do something in nature that stimulates a kid's love of reading. 

RELATEDFree Museums and Free Museum Days in NYC for Kids

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

FREE Fun at Parks, Playgrounds, and Gardens in Westchester

9. Discover a Hidden Gem

Stroll the beautiful, tranquil gardens of Untermyer

10. Skip the Admission Fee

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

11. Spend the Day at Bear Mountain

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

12. Follow the River

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

13. See Dinosaurs in a 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.

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

Spend a day enjoying the grounds at Caramoor. Photo courtesy of Caramoor

15. Picnic and Stroll the Grounds

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–October.

17. Follow a New Path

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

18. Learn a New Skill 

Check out what's going on at a local park and lean into a new skill, like the free Winter Shelter Building activity at Cranberry Lake Preserve. 

19. Bundle Up for Snow Fun

Go sledding on one of our great hills.

RELATEDHow to Get Free Baby Stuff: Free Diapers, Formula, Baby Gear, and More

Explore Kaaterskill Falls for free
A trip to Kaaterskill Falls produces postcard-worthy views.  

20. Visit a Waterfall

Commune with nature on a venture to any of these area waterfalls.

21. Play a Hiking Game

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

22. Cross the River from Dutchess to Ulster County

Traverse the Walkway Over The Hudson, the 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. Cross the River in Westchester

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 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. Cool Off in Summer

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

RELATED20 Free Online Games For Kids to Play Together

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 for a Spin on the Ice

Take a spin around an outdoor skating pond.

FREE Fun at Libraries in Westchester

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 Activities Calendar

29. Sign Up for the Summer Reading Game

Join the libraries’ annual Summer Reading Game, 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 continue to offer grab-and-go kits that are available for pickup on select dates. Did you know you could participate in another branch’s programming? Branch out!

Stores, Malls, and Downtowns to Explore for FREE Fun in Westchester

31. Bop While You Shop

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. Join Mall Events

Area malls often host FREE family events, like the Palisades Center’s Tykes Tuesdays.

RELATED100 Things To Do in Westchester with Kids Before They Grow Up

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

FREE Holiday and Seasonal Festivities in Westchester

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 Bedford Menorah Lighting, which typically includes entertainment, refreshments, and giveaways.

36. Soak Up the Holiday Spirit—Year-Round

Subscribe to our newsletters to stay abreast of holiday parades, Easter egg hunts, New Year’s Eve ball drops, Earth Day festivities, fireworks, seasonal festivals, and other FREE attractions. We also frequently post roundups of FREE things to do with kids by month or season. Think of all the money you can save with a newsletter subscription!

FREE Fun at Museums, Historic Sites, and Cultural Spots in Westchester

37. Do Good  

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

38. Visit the Neuberger

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

39. Save the Date

Mark your calendar for FREE admission to participating sites on Smithsonian Museum Day Live in September.

40. Save Money with Your Library Card

Check your local library for year-round free museum passes.

41. Play Farmer

Sign up for John Jay Homestead’s Red Barn Discovery Center private experience.

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 Saturday.  

43. Discover a New Artist

Catch the changing exhibits at a local 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.

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.

FREE Theater, Music, and Film

49. Catch a Flick

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

50. Put on Your Dancing Flip-Flops

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 Activities Calendar.

This post has been updated for 2023.