10+ Inspiring Things to do in Katonah NY This Weekend
Welcome to Katonah NY! This happens to be one of my favorite towns in Westchester County. There are so many things to do in Katonah NY, including visiting a historic home, museums and exploring nature trails, that it is no wonder it is a great place to visit.
With many of its popular places to visit open year-round, you should always keep the town of Katonah on your list of places to visit, no matter the season.
Katonah is a small, friendly town in the lower Hudson Valley of Westchester County, making it the perfect place to spend the day and a weekend.
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What are the Best Things to Do in Katonah NY?
With so many things to do in Katonah NY, how do you pick just?
Katonah is known for its historical and cultural significance, as well as, its charming downtown area with many small shops and restaurants. Now let’s take a look and see all the things to do in Katonah NY:
– Bedford Audubon Society
Located at Bylane Farm, this is also the location of the Bedford Audubon Society offices, John Bull Library (open Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm) and the Leon Levy Native Garden (open everyday from sunrise to sunset).
With a focus on teaching, research, exploration and advocacy of the Bedford Audubon’s Sanctuaries, this is a wonderful place to visit and one of the best/hidden things to do in Katonah NY. These Sanctuaries are open to the public all year-long and are free to visit.
In addition to the sanctuaries, the society holds events such as, Bird Walks, Nature Exploration Outings, and Special Trips. Make sure to follow them on social media to find out about these events.
Don’t forget to take a pair of binoculars during your visit, like these affordable ones, so you can better enjoy this area.
The Sanctuaries include:
- James Ramsay Hunt & Mary Welsh Parker Memorial Sanctuary: This sanctuary boasts over 300 acres and has miles of trails for visitors to enjoy.
- Ruth Walgreen Franklin & Winifred Fels Memorial Sanctuary: This sanctuary has over 200 acres with woodlands, swamps, wetlands and reservoir.
- Palmer H. Lewis Memorial Sanctuary: This 24 acre sanctuary has a rocky hillside, as well as, a small field, perfect for butterfly watching.
– Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts
Located on Girdle Ridge Road, a visit to the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is one of the best things to do in Katonah NY. Serving as a live music venue for symphonic, opera, chamber, American roots, and jazz, performances, it’s no wonder that people visit Caramoor from all over.
Located on over 80 acres, previously owned by Walter and Lucie Rosen, this art center absolutely embodies the mission of the Rosens’. By hosting the Caramoor Summer Music Festival, they welcome diverse audiences to listen to and appreciate a variety of music genres. Caramoor also has extensive educational programs.
In addition to many wonderful music events, Caramoor also has popular events, such as “Afternoon Tea”, an event that often sells out. Formal tea service is served in the afternoon or during ‘High Tea Time’ and includes a variety of tea sandwiches, scones with crème fraiche and preserves, delicious desserts, and a variety of fragrant teas, all served on exquisite vintage china.
– John Jay Homestead
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site is located on Jay Street right next to Caramoor Center for Music and Arts and is one of the great things to do in Katonah NY all year long. John Jay is famous as one of the authors of ‘The Federalists Papers’ and was the first Chief Justice of the United States. This National Historic Landmark is an important part of American History.
Although the grounds are open all year, the buildings are only open from May through October. Six historic buildings at John Jay Homestead feature hands-on, immersive Discovery Centers, each focused on a different theme. Designed as interactive activities and exploration areas, the Discovery Centers help young visitors and their families learn about life on the Jay Farm during the 19th and 20th centuries in a fun and engaging way.
– Katonah Avenue
Take a walk along Katonah Avenue and the surrounding area to become immersed in a town with a strong community. In addition to the coffee shops and restaurants, there are also independent boutiques and stores that lend to a shopping spree. Taking a stroll on Katonah Avenue is one of the best free things to do in Katonah NY.
Small Businesses include:
- Catherine H – Specializing in women’s clothing and accessories
- HIM by Catherine H – Specializing in men’s fashion
- Kelloggs & Lawrence – Hardware Store that carries specialty items
- Charles Department Store – Dry Goods Store located in one of the many Katonah historic buildings
- And James – A boutique clothing store specializing in clothing for children (birth to pre-teen)
- Sgaglio’s Marketplace – This community marketplace has been around for more than 45 years and is a staple in Katonah.
- Ebba – Imported products from Italy that includes clothing and accessories.
- WildFig Floral – This floral design company is the place to go for fresh flowers.
- Bedford House – Offering furnishings, fine consignments and gifts.
- Katonah Pasta – This is the best spot to buy fresh pasta.
- Katonah Architectural Hardware – A place for fine architectural hardware, including door hardware, cabinet hardware, lighting and more.
- ACME Bicycle Co – Offering fitting and repairs of high end bicycles, plus accessories.
- Majestic Hudson Lifestyle Boutique – Offering crystals, sage and an apothecary with special programs offered.
- Nine by Ash – Offering men’s fashion, women’s accessories and home decor.
- Squires Family Clothing & Footwear
– Katonah Memorial Park
Located at the top of North Street in Katonah, it has its own pool facility, tennis courts, basketball courts, playing fields, picnic areas, open fields and playground area. It also has platform tennis courts that many enjoy. The park is open year round, sunrise to sunset and is enjoyed by many and is one of the best things to do in Katonah NY with your family.
In addition to the parks owned by the Town of Bedford, there is a dog park called, “Canine Commons: A Tribute to Working Dogs”, located located at Beaver Dam Park on Beaver Dam Road in Bedford Hills. This is one of the best things to do in Katonah NY with your dog.
– Katonah Museum of Art
Located on Jay Street, Katonah Museum of Art is a great place to visit for the enjoyment of the visual arts. The museum does not have a permanent collection, but holds temporary exhibitions. Featuring diversity in the innovative exhibition both in the main gallery and outside the building lend to the popularity of this museum.
In addition to the pieces of art located inside the building, the admission fee includes access to the outdoor sculpture garden located in the rear of the building. The Learning Center at the museum offers children the opportunity to make and enjoy art projects and is one of the best things to do in Katonah NY with children.
This museum not only offers special exhibits throughout the year, it also offers special events. Their events calendar is always full of wonderful activities. Advance timed tickets are strongly recommended and it’s important to note that the museum is closed every Monday, including Labor Day and other holidays.
The Katonah Museum of Arts participates in the “Metro North Getaways Program“.
The program offers a round-trip train ticket to the Katonah Station and discounted admission to the Museum.
This makes it one of the best and most affordable things to do in Katonah NY
– Katonah Village Library
Located on Bedford Road, the Katonah Village Library is the heart of this wonderful town. Although many people think of the library as a place to read, study and borrow books, this library serves as a cultural center hosting several cultural events.
On the main floor you can find the adult and young adult area, in addition to, quiet areas. But the gem of the main floor is the Katonah Historical Museum, a place that exhibits and houses historical pictures and artifacts all about Katonah and is one of the most educational things to do in Katonah NY.
Downstairs, you will find the Children’s Sections and a space for artists to host art exhibits for up to three weeks at a time. Children’s Educational Programs include: Mother Goose Time, Preschool Storytime and more…
– Muscoot Farm
Visitors to Muscoot Farm are usually surprised by how much there is to do here. This open-air museum is full of farm animals, hiking trails and buildings used for many of the special events happening throughout the year. Popular events include maple syrup and sugar harvesting in late winter.
This farm was used as a summer estate and dairy farm to the Hopkins Family. Open sunrise to sunset, this over 700 acre farm, offers its visitors the chance to meet over 50 furry friends, view buildings (the milk house, ice house, carriage house, etc) and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The farm is one of the best free things to do in Katonah NY.
– Mount Holly Sanctuary
Open year round to visitors, Mount Holly Sanctuary is an over 200 acre preserve. They encourage hiking by offering four color-coded trails that extend across almost the entire property. Horses are also permitted on designated trail sections throughout the preserve and make this one of the most beautiful things to do in Katonah NY. A trail map is provided on their website so you can plan your day accordingly.
– Stepping Stones
As one of several historic sites in Katonah, Stepping Stones is the home of the Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill and Lois Wilson. The site features the house, writing studio, a water pump house, the original one-car garage, a two-car garage and Welcome Center with an orientation display highlighting some of the 100,000 items in the Stepping Stones Archives, a flower garden, a community vegetable garden, and approximately 15,000 objects (furniture, memorabilia, etc.) left by the Wilsons.
All Building entry is by guided tour and only by advance reservation. You can also visit the grounds, though, without visiting the building.
– The Reading Room
If you want to experience things like the locals do, then a visit to the Reading Room is in order. This bookstore and coffee shop is conveniently located across the street from the Metro North Train Station. In addition to serving coffee, this great place has a great menu with:
- Soup (seasonally)
- Special Salads
- Baked Goods
- Ice cream
- and more…
Katonah’s history states that its first library, The Reading Room, operated in the same building from the mid-1800’s to the turn of the 20th century. The building was moved to its current location along with many of the buildings of the original Katonah. A visit here may be one of the most fascinating things to do in Katonah NY.
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– Fox Valley Park
Fox Valley Park is actually owned by the Town of Lewisboro but is Katonah. It offers a variety of sports facilities: tennis courts, baseball and soccer fields, and walking trails. Located on Indian Hill Road, this lovely park showcases a walkway and bridge that span the stream, as well as, an open wet meadow and the Flodplain Forest.
Where is Katonah, NY?
Katonah is located in Northern Westchester and is actually in the Town of Bedford. This historic hamlet is a favorite of many who call it home and who visit throughout the year.
With a population of a little over 1,600 residents, this is the epitome of small town living. Because of its small size, it does not have its own courthouse or other government buildings.
What is the Best Time of the Year for Visiting Katonah NY?
Although there is no BEST time to visit Katonah, warmer months (Spring, Summer, Early Fall) are the most popular times as there are more things to do in Katonah NY than in the winter. Many sites in Kaonah NY are closed during the winter.
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What is Katonah Known For?
As one of the stops along the Metro-North’s Harlem line, Katonah is known for its easy commute into New York City and this is the reason why many who work in Manhattan call Katonah NY home.
The Katonah Village Improvement Society is the hub for important information about Katonah. Throughout the year, this society organizes events that strengthen the sense of community. This all-volunteer organization welcomes residents to attend their monthly meetings.
Several high profile individuals reside in or near Katonah NY.
- Martha Stewart
- Bruce Willis
- Ralph Lauren
- Ryan Reynolds & Blake Lively
What do people say about the things to do in Katonah NY or in the surrounding areas?
Many people love exploring Katonah and nearby attractions.
Below are popular locations within 30 minutes of Katonah NY:
– Croton Point Park
Croton Point Park is a 508-acre park situated on a peninsula on the east shore of the Hudson River. This park offers year-round events and activities and has facilities for camping, hiking and swimming.
– Greenburgh Nature Center
The Greenburgh Nature Center consists of over 30 acres in Scarsdale offering gardens, trails and visits to the Manor House (for a fee).
– Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll Garden
Located in North Salem, the Hammond Museum and Japanese Stroll is open seasonally (May through November). It is a museum of Japanese art and a 3.5 acre Japanese stroll garden. The museum offers changing exhibits, lectures, and programs that reflect the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures.
– Lasdon Park Conservatory
Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial is a magnificent 234-acre property consisting of woodlands, miles of scenic trails, open grass meadows, historic tree walk, formal gardens with flower and shrub specimens from all over the world.
Although some say it’s located in Katonah, others say it’s in Somers. you be the judge…
In addition to free events taking place throughout the year, their Dinosaur Garden is open seasonally and their annual “Holidays on the Hill” Train Show is one of the most popular things to do in Katonah NY and is one of the best things to do from November – December. The park is home to several inspirational memorials, a Chinese Friendship Garden and a museum honoring Westchester veterans.
– Mianus River Gorge Preserve
Located in nearby Bedford, Mianus River Gorge Preserve is a 900+ acre nature preserve. This not-for-profit nature preserve provides habitat for hundreds of species of animals, plants, and fungi, as well as important microbes in the soil and water. Open from April through November, the preserve is for people only, as no dogs are allowed.
– Neuberger Museum of Art
Located in Purchase (near White Plains), the Neuberger Museum of Art is open year round and is the nation’s tenth-largest university museum. Here you can experience exhibitions of modern, contemporary and African art and art-inspired events in the Philip Johnson-designed building at the heart of Purchase College, State University of New York.
– Sleepy Hollow NY
This Hudson Valley River Town, is important and popular because of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, an 1820 short story about the local area. They get an influx of visitors around the time of Halloween and have several historic sites located within its borders.
– Ward Pound Ridge Reservation
Located in Cross River, the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation offers miles of trails and areas for picnicking. The 4,315-acre park makes Ward Pound Ridge Reservation the county’s largest park and is also the county’s best spots for enjoying nature. The reservation is also home to the Trailside Nature Museum.
– Westmoreland Sanctuary
Located in Mount Kisco, Westmoreland Sanctuary is a non-profit nature center and wildlife preserve. Stretching over three towns, the preserve is the size of approximately 640 acres. Out of all the nature centers in Westchester County, this one offers extraordinary views of several bodies of water, including Bechtel Lake.
Tips Before Planning Things to do in Katonah NY:
- Confirm all information on individual websites before making definitive plans
- Since most of the activities require walking, comfortable shoes/sneakers, like these, are always recommended.
- If you’re looking for more affordable things to do, then take a look at these resources. They are sure to help.
Until the Next Adventure…
PIN IT FOR LATER!