What do you do if you want to step away from it all, even if just for a Saturday? Where would you go? Yonkers, New York.
Yonkers has a small community feel with big city amenities. You can escape the overcrowded streets and the rush of people in Manhattan, by taking a breath and getting lost in New York’s fourth largest city. Yonkers is a great reflection of the United States’ melting pot ideal. This city is made up of many individuals with European, Middle Eastern, Italian, and Irish heritage. Filled with centuries of history, you will find yourself getting lost in the many sights, entertainment, and local culture.
Read on to find out about the top things to do in Yonkers, New York!
1. Getting there
If you’re leaving from Manhattan, walk to 81st Street near the Museum of Natural History and catch the A-Train to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Walk toward Time Square toward 42nd Street, and take the S-Train to Grand Central Terminal. Lastly, take the Hudson 895 Poughkeepsie (green line) to Yonkers Station. Don’t worry, the directions may seem a bit overwhelming, but this should take you about an hour of travel time.
2. A walk in the park at Untermyer Gardens
Once you gather your bearings, you should head over the magnificent Untermyer Gardens. The park is made up of about six individual gardens which reflect different themes, such as The Vista’s recreating stairs from Villa D'Este in Italy or The Temple of Love Garden that has a glorious view of the Hudson River. And best of all, it’s free!
Address: 945 N Broadway, 10701 Yonkers, NY
Website: Untermyer Gardens
3. Lady luck: Empire City Casino
If you’re feeling at peace after the stroll through the park and want to amp up your day a bit, head over to Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. Come test your luck at the slot machine games or even view live harness racing! The horses race live five nights a week on a dirt track. In addition to the lively atmosphere, whet your appetite at one of the many available restaurants or bars within the casino.
Empire City Casino
Address: 810 Yonkers Ave, 10704 Yonkers, NY
Website: Empire City Casino
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4. Building a memory at LEGOLand Discovery Center
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
5⃣ Amazing Events, Millions of LEGO® 🧱s, and 1⃣ year of AWESOME! Get your Annual Pass now and save! Buy Now: https://westchester.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/tickets/annual-passes/Posted by Legoland Discovery Center on Saturday, January 25, 2020
If horse racing isn’t your thing or if you’re with children, you’re in luck. Yonkers has a LEGOLand! Ticket prices vary between 16 and 30 USD, but you can purchase the mid-range ticket (called “extra value ticket”) for 20 USD, which grants you entry into LEGOLand and gives you a LEGO collectible. There are many activities readily available, such as building race cars and getting lost in the MINILand.
LEGOLand Discovery Center
Address: Center Westchester, 39 Fitzgerald Street, 10710 Yonkers, NY
Website: LEGOLand Discovery Center
5. The faces of art at the Hudson River Museum
After lunch, take a quiet mid-afternoon stroll. You should stop by and visit the Hudson River Museum, open noon to 5 p.m. Expect cover fees ranging from 3 to 6 USD, depending on the ages of you and your guests. The museum is constantly updating its exhibitions with a wide range of interests. At the time of this writing, there are exhibits which showcase acrylic watercolor paintings, depictions of floral arrangements from the 18th century, and even abstract art.
The museum also holds seminars by various artists and classes for those interested in learning to create their own masterpiece. For those seeking a little more movement, there are yoga classes that are held in the serene galleries. For an additional 3 to 6 USD, there is also a planetarium on site for the future astronauts or all those interested in seeing beyond the stars of space or discussing the theory of extraterrestrial life forms. The planetarium has the ability to reflect the exact layout of the stars as it is the day you visit and also provides short films with different topics of interests and Q&As.
The Hudson River Museum
Address: 511 Warburton Ave, 10701 Yonkers, NY
Website: Hudson River Museum
6. The beauty of the Hudson
As weather permits, soak in some sun, get your heart rate up, and be active along the Hudson River’s massive conserved land made up of 42 parks! Thanks to the work of the scenic Hudson group, they have attributed to these lovely parks by fighting to help preserve the land. When you visit, you’re able to explore to your heart’s content with the many trails available, rent (or bring) a kayak or canoe to paddle through the Bob Shepard Highland Landing Park, and enjoy the different fishing areas. If you decide to fish or hunt, please check the local policy and governing laws.
Address: 42 River Rd, Highland, 12528 Highland, NY
Website: Hudson River Parks
7. Shopping spree at the Cross County Shopping Center
Yonkers is also home to the Cross County Shopping Center, which houses everything from Armani Exchange to the infamous mall Cinnabon. It is considered an outdoor mall that is also centrally located around other Yonkers amenities such as the Empire City Casino (previously mentioned) and golf courses. Aside from going on a shopping spree, the mall will host different events throughout the year, so make sure to check out their homepage before visiting.
Cross County Shopping Center
Address: 8000 Mall Walk, 10704 Yonkers, NY
Website: Cross County Shopping Center
Whether you are a resident in one of the congested areas of New York City or you’re visiting from out of town, Yonkers is a hidden gem that is waiting to be explored and discovered. If you want to avoid tourist attractions and be inspired by different cultures, take that leap of faith and spend a day (or even a weekend) in Yonkers. Get lost. Make a stop at a local cafe on the corner, kick your feet up, and take it all in.
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