"We'll also open certain businesses statewide, which are low risk," Cuomo said in early May. "Landscaping, gardening, low-risk recreational opportunities like tennis, drive-in movie theaters. Talk about going back to the future. Back to drive-in movie theaters."
Please keep in mind that social distancing, CDC, Department of Health and state guidelines are a must. So don't forget your face masks (for now).
IMPORTANT: As information changes regularly, we suggest keeping an eye on these websites for the latest updates regarding outdoor openings and closings:
NY State Parks
To search and find a NY State Park that is right for you, visit their website. You can search by name, location or amenity.
While indoor spaces and restrooms at State Parks and DEC’s public facilities may be closed to prevent community spread of COVID-19, parks, grounds, forests, and trails are open during daylight hours, seven days a week. Many park facilities including playgrounds, athletic courts/fields, and visitor and nature centers are closed. While enjoying outdoor spaces, please continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/State Department of Health (DOH) guidelines for preventing the spread of colds, flu, and COVID-19. If you do plan on visiting, visit parks close to home, avoid crowded areas, and wear face coverings where you cannot maintain safe social distance.
For specific guidelines and up to date information, please visit the NY State Parks COVID-19 page on their website.
IMPORTANT: Many parks have reduced parking by 50% and local roads may have closures in effect. The bottom line: if you want to go to a popular park, head out early and know your route.
Westchester County Beaches
County Executive George Latimer stated on May 19 "We don't want to have an influx of people coming from a different geography that could overwhelm us. We'll try to manage that process and it will be a reduced capacity," Latimer said. "You may find that the beach is closed when you arrive because we hit the maximum number of people on the beach. We're going to try very hard to maintain a reasonable amount of social distancing as much as we can on a beach. We'll see if that works."
Both beaches will open Friday through the holiday, according to County Executive George Latimer. However, it is not confirmed whether they will remain open for Saturdays and Sundays. It is contingent on beachgoers maintaining proper social distancing. "If they want to enjoy the outdoors, they have to do it at a distance from the next person," Latimer said.
According to LoHud, "the logistics of opening beaches along the Hudson River and Long Island Sound will follow state protocols, Latimer said, with smaller than usual capacity and increased staff to limit crowding. Concession stands will not open and beachgoers must wear masks and stay six feet from others. He said that if the openings are unsuccessful, the beaches could be closed again. If they work out, they will open again each Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Officials would also then look at the possibility of opening county pools — although the closer proximity of swimmers in pools makes it more difficult, the county executive said."
Update May 21, 2020
Playland and Croton Point Beaches – Opening Friday, May 22 through Memorial Day Monday, May 25, then Saturdays and Sundays.
- 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., no admittance after 6 p.m.
- Admission - $4 adults, $3 for children ages 5 to 11 and free for children age 5 and under.
- Parking - $5 with Park Pass; $10 without.
- Beach and Park – Open to Westchester Residents only. Visitors will be required to verify their residency with their Westchester County Park Pass or driver’s license with a Westchester address.
- Beach - 50% capacity for sunning and swimming, no concessions.
- Bathrooms – Open
- Showers – Closed
- Concessions – Closed
- Coolers – with food and non-alcoholic beverages in plastic containers only.
- Social Distancing – Visitors must wear a mask if they cannot social distance within six feet. Small families in specific sand areas do not have to wear a mask when sitting. Mask not required in the water.
Westchester County Parks
As expected, not all outdoor areas are currently open... and some have restrictions. Westchester County Parks has been issuing helpful updates every few days in social media so you can keep up with openings and closings easily. Currently, the below parks and areas are open.
- Public outdoor areas in parks, nature preserves, recreational trails, Muscoot Farm, Lasdon Park and Arboretum, Playland Park: To promote social distancing, one-way traffic is in place on paths and trails at Kensico Dam Plaza, Cranberry Lake Preserve and Marshlands Conservancy. Parking lots may close intermittently on high-volume days.
- Sportsman Center/Ranges - open during regular operating hours. Minimal number of guests inside office at one time.
- Ribbons of Remembrance at Lenoir Preserve (behind Wightman mansion). A temporary memorial for residents who have been lost to COVID-19. Loved ones can write a message and tie a purple ribbon on a tree or the memorial structure. Markers and ribbons are provided.
- Boat launching ramp at George's Island Park.
- County Center East and North White Plains parking lots – open for free parking.
- Public bathrooms, where available and have direct entrance/exit.
- Glen Island Harbour Club - building is open for prospective clients/bookings
- North Street Tavern at Maple Moor Golf Course - for curbside pickup only, after 4 p.m. only.
- Parks Department administrative offices at 450 Saw Mill River Road, Ardsley.
- Weekend parking fees at Blue Mountain, Croton Point, Croton Gorge, George’s Island, Ward Pound Ridge. $5 w/park pass; $10 without. Charges are weekends only until Memorial Day weekend when daily parking fees go into effect. Playland beginning Friday, May 22 at $10 per car.
- Park Passes – expired passes are being accepted until locations can begin park pass operations.
- Twin Lakes Farm, for owners with boarded horses only.
- Playland and Croton Point beaches – Opening Friday, May 22 through Memorial Day Monday, May 25, then Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., (No admittance after 6 p.m), at 50% capacity for sunning and swimming. No concession stands will be open.
IMPORTANT: check the Westchester Parks website or with the specific location before heading to a park/venue as openings/closings and restrictions change frequently. You can also check Westchester Parks for updates on Facebook or Twitter.
Town Parks, Pools & Beaches
Sports & Hiking
Don't miss Bicycle Sundays on the Bronx River Parkway! During Bicycle Sundays, the parkway is open exclusively for bicyclists, in-line skaters, scooters, walkers and joggers. The course will be slightly modified this year, beginning at Main Street in White Plains (instead of Westchester County Center) and continue south to Scarsdale Road in Yonkers. The road is closed to automobiles in that stretch of parkway. Admission is free. Details are on the Westchester Parks Foundation website.
2020 Bicycle Sunday Dates
10a.m. – 2p.m.
May 3, 10, 17, 31
June 7, 14, 21, 28
Sept 13, 20, 27
If you enjoy trail riding, a trail list can be found here.
A hike is good for the body and mind. Get some exercise and take in the beauty of nature. Here are some suggestions to get started.
Golf & Tennis
Fore! Sports without contact that can be played with social distancing have been placed on the approved list! Here's a list of county golf courses. For tennis, there are specific guidelines in place to minimize possible exposure. Check to find out which courts are open and what is required before you play.
Drive-In Movie Theaters
Take advantage of the beautiful nature centers in Westchester County, NY. Go for a hike, see live animals and explore nature with no fee! You can visit their sites to see what outdoor areas are currently open. If animals are your thing, also check out Muscoot Farm.
Did we miss something? Please share any recommendations you have in the comments below!
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