I’m a big fan of finding activities that I enjoy as much as my toddler. When I first moved up to Westchester, I discovered the balcony at the Scarsdale Starbucks and it’s become a staple in our arsenal of activities. Here’s why: I go in, order a drink and then take it out to the “train balcony,” as we call it, with my son. It’s one of the best spots to watch trains.
From this perch, we can watch Metro North trains speed by all day long. Scarsdale has a steady stream of express and local trains coming and going, and if you time it right, you can see as many as five trains in one half hour period. Here’s the real secret: The deck is elevated and 100 percent gated off, which makes it a very safe place to contain young children, while still giving them the pleasure of waving hello and goodbye to trains.
Starbucks has lots of relatively healthy snacks for kids too, so we sometimes time our outing to snack time and my little one to a treat: organic milk, apple juice, dried fruit. When we tire of the train balcony, we also love to walk the charming windowed pedestrian bridge next to it. From there, the kids can watch the trains come to a stop right under them.
If you get hungry (and want to keep train spotting), walk down to Scarsdale Pizza Station (844 Scarsdale Avenue; 914-723-4700). It’s right across from the Metro North tracks, so it’s easy to spot trains from here too. There are a couple of tables outside and you can see trains inside too. There’s also Garth Road Park just down the street in Eastchester, which is located directly on the tracks, so kids can catch site of the trains while on the monkey bars.
The best time to go to the train balcony at Starbucks is between 8 and 10am and 4 and 6pm when the trains run most frequently. The Starbucks is located in the heart of the village of Scarsdale at 51 East Parkway Avenue.