Get your fall on this weekend with these family events in and around the best county in the world!
arts and music
No shortage of fall fun this weekend and we'll tell you where to get it.
Fall Crafts at Lyndurst, New Rochelle Arts Fest, Mamaroneck Shares and Jay Day!
Portchester's latest addition: A gorgeously restored 1,800 seat theater.
The Grateful Dead played the Capitol Theater in Portchester. So did Janis Joplin and Santana. But that was 40 years ago. In the 1980s, it didn’t house anyone but some derelict pigeons, and in recent years, it was rented out mostly to host bat mitzvahs and other private events.
Enter Peter Shapiro, a 39-year-old founder of the Brooklyn Bowl. In 2011, he bought the Capitol Theater, which is widely known in the rock world for its incredible acoustics, and announced plans to bring the theater back to life. It was a coup for Portchester, which is slowly trying to define itself as a dining and cultural hotspot in the county. (Bar Taco and Mario Batali’s Tarry Lodge and adjacent Tarry Market is also in town.)
Well, here’s a reason to start planning more date nights.
The Capitol Theater already has an impressive lineup of acts: In coming months, you can book tickets to The Roots,Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, Ben Folds Five, Blues Traveler, Indigo Girls, Al Green and even the Steve Miller Band. Opening night’s top billing though goes to Bob Dylan, who will play at the theater on September 4.
Shapiro spent $2 million renovating the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. He added an arena-size lighting system, 10 high-def projectors and an advanced sound system. The seats are outfit in plush red velvet. Its location is prime — it’s one block from the Portchester Metro North stop.
As Shapiro told the New York Times: “You can’t create a rock palace. You can only reinvent one, and I am fortunate to have one. This is a queen. This is not a princess. That means giving her the best sound available in the world.”
The Capitol Theater, 149 Westchester Avenue, Portchester; 914-937-4126
Catch an outdoor performance at Boscobel before the season ends September 1.
I was an English major in college and I really love fussy writing, but even I get bored with Shakespeare sometimes. Transport a Macbeth soliloquy outside to a gorgeous park, and I’m rapt in attention.
The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Garrison is worth attending for the beauty of the site alone. The company performs outside under a grand white tent on the lush lawns of Boscobel, an 1800s Federal mansion overlooking a breathtaking stretch of the Hudson River with views of mountains in the distance. [...]
Katonah's Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts may be Westchester's Best Kept Secret.
The fireflies are out, and I’m walking through a stand of cedar trees. The path curves around and spits me out in front of a grand stone gate. My 2-year-old runs through with two of his pint-size buddies, and they turn around and grin. We’ve found a secret garden. There are neat rows of hedges and perennial borders overspilling with white hydrangeas; they climb up a Medieval Mount, a stepped-garden that offers views of the Sunken Garden below.
We’re at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, and the grounds aren’t just beautiful, they’re exquisite. We came for “Dance at Dusk,” a family music event held at the art center a few Wednesdays this summer; you can also enjoy family concerts on Sundays during Al Fresco Sundays. We brought along several of our neighbors and their kids, camping out on blankets for a potluck picnic until the music started up. On the night we’re there, there is a Flamenco band, Flamenco Vivo Carlos Santana, and a Flamenco dancer to inspire the kids to wiggle their hips.
A Brooklyn art teacher debuts in-home art classes for area kids.
“Let’s start with the markers,” says Valeen Parubchenko, a friendly Brooklyn art teacher who came to teach my 2-year-old and his two buddies a 45-minute, in-home art class. Valeen’s red hair is tied in a loose knot on top of her head and her toes are painted canary yellow. She’s sifting through a big bag full of art supplies at her feet. “I like to keep the children moving through the materials. After markers, we’ll use crayons, then oil pastels, then we’ll make a collage, then paint. It’s important to approach art from a 2-year-old’s point of view. They’re only going to sit so long, and that’s okay.”
Valeen founded Private Picassos, an arts education company for young children in New York City, six years ago. Its purpose is simple: With the zeal of Mary Poppins, she’ll come to your home to teach your child art. (Or one of her protoges will.) She’s become so busy in Brooklyn and the city that she’s expanding her in-home art classes to Westchester. [...]
Here are over 250 places to hear free live music this summer.
ArtsWestchester is a really cool non-profit organization that helps organize arts events all around Westchester County. They also help compile existing arts events into a daily central calendar. So if you’re looking for a cool exhibit or family art event, a search of ArtsWestchester’s calendar is a must.
A few days ago ArtsWestchester published a really killer list of all of the outdoor music events around the region this summer. They call it Music in the Air, and all of the 250+ concerts listed are either free or less than $20.
You can find deets on the free Dobbs Ferry Summer Music Series and free band concerts in Chase Park in Scarsdale as well as larger concerts like the American Roots Music Festival at Caramoor Center for the Music & Arts in Katonah and quirky events like a Neil Diamond Tribute in Yorktown.
I’ve been using this list to plan some fun early evening family picnics. What’s better than live music outdoors on a warm summer night? Can’t think of much.