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Welcome to Yonkers | Early History | Education | Community Services | General Information

Culture and Recreation

Yonkers Public Library | Cultural Institutions | Recreational Facilities
Beczak Environmental Education Center | Cultural Events

Yonkers Public Library

In addition to an outstanding collection of books, Yonkers libraries offer magazines, audio and video cassettes, records and compact discs, government documents, research tools and Internet access. Ongoing programming includes lectures and presentations, homework help for children, live theater, literacy courses for adults, taxpayer assistance, exhibits showcasing the work of local artists and photographers plus a host of other activities. The library's Fine Arts collection is one of the most complete in Westchester. 'The business section subscribes to Standard and Poor's, Dun and Bradstreet's, Moody's and others. The Yonkers Public library is currently the only public library in Westchester open seven days and five nights a week (except for the summer months). The library's three branches are:

Grinton I. Will, 1500 Central Park Avenue

Getty Square, 7 Main Street

Crestwood, 16 Thompson Street

For additional information visit the Yonkers Public Library site.

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Cultural Institutions

Hudson River Museum

No institution in the City of Yonkers elicits greater pride and praise than the Hudson River Museum of Westchester, founded in 1919. The museum's facilities include spacious galleries for constantly-changing art exhibitions, the restored Glenview Mansion and the technologically-advanced Andrus Planetarium. Focusing on art, history and science, the museum offers a balanced program of lectures, family art workshops, classical music, the SummerJazz Series, children's programs, a museum shop and dining at the cafe with a panoramic view of the river and Palisades. This spectacular setting is also available for weddings, corporate gatherings and other special occasions.

The Museum is located at 511 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, with abundant, free on-site parking. Admission: Admission is $4 for Adults, $3 for Seniors and children 12 and younger, members free. Hours: Wed-Sun 12-5pm, Fri 12-9pm (May-Sept. only). For further information call (914) 963-4550 or visit the Hudson River Museum site.

Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site

Built in 1682 for Lord Frederick Philipse, this elegant Georgian mansion was the seat of the 18th century Manor of Philipsburg. Philipse Manor Hall's fascinating history includes its designation as Yonkers' first City Hall (1871-l908). Today, the facility offers holiday and ethnic celebrations, local history exhibitions, special tours and programs, musical performances, school tours, children's programs, special exhibitions, and often plays host to community organizations and public meetings. The building is one of the region's oldest surviving structures and remains a vital element of Yonkers history. Philipse Manor is located at 29 Warburton Avenue, at Dock Street, off Larkin Plaza. Open to the public: April 1 to October 31, Noon to 5PM on Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1PM to 4PM on Sundays (closed November-March). Groups by appointment year round. Free on-site parking. For information call (914) 965-4027.

Sherwood House

Sherwood House was built in 1740 by Thomas Sherwood, a tenant farmer of Lord Philipse, whose Manor Hall is described above. The land on which Sherwood House stands now belongs to Consolidated Edison, which generously donated the building to the Yonkers Historical Society and rents the property to the Society for a nominal fee. The Society restored the house, furnished it with appropriate period antiques, and in 1962, opened it to the public. Hostesses in period costume conduct visitors on tours. Groups by appointment.

Sherwood House is located at 340 Tuckahoe Road, just off the Sprain Brook Parkway Tuckahoe Road exit. For further information, call (914) 965-1243, 965-0836 or visit the Yonkers Historical Society site.

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Recreational Facilities

Yonkers Recreational Pier

The nearly 100-year-old, two-story Yonkers Recreational Pier, on the Hudson River at the foot of Main Street, has recently completed renovation and is the centerpiece of Yonkers' downtown/revitalization program. It serves as a unique site for cultural and community events, festivals and fireworks presentations.

Yonkers Parks Department Facilities

The City of Yonkers Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation (285 Nepperhan Ave., 377-6450) operates the magnificent Untermyer Park, featuring an astonishing view of the Hudson River and Palisades, a classical temple overlooking a mosaic pool, a Greek amphitheater, sculptures by Paul Manship and Grecian gardens that are an excellent example of the Beaux Arts-style landscape design. The Department also operates 69 other parks and playgrounds, 74 malls, 51 ball fields, 36 tennis courts, two platform tennis courts, 50 outdoor basketball courts, a rifle range, nine greenhouses, two indoor swimming pools, a 1-1/4 mile track, two picnic areas, 15 senior citizen centers, a youth center and four year-round recreational community centers:

Peter Chema Sr. Community Center., 435 Riverdale Ave., (914) 377-6465

Coyne Park Community Center. & Rifle Range, 777 McLean Ave., 377-6472

Charles A. Cola Community Center., 945 N. Broadway, 377-6483

Bronx River Road Community Center., 680 Bronx River Rd., 377-6486

More information

Westchester County Parks Facilities

Three magnificent county parks are to be found in Yonkers They are the 160-acre Tibbetts Brook Park, featuring a swimming pool, picnic area, hiking trails, a nature study area, freshwater fishing, ball fields, cross-country skiing and six all-weather tennis courts, the 270-acre Sprain Ridge Park, home of one of Yonkers' favorite pools, a playground and picnic area and the 40-acre Lenoir Preserve, including a nature study area, hiking (and skiing) trails and a series of programmed activities. Yonkers is also home to two county-operated public golf courses: the 120-acre Dunwoodie Golf Course and the 130-acre Sprain Lake Golf Course. Both feature 18 holes, par 70, plus a putting greeen. Dunwoodie also features a driving range. During the Winter, both courses feature cross-country skiing and sledding. During the Summer months, Westchester County sponsors weekly Bicycle Sunday events on the Bronx River Parkway, extending from Yonkers to White Plains. For further information, contact the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation, (914) 593-2600.

Yonkers Raceway

Yonkers Raceway offers night harness racing and daytime inter-track wagering from Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga. The Raceway also hosts the annual Westchester County Fair, regular weekend flea markets, plus numerous community events and cultural entertainment of interest to the greater NY region. The banquet and catering facility is available for private and business events. Yonkers Raceway is just off the New York State Thruway, Exit 2 northbound and Exit 4 southbound. For further information and racing dates, call (914) 968-4200 or visit the Yonkers Raceway homepage.

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Beczak Environmental Education Center

Beczak Environmental Education Center is located, at 35 Alexander Street, in a public park with its own sandy beach in downtown Yonkers. Our distinctive new waterfront Interpretive Center, with its 300-gallon tidal tank and interactive displays, allows visitors to learn about the river and its creatures first hand. The Center, named after Joe Beczak, a Yonkers native and Hudson River enthusiast, provides engaging environmental education programs for all ages on the River’s ecology, culture and history. Call or check our website for information on our educational programs, lectures, children’s birthday parties and other programs and events for young and old. Open Monday to Friday 9 am - 5 pm and Saturdays from 10 am – 4 pm. Call before coming to make sure the Center is available as classes use the same space. For more information call (914) 377-1900, or visit their website at www.beczak.org

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Cultural Events

The Yonkers Hudson Riverfest is a day-long, environmental and multi-cultural festival held every September, in the area surrounding the Yonkers Recreational Pier, and attended by tens of thousands. It offers free all-star entertainment for all age levels (past headliners have included Judy Collins, Don McLean, Richie Havens and Raffi), exhibits, kids' hands-on workshops, crafts and ethnic foods.

The Cultural Affairs arm of the City of Yonkers Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department sponsors numerous cultural events, including the Untermyer Performing Arts Festival, an annual performing arts series held on Saturday nights each Summer. These free events, in a setting of formal gardens on the banks of the Hudson River, include opera, dance, modern and classical music, chamber music and "street" theater.

The Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra, a semi-professional 65-piece community organization, is sponsored by the Fine Arts Orchestral Society. The orchestra, an integral part of Yonkers life since the early 1960s, performs five times per year: four times at Saunders Trades and Technical High School and once in an open-air setting during Summer at Cross County Shopping Center. The orchestra and Society annually hold a concerto competition, awarding thousands of dollars in prizes.

Other events include the Yonkers Male Glee Club, a group of 45 voices offering free concerts each May and December, the holiday children's theater, and numerous special ethnic and commemorative community celebrations.

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