Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial

in Essential Ramblings

My 8 year old and I had a few spare moments for adventure this weekend before the usual Saturday run around began and we decided to go see something new.  Every once in a while (mostly in the fall because I love the weather so much) I make a renewed effort to try to get out and about and experience all that Westchester has to offer.  There are so many parks, hiking trails, and things to do that even after living here for (gulp) almost 14 years now, I am still amazed by the places I haven’t visited.  Embarrassing.  But in my own defense, it is just so easy to get stuck in your own little world and your kids’ world and not move outside of it.  Anyway, I digress….but suffice it to say there are the greatest places to walk and explore both alone, with a friend, or with the kids.

Lasdon is one of those places — located right on route 35 in Somers, Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial is (from their web site) “a 234 acre property consisting of woodlands, open grass meadows and formal gardens with flower and shrub specimens from all over the world. The park is home to several inspirational memorials and a museum honoring Westchester veterans. Lasdon is also the site of the Chinese Friendship Pavilion, which was a gift from the People’s Republic of China to the residents of Westchester”.  The park has gorgeous gardens and walking trails that are perfect for both moms looking to exercise with a friend while the kids are in school, or maybe even better, moms looking to stroller walk with little ones.  The paths are well-maintained and wander through gardens, expanses of lawn, and under flowering trees.  If your little one will tolerate sitting in a stroller and if you are tired of getting run down by SUVs driving mock 2 on your road, this is the place for you.  Although the gardens set a formal tone and they do discourage going off of the paths (so if you have a toddler that will see the wide open grasses and HAVE to frolick, this might not be so perfect) — but the walking trails are yours to wander and I would say that the crowds are rarely large, so noisy babies, chatting moms, and people out for a stroll would all be welcome.

Definitely make your way down to the Chinese Friendship Pavillion — it is tucked away, but worth the find, there’s even a nice little path that circles a pond, a perfect lap during your walk.  To find out more about the park you can visit the westchestergov.com web site or click here.  Admission and fees: County park pass is not required for admission (unless I was mistaken, the admission is a “give what you can” sort of admission — there was nowhere that I could see to sign in or pay except a box at the entrance), Directions: Route 35, Somers, Park hours: Open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The Veterans Museum is only open on weekends. Garden Shop hours: Open from March to Christmas, Wednesdays through Sundays 11 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  Phone: (914) 864-7263.

If you take an older child, I always suggest doing a “search” for I Spy items or take a camera along and let them take shots of little things they find tucked away in the scenery.  Here is our photo walk below.