Westchester County Commissioners share Beach, Sun, Cookout and Driving Safety Tips with Residents Summer Parks Activities Announced

Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, and Westchester County Executive George Latimer visited Kensico Dam Plaza to announce that Westchester County’s beaches will open for visitors on Saturday, May 29. Latimer was joined by Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, Assistant Commissioner of Health Peter DeLucia, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety Thomas A. Gleason and Parks, Recreation and Conservation Commissioner Kathleen O’Connor, who shared beach, pool, sun, cookout and driving safety tips to help residents enjoy Memorial Day Weekend safely.

Latimer said: “The warmer weather is finally upon us, and there is plenty to enjoy in Westchester County this Memorial Day Weekend especially with the opening of our beautiful beaches. But, we want to make sure everyone plays it safe – drink lots of water, properly protect yourself from the midday sun, cook and keep your picnic foods at the right temperature, and make sure you drive carefully.”

Health Safety Tips
The Westchester County Health Department is encouraging all residents to practice sun and barbecue safety, this weekend and throughout the summer.

Amler said: “We are all eager to enjoy the great outdoors on a day like today, but to avoid sun damage and prevent skin cancer, apply broad spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to yourself and your children every two hours and after swimming. UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes. Apply sunscreen first, before insect repellent, to protect against ultraviolet damage, mosquitos and ticks. Spend some time in the shade and wear sunglasses and a hat for extra protection. And be sure to bathe children afterwards to wash off insect repellent.”

DeLucia said: “It’s a relief after the year we’ve had to plan for something as normal as a backyard barbecue or a cookout at a park, but it’s still important to practice basic food safety. Wash your hands, chill your meat until you’re ready to grill it, keep your mayonnaise-based salads on ice until you’re ready to eat and use an NSF-certified thermometer to grill hotdogs and chicken to 165°F degrees, ground beef to 160°F and pork to 150°F.  Watch the time, and toss any food left out for more than two hours, or one hour if it is more than 90°F outside. And dispose of your trash to avoid attracting animals.”

Public Safety Tips
Public Safety Commissioner Thomas A. Gleason said Westchester County Police will be deploying additional officers and seasonal park rangers throughout the park system to ensure a safe and enjoyable atmosphere for park patrons.

Gleason said: “Our officers and park rangers will be present to maintain public safety, assist with traffic control and provide any needed assistance to those who enjoy Westchester’s beautiful parks. Our goal is to ensure a safe, fun-filled summer at our County’s parks, beaches, golf courses and pools.”

Gleason also said the County Police would also be working to ensure safety on local parkways and waterways.

Gleason continued: “We are prepared for an increase in traffic on our roadways this summer as compared to a year ago. As always, there is zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and for aggressive driving that endangers others. Our Marine Unit will also be at work on the Hudson River and Long Island Sound to ensure the safety of recreational boaters, swimmers and all who use our waterways.”

Westchester County Parks Initiatives
Croton Point Beach in Croton-on-Hudson and Playland Beach in Rye are scheduled to open on a pre-season basis beginning Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, May 29, 30 and 31 from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The beaches will be open weekends only through Sunday, June 20; then on Friday, June 25 our pools and beaches will open on a full summer schedule with the pools at

  • Saxon Woods in White Plains
  • Tibbetts Brook and Sprain Ridge in Yonkers
  • Willson’s Waves in Mount Vernon
  • Playland Beach open seven days a week while Croton Point Beach will be open Wednesday through Sunday
  • all facilities will be open through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6, 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Social distancing protocols will be in place and masks required when not in the water

Glen Island Beach will not open at this time as the park remains a COVID-19 testing center, though the park is accessible to the public. Playland Pool will not open this summer as it is undergoing construction.

O’Connor said: “Our staff has been hard at work to get our beaches ready and staffed for the 2021 season. We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back to enjoy our naturally essential summer facilities.”

Screenings Under the Stars, sponsored by White Plains Hospital, will return to Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla, Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson, and new this summer, Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers. All movies will be ticketed-admission events, with purchase available by online pre-sale only. Tickets are $25 per car and there will be limited capacity following distancing protocols.

All movies will be held on Friday night after dark:

  • June 11 Pixar’s Onward (2020) at Kensiso Dam Plaza
  • June 25 Trolls World Tour (2020) at Kensiso Dam Plaza
  • July 9 Ferris Bueller's Day off (1986) at Kensiso Dam Plaza
  • July 23 Tom & Jerry (2021) at Croton Point Park-
  • August 6 Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) at Kensiso Dam Plaza
  • August 20 Forrest Gump (1994) at Kensiso Dam Plaza
  • September 10 Pixar’s Soul (2020) at Croton Point Park
  • September 24 Disney’s Mulan (2020) at Tibbetts Brook

Live music is coming to Croton Point Park in Croton-on-Hudson and Kensico Dam Plaza. Concerts will run from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., line up below:

  • Tuesday, June 29 – High Noon at Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson
  • Thursday, July 1 – Songs in the Attic: Billy Joel Tribute Band at Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
  • Tuesday, July 13 – Back to the Garden at Croton Point Park, Croton-on-Hudson
  • Tuesday July 20 – The Nerds at Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla

Concert-goers can purchase a designated area for $80, for a maximum group of eight. Attendees must maintain 6 feet of space on all sides during the events. They will not be allowed to combine designated areas or bring pets. Limited tickets are available now at https://www.showclix.com/event/wcp-scs21.

All attendees must show proof of purchase upon entry. For more information, call (914) 231-4564.

The Naturally Essential Challenge encourages residents to visit all Westchester County Parks and is ongoing through October. To enter the challenge, park-goers will log visits by scanning QR codes on posters at each facility to be entered for a chance to win a $50 Westchester County Parks gift card.

The challenge is accessible at all Westchester County Parks facilities that are open to the public and at this time does not include the Westchester County Center as is currently a COVID-19 vaccination site and the Miller House as it is closed to the public for safety purposes.

The Westchester County Parks gift card can be used to pay fees at golf courses, swimming and at the Sportsman Center all year long, without having to use cash or your credit card and may be used at the following locations:

  • All six Westchester County golf course for greens fees and golf cart fees only. Locations are Sprain Lake and Dunwoodie in Yonkers, Saxon Woods in Scarsdale, Maple Moor in White Plains, Mohansic in Yorktown Heights and Hudson Hills in Ossining.
  • Admission fees at all County pools: Saxon Woods in White Plains, Sprain Ridge and Tibbetts Brook in Yonkers, and Willson’s Woods in Mount Vernon.
  • Range fees at the Blue Mountain Sportsman Center in Peekskill.

Get more information on the Naturally Essential Challenge.