This past fall I took my mentee to Wave Hill, which is a 28-acre public garden and culture center in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx. The garden overlooks the Hudson River and has stunning views of the Palisades.
We drove to Wave Hill, but there is a free shuttle from the A train. The mission of the institution is to "celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscape, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts." To that end, there are free workshops offered daily in everything from Tai Chi to arts and crafts.
We arrived around noon and ate at the café in Wave Hill House. The food was decent, but the setting was more memorable. Wave Hill House is a former country estate built in 1843 and rented over the years by the families of several prominent Americans, such as Theodore Roosevelt and Mark Twain. The house underwent a two-year restoration and reopened in 2013. It's now a popular wedding venue and it was fun seeing a groom's party having their photos taken around the grounds (can you find the bridal gown in the photo above?).
After lunch, we went for a short hike on the wooded trail. We were the only people on the trail and it felt very Blair Witch Project-esque (in the best possible way).
My mentee’s favorite part of the outing was rolling on the hills.
Wave Hill is a bit of a schelp from Manhattan, but it's lovely and definitely worth the trip. We are planning on returning in the spring and doing one of the family arts projects.
For more info on Wave Hill, visit http://www.wavehill.org.