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Astorino Kicks Off Westchester’s First ‘Winter Wonderland’ At Kensico Dam

The festivities will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29 at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla.
The festivities will take place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 29 at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla. Photo Credit:

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – County Executive Rob Astorino will join hundreds of revelers to kick off Westchester’s first-ever “Winter Wonderland” by flipping the switch to 2.5 million dazzling holiday lights on Saturday, at 6 p.m., at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla.

“With the excitement of the holiday season right around the corner, I hope that everyone in Westchester will come out and see our Kensico Dam Plaza completely transformed into wintertime splendor,” said Astorino. “This wonderful, family-friendly event was made possible thanks to our partnership with generous sponsors from both the non-profit and corporate world. It’s a great way to get in the holiday spirit and get outdoors. Call and text your family and friends, or send a tweet, and visit Kensico Dam Plaza this winter for ice skating and other holiday fun.”

Westchester’s “Winter Wonderland,” a multi-faceted showcase of family activity and entertainment centered on a spectacular light show choreographed to seasonal music, is presented by Westchester Medical Center and produced by the Westchester County Parks Department.

The event is being sponsored by the Friends of Westchester County Parks, Con Edison, Party Line Tent Rentals, Pamal Broadcasting, Ltd, The Journal News Media Group, Cablevision/News 12 Westchester and Westchester County Tourism.

“It has been a pleasure to work alongside the Westchester County Parks Department staff as well as all the event sponsors to present this truly wonderful month of fun for Westchester residents and visitors,” said Joanne Fernandez, board chair of Friends of Westchester County Parks. “‘Winter Wonderland’ is intended to give families a break from the stress and hassle that often come with this time of year by offering them a local opportunity to embrace the holiday season.”

“Winter Wonderland” will be opened Wednesdays through Sundays until Dec. 14, and daily from Dec. 17 through January 4, except closed on Christmas Day. Hours are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and Sundays and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Here are some highlights:

  • Choreographed light show comprising the “Lights of Wonder” triangle, the “Dancing Cherry Trees of Wonderland” at the base of the dam and the “Memorial Walkway;”
  • The Santa Experience, where kids of all ages can meet and take “selfies with Santa;”
  • Ice skating on an outdoor recreation rink;
  • Tractor-drawn Cherry Tree Hay Ride;
  • Rides on the “Wonderland Express,” a mini-Himalaya ride;
  • Food and beverage vendors and seating under a heated dining tent;
  • Bars featuring products from Prospero Winery and Captain Lawrence Brewery;
  • Shopping for holiday gifts and seasonal items in the Shoppers’ Tent (Fri.-Sun.)

“Winter Wonderland” will also feature free entertainment on select evenings:

  • Storytelling with master storytellers Jonathan Kruk and Anne Sayre;
  • Strolling entertainment featuring Miz Liz;
  • Dickens Carolers;
  • Forever Young Singers;
  • Quartet from the Westchester Chordsmen;
  • Ice sculpting demonstrations;
  • Appearances by Miss Westchester and Miss Westchester Teen;
  • DJ entertainment

General admission is $10 per person. Children age 3 and under are admitted free. Admission covers light shows, strolling and stage entertainment. Individual fees apply for ice skating, rides and other activities. Visit for fees and activity schedules.

The ice skating rink will be open for an additional four hours from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays until Dec. 20, and every day thereafter until Jan. 4, except closed Christmas Day, for those who wish to skate at times that are not part of the “Winter Wonderland” event hours. Regular skating admission fees apply for daytime skating.

Parking is free.

General information is available at or call Friends of Parks at 914-231-4548 or the Parks Department at 914-864-PARK.

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