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Westchester’s Winter Wonderland Opens Friday, November 29 with New Attractions

Westchester’s Winter Wonderland returns to Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla on Friday, November 29 at 5 p.m. for its sixth exciting season. Starting the day after Thanksgiving, the festive celebration takes place six consecutive weekends through January 4, 2020, plus weekday bonus days during the school holiday.  For one $20 all-inclusive ticket price, guests can enjoy unlimited access to Santa’s Village, amusement rides, a live circus performance, ice skating rink plus free skate rental, a dazzling holiday light show featuring favorite elves Ned and Albert, and one of Westchester’s tallest (40ft) lighted Christmas Tree.    

For the sixth straight year, Westchester Medical Center is the host of the circus and presenting partner of the annual event, which kicks off on Friday, November 29 at 5 p.m. The official tree lighting ceremony will start at 6 p.m. led by County Executive George Latimer and Westchester Parks Foundation Executive Director Joe Stout and sponsored by Robison Oil. New platinum sponsors for 2019 include Wegman’s and Verizon.  They will be joined by returning platinum sponsors Con Edison and Party Line Rentals and M&T Bank, sponsor of the family-friendly New Year’s Eve Ball Drop on December 31.

New this year is the addition of Santa’s Village at the North Pole with live reindeer.  Parents can take their own photos or jump in to take a family selfie! Visitors can also visit live reindeer, mail letters to Santa, and see the real-life frozen “North Pole,” a total Santa experience!

The heated double-poled, yellow and red striped Winter Wonderland Holiday Circus tent presents up to five performances nightly, with thrilling circus acts that will entertain and delight children of all ages.  New acts this year include Motorcycle Thrill Drivers in the Giant Thunder Dome reaching speeds of 55 miles an hour; Miss Perla the Human Pretzel contortionist; the skills of Senor Soto on the glittering trapeze; and circus legend Greg DeSanto, one-time Director of Clowning on the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus.  DeSanto is originally from Eastchester, NY and was just elected President of the International Clown Hall of Fame.

“There is no better way to welcome the holiday season than at Westchester’s Winter Wonderland” said Westchester County Executive George Latimer. “Grab your family and friends and come out to our beautiful Kensico Dam Plaza for a visit with Santa at the North Pole, ice skating, or our very own Ball Drop on New Year’s Eve. It is the perfect way to celebrate this wonderful time of year, and I invite everyone to join me for the Tree Lighting Ceremony for Westchester’s largest lighted tree.”  

“Westchester’s Winter Wonderland is a place where families can make priceless memories that will last forever,” stated Joanne Fernandez, Chairperson of Westchester Parks Foundation.  “We are thrilled to once again partner with Westchester County to transform the iconic Kensico Dam Plaza into the most spectacular holiday destination in Westchester. We are also grateful to all our sponsors this year, especially Westchester Medical Center who is our presenting sponsor for the sixth year in a row. Events like this are created for people to not only learn about their County parks, but also enjoy seasonal celebrations close to home while giving back.”

Westchester County Parks Commissioner Kathy O’Connor said: “There are so many ways to enjoy Westchester’s Winter Wonderland, from the circus, to the brilliant light displays, themed character nights and amusement rides for the young and young-at-heart, unlimited skating and free rental skates all covered in the admission price. We look forward to a great season and especially to the opening night, a truly magical experience.”

New rides will be added to FUNderland Village, including a 55-ft high Ferris Wheel. Kids will have unlimited access to eight rides total including: Winter Hay Ride, Wonderland Train Ride, Holiday Carousel, 40ft high heated Fun Slide, Holly Jolly Dragons, Pony Sleighs and Tubs of Fun.

Lights of Wonder, sponsored by Verizon, will feature favorite elves Ned and Albert and holiday music! Magical displays include angels, snowflakes, elves tossing wrapped holiday gifts and a message of good will towards all.  Guests can also skate away on Westchester Winter Wonderland’s huge ice rink, the same size as NYC Rockefeller Center.  (Skate rentals are free). Pose for photos in front of Westchester’s largest lighted Christmas Tree; or take a break from the cold to enjoy food and refreshments in the heated Wegman’s Holiday Dining Tent. Beer and Wine is available for purchase for those 21 and older including a special Captain Lawrence Brew called Red Nose Ale, available only at Westchester’s Winter Wonderland.

2019 Days & Hours of Operation, Fri, Nov 29 – Sat, Jan 4.  

Friday 11/29/2019 – Sun 12/22/2019

  • Fridays – 5 to 10 p.m.
  • Saturdays – 4 to 10 p.m.
  • Sundays – 4 to 9 p.m.

 Monday 12/23/2019 – Saturday 1/4/2020 

  • Monday-Friday – 5 to 10 p.m.
  • Saturday/Sunday – 4 to 10 p.m. *Opens one hour early at 4 p.m.
  • CLOSED: Tuesday, Dec. 24 – Christmas Eve & Wednesday, Dec. 25 – Christmas Day

 The 2019 Calendar of Events:

  • Friday, November 29 – Official Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. Sponsored by Robison Oil.
  • Friday, December 6 – Toys for Tots Night.  Bring an bring an unwrapped toy and one child 12 and under receives free admission with one paying adult.
  • Friday, December 13 – Camp Morty Night. Bring new or gently used sports equipment and one child 12 and under receives free admission with one paying adult.
  • Friday, December 20 – Veterans and First Responders Night. Veterans, Active Duty and First Responders receive discounted admission for $15.
  • Tuesday, December 31 – Family Friendly New Year’s Ever Celebration. The whole family can celebrate New Year’s Eve with a ball drop and pyrotechnic display at 7 p.m. Sponsored by M&T Bank.

Special themed character nights will take place on Sundays throughout the season.  The park opens an hour earlier at 4 p.m. on Sundays to accommodate little ones.  Characters will mingle in the heated Wegman’s Dining Tent on the following nights.  

  • Sunday, December 1 – Character Night
  • Sunday, December 8 – Character Night
  • Sunday, December 15 – Character Night
  • Sunday, December 22 – Character Night
  • Sunday, December 29 – Character Night

For those traveling from NYC or North, Metro North is offering a special getaway package to take the train to Winter Wonderland!  Guests must purchase your rail/admission ticket from any Metro-North ticket office or full-service ticket vending machine (excluding Valhalla Station). Riders will be directed to take the Harlem Line to Valhalla Station. From there it’s just a short walk to the Kensico Dam Plaza where the event takes place. For more information and package details, visit http://web.mta.info/mnr/html/getaways/outbound_WestchesterWinterWonderland.htm

Proceeds from this event benefit WPF and allow the organization to advocate for and invest in the preservation, conservation, use, and enjoyment of the 18,000 acres of parks, trails, and open spaces within the Westchester County Parks system. For more information, visit  http://www.wwinterwonderland.com

For complete information and to purchase tickets, visit www.wwinterwonderland.com 


About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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