SPONSORED BY: HILLARY’S HOMES-Houlihan Lawrence
Long known as a company town, the hamlet of Armonk, New York, has been home to IBM world headquarters since 1964. Nestled in a wooded corner of Westchester County on the Connecticut border, Armonk has recently shed its suit and tie in favor of an old silk hat, corncob pipe, and two eyes made out of coal. Yes, this is Frosty territory now, and the world’s most famous snowman has a mandate for his hometown: Let’s party.
The town’s annual Frosty Day takes place Sunday, November 25, throughout the historic district, which was the inspiration for Steve Nelson’s 1950 holiday song. Nelson often visited Armonk and eventually moved there. The all-day celebration and parade provides ample reason why he fell in love with this community of just under 5,000 residents (as of the latest census). The whole town goes Frosty mad, with cookie decorating, face painting, train rides, floats, Frosty cartoons at the library, music, and more.
Get Your Shop On
Frosty Day is just one of the reasons families flock to Armonk. A lively Main Street and the merchants anchored at Armonk Square offer some of the most family-friendly provisions in Westchester. Several of these outposts were started by parents frustrated with the lack of shopping options for teens and ‘tweens in the region. Chief among these shops are Jagger and Jade and LOL Kids, which serve up funky kids clothing, gifts, and accessories. All About the Dress caters to girls from age 6 to 18 looking for special-occasion wear, whether their style is princess-in-pink or Chuck Taylor’s and tux pants.
Hickory & Tweed ski-and-cycling goods purveyor is an Armonk institution known for solid inventory and super-helpful staff who can get your kids fitted for skis, boots, snowboards, you name it. They do a brisk business in seasonal rental packages and genially promote the ski-board-bike lifestyle. Usually open late on Thursday evenings, the shop’s phone message on a recent Thursday explained that they were closing early “to go catch the Warren Miller ski movie in Tarrytown,” adding: “You should come too!”
For birthday cakes, baked goods, and sweet treats, Armonk kids like Beascakes Bakery & Bread(the cookies-and-cream cake, chocolate chip cookies, and donuts all draw rave reviews). Or check out boutique confectionary SugarHi, which feels like a Willy Wonka fever dream. They offer a fun twist on American classics like Ring Dings, Pop Tarts, and Snicker Bars. SugarHi also hosts clever cake-themed parties.
DeCicco & Sons supermarket was a much-needed replacement when the A&P closed several years ago—their catering, prepared foods, and bakery departments are top-knotch. Gumdrop Lane sells custom and monogrammed gifts, home goods, and party supplies. Especially welcome is the in-store and online selection of party favors and swag in the under-$5 range—puzzles, toys, and curiosities that surpass the usual fare.
Kids on the Go
Keeping kids busy is a piece of cake in Armonk. Breezemont Day Camp, one of the region’s best, is located here. The camp offers age-tiered programs for children in pre-K through 8thgrade, with healthy lunch and snacks provided. And Breezemont is 100-percent peanut-free.
Year-round outlets include kids programs at Equinox and Armonk Indoor Sports Center, hosting junior soccer and tennis leagues as well as clinics for lacrosse, football, baseball, field hockey, and more. The Edge of Dance boasts a complete dance curriculum for all ages, with an invitation-only Pointe class for advanced ballerinas.
What’s to eat?
Nearby towns are littered with pizza restaurants, but hungry folk beat a path to Armonk’s Fortina, which manages to be casual, rustic, and sophisticated all at once. You can find straight-up traditional cheese pizza or go with something more exotic, like the signature Luigi Bianco:burrata, Robiolona, Parmesan, and black truffle.
The Granola Bar is a popular spot for breakfast. Grownups praise the many coffee options. Everybody coos about the avocado toast. The Beehive also draws a breakfast crowd, and kids love to plunder the challah French toast, though the menu is extensive and has something for just about everyone.
The annual Cider & Donut Festival embodies Armonk’s flair for both sweet treats and a lively party. Watch the calendar for this fall tradition that includes a 5K, kids’ race, donut fishing, carnival rides, bouncy houses, and more. Frosty definitely approves.
Hillary Landau is a real estate agent located in the Houlihan Lawrence Briarcliff Manor Brokerage Office. Her boutique approach encompasses not just selling a home but highlighting the quality of life in the communities she serves. As a lifelong New York City gal, she understands what it’s like to transition from the city to the ‘burbs. It’s her mission to help families settle into their new community feeling connected to everything – plumbers, painters, neighbors, babysitters, nursery schools, restaurants and even new friends. Visit her on Facebook and Instagram for more information!