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Bucket List: Glass House Conservatory at Lasdon Park & Arboretum 

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Bucket List: Glass House Conservatory at Lasdon Park & Arboretum

The new Glass House Conservatory at Lasdon Park, Arboretum and Veterans Memorial in Somers is the first new attraction constructed at a county park in many years. The 2,500-square-foot, 28-foot high, glass and steel building is a similar structure to Events_lasdon_conservatorythe New York Botanical Garden’s glass conservatory. Already a popular county park for hiking and strolling through its 234 acres of woodlands, meadows and formal gardens, the Glass House elevates Lasdon Park to our Bucket List for anyone living in or around our towns.

The late Lisa Biderman, who founded Friends of Lasdon, conceived the idea for the Conservatory at Lasdon over nine years ago. Construction began in June of 2016 after a near decade long fundraising effort. Westchester County supplied $1.3 million from its capital fund and additional public and private funds were raised from The Lasdon Family Foundation, Westchester Parks Foundation, NYSEG, M&T Bank, A-Team Construction and the Helen Lindsay Estate among others.

Opening Day

The Glass House Conservatory will open on the weekend of June 17-18 with its first exhibit, The Rain Forest: Tropical Treasures. The weekend celebration will feature rain forest themed food and music and live animals from the rain forest. In July and August lasdon_frog  Bucket List: Glass House Conservatory at Lasdon Park & Arboretumthey will present a series of Tropical Thursdays programs that explore the musical culture, food and animals of rain forest regions.

On an ongoing basis, the conservatory will present horticultural exhibits and will be used for class trips and tours, music performances, weddings and other social events. It will also provide needed space to expand Lasdon’s current public programming such as concerts and the holiday shows that have become a tradition at the park.

Summer Concerts, Holiday Train Shows … Halloween too!

Lasdon regularly offers a picnic-friendly Friday night summer music series featuring jazz, classical, folk-rock and pop music in July. On October weekends Lasdon transforms its main house into a spook-fest to complement its Halloween Train Show that in recent lasdon_music_in_the_parkyears has presented a Harry Potter theme. On the grounds there is live music, food and hayrides and fall plants and pumpkins for sale.

Their Holiday Train Show features Metro North style trains that travel up the Harlem Line from NYC to Katonah, passing the Polar Express and Christmas Town on the way. There are holiday movies and storytelling in the library, a gingerbread house, outdoor fire pits, hot chocolate and chili, and a Christmas tree sale with wreaths, gifts and poinsettias in the Garden Shop. Proceeds from the sale go to homeless veterans.

Westchester County Veterans Museum

Lasdon Park also houses the Westchester County Veterans Museum, with exhibits of photographs, historical documents, Kids_MILITARY-lasdonartifacts and memorabilia about Westchester County residents who served in the United States armed forces from the Revolutionary War through to the present. In addition to the museum, there are four memorials to Westchester residents who served in the military on the park grounds.

The museum and the memorials serve as a backdrop for their annual Historical Military Vehicle Show on Independence Day weekend. The show features vehicles from WWI through Desert Storm, and a Revolutionary War encampment with live cannon fire.

Park and Arboretum

The entrance and driveway to Lasdon Park were used in the 1987 movie The Lasdon_Park_and_Arboretum,_Memorial Garden  Bucket List: Glass House Conservatory at Lasdon Park & ArboretumSecret of My Success with Michael J. Fox. The park’s main house was built in 1933 and was modeled after George Washington’s Virginia residence, Mount Vernon. An intricate systems of park trails, developed by the Youth Conservation Corps, run through a variety of wildlife habitats in the park.

The park also features an arboretum with extensive lilac and pine collections, a large azalea garden, a yellow magnolia grove and a flowering tree grove. A pond and 200 acres of woodlands with specimen trees and plantings surround the arboretum.

Other highlights for nature and history lovers include the 22-acre Mildred D. Lasdon Bird and Nature Sanctuary, the William and Mildred Lasdon Memorial Garden and fountain, the Famous and Lasdon_Park_and_Arboretum,_chinese pavilion  Bucket List: Glass House Conservatory at Lasdon Park & ArboretumHistoric Tree Trail and the Chinese Friendship Pavilion (donated to Westchester County by the People’s Republic of China) with it’s bamboo and Kousa dogwood plantings.

The park is open 7 days a week from 8am-4pm and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. It is located on Route 35 in Somers – not far from King Kone!

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