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Playland Opens May 18th: World’s Largest Rubber Duck, Ferry Service & More on Tap

(PHOTO: New Playland GM Jeff Davis welcomes VIPs and media to opening day on Saturday, the start of the park's 95th season. Credit: Sierra Desai.)
(PHOTO: Playland GM Jeff Davis welcomed VIPs and media to opening day on Saturday, May 20, 2023, the start of the park’s 95th season. Credit: Sierra Desai.)

Rye Playland will host a special ribbon cutting opening ceremony on Saturday morning, May 18, 2024 at 12:00pm noon to celebrate its opening for the season. The iconic park, with over 50 rides, will celebrate the 95th birthday of the iconic Dragon Coaster, which will turn 95-years-old this year, and the debut of Playland’s newest ride, Jack the Puppeteer.

Opening weekend festivities include a celebratory drum roll line up by the Lighting Drumline from the Barack Obama School for Social Justice in Yonkers, a special performance by an electric violinist, strolling entertainers, face painters and airbrush tattoo artists.

“Since opening in 1928, Playland has been the destination of lifelong memories for generations of families and visitors across the greater New York region,” said Evonne Keeler, CEO of Playland. “Through our diverse offerings ranging from recreation to leisure, and thrilling entertainment, coupled with our new and robust arts and community programming this year, Playland is committed to not only growing and revitalizing the historic park but to introduce Playland to a new generation of visitors to create lasting memories and traditions for the next one hundred years.”

Soul Ryeders Half Marathon

On Sunday, May 19, 2024, Playland will also host a 2nd Annual Half Marathon & 5K Run/Walk event by Soul Ryeders, a nonprofit cancer support organization based in Rye that provides personalized resources, innovative programs and community support to anyone in the New York Tri-State area who is impacted by any type of cancer. The event starts at 7:30am and finishes at 11:00am at Playland. The course will weave through the streets of Rye and Port Chester with the final breathtaking stretch along the Long Island Sound.

Playland Beach and Pool Opens Memorial Day Weekend

(PHOTO: Rye Playland Beach & Pool Opening May 27, 2023: Nick Singer, managing principal of Standard Amusements (the firm with the long term management contract for the park), Playland General Manager Jeff Davis and Westchester County Deputy Executive Ken Jenkins along with members of a steel drum band, cut the ribbon to welcome visitors to the newly opened and appointed beach and pool. The pool facilities have been closed since 2019 due to both COVID and a multi-million dollar pool and bathhouse renovation. Credit: Will McCullough.)
(PHOTO: Rye Playland Beach & Pool Opening on May 27, 2023: Nick Singer, managing principal of Standard Amusements (the firm with the long term management contract for the park), Playland General Manager Jeff Davis and Westchester County Deputy Executive Ken Jenkins along with members of a steel drum band, cut the ribbon to welcome visitors to the newly opened and appointed beach and pool. The pool facilities had been closed since 2019 due to both COVID and a multi-million dollar pool and bathhouse renovation. Credit: Will McCullough.)

Playland Beach and Pool, opening Memorial Day weekend, will hold a special ceremony on Monday, May 27, 2024, to honor military heroes. Festivities include special performances and the debut of The Playland Hometown Heroes Banner Program. The program will feature personalized banners displayed along the waterfront through Veterans Day as a tribute to those who have served. Memorial Day evening will end with fireworks.

(PHOTO: NY Waterway ferry service disembarking passengers at Playland Saturday. Ferry service returned to Rye Playland on Saturday, August 19, 2023. The special one day service was a test as the park's operator Standard Amusements considers returning regular ferry service from New York City to the park in 2024.)
(PHOTO: NY Waterway ferry service disembarking passengers at Playland Saturday. Ferry service returned to Rye Playland on Saturday, August 19, 2023. The special one day service was a test as the park’s operator Standard Amusements was then considering if the park should schedule regular ferry service from New York City to the park in 2024.)

Ferry from NYC to the Playland Pier

Tested in 2023, Playland is partnering with NY Waterway this year to launch a seasonal summer round-trip ferry service from East 34th Street in Manhattan with a stop at 90th Street and Ferry Point Park in the Bronx with service to Playland on select dates, including Saturday, May 25; Saturday, June 22; Saturday, July 20; Saturday, August 17; and Saturday, August 31, 2024.

Other Summer Highlights

  • Variety Shows. Taking Center Stage are Stage Variety Shows (Sundays at 7pm, Starting on May 25) – Playland will host a series of live performances by a diverse range of nationally acclaimed, as well as local entertainers every Sunday at Playland’s Main Stage including a mentalist, yo-yo artist, a “Cowboy from the Bronx” for a high-energy Western variety act, hip hop juggler, and circus entertainers who juggle and eat fire and swallow swords, as well as kid-friendly shows for young audiences with magicians, musical and clown performances who have appeared in New York’s Big Apple Circus, and so much more.
  • Synchronized Swimming. Celebrating Playland’s Waterfront with a Special Synchronized Swimming Performance (Saturday, June 22) – To celebrate Playland’s panoramic and picturesque waterfront and poolside experiences, Playland will host a synchronized swimmers show performed by The Aqualillies at Playland Pool where professional swimmers will dive, float, and glide like water ballet for all to see, which will be followed by a special performance of a swimmer dancing inside an 8-foot bubble at Playland lake.
  • Outdoor Movie Nights Under the Stars on the Sound. (Thursdays at 8pm, Starting on June 27 to August 20) – Every Thursday at 8 p.m. starting June 27, head over to Playland and enjoy a screening of family-favorite films. Movie nights in the amusement park are free for season pass holders. Otherwise, the cost is $10 per ticket, in addition to the park’s admission.
  • Fireworks (Saturdays at 9pm, Starting on June 29) – Sparks are flying on Saturday nights at Playland Beach. Every Saturday night at 9 p.m., guests can experience spectacular fireworks displays while strolling on the boardwalk or enjoying a picturesque evening along the Long Island Sound. There will also be holiday fireworks on Memorial Day and July 4th.
  • Arts. ArtsWestchester Programs in the Park (Tuesdays at 2 p.m., Starting on July 9 to August 27) – Hosted by local arts and culture nonprofit ArtsWestchester, visitors are invited to a series of arts programs at Playland Park, every Tuesday at 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. More details will be announced on the programming in the coming weeks.
  • Dragon. The Year of the Dragon… Dragon Coaster Art Contest & Birthday Celebration July 20 and 21 – Playland is honoring the Dragon Coaster’s milestone by calling all local and community artists of all skill levels as part of the #PlaylandArt initiative to share their own creative impressions of the iconic and beloved Dragon Coaster. The submission deadline is June 15, 2024, and the winner will be announced on The Dragon Coaster’s 95th birthday celebration.
  • Rubber Duck is Back. The World’s Largest Rubber Duck Makes Its ‘Grand’ Return (August 16, 17 & 18) – After making her debut at Playland Beach last summer, the 61-foot-high Mama Duck will once again splash onto the shores of the Long Island Sound from August 16 to August 18.
(PHOTO: Mama Duck, the world's largest rubber duck, arrived at Playland Friday morning.)
(PHOTO: Mama Duck, the world’s largest rubber duck, arrived at Playland on Friday, July 28, 2024.)

1 COMMENT

  1. is there any ferry service from Northport? i thought at one time there was?
    can someone in local government find out if this could be done?
    a great way to avoid all the traffic and save on parking!
    pass this on!

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