If you’re on I-95, you’ll want to avoid the 3 hours before a Yankee game if there is one scheduled for Yankee Stadium that day. You won’t be going through New York City; you will be on the Cross Bronx Expressway. It’s a **** shoot. Any time before noon is probably pretty good. It gets really backed up after that, because people are out visiting family or going to ballgames!
you can totally skip I-95 and going thru the City hence avoid the traffic that will be there no matter what time you drive through:)
take the PPI which you can catch off of I-95 (at the GWB) and connect to it later via I-287.
Better yet, get on 9W north to the Tappan Zee Bridge and pick up the Cross Westchester Expressway to I-95. 9W is a local road but it stays closer to the river. The Palisades Interstate Parkway veers WAAAYYYY to the west.
Check a map for a way around NYC. I am thinking you could take the NJ Turnpike (95) to Route 17 North, to the NY Thruway South and cross at the Tappan Zee Bridge which will take you through Connecticut. But actually travelling through Connecticut is just as bad as NYC and NJ. In any case, if you are traveling on a Friday, do not be in NJ, the Connecticut suburbs, or in the outskirts of NYC between 4 and 6 on Friday night–rush hour traffic. Otherwise, you should be fine.