New York may be the largest and most
densely populated city in the U.S., but visitors can get away from
it all in a rural setting without leaving the metropolis -- and
we're not talking Central Park.
New York state's
oldest continuously active farm, founded in 1697 in the borough of
Queens, is now owned by the city's Parks Department. It is on the
National Register of Historic Places and operates as the Queens
Farm Museum. Who knew?
The 47-acre patch
of land is still farmed (the pumpkins were ready at press time). On
weekends visitors can, weather permitting, participate in hay rides
as well as tours of the farmhouse.
By way of
comparison, Central Park is 843 acres, about 18 times the size of
the working farm. But the museum handily
accommodates productive farming activities and 500,000 visitors
The farm museum
is open daily, and the grounds include a set of farm buildings, a
greenhouse complex, livestock, planting fields, an orchard and an
where visitors can feed the animals, is particularly attractive for
families visiting either New York City or Long Island.
Entrance to the
museum is free except on days when special events are scheduled.
One of the farm's most popular events, the November
Eighteenth-Century Tavern Nights, is coming up.
from the 1700s are prepared on an open hearth and served on period
tableware. The 2007 edition will be available for booking in
February and should be reserved early.
before year's end include a Christmas holiday bazaar and, right
after Christmas, a holiday open house. In April, there's an Easter
egg hunt, followed a week later by a Children's
including the annual Antique Auto Show in April and the annual
Antique Motorcycle Show in September hold more appeal for
The farm museum
also is the setting, in July, for the annual Thunderbird American
Indian Mid-Summer Pow Wow, described as the city's oldest pow wow,
where more than 40 Native American nations are
The museum is
accessible by public transportation, but out-of-towners may find it
easier to take a cab or car service from their Manhattan hotel or
from Little Neck station on the Long Island Rail Road's Port
Washington line. More information is available at www.queensfarm.org.
To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail
to Nadine Godwin at [email protected].