NEW YORK: EAT SEE PLAY SHOP SLEEP TIPS OUT OF TOWN

OUT OF TOWN

Day Trip: Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture

IMG_0926

IMG_0942

IMG_0933

Even the most ardent city-dwellers can sometimes hunger for a bit of a breather somewhere else: to feel grass underfoot, see trees on the horizon, and hear the persistent buzzing that fills the heavy stillness of a hot summer day. For me the perfect escape is Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, a working farm and nonprofit educational center located less than an hour north of New York. Time spent exploring the buildings, pastures, and greenhouses, all set among 80 acres of gently rolling farmland, makes for a lovely and relaxing day.

IMG_0948

IMG_1007

IMG_1207-2

This past weekend we made the drive up and were so glad we did. The setting could not be more beautiful, with graceful stone farm buildings from the 1930s folded into the pastoral landscape. Donated by the Rockefeller family, the land and buildings provide a home for the Center – a collaborative experiment in farmland preservation and agricultural education with a stated mission to, “create a healthy and sustainable food system.” This mission is manifest in a number of different ways, including farming summits and programs to train young farmers at the beginning of their careers. In addition, a special focus is placed on children and helping to shape the next generation of conservationists, land stewards, and informed consumers. Weekend programming exposes children and adults to different areas of the farm operation, and you’re free to partake in as many of the day’s scheduled events as you’d like.

IMG_1057

IMG_1070

IMG_0959

A highlight of our visit this past weekend was egg collecting, where after a brief lesson on chickens, children walked into the darkened hen house with baskets in hand and instructions to gently retrieve three eggs each. Two days later my daughter continues to recount this adventure – clear evidence of the mark it made on her! We also walked through the pastures, visiting the sheep and cows before taking a break for lunch, which we purchased from the on-site café. We carried our spread – prepared from ingredients grown and raised on the farm – to a little wooded sitting area behind the barns and had the fun surprise of happening upon a pen of baby goats.

IMG_1097

IMG_1159

IMG_1191

In addition to regular weekend programming, special family-friendly events are held throughout the year, including a sheep shearing festival to celebrate spring and a Harvest Fest to help usher in the fall season. We’ve attended the Harvest Fest in the past but haven’t yet made it to the sheep shearing festival. Maybe next spring!

A few notes:

  • Weekend admission is by ticket only in the spring, summer, and fall. Tickets are available here.
  • We drive to the farm when we visit, but you can also take the Metro North train to the Tarrytown station and take a taxi from there to the farm.
  • The Center’s onsite restaurant partner operates both the café and an award-winning restaurant, Blue Hill at Stone Barns. As at the café, much of the food at the restaurant is sourced from the farm itself, and the combination of food and setting, inside one of the stone farm buildings, makes for a special and memorable meal. The restaurant is not appropriate for small children owing to the length of the tasting menus, and reservations must be made in advance.
  • An onsite shop sells everything from eggs, produce, and flowers from the farm to books, kitchen goods, and children’s items.

SHARE

Leave a Comment

ALSO IN THE AREA

OUT OF TOWN
Untermyer Park and Gardens
It's no secret that as a family we like spending time in parks, gardens, and green spaces - it helps to balance out our city living, I suppose - and I've written about some of our favorite places previously in posts about Wave Hill, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and Storm King Art Center. We recently made ...
READ MORE
SEE
Wave Hill -- a public garden and cultural center
We're lucky in New York to have a number of lovely botanical gardens to visit. We often stop by one of our favorites, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, as it's closest to our home, but this past weekend we decided to do something a bit different and traveled to the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx to visit ...
READ MORE
SEE
Holiday Train Show at the New York Botanical Garden
New York is magical place to be at Christmastime, with tree stands lining the sidewalks and filling the air with the woodsy smell of pine and fir, store windows decorated with enchanting displays, lights strung across avenues and intersections, European-style Christmas markets to visit, and special holiday shows and sights to take in. As I sat down at ...
READ MORE
SEE
Bronx Zoo
Each of New York's five boroughs has a zoo to call its own, but the city's flagship zoo, the Bronx Zoo, is not only the largest in New York, but also the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States and among the largest zoos in the world. It is part of a system of four zoos and one ...
READ MORE