Although we've certainly written about many of the awesome annual family events hosted at the Queens County Farm Museum, we've never posted about the site's incredible history. The 47-acre area dates back to the 17th century and features old-fashioned farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, planting fields, an orchard, an herb garden and a vineyard. As soon as you walk through the gates, you feel like you've left the city.
Read on to learn more about New York City's only historic working farm and find out how Mommy Poppins is collaborating with Partners in Preservation to help NYC sites like the Queens County Farm Museum win much needed grant money.
The Queens County Farm Museum is a real treat for the preschool set. You're able to get up close and personal with the farm animals including very friendly chickens, baby pigs, geese and goats. While your average petting zoo can feel like, well, a zoo, the Queens County Farm Museum is much more laid-back and the animals roam free. I bought my daughter a bag of goat feed at the gift shop so she could feed them (she even scolded an overzealous one for not sharing) and she had great fun "chatting" with the geese and following the chickens. I think she would have gone right inside the chicken coop if they had let her! She even got face to face with a rabbit that was munching away on one of the plush lawns. Seeing the animals and watching the farmers planting and harvesting gave my little urbanite a better understanding of how much work goes into the food we put on our tables every day.
While visitors are welcome to explore the grounds on weekdays, there's more action on the weekends, like free guided tours of the historic Adriance Farmhouse and hayrides for $2 a pop April through November. The gift shop sells farm-themed toys and children's books, a beautiful selection of plants from the greenhouse, homemade wine and other locally produced products. In the summer, there's also a vegetable stand (you can also pick up the farm's produce at the Union Square Greenmarket on Fridays).
Amazingly, visiting the Queens County Farm Museum is (usually) FREE. That said, the farm does host many beloved annual events, like the American Indian Mid-Summer Pow-Wow, the Amazing Maize Maze, the Queens County Fair, an Apple Festival, and Easter, Halloween and holiday celebrations. On those days, admission fees apply, although usually it's just $5 to $10. The next big event is Celebrate Queens Farm this Sunday, May 6. Families can drop by for sheep shearing and spinning demos, live music and hayrides, a spring plant and seed sale, and top-notch food trucks, all for $5 a person.
Although my daughter and I opted to drive, the Queens County Farm Museum is accessible via public transportation. Take the E or F subway to Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike Station and transfer to the Q46 bus to Little Neck Parkway. It's located at 73-50 Little Neck Parkway in Floral Park, Queens, and is open daily year-round from 10am to 5pm.
The Queens County Farm Museum is one of 40 historic sites vying for Partners in Preservation grants. In conjunction with American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Partners in Preservation is handing out $3 million to various venues, from beloved favorites like the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library and The High Line to less well known spots like the City Island Nautical Museum and the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor. Mommy Poppins is proud to be working with Partners in Preservation on this awesome project by getting the word out about how you can help decide who gets the money by voting for your favorites. When voting closes on May 21, the four venues with the most votes will receive their full grant requests, and many others will be awarded partial grants. You can vote once a day and even spread your love around. Find the complete list and vote for your favorites on the Partners in Preservation website.