Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm isn’t just one of those cheesy animal farms for kids, It's a real working farm that dates back to the 1760s and is on the National Historic Register. The farm is about an hour and half away from midtown Manhattan just over the Delaware River near the town of Stroudsburg and makes a great day trip from New York City any time, but around Memorial Day Weekend you have extra reason to visit for their Annual Farm Animal Frolic at Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm, a day of old fashioned fun for kids and adults and something we love to go to every year.
Quiet Valley, hidden up in the hills, was built by a German immigrant and worked by his family until 20th century when it was eventually sold and turned into a living history museum in the 60s. This place is totally worth the trip, especially for a special event like this, when they offer hay jumping, children’s activities and great food.
The first thing you see when you get there is the circa 1850s barn. It has two entrances go down the small stairs to the stone cellar of the barn to visit with the pigs, cows, horses and the helpful farmhands that will tell you all about the animals and usually let you pet them.
For more animals, climb the small grassy ridge across from the barn to see and pet baby rabbits, goats and chickens. In the building up there they have real eggs hatching on display and some more animal petting. At the farm there are lots of animal houses to visit with hogs, roosters and basically every kind of animal you would expect to see on a working farm. The cool thing about these animals is that many of them are rare period breeds that would have been working on a farm at this time.
At the top level of the barn is something the kids will just love: hay jumping. Kids (and even a few adults) get to take turns climbing to a high point in the barn and jumping and rolling down in massive amounts of hay. Seriously, those farmer kids knew how to have fun. I couldn’t get my son out of here last year or the year before.
There is more fun to be had at the old fashioned games - simple stuff, like fishing for magnets or riding a hobby horse that kids really enjoy. The farm folk also put a daily children’s show of old fashioned stories and songs.
If you are feeling adventurous, take the twenty minute, bumpy, bouncy and realistic horse drawn wagon tour of the grounds. You need to get a ticket for this and I recommend getting it as soon as you get there because the horses are busy with work and do limited wagon rides, so sometimes it sells out. They also offer tamer pony rides for kids in the meadow.
The place is beautiful and bucolic and it is really nice to just walk around the vast property and see the 14 historic buildings on site. While there you can tour the historic home with a costumed interpreter or check out the smoke house, the log cabin and be sure to show the kids the one room school house.
You can bring a picnic lunch but don’t, they offer a big variety of tasty old fashioned food and some modern day cuisine for sale. Don’t miss the birch beer a local Pennsylvania specialty or my favorite part of the day, the old fashioned cookies and breads they are selling hot from the outside wood fired oven.
The farm is over 100 acres and the large green space has plenty of room to roam. Even if the event gets crowded it is just Pennsylvania crowded – not New York City crowded so don’t fret if your child is stroller bound. Before our son could walk all day we sometimes dragged him around in a little red wagon we brought with us.
If you are intrigued by this special place but can’t get there for the Farm Animal Frolic, they open to the public in June and remain open till the end of the summer. They also have a huge harvest festival in the fall where they pull out all the stops.
If you would like to extend your stay there are plenty of chain hotels, motels and resorts in the nearby Pocono Mountains.
Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm
The 22nd Annual Farm Animal Frolic
Saturdays: May 22 and May 29, 2010 10am to 4pm
Sundays: May 23 and May 30, 2010 12pm to 4pm
Admission: Adults $8.00 Children (3-12) $5.00
If you like visiting farms with your kids, you might also want to check out our posts on Farms to visit on Long Island, New Jersey and Westchester.