Guide to Long Island's Waterdrinker Family Farm: Flowers, Seasonal Festivals, and More Fun

Whether it's the Tulip Festival in the spring, or the Sunflower Fest in late summer, there's always something fun happening at Waterdrinker Family Farms.
Whether it's the Tulip Festival in the spring, or the Sunflower Fest in late summer, there's always something fun happening at Waterdrinker Family Farms.
8/28/23 - By Gina Massaro

Visiting Waterdrinker Family Farm in Manorville, Long Island, during one of its picture-perfect flower festivals, including Long Island's only Tulip Festival is a surefire way for your family to find its new favorite farm. Kids love petting the farm animals before running off to play, while parents can look forward to relaxing with a cold beer from the on-site brewery.

So, grab your phone or your camera and head out east to Waterdrinker Family Farm to capture some memories. Find lots more ideas for spending a day at one of Long Island's family-friendly farms in our Pick Your Own Guide to Farms on Long Island.

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Waterdrinker Family Farm: Dig Day at the Tulip Festival
Kids can get their hands dirty if you time your visit to Waterdrinker Family Farm right to coincide with its dig day.

Top Annual Events at Waterdrinker Family Farm

Every season boasts something new to do at Waterdrinker Family Farm, which is open year-round. It gives Long Island families a good reason to keep coming back. We have been to the Tulip Festival and the Sunflower Festival, and each offers something different for families to enjoy.

Tulip Festival

This is Waterdrinker's most famous festival, and it's the only tulip festival on Long Island. Because we went on the last day of the festival, we missed out on getting Insta-worthy pictures among rows of tulips, but my 5-year-old son was so thrilled with the last day, we may just have to make two visits to Waterdrinker Family Farm's Tulip Festival next year. The very last day is dig day, which means admission gets you all-you-can-carry tulip bulbs.

My son went absolutely bonkers, plucking up tulips like Super Mario pulls up turnips. He was a tulip-plucking savant, as I had a much harder time getting them up. We ended up with so many, I gifted them to families, teachers, and friends. Be sure to bring a small shovel, a bag, or a bucket so you can dig up as many tulips as you like to replant in your home garden. Tulips are perennials, so they come back year after year. 

Sunflower Festival

I was thrilled to attend the Sunflower Festival when the flowers were in full bloom. I am a parent who loves taking pictures, so this time around I was determined to get great shots. While I was preoccupied with the camera, my son was concerned with the bees. This kept him from really exploring the sunflowers, even though he thought it was amazing the flowers were taller than him.

My daughter was less concerned about bees and wanted to cut the sunflowers. For $2 a stem, you can bring them home. Once my son saw his toddler sister cutting with the borrowed clippers, he was ready to take over. 

Fall Festival

Many visitors love going during the Fall Festival at Waterdrinker Family Farms for a frightful fix. Pick pumpkins from the patch, explore the haunted corn maze, and enjoy the musical hay ride around the farm. For the brave, there is also the Tulip Tunnel of Terror haunted house.

Winter Wonderland

Starting in late November, the Winter Wonderland festival will get you in the holiday spirit. There is a vintage Airstream that is decorated with holiday lights. Glide across the ice on the outdoor skating rink, and even pick up your family's Christmas tree. 

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Waterdrinker Family Farm: Girl with goat
Get up close to the goats and other friendly farm animals during your visit to Waterdrinker Family Farm. 

Top Attractions at Waterdrinker Family Farm

Barnyard Animals

Sheep, goats, alpacas, ostriches, pigs, and tortoises are some of the animals you will find on the farm. My son was very excited by the tortoises, which you don't find at every petting zoo, but he was disappointed there was no feed for the animals. My daughter, however, was trying to wake up the pigs and didn't miss being able to feed them.

Flower Fields

This is a must-do for families. Even with just your phone camera, the pictures come out amazing. Be sure to visit toward the beginning and middle of the tulip and sunflower festivals for the most magnificent blooms.

Hamster Wheel

Ever wanted to feel like a hamster? If your kids are anything like my son, they have. This is his favorite part of the play area, even more than the jump pads. I guess he's always wanted to be a tiny rodent and now he was living out his dream. 

Jump Pads

Leap and bounce on the giant jump pillows. Be wary, on a sunny day socks are a necessity as the jump pad can get very hot. We went in the summer and wore sockless Crocs. My kids went on the jump pad and got right back off because it was too hot for their feet.

Mini Golf

Enter the small green and get a hole-in-one. The course is perfectly sized for littles. My kids aren't big mini-golfers, so they skipped out on this one. 

Obstacle Course

Elementary-aged kids will have lots of fun tackling the obstacle course. My son leaped like Spider-Man through the course's stump jump and rope bridge. The ropes course is harder, relying on upper body strength. 

Wooden Playground

The wooden playground has multiple structures, including playhouses, slides, and even a sand pit. My kids love anything sensory, so both times we have been to Waterdrinker they gravitate to the sand. 

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Once you've had your fill of farm fun, grab a bite to eat and a brew—for parents of course—from the adjacent Long Island Farm Brewery. 

Top Places to Eat and Drink at Waterdrinker Family Farm

Food Trucks

On festival weekends, food trucks are on-site inside the farm, just across from the hamster wheels. On warm days you may even find an ice cream truck. The ice cream truck was there on dig day, but we went during the week for the sunflower festival, and to my son's disappointment, there were no food trucks or ice cream trucks inside the farm.

Long Island Farm Brewery

Outside the farm on the east side of the parking lot is the Long Island Farm Brewery. The brewery has seasonal beers inspired by the festivals both on tap and in to-go cans. Depending on the day of the week, different food trucks sit outside the brewery for the family to grab some grub. There is indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor area is a fenced-in grass field, allowing kids to run around as their adults have a pint or two. We have gone to the brewery for Father's Day, where food truck lines can get long, but the kids being able to roam around helps ease tensions. 

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The fun at Waterdrinker Family Farm doesn't slow in the winter when twinkly lights and a decorated Airstream take center stage during its Winter Wonderland. 

Know Before You Go to Waterdrinker Family Farm

  • There are traditional bathrooms at Long Island Farm Brewery, but at Waterdrinker Family Farm the bathrooms are port-a-potties.
  • Waterdrinker Family Farm and Long Island Farm Brewery are dog-friendly, so bring along Fido and Fifi.
  • Admission varies, but children 2 and under are always FREE.
  • There is not a lot of shade at the farm, so bring sunscreen and water on hot days.
  • Waterdrinker Family Farm is exit 69 off the LIE, or exit 59 off Sunrise Highway. There is a parking lot between the brewery and the farm.
  • Can't get enough of the fun at Waterdrinker? The farm is expanding to Riverhead Labor Day weekend and opening a second location on the grounds of Garden of Eden.

Unless noted, all photos by the author.

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