Queens County Farm Museum
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, NY
Hours:10 A.M. to 5 P.M. daily; historical farmhouse tours available 11 A.M. to 4 P.M. weekends
Fee: Free (unless for a special event; call ahead)
Contact:

queensfarm.org; 718-347-3276

Bathrooms: Near main entrance past historical farmhouse on right
Water/Snacks: Water fountain across from farmhouse; snacks and beverages in gift shop near main entrance; farm stand selling produce near the main entrance
Map:

Young children love feeding the adorable animals, and in early fall, older children are thrilled to find their way through the maize maze.

Children enjoy spotting farm animals along the paved path that begins at Queens Country Farm Museum's entrance.
Photo by: Cheryl and William de Jong-Lambert

When you think of getting outside in New York City, a working farm within city limits probably doesn’t leap to mind as a possible destination. Even more impressive: The Queens County Farm Museum is believed to be the oldest continuously farmed site in the state, having started as a family farm in 1697.

Today it is an enjoyable all-seasons destination, though it is perhaps best to visit in early fall, when the amazing maize maze makes its annual comeback. To keep regular visitors guessing, each year the 3-acre maze is groomed to a different theme, such as a maple leaf or baseball. Prior to setting off, guides deliver a “stalk talk” that prepares you to look for clues and solve puzzles to find the way out. (Other exit strategies exist, however.) Apple and pumpkin picking are also seasonal favorites. The hayrides operate year round, weather permitting.

The farm is on a 47-acre plot of land that includes pear and apple orchards, a vineyard, an herb garden, and planting fields with more than 50 varieties of vegetables. Among the animal attractions are a cow pasture, a horse barn, chicken and duck coops, and pens for alpacas, goats, sheep, and pigs. You can see—and feed—most of the animals along the paved path that starts at the entrance. Smaller gravel paths take you around and closer to the animal pens, as well as past the gardens, pastures, and orchards.

The butterfly garden is somewhat off the beaten path, located behind the gift shop. Perennials and thick bushes, specifically chosen to attract butterflies, line a small network of narrow gravel paths, forming a maze that younger children enjoy puzzling through. Remember: Colorful buckets of animal feed are available for a small fee at the gift shop.

Plan B:

If your children would like to hold animals, the petting zoo at nextdoor Green Meadows Farm is sometimes open to the public for a small fee. Call 718-470-0224 or go to visitgreenmeadowsfarm.com.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Restaurants and shops are along Union Turnpike, three blocks south of Little Neck Parkway (turn right out of the parking lot).



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