Historic Richmond Town
GOOD FOR: All Ages

Source:Outdoors with Kids New York City (AMC Books)
Address:441 Clarke Avenue, Staten Island, NY
Hours:1 P.M. to 5 P.M., Wednesday through Sunday
Fee: Free for grounds-only access

historicrichmondtown.org; 212-360-8201

Bathrooms: 3rd County Courthouse in front of the parking lot
Water/Snacks: Café at the corner of Richmond Road and Court Place

This outdoor museum preserves 300 years of New York history while providing visitors with bucolic parkland to enjoy.

Docents in period dress demonstrate basket-weaving methods.
Photo by: iStock

Seventeenth-century Historic Richmond Town provides visitors with more than 100 acres of green space and quaint village streets that are much as they were more than three centuries ago. Children are amazed to learn that they are walking on the very paths and lawns that villagers traversed between the blacksmith, the grocery store, the rail station, and what is today the oldest school house in the United States.

Start at the visitor center in the 3rd County Courthouse facing the parking lot. Here you can purchase tickets ($8 for adults, $5 for children over 4, and free for those younger) to enter the various buildings where docents in period clothing make furniture or print posters and pamphlets using old-time tools. However, the destination is worth seeing from the outside alone.

Exit the visitor center onto Center Street (opposite the parking lot) and turn right to begin a pleasant 45-minute loop. This tree-lined road eventually meets St. Patrick’s Place. Turn right, and on your right (across the street) will be the Stephens-Prier House, whose big and beautiful lawn speaks to the wealth of the onetime occupants. Take St. Patrick’s Place to Richmond Road and turn left. This takes you past a farm and a number of historical homes that doubled as workshops for various trades.

On your left you will come to Court Street (which stretches from the visitor center); take the path to your right and then make a quick left to find your way to Dunn’s Mill and Mill Pond. This is one of 16 watersheds in the Staten Island bluebelt program aimed at controlling flooding by rehabilitating and protecting the designated waterways. Landscaped with plants that are indigenous to Staten Island, Mill Pond is a magnet for birds and other wildlife.

Return the way you came, and take Court Street back to Center Street. Turn right, and a few hundred yards on your left will be one of two designated picnic areas set within a grove of trees.

Remember: Low-cost programs for children (including a camp in summer and workshops in winter) are offered throughout the year.

Plan B:

A hike up Moses Mountain (Trip 58) would make a nice complement to this destination.

Where to Eat Nearby:

A number of restaurants are outside the Staten Island Mall, at Richmond Avenue and Ring Road.


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