If you haven’t visited Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills recently, fall is a great time to go. Not only is it less crowded this time of year, but the farm also now has a weekend ticketing system (through Nov. 15) that gives you access to all of the seasonal activities they’ve got going on for one price, $20 per adult, $10 per child over 2; parking is free. The hands-on programs and tours include meeting the farm animals, egg collecting, working with the crops, meeting the Blue Hill kitchen staff, story time and more.
We visited the farm this past Sunday and started off by checking out the turkey and the sheep. The turkey, in particular, were really amusing when they gobbled en masse! A member of the staff relayed some interesting facts about the animals and answered any questions that came up.
Next, we headed over to the chicken coops to collect some eggs. This is always a daunting activity for my kids, who are afraid of being chased by chickens, but other kids seemed to enjoy gathering eggs and were the ones chasing the chickens around!
After that we tried our hand at a farm chore: shucking corn. This was easy and fun to do, and it was interesting to learn that the kernels would be used to make polenta at Blue Hill.
And for our last activity, we visited the newly built Blue Hill bakery, where the baker had just finished making a few loaves of rustic-looking bread. He showed us his equipment, including an on-site mill, and gave us each a taste of the bread. It was incredibly flavorful and even contained, we were told, corn kernels shucked by past visitors.
We ended our visit with lunch from the café: grilled chicken, hard-boiled eggs, vegetable frittata and a cheddar-kale bun. All of the ingredients were from the farm. There’s really no better place than Stone Barns to help your kids visualize what farm-to-table actually looks like. And it was great to be able to spend the day running around outside, even dining al fresco, since there aren’t going to be very many nice weekends left!
Some Westchester public libraries offer free weekend passes to Stone Barns. See a list of participating libraries or purchase advance tickets here. If you’d rather check out the farm without doing all of the guided activities, there’s free admission on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. And starting in mid-November, Stone Barns will return to its old system of free entry and charging for particular activities, but the number of activities will be significantly reduced as the farm winds down for the winter.
Stone Barns, 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills; 914-366-6200