Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘NY’

Kayaks and Canoes are also for rent at the Peconic Paddler at the traffic circle next to Milton L. Burns Park.

Did you enjoy part one of  30 reasons to vacation in Riverhead?  As mentioned before, the great thing about Riverhead is that there is something for everyone. Mom’s and daughters will enjoy having tea at Tea Time Cottage, decorating Gingerbread cookies at The Gingerbread University and shopping at the outlets. Fathers and son’s will enjoy Riverhead Raceway and the Railroad Museum of Long Island.  Families that enjoy the outdoors can rent kayaks and paddle down the Peconic River or rent bikes and cycle by the riverfront. Science comes alive at the Long Island Science Center or Atlantis Aquarium and history buffs will enjoy Hallockville Farm or the Historical Society Museum.  Below is the continued list with details and links to make planning your getaway to Riverhead simple and stress free.

11.  Ride the mechanical bull and do a little line dancingCody’s BBQ offers more than just the typical barbecue fare, it host line dancing on Saturday nights and an opportunity to ride a mechanical bull.  The inflatable mechanic bull is set up outside on the back deck.  If you are thinking about going, check out their facebook page because events seem to be updated more than on their website.  This sure is a fun night out and there is not to many places for you to get “your Cowboy on”!

The Mechanical Bull, photo credit: Cody’s BBQ

12.  Shopping – If shopping is your thing, there will be no shortage of stores at the Tanger Outlets.  Stores include accessory shops, children’s apparel, apparel for men and women, footwear, specialty shops and housewares and home furnishings.  Make sure you check out their website for coupons and special offers.  Another great place to check out is 73 Main in the historic downtown area.  I am sure this new boutique will be one of many with Main Street be revitalized and the addition of the Hyatt and approaching opening of the Suffolk Theatre.

Shop at the Outlets

13.  Long Island Science Center – This hands-on interactive educational museum emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math.  Families will have great time exploring the exhibits like CSI and solving the crime or creating  a small toy with tinker toys or building their own creation with legos.  Also offered are family workshops.  Admission is $5 per person.

Long Island Science Center

Time to Investigate

14.  Hallockville Museum Farm – Hallockville, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, sits on 28 acres where visitors can tour their historic houses and barns from the mid-18th century.  In addition to touring the museum’s buildings, gardens and collections, families will get to experience real farming in the fields and get to meet animals like cows, sheep and chickens.  One of the best times to visit  is the third weekend of September when they have their annual Fall Festival & Craft Fair.  Make sure you check out their website for other fun events, like Geology hikes.

Hallockville Museum Farm

15.  Spend the day at Reeves Beach – On the shore of the Long Island Sound, this beach is about a ten minute drive from the center of town.   A gazebo sits atop a cliff overlooking the Sound and beach and there is restrooms and parking.  Parking however requires a beach permit from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Day permits can be purchased for $10 at the Recreation Office at Stotzky Park.

The Long Island Sound

16.  Railroad Museum of Long Island –  With two locations in Riverhead and Greenport, train enthusiast will love this museum.  Admission includes a ride on the World’s Fair miniature train and a guided tour of the Riverhead and Greenport site. Families will also like the model train display in the visitors center.  The best way to enjoy the day though is to arrive at the Railroad Museum of Long Island (RMLI), Riverhead site, at approximately 10 AM when it opens, on any Saturday and Sunday between Memorial weekend and Columbus weekend. Visit the Riverhead site and then walk over to the LIRR Riverhead station (across the tracks) and take the Eastbound 11:25 AM train to Greenport arriving at 12:05 PM. Visit the Railroad Museum of Long Island (RMLI), Greenport site, located across the parking lot from the West end of the Greenport train platform. After visiting you now have two choices. Return to Riverhead on the 1:11 PM train leaving Greenport and arriving Riverhead at 1:50 PM. Or if you want to do additional sightseeing in Greenport Village, return to Riverhead on the 6:11 PM train leaving Greenport and arriving Riverhead at 6:50 PM. When you return on either train, pack a lunch or snack, ride on the upper level of the train, and enjoy the view as you pass through Long Island Wine Country. (The LIRR fare is extra, but family fares are low-cost.)  Two annual events that you will want to keep in mind is the Riverhead Railroad Festival, always the weekend before Labor Day and the Holiday Open House with Santa, the first full weekend in December at the Greenport location.  The Riverhead location is also hosting Toy Train Play Days Columbus Day weekend.

Model Train Display in Riverhead

Railroad Museum of Long Island

17.  Dine at Riverfront Restaurant – The Peconic River flows just south of Main Street and there are some really great places to enjoy a meal with the family.  The cuisine at Turkuaz Grill is Turkish and Mediterranean.  I love the atmosphere under the trees with paper lanterns and the sigara boregi, (Turkish Cigars, which is fried thin dough rolled with feta cheese and parsley – yum).  If you are in the mood for Italian, The Roadhouse has great brick oven pizza and pastas.  Both Turkuaz Grill and The Roadhouse are reasonable priced and family friendly.  I also love Farm Country Kitchen, which is tucked away from the road on the banks of the river. They have quite a selection of wraps and salads made with the freshest ingredients.  There soups are wonderful too.

Turkuaz Grill

Enjoy pizza, pasta or wings along the river at The Roadside.

18.  Give into your sweet tooth – After dining along the riverfront, make sure to save room for dessert. Across the street from The Roadhouse, you will find the best homemade ice cream at Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe.  The historic downtown area offers up great shakes at the Star Confectionery, which is 1920s “classic” “mom‑and‑pop” luncheonette.  Just a couple of doors down, you will find the Baker’s Workshop. This cafe is part of the Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts and Hospitality Center and the pastries here are spectacular.

Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe

The Star Confectionery

19.  Explore Polish Town, USA – Polish Town is a small neighborhood in Riverhead settled by Polish immigrants at the turn of the century.  This is a great neighborhood to explore with kids and expose them to a different culture.  The streets are lined with red street signs and polish flags, so it gives you a feel that you are no longer in Riverhead.  It is here that you will start craving kielbasa and pierogisis even if you were not hungry.   No worries, if that happens, because the popular Polish Town Deli or Birchwood is on the main drag, Pulaski Street.  The best time to visit Polish Town USA is in August when they typically have the Polish Town Fair and Polka Festival.

Welcome to Polish Town, USA

Polish Town Fair and Polka Festival

20.  Grumman Memorial Park  – Families can pay tribute to the aviation and aerospace history that took place on Long Island at Grumman Memorial Park.  This free attraction is now home to some of  Grumman’s Long Island-built fighter planes, including one of the best known, the F-14A Tomcat, a supersonic fighter that could shoot down enemy aircraft in the middle of the day or night.

Grumman Memorial Park

Believe it or not, there is still 10 more places to highlight in this busy little town!  Stay tune for the continued list in Part Three of  the 30 Reasons to Vacation in Riverhead.

Main Street, Riverhead by the Community Garden

Read Full Post »

Coe Hall

Camellia Greenhouse

Last week while roaming Barnes and Nobel, I stumbled upon what many people consider to be the “Great American Novel” on the summer reading table, The Great Gatsby.  I ended up purchasing The Great Gatsby wanting to re-read it from my high school days before the new movie comes out on Christmas Day.  Reading through F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel made me want to go visit the Long Island Gold Coast and step back into the time of the “Roaring Twenties”.  So after a little research this morning, I came up with a list of seven mansions that were retreats of the rich and famous during the turn of the century to the 1930’s. From the Gugggenheims and Vanderbilts to the Pratts and Coes, the Gold Coast was the place to be for high society and notable Americans.  Despite the heat and oppressive humidity, I decided today the place to be for me was at William Robertson Coe’s mansion which was built in 1921 and is more commonly known as the Planting Fields Arboretum.

Here is a recap of my visit to a great 1920’s Gold Coast Estate and what to expect for those who want to revisit a decade where everyone wore a hat and many carried a flask during a time of prohibition and prosperity.

M.O. & M.E. Hoffman Visitor Center

The former Hay Barn of this 409-acre estate now houses the visitor center.  With so much property to explore this was a great place to get my bearings.  I found a model display of the property, so I could easily locate everything I wanted to see.  In addition, there was a nice display and short videos narrated  by Mr. Coe’s grandson Michael, that provided me with the history of the Coe Family and their estate.  One fun tidbit that I picked up from the video was that the gates at the main drive entrance was originally created in 1712 for the Carshalton Park Estate in England and Mr. Coe had them transplanted to his estate.  You can see these gates on the silver screen in the movie, Love Story and Sabrina.  The visitor center was also a great place to cool off since there was air conditioning, so I browsed the gift shop and decided to get a drink from the Garden Cafe’ before heading back out in the 86 degree humid weather.

The Visitor Center, formerly the Hay Barn.

A great place to start your tour of the estate.

History of the Coe Family

William Robertson Coe moved to the United States with his family at the age of 14 from England. At age 15 he worked as an office boy for an insurance broker in Philadelphia and in 1910 he became president of Johnson and Higgins Insurance Company and was involved in insuring the RMS Titanic.  Mr. Coe was married three times.  He lost his first wife who died on a cruise to England.  His second wife was Mai Rogers, who was the daughter to the Vice President of Standard Oil and builder of the Virgininan Railway.  It was Mai’s fortune that went into the estate.  William and Mai had three sons and a daughter.  Their passion for horticulture, specifically interest in rare species of plants and trees led to botanical bliss. Mai passed away in 1924 and Mr. Coe quietly married a divorcee from Texas, Caroline Graham Slaughter.  Mr. Coe passed away at the age of 85 from an asthma attack in 1955. Caroline stayed in the home until her passing in 1960.

Coe Hall Mansion

The style of this beautiful mansion is of an English 16th century Elizabethan country house and was decorated by an interior designer from Charles of London.  I toured the mansion for $3.50 and the sweetest widow was my personal tour guide.  The entrance was grand with Romanesque arches.  I particularly enjoyed exploring the den which was Mr. Coe’s study that had a safe hidden beyond the wood paneling and a hidden bar off to the side. The Reception room  which was decorated in a 18th century French style  was used by both the second and third Mrs. Coe to entertain their lady guest.  Taking in the grand fireplaces, chandeliers and artistically carved doors was wonderful, but seeing family pictures in the Great Hall where the Coe’s only daughter was married made me feel like I knew the family.

The Reception Room

The Dining Room

The Den

The Mud Room where the family would mount their horses.

 Exhibit

Cocktail Culture – The Glamorous Gold Coast Years from Prohibition to 1960 – This exhibit can be viewed until September 30, 2012.  Coe Hall was built in the same year that the Prohibition Amendment became law which was appealed in 1933.  Long Island was one of the most notorious routes that liquor was smuggled in by boat in then by road to New York City.  Mr. Coe stockpiled liquor in 1918 and 1919 and spent $35,349.72 which today would be slightly under a half a million dollars.  I really enjoyed this exhibit and didn’t realize Long Island’s history in the prohibition era.   The exhibit also had several dresses from the 1920s reflecting the flappers independence and the birth of the “cocktail dress” around 1935.  The “little black dress” made its debut when speakeasies became legal restaurants such as the 21 Club which still exist today in NYC.  There was a picture of the Coe’s daughter in front of the bar  of the 21 Club in the early 1930s.

Cocktail Culture Exhibit

Radio Bar

Planting Fields Arboretum 

Gardens 

Hydrangea

Lily

The Italian Blue Pool Garden  is surrounded by spring-blooming perennials and a darling Tea House sits at the end of the pool.

Italian Blue Pool Garden

Tea House

The Rose Arbor and Rose Garden contain over 600 Tea, shrub, and miniature roses.  The Children’s Playhouse is not to far from the Rose Garden.  The Green Garden features a circular pool and the Azalea Walks and  the Vista Path are nearby.

Rose Garden

The Playhouse

The Synoptic Garden displays over 500 types of tree and shrub with little signs arranged in alphabetical order by botanical name.  I saw a few chipmunks in the Synoptic garden.

Greenhouses

Main Greenhouse  The Main Green house orchids, cacti hibiscus, begonias and more.  Kids can be a plant detective and collect stamps at plant stations.

The Main Greenhouse

Plant Detective Children’s Activity Map

Hibiscus House

Cactus House

Camellia Greenhouse – This is the largest collection of camellias under glass in the Northeast.

Camellia Greenhouse

Woodlands

There are over 200 acres of woodland at Planting Fields, with miles of walking trails through the woods.

Information needed to plan your visit

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park is located at 1395 Planting Fields Road in Oyster Bay, New York.

  • Grounds are open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except December 25.
  • A $8 per car from April 1st to Labor day, 7 days a week and weekends only from September 10th thru October 31st. Admission free during winter season.
  • Mansion Tours are an hour-long and are offered twice daily at 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m from April 1 – September 30.
 $3.50 Tour Fee for Non-Members / Members and all children under 12 are FREE .  THe guided tour focuses on the work of the servants during the 1920s.  The tour will lead visitors through the servants living quarters, kitchen areas, the flower room, and wine vaults.
  • The Main Greenhouse and Camellia Greenhouse are open year round from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The Visitor Center is open April 1st thru October 31st 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m daily.
 November 1st thru March 31st, Friday, Saturday and Sunday only.
11:00 a.m. – 4: 30 p.m.

While in Oyster Bay, you might also like to check out Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, the “Summer White House” to the 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt. Another site to explore is The Raynham Hall Museum which was once used as British headquarters during the American Revolution and was home to the Townsend family.  Robert Townsend was the first link in a chain of agents in the Culper Spy Ring.

If you are hungry check out Canterbury Ales Oyster Bar & Grill and then afterwards walk down to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to take in views of the Long Island Sound.

Are you ready for a day trip to explore the Gold Coast?

Stay tune for future post on other mansions like the Eagle’s Nest, Oheka Castle, Old Westbury Gardens, Mill Neck Manor, Condrie Hall and Falaise.

If you enjoyed this post, you also might like 12 Long Island Family Day Trips to Experience in 2012 and Touring the Top Five Presidential Homes.

Read Full Post »

Greenport Tall Ships Challenge

Ahoy there matey!

This past Memorial Day weekend, my son and I visited the Village of Greenport on Long Island to check out the Tall Ships.  The TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series is an annual series of tall ship races and maritime port festivals that educate the public about tall ships, maritime heritage and the power of sail training.  This series is just one of the many events sponsored by the American Sail Training Association. The race itinerary was selected to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.  This year the tall ships travel the Atlantic Coast.  The challenge started in Savannah, Georgia, and then to Greenport, New York in May.  In July the Tall Ships will be in Newport, Rhode Island and in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Baltimore will also host the tall ships this coming week, June 13th-19th at the “Star-Spangle Sailabration” along the Inner Harbor and Chesapeake Bay.

Pride of Baltimore II

As you will see from the pictures it was a beautiful day when we went aboard some of the ships.  We toured the Pride of Baltimore II and the LYNX.  These ships are living museums and the crew on board was excited to share their knowledge of the roles that their respective ships played in the War of 1812.  Of course the highlight was the celebrity ship, the HMS Bounty.  The HMS Bounty was built for the movie “Mutiny on the Bounty” in 1962, but most would recognize this ship from “Pirates of the Caribbean”.  Even though my son and I were only an hour from home, we had to act like tourist and get a picture with “Jack Sparrow”.

HMS Bounty

We had a great time boarding the historical sailing vessels and spending time at the Tall Ship Festival.  The festival took place at Mitchell Park Marina.  There was no shortage of things to do, so we spent our time checking out the museum civic exhibit displays, shopping and watching families on the carousel.  My only regret was that we were not able to sail away on one of the Roseway excursions.  Of course the lobster roll at Claudio’s and live music on the main stage quickly had me forgetting our missed excursion to Bug Lighthouse.

Delicious Lobster Roll at Claudio’s

Carousel

Where to go in Greenport!

Do you plan on seeing the Tall Ships this week in Baltimore or checking out the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series and Maritime Festivals in Newport and Halifax?

Read Full Post »

An hour north of NYC you can spend the day as if you were living in the 16th Century at the New York Renaissance Faire.  My son and I had a great time a couple of years ago in the woodlands of Sterling Forest in Tuxedo Park, New York.  We spent a full day enjoying the medieval village and really felt like we were in Elizabethan England!

We played countless century games and my son was amused on the rides like the Dragon Swing.  What was great is that all the games and rides were included in the admission ($22 for adults and $11 for kids), so you could play and ride as much as you wanted!

Entertainment was endless!  We enjoyed seeing the actors and visitors in costumes and it really was “people-watching” at it’s best!  If you want to have the full experience, you can always rent a costume in the shop called The Bellrose, that is if you don’t have one of your own.  It is conveniently located by the information booth when you go through the admission gates.

We also saw several shows which were also included in the admission!  The Faire has 125 shows that range from comedy, adventure and for children.  Our favorite was the joust!  Where else can you see knights on horseback swinging swords!  Another favorite was the Living Chess Match.  It was really neat to check out the feud on the massive chessboard.

I am sure you are thinking, “Wow, what a full day!”, but believe it or not there is plenty of other things to do and see.  No place would be complete without shopping and dining!  The kids can try Renaissance food by chomping on a roasted turkey leg.  If they are not that adventurous, no worries because there is plenty of traditional kid food like pizza and french fries.  Parents also have the opportunity to try a true-brewed mead!

If you want to do a little shopping, there are over a hundred artisans who sell their handcrafted items.  Just a few things you will find in the Artisan Crafts Marketplace are jewelry, clothing, blown glass and exotic leathers.  There is also face painting and hair braiding in the market place too!

     Events like these are fabulous to teach your kids about a time in history.  Let’s face it, reading about 16th century history makes me want to snooze, so I can only imagine what a kid would think.  Being a spectator at an armoured joust tournament in a period costume followed by a renaissance meal really brings medieval times alive!

Writing this entry has brought back so many fun memories that I think I want head back to the faire again!  The Faire is only open August 6th through Sept 25th.  I am thinking about heading back with my sister and her four kids the weekend of August 20th for the Pirate Weekend!

I am sure if you check out the video below that was on You Tube, you will be planning a day trip to the medieval forest soon too!

Read Full Post »

For any baseball fans out there, a trip to Cooperstown, New York should be in your future.  My son LOVES baseball, so there was no better way to honor one of his favorite sports than with a visit to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.  When we visited last summer, we started our day early and were there when the doors opened at 9 a.m. and was ready for everything baseball.

The museum was three floors and we started on the second floor which was recommended when we purchased our tickets. ($19.50 for adults & $7.00 for children) We enjoyed exhibits that honored the greats of baseball and history of the game.  One of our favorite things was the Baseball Experience which was a presentation in the Grandstand Theater.  My son also liked the Today’s Game exhibit which displayed artifacts from the major league teams of today.

The exhibits continued on the third floor.  The Records Room and the Baseball Cards exhibit was a hit with my son and nephew.  On the first floor, I really enjoyed the Baseball at the Movies and the boys liked the Sandlot Kids’ Clubhouse.  

Going through the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery gave the boys an idea of the history that is behind the game that they play in Little League. When they looked in awe at the oversized stature of Babe Ruth and posed for their best swing, I could tell they realized that they were somehow connected to the greats of our nation’s favorite past time.  Baseball really is more than a sport, it connects generations.

Visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame was so much fun.  We also enjoyed checking out the Main Street of Cooperstown too!  There were many places to eat and several shops.  We had no problem parking, but it is recommended that you park at the Doubleday Field Parking lot and take a trolley.  Parking is only two hours, but you can leave the museum to feed the meter if your hand is stamped.

You can definitely make your visit to Cooperstown a weekend trip. There are other attractions you might want to check out, like The Farmers’ Museum or Fenimore Art Museum.  For a small town, there is a lot to do.

If you head to the home of Baseball, I hope you have as much fun as we did and your baseball fan imagines themselves in the “Field of Dreams”.  After I publish this post, I am headed outside with my pink glove.  My son is calling….time to PLAY BALL!

Read Full Post »

One of my favorite things to do is celebrate true meanings of holidays.  The Old Bethpage Village Restoration, located on Long Island, NY is a recreation of a 19th-century village.  This living museum is a smaller scale Colonial Williamsburg or Old Sturbridge Village.  With that said there is not as many live demonstrations, but you do receive more  individualized attention since the crowds are smaller.  This living museum host many events through the year, one being an Independence Day celebration set in 1865, so we decided to do something a little different on the 4th of July and took a step back in time to the explore the past.

The day was filled with fun events like the reading of the Declaration of Independence, a brass band concert, and a parade.  There was also Civil War military drills celebrating our country’s 89th Independence Day.  The actors were great , taking pictures with my son and answering his questions. You can enjoy your own picnic lunch and attend the “Temperance Society Picnic”  which is behind the Noon Inn while listening to fiddle music.  If you are in the mood for a cold cider, you can pick one up in the Noon Inn along with some pretzels.

Another fun thing to do is watch a 1860 period All Star Baseball game. The game is a recreation of League Baseball Clubs that were held in Brooklyn and Queens in the 1800s.  My son really enjoyed learning how much the game of baseball has changed.  He revealed how grateful he was that his Little League uniform doesn’t have long sleeves and is not made of wool.

We had so much fun spending the day back in time celebrating the 4th of July. We visited many different types of homes, a school, a church, stores and the farm.  Each building had someone to share information about the history and the actors were in period costumes.  We really enjoyed the farm and learned about the farming skills from years ago.  There were several animals on the farm like sheep, cows and hogs.  The hogs really seemed to be having fun in the mud.


This is a fun family outing that only cost $10 for adults and $5 for kids.  Just keep in mind  that the village is set on 209 acres, so there is a lot of walking.  Most of is flat, but there are a few hills.  Also, make sure you pack some water in those picnic baskets because there was no air conditioners in those 19th century buildings!

I know the 4th of July is usually reserved for barbecues and beach days, but doing something in the true spirit to celebrate our nations birthday really turned out to be a better than expected experience and was also educational.  I definitely think this is worth the visit and believe you will be singing “God Bless America” upon your departure!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: