Historic Richmond Town, a living history village on Staten Island, invites kids and families to experience the wonders of the old world. See costumed interpreters demonstrate old-fashioned trades, go on guided tours through hundreds of years of history, experience a colonial County Fair, take candle light tours at Christmas, and much more at this NYC historic site.
Watch time unfold as you stroll through Historic Richmond Town on Staten Island, where colonial life has been preserved. Resting on almost 50 acres, the site includes original colonial homes, commercial and civic buildings, and a museum that visitors can explore while learning about the daily lives of ordinary people of the past. Guided tours and demonstrations on old-fashioned trades and activities add to the experience, allowing visitors to recreate and interact with local history.
The County Fair on Labor Day weekend includes traditional demonstrations by master craftsmen like this cooper, as well as food, music, exhibits, magic and specialty acts, and amusement rides.
Start your journey at the museum, which hosts a rotating display of exhibits that highlight the historical importance of the area. Then embark on a group guided tour through 27 original buildings, including the oldest known schoolhouse in America, Voorlezer's House, a National Historic Landmark that dates back to 1695. View the furnished interiors and watch as many costumed demonstrators -- including blacksmiths, tinsmiths, basket makers, and cooks -- engage in daily activities of the period.
Decker Farm, open Wednesday and Saturday, is located 1.5 miles from the village and is the oldest continuously operated farm in New York. Visitors can take a self-guided tour and enjoy the organic, seasonal produce sold at the farm stand.
During Old Home Day, on the third Sunday of October each year, sample fresh-baked bread and soup, churn your own butter, and learn other old-fashioned trades from master craftsman.
Along with a host of other festive events near the holidays, the annual Candle Light Tour in December tells the story of New York Christmas traditions and explains their history, which date back to the 1690s.
Kids ages 11 to 14 can sign up for the Summer Apprentice Program where they will take a focused look at a trade of their choice (basket-making, blacksmithing, tin-making, doll-making, or cooking) and learn about what goes on behind the scenes at the museum over a two-week period.
Address: 441 Clarke Ave., Staten Island
Directions: About a 15-minute drive from all NYC bridges
Hours: The village is open Wednesday-Sunday 1-5pm (call ahead for tour schedule)
Price: $8; $6 seniors and students; $5 children ages 4-11; free for children ages 3 and younger
For more information: 718-351-1611 or historicrichmondtown.org