The Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead is a great place to visit with kids. Learn about Long Island's agricultural history at this historic site, where you can visit farm animals, try your hand at old-fashioned crafts, and attend annual events like the Fleece and Fiber Fair in spring and Craft Show in fall.
The mission of the Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead is to help preserve and interpret 200 years of the region’s history and agricultural traditions through educational programs, museum tours, workshops, special events, fairs, and festivals held throughout the year. Head to Hallockville—which is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year—to immerse yourself in the folk arts native to the land or enjoy a picnic on the spacious grounds, surrounded by 500 acres of contiguous farmland and nearby Hallock Pond and Preserve. The Hallockville Museum Farm is a nonprofit organization listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Riverhead Town Landmark.
Kick off a visit to the Hallockville Museum Farm with a guided tour of the property’s crown jewel, the Hallock Homestead, which is celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2015. Built in 1765, the Homestead encompasses the original Hallock family home and accompanying buildings—such as the smokehouse, a magnificent barn featuring hundreds of agricultural artifacts, a hog pen, and the outhouse—where the original landlords lived and farmed in the 18th century. Open from May through December, a tour of the homestead is perfect for children of all ages to marvel at the relics left behind by families from the farm’s storied past.
The 250-year-old Hallock Homestead is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Photo by Steve Berger
Stop by the farmhouse for a meet-and-greet with some of Hallockville’s friendly farm animals or venture to the museum’s popular transportation exhibit, which catalogues various methods of transport used by North Fork’s citizenry centuries ago, including carriages, sleighs, and surreys.
During the off-season, visitors can take in the sights and sounds of the farm on a walk around the property or a picnic in the apple orchard. Sign up for a workshop or class to learn about quilt making, woodworking, or many other skills and folk crafts, or visit the museum’s community garden.
The Museum Farm hosts a number of festivals and special events every year.
Long’s Island’s one-of-a-kind Fleece and Fiber Fair in mid-May provides two exciting days of demonstrations and hands-on learning for the whole family. Visitors learn about everything from sheep-shearing to weaving, dying wool, and spinning yarn. Kids can enjoy craft demonstrations, interact with animals—including sheep, llamas, and angora rabbits—and enjoy a special llama obstacle course show. Check out the Fiber Market to see local artisans selling their handmade products or grab lunch from a variety of local food vendors. The fiber fair is a great way to introduce children to folk arts native to the community. If you live in the city, the farm offers round-trip transportation to the fair from Midtown Manhattan (check the website for details).
The llama obstacle course is a perennial favorite at the Long Island Fleece and Fiber Fair.
In July and August, kids ages 6-13 can register for Arts on the Farm, Hallockville’s five-week summer camp program. Each week has a different theme including organic gardening, wood working, and barnyard arts-and-crafts. The museum also runs a Little Sprouts day camp program for younger kids ages 3-5, who help take care of farm animals and enjoy arts-and-crafts time on the farm.
The end of July is marked by the museum’s annual Barn Dance, a rousing evening of live music, folk dancing, and merriment for all ages at the Naugles Barn.
No dancing experience is needed to join the annual Barn Dance!
Photo by Gabrielle Colen
The Fall Festival and Craft Show in September is old-fashioned fun for everyone, with craft demonstrations including basket weaving, yarn spinning, rug hooking, quilting, woodworking, blacksmithing, and more. Celebrate the rich history and traditions of the community at this country fair, which also features more than 50 local craft vendors. See livestock displays, farm machinery and tractor exhibits, and even a model railroad display. The museum’s buildings are open to the public during the festival.
Tractors come in sizes for all ages at the annual Fall Festival.
Photo by Linda Burke
Address: 6038 Sound Ave., Riverhead
Hours: Tours available May-December, Friday-Sunday 12-4pm. Self-guided tours can be taken 11am-4pm daily, year-round.
Admission: $7; $5 seniors and children ages 4-12; free for children younger than 4; or $20 for two adults and two children. Prices for special events vary.
For more information: 631-298-5292 or hallockville.com
Main Photo: Take a leisurely hayride around the farm during the Fall Festival and Craft Show.
Photo by Linda Burke