• Franny the Traveler

Hidden NYC Fall Gem: Queens County Farm Museum

The air is getting crisper.

The trees are bursting with yellows, reds, and orange.

The days are getting shorter.



Fall is here! The good news is that if you are in New York City, you do not need to trek to Long Island or the Hudson Valley to get your Fall kick. Thanks to New York Instagram friends, I discovered this hidden gem,  brought my friends to it, and am now sharing it with all of you so you can experience this gem too. As you gathered by the title: It is the Queens County Farm Museum! 


The last time that I was here was when I was 6 years old -- enjoying the pumpkin patch, taking a hayride, and petting animals. Trust me, it is more than just a farm for little kids (as I had to convince my fiance of that!) -- they have a lot of adult-friendly activities!



Location


Where is the Queens County Farm Museum? 


The Queens County Farm Museum is located in Floral Park, Queens. Queens is one of the five boroughs that make up New York City --  the largest in area and the second-largest borough in NYC and county in NYS. About 47% of its residents are foreign-born, making it one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the United States and the most linguistically diverse place on Earth! 


Did you know? If Queens were an independent city, it would be the fifth-most populous city in the United States after New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. 


Getting to Queens County Farm Museum


How do I get to the Queens County Farm Museum?


Address: 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Queens, NY 11004

Check for updates: Website | Instagram | Facebook


There are several ways one can get to this farm. The directions here are from Midtown Manhattan. 

  • By Car: When traveling from midtown Manhattan, it will take 35-40 minutes depending on traffic. There is free parking. 


  • By Subway/Bus: You can take the E or F subway line to Kew Gardens/Union Turnpike Station and transfer to the Q46 bus to 252nd St/Union Turnpike. From there, it is a 10 minute walk. 


  • By Train: If you are coming from Brooklyn, you can take the LIRR to Jamaica. From there, take the Q30 or Q31 to Utopia Parkway/Union Turnpike. Then take the Q46 to 252nd St/Union Turnpike. From there, it is about a 10 min walk. 

Highlights


What Is the Queens County Farm Museum most known for?


The Queens County Farm Museum is known to be New York City's largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland. The farm is also one of the longest continuously farmed sites in New York State, dating back to 1697. That is only 14 years after Queens was established as one of the original 12 counties of the Province of New York! This 47-acre working farm includes a landmark farmhouse, glass greenhouse, planting fields, an orchard, herb garden, a vineyard (which I need to go find next time!), and restored barns. 





How to spend a day at the Queens County Farm Museum?


1. The Fall Escape by The Floral Escape 


If you love vibrant colors and/or love flowers, this is the spot for you! The Fall Escape features several floral installations ranging from life-size Pumpkin Spice latte cups topped with a floral swirl to a bench with fall-hued flowers and pumpkins. It is definitely a cute spot to get those Instagrammable shots. This place is a whole vibe that is guaranteed to get you in the Fall spirit as you frolick from one installation to the next! Something about arrangements of lush florals just lifts your spirits tenfold. 


Check for updates: Website | Instagram | Facebook



FYI’s before you visit:

  • Cost: From Monday-Thursday: Adults $14 per person + online fees; Children 2-10 $8 per person + online fees; Children 2 & Under FREE. From Friday-Sunday: Adults $20 per person + online fees; Children 2-10 $13 per person + online fees; Children 2 & Under FREE) 

  • Dates: Mon-Sun, October 2–November 29, 2020

  • Hours: Mon–Fri, 12:00 pm–5:00 pm; Sat, Sun & Columbus Day, 10:00 am–5:00 pm

  • Advanced timed-entry tickets are strongly suggested to enter: Tickets typically sell out. Therefore, it is best to buy in advance! When you purchase, you purchase for an hour time slot that you must enter. One you get in, you can stay there as long as you want.

  • Arrive early: I highly recommend coming between 10-11 am while the lines are shorter and crowds are less. Most people arrive between 12-2 pm, which is where we experienced longer lines to take photos at different photo installations. 



2. Amazing Maize Corn Maze


Did you know? The Amazing Maize Maze is the only corn maze in the city! 

This is more the reason to go! This was my first time ever doing a corn maze and this was as fun as I had hoped it to be. It was a-MAZE-ing or should I say a-MAIZE. This is super fun to do with friends, but also great for kids as well. This 3-acre corn maze, which started in 2002, changes theme and design annually. Three-acres is a perfect size to get lost while not being discouraged. There are interactive aspects embedded to keep you engaged along the way such as looking for map pieces in mailboxes to put together on a map or history facts with words in bold that give you the answers to a crossword puzzle. The map pieces you find indicate what part of the maze you have completed! When you complete the corn maze, you walk across a bridge where you get a fuller view of the corn maze, which is cool. It is also just fun to have conquered something! . 


Check for updates: Website | Eventbrite for Tickets




FYI’s before you visit:

  • Cost. $12 for adults + online fees; $8 (ages 12 & under) + online fees

  • Dates: Friday-Sunday, September 18, 19, 25, 26, 2020; October 2–30, 2020; Mon, October 12 (Columbus Day)

  • Hours: Fri, 12 pm–4:30 pm; Saturday/Sunday/Columbus Day, 11 am–4:30 pm

  • Advanced timed-entry tickets are strongly suggested to enter: Tickets typically sell out, so it is best to buy in advance! When you purchase, you purchase for the day. Therefore, you just have to decide when to go. Keep in mind that the corn maze ends at 4:30 pm. 

  • Don’t be afraid to get lost: There are helpful hints embedded, such as color-coded ribbons tied around the stalks. There are also workers positioned in strategic spots where you can for clues. 

  • SPECIAL NOTE: If you're looking for a spooky evening and a cool experience, check out the Maze by Moonlight offered on special dates in October, when the Maze stays open until 9:30 PM, and you find your way through your flashlight and any night sky lights

  • Several things were put in place to make this pandemic safe: 

  • They scan tickets with your phone.

  • They make you watch a video you get through a QR code scan for directions instead of speaking to you

  • They stagger the entry into the corn maze.



3. Pumpkin Patch Weekends


I don’t know about you, but a Pumpkin Patch is the epitome of Fall! This may not be as elaborate as pumpkin farms where you can pull a pumpkin from its stem, but this is a good substitute. In a large area, there are tons of pumpkins on the ground that you can choose from to take home! You can also just go and take pictures. 



FYI’s before you visit:

  • Cost: There is no admission fee to enter the pumpkin patch. To purchase a pumpkin: Small-$5;  Medium-$12;  Large-$20;  X-Large-$25

  • Dates: Open Daily! October 7–October 30

  • Hours: Fri, 12 pm–4:30 pm; Saturday/Sunday/Columbus Day, 11 am–4:30 pm

  • No tickets required to visit pumpkin patch:  They try to stagger entry and limit capacity due to COVID. However, it still gets pretty crowded in that area

4. Harvest Weekends


Harvest Weekends was created for the farm to showcase Fall on the farm. They have hayrides with a separate ticket purchase with a limited capacity to enjoy farm views. You also have the opportunity to buy fresh New York locally made items such as apple cider donuts, pies, Hudson Valley apples (as there is no apple picking), and fresh cider! The fresh cider hit the spot! 



FYI’s before you visit:

  • Cost: Free to enjoy! Have money to purchase food items or hayride. 

  • Dates: Sats & Suns, October 3 – October 25, 2020; Mon, October 12

  • Hours: 10:00 am–4:30 pm

  • Go to the stand to buy pies early:  The pies sell out very quickly! Also, some of their donuts sell out quickly as well. By the time we purchased from 3pm, they only had cinnamon sugar donuts left. Earlier, they had apple cider glazed and pumpkin donuts.

  • Lines are long: We waited at least 30-45 minutes. We heard that the earlier lines were just as long. Take this into account as you plan your day. 

  • Buy your hayride tickets when you arrive on the farm: We did not get a chance to do the hayride because tickets sold out. The last hayride was for 3:30 pm. If this is something you want to do, buy your tickets before you do other activities. 



5. Halloween on the Farm 


NOTE: I did not get a chance to do this, but thought it was worth mentioning!


Queens Farm hosts a special halloween event. Halloween on the Farm includes admission to the Amazing Maize Maze, hayrides, kids crafts at the Con Edison Ecology booth, and trick-or-treating with the farm animals. This all-inclusive event is the grand finale of the Fall season at Queens Farm. Costumes are highly encouraged.



FYI’s before you visit:

  • Cost: $20/person for all-inclusive event + online fees; free for ages 0-3. Add-on: The Fall Escape Floral Pop-up: $12/person + online fees

  • Date: October 31

  • Hours: 11:00 am –5:00 pm

  • Buy your tickets in advance:  This sells out! They also do not sell tickets at the door.

6. September Sundays


NOTE: I did not get a chance to do this, but thought it was worth mentioning!


On select Sundays in September, you can enjoy several activities for all-inclusive admission -- the Amazing Maize Maze, live music, hayrides, and local brews or visit the farmstand. 



FYI’s before you visit:

  • Cost:  $15/children under 12 + online fees & $20/adults plus online fees for all-inclusive event; free for ages 0-3

  • Date: Select Sundays in September (September 13, 20, and 27)

  • Hours: 11-5 pm (11 a -2 p & 2 - 5p)

  • Arrive in your time window:  You are given a 3-hour window to arrive in order to limit capacity.

  • Bring your own lawn chairs and picnic blankets: seating is not provided.

7. Autumn Dance Celebration 


The Autumn Dance Celebration showcases over twenty different Native American dances over two days outdoors in front of a socially distanced audience. This was created to celebrate Native American culture as well as the summer harvest through music and dance.  Eight Indian Nations were represented including Hopi, Winnebago, Lenape, Choctaw, Mayan, Seneca, Santo Domingo, and Chickahomin. This event also included a market featuring  Native American art, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, and food.



FYI’s before you visit:

  • Cost:  $10/children under 12 + online fees & $15/adults plus online fees

  • Date: November 7 & November 8

  • Hours: 12:00 pm–1:30 pm; 2:30 pm–4:00 pm

  • Arrive in your time window:  You are given a 1.5-hour window to arrive in order to limit capacity.

  • Bring your own lawn chairs and picnic blankets: The website said seating is not provided but there ended up being chairs provided for most people.

  • Details about the dance: Saturday's dance program is different from Sunday. The 12:00 pm and 2:30 pm dance program repeats each day.


Top Tips for the Queens County Farm


  • Come on Saturdays and Sundays during October for peak Fall activities: This is when they have the most Fall activities at the Farm. Check their calendar as there are other activities in September and November that you may be interested in. 

  • Beware of the bees:  They were very prevalent around the benches where people were eating food. 

  • Wear Comfy Closed-Toe Shoes: The farm’s ground is primarily dirt.  That means that it will either be very dusty (which was the case by the Fall Escape) or will be very muddy (which was the case by the Corn Maze). Be sure to not only wear closed-toe shoes but also wear shoes that you do not wish to get dirty with. You want comfortable shoes -- some of my friends’ feet were hurting after all the walking of the day.

  • Plan Your Outfit: Part of why you visit a Fall escape is because you want dope Insta-photos. For many, that was the case for the pumpkin patch too. Even if you did not plan for that, you will be tempted to do a full photo-shoot once you get there. You want to make sure you wear solid colors that will stick out and contrast with the vibrant colors. White and light grey will help you pop out in pictures. Dark solid colors like black or green (like I had on) helps the background pop out more! 

  • Be charged!: You will be taking lots of photos, which will burn the battery of your phone or camera. Your electronics may also overheat as you will be in an open field. As a result, make sure your phone is fully charged. Also, pack a portable charger! 

  • Bring water: You are walking around a LOT outside in the sun. This is especially relevant if you do the corn maze. You will get thirsty, so be prepared! 

  • Pack light: Because you are walking around a lot, you don’t want to be weighed down by belongings and also have to worry about keeping track of them. If you want to purchase things, wait until the end so you don’t have to carry it with you (unless you are purchasing something small and light).

  • Weather permitting: Typically when it is raining, the events are canceled. The Queens Farm website will post “CLOSED due to inclement weather”

  • Pets are not allowed on the farm!

What is your favorite Fall activity at the Queens County Farm Museum that you would like to try? Comment below!


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About Me

Part-time traveler and full-time nationally award-winning educator. My passion for travel led me to start my travel blog so I could share the stories of my adventures and tips I have learned along the way as I conquer at least two new countries and two new states a year to reach 50 states & 50 countries by age 50.

 

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