Kid-Friendly Catskills Farm Stay: A Hidden Gem 2 1/2 Hours North of NYC
Sometimes your kids need to get out of the city. Maybe you want to experience the fun parts of farm life (Adirondack chairs around a campfire, a roomy apartment in the country, a comfy sofa strewn with pink throw pillows), not the gross parts (shoveling livestock poo, scrubbing out water troughs). You want to leave NYC after lunch and before dinner find yourself stepping into a leafy wilderness, shaking a jar of feed, and watching a herd of sheep running at you. Time to book at room at Honey Hollow Farm Stay. I'm not kidding about the sheep:
You'll find that the 3-bed, 2-bedroom cottage is just as clean and comfortable as its Airbnb listing suggests. You'll wish that the host, Larissa, would become your new best friend. Meanwhile, your kids can meet the ponies, cuddle the bunnies, pet the funky chickens, and feed the goats. You can schedule riding lessons for an extra fee ($30/hour). Larissa runs a free hour-long needle-felting workshops using the farm's own wool, a great craft for kids ages 5 and up (or even younger, if your child is interested). Larissa welcomes kids with special needs and makes everyone feel right at home. Many families come back year after year.
During our recent visit, we got to meet some mama chickens and baby chicks.
We drove up straight from Brooklyn and walking onto the property felt like being transported into another world. This isn't an over-manicured, faux farm resort. We were greeted by wild greenery, freshly shorn wool hanging over a fence, and a magically friendly horse named Bugsy. There's a hand-built, pizza oven with a dome of made of clay, sand, straw, and horse manure.
There's also just room to breathe. Our animal-obsessed 6-year-old son literally jumped for joy with each four-legged or feathered friend he spotted. It may have been the happiest moment of his life to date when Larissa casually set a bunny in his lap. Our free-spirited almost-3-year-old daughter just wanted to pick clover flowers in a field. Travel with kids can be really, really hard. Honey Hollow Farm Stay makes it so much easier. It's the kind of place where you can live in the moment, and make memories while you're at it.