It’s really easy to turn these Local Love posts into mind-numbing love fests. Because I want to express my love. I do. But I also want to give you reality. Full-on gushes are just not reality. There is no afternoon with kids that goes by without a meltdown of some sort. That doesn’t mean the place is shitty. It doesn’t mean the kids are shitty, either. It just means we’re normal human beings, not robots going through the motions.
Our trip to Muscoot Farm in Katonah couldn’t be a better example of this. There was pouting. There was whining. There was arguing. But we still had fun.
A couple of weeks ago I saw that the Wolf Conservancy was going to be there. Knowing that my nephew is a big time wolf freak (and I mean that in the most loving way possible), I immediately contacted my sister and we decided to meet there to get our wolf on, as one does.
Ellie was borderline petrified, but decided that wearing her red poncho (which includes a hood, naturally) might help her defeat any granny-like wolf nemeses. She was scared in more of an excited way, letting the drama build a bit in anticipation of some sort of epic tale.
When we got to the farm, the tale was decidedly anticlimactic. There were no wolves. There was only a coyote awareness presentation—with no actual coyotes. Cue teary-eyed disappointment of the highest order—and a major loss of awesome aunt points. Not exactly the way one wants to start an afternoon with four children that will include a fair amount of walking.
In my nephew’s defense, he took it like a champ and perked up pretty quickly as the kids started wandering around the farm. We stopped by the chickens first, which resulted in hardcore excitement from my not-quite three-year old niece. Liv is a big fan of farm animals so this trip was perfect for her.
Samantha was not nearly as ecstatic. She liked the idea of the animals but, ever the diva, took major issue with their smell. Most of the time we spent wandering around the barns she could be found with a scrunched up lemon face. And when she forgot to be utterly repulsed by the smell, her arms were crossed as if to say “I can’t believe you are subjecting me to such ick.”
The little ones didn’t mind the smell as much. Ellie absolutely loved the little lambs. She was less impressed with the turkeys that tried to nip at Liv’s fingers when she poked too close. Liv forgave the turkeys much more quickly than Ellie, but her favorites were definitely the cows.
Of course, Ellie also loved the horses. She knows I’m not a fan of the beasts, so part of me thinks she enjoyed them so much because she thought she was being hilarious. Just like when she giggles hysterically as she dramatically lifts the flap on the horse page when she “reads” Spot Goes to the Farm to me. That one definitely belongs to her father.
Samantha’s absolute favorite spot on the farm (note: nary a scowl or angry gesture to be seen) was the museum. Filled with tools and everyday items that were used on the farm, she loved reading all of the little signs posted and learning what each of the things were for—and then making the rest of us guess. She could have stayed there the whole time and been completely happy. Especially since it didn’t stink.
What is it?: Muscoot is a dairy farm that was founded in 1880 and is now part of the Westchester County parks system. Spanning 777 acres, there is plenty of land for hiking. You can also stroll through the original barns and check out the animals housed there.
Why we love it: Great for little ones (especially those who don’t have sensitive noses), there is a lot to explore. The kids loved how close they could get to the animals and that they could just watch them hang out. To keep the older kids engaged for future trips, I think I’ll keep my eye on their Facebook page for upcoming events like sheep shearing and a day to meet the baby animals. And maybe I’ll bring a mask for the diva.
Muscoot Farm: 51 Route 100, Katonah; 914-864-7282