Open for business from the first blossoms of spring until the last leaves of autumn, Decker Farm stocks its shelves with organic fruits and vegetables harvested each day from its 11-acre field. Crisp stalks of asparagus beckon shoppers away from ripe tomatoes and juicy lemons, and fresh foods—such as sourdough bread, cheeses, and raisin fennel semolina prepared onsite—add local touches to dinner parties or food-pyramid Halloween costumes.
The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art transports visitors to snow-capped mountains with impressive collections of artistic and cultural artifacts from Tibet and the Himalayas. This peaceful retreat houses a permanent exhibition of visually stimulating sculptures, thangka paintings, ritual artifacts, musical instruments, and historic photographs of Tibet. Dust off unused eyes and spy exhilarating exhibitions such as the traditional sand mandala painting created by visiting Buddhist monks from Bhutan in 2005.
Travel back to experience New York’s past as a home for dinosaurs, Native Americans, and eventually art critics at the Staten Island Museum. Founded in 1881, the museum encapsulates the area’s geological and cultural history with more than two million artifacts. Exhibits showcase relics from prehistoric Staten Island residents; fossil, geological, and wildlife taxidermy samples; and the spark that lit the Statue of Liberty’s torch. Art collections from historical painters and contemporary artists provide a workout for right brains and scan-happy eyes. As part of an ongoing dream to make the exhibits bigger and better, the museum is expanding into the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, a 19th century dormitory for “aged, worn out and retired seamen.”
Splayed across the green lawns of historic Snug Harbor, Staten Island Children's Museum's main brick building houses a four-level wonderland of kid-friendly fun. Tykes learn about nature in exhibits such as Bugs & Other Insects, which lets explorers crawl through a human-size anthill, don shiny beetle carapaces, and sign peace treaties with hissing cockroaches. Portia's Playhouse puts visitors in charge of their own theatrical productions, complete with costumes, a working curtain, and an interactive soundboard, and House About It beckons youngsters over to pick up real drills and make boxes under careful supervision. Outside, a quiet garden offers visitors a place to wind down, and the Sea Of Boats gives life to nautical fantasies on a springy, outdoor play area that cushions inadvertent falls.
New York City's oldest house still stands, offering visitors a glimpse into the Big Apple's humble past. The modest home was originally built in 1652 by an immigrant from the Netherlands. Together with his wife Grietje, Pieter Claesen built a one-room farmhouse with a packed earth floor, unglazed windows, and a large open hearth. Over the centuries, the house has been expanded and modernized a bit, but it remains largely unaltered by time. It's now the center of the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, and guests can explore its six rooms and three fireplaces in search of old-fashioned architecture or evidence that America was first colonized by aliens.
The Brooklyn Museum is one of the largest art museums in the United States and one of the premier art institutions in the world. Its permanent collections include a wide range of objects from ancient Egyptian masterpieces to contemporary art, representing almost every culture in the world.
First a family home and then a Brooklyn Museum storage facility, the Adams House comes from less than illustrious origins. That held true until 1899, when program directors decided to transform the old mansion into a museum geared toward children. Anna Billings Gallup headed up the first crew of curators, who transformed the space into the Brooklyn Children's Museum, one of the earliest youth-geared institutions of its kind in the world.
Though it has since changed locations, the museum preserves Gallup's world-renowned passion for educating children along with more than 30,000 objet d'anthropology, from shark jawbones to tribal masks. Six standing exhibits aim to entertain kids and families and include an exploration of world culture through the lens of a sneaker factory in the Global Shoes exhibit. The Sensory Room provides an interactive experience for special-needs children, with visual, auditory, and motor-skills-related activities. The museum also teaches future generations about sustainability with a curriculum based on the building's own inner workings, which are certified green by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program and other people who are not colorblind.