Colonial village near NYC
August 23, 2018 7:21 AM   Subscribe

I remember taking a day trip as a kid in 2005 with my school from NYC to a colonial village. It had reenactments of colonial life, stuff like butter churning and blacksmithing. We didn't stay over night so it was a day trip. What colonial villages are close enough to NYC that you can take a day trip to? It definitely wasn't Historic Richmond town. Bonus if it's accessible by public transportation!

I also remember that the place was big. It had many buildings and was I think in the middle of nowhere.
posted by starlybri to Travel & Transportation (18 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Old Sturbridge Village is only 3 hours away?
posted by Melismata at 7:27 AM on August 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

The most historically-accurate 18th century interpretation happening in the US right now is at Fort Ticonderoga. It's a bit of a hike, but it is accessible by Amtrak. And is in a gorgeous location, to boot.

They have various costumed military interpreters, a tailoring shop, other artificers (usually a shoemaker), and every so often host large-scale non-cheesy reenactments over the weekend. They also have a pretty interesting museum.
posted by tmacdonald at 7:33 AM on August 23, 2018

If you went toward LI, it could have been Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Not exactly colonial (they aim to recreate the mid-1800s), and not accessible by public transportation, although they absolutely do demonstrations of butter-churning, ice cream-making, and blacksmithing.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:33 AM on August 23, 2018 [4 favorites]

Batsto Village, maybe? Or one of these?
posted by rachaelfaith at 7:35 AM on August 23, 2018

Philipsburg Manor.

I think the time period is 1750, i.e. before the Revolution, and they talk about how NY was a Dutch colon before it became English. I have not been there in decades, but I remember demonstrations of threshing grain. Quite close to NYC, as compared to some of the other suggestions.

Out of loyalty, I have to mention Mystic Seaport. The emphasis is on vessel and fishing, of course, but there is also some re-creation of village life.
posted by SemiSalt at 7:48 AM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

This sounds like Old Sturbridge Village to me. I went there a number of times on field trips growing up in Connecticut.
posted by enn at 7:59 AM on August 23, 2018

If it was accessible by public transportation I bet you went to Queens County Farm.It has links for various events and school programs here. Their programs might have been different in 2005 but I took my preschool age kids there around that time and think I remember some people reenacting in costume, as well as animals, kitchens, etc. There is a specific educational program featuring colonial butter churning.
posted by nantucket at 8:18 AM on August 23, 2018

Historic New Bridge Landing in River Edge, NJ is right off an NJ transit train station, and has several buildings. They sometimes do events like what you describe.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:47 AM on August 23, 2018

You’ve probably tried this, but contact the school you were attending at the time? They will maybe have records of what field trips were taken, or more likely they’re still doing the same field trip now.

You could perhaps even volunteer to be a chaperone!
posted by bilabial at 9:34 AM on August 23, 2018

bethpage is the usual place for nyc students afaik. pretty much everyone i know has been there at some point, sweaty and tired and stuffed full of root beer and pretzels.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:38 AM on August 23, 2018 [2 favorites]

I was going to say if you have any memory of root beer or pretzels, it's Old Bethpage, but poffin boffin beat me.
posted by puckupdate at 10:19 AM on August 23, 2018

Look up the Historic Villiage at Allaire. It's in Allaire State Park in Wall Township, New Jersey, so it feels remote. The park is an hour and a half outside of NYC. When I went on living history field trips there in the 90s, there was butter churning and blacksmithing.
posted by tasseomance at 11:46 AM on August 23, 2018

Jockey Hollow in Morristown, NJ has stuff like that - I went there on school trips as a NYC area kid.
posted by pilot pirx at 1:23 PM on August 23, 2018

Best answer: Perhaps Museum Village in Monroe, NY?
posted by Corvid at 1:50 PM on August 23, 2018 [1 favorite]

Another vote for Old Bethpage Village Restoration, on 200+ acres in Nassau County. More pictures, including the blacksmith shop.
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:23 PM on August 23, 2018

Also, on re-read -- and not to quarrel with another (respected) poster -- OBVR is like a 15 minute cab/Lyft fare from the LIRR Hicksville station.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:07 PM on August 23, 2018

Response by poster: Update: I found out what place we went to! It was Museum Village!
posted by starlybri at 6:26 AM on July 24, 2019

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