A few weeks ago, we found ourselves at Howell Living History Farm in Lambertville, NJ. I’ll admit that I had never even heard of this place before a friend suggested it, but it was just about an hour drive away, so we went. Once there, I couldn’t believe we had never been before. This place is amazing! Seriously, I immediately told all my friends that we have to come back and bring our kids again. Andrew is really hard to impress, especially when I told him we were going to a farm, but even he was blown away by the awesomeness that we experienced there. And best of all, it’s TOTALLY FREE!
Howell Living History Farm is an educational facility that preserves and interprets farming life and processes from the era of 1890-1910. It was amazing to see a real life working farm from this era as if nothing had changed at all. It’s recommended to wear older, comfortable shoes when you go as there is a lot of walking and possibly mudding in some places. Rain boots are a great option too!
Here’s 10 things you must do when you visit Howell Living History Farm!
- Grab a snack or even lunch in the main building
- When we were there, they had soup, hot dogs, and mac and cheese, as well as homemade cookies, drinks, and bags of chips.
- Spot the beehives
- Don’t get too close to the bees, but it’s fun to spot them and teach your kids about where honey comes from
- Visit with all the animals
- There’s sheep, pigs, horses, oxen, chickens and more. The girls loved touching the thick sheep’s wool and trying to feed an ox. There’s plenty of opportunities to get up close with them if your patient enough.
- Watch the horses carry equipment from one area of the farm to another
- While we were there, the horses were carrying containers to collect sap and then carrying it to where the maple syrup is made. Depending on the season you visit, will determine what you get to see the horses doing
- See if you can walk across the creek without getting soaked
- There’s a few rocks you can hop on to get across the creek. It’s a fun challenge for the little ones. Don’t worry, there’s a bridge to cross too if you don’t want to chance getting wet.
- Eat freshly made pancakes in the kitchen of the farmhouse
- Unfortunately, we didn’t get to partake in this, but we did get to see the farmhand gather the eggs from the chickens and walk them over to be used to make the fresh pancakes
- Help cut and chop the wood
- There’s a station set up down near the creek where you can help hand saw logs and then chop smaller pieces with a hatchet
- Pump yourself a fresh drink of water!
- Our girls thought it was amazing that they could pump water from the ground! I haven’t seen one of these since I was little and remember having the same reaction.
- Take part in the special seasonal activities
- We attended during maple syrup season. While we were there, we got to see how to collect the sap and then got a lesson on when is the best time, how to see if you can do it at your own house, and how to spot the best maple syrup in the store.
- Depending on the time of year, you may also be able to learn about beekeeping, plant things in the garden, collect and learn about egg grading, lambing, hog weighing, and more.
- Have a picnic!
- Bring your own lunch and blanket and have a picnic or eat at one of the picnic tables provided. There’s a ton of open space where you could eat at anytime during your visit
Bonus! If you live close enough, consider enrolling your child in one of the kid’s programs. These weekday and weekend programs, as well as a summer camp that immerses children in the farm lifestyle. In these programs, they will do things like gather the eggs, feeding the animals, gathering firewood, and so much more.
Learn more about Howell Living History Farm, including hours and location, here.