Historic Longstreet Farms at the Homdel Park is a hidden gem. I mean, I search high and low for "cool places to take a toddler" (I pride myself on being 'in the know' when it comes to NY/NJ attractions) and this one took some online investigation. Farm/park is sprawling, it took us a few hours to make a dent AND it's all FREE...even the farm!
The weather is warming up, no more indoor mayhem for us. If you're in the mood for adventure, head down South on the GSP to Homdel, NJ (Exit 114). When you arrive you will recognize what a gem of an outing this will be for the whole fam. A few of us ladies and our babies set out for a sunny day of farm-filled-fun. We spend an hour with the animals, an hour picnicking by the pond and an hour at the playground. It was kinda a great not-yet-spring-but-super-sunny day out.
First up was the Farm. A real farm with livestock! Cows that go moo, sheep that say baaaah, neigh neigh horses, and pigs that go oink! It was quite the meeting of the minds as little Siena roamed through the field in her sparkle Toms shoes and Jack scoped out the scene with his all-important binoculars. And, Sheppie? Well, he was just being his silly self while simultaneously giving me a heart attack as he proceeded to move way too close to all the animals like he had some sly jokes to tell them!
The terrain at the farm isn't that bad. We wore sneakers and sandals. I mean, it's a farm so there's mud and muck and pee-you-eee smells around every corner but if you have a baby and you don't babywear, don't worry about bringing your stroller -- it'll be just fine -- it can handle the countryside. We also brought the wagon. This worked out perfectly. When the kids get tired of walking (Shep mostly walked because he slept the whole way there and was raring to go), it was nice to have the wagon for them to rest and we also used it to house all our "stuff" while they played.
Farm life was grand but eventually we made our way to the pond and park area to picnic and play. It is a cool playground. Two areas to play...lots of tunnels and slides and no issues with all the kids playing since it is a pretty big area. Tip: I suggest parking near the farm and walking to the other "attractions" -- no need to drive to the playground. There is a path up a little road; it's all part of one big countryside area.
We brought outdoor play toys with us to keep the babes occupied while we lunched on hummus, olives & cheese (we are fancy I tell ya). After a small mishap of Sheppie scarfing down too much cantaloupe and puking allllll over himself (and the picnic blanket), we made a quick change (Siena's pink onesie looked fab on him) and we were good to go. Hey, what's an outing with a Sheppiedoodle without a little drama?!
We got to Longstreet Farm/Park around 10:30 am and with toddlers and around 2 pm, before overstaying our welcome and witnessing major meltdowns, we headed home. We looked for ice cream but nothing...nada. I'm guessing in summer there is ice cream galore at this park.
I LOVE adventures with my mini. When I get an idea in my head about trying something new with Shep...something out of the ordinary, like visiting a farm, I simply have to do it! We are lucky to have friends that want to explore with us. I tried to round up a gaggle of moms/minis for this one but we ended up being three duos. Shep, Jack and Siena were the three amigos on this outing.
It was another day for the record books. Another mini-moment in time. Us moms chatted about motherhood and non-motherhood related topics and daydreamed about the upcoming spring and summer excursions we were pumped to take. And the minis? They had a marvelous time! Lots of smiles and a few scraped knees. Cheers to an adventure-filled season...