Did I mention that I love touring Historic Hudson Valley?! Our first week in NY we went to Van Cortland Manor and our second week I wanted to see Washington Irving's Sunnyside and also Phillipsburg Manor. We went to Phillipsburg first and liked it so much that we went there again just 2 days later. What a great place for kids to run around and explore! And for this particular kid, Mr. M, this place - with a working flour mill, a barn, a large kitchen garden and lots of farm animals - is as close to perfect as it gets (oh, and the ice-cream shop is just down the road so yes, it is perfect).
Both times M's first and the longest stop was at the flour mill. He's absolutely obsessed with mills and particularly with all the gears and axels and millstones. The first time we went with a small tour, but the second time we were the only ones at the mill and the miller offered to do the demonstration just for us! Super cool!
M got so worked up about the mill that when he found an old millstone in a gazebo by the dairy building he spent at least half an hour pretending that it was his mill and explaining to us how the mill operated in an excited mix of Russian and English words.
We had a hard time getting him away from his "mill" to look at the giant yellow caterpillar, a huge batterfly and to smell different herbs in the kitchen garden. He did perk up when I mentioned that they grew licorice, but got disappointed when he didn't see any candy hanging off the plant.
Fortunately there were farm animals. First time a cow got close to the fense and licked M's knee. You should've seen how happy that made him. Unfortunately, on our second visit both the cows and the lambs were too far away, in a shade (smart), but we watched the chickens and got to meet the resident cat, Moses.
And even though the admission price is pretty steep ($12 for adults, kids under 5 are free), we plan on going there again on the next visit.