Outings: Trips Through History
441 Clarke Ave.
Staten Island, NY
|Actors at Staten Island’s Richmond Town preparing a feast.
the heart of Staten Island, there's a place where
you can walk through history. It's called Richmond
Town, a living museum that shows visitors little
slices of life from New York City's past.
The village - which boasts 17 restored historic
buildings situated on 25 acres - paints a portrait
of daily life in Staten Island over the last 300
years. Historians demonstrate how people used
to dress, eat, talk and socialize at different
times in history, ranging from the first settlers
in 1650 to the early industrialists of 1880.
Richmond Town used to be the county seat of Staten
Island, but the area lost importance to other
coastal towns during the 19th century. But thanks
to this historic preservation, a project started
in 1959, New Yorkers can always get a glimpse
of its glory days. $5 for adults, $4 for seniors,
$3.50 for kids; there is no charge for children
under five years of age.
Round Swamp Road
Old Bethpage, NY
|A blacksmith in Richmond Town gives a demonstration.
a trip back in time this summer with an outing
to Old Bethpage Village Restoration, a pre-Civil
War Long Island Village that illustrates how it
was to live in a mid-19th century American village.
The 209-acre village displays an assortment of
homes, farms and businesses and includes 51 historic
structures that were saved from destruction, moved
to the site and accurately restored to a specific
point in their history. Costumed interpreters
portraying farmers, teachers, storekeepers and
blacksmiths live out the life of the period.
Old Bethpage is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday
through Sunday during the summer months. The village
shuts down in December.
Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children
and seniors. Children under four are free.
If you think the church fairs held in Queens are
exciting and filled with great food, rides and
entertainment, you've never been to a genuine
County Fair in upstate New York.
Dutchess and Ulster counties, which lie directly
across from each other on opposite sides of the
Hudson River, turn August into a month-long party,
though, admittedly, with a bit of an agricultural
The Ulster County Fair is held at - where else?
- the Ulster County Fairgrounds in New Paltz.
Smaller in scale, this is probably the more romantic
of the two. The rides are close together, the
setting is more intimate and the food is top-notch.
When you get a cheesesteak sandwich, it's not
some sliced meat that has been sitting in a brine
waiting for somebody to order. No, full roasts
are placed onto automated slicers that keep going,
and the freshly carved meat is piled high on soft
buns and smothered in cheese.
On the other side of the river is where you get
a bit more of the country flavor, with an emphasis
on the agricultural end of the fair - ribbons
are handed out on the hour, or so it seems, and
competitions go on for days with young kids and
their prized cows.
Sure, it ain't the city, but it sure as heck beats
being crammed elbow-to-elbow into a parking lot
as house music thumps and you pay $4 for a hot
Dutchess County Fair
10 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Ulster County Fair
July 29-Aug. 3
Gates open at 10 a.m. excluding Tuesdays when
gates open at 4 p.m. Gates close Tues-Thurs, 10
p.m., Friday-Sat 12 a.m., Sunday 8 p.m.
June 29-July 6, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Affordable family fun is in abundance at the Kutztown
Folk Festival, taking place June 29 to July 6
at the Kutztown Fairgrounds.
The event features America's largest quilt sale,
a virtual gallery of more than 2,000 quilts displayed
for sale. The festival will also feature live
shows at the Children's Farmyard Theater, 200
folk artists and traditional American craftsmen
demonstrating and offering an exceptional range
of fine works, six stages of folksy entertainment
and, most importantly, a bounty of Pennsylvania
Dutch Food including funnel cake, waffles, pretzels,
smoked meats, ox roast and much more.
The Kutztown Festival also offers a window into
Pennsylvania living history and folk life. Daily
admission to the Festival is $12.