Visit on Long Island: Suffolk County Farm

CowsYum Yum

Cluck Cluck Cluck

I heard about this goldmine 9 years ago while in a mommy and me class with Isabel and it’s been one of our go-to ever since. Sometimes we go for one hour and sometimes we bring lunch and spend an entire afternoon. We love bringing cousins with us and sometimes, we like to spend our family time there. Admission is free and the farm is filled with many common farm animals such as cows, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, rabbits, turkeys, peacocks and I’m sure a few others that I’ve failed to mention. Children or adults can feed some of the animals. Food cups are available for $3 with $1 refills and you can keep the cups for future uses. There is a cute wooden train to the far left upon entering the farm, the kids love playing on it. Not too far from the train is a sweet little children’s garden. The fresh air and wide open field make this space a child’s natural playground. My kids absolutely love this place!

Water Painting Nature Explore Nature Explore Classroom

There’s also an outdoor nature explore classroom with a huge wide open area for kids to run around freely. A stage is set up with a music and movement area filled with instruments made from household or natural items, they change this often allowing children to explore with all kinds of material. The photos I’ve shared here are from the past and present. There’s also a little section where you can paint with water or get messy in the messy material area. There’s picnic tables for bringing lunches and bathrooms are always open! The fun never ends and there’s always something new! Every Year they add or change something which makes it always exciting to visit. They also have classes, camps and festivals that are fun to attend. We always look forward to Baby Animal Day Which is coming up soon in May 2017. For upcoming events visit

Sister walk Nature Classroom Bees

Have fun!

Visit on Long Island: Quogue Wildlife Refuge

Pond Viewunder a nestWinter, spring, summer or fall the Quogue Wildlife Refuge is a perfect place for a family hike. We discovered it several years ago from a book titledDiscover Long Island”, by (put authors name here). My husband purchased it when our oldest child was born so we could discover new places with her. The book has been so helpful for planning special day trips right here on Long Island, and over the years we’ve discovered some family favorites (The Quogue Refuge definitely being one of them). Its 305-acre preserve has seven miles of trails that we’ve enjoyed on beautiful winters days as well as a budding spring afternoons. We never tire of this place and it’s free! There is so much to discover here, from the outdoor wildlife complex that is the home of several injured birds, owls, foxes, bobcat, and tortoises that the refuge has rescued, to its indoor nature center, where you can discover a  variety of reptiles, freshwater turtles, large insects, Chinchillas and mush more. Inside the nature center there is a spacious room filled with books, a table filled with animal artifacts, and a relaxing seating area with a beautiful view of the pond and surrounding woods. It’s the perfect place to pack a lunch (picnic tables out front) and spend a morning or afternoon.

Lunch Time

They also host a beautiful Earth Day celebration every year that we’ve faithfully attended several years running. Definitely a lot of fun! This year the kids all got a free bag to decorate and Dragonfly Landscape Design gave a free Norway Spruce to everyone who attended! We’ve since planted a few that we received and gave the rest to family members!

Earth Day

Quogue Nature Center


This past weekend we returned for a quiet winter walk and discovered that they added a “story book read along” to one of the trails (absolutely brilliant). The story was the well-known book “The Mitten”, written by Jan Brett. Each page was cleverly mounted into a Plexiglas case and spaced a couple hundred feet apart with arrows directing you along the path. Our kids were literally running from one to the next to be the first one there to read the next page. Their excitement and energy was a testament to how wonderful an idea this story book walk is, and the cases make it easy for the Refuge to replace the pages with the another book every couple weeks.  

Reading along the trail

Reading with daddyMelina ReadingGreat Big Caterpillar Inside Caterpillar IsabelSimply stated: This place is so much fun and you’ll find it hard to leave! I’m sure my children will take their kids here someday!

Find out more at

Schedule: The Refuge trails and Outdoor Wildlife Complex are open every day from sunrise to sunset. The Nature Center is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Little Acorns at the Longwood Estate

Longwood estate copy

If you are local to the Brookhaven area (Ridge, Shirley, Mastic Beach), then this is a really cute class for you and your Pre-Schooler. My two little ones and I have participated in this class before and we really enjoyed it! The grounds are absolutely beautiful! What I loved most about this class was that after it ended we could just head outdoors and have a picnic, take a nice walk, or let the girls ride their bikes. There are enough other fun things to do to make an afternoon out of it.

The class takes place right inside of the Longwood Estate (it’s so cozy, especially in the fall). This is definitely a great way to start the morning with the little ones!


Finding a Baby Bird

baby bird. 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 030 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 021 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 024 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 026 05.10.14 Mothers Day Weekend 028baby birdThis time last year we found this sweet little baby bird right next to our garbage cans near our garage. It fell out of a nest high up in our garage. I had never in my life seen a brand new baby bird and was startled at the sight of it. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with it. It laid there so helpless, with it’s mouth open. My little pup was trying to lick him up! I had heard several times that if you touch a baby bird a mother would throw it out of it’s nest and not want anything to do with it.  But there was no way that I was going to just leave it there and let nature take its course. I went straight to google to find advice on what to do in this situation. I found this site and several others that gave me easy instructions on what to do. My girls were so concerned for the little guy. I asked them to prepare a box with a towel to keep it warm. Luckily we always have decorated boxes laying around and it was perfect for our little friend. I spent a long time trying to find a nature refuge to help this little baby out. They get so many calls and it takes a lot of dedication to nurse these little birds to the point where they can survive on their own. I finally did find a place late in the evening and I remember dropping everything to take the 45minute drive to save this little bird. My husband thought I was nuts!! I guess it was just motherly instinct! Any mom would have done it! The girls and I always wonder how the little bird is doing and if he’s some where flying around! Now I check the spot to make sure no little birds have fallen out of their nests!

What Nature Creates

Summer 2014 058Summer 2014 061butterflyHere is the butterfly that emerged from our cocoon several weeks ago. I believe it’s called a Black Swallowtail. We have never raised this type of butterfly, so it was very exciting to all of us when we peeked into our butterfly house and discovered that the enormous caterpillar we found in our garden turned into this beautiful creature!

Caterpillar to Butterfly

When my daughter Isabel turned four she received a lovely butterfly house from one of our friends. Every year since, we have been experiencing the beauty of raising a butterfly from a little tiny caterpillar (this year it was two huge caterpillars). Watching a caterpillar change into a chrysalis and than into a beautiful butterfly is a great way to experience insect metamorphosis. All you need is a caterpillar (in the years past we have ordered our caterpillars from, but this year we found our very own right in our vegetable garden), add some of its favorite food such as leaves and flowers and drops of water, and a suitable container, or store bought butterfly house. You can find caterpillars on most plants during the spring and early summer. Put the caterpillar and a few fresh leaves in a wide mouth jar or plastic shoebox. Cover the jar mouth with netting or a piece of nylon. Every day change the leaves and provide dry paper towels to help prevent mold. You can put in little twigs upon which the caterpillar can attach its chrysalis or silken coc oon (with the pupa inside). The insect will hatch in 10-14 days. Don’t forget to take pictures of each beautiful stage.

This guy was huge!
This guy was huge!
Can you see the chrysalis through the plastic?
Can you see the chrysalis through the plastic?
This picture is from our first year raising butterflies about 3 years ago!
This picture is from our first year raising butterflies about 3 years ago!


We are still waiting for our Butterflies to hatch in the meantime we've enjoyed reading this lovely story titled Butterfly House written by Eve Bunting.
We are still waiting for our Butterflies to hatch, in the meantime we’ve enjoyed reading this lovely story titled Butterfly House written by Eve Bunting.