John Jay Homestead State Historic Site will host its popular Spring Break Mini-Camps for children aged 5 to 10, Monday through Friday, April 14th through 18th. Each camp will last two hours, and be operated as a drop-off program.
On Monday, April 14th, from 10 am to noon, the program will be “Then & Now”. What was it like living 200 years ago? What did people do for heat and light? Where did their food and water come from? Children will explore the Carriage Barn Discovery Center, interact with artifacts from long ago, and make hand-dipped candles.
On Monday, April 14th from 1 to 3 pm, the program will be “Paint a Pretty Picture”. Kids will view the landscape features at John Jay Homestead, and create their own masterpieces.
On Tuesday, April 15th, from 1 to 3 pm, children will become birdwatchers, participating in “Birds of a Feather”. They will explore the Homestead’s beautiful grounds, learn about the many different kinds of birds that live there, and paint a birdhouse to take home and hang in their backyards. Children who arrive at 12:00 pm bringing a bag lunch can eat and enjoy additional informal activities with Homestead staff.
On Wednesday, April 16th from 10 am to noon, the theme will be “Down on the Farm”. Have you ever wondered what types of animals were raised or what crops were grown at the Homestead? Now’s your chance to find out! Kids will take a tour of our farm buildings and learn about how the Jay farm operated. They will try their hand at milking a mechanical cow, making butter, and doing other farm chores. Each child will make an animal-inspired craft.
On Wednesday, April 16th from 1 to 3 pm, children will learn about “Kids’ Lives” 200 hundred years ago. They will visit the Jay family schoolhouse and learn how children were taught, find out what chores they did, and have fun playing the games they played. They will then make an historic toy to take home.
On Thursday, April 17th from 10 am to noon, boys and girls will have a “Nature Adventure”. Explorers are wanted for a nature scavenger hunt! Kids will collect interesting items along the way for a fun take-home project.
On Thursday, April 17th from 1 to 3 pm, children will participate in “The Chicken or the Egg?”, and learn about the heritage breed chickens that live at the Homestead. An adult poultry expert will take them into the coop, and show them how to care for the chickens. The kids will then make a chicken-inspired craft to take home.
On Friday, April 18th from 10 am to noon, the program will be “Answer the Call of the Wild”. What wild animals live around John Jay Homestead? Children will search for animal tracks and other signs of wildlife while trekking through the diverse habitats found at the historic site. They will then make a wildlife-themed craft.
On Friday, April 18th from 1 to 3 pm, kids will observe “Signs of Spring”, as the Homestead’s flowers and trees come to life. After exploring the grounds, they will plant seeds in a personalized flower pot.
The cost of admission per two-hour session is $20 per child. Members of the Friends of John Jay Homestead receive a $5.00 discount for each session. On any particular day, children can attend one or both sessions. Children attending both sessions should bring a bag lunch; staff will supervise and lead informal activities during the hour between sessions. Sessions happen rain or shine. Advance reservations and payment in full are required, and can be made by phoning John Jay Homestead’s Education Department at (914) 232-5651 x101.
John Jay Homestead State Historic Site is located at 400 Route 22, Katonah, N.Y. For additional information about John Jay Homestead, please visit www.nysparks.com/historic-sites/4/details.aspx.