“Mom, there’s a cow outside the window!!!” Grayson shrieked with excitement from inside the bath tub. I turned my head to glance over my shoulder and sure enough there in plain sight was a cow grazing in a field, under the setting sun just a few yards away. The boys giggled and started mooing. Just like in a movie, the cow mooed back. I swear to you, I am not joking. Shocked, we all burst into laughter and in that moment I knew… this was going to be a great weekend. Clearly, we were not in Charlestown anymore.
A few weeks ago our family was invited to Blind Buck Valley Farmstead in Upstate, New York for a weekend getaway. Blind Buck Valley Farmstead includes an 18th century, fully restored farm house located on a beautiful 180-acre private property in the Blind Buck Valley of Salem, NY. The trip couldn’t have come a more perfect time as we all needed a little escape to nature with room to run and play freely. We invited our best friends and their two children to join us and off we went on our little adventure.
We’re no strangers to long road trips because my family is from Syracuse, NY - which is about five hours away. This trip clocks in around four hours and is very scenic compared to the dull highway driving we are used to. As we pulled up to the farmstead, all you could see was acres and acres of green land and space. This is basically heaven for a city-living Mom of two boys.
We were greeted by Krista, the lovely Manager of Guest Relations and she took us on a tour of the house. The original house or “Little House,” which is the area that is now the downstairs guest room/bathroom and the library above it, was built in 1795. The rest of the house or “Big House” was built in 1805 with post and beam construction and a slate foundation. In 1985 the home was bought by the Parker Family who spent years living in the home with their children and renovating it. When the patriarch of the family passed away in 2016, the rest of the family decided to honor their father’s memory and launch Blind Buck Family Farmstead so that others could create and enjoy countless memories in their home, nestled among nature and beauty.
As you walk through this home, it’s impossible not to feel it’s history. The house has 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and can accommodate up to 12 people. Our group had 4 adults and 4 kids and we had tons of room for sleeping arrangements and play. We’ve stayed in many AirBnb’s with our extended family before and this was hands down the most child friendly. There was a children’s bedroom that included two bunk beds, a wall filled with kids books, toys and children’s movies.
This room, as well as another both had black out curtains on the windows. If you’re a parent, you know how amazing this is. The kids all slept so well! Max decided to not nap either day, so when we put him to bed early, while the sun was still shining, he had no problem falling right to sleep.
Tucked away off of one of the bedrooms is a special kids playroom. The children loved exploring more books, a tea set, blocks, trains, you name it… all within their own private special space. As if this wasn’t enough, downstairs there are cabinets FULL of board games, more toys and literally anything you can imagine a child wanting to play with. If it had rained and we had been stuck inside we would have been entertained for hours.
Outside was a dream. There was a huge trampoline, a heated, in ground saltwater pool, hot tub, fire pit, grill, patio with large dining table and all the yard space you can imagine for running around and exploring.
Our first night there we let the kids explore the grounds. They were mesmerized watching the cows in the fields and running through the grass, way past their bedtimes.
Once they were all tucked in, the adults sat around the fire with a glass of wine. Ah, it was so great to catch up with good friends and laugh about how we were deep into conversations about elementary schools and PTO. I swear we are NOT getting old.
The next morning we enjoyed breakfast in the sun room before setting off on our adventure for the day. The guys cooked pancakes and we enjoyed delicious farm fresh eggs compliments of the farm. They were almost too pretty to eat.
A huge perk of this farmstead is it’s location. The farmstead is only about 30 minutes away from many amazing day trip locations like Saratoga Springs, Lake George, NY or Manchester, VT. Our group decided to drive to Manchester and visit Hildene, The historic Lincoln Family Home. Robert Lincoln built Hildene as a summer home at the turn of the 20th century. He was the only child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to maturity. Now the 412 acre estate, with its Georgian revival mansion and 14 historic buildings includes the home, formal garden and observatory; Welcome Center and The Museum Store in the historic carriage barn; 1903 Pullman car, Sunbeam; and a solar powered goat dairy and cheese-making facility.
This was the perfect trip for our group and included just the right amount of history mixed with space for the kids to roam and run. I was a little sad we missed the glorious peonies in the formal garden by just one weekend! We could see how they were almost ready to bloom. But there was still tons of beauty to surround us and the perfect location to snap some special family photos.
We had lunch in town and headed back to the farmstead for an afternoon of fun. The kids were able to swim in the heated, salt water pool and it made their day!
There was even a bin of pool toys and floaties for everyone to use. After swimming the guys got to work grilling for dinner. We had the pleasure of being treated to complimentary steaks from a local farm nearby called OverEast Family Farm. They make the most delicious, high quality beef that is naturally raised, hormone and antibiotic free. It was such a treat for our meat loving guys to enjoy! We highly recommend checking them out if you are ever in the area.
After dinner the big kids got to stay up late and make smores by the fire. I’d by lying if I said I didn’t enjoy one too! Much past their bedtimes we snuggled them into the blankets and off to sleep they went after a long day of adventures.
On our last morning at the Farmstead we were treated to a private tour of the farm. (All guests are offered the opportunity if they’d like.) Krista met us to show us the chickens, goats, cows and horse.
I wasn’t sure how the kids would react but I had to laugh when the littlest ones were the most eager to feed the chickens. My Godson was by far the most enthusiastic!
Grayson was a bit more reserved and I can’t say I blame him. I’ve honestly never walked through a chicken coop before.
It was so fun to be able to collect the eggs and explain to the kids this is where our breakfast eggs came from. They were so warm to pick up and we filled an entire basket. I even learned the coolest fact. Apparently you can tell what color an egg will be based on the color of a chickens ear lobe! Ha!
Max loved feeding the goats. I was so surprised as he boldly took handfuls of food and walked right up to those goats and let them eat out of his hand. The highlight for me was watching Grayson overcome some of his fears and very bravely feed a horse. He held a carrot in his hand and stood tall and still as the most beautiful horse walked up to him. It was as if they were both hesitant at first, unsure of each other. Then the horse so gently took the carrot from Grayson’s little hand. It was an incredibly beautiful moment.
The next day at school Grayson brought in this photo of himself feeding the horse and his entire class gathered around. “I was a little bit scared but I did it,” he told his classmates and they all jumped up and down asking him questions and looking at the photo. I could see the pride in his eyes and I know it’s a memory we’ll have forever.
If you are looking for a place to escape the city and spend some time in nature on a beautiful property, I give this special farmstead my highest recommendation. I already want to plan another trip back!
BONUS: Mention JPPilates when booking and you’ll receive $50 off your stay at the Farmstead. (2 night minimum, Holidays excluded)
Thank you to Blind Buck Valley Farmstead for hosting us and inviting us to collaborate together. I teamed up with Blind Buck Valley Farmstead to share my experience staying at their farm.