Simply Charming. This annual event held at Queens County Farm Museum has all the classic carnival fun you would expect. This past weekend was the opening weekend and next weekend, April 16-17th 2016 is the closing weekend, so there’s still time to go! We made the trip out to Floral Park, Queens on a sunny but cold Sunday. Perfect for a carnival if dressed appropriately.
We arrived shortly after opening, around 11:15. The atmosphere was already buzzing with excitement but not overcrowded. Our adventure began at the Queens County Farm Museum Petting Zoo. This is a permanent fixture at the farm and costs $4/person. My 4 year old, Brooklyn, and I each received a large leaf of lettuce to feed the animals. We made our way over to a pen in the center which had alpacas, sheep and goats. Off to the side pigs and rabbits can be fed. Inside the barn were reptiles, lots of tortoises and a large iguana. They also had two tractors you could climb and a ‘corn pit’, their version of a sand box with bits of corn for kids to dig and enjoy. I think $8 for us to experience this was a bit steep, but we did enjoy it. The animal pens were all clean and I liked that we were feeding them lettuce rather than pet feed. The live stock was not as obese as in other petting zoos we’ve visited. It’s hard to avoid visiting the petting zoo, it’s between the free parking lot and the entrance to the carnival. In addition they’re piping really fun music in this area making it very appealing for little ones.
Next to the petting zoo was a large pen offering pony rides for $4/person. Of course Brooklyn wanted to ride, so we paid the $4 for one lap. The pony ride process felt very unorganized and rushed. It was disappointing to only go one lap. I didn’t share my sentiments with my daughter, she thought it was awesome. I’d probably try to skip this next time we visit.
Food vendors lined the sidewalk as we made our way to the entrance, setting the tone for a classic carnival. We purchased ‘all you can ride’ wristbands for $12/each, which is the only option for admission. This carnival is small but absolutely adorable. The rides are bright jewel toned colors with cute themes to each. We didn’t wait long for anything towards the beginning of the day, which was nice. All of the rides felt really long once you were on them, although maybe that’s just my age – I no longer require a full two minutes of spinning. Regardless, my daughter LOVED it here!
We left the carnival area for lunch. There were picnic tables set up so you could sit and eat food purchased from the trucks or bring your own. After lunch we gained entry again with our wristbands and tried out some games. We did a magnetic fishing game and a ball shooting game. You were a guaranteed winner with the fish game, so we brought home a small stuffed animal dolphin. Towards the end of our afternoon, around 2:00 it was growing overcrowded. My daughter was getting a little nuts from the cotton candy and I was getting a little claustrophobic from the masses of families, it was time to call it a day.
On our way back to the car we made one last stop, the hayride. This was an additional $3/person. A large tractor toted us around the grounds of the farm. It was nice but we could have skipped this. It probably would have been worth it if we were visiting the farm for another event but given all the rides we had already gone on it wasn’t thoroughly appreciated.
In summary, I’m really glad we made the trip here. The Children’s Carnival was definitely worth the $24 we paid. We’ll be visiting again next year and aiming to go when it opens, rather than later in the day. There is a lot of fun to be had here and the classic carnival nostalgia brought me right back to being a kid again.
Saturday & Sunday,
April 9-10 & April 16-17, 2016
11 am – 6 pm
ADMISSION: $12 all ages (children/adults)
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park, New York 11004-1129
- Plan you trip for the morning, it get overcrowded and chaotic in the afternoon.
- Strollers are allowed but not recommended.
- Bring your own lunch if you want to save money.
- Rides are probably best suited for ages 2 – 7 years old. Teenagers would definitely be bored.
- Cash only for hayrides ($3), petting zoo ($4), pony ride ($4) food vendors and games (prices vary).
- Free parking on-site.
- Children under age 2 may enter carnival area for free unless riding on any rides.
- For public transportation and directions click here.
- Check out our video and see if this is the right adventure for your family