“Glamping”, or glamorous camping, is a trend where city folk with limited gear go camping in a cabin-tent with most of the amenities of home: toilet, running water, beds and bedding, wood stove…you get it. It’s like renting a pared-down cottage in the woods.
M and I were once avid campers with full gear and even a Rubbermaid “camping kit” we hoisted into the car for weekends away, but that was before O was born and pre-move to NYC.
A friend went glamping at Stony Creek Farmstead last year and loved it so much she suggested we book the same weekend as her family this year. It was a chance to unplug (there is no cell signal), unwind and let the kids run free. Did I mention the farmstead’s motto is “Let your family free-range”? Enough said.
The night before we were set to leave, my husband called to say he needed to work all weekend (so much for unplugging), and the day of the trip my friend’s husband came down with strep throat. So what did we do? We super-mommed it! We packed up 3 pre-schoolers and loaded my hatchback rental to the brim. The 3-hours drive to the Catskills miraculously passed without any serious squabbles or meltdowns, and the kids were pretty much champs.
Upon arrival at the farm an intern gave us a quick tour. She showed us the shower area (the only place with warm running water) then led us to the tents: huge canvas army-sized structures on a wood platform. But this is Glamping so it had a big dining room table with 6 chairs, a wood stove, a fully stocked kitchen and a cooler to store your food. The bedrooms were at the back – one had twin bunk beds and the other a larger queen-sized bed… BUT there was also a cubby room (“the Fort”) that sleeps 2 adults between the kitchen and master bedroom – you literally open up shutters and climb into this little area waist high off the ground. It was the kids’ favourite indoor play area.
It was dinnertime when we arrived and with hungry bellies there wasn’t enough time to stoke a fire and wait for the stove to heat up sufficiently (we later learned that process takes an HOUR). My friend pre-ordered a welcome dinner basket with soup and bread and veggies from the farm, and I pre-ordered a veggie basket so we shared those as well as cheese and salami brought from home. We did not build a fire that night (fail!) and slept with hoodies and extra blankets to keep warm.
The next day was gorgeous. We went to the chicken coop to collect eggs for breakfast and split up the work: while I got the fire going, my friend took the boys to watch the cow being milked. It literally took an hour to boil water in the kettle to make tea and coffee (no, it doesn’t taste better when you wait that long). The plan was also to make boiled eggs, but they just wouldn’t cook so instead I scrambled them and sautéed collard greens with onion and garlic.
After breakfast we joined the morning farm tour and were shown the meat chickens, sheep, veggie garden, green house and bee hive.
We took the scenic route back to the tents – wading up a little creek. The boys kept trying to catch frogs in the butterfly nets we bought at the farm store.
O and I spent the afternoon exploring some of the farm trails and fields then met up with the others for dinner.
Every Saturday night is pizza night where the farmers bake pizza in their stone oven and provide delicious salads. Farmstayers and locals are welcome to join in, and it’s a highlight of the stay. To be honest, during the fire building fiasco that morning it crossed my mind that at least with pizza night coming we wouldn’t starve to death! Hahahaha.
The rest of the stay was nice and relaxing. The next morning we packed up and drove back home to NYC.
For anyone considering glamping at Stony Creek Farmstead, here are some tips on what to bring:
– battery powered lantern and flashlights. The tent gets dark pretty early on.
– extra blankets for warmth.
– rubber boots for everyone. There is a creek on the property and it gets muddy on a farm.
– food that doesn’t need to be heated up for the first night.
– Dish soap ($1 at the farm store),
– Coleman stove if you are impatient like me (also rentable at their store)
-ice packs for the cooler ($2.50 to rent at their store)
– onions, garlic, oil for cooking (they had salt and pepper)
– corkscrew and bottle opener
– step stool for small kids to get into the cubby bed or to wash hands in the kitchen sink.
– cash or check for the final bill: pizza night is $20 per person, veggie basket was $25, plus the farm store sells incidentals, some toys, popsicle and meats, cheeses and honey produced on their farm.
Overall it was a fun trip which O and I thoroughly enjoyed, but after our 3-hour drive back to NYC we decided our next weekend trip will be closer to home.