One of the few remaining Dutch Colonial farmhouses in New York City is in Prospect Park. The original Lefferts home, built before the American Revolution in the farming village of Flatbush, was torched by American soldiers seeking to smoke out the British during the war. The structure that now stands is a circa-1783 replacement. It was moved to its present location in 1918. Seasonal herb and vegetable gardens add to the sense of the semirural that was old Brooklyn.
After sheep are shorn in the spring at the Prospect Park Zoo, the fleece is taken to Lefferts Homestead, where it is cleaned, carded, spun and woven. Weekend programs for the public as well as educational programs take place regularly at the home.
Lefferts Homestead presents a number of fascinating glimpses into the past that families can enjoy throughout the year. Linsey-Woolsey weekend in April lets children see how wool progresses painlessly from a farm animal's back to their own. Another special program, Flax to Linen, involves children in seasonal tasks of planting, harvesting and textile production. The Family Volunteer Program provides opportunities for families to work, play and learn together through participation in a wide range of projects and activities. These and many other events, programs and classes are sponsored by the Prospect Park Alliance (see separate entry).
The Early American Tools and Toys program allows kids from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 8 to explore the exhibits after a brief introduction. They then return to a group circle to share their discoveries. In The Unsolved Mystery of History, a collaborative game, children in grades 4 through 8 explore exhibits, the archives and the house itself in search of answers to questions about history. Classes can also volunteer in garden and other projects.
School Admission: $75 per group