Pumpkin Picking at Decker Farm on Staten Island

Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm on Staten Island
Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm on Staten Island

What’s fall without a perfect pumpkin? Sure you can grab one from the local grocery store, OR you can have a fun filled family day on the historic Decker Farm.  Enjoy an impressive experience at this beautiful place with your children that offers entertaining activities such as a farm house tour, hayrides, art and crafts, face painting and a corn maze so you can extend your visit into a full day family trip.

Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm
Pumpkin Picking : Arts and Crafts at the Decker Farm 

The Decker Farm is part of the historic Richmond Town grounds and is the only family style farm in the New York City. Immerse yourself into the old world charm where you can smell, feel and discover the old world traditions right here on Staten Island, NY. Take the time to visit this special place full of history and cultural richness.

Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm
Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm: Hayrides

Use this opportunity as a great reason to get out in the autumn air and spend the day on a historic farm, weeding through the patches, searching for the perfect pumpkin while taking pictures of your adorable kids in the excitement of it all. After you pick your own pumpkin you can head straight to the arts and crafts station and decorate it according to your individual style. Then let the pumpkin dry while you enjoy a lovely tour of the farm house guided by the costumed museum volunteers that will also do demonstrations of historic trades. This picturesque farm will literally transport you into the olden days  from the second you step on the grounds.

Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm
Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm

“Decker Farm is vital to the way we celebrate centuries of American life. When people visit the farm they are supporting and sharing in American history,” said Ed Wiseman, the institution’s executive director. Wiseman notes that first-timers are often surprised at what they find.

Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm
Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm

“They turn the corner and gaze at the open fields. Then that look comes over their faces,” he said. “They’re thinking, ‘Am I still in New York?’ That moment is priceless. Yes, rural America is still alive, right in our own backyard.” Part of the Decker Farm charm is that it appears much the same as it did a hundred years ago.

Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm
Pumpkin Picking at the Decker Farm

“This land has been farmed non-stop since 1810. It’s surrounded by the original historic buildings. We have the classic farm animals that kids and adults love: chickens, ducks, goats, rabbits and a pony. It’s like stepping back into days gone by.”

Children enjoy getting up-close-and-personal with the farm critters. The animals have fun names like Cornelius (as in Vanderbilt), Buddy, Holly and Elvis.

“Where else in the city can children have the run of a real farm while their parents relax and shop?” says Kevin Fisher, a Historic Richmond Town board member and weekly farm volunteer.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and share some tips on your visit to the Decker Farm!




“Black and White” Art Exhibition

I hope you support my excitement about all the art events popping up all over town. One area that is receiving a lot of hype in the media lately is the naturally occurring cultural district in the town of St. George, Staten Island. There’s a lot of activity and talk about the revitalization of the neighborhood surrounding the ferry and the waterfront to benefit the local development. Some of the plans include the building of the world’s tallest Ferris wheel “The New York Wheel”, development of the Harbor Commons, a 350,000-sq.-ft. outlet center and the transformation and the proposed branding of the St. George cultural district as the “Art Hill.”

In the addition to all of the above plans, the Staten Island Arts Building Corp (SIABC), a three-story former warehouse was converted into an artists’ work space complex and recently opened it’s doors in Stapleton.  The Staten Island Artist Building claims to be the first professional rental studios for Artists in Staten Island NY. “A place to build, perform and receive recognition.” Moreover, one of the art exhibitions that is going to take place in this new and exciting place on March 8th through April 11th is  The “Black and White” event. The upcoming show is being curated by Raul Barquet.

“Black & White” is a group exhibition exploring the versatility of the black and white

image. From medieval woodblock prints to modern black and white photography, a lack

of color has been used by artists as a strength instead of a weakness in their work. Over a

dozen artists will showcase their black and white pieces together on Staten Island.

Raul Barquet, curator of Port Exhibitions said “I am very excited about how this show is

shaping up, there will be a great group of very talented artists represented.” The

majority of the artists involved in this exhibition are based out of the five boroughs of

New York City, however there are artists from Pennsylvania and California showing

their work as well. Just a few of the types of artwork featured are photography,

painting, and etching.

Port Exhibitions strives to develop a safe harbor for creative exchange. By exposing

emerging and mid-career artists to new markets we hope to further appreciation for the

works they create.

An opening reception will be held from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Saturday March 8th at

the Staten Island Artist Building located at 73 Wave Street, Staten Island, NY 10304.

This exhibition is free and open to the public. Viewing hours are Saturday & Sunday

12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. And during the week by appointment. For more information or to

book an appointment to see the show during the week please direct emails to


Valentine’s Drawing with Inna at Alor Cafe Pasta

We are super excited to host this social drawing, First-Time-Ever, event called “Valentine’s Drawing with Inna at Alor Cafe Pasta” on Staten Island and be able to bring this to our wonderful community. This event will be instructed by an incredible and very talented artist, Inna Ivd of Drawing With Inna and taking place at, where else? The delicious – Alor Cafe Pasta! Presented by Staten Island Lifestyle.

Only 4 days left to an amazing Love Day! Hopefully all of us get to celebrate every day and appreciate wonderful and beautiful things that we have in our daily lives. Valentine’s Day is the day on which we show our Love to the very special people in our lives and with whom we get to share those daily wonders.
Are you ready to show your Love?

On February 11 @7:30pm at Alor Pasta cafe, you’ll have an unforgettable experience creating your very own, beautiful and unique piece of art painted on a canvas to give to a very special person in your life. Even if that person is YOU!

Set your love birds free to explore the beautiful world of creativity.
The tickets are $65 (Cash Only) and include the following:

3 Glasses of Wine (White or Red)
A choice of 2 delicious and freshly baked flatbreads
( Flatbreads:
1. Mushroom roast, chorizo, chili flakes, parmesan
2. Mozzarella, ricotta, onion jam, prosciutto
3. Goat cheese, spinach, red onion, bacon, charred tomato
4. Fresh mozzarella, tomato, red onion, rosemary, pesto)
Coffee or Tea


2 Hours Of Fantastic and Professional guided artistic instructions and all the necessary paint materials.

We hope you can join us for a night full of fun and inspirational experiences. At the end of the night you’ll walk away with your very own masterpiece, lots of fun memories and maybe, even a few new friends! Get ready for a fun night of “painting and tasting”. No previous art experience necessary.

Update:    Feb, 15, 2014.


Wanted to thank everyone that came out and shared this amazing experience with us. It turned out even better than we expected. It was an absolute pleasure meeting everyone and having the best time. Hope to see you all again at our next event. Here’s a video capturing our incredible night!

Chili, BBQ CookOff and Uncorked 2013

As New Yorkers, we are often rushed through our daily routine, overwhelmed and stressed out most of the time, trying to finish as much as we can by the day’s end. Always in a hurry, we eat, talk, walk and drive, thinking of what we have to do next and forgetting about what matters most, like spending quality time with your loved ones. There’s usually very little time left to do what we actually enjoy and what makes us happy, but few special local Staten Island events allow us to experience just that. That’s one of the reasons why I absolutely love events that take place at the Historic Richmond town; NYC Chili, BBQ Cookoff and Uncorked, among others. These gatherings showcase culinary talents of the pros and celebrate the skills of the rookies. They are centered around family and our community, bringing so many different age groups and people together for one reason that unites us all – delicious food!

Uncorcked 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Uncorcked 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Uncorcked 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Uncorcked 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Uncorcked 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Uncorcked 2013 Historic Richmond TownUncorcked 2013 Historic Richmond Town

Uncorcked 2013 Historic Richmond Town

Uncorcked 2013 Historic Richmond Town

Historic Richmond Town events on Staten Island are one of my favorite recommendations and activities I anticipate most every spring, and for a good reason. Year after year, we get to taste mouthwatering culinary creations all in the historic setting of Richmond Town where you can find a designated spot to spread out a blanket and relax. Just think about tasting a variety of hearty, spicy, beef and vegetarian chili, hot and flavorful salsa, melt-in-your-mouth bbq ribs, delicious slow-cooked pulled pork sliders and more, infusing happiness into our lives with every bite. Next time definitely plan to attend and you’ll find there is much to do including food tasting, culinary demonstrations, exciting competitions, historic landmark tours, hay jumps, all day activities, children’s rides, performances by local musicians and even a Mariachi band.

BBQ CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
BBQ CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
BBQ CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
BBQ CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
BBQ CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
BBQ CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town

There are many elements that make this place a gem – open grassy spaces, designated seating areas and authentic historic buildings that have been restored and are open to the public. This beautiful place is the perfect backdrop for family fun where kids can enjoy the outdoors and active recreation. Make sure to stop by on any given weekend and check out their official site, Historic Richmond Town, for scheduled events year round.

Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town

Some of our favorite stands and contestants that won us over include:

Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Daddy O’s BBQ and Sports Bar, the only authentic smoke house on Staten Island. The energy and the hype of the crew at the Daddy Os BBQ stand matched their flavorful chili.
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Smokey Joe’s BBQ cooks, four friends that like to cook chili and BBQ together. It was the guys’ first year at the cook off, doing a recipe testing and welcoming public reactions, jokingly calling it market research. Their chili was sweet with a surprising kick of heat.
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Culinary renegade, “Chef Rob” won people’s choice award for his delicious and chunky chili for the last 3 years in a row. Rob’s home kitchen is at Harvest Cafe on New Dorp Ln, run by a Very Special Place and open for breakfast and lunch daily.
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Chili CookOff 2013 Historic Richmond Town
Ian McCabe from Connecticut is a family man and a carpenter that prepares amazing chili. We had a chance to meet him and his adorable family at this event. He spoke of his passion for cooking his secret recipes and sharing it with the public, saying “The people want to come in here and try the best authentic chili and enjoy themselves, I give the people what I would expect to get. I’m not going to serve the public what I’m not going to eat myself. I want to put smiles on everybody’s faces when they try my food and make them feel like we appreciate them.”
All images by a talented local photographer, Dmitriy Mirochnik of ShutterWhisper

Fun Things To Do This Weekend

We are sure glad it’s Friday! Enjoy our weekly “Things To Do on Staten Island” List:

Brady’s Pond on Staten Island by Dmitriy Mirochnik

1. Historic House Trust Festival

A total of 23 historic buildings in the five boroughs will be open to the public today through Sunday, 12 of them on Staten Island. Tour participants can go from one end of the Island to the other, starting at the Alice Austen House Museum in Rosebank and ending at the Conference House in Tottenville. Please follow the link for more information on Historic House Trust Festival.

When: October 6th and 7th, Sat and Sun

Location: Historic Places throughout Staten Island

Tickets: Free to the public

2. Victorian Tea with a View of New York Harbor

In the 1930s, Alice and her partner Gertrude opened up their home and started a business serving refreshments. Come to their Victorian Tea House, relax on their porch, and bask in the amazing view of the Verrazano Narrows. Enjoy wonderful teas, sandwiches, and treats, in one of the oldest and most beautiful houses in New York. Reservations are required.

When: October 6th and 7th, Sat and Sun, 12 Noon – 4PM Last seating at 3:00 p.m.

Contact phone:  Please contact Sara, at 718 816 4506 x 10.  Tickets are $15.  The experience is priceless.

Location: Alice Austen House & Park (in Alice Austen Park)

Tickets: $15 adult

3. It’s My Park Day at Westerleigh Park and Soapbox Derby

On It’s My Park Day, the Friends of Westerleigh Park will be cleaning, raking, and weeding at Westerleigh Park. Then join the excitement by designing, building and bringing your own version of a soap box cart for the Parks’ Annual Soap Box Derby. You must be over seven years-old to race. NO motors allowed. Helmets and some type of brakes are required for all cars. For more information please call (718) 442-0336.

When: October 6th, Saturday 9AM – 1PM

Location: Westerleigh Park, At Maine Avenue and Neal Dow Avenue

Tickets: Free

4. Pumpkin Picking at Decker Farm Stand

Visit the 1800s Decker Farm and enjoy a guided tour through the 1810 farmhouse and a hayride.  Purchase a pumpking to bring home.  Free shuttle bus service from the Historic Richmond Town parking lot to the farm.

When: October 6th, Saturday 11AM – 4PM

Location: Decker Farm,

Tickets: Free

5. Greenmarkets across Staten Island

This weekend don’t forget to visit one of the three or all greenmarkets on Staten Island for farm-fresh produce! Get delicious, locally grown fruits and veggies.

When: October 6th, Saturday


1) St. George Greenmarket, corner of Hyatt St. & St. Marks Place, 8MA – 2PM

Set on a hill overlooking New York Harbor and the downtown Manhattan skyline, this market draws a dedicated following of neighborhood shoppers who line up each Saturday to get first dibs on the freshest seasonal fruit, produce, cheese, meat, seafood and baked goods.

2) Staten Island Mall Greenmarket, 2655 Richmond Ave, parking lot, 9AM – 4PM

3) Decker Farm, 435 Richmond Hill Rd, 9AM – 1PM

The farm stand is open for business, stocking its shelves with organic fruits and vegetables harvested each day from its 11-acre field. This historic family farm has been operating since 1810. It is a unique and special part of Historic Richmond Town where centuries of American life are preserved and presented every day.

6. Scarecrow Festival

Create your own life-size scarecrow, paint a pumpkin & craft programs. A great fun-filled day for the entire family! Don’t forget to bring an old shirt & pants to stuff! Refreshments will be available as well as nature-related gifts, education items, T-shirts & sweatshirts for sale.

When: October 6th, Saturday 11AM – 4PM

Location: Blue Heron Park, 222 Poillon Avenue, mid-way between Hylan Boulevard and Amboy Road

Tickets: Admission is Free, however, there is a minimal materials charge for the scarecrow kit and a fee to paint a pumpkin

7. Shibori Sensations

The Greenbelt nature center invites you to view a series of ornamental textiles inspired by the beauty of Staten Island’s Greenbelt.

This exhibit is made possible in part by a DCA Art Fund Grant from the Council on the Arts & Humanities for Staten Island, (COAHSI), with public funding from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

When: October 6th, Saturday 10AM – 5PM

Location: Greenbelt Nature Center, 700 Rockland Avenue at Brielle Avenue

Tickets: visit Staten Island Arts for pricing information

8. Healthy Families Hike at High Rock Park

Join the Greenbelt Educators for a brisk walk through the autumn forest. Observe the tranquil ponds and changing colors as you hike along the trails, and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Perhaps you will see a turkey vulture flying overhead or a chipmunk scurrying by. This hike will last about one hour and is suitable for ages 6 and up with adult chaperon. Registration required. Call (718) 351-3450 or email: naturecenter@sigreenbelt.org.

When:  October 7th, Sunday at 11AM

Location: High Rock Park, Meet at the Nevada Ave parking lot

Tickets: Free program

9. Under the Spotlight – Microscope Investigations for Kids

Here is a chance to view the forest, up close and personal. Take a short walk through the forest and help the Greenbelt Educators spot and collect interesting samples to examine. Then we will return to the Education Building to view soil, pond water, and much more under brand new microscopes, a flex cam, and other lab equipment sponsored by the Northfield Foundation. Young naturalists (and their grownups) will learn about the layers of the forest, and life below the forest floor. This program is designed for ages 8-12 and their adult chaperones and is sponsored by Councilman Vincent Ignizio. Meet at the Nevada Avenue entrance to High Rock Park. Free program. Registration required. Call (718) 351-3450 or email: naturecenter@sigreenbelt.org.

When: October 7th, Sunday at 2PM

Location: High Rock Park, Meet at the Nevada Ave parking lot

Tickets: Free Program

10. Dinosaurs and More

Join dinosaur enthusiast, Richie Mirissis, as he presents some amazing fossils, three- dimensional models and memorabilia from his vast collection of artifacts. Dinosaur activities and crafts available for children ages 4-12.

When: October 7th, Sunday 1:30PM – 3:30PM

Location: Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway

Tickets:  Free with regular admission – DONATIONS REQUESTED

11. The Richmond County Craft Beer Fest

The borough is hosting two beer festivals, highlighting the growing popularity among islanders for artisanal suds — also known as craft beer. The festival will feature about 18 breweries from around the country, each serving one or two samplers of beer each, said Tim Sinatra, Staten Island representative for Union Beer Distribution, who is helping plan the fest.

When: October 7th, Sunday

Location: Killmeyer’s Old Bavaria Inn, 4254 Arthur Kill Road

Tickets: General Admission, for $45, gets you a pass to sample over 40 craft beers.


Have a wonderful weekend everyone!