Posted by: dinainsuburbia | September 15, 2008

Sunday in Suburbia at Old Westbury Gardens

Yesterday, Old Westbury Gardens hosted Kidfest; an event on the grounds for children featuring bands, craft activities, a petting zoo, and of course, an opportunity to check out the grounds.  John, Maddie & I had never been to the gardens.  I suppose it’s just one of those things you always know about but never do.  Like how typical New Yorkers never go up in the Empire State Building or to Ellis Island (I, however, have done both).

I heard about Kidfest via one of the bands playing there, dirty sock funtime band.  They are a regular on Noggin and Jack’s Big Music Show.  If you’re a parent of a toddler, chances are you already know about Noggin and Jack.  They’re life savers.  It’s funny, but pre-Maddie I was all, “my daughter will NOT watch TV EVER!”  Here’s one fact I’ve learned:  when it comes to child rearing, never, ever, say never!  Anyway…. dirty sock funtime band is one of those “kid bands” that adults can listen to.  A lot of their music is ska inspired- which speaks to me as ska was a genre of choice in my early 20s. 


So the band was the main reason why we headed over to the park… but I am pleased that the best part of the day was exploring the park grounds!  Maddie had a blast too.  I never would of thought running around a rose garden would be entertaining to an almost 2 year old… but it was!  She had such a blast tearing it up and John & I had a blast watching her.  Maddie will take any opportunity to run and explore, and she took it fully yesterday.  Here are a few pics:

Maddie & John heading towards the rose garden


running wild in the rose garden
running wild in the rose garden


The flowers in the various gardens were breathtakingly beautiful.  I’m completely inspired to take up flower gardening, and only wish I had my own yard to plant bulbs in this fall.   On the drive home, John & I contemplated how many people it takes (and took back in the early 20th century) to care for such a large, detailed, and varied garden.  The walled garden alone would probably need 4 or 5 people weeding every day, for 8 hours a day!  Not to mention dead-heading, care for the fish and frogs in the lilly pond, etc. 


If you are a Long Islander and have never been, I highly recommend it.  I could envision John & I picnickingon the lawn with a bottle of chilled sauvignon blancand a fruit and cheese plate.  Or…. a family picnic; still with wine, of course!  Sitting outside the mansion, it would be nice to just pretend that we lived in such splendor.  Although, having a house like that with that type of property, I’m not even sure I could IMAGINE it!  I hope the family that lived there appreciated it, but I’m glad it’s open to the public.  It isn’t often one gets to really admire the beauty of a flower and the wonder of nature.



  1. Sounds wonderful. Did you go to the petting zoo–or is Maddie still traumatized by her sheep encounter at Turtle Back Zoo?

    I don’t blame her if she is. He scared the bejesus out of me, too! I felt so badly for her, but I seriously almost PEED laughing…

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