Katonah, N.Y. - Calling all curious kids! From Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3, John Jay Homestead State Historic Site will hold two-hour mini-camps for children age five to ten. This is a drop-off program exploring a different topic each session.

On Monday, March 30, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the theme will be Heat & Light. How did people work or read without electricity? How did they keep warm during the cold winter without heaters? Children will answer these questions as they explore John Jay's bedroom, office and dining room; then make hand-dipped candles to take home.

From 1p.m. to 3 p.m., join us for Birds of a Feather. Calling all birdwatchers! Explore the Homestead grounds, learn about the various species of wild birds that inhabit the property, and make a project to help the birds in your backyard.

On Tuesday, March 31, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., we will be Clean as a Whistle. Children will visit William Jay's bedroom and the cellar kitchen as they learn how people kept clean, did their laundry, and kept sickness at bay 200 years ago. They will make sachets and pomander balls to take home.
On Wednesday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the theme will be Then & Now: April Fools! Edition. We've played a trick on you! Children will participate in a scavenger hunt of John Jay's Bedford House to find the objects that don't belong. This program will include a take-home craft activity.

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the fun continues with a Then & Now: April Fools! Edition that takes place on the grounds at John Jay Homestead. Children will participate in a scavenger hunt on the Homestead's grounds to find the objects that don't belong. This program will include a take-home craft activity.
On Thursday, April 2, children will experience Kids' Lives! What was it like to be a kid living 200 years ago? What subjects would they have learned about in school? Did they have any chores or responsibilities? We will take a trip to our historic schoolhouse and learn about children from long ago. We will also play historic games. This program is from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Join us from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for Picturing Me. Do you know how long it took to have your portrait painted 200 years ago? Children will explore the extensive portrait collection at the Homestead. Following the tour, children will create their own portrait.

On Friday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., discover What's Cooking? Children will experience first-hand what it was like to work in a kitchen 200 years ago. They will get the opportunity to tour and touch objects in the museum's summer kitchen and dining room. They will also prepare a historic recipe which they can complete at home.

From 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., we go Here, There and Everywhere! Discover how people got around 200 years ago, including how travel exposed people to new and fascinating discoveries. We will tour the bedrooms of John Jay and his daughter, Nancy, and some of the farm buildings that housed Jay vehicles and animals. We will also make our own hot air balloon craft.

The spring break mini-camp series is a drop-off program for children ages five to ten with all days except Tuesday containing morning and afternoon sessions. Children may attend one or both sessions on each day. Children attending both sessions in a day should bring a bagged lunch; staff will supervise and lead informal activities during the hour between sessions. Admission per session is $20; $15 for members of Friends of John Jay Homestead. Advance registration and payment required; call 914-232-5651, ext. 101 to reserve.

John Jay Homestead State Historic Site is located at 400 Jay Street (Route 22) in Katonah, N.Y. The site is one of six historic sites and 15 parks administered by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - Taconic Region. For additional information about John Jay Homestead, please visit www.nysparks.com/historic-sites/4/details.aspx.

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 62 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.

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Contact:
Bethany White, Education Director | Bethany.White@parks.ny.gov | (914) 232-5651 ext. 101