NYS Parks Recreation Historic PreservationKatonah, N.Y. (September 15, 2022) – John Jay Homestead’s most popular Discovery Center is available for private experiences! Learn about what produce was grown here seasonally, try your hand at daily farm chores, look at historic photos of the farm, milk our mechanical cow, and ride our tractor. The barn also has a fascinating exhibit describing the history of farming on the property.

We offer two 90-minute exploration sessions every Wednesday and Thursday at 10am and 2pm, now through the end of October. Each session is a private experience for your family group of up to 15 people. These experiences are free, but reservations are required. Please visit johnjayhomestead.org/events-calendar/red-barn-discovery-center-reservations to reserve your spot. The Discovery Center is also open to all on Friday and Saturday, no reservations required.

Historical Reenactor at John Jay Homestead

Join reenactor Tom Hunt at John Jay Homestead for a fun presentation about the American history!

Are you interested in learning more about what life was like in New York during the colonial era? Then make sure to stop by John Jay Homestead on Saturday, October 8, between 11am and 1pm for a presentation from reenactor Tom Hunt about what it was like to prepare for winter in the 18th and 19th centuries.  From pickling to drying to salting and smoking, Tom will discuss and demonstrate many of the techniques used in early American food preservation. Admission is free.

This family-friendly event will be held alongside the Homestead’s weekly Farm Market and is a great opportunity for history lovers of all ages to learn more about how our ancestors survived the frigid winters in New York State. Feel free to bring your questions!

Guided Historic Landscape Tours at John Jay Homestead

Take the scenic route through our nation’s history with one of our guided tours at John Jay Homestead in Katonah, NY.

Founding Father and Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay began to inherit his land near Bedford, New York in 1785, three years after his father died. After amassing over 500 acres of land, he began developing the land as an income-producing farm in 1787, strictly as an investment at first, and then later as his home in retirement. His descendants lived here all the way into the 1950s, and as you walk around the property, you will see many features developed by the different generations of the Jay family.

This guided 45-minute tour is available Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays through October, beginning at 11am. Space for the guided tour is limited; advanced ticket purchase is suggested. Tickets are $7 per person; children under 12 are free. To purchase tickets, go to www.johnjayhomestead.org/events. The tour begins at the Carriage Barn Education & Visitor Center.

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 individual parks, historic sites, recreational trails, and boat launches, which were visited by a record 78.4 million people in 2021. A recent university study found that spending by State Parks and its visitors supports $5 billion in output and sales, 54,000 private-sector jobs and more than $2.8 billion in additional state GDP. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit parks.ny.gov, connect with us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.




Jessica Sommerfeldt, John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, Jessica.sommerfeldt@parks.ny.gov