“The soil is the great connector of lives, the source, and destination of all.”
We are proud to announce an exciting new opportunity for children aged 8-11 this summer. Summer Crew offers programming every Thursday afternoon from 12:30-3:30 pm for parents to drop of their kids at the farm to enjoy a new topic each week.
Farmer for a Day- August 2
Help our farmers out with some jobs around the farm and learn about what it takes to be a farmer!
Scavenger Hunt and Letterboxing- August 9
Work to complete two hunts that take us around the property. From discovering the fun of Letterboxing (similar to geocaching) and working as a team to complete a scavenger hunt-this day will be a fun opportunity for discovery!
All About Apples- August 16
Learn all about apple trees, their maintenance and more before picking some tasty apples for donation. We will help the farmers out with sorting and preparing the apples for the food bank before making a batch of fresh, delicious apple cider.
Survival Skills- August 23
Have you ever wondered how you would do if you were stuck in the woods? This class will teach you how to get clean water, build fires, shelter and navigate your way home. We will look into the best ways to survive with minimal tools.
Butterflies- August 30
We will tour the farm searching for native NJ butterflies and bring along nets to catch them so we can get an up close look.
The following classes are curated for adults. Many programs listed under "Family" are great for adults as well! Make sure to check out the Family program list, too.
Eco College- Monthly on Friday evenings (7-9pm)
Friday evening Eco College classes are designed for interested youth and adults to study the balance between farms, nature and the human experience. The following classes are available for registration. Each class must be registered for separately.
A Changing Forest (August 31): Forests today look completely different than they did years ago. With exploding populations of deer, invasive species creeping in and a changing climate, the forests need us to act now in order to preserve them. This class will show you how. Click here to register!
How we Grow (September 28): This evening we will investigate the role of agriculture on our environment. We will consider what organic farming means, how conventional farming may impact our soil and water, and which “best practices” will help in your garden. Click here to register!
Waste (October 26): Too often we hear about plastic in the ocean and see litter in otherwise pristine areas. We will investigate the true impacts of our garbage and waste on the natural environment and see how successful various communities have been in reducing their waste. Click here to register!
Sip N' Build Terrariums- August 24 (7:30-9pm)
Join the staff of Valley Crest for an unforgettable evening building your own terrarium to bring home. You’ll review the best plants for terrariums, the care of them and more. This class is BYOB, so bring your favorite bottle along! Ages 21+ only. ID required.
Firefly Night Hike- July 6 (8-9:30pm)
Walk with your family through the trails of Valley Crest after dark in a search for fireflies. Stop along the way to catch a firefly so we may examine them together before releasing them. Don’t forget to bring along a flashlight!
Meet the Bees!- July 14 (10-11:30am)
Learn about bee behavior and meet the bees at Valley Crest! You will get up close and personal with our bees and have all of your beekeeping questions answered!
Make your Own Peach Preserves- July 21 (10am-12noon)
Pick peaches from the farm and turn it into delicious preserves to bring home. All materials provided. Children may attend with a parent to assist (no registration required). Each registrant brings home their own preserves.
DIY Compost Bin Workshop- July 27 (7-9pm)
Learn the keys to composting and build your own compost bin to bring home.We will review tips and tricks to a successful compost bin so that you can grow with nutritious, fertile soil.
Midsummer's Night Hike- August 3 (7:30-9pm)
Traverse the trails of Valley Crest with a naturalist to look and listen for nocturnal animals. Don’t forget to bring along a flashlight!
DIY Suds n' Scrubs- August 23 (10am-12noon)
Customize your own soap and body scrub with colors and scents you love!
Hayride and Eco-Tour (11-12pm)
Hop on the hayride to traverse the farm and learn all about this special property and the means used to maintain it in a sustainable fashion.
Autumnal Night Hike- September 21 (8-9:30pm)
Enjoy the crisp breezes that come from the early days of Autumn while traversing the trails of Valley Crest at night. Don’t forget to bring along a flashlight!
Apple Cidering and Pick for the Pantry- October 6 (10-11:30am)
Spend time in the orchard picking apples for donation to the food bank. Afterwards, press your own cider to enjoy as a group.
DIY Candle Making- October 20 (1-2:30pm)
Make your own candles using a variety of colors, scents and shapes! Halloween molds will be available to make spooky candles for the upcoming holiday.
In this busy world we live in, we can sometimes get lost as to what’s important – for ourselves and especially for our children. Getting outside and experiencing nature is what childhood should be about. It excites the senses and encourages the world of exploration. Education is key to our mission at Valley Crest Farm & Preserve. Our goal is to foster a learning environment by bringing families outdoors to experience nature and life on a farm – picking a fresh apple off a tree, exploring streams and ponds for insects, or planting a seed to watch it grow into a delicious vegetable is what we do through our family programs and classes that are not only educational for FUN for the entire family!
To schedule a program at the farm, contact Rachel McGovern, naturalist and educator at: email@example.com or call 908 238 9696. She will be glad to create an informative and fun-filled program for your students or scout group. Most of our public family programs begin in May and run through November. For children-only programs, fee is $5-7 per child and chaperones are free. For a few programs there is a small additional charge for materials. All program dates are subject to change.
Nature Birthday Parties
For a unique experience to celebrate your child's birthday, come to Valley Crest! For a 3 hour party the fee is $250 for up to 25 guests. One hour will be devoted to a fun-filled and educational nature program with 2 hours for the party, setup and breakdown. Valley Crest provides tables and chairs and parents are responsible for decorations, food, drink, etc. We also require a $100 security/damage deposit that is refundable after the party. We also ask parents and family to chaperone, as needed. For details, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 908.238.9696