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Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Old Bethpage

(4.2/5 based on 85+ reviews on the web)
The Old Bethpage Village Restoration is a 209acre recreated living museum village in Old Bethpage, New York. The village opened in 1970 with dozens of historic structures that had been saved from demolition by Nassau County. Costumed actors provide demonstrations of 19th-century life. Major funding cuts by the county in the early 1990s led to reduced availability and increasing deterioration. It is the site of the annual Long Island Fair.The village came into existence in 1963, when Nassau County acquired the Powell property, a 165acre farm located on the Nassau-Suffolk border. According to notes written on the county's 1959 master plan, the site originally was planned to become the Nassau County Zoo.DescriptionThere are currently 51 preserved and seven reconstructed buildings arranged to simulate a typical mid-19th-century Long Island farming village. Only twenty of the buildings are open to the public.BuildingsThe Powell Farmhouse is the only building that was originally located at the site before it was purchased by the county. The Manetto Hill Methodist Church from Plainview was the first building moved to the site. Layton's Store sells candy while the Noon Inn is a working tavern which sells root beer and pretzels. The Schenck House is a 1730 Dutch farmhouse. The Bach Blacksmith Shop from Hicksville is used to repair and create all the ironworks used in the village.ActivitiesThere are a number of weekend events including Civil War re-enactments and holiday events, celebrating such occasions as the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. In the winter, there are also Candlelight Evenings when the front portion of the village is open at night, and the village is decorated for a 19th-century Christmas. There are caroling and specialty snacks and cider, among other festivities. Other special events include "Sheep to Shawl" days, Hands-on-History Sundays (where children can participate in period chores), and Halloween complete with ghost tours, pumpkin carving, and a scavenger hunt. Additionally, the Long Island Fair has been held at the site since the village opened; the fair includes a series of vintage baseball games, played with the mid-19th-century rules, as well as craft sales, and demonstrations of 19th-century crafts and occupations. In recent years, there has been a small summer camp organized for local children in the village, called the Junior Apprentice Program.
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  • The Candlelight evening outing was a wonderful event to visit. While the place itself is lost to those who do not enjoy history as it was, the Village historians always keep it professional and manage...  more »
  • This place is a treasure. We went to the 1863 Thanksgiving Celebration; almost all of the buildings were open and in several they were cooking dinner as in the old days. The houses were nice and warm ...  more »
  • This place does an AMAZINGLY good job for Christmas - it was A+. Now I go to their Haunted extravaganza and WOW! They did a great job, put their hearts into it and the place was decked out for Hallowe...  more »
  • This place was much better than I expected. It has everything an 1800's town would have and there are people dressed up in period clothes that tell you about the houses and the history of them. Kids as well as adults will enjoy it
  • Took my girlfriend here for a half track ride, open from 10-4. Drove an hour to get there by 2 and they stopped early.
  • One of my favorite parts of long island. People are stellar. My 9 year old did a week long apprenticeship program and loved it.
  • It's a surprisingly cool, useful, informative historical place in the middle of suburbia. It seemed a bit barren when I went on an off-peak day with bad weather, but the staff were still friendly and welcoming nonetheless. Worth a visit, especially if you have little kids with you.
  • I went here for my 2nd grade field trip it was very fun me and all of my friends really enjoyed it