Hillsborough Township, NJ
Several times a year.
We absolutely love Duke Farms, especially now, after the renovations, when you can go on a bike all around the place! It used to be guided tours in the green houses. That was a beautiful place to go, especially in the middle of February, when you walk inside and smell summer in the middle of winter. Now they remade the place, and you can go hiking through the grounds. It is also beautiful. I love that now it is outdoors and self guided! They kept an orchid green house open for visitors, so you can still walk in in the middle of winter and feel like you’re in a tropical paradise. It is such a wonderful place.
We usually like to go on a long hike through the grounds on a nice spring, summer or fall day. A day that is not too hot, but not cold yet, just perfect weather. What a lovely place. So many wonders to see. I took over a 100 photographs on our first hike. On several occasions that we went with friends, the kids got really tired midway. We took the tram back to the visitor center. It goes every half an hour, and for my little one was probably the highlight of the hike. (Please note that there is no tram service in the winter) After the hike we usually get pretty hungry, the visitor center has a good menu of light foods, sandwiches, salads, soups, smoothies, coffee and tea. We wound up having lunch right there. The fool is really good there.
They also have a bikeshare program, where you can borrow a bike for two hours, and all it will cost you is $5.00!!! You have to be over 60 inches tall, their bikes are for adults. You have to use a helmet, if you don’t bring your own, there are helmets available with the bike rental. We have our bikes that we love to ride, and this place inspired us to get a bike rack and come on our bikes. It is a lot of ground to cover on foot. Last few times we took our bikes there, and spend the day riding, topping it off with the lunch at the visitor center. What I especially like is the wide paved roads for bikes, and no cars at all. This way when my kids ride, I feel a lot less jumpy then when they bike on the streets of our town. Find out more about the bikeshare service HERE. You can also fill out the required waiver form online.
Oh, and one of the days when my boys are all grown up I am coming back with a canvas and paint, and spending the day with my hubby painting there.
The place also offers a whole bunch of great nature classes and workshops for kids and adults. HERE is their site.
Doris Duke also has an interesting biography, which the big kid and I spend the night reading.
Below you will find more photos from our more recent visits. I will add a few photographs each day we went.
A few more photos: