Last month we had the opportunity to revisit an old favorite here on the Island, the Old Westbury Gardens. Just after school let out for good, we kicked off our summer of fun at an event we’d had our eyes on for quite some time, the Find a Flower Fairy midsummer family program. Due to the popularity of the event, advance registration is required and we showed up at our allotted time with our gaggle of littles who were ready to search for the elusive and mysterious garden dwellers.
After parking we headed right to the table set up on the west lawn just past the pond to check in. Now I would be remiss as a fellow parent if I didn’t forewarn you at this point that goodies are for sale here in the form of fairy wings and mini binoculars! Luckily we were able to make it past this point without adding more fairy gear to our collection. But just barely.
When the group was all ready we headed down to the first of many stops along the way. It also just so happened to be my favorite stop of the day! We headed for the colonnade and reflecting pool where musician Johnny Cuomo and his two young sons waited to delight all the participants with soft melodies. He invited everyone to dance along and even gave us all a little background and history on the type of music he was playing. We were then invited to sit under the canopy of the massive tree right next to the colonnade and keep an eye out for possible fairy sightings.
From there our fairy tour guides took us through the rest of the gardens, looking for fairies high up on the trees that line the beautiful west pond and among the lovely full blooms in the rose garden. We even checked out the extraordinarily whimsical and detailed tiny fairy houses along the southern allée that were compromised of twigs and leaves and other little bits of nature- gingerly stepping over the discarded strawberry remnants they love to feast on! Circling back around toward the end of the visit we stopped by the edge of the west pond just past the grand staircase and used mini binoculars to look for fairies on the swan boat out over the water.
When the tour was over and we found ourselves back on the same lawn where we had begun, I thought all the fun was over. Little did I expect the sweet surprise our pickles had in store. Sitting all together in a circle, each child received a little cup of pink lemonade and a delicious cupcake (I had to sneak a bite!) topped with pink frosting before calling it a day and heading home.
This wasn’t our first time at the bucolic Old Westbury Gardens. We’ve spent many a day here exploring, visiting Santa, making crafts, gazing at stars through telescopes in the winter night sky, and even checking out intricately carved pumpkins at the Rise of the Jack O Lanterns event. With a calendar brimming with all sorts of family and children’s events throughout most of the year, however, I know without a doubt that it was certain to be far from our last.