Throwback Thursday: Catskill Game Farm

1:30 AM

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For most of those who grew up within a few hours in the Catskills, the Catskill Game Farm is a part of their childhood memories. The 150 acre Game Farm was in operation from 1933 until it closed in 2006 and was the first privately owned zoo in the United States. The Game Farm was home to a collection of over 2,000 animals, including the now famous April the giraffe.

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It was purchased in 2012 and the current owners are hoping to restore the property into a campground as well as turning the giraffe house (first photo featured here) into a space to host weddings and other events. (Currently there are two sites available for camping.) For right now, the owners are gracious enough to allow you to explore the property for a donation. Naturally, when I learned this, I jumped at the chance to explore it. I was curious to see how much I'd remember.

As we (my husband, friend, and myself) explored the grounds we'd point out what we'd remember, surprised that we remembered so much of it and the little memories certain places held for us. I believe the last time I personally visited it was somewhere in middle school, roughly fifteen years ago. (Side note - saying I did something that long ago makes me feel old lol.)

If you're interested in visiting, please go to The Old Game Farm to learn more. We worked with Cathy who was very nice and super helpful working out when we could have our adventure.

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Lemur pond. There used to be a number of lemurs who lived here.

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All aboard! Waiting for the train to take you on a ride around the park.

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Then

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Now

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Then Fun fact: The boy in both of these photos turned twenty this year :O

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This was featured to the left of the above pot.

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Now

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One of the things I remember vividly is how terrifying the petting zoo area was. The petting zoo was split into two sections, one featuring baby animals while the other featured adults (most likely ones that outgrew the baby section). When they knew you had food, they came in swarms. I suspect that is how this picture came to be. It is by far my favorite photo of me and my father. [In case you didn't catch it, I'm hiding from the deer under his shirt lol.)

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View full set here.

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