LI Game Farm- A Must Miss

Trying to take advantage of a bonus day during Columbus Day weekend, I decided to venture outside of my usual go-to spots and took the approximately one hour drive to the Long Island Game Farm.  I had never been there before and it sounded fun and WOW… what an experience it was.  A GC friend recommend this place saying it was worth checking out— if you’re into dirty, smelly, poorly maintained, broken down… just about everything.
Pulling into the parking lot that was barely at one-tenth capacity on a beautiful, long weekend should have been the first red flag, but it was an easy one to rationalize away. When I got to the front gate, I wished I had my calculator (and my high school algebra skills) because the menu of options was pretty confusing. Thank goodness I didn’t get talked into buying the 12-pack entrance pass because I can say with absolute certainty that I won’t be back.

The euphoria of being at the game farm started to wear when I walked in and saw the animal-less cages. Well… maybe they were hiding or being fed. But then there was what appeared to be a small house that might contain some animals, but when I peeked inside, it contained garbage cans and old rusty tools.

In “Bambi Land” the deer nosebutt you into a corner as soon as you walk in. This only worsens after you purchase the $6 cup of food. Once they smell the food in your hand, you’re lucky to get out alive. After a bunch of deer gathered around and sneezed, pooped, peed and spit on or near us, we headed straight for the caged animals. This was more the experience I wanted- cute animals behind fences. But the conditions of the pens and cages were far from anything that would give you that warm, fuzzy feeling. They seemed dirty with little provisions. Didn’t look like much had been tended to at the LI Game Farm in quite some time. I’m sure they once had their heyday, but it wasn’t today.
After we cleared the flying gnats out of our nostrils, we lucked out with seeing the feeding of the one lion. This entailed a game farm employee bent over on the ground with a paper cup of hot dogs. I realized that there were a lot of solo animals- one lion, one giraffe, one kangaroo, one bison, etc. If a world flood came along, I guess we’d be out of luck.

The merry-go-round was next on the list. Seemed harmless enough, right? The slain horses lying on the ground in a carnival horse mass grave and the plastic trash bags on many of the remaining horses should have given a rational person pause. I got my recycled tickets (I’m all for saving trees but old, crumpled, germy tickets?) and half way though the ride, the carousel came to a very abrupt {sputtering, spitting, screeching, kids crying, parents yelling, employees panicking} stop… All in a day’s fun.

For the safety conscious among you, you’ll be happy to know that the employees were able to jerry-rig the merry go round within about 15 mins, granted there were a few more dead horses lying on the ground. The panel of experts consisted of the kid who ran the tea cup ride, leaving the train ride guy to do double duty running back and forth between his train and the teacups. So that left us waiting on line at a vacant train ride while we watched the guy book to the tea cups, run that ride for a few mins, then run back to the train ride to give it a spin. If you’re someone who worries about Americans and their wastefulness, this might be the place for you! Any corner that could be cut was cut and any penny that could be pinched, was pinched. 

Sadly, the reptile exhibit was more like an exhibit of toxic waste. The poor animals trying to swim here would probably be better off in the Hudson River.

It’s safe to say the Game Farm was well into the unsatisfactory category with regards to hygiene and the “hand washing station” didn’t disappoint. When the faucet handle turns the actual faucet right off of the sink, I was left to channel your inner MacGyver as I  washed my hands while repairing the plumbing at the same time.

Boy, was I happy to get back home and showered. Hand sanitizer can only do so much.


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