Birdwatching at Grace Farms | Spring Migration
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Grace Farms available for anyone to visit and enjoy?
Yes, Grace Farms is a welcoming new place for people to experience nature, encounter the arts, pursue justice, foster community and explore faith. All visitors are offered public access during daily operation hours.
Is there a membership fee?
Grace Farms is a gift of open space to the community, without membership or access fees. While admission is free, we require all visitors to check-in upon entrance during public hours. To expedite your entry and make use of Grace Farms Library book borrowing, we suggest registering for a free Grace Farms Pass. You may register for your pass at the West Barn Welcome Center. Replacement passes will cost $5 per person.
What steps are required to obtain a Grace Farms Pass?
The Grace Farms Pass is a free physical pass for visitors to make use of the express entry lane and the Grace Farms Library book borrowing system. Interested visitors can bring their free day pass, issued at the Entry Kiosk, to the West Barn Welcome Center. Identification must be validated either at the Entry Kiosk or West Barn to receive the pass. Grace Farms Passes are for visitors 16-years and older.
What are the days and hours of operations at Grace Farms for the public?
Grace Farms will be open to the community Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am—6 pm, and on Sunday from 12 pm—6 pm. Grace Farms is closed on Monday. Check our Visit page, as hours and access to the River and Barn spaces vary.
What is the weather policy at Grace Farms? Do all events happen rain or shine?
There is no bad weather at Grace Farms. We do not interrupt daily operations, events or Sunday church services unless the weather poses a safety concern. In such cases, our homepage will indicate any closures. If you are uncertain, please check back to our website on the day of your event.
Are busses allowed at Grace Farms?
At this time, vehicles that accommodate more than 18 people must have prior approval, and busses without prior approval may be turned away.
Where do I park at Grace Farms?
Grace Farms offers free on-site parking during operating hours. The main South Parking Lot is located adjacent to the welcome reception at the West Barn. Grace Farms has a number of reserved ADA parking spaces in the South Parking Lot, and bicycle racks are also available.
Are there restrooms on site?
Restrooms are located throughout the Grace Farms facilities at all volumes in the River building and barns, and are open to your use during operational hours.
Can kids come to Grace Farms without adult supervision?
Those 16 years and older are welcome to enjoy Grace Farms without adult supervision. Children and youth under 16 must be accompanied by an adult to enter the grounds.
Are pets/dogs allowed at Grace Farms?
While we love dogs, Grace Farms is a pet-free environment. Certified service dogs are permitted, but must be on a leash and attended to at all times. Grace Farms is a natural environment with a variety of wildlife to enjoy.
Can I use my cell phone anywhere at Grace Farms?
Be aware that cell phone service is not perfect, but we like that. It helps us all disconnect with our digital devices. Cell phones are allowed everywhere except designated quiet areas, including the Sanctuary and Library. We encourage mutual consideration to keep phone conversations at a level that does not disturb other visitors.
Where are the outlets located in the Commons?
We welcome visitors to spend time in the Commons with friends or family and enjoy food and beverages, but outlets intended for work are only located in the Library.
Is there free Wi-Fi access?
Wi-Fi access is complimentary at Grace Farms, with the strongest signal available in the River and Barns.
What is the smoking and alcohol policy?
Smoking and drinking are not permitted. Grace Farms is a smoke-free environment. Please respect the beauty of the preserved 80-acre property and do not smoke anywhere on the grounds (including e-cigarettes). Alcohol is only permitted for approved special events with permission.
Does Grace Farms have a dress code policy?
We want all visitors at Grace Farms to wear clothing that makes them feel comfortable, but we do ask that all visitors wear shirts and footwear. Bathing suits are not permitted.
Is Grace Farms wheelchair accessible?
Grace Farms and its buildings have been designed to be fully ADA accessible. Wheelchairs are available for use upon request at the West Barn Welcome reception.
If there is a medical or other emergency at Grace Farms, do you have personnel available to respond immediately?
Yes, we have on-site safety personnel and a first aid station to respond to medical or other emergencies at Grace Farms. In addition, Grace Farms Foundation staff is AED trained.
How can I get involved at Grace Farms?
Volunteers are integral to daily operations and advancing the Grace Farms mission, and we are thankful for the partnership and offered service. To become a volunteer, please fill out this form.
Is the Community Garden open to all visitors of Grace Farms?
The Grace Farms Community Garden is open to the public to enjoy the serenity and beauty of nature, but the plants, vegetables, fruits and flowers are maintained and harvested by Grace Farms Foundation staff and volunteers. The produce is used in our Commons, and also given to those in need. If you want to be involved with the community garden, please fill out the application here.
How do I inquire about a career at Grace Farms Foundation?
Please send your resume with a cover letter to email@example.com, and your application will be considered when opportunities open.
Are there restrictions on photography and/or videography?
Grace Farms is open to the public and we welcome individuals to photograph the serenity and beauty of nature for their personal enjoyment. In an effort to limit disruption to our guests, please note that flash, tripods, and drones are not permitted. Photography or videography which implies the endorsement of any individual, organization, product or activity is strictly prohibited.
If you are unable to find the answers you need in the guidelines above, please contact our Marketing and Communications Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there food available at Grace Farms?
Light breakfast and lunch options are available Tuesday–Sunday in the Commons until 3 pm, with drinks and snacks available until 5 pm.
Can I reserve a table at the Commons or Pavilion?
In order to serve all visitors and communities, the Commons and Pavilion tables are only available to the public as a first-come-first-served basis.
Can I bring my own food and beverages to Grace Farms?
We encourage visitors to support Grace Farms by purchasing affordable and delicious food and beverages in the Commons; outside food and beverages are not permitted. Visitors are welcome to bring food from the Commons to enjoy on our outside tables. Complimentary water stations are available throughout the River building and Barns.
Can I bring a picnic to enjoy at Grace Farms?
Outside food and beverages are not permitted at Grace Farms. We encourage visitors to support Grace Farms by purchasing affordable and delicious food and beverages in the Commons, and visitors are welcome to bring food from the Commons to enjoy on our outside tables. Complimentary water stations are available throughout the River building and Barns, and for after-hours snacks and beverages, Grace Farms offers a vending machine in the lower Court that supports Autism E.A.T.S., a local non-profit.
Does Grace Farms rent out space to other organizations?
Select not-for-profit and community organizations have been afforded grants of program space by Grace Farms Foundation through its space grant program. Please visit our For Good page to learn more about the space grant application process.
Is it possible to host a private event at Grace Farms?
Thank you for thinking of Grace Farms for your next event. Grace Farms staff will allocate use of the space, prioritizing the space for events focused on the key initiatives – nature, arts, justice, community, and faith. Private events will be handled on a case-by-case basis, please email email@example.com with specific inquiries. Events that offer alcohol will also need specified approval.
Is it possible to host a group of friends or casual gathering at Grace Farms?
Small groups are welcome to informally convene on our grounds year-round. However groups of 12 or more must email firstname.lastname@example.org to further understand our policies.
Does Grace Farms offer special programming for groups?
At this time, Grace Farms does not offer special programming for groups, but visitors are welcome to join scheduled Grace Farms programming. Please view our calendar to see what’s coming up at www.gracefarms.org/calendar.
Does Grace Farms Foundation offer opportunities to use Grace Farms for weddings, funerals, or memorials?
Thank you for thinking of Grace Farms for your important moment. At this time, Grace Farms Foundation does not host weddings, funerals or memorials.
Facilities and Activities
Can I jog/run on the grounds at Grace Farms?
We welcome all visitors to enjoy nature at Grace Farms, and to use our facility to engage in healthy living. Grace Farms offers a mowed 1-mile walking and jogging trail. For your safety and the safety of others, we do not allow running inside the River building volumes or on the walkways. Bug repellent is highly encouraged on all walking trails.
Can I fish at Grace Farms?
Visitors are welcome to fish the pond, catch-and-release only, at Grace Farms during operating daylight hours. We suggest using tackle and flies/lures that minimize the chance of injury to the fish. Grace Farms may on occasion suspend fishing access throughout the year. For safety purposes, swimming in the pond is not allowed.
Does Grace Farms have a lost and found?
If you’ve lost an item on site at Grace Farms, please stop by the Welcome reception in the West Barn.
Is there drinking water available on site?
Filtered drinking water stations are available at the Library, Commons, Pavilion and Court. Water bottles are available for purchase in the West Barn.
Can visitors bring sports items, such as Frisbees and footballs, for non-organized recreation?
Visitors are welcome to use most light sports equipment on the Athletic Field. Baseballs, lacrosse and golf balls, or any other ball that may break the glass are not permitted. Grace Farms does not allow any throwing of balls or playing with sports equipment near the River building or walkways.
Are strollers permitted?
Strollers are welcome in outdoor spaces, parked in designated areas, but tricycles and pedal bikes are not permitted.
Are lawn chairs, coolers or umbrellas permitted?
We do not allow lawn chairs and coolers at Grace Farms, but we do provide ample seating in and outside the River building. Umbrellas are not permitted at Grace Farms.
Can I bike, roller-skate or scooter at Grace Farms?
We encourage bicycling to Grace Farms; please park your bikes in our designated parking racks by the West Barn. All bicycles, roller-skates, scooters, pedal bikes, skateboards or other wheeled transportation are not permitted near the River building, walkways or on Grace Farms grounds.
Is the Court or game room available for open play?
Yes, there will be certain times of the week when the Court and Game Room will be available for open play (please check the West Barn for times). Grace Farms provides free use of basketballs and volleyballs during open gym time, but guests may also bring their own basketballs. There are limited rules for open play but those include:
- Proper footwear must be worn at all times on the court
- No foul language
- No dunking
- No shooting basketball from the balcony
- Open play is intended to allow everyone to get a chance to play and participate
Can I conduct professional work while at Grace Farms?
Grace Farms is dedicated to provide space for not-for-profits in helping advance our initiatives; we do not allow any for-profit business to be conducted at Grace Farms including professional photography, private tours, or fitness classes.
How is the faith initiative integrated at Grace Farms?
Through the facilities and programming of Grace Farms, Grace Farms Foundation will provide opportunities for people to explore faith and human flourishing as one chooses, host Grace Community Church of New Canaan, and support research as it pertains to a flourishing life, God and faith.
The vision for Grace Farms was inspired by the Christian faith, however, people of all faiths or no faith at all are welcome.
Restricted Items List
For your safety and for the long-term maintenance of Grace Farms, please adhere to the following guidelines:
– No alcohol (except approved special events) or smoking on property. No illegal substances.
– No possession of firearms, knives, or anything deemed by Grace Farms Foundation as dangerous or inappropriate
– No pets (other than certified service animals)
– No swimming in ponds; Shirt and footwear required at all times; No bathing suits
– No soliciting on premises; No displaying signs
– No sleeping inside buildings; No tents/camping equipment
– No tailgating in parking lots; No cooking equipment
– No shouting on premises; No playing of music on grounds without headphones
Who curated the permanent art installations at Grace Farms?
Before opening in October 2015, Grace Farms Foundation—in consultation with Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo—commissioned artworks, which respond to the architecture and vision of Grace Farms.
Does Grace Farms Foundation plan to expand the number of permanent art installations on view at Grace Farms?
At this time, Grace Farms Foundation does not have plans to commission additional permanent installations, but will continue to collaborate with contemporary artists on temporary projects.
I would like to present my work at Grace Farms. How do I submit a proposal?
Arts Initiative programming is planned two years in advance, and most is the result of proposals generated by our small in-house curatorial team. The majority of visual, literary, and performing arts programming arises from direct invitations to artists. In this regard, we do not accept unsolicited proposals and submissions sent to Grace Farms will not be returned.
Grace Farms is open to all visitors, but we ask groups of individuals 12 or more to take special exception to the below listed policies:
- All groups of 12 or more planning on coming to Grace Farms are asked to notify our team beforehand by contacting email@example.com or by calling (203) 920–1709 (please leave a message and we will respond at our earliest availability).
- All groups interested in participating in the River Walk and Tea Tour or a Private Tour should contact firstname.lastname@example.org; or by calling (203) 920–1709 (please leave a message and we will respond at our earliest availability).
- The Commons is an amenity for visitors and is not a full service restaurant capable of servicing public visitors and large groups simultaneously. Grace Farms is able to accommodate lunch to large organized groups of 12 people or more between 11 am–12:15 pm and 2–3 pm, please notify our team beforehand by contacting email@example.com or by calling (203) 920–1709.
Organized Groups with Children:
- At Grace Farms, an organized visit with children is defined as a group with 12 or more children, and less than 25 children. An organized visit with children requires approval from firstname.lastname@example.org. At this time, organized groups with 25 or more children are not regularly permitted without prior approval including field trips.
- All organized school field trips and/or groups with children arriving by bus are available on Thursdays and Fridays, all field trips must have prior approval from email@example.com.
- All minors (under the age of 16) on group trips are required to have Grace Farms Foundation waivers signed by a parent or guardian before entering Grace Farms, the waiver will be provided by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- All young guests (16 years-old and younger) must be supervised at all times by a designated adult or chaperone. A minimum of 1 adult to every 8 children is required.
- The Library, Pavilion, and Sanctuary are considered “Quiet Spaces.” All guests are asked to maintain the serene environment. Active playing space is reserved for the Athletic Field, inside the Court, or outdoor spaces.
- Grace Farms Foundation does not host children’s birthday parties. Likewise, the Foundation does not provide special entertainment or activities for groups outside of our regular scheduled activities.
- All unannounced groups (12 or more individuals) will be connected with a member of Grace Farms’ team to expediently address the group’s visit and relevant policies.
- Grace Farms does not accommodate unannounced busses for field trips. Grace Farms does not accommodate passenger busses with more than 18 passengers on site unless prior approval has been given. Waiting busses may be asked to park off-site due to limited parking.
- We ask that unannounced groups looking for a place to work or meet use the tables in the Court mezzanine or outdoors, weather permitting.
- Outside food or beverage is not permitted. The Commons may not be able to accommodate large unannounced groups for lunch between the hours of 12:15 pm– 2 pm.
- Groups ordering food in the Commons are asked to place the entire order together, and Grace Farms Foundation staff will do their best to accommodate the order in a timely manner, but please allocate extra time to receive freshly prepared food. The Commons requests group orders are placed together on one check. Payment for checks can be split evenly amongst a maximum of three credit or debit cards.
- Grace Farms offers a vending machine in the lower Court that supports Autism E.A.T.S., a local not-for-profit.
How do I book a tour of Grace Farms?
Our Grace Farms Tours are offered twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday at 12:45 pm, at $25 per person. To register, please see our Calendar for dates and times. Advance booking is highly recommended as these tours fill up quickly.
Can I book a tour that isn’t on the Grace Farms calendar?
Private Tours are offered Wednesday through Friday at 10:30 am or 12:45 pm. These tours are led by a Grace Farms Guide, require a minimum of 8 people, and span in length from 60 to 90 minutes. Tickets are $25 per person and $15 per student or senior. Children 12 and under accompanying an adult will be registered free of charge.
We also provide custom Private Tours on a limited basis, which can be created for your group at $40 per person.
For more booking information, please fill out our Private Tour Form and a member of our staff will be in touch within 2-3 business days.
Does Grace Farms offer tours on weekends?
In order to preserve the experience, we do not offer group tours on weekends. However, we do offer one Grace Farms Tour on Saturdays at 12:45 pm. To book this tour, please see our Calendar to check availability for your desired date.
No tours are offered on Sundays.