The Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum celebrated St. Nicholas Day with local kids on Dec. 7, where the kids learned a few Dutch holiday ballads and meet the beloved, gift-giving Netherlander, Sinterklaas, and his horse, too.
“St. Nicholas, as the story goes, lives in the castle Spain, and he a rides big white horse,” said Melissa Branfman, director of education at the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum on Clarendon Road in Canarsie. “But I’ll admit, his horse was not white this year.”
That’s right folks, St. Nicholas — or, Sinterklaas, as he’s known in the Netherlands — had to leave his traditional white horse, Schimmel, home for the holiday this year.
But the kids didn’t seem to mind, and were happy to feed Sinterklaas’s backup brown mare with carrots, while a kindly city Urban Parks Ranger stood nearby.
“All the kids got carrots to feed the horses,” said Branfman. “They were big horses, but the kids love them.”
The kids also got to learn some Dutch dittys, like the beloved holiday tune, “Hor Wie Klopp Dar Kinderen,” courtesy of historical musician Linda Russell.
As the day was wrapping up inside the Wyckoff House and the kids listening to a story from Sinterklaas, a sudden rap was heard at the door and, who should come inside, but Santa Claus, Sinterklaas’s distant relative.
“The kids went wild,” said Branfman, describing the tykes’ reaction to Santa’s arrival.
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