The first thing I noticed about the goats at Gilbertsville Farmhouse was how ridiculously small they are. They look pretty little in pictures, so I had some idea of their size before I got to the farm, but in person, you can fully appreciate just how tiny these Nigerian dwarf goat babies really are.
The second thing? How friendly they are.
We approached them with a jug of animal crackers, and the presence of the snack gave me the impression that we’d have to lure the goats towards us. That wasn’t the case. Sure, the goats loved chomping on animal crackers, which is as adorable as it sounds. But they were also just as happy munching on shoelaces or standing proudly on our backs.
Once you meet the goats, you’re probably not going to want to say goodbye. And if you do want to prolong that inevitable farewell, there’s some good news. Gilbertsville Farmhouse offers luxurious glamping retreats, so you can spend several nights on their 125 acre property, dreaming of goats as you rest your head in an impeccably decorated tent just a short walk away from actual goats.
Glamping, or glamorous camping, lets you experience all the benefits of being immersed in the great outdoors without sacrificing comforts of the great indoors, like beds, toilets, and showers. The trend has taken off in recent years, enabling people to enjoy nature, but not too much nature, across the globe. You can glamp in national parks, in an Icelandic nature reserve, or on the terrace at a Beverly Hills hotel. But Gilbertsville Farmhouse is the cutest glamping destination of them all.
While the goats might be the main attraction of the property, the other amenities are more than worth a mention. Each glamping tent comes equipped with a comfy king-size bed, dressers for your belongings, and wood-burning stoves. No two interiors are the same, though all of them could fool you into thinking that you’ve just stepped into a hotel room instead of a tent. But just outside the flaps, hammocks and a fire pit remind you of the true highlights of any camping trip.
If peeing in the woods isn’t quite your thing, you’ll be delighted by their gorgeous bathhouse. It’s equipped with toilets, sinks, and showers, and it’s also just plain beautiful. Within the bathhouse, a seating area with couches and plenty of natural light provides an additional hangout spot, perfect for the possibility of rainy days or chilly nights.
Also, did I mention cuddling with baby goats?
Their 3-day goat yoga retreat takes things a few steps further than merely cuddling by providing guests with the unique opportunity to practice table top pose with tiny hooves pressing into their backs.
NY Goat Yoga at Gilbertsville Farmhouse got its start in 2017 and was an instant hit. Though the goats don’t practice downward dog or cat and cow on cue, they’re masters of the assist, massaging you deeper into your own poses from their perch. Their love of climbing will become clear almost immediately.
They also bring an element of lightness and joy into your practice. You might spend more time petting goats than perfecting handstands during Gilbertsville Farmhouse’s classes, but that’s OK. After all, the practice of yoga is about much more than the physical postures, or asanas. The repetitive motion of stroking the super soft fur of a baby goat could bring you into a meditative state.
At the very least, it’ll bring a smile to your face. In fact, your face muscles might be most sore following a class with NY Goat Yoga.
Om shanti shanti shanti (Peace, peace, peace to all beings, no exceptions)
And if you ask Vanessa Pellegrino, a yoga instructor for NY Goat Yoga, yogis can learn a lot about life from the playful little creatures. It's safe to say that you’ll find yourself falling in love within seconds of meeting them.
Speaking of love, how about holding your wedding on the farm? Because that’s another thing you can do here.
Gilbertsville Farmhouse is owned by a husband and wife team, Sharon and Aldo Boustani. They purchased the former dairy farm in 2005. At that time, they were based in New York City and intended to use the property as a family vacation home. But as they started to feel increasingly drawn to its remarkably scenic views and the pace of the surrounding area, they began to brainstorm ways to move their life in that direction.
So they decided to repurpose the old barn and milking parlor into event spaces for the big day.
In 2014, Gilbertsville Farmhouse hosted its first event in the renovated spaces, and since then, there’s been a nonstop stream of weddings on the farm. Sharon and Aldo took great care to maintain the rustic charm of the dairy farm’s buildings, while adding in elements of romance and glamour to create an experience that you and your wedding guests will never forget.
As long as the weather cooperates, you can also use a number of different outdoor areas for your wedding. Old church pews are arranged on an open field, with stunning views of farmland and mountains, while a more intimate clearing in the woods is a great spot for the bride and groom’s first look.
And yes, you can include the goats in your wedding ceremony or as part of your photoshoot if you so choose.
Whether you’re saying “namaste” or “I do,” love is certainly in the air at Gilbertsville Farmhouse. Your worries will start to slip away, as you relax in a hammock, tell stories by the campfire, and pet the sweetest goats that you’ll ever meet.
All of the upcoming events at Gilbertsville Farmhouse are listed on Eventbrite. For a limited time, you can save $100 on their goat yoga glamping retreats by entering the code “SAVE100.” These events are extremely likely to sell out, so be sure to book your tickets in advance to secure your spot.
Not enough time in your busy schedule for an entire retreat? They also hold one-hour classes for just $19, as well as day trips from Brooklyn that include yoga, brunch, and round trip transportation.
The farmhouse is located on the outskirts of the village of Gilbertsville in upstate New York, around three and a half hours of driving from New York City and one hour from Binghamton. It's well worth the trip.
Looking for something else to do while you're in Gilbertsville?
The Empire House restaurant is a must-visit, serving up home-cooked Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food in the village's oldest commercial building. Don't miss out on their famous focaccia bread, which is also available to go. And be sure to check out the restored Victorian era Village Soda Fountain for another taste of Gilbertsville's past.