New places opening their doors to pets

by Nancy E. Hassel,

As our world becomes more pet friendly – there are many places that have never been open to being pet friendly or hosting a dog event.  But that has been changing for the better in most areas, especially here in New York.

Over the summer, I took my dog Cody to the Longhouse Reserve which is a beautiful art museum outside on manicured lawns, gardens and everything you would expect to see in this artsy part of East Hampton, NY.  (That’s the Hamptons if you didn’t realize).


The Longhouse opened it’s gates to dogs of all shapes and sizes for a Dog Concert to benefit the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons (ARF).   There were a lot of people and dogs who attended and live music played by Laurie Anderson who had just toured in Europe.  The music was different and they even played one song that everyone including their dogs sang along – it was hysterical (and of course Cody howled in).

Cody loving all the attention and music during the concert.
Music for humans and their dogs.

We have all heard of Bark in the Park – where baseball stadiums open their doors to dogs and their parents to watch the ball game.  There is often a doggie parade around the field before the game.  Stadiums of all sizes offer this, and if you’re into baseball or just want to enjoy a game with your pup, no better way than to do this.  There is even a stadium in San Diego that is making a section dedicated to people who want to bring their dogs with them.

Old Westbury Gardens, (OWG), in Old Westbury, N.Y. has been hosting ‘Dog Days‘ for years, twice a year on special weekends in the spring and fall.  And it is a big hit among dog owners.  With beautiful grounds, a mansion, and lush gardens – it is almost understandable that dogs are not allowed there on a regular basis, but the two weekends a year they host it is very crowded and people bring their dogs and stay the whole day.  Pet parents visit with the vendors that are there, participate in the dog costume contest (for the fall event – howl-o-ween), and take a ton of pictures.  I have been going to this since 2004.  Wow!  Just thinking the first time I was there with my 3-legged Doberman girl Shanna who jumped in the reflecting pool and layed down to cool off!  OWG was ahead of their time!

This cute Boston hanging out on the grounds of OWG.


Water Parks/Pools – More and more water parks and pools that close at the end of the summer season are opening their doors to dogs and their parents to enjoy splashing and swimming before the park pools are drained for the season.  Some parks are charging a nominal fee ($10 – $20) per dog and donating proceeds to local animal rescues as part of the event.  Last year we attended a local water park with a meetup group, needless to say the dogs were having a blast!

A lot of dogs were in this pool – all having a great time.
Cody enjoying the pool to himself for a bit!

Pumpkin Patches/Farms – This is something that many people have asked me over the years, “Where can I go with my dog pumpkin picking?”  Some pumpkin patches are pet friendly, or just the farm stand part of it.  But more and more seem to be getting on board with allowing well behaved dogs.  Again, a call ahead of time to the pumpkin patch you want to go to will save you time and any disappointment.  Some groups are even hosting doggie meetups at pumpkin patches – you know the kid in all of us still loves to go pumpking picking – don’t deny the power of the pumpkin!

Jett and Jake enjoying a day at Stakey’s pumpkin patch! ~ Photo Credit: Susan Johnson

Doggie Brunch – this year, in January, New York State finally passed a law that restaurants that have outdoor dining can now allow dogs to be with their pet parents while having a meal. (Restaurants have to want to do this, it’s not all restaurants – but the smart ones are jumping in).   This has been happening for years in California and other areas in the country, and many restaurants here are now catering to dogs now with their own menus, water dishes, treats and more.  Recently I took my dog Cody to The Refuge in Melville, NY who hosts a Sunday Doggie Brunch on their patio, we were there for the news segment about it, it was a lot of fun and we plan on going back soon.


Wineries/Breweries- Most wineries and breweries are dog friendly because they usually have vast space outside to hang out with your dog.  Some, like Martha Clara Vineyards in Riverhead, NY even host wines and canine events where you get to walk your dogs around the vineyards and there is a tour guide giving you incredible information about the vineyards, region and so forth.  Some vineyards host events for animal rescues like recently at Baiting Hollow Farm Vineyard.  I know a lot of vineyards throughout the country also allow well behaved dogs and host events for pet parents as well.  A simple call ahead of time to the vineyard to ask couldn’t hurt.

Walking through the vineyard
1/2 way through the vineyard!

Where’s your favorite spot that is not normally pet friendly?  We would love to hear about it!

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