Santa Claus’s Dutch buddy Sinterklaas hands out treats at Wyckoff Farmhouse in Canarsie on Dec. 6.

Dutch treat: Netherlands’ Sinterklaas doles out delectables ay Wyckoff Farmhouse

Brooklyn Daily
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Kings County kids got to meet Santa Claus’s Dutch uncle at the Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum in Canarsie on Dec. 6. The benevolent, gift-giving Sinterklaas rode in on his trusty steed in celebration of Netherlandish festival of Saint Nicholas Day. Sinterklaas made the journey all the way from Europe to spread joy amongst Brooklyn kids, who enjoyed authentic Dutch candy, toys, and stories at the 17th-century, wood-frame house, one parent said.

“I liked it very much,” said Midwood mom Katja Ikeler, who brought her 15-month-old twins Levin and Rosa. “It was great for the kids to run around and play.”

Kids started off their day at ye olde Dutch farmhouse playing with a variety of wooden colonial toys, according to Ikeler.

There was an open fire roaring inside the house, and kids were invited to roast marshmallows and smores — a purely American tradition stuck in amongst the otherwise Dutch festivities, according to museum director Melissa Branfman.

It wasn’t long before the man himself — Sinterklass — rode out into the field, his white beard flowing, his red cape billowing, and his pointy hat pointing.

Unfortunately for “Dutch Santa Claus,” the kids were more interested in playing with his horse Amerigo, and the centuries-old Netherlandish folk hero had to wait around while all the kids pet the beast and fed it carrots, Ikeler said.

After the horse’s belly was filled, Sinterklaas invited kids to sign their names in his big, red book, whose pages Sinterklaas divided into “good” and “bad” columns, according to Branfman. Only one side of the pages had any names, though, she said.

“The bad side is usually pretty blank,” Branfman said.

Afterward, Sinterklaas treated the kids to snacks and finished off the day reading them the classic Christmas tale “The Baker’s Dozen.”

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Posted 3:20 am, December 9, 2015
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