With the fall season fast approaching, our senses are awakened once again, by the rustle and crunch of fallen leaves, the exhilaration of cool crisp air, mounds of brightly-colored orange pumpkins, and the smell of freshly-baked pies. This season of shorter days and cooler nights also turns our attention from the lazy days of summer to the responsibilities and challenges of back-to-school and work schedules, to-do lists, and deadlines. But the end of summer doesn't mean that we can't enjoy plenty of leisurely activities and fun-filled days”and as Long Islanders we don't have to travel far in any direction to experience an abundant harvest of the rich sights and sounds of the season. I've searched for some of the best special events around the Island. I hope that you and your family will celebrate and enjoy all that the fall season has to offer by visiting some of them soon!
HALLOCKVILLE FALL FESTIVAL AND CRAFT SHOW
September 17 & 18 (10am - 5pm) Hallockville Museum Farm
6038 Sound Avenue Riverhead, New York
Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead, New York will host its 31st Fall Festival and Craft Show on September 17 and 18. This fun-filled event will feature over 50 craft vendors, tractor pulls, antique automobile displays, food, live music, hay rides, tours of historic buildings, children's games, and a farmer's market. Local artisans will be on hand to demonstrate basket weaving, wood carving, and spinning. The East End Livestock and Horsemen's Association will present an animal display. Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and children under the age of 12. The four-person family rate is $18, and all admissions permit two-day entry to the festival. The event will be held rain or shine.
THE SOCIETY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF LONG ISLAND ANTIQUITIES LONG ISLAND APPLE FESTIVAL
September 18 (11am) Sherwood
55 Old Post Road
East Setauket, New York
The Society for the Preservation of Long Island Antiquities is hosting its 22nd Long Island Apple Festival on Sunday, September 18 at Sherwood Jayne Farm in East Setauket. It promises to be a family fun-filled day featuring cooking demonstrations, face painting, hay rides, crafts, candied apples, an apple pie baking contest, an American Girl doll auction, and much more. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for seniors and children ages 2-12. For more information visit www.splia.org
AMERICAN MUSIC FESTIVAL
September 23 (7 - 11pm); September 24 (Noon); September 25 (Noon-6pm) Port Jefferson Village Port Jefferson, New York Over 35 performers will play on four stages” rock, jazz, Dixieland and more. Event includes children's rides, an antique car show and more. Admission is free.
18th ANNUAL LONG ISLAND FALL FESTIVAL
September 30; October 1 & 2 Heckscher Park, Huntington Village (631) 423-6100 The largest of its kind in the Northeast, the Long Island Fall Festival at Huntington offers something for everyone hundreds of arts and craft vendors, a world-class carnival, four stages of entertainment, international food courts, a beer and wine tent, a farmer's market and many children's activities. Admission to the public is FREE. Info@HuntingtonChamber.com Here are a few events sponsored by our state parks. (You can check out more by visiting the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation at http://www.nysparks.state.ny.us/regions/long-island/default.aspx)
8TH ANNUAL FALL HARVEST AND SEAFOOD FESTIVAL Saturday September 17 until Sunday September 18 (11am - 5pm) Captree State Park (631) 669-0449 Fun for the entire family! Live music, vendors, children's activities, crab races, boat rides, interactive pirate shows, pony rides. Fresh produce and seafood specialties will be for sale. All activities are free ($8 vehicle use fee from 7am - 6pm).
THE MIGHTY MIGRATOR September 24 (10:30 am - 12 pm) Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center Jones Beach State Park (516) 780-3295 On this adventure you and your family can observe the amazing migration of the Monarch butterfly. The program will cover the Monarch's life cycle, migration routes, and how to help conserve this species. A walk through the butterfly garden affords a first-hand look at the world of butterflies. This program is for general audiences. Reservations are required. $4 per person. Children under 3 are free. (Vehicle use fee paid upon arrival).
SOAR FOR A CURE: KIDâ€™S KITE FLYING FESTIVAL September 24 (2-4 pm) West Meadow Beach Road Stony Brook, New York (631) 444-4000 Hosted by the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Program of Stony Brook Long Island Children's Hospital, each child will receive a free kite. The event offers live entertainment, refreshments, giveaways, and face painting. Reserve by September 16. Rain date is October 1. Admission is free. To keep the fun going well into the season, here's a list of some of the best pumpkin picking farms and corn mazes on Long Island:
HARBES FAMILY FARM 715 Sound Avenue Mattituck, New York (631) 298-0800 Open daily 9am-6pm through October 31st Barnyard Adventure themed corn maze, pony rides, hay rides, roasted corn, and homemade candy apples!
SCHMITT'S FAMILY FARM 29 Pinelawn Road Melville, New York (631) 271-FARM (3276) Open daily 9am-5pm Schmitt's offers a hay pyramid for kids to climb and slide down, a corn maze, wagon ride and farm tour, farm animals, a pre-picked field of pumpkins, and much more.
WHITE POST FARMS FALL FARM FESTIVAL 2011 September 24 & 25; October 1 & 2, 8, 9 & 10; 15 & 16; 22 & 23; 29 & 30 250 Old Country Road Melville, New York (631) 351-9373 Plan a full day here! Pumpkin picking, hayrides, pony rides, train rides, indoor animal farm, barnyard animal stage show, balloon games, wheel game show, playgrounds, and bouncers and slides are just some of the featured activities.
FRITZ LEWIN FARMS 1989 Sound Avenue Calverton, New York (631) 727-3346 Pumpkin patches (one of the few places you can actually pick them from the vine). Fresh peas, string beans, peppers, tomatoes, cranberries, and more are available in abundance. A true farm atmosphere for the entire family to enjoy!
HICKS NURSERY 100 Jericho Turnpike Westbury, New York (516) 334-0066 The calendar of events at this nursery includes a Fall Festival beginning Saturday, September 17 and continuing weekends through October (hayrides, roasted corn, and live animals) and a Giant Pumpkin Weigh-Off 11am on Sunday, October 2. Winners in the past have raised pumpkins weighing up to 1,030 pounds! Prizes will be awarded. Submitted by Vickie Moller-Pepe