The end of summer means the beginning of fall fun on Long Island.
The cooler air and vibrant colors combine to create perfect days for family-themed festivals, seafood and wine events, haunted Halloween fun, cornfield mazes and of course, pumpkin picking.
Find some ideas below and get in a ‘fall on Long Island mood’ while listening to our Spotify fall playlist.
The Long Island Fall Festival at Heckscher Park in Huntington is a perfect way to spend your weekend. Families come from all over the island for the carnival games, a farmer’s market, old-time rides, and tasty homemade treats. From Oct. 7th to Oct. 9th.
Come prepared because the Riverhead Country Fair is set on 100,000 square feet of land so families can enjoy a host of activities, including carnival rides, folk music, homemaking displays, competitions and more. Main Street, Riverhead. Visit riverheadcountryfair.com Free, except for fees for some rides and activities. Oct. 9th 8 a.m.-6 p.m.
Looking to spend an event-filled, kid-oriented day on the Island? Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre, Long Island transforms the 16-acre Center for Science Teaching and Learning into a Spooky Fest event for the whole family. Admission is $10 to $15. A fun, not-so-spooky walk in the woods for children, face painting and a live animal exhibit will be there on October 15th, 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 28th, 29th, 30th from 6:30pm to 9:30pm.
Long Island Children’s Museum’s Ghostly Gala Halloween party in late October is an entertaining, safe, and festive way to enjoy the holiday. This is one event your children will remember well past the spooky season; Face painting, gallery trick-or-treating, and a costume party are some of the many activities that go on. Oct. 29th 6pm-9pm at $10 a person.
Wine, Food and Brews
Of course, it’s the time of year for indulging in pumpkin-flavored food and drink, but if you’re a wine connoisseur or just someone who is interested in wine, head to Bedell Cellars, on Sunday Nov. 6th from 1pm-2:30pm, where there’ll be a barrel tasting and tour and discussion about sustainable winemaking and “green” farming techniques led by LI Sustainable Winegrowing Co-founder Rich Olsen-Harbich. Cost: $60 per person/reservation is required. If you’re looking to make it a weekend, the Fig and Olive or Blue Iris Bed and Breakfast are both right across the street.
For those kid-ults on Long Island, the Martha Clara Vineyard hosts an annual Halloween Costume Dance Party. This year it’s on Oct. 28th at 7pm in Riverhead. Or, if sampling the latest micro-brews is more your style, you can head on over to Brew Crew Cycles to tour around the east end trying local beers.
For foodies, the world is your oyster on October 15th at the Oyster Festival in Theodore Roosevelt Park in Oyster Bay. You can shuck your own dinner and see a pirate show, live entertainment, and impressive artisans. Come for a fun mixture of activities like the iconic oyster-eating and oyster-shucking contest. Located at 200 Central Park West, Oyster Bay, the event is free (except for select activities) and runs from 11am to 6pm.
Come to the Port Jefferson Harvest Festival for clam chowder, music, and great children’s activities portjeffchamber.com Free. October 30th from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm.
You can choose to celebrate the Oktoberfest in a classic restaurant or at a brewery, or even both. One of Long Island’s authentic Bavarian food brew pubs will celebrate Oktoberfest with live German music every weekend. Black Forest Brew Haus in Farmingdale. Check the website for pricing. The celebration will be held Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 15th.
Haunted Halloween Fun
The Rise of the Jack O’ Lanterns at Old Westbury Gardens, presented throughout October, showcases the work of dozens of fantastic local artists. Spend an hour walking through the trail and see more than 5,000 hand-carved Jack O’Lanterns light up the night.
Or enter into a 45 minute life battle against zombies at the NYZ Apocolypse in Deer Park (ages 16+). This attraction is open year round but pulls more attention during the autumn months.
If you’re not into laser shooting at mindless zombies, check out the hit new craze sweeping the nation. The Escape Room is a battle against the clock as you and your teammates put your brains together to figure out puzzles to, you guessed it, escape the room. Themes include Carnevil, The Psychic and Killer Countdown. Reserve your spot now throughout November 13th; prices vary depending on group size. While there in Franklin Square, migrate towards the gorgeous Hempstead Lake State Park to absorb some of the colors presented in Long Island’s fall months.
If you’re looking for a medium sized scare, attend the 27th annual Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck Spooky Walk in Center Moriches. Run by volunteers, it’s held on Oct. 21, 22, 28, and 29 from 7pm to 9pm.
For many years, Bayville Scream Park has been perfecting the way they scare their customers always leaving them spooked and satisfied. It’s open through Nov. 6th with many new scares for 2016. Prices vary depending on how many attractions you wish to visit.
Apples, Pumpkins & Corn:
Picking pumpkins, going on hay rides and navigating corn mazes, while enjoying some caramel covered apples and hot apple cider, is what you’ll find in the fall on Long Island.
Harbes Family Farm has been farming on Long Island for over 13 generations and over the years has evolved into a North Fork destination where families can enjoy anything from fresh picked corn to award winning wines. In the fall Harbes hosts a Fall Festival every weekend, featuring pumpkin picking, apple picking, corn mazes, hayrides and more. Harbes has three locations.
Every fall, Borella’s Farm Stand hosts the annual Fall Harvest Festival. Starting the first weekend in October and running through Halloween (including Columbus Day), visit the farm for a day of pumpkin picking, corn mazes, hay rides, bounce houses, face painting, music and other family friendly events. The farm stand is filled with local produce grown on the premises, and the greenhouse is full of fall flowers and plants.
Garden of Eve Farm and Market is open to the public through Oct. 31st and offers fresh vegetables along with organically grown herbs and plants. Children can visit the animals in the barnyard. Garden of Eve operates as sustainably as possible, and grows an incredible diversity of plants. With 70 varieties of vegetables, 20 varieties of herbs, and 30 varieties of flowers they use no poisonous pesticides or herbicides, relying on plants’ natural defense systems and ecological solutions to solve pest problems.
Wickham’s Fruit Farm is one of the largest farms on the North Fork, approximately 300 acres, of which 200 acres are in fruit, all of which is retailed at the farm. The retail market is open usually from May through December from Monday through Saturday. Private groups who book a tour in advance can schedule a tour of the farm to pick fruit in season, enjoy the scenic beauty of a farm on the water, observe a live working beehive, and when possible, observe our old historic cider press. Families who are Members of the U-Pick Club may pick their own strawberries, raspberries, cherries, blueberries, apples, peaches and pumpkins.