Is it just us or do the seasons seem to have more and more abrupt endings? This year in New York City, summer bowed out almost faster than you could say June 21st, making us think that we better take advantage of this blissful autumn weather before winter rears its icy head. Word on the street is it's going to be a rough one -- again. So, here are a few easy day trips from NYC allowing us to celebrate the gorgeous crisp air and vivid colors of fall while we still can! But seriously, hurry; these seasonal activities are all coming to a close by the end of October or November, and you'll have to wait a whole year before you can partake again. And really, that's just too darn long.
Apple picking is one of our top fall activities. There’s just something about breathing in the fresh air, hearing the crunch of soil beneath our feet, sipping on fresh mulled cider, perusing tree after tree of farm-fresh apples, and then being able to literally pick the best right off the tree. There’s definitely no shortage of spots in New York for this out-of-city experience, so do some research to see which tickles your fancy — just make sure you do it soon as apple season doesn’t last much longer than the month of October.
Editor’s Note: Applewood Orchards and Silverman’s Farm are both popular options less than an hour and a half’s drive from the city.
Outdoor Sculpture Museum at the Storm King Art Center
Who says you have to stay inside to experience a great museum? Just an hour north of NYC, the outdoor sculpture garden known as the Storm King Art Center is wrapping up its season come the end of November. This mean you’ve only got a handful of weeks left to check out the 500-acre outdoor museum where over 100 sculptures are carefully positioned and displayed within the rolling hills, forest, and fields of the property. Works include various mediums from wood to stone, dating from present day back to the post-World War II era. The two exhibitions currently on display are Lynda Benglis: Water Sources(running through November 8th) and Outlooks: Luke Sttetner (closing November 29th). There’s even a direct Coach USA shortline bus, leaving from New York Port Authority, that offers two-day packages for visiting the Storm King Art Center. All the more reason to visit, in our opinion.
Escape the city’s gray shadows and still-green trees and head outta town for an explosion of color that is sure to cure your loss-of-summer blues. The recent cooler nights have really set fall into motion, especially in the Catskills and Adirondacks regions where leaves are already at near-peak boldness with color changes between 70 to 80 percent. Because the leaves are changing so quickly, there’s probably only about two weeks left to see these bright leaves in their full glory. For total immersion, stroll along Ontario County’s Canandaigua Fall Foliage Trail that winds through the Bristol Hills. Or to choose your own adventure, check out ILoveNY.com’s nifty Fall Foliage Report. It’s updated every Wednesday so you can choose the best spot to peep some leaves according to the timing of your visit.
Oktoberfest on Hunter Mountain
Ahhh, Oktoberfest. One of the only times it’s socially acceptable to drink over-sized glass steins of beer all day long and chow down on bun-less sausages. While there are plenty of places throughout the state partaking in this now worldwide German celebration of beer, food, and fun, we particularly like the (free!) festivities happening over at the Catskills’ Hunter Mountain. Taking place at the Hunter Mountain Lodge, the event includes a ton of local vendors selling everything from wildflower honey (with an active honeycomb on display), delicious cheeses, fiery hot sauces, and jewelry, to legit beer steins, clothes, and more. And plenty of beer, brats, and mountainside views can be found outside. There are a few beer tents offering up selections of Spaten beers, hard ciders, and wine; a children’s activity area with crafts and a petting zoo; a handful of non-German food vendors, and of course, the famous Hunter Mountain zipline and activity course (but, please, don’t sip before you zip). The fun continues until Sunday October 18th, so grab your lederhosen and get ready.
Fright Fest at Six Flags – Lake George, NY
Fancy something a bit more Halloween-themed? How about immersing yourself in a horror-themed theme park after-dark? Six Flags Great Escape in Lake George is just a three-hour and 30-minute drive north of the city and promises a hellishly good time (sorry, we couldn’t resist). Every weekend from now until November 1st, come 5 p.m., this family-friendly adventure park begins to fill with 20 spine-chilling frights from the undead, to a haunted houses and maze, to creatures from a terrifying circus, to a Malice in Wonderland section that exposes the darker side of fairy tales. While your ticket includes most of the activities and haunts, there are a few that cost a little extra — but spicing up your weekend is worth a few extra bones in our humble opinion.
Children under 13 and scaredy cats need not apply.
More Fall Fun to Round Out the Season:
- This Year’s Top Halloween Parties
- The Best Cities for Sports Fans During the Fall Season
- The Top 12 Fall Destinations in the World
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