Whenever you need a breath of fresh air, there’s no place better than the country. Rolling fields, blue skies, and not a towering building in sight – it’s a stark contrast from NYC, but an awesome experience if you’re looking for a day trip. From pumpkin-picking to corn mazes, escape Manhattan to immerse yourself in a different environment. Here are some typical country activities that you can enjoy in and around New York City.
Sure, you can always buy a plastic pumpkin or one from your local farmer’s market, but then you’d miss out on the experience of meandering through pumpkin patches and trying to lift the largest pumpkin you can find. Dykeman Farm (823 West Dover Road, Pawling, NY 12564) is a third generation farm that allows visitors to pick their own pumpkins, gourds, and squashes – while also offering other seasonal vegetable-themed attractions. It’s a perfect experience for all ages, so bring your family with you for a day of fall fun.
When you live in New York City long enough, seeing trees can become rarer and rarer. It’s important to make the effort to experience some greenery throughout the year and even more during autumn when the foliage begins to change colors. For easy, Brooklyn-based foliage viewing, spend a day walking through Prospect Park’s trails. Each trail is a mile or shorter and provides the chance to birdwatch, fish, and more amongst Brooklyn’s oldest remaining forest. Don’t forget to look up at the leaves!
Despite the Pumpkin Spice craze – there’s no flavor more prominent in country cooking than apples. Apple cider, apple donuts, apple pie… the list of apple-focused treats goes on and on, and it helps to have freshly picked apples to make them. Lawrence Farm Orchard (39 Colandrea Rd, Newburgh, NY) lets visitor pick their own apples in the autumn and even has a guide to tell you which kinds of apples are the best to pick that day. Not an apple person? Don’t worry – you can visit the farm to pick other fruits like strawberries and apricots during the summer.
Haunted Lantern Tours
If you like to celebrate everything spooky in October, head to Fort Totten Park for a free Haunted Lantern Tour. The Queens-based park offers tours of the “haunted” Fort Totten Water Battery, a Civil War-era fortress that is maintained by Urban Park Rangers to this day. While we don’t know if the area is actually haunted or not, this is a glimpse of NYC history that you won’t want to miss.
Who doesn’t love navigating a corn maze in the middle of autumn? Farmers create news pathways and new designs every year so even if you visit the same cornfield every year, the maze is different every time. The Queens County Farm Museum (73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Floral Park, NY) has over 47 acres of land, and the colonial farmhouse provides a historical museum site. Its Amazing Maize Maze covers two acres and can be experienced during the farm’s day hours or by moonlight on specific evenings.