Activities

October Family Guide: Check out these area festivals and outings

Michael Davis Photo

With fall well underway, there is no better time to get out and explore Central New York. Whether you’re into festivals or picking pumpkins and apples, you’ll find something for every member of the family in our guide to October festivals and outings.

Festivals & Events

The Great Cortland Pumpkinfest – Kick off the Halloween season at the annual Great Cortland Pumpkinfest. From local crafts and live music to a Kids’ Zone, there is no shortage of family-friendly activities. The two-day festival also includes a pumpkin decorating contest where participants can recreate their favorite character in pumpkin form.
When: October 5 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and October 6 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where:
Courthouse Park, Cortland.
Cost:
Admission to the event is free, but some activities cost extra.
More information:
www.cortlandpumpkinfest.org.

LaFayette Apple Festival – With apple season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to head to LaFayette for the annual LaFayette Apple Festival. The 47th edition offers something for every member of the family: craft vendors, a midway with rides and, of course, a variety of apple-themed foods. David Knapp, the head of the event’s board, said festival-goers will notice a few changes this year, including the return of balloon rides.
When: October 12 from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and October 13 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where:
5330 Rowland Road, LaFayette.
Cost:
Admission is $6. Ages 12 and under are free.
More information:
www.lafayetteapplefest.org.

Zoo Boo – Zoo Boo is back at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo. Trick-or-trick stations will be set up around the grounds, and attendees can attend a dance party or meet some of the zoo’s creepiest animals. Remember to wear a costume and bring a bag for your treats.
When: Oct 19-20 and 26-27 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Where:
Rosamond Gifford Zoo, Syracuse.
Cost:
$8 per child (plus the cost of zoo admission for non-members).
More information: 
http://syracusezooevents.org/event/zoo-boo-oct-19-2019.

Wizarding Weekend – Interested in magic or fantasy? Head to Ithaca for Wizarding Weekend. Returning for its fifth year, the event will feature live entertainment, a costume contest (dressing up is encouraged), interactive games and activities and more.
When: October 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and October 27 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Where: Downtown Ithaca.
Cost: There is no admission fee, but some events cost extra.
More information: http://wizardingweekend.com.

Apple Orchards

Abbott Farms – Running every weekend in October, Abbott Farms’ Fall Festival offers activities for kids of all ages. Check out the cider press, then take a ride down the slides or try out the apple cannon. Abbott Farms will also offer U-Pick apples and pumpkins throughout the month.
When: Monday – Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where:
3275 Cold Springs Road, Baldwinsville.
Cost: There is no admission fee, but some events cost extra.
More information:
www.abbottfarms.com.

Beak and Skiff Apple Orchard – The LaFayette area is home to several apple orchards, including Beak and Skiff. The orchard offers apple picking seven days a week, and Director of Brand Development Marianne Brennan says their grounds feature many family-friendly activities: a playground, pony rides and a bakery with a variety of apple-based treats, just to name a few. For those of age, Beak and Skiff also offers a tasting room with cider, wine and spirits crafted from the orchard’s apples.
When: The orchard is open daily from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: 2708 Lords Hill Road, Lafayette.
Cost:
There is no admission fee, but some activities cost extra.
More information:
http://beakandskiff.com.

Critz Farms – Mark your calendar for Critz Farms’ annual Fall Harvest Celebration. Several ongoing activities will be offered during weekends in October, including a playground, animal area, corn maze (this year’s design is a butterfly garden) and cow train rides. Those 21 and over can also sample beers and ciders in the Critz Farms Brewing & Cider Co. tasting room.
When: Open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where: 3232 Rippleton Road, State Route 13, Cazenovia.
Cost:
On weekends during the Fall Harvest Celebration, admission is $8.50 per person (with a maximum of $34 per car).
More information:
www.critzfarms.com.

Owen Orchards – If you’re just looking to pick apples, Owen Orchards offers a family-oriented U-Pick experience. “We have families that have been coming here for three generations,” says Tina Vincent, who has been working at Owen Orchards for the past 13 years. Start with a wagon ride (offered on weekends only), then pick up some cider and donuts at the farm market.
When: Monday – Saturday from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Where:
8174 Grant Avenue, Weedsport.
Cost:
There is no admission fee.
More information:
http://owenorchard.com.

Pumpkin Patches

Michael Davis Photo

Cicero “Pumkin” Patch – Featuring what co-owner Linda Dudzinski dubs “the best children’s hayride in Central New York,” Cicero “Pumkin” Patch offers a lot more than just pumpkins. Make sure to check out the free corn maze. Thousand Islands Winery will also be on hand every Saturday in October to offer free tastings.
When: Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Wednesday – Friday from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Where:
7169 Island Road, Cicero.
Cost: There is no admission fee.
More information:
www.ciceropumkinpatch.com.

The Pumpkin Hollow – Join The Pumpkin Hollow as it celebrates its 20th year. Offering a hay jump, haunted barn, animal area and more, The Pumpkin Hollow is a must-visit destination for families this fall. Don’t forget to check out the three-acre
corn maze.
When: Open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. through Halloween.
Where:
3735 West Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse.
Cost: There is no admission fee, but some activities cost extra.
More information:
http://thepumpkinhollow.com.

Tim’s Pumpkin Patch – Open seven days a week, Tim’s Pumpkin Patch gives families a taste of farm life. Head to the pumpkin patch to choose the perfect pumpkin for carving, then feed a variety of farm animals or spend some time in the hay fort. If history is more your thing, Tim’s Pumpkin Patch also offers a fossil dig.
When: Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily.
Where:
2901 Rose Hill Road, Marietta.
Cost: There is no admission fee, but some activities cost extra.  
More information:
www.timspumpkinpatch.com.

Plumpton Farms – Have you always wanted to become a pirate for the day? Plumpton Farms has you covered. Hunt for hidden treasure and win a prize during the farm’s annual Pirate’s Weekend, held October 12 and 13. Plumpton Farms will offer numerous other activities for families throughout the month of October, including crafts, a barn with various farm animals, pumpkin painting and a haunted silo, which owner Cindy Plumpton recommends for children ages 10 and under.
Where: 3990 Coye Road, Jamesville.
When: Open 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily.
Cost:
There is no admission fee.
More information: www.plumptonfarms.com.

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