4 Fall Festivals You Need to Check Out This October

‘Tis the season for plaid, pumpkins, and plenty of food festivals.

Nathaniel Hawthorne once wrote, “I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house.” I feel the same way when it comes to fall.  It’s an invigorating time of year to go outside, breathe in the fresh air, eat comfort food and, of course, grab the kids and go to some festivals!

1. 18th Annual Fall Festival, Cooperage Inn
Date(s): Weekends through October 23
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: 2218 Sound Avenue, Calverton

If you’ve hit the pumpkin picking fields early there’s no better place to sit back, relax and fill your belly than The Cooperage Inn. Their Fall Festival, now in its 18th year, offers a host of outdoor activities for the kids including face painting, pumpkin painting, pony rides and a playground constructed out of hay. The Inn offers delicious food for the kids like chicken fingers, burgers, and hot dogs—plus a horde of delicious fall treats like seasonal cookies and candied apples.

Parents will be delighted by the offering of fall comfort foods like fire-roasted corn, chicken pot pie, autumn harvest clam chowder and considerable BBQ options, including pulled pork, baby back ribs and roasted chicken to name a few, all while enjoying live music, outdoor seating and local craft beer.

2. Village Day Fall Festival, Sands Point Preserve
Date(s): October 16
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point

What better way to celebrate the fall harvest than with outdoor activities for the whole family? Families will be able to admire the fall foliage while enjoying a hayride around the Great Lawn. Kids will be delighted with fun activities like a petting zoo, pony rides and even pumpkin painting. Vendors will include a Green Grocer with delicious festival offerings, including award-winning artisanal cheeses, fresh baked goods, apple cider, and famous Horman pickles.

3. Oktoberfest, Sunday! Music Fest, Riverhead
Date(s): October 29
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Location: Garden of Eve Organic Farm & Market at 4558 Sound Avenue, Riverhead

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There’s just something indescribable about being on a farm in the fall.  The Garden of Eve invites you and your family to sit back and enjoy live Bluegrass music at their beautiful farm setting. This annual family friendly event includes “Family Fun Fields” for kids. These fields include a pedal kart track, maze, a lovely lavender labyrinth (can you smell how sweet this is), and farm animals. Before you leave the farm, you can pick up a pumpkin or two as well and gorgeous mums (does anything say fall like mums) and have a delicious meal from the farm’s cafe including craft beer (for the adults).

4. Halloween Spooktacular, Smithtown
Date(s): October 21-22
Time: 7:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.
Location: Sweetbriar Nature Center at 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown

For many people, Fall means the celebration of Halloween.  Gather your little ones and celebrate early with all of the ghouls, ghosts, and other Halloween frights for an evening of fun and excitement.  This year’s spooktacular will include Eerie Animal Presentations, the Ghostly Garden, Creepy Crafts, Scary Stories, a Night Walk, and of course, yummy snacks and refreshments.  My favorite part about this festival is that they have events for kids of all ages, featuring special outdoor trails have been created for different age groups. The Enchanted Woodland Trail is for ages 4 to 8 and The Trail to an Eerie Tale and adjoining attractions are for ages 8 and up.

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Carri Horner works, writes and lives in New York. She is a graduate of the MFA program at Stony Brook Southampton.