Our Family-Friendly Guide to the Perfect Fall Day on the North Fork

catapano dairy farm goats fall

We’re not ‘kidding;’ nothing beats the North Fork in the fall.

Get out the plaid and boots, throw on a scarf, and gather the children for one of the more enjoyable times of year to be outside on the North Fork. The crisp autumn chill is ideal for playing in leaves and picking pumpkins, while parents enjoy a breath of fresh air now that school has started again. Weekends are reserved for fall adventures this harvest season, and the East End is packed with opportunities to sip, nosh, and play. As long as you are young at heart, this round up of local things to do will have you embracing everything fall has to offer on the North Fork.

Family-Friendly Breakfast

Long Islanders love their bagels. Get your favorite breakfast sandwiches to go from Goldberg’s Bagels in Mattituck and take them down the road to Veteran’s Memorial Park to enjoy on picnic benches by the beach. Kids love the French toast bagels especially. Want to take a seat? Erik’s Breakfast and Lunch doesn’t disappoint with its hearty delicious fare in a casual setting, an ideal start for a family day on the North Fork.

Harbes Family Farm

You can’t talk about family-friendly fall fun on the North Fork without mentioning Harbes Family Farm in Mattituck. Apple picking, pumpkin picking, hayrides, and corn mazes can easily fill up an afternoon. Snack on roasted sweet corn, apple cider doughnuts, and kettle corn while sipping fresh squeezed lemonade. Kids can play in the Barnyard Adventure—parents, you can, too; we don’t judge!–while adults can unwind with certified sustainable wines produced by the family vineyard. Friendly tip: Get to the farm early to beat some of the traffic at this popular fall spot.

Meet the goats at Catapano Dairy Farm.

Meet the Goats

It doesn’t matter how old you are, everyone loves goats! Spending time at local farms this season is not exclusive to pumpkins. Meet the goats at Catapano Dairy Farm in Peconic. The sights, sounds, and smells of the family farm’s herd make for a fun farm trip. While you’re there, stock up on fresh, homemade cheeses like basil parsley, lemon pepper, mango habanero, and three herb with rosemary, thyme, and cilantro. The farm also produces goat milk soaps.

Stop at 8 Hands Farm for some exellent food truck fare.

Food Trucks for Lunch

Pull up to 8 Hands Farm in Cutchogue and walk behind the building to the food truck. Try smoked and pulled chicken sandwiches, tomato soup and crostini with roasted tomato and ricotta, cheeseburgers, and more. Finish with a chocolate chip cookie or banana bread for dessert. Have a picky eater on your hands? They have additional options for kids. You’re bound to see plenty of farm animals while you enjoy your lunch. The North Fork Food Truck in Southold, located in the parking lot of the North Fork Table and Inn, is serving up hotdogs, lobster rolls, fried chicken sandwiches, soups, and of course, chef Claudia Fleming’s famous cookies.

Play cornhole with the kids while enjoying some seasonal sips.

Greenport Harbor Brewing Co.

Drinking may not be the first idea you have for a day out with the family, but with one responsible driver, there is plenty of fun for everyone to have at Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. in Peconic. The wide-open lawn is great for kids and dogs to run around and play. Get in a game of cornhole or giant Jenga while sipping on a pint of Leaf Pile Ale—the brewery’s take on pumpkin beer. You can also grab a number of snacks and plates from the brewery’s onsite restaurant.

Cooperage Inn Fall Festival

Venture over to Baiting Hollow on Saturdays and Sundays through October for Cooperage Inn’s annual fall festival. Bratwurst with slow-braised German sauerkraut, chicken pot pie, barbecue pulled pork sandwiches, potato pancakes, autumn harvest clam chowder, and more are on the menu that can be enjoyed outdoors. Kids will have their fill with hotdogs and burgers, pumpkin bread, and candied apples. Really embracing fall family fun, get your face painted, paint a pumpkin, ride a pony, and play on the hay playground.

Winding Down

Picking produce, navigating corn mazes, sipping pumpkin beer, and touring the North Fork’s farms can be an exhausting day. Unwind with dinner at family-friendly restaurants like First and South in Greenport, Grana in Jamesport, or PeraBell in Riverhead. If you need one last sweet treat, you’re sure to find fall flavors in your ice cream at Magic Fountain in Mattituck. Happy fall!

Read more: Eat Your Way to Upstate New York This Fall