Fall in Upstate New York
I’ve written before about how much I love living in a region with dramatically changing seasons, but fall, oh fall in New York is just one of the best things you can ever experience! The colors are amazing, the food and smells are fantastic and the weather is my favorite. I call it jacket weather–I love jacket weather. Not too hot, not too cold and I look great in a cute a jacket.
My only complaint about fall is that it’s short, or you have a short window to enjoy it. I especially notice this because the Rochester region has so many opportunities to enjoy it, it’s hard to fit them all in. I’ve discovered that when the leaves hit their peak color (usually in the last two weeks of October), you just have to stop everything you had planned, grab a camera and enjoy it as soon as you can. My favorite spot: Highland Park. However last year we explored the Webster Arboretum too and got some amazing pictures there.
One of the other things you must do in Upstate New York is some agri-tourism, a fancy sounding word that means, visit a farm. Many farms in this region open to the public with family fun activities. So many in fact, I not sure I can get to them all in a single season. Whether you are young or older, it is great fun. Long Acre Farms in Macedon, NY has one of the largest corn mazes in the region. They call it the Amazing Maize Maze (get it?). But before you think it’s all about the kids, it’s not. The farm also has a winery attached, so while the kids play on the jumping pillows and playgrounds, Mom can enjoy a glass of wine. The whole family can explore the corn maze, that includes a smaller version for younger kids. But at night, adults and older kids will enjoy the moonlight mazes. Bring a flashlight and challenge yourself in this enormous corn maze after dark.
This year we visited Stokoe Farms in Scottsville, NY. Stokoe is huge! with 35 farm activities for the kids. At $10 a ticket you will certainly get your money’s worth, as you can enjoy this farm all day long. Some of the activities include, a corn maze, playgrounds, two jumping pillows, lots of slides, a zip line, mini train ride, and pumpkin launching. We ran into several people while there, who told us they make Stokoe an annual tradition for their families. There is also a grill with fresh made to order food, so no need to go hungry. Stokoe Farm’s season continues into the winter as well, since it is also an enormous Christmas Tree farm. While you pick out your favorite tree there are special events throughout the season with Santa, including Santa parachuting into the farm from a plane on opening day. Fun fact about Stokoe, it is now as of 2014 100% solar powered.
In the past we have visited Powers Farm in Pittsford. Power’s farm is small. Just a few animals, a hay ride and a giant teepee made of corn. You can really only spend about an hour here, but it is free. (just a few dollars for the hay ride) and conveniently located. We go here for some pictures, but of course always make sure to buy some apple cider and donuts too.
For the last few years we have also visited a farm in Wayne County (next county over to our Northeast). Wayne County is known for it’s apples. No wonder as it is also the home of the Mott’s factory. Almost as soon as you cross the county line you see apple trees at every turn. Each year the county hosts it’s annual Apple Tasting Tour. For the entire month of October, visitors can download a copy of the apple passport and are challenged to drive along the scenic roadways, stopping at farm markets along the way. Earn stamps for each stop on your passport. Challenge your friends and if you collect all the stamps you may win a special prize. We just went apple picking, which is always fun too. With very little work, you get an amazing bounty of apples at an incredible price. Then its time to go home and bake.
There are a lot more area farms I have yet to visit, like Brown’s Berry Patch, Springdale Farms, Wickham Farms and many more. I don’t know if we can do it all this year, but the good news it just means we have more to look forward to next year.