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Long Island Weekend: Ring in Autumn at Fun Fall Festivals

pumpkin field


So many things come to mind when you think of “fall” and “Long Island.” Maybe it’s a sunny image of pumpkin picking with the kids at one of our many farms. Perhaps it’s a cozy, homemade sweater purchased at a village farmers market. Or it’s a tasty, apple-flavored cocktail shared with some friends on a cool evening.

Long Islanders have been gearing up for fall, and now that is has finally arrived, everyone’s ready to burst out the seasonal fun during autumn’s first weekend.

One great way to welcome the season and support our local businesses is to stop by one of the many fall festivals scheduled across Long Island this weekend. 

WHAT: F & W Schmitt’s Family Farm Fall Festival
WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
WHERE: 26 Pinelawn Road, Melville
WHY: If you live in Nassau County, you know F & W Schmitt’s Family Farm in Melville as the to-go place for pumpkins. Stop by Schmitt’s annual fall festival every Saturday in coming weeks, where the price of admission grants access to the playground, mini golf, photo ops, pumpkin picking, grilled grub, hayrides, and more. Schmitt’s corn maze is also open on weekends and requires an additional $10 entrance fee.

WHAT: Grace Episcopal Church’s 16th Annual Harvest Fair
WHEN: Saturday, Sep. 25, 10 a.m.
WHERE: 13 Cedar Shore Dr, Massapequa
WHY: Volunteers will “transform” the Church grounds, Early Childhood Center and Parish Hall to celebrate all things autumn with the community. Each year, the fair features a Farmers’ Market with Long Island produce; crafts made by parishioners; dozens of gift baskets for auction; and a raffle. Weather permitting, there will be a petting zoo, outdoor slides, pumpkin painting and sand art sessions for kids. Kitchen staff will help to feed the over 1,000 anticipated visitors while volunteers and Early Childhood Center teachers supervise the children’s games and crafts.

WHAT: Fall Harvest and Otto the Ghost at Hicks Nurseries
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: 100 Jericho Turnpike, Westbury
WHY: Hicks is another go-to hotspot in Nassau for all things autumn! At the fall harvest, parents can fill carts with fall decor while kids enjoy games, farm animals and a pumpkin weigh-off contest. Otto the friendly ghost will be available for socially distanced pictures most weekends from Sept. 25 through Halloween, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Otto also stars in an interactive walk-through adventure, “Otto’s Sweet Journey,” all month long. Attendance is free, but consider providing a canned donation upon entry.

WHAT: Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center’s Family Fun Fall Festival
WHEN: Sunday, Sep. 26, 11 a.m. to 3 p.n.
WHERE: 74 Hauppauge Rd, Commack
WHY: JCC hopes to unite the community at this free outdoor fall festival. There will be a D.J. inflatables and activities for kids, raffles, treats and more.

WHAT: Franklin Square Fall Festival
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Rath Park, 849 Fenworth Blvd. Franklin Square
WHY: The Franklin Square Historical Society will host its fall festival featuring food, vendors, activities for kids, pumpkins and raffles provided by the historical society. Native plants will be on sale. The rain date is scheduled for Sept. 26.

WHAT: Harbes Farm And Vineyard Pumpkin Harvest Festival
WHEN:  Sunday, Sept 26, 10 a.m.
WHERE: Harbes Farm And Vineyard, 715 Sound Avenue, Mattituck AND 25 Sound Avenue, Mattituck
WHY: It’s true: Nothing says “fall” like pumpkin-picking on the North Fork, specifically at Harbes Farm. Celebrate the grand seasonal opening of the Barnyard Pumpkin Patch during Harbes’ Annual Pumpkin Harvest, a two-day weekend salute to the season. The 7-acre “U-pick” Barnyard Pumpkin Patch offers varieties of on-the-vine pumpkins and gourds. The Barnyard Pumpkin Patch is adjacent to Harbes Barnyard Adventure and features its own parking area. There will be live music, a musical hayride tour of the farm, pig races, farm animals and much more. Adults can stop by the concession stands or the Harbes Wine Barn for glasses or bottles of your favorite pours.

WHAT: Wildwood Fall Festival
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: 790 Hulse Landing Rd, Wading River
WHY: Wildwood State Park’s  767-acres has been the home of this harvest festival for 27 years! This free event will feature local craft vendors and plenty of activities for kids and adults (including a bouncy castle). Food and refreshments will be available for purchase.

WHAT: Fall Festival Weekends at The Shoppes at East Wind
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 25, and Sunday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
WHERE: 5768 NY-25A, Wading River
WHY: Roasted corn, pumpkins, craft vendors, a wooden train, a grand carousel, a free bouncy house and the East Wind Scarecrow Contest. It’s all waiting at The Shoppes at East Wind, located conveniently on Sound Avenue. Every weekend until Halloween, the shopping plaza will host its weekend festival, encouraging Long Islanders to shop locally.

And for those looking for a virtual event…

WHAT: Fall Apple “Festival” with Chef Rob Scott
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 25, 3 to 4 p.m.
WHERE: Virtual, organized in part by the Huntington Public Library
WHY: If you’re all about the seasonal treats but want to avoid the crowds, opt for this Facebook Live event led by local chef Rob Scott. Scott will lead an instructional webinar on how to make a full apple-themed menu including fuji apple and cinnamon baked french toast casserole, apple, arugula and walnut salad with bleu cheese and apple pie donut muffins. Recipes feed a family of four. Entry is open to all and no registration is required. Visit the library’s Facebook page a few minutes before the program begins and the webinar will begin automatically.