7 Must-Do Activities for Your Fall Bucket List in Rochester NY

The fall season is underway and with the harvest comes a host of family-friendly outdoor activities. Here are seven activities to add to your fall bucket list:

apple picking

Pick apples straight from the tree at one of the many local orchards in the area. U-pick farms and orchards are always a hit with families – it’s a fun outdoor activity that even the youngest children enjoy. Plus, you’ll go home with an abundance of fresh fruit.

Some popular area orchards include:

  • G&S Orchards, 825 Atlantic Ave., Walworth, Wayne County. Open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays and Columbus Day. gandsorchards.com
  • Lagoner Farms, 6895 Lake Ave. in Williamson, Wayne County. Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends (also Friday, Oct. 7 and Monday, Oct. 10) lagoonerfarms.com
  • Robb Farms, 800 Gallup Road, Spencerport. Open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. robbfarms.com
  • West Wind Fruit Farm, 928 Manitou Road, Greece. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. greenacreupick.com.
  • Whittier Fruit Farm, 219 Whittier Road, Ogden. Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekends. whittierfruitfarm.com

Trek

Part of a hiking trail at Letchworth State Park is all yellow from fall foliage.

Even if you’ve hiked the entire area all summer, you can’t match the splendor of walking among the vibrant red, orange and yellow leaves in fall, making the season the perfect time to hike. hiking in area parks.

Some less hilly and family-friendly options include Corbett’s Glen Nature Park in Brighton and Oatka Creek Park in Wheatland. Some scenic but more hilly places are Abraham Lincoln Park in Penfield (which also has traditional and natural playgrounds) and Mendon ponds park in Pittsford and Mendon. Mendon Ponds is also home to two beloved spots – the Birdsong Fairy Trail, a mostly flat path with dozens of fairy houses, and wild wingsa non-profit educational organization that permanently houses and cares for injured birds of prey.

For stunning fall scenery, you can’t go wrong with visiting nearby state parks, such as the ever-popular Letchworth State Park and Watkins Glen State Park.

NY Fall Foliage: Where to find the most colorful leaves this weekend

Seneca Park Zoo

Parker Masai Giraffe at Seneca Park Zoo in 2018.

Rather than last year’s traditional ZooBoo, the Seneca Park Zoo will launch this year Afterhours Spooktactular at the zoo from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 20, 21 and 22. The family event will include tricks or treats, spooky activities, storytelling and pumpkin carving demonstrations. Tickets cost $8 to $10 per person.

The zoo will also host several themed weekends in October, included with admission to the zoo. Each weekend will feature fall decor, seasonal treats, and pet food-themed enrichment activities. Apple Weekend will be October 15-16 and Pumpkin Weekend October 22-23. Halloween weekend on October 29 and 30 will include a costume parade.

Foliage trolley

Conductor Mike Byrne, Greece, leads a 1926 Philadelphia streetcar down the tracks during the first ride of the day at the New York Museum of Transportation in Rush on June 29, 2014.

Hop aboard a 1920s wagon at the New York Transportation Museum in Rush to see the changing foliage on a two-mile route on Sundays this month (October 9, 16, 23 and 30). On October 23, the cart will become the “Halloween Express”, carrying passengers to a nearby pumpkin patch to pick a pumpkin to decorate at the museum at 6393 East River Road, Rush. Reservations are required for the Halloween Trolley.

Pumpkin fields, corn mazes, wagon rides and more

There's more than pumpkins - think wagon rides and fried cakes - at Powers Farm Market in Pittsford.

Many area farms have corn mazes, wagon rides, jumping pillows, and pumpkin patch, among other activities each fall. Some farm stands are also a go-to for fried cakes, freshly squeezed cider and bushels of pre-picked apples. Some also have farm animals to visit.

Some popular spots include:

  • Ford’s Farm Market, 1140 Paul Road, Chile. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends fordfarmmarket.com
  • Long acre farms, 1342 Eddy Road, Macedonia, Wayne County. Open Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Back 40 activities), Friday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Back 40 activities until 6 p.m. and corn maze from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Back 40 activities plus maze) until October 30. longacrefarms.com
  • Powers Farm Market, 161 Marsh Road, Perinton. Opens daily at 9 a.m. and closes at 6:30 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday, 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. powerfarmarket.com
  • Schutt apple mill, 1063 Plank Road, Penfield. Open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. www.schuttsapplemill.com
  • Stokoe Farms, 656 South Road, Scottsville. Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends until October 23 and Monday, October 10, as well as from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays until October 21. stokoefarms.com
  • Wickham Farms, 1315 Sweets Corners Road, Penfield. Open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day (except Wednesdays) until October 31. wickhamfarms.com
  • Zarpentine Farms, 163 Burritt Road, Hilton. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. The corn maze is open weekends only until October 31 (6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday). zarpentinefarmsny.com

Sky rides in Bristol

Experience the foliage from above as you ride the Sky Rides (aka Ski Lifts) at Bristol Mountain.

Admire the vibrant leaves on 15- to 20-minute rides aboard the Comet Express chairlift to the top of Bristol Mountain in Ontario County. The scene offers a panoramic view of fall foliage in the hills of Bristol.

Throughout the fall, the chairlift operates between noon and 4 p.m. on weekends and Columbus Day. At the top, visit a viewpoint, take a short hike, or head to the Aerial Adventure Park or the Mountain Children’s Adventure Park, designed for children ages 4-7. Reservations are recommended. Live music will take place at the summit between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday through October 15.

carve a pumpkin

Pumpkin Carving Festival

For many, pumpkin carving is an age-old fall tradition. The family gathers at the table, digs into the work, and produces creative designs to display on the porch. People with young children can easily avoid sharp knives by using paint or markers to design pumpkins.

When carving, remember to save a few pumpkin seeds to cook with a touch of olive oil, salt and pepper for a tasty seasonal snack.

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