Outdoor activities in the crisp fall air are all the rage as we maintain our practice of safe, socially distant gatherings. In an effort to get out of the house asap, chances are you’ve already hit up your local pumpkin patch. So, we are featuring some additional options in the Northeast to pumpkin spice up your life this season.
Cost: Varies by attraction
An area of New York known for wine production and especially Riesling, the Finger Lakes region boasts fertile soil and eleven impressive bodies of water. The area is rich in native and immigrant American history and therefore is filled with haunted sites. Among the stops on the trail, guests can visit Belhurst Castle (Geneva/Ontario County) whose most famous ghost is Isabella, a beautiful opera singer who perished trying to escape with her lover through a hidden underground passage. If that’s not ghoulish enough for you, the tour also includes Split Rock Quarry (Syracuse/Onondaga County), the site of a hazardous munitions plant where more than 50 men lost their lives in a 1918 explosion. Read up on more trail stops here.
Yes, there are other corn mazes and pumpkin patches, but Sauchuk’s benefits from its exclusive regional contract with the world’s largest cornfield maze company. You can expect the team to deliver on differentiated maze designs and best in class agricultural entertainment. Visitors will note that Sauchuk’s levels up on its programming each year, with enhanced facilities and experiences. Activities include corn mazes and games, pumpkin patch, hay wagon rides, zip lines, duck races, and more. At just 31 miles from Boston and 185 miles from New York, this is a great option for a weekend family getaway. COVID safety measures are in place, including advance ticket purchases to prevent overcrowding.
Cost: $50 per vehicle
Get in the Halloween spirit and delight in the spectacle of a sea of jack-o-lanterns. The annual event has pivoted from its traditional zoo walk through to a COVID-safe, drive-through experience that you can enjoy from your car. The landscape will be covered with thousands of carved pumpkins. Jack-o-lanterns will decorate the trees, dot the trail, and extend as far as the eye can see. All tickets will be sold online and are on sale now. Trail opens at 6:30pm – 11:00pm. Gates close at 10:30pm.
Cost: $10 for ages 12+, $6 for children 5-11
Transit Drive-In of Rockport, NY has been a family owned and operated business hosting outdoor movies and fun since 1957. Through the ingenuity of its manager Rick, the drive-in successfully weathered the advent of cable television, pay per view, multiplexes, and more by focusing on family friendly events and entertainment, including the introduction of a mini golf course. The team is excited to be open to serve the community amidst the pandemic, and there are strict social distancing and safety measures in place. In addition to a robust Halloween-themed movie lineup (Hocus Pocus, The Thing, etc), the drive-in has introduced free big screen sports events on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights.
Even if you’ve experienced Eastern State by day, night tours give a different energy. Dramatic lighting highlights its iconic architecture and two large-scale video projections, highlighting 1929 prison life and the animated works of incarcerated artists, respectively, are featured on the perimeter walls. The typical daytime offerings including “The Voices of Eastern State” audio tour, exhibits, and art installations are also available for guests to experience. Historic sites on the premises include Al Capone’s Cell and Death Row. COVID precautions include required masks for ages 2+, sanitizing stations, and self-guided tours along a one-way linear path. Timed tickets must be purchased online in advance.