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6 Fall Escapes: Apple Picking, Hiking, Haunted Houses & More

We've introduced you to all sorts of spectacular getaways with our escapes series this summer, from The Newburgh Brewing Company upstate to The Wild Honey Pie's Summer Camp to events at Rockaway Beach

Embrace Fall like this Chick. Escape into nature. Photo by Maria Gotay

We've introduced you to all sorts of spectacular getaways with our escapes series this summer, from The Newburgh Brewing Company upstate to The Wild Honey Pie's Summer Camp to events at Rockaway Beach. Now, we're stockpiling all of our best recommendations for getting out of Bushwick and appreciating nature's most spectacular season- the blooming Fall. Read on for a whole new chapter of escapes including details on how to best experience: Stoney Brook Village, Corona Park, Sleepy Hollow, Hurd's Family Farm, The Cloisters, Haunted Houses and more!

Apples! Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Alstede Farms. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Pumpkins at Hurd Family Farm. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

 

#1 Apple & Pumpkin Picking (plus Hayrides, Petting Zoos, and Markets)

What: Whether you're going with your family or just with your roommates, apple picking is a great excuse to get out of town and indulge in nature for an afternoon. Scenic walks bore you? Well, apple picking can be quite the chore so you won't be idle.

Highlights: Most farms also have petting zoos, a great place to mingle with some farm folk, or where you can meet some friendly goats if you please. Sip on some cider while browsing local markets or surveying the orange, red and yellow leaves of the farm lands, and take home a bushel of apples fresher than you'll find anywhere in NYC. Don't forget your phone charger, because if you're anything like us, you will want to Instagram everything.

Getting there: Drive a car to:

Hurd's Family Farm near Poughkeepsie, NY (1.5 hour drive). Admission $13. Apples $20/half bushel. Other attractions: Corn Maze, Pond, Eco Trail, Petting Zoo, Hay Rides.

Alstede Farms in New Jersey (1 hr 15 mins drive).  All access admission $13.95. Apples $1.99/lb, Pumpkins 65 cents. Rides, Bee Keeping Seminars, Mazes, and an excellent variety of cheeses.

Harvest Moon Farms in North Salem, NY (1 hr 10 mins drive).  Admission (Free)?, Apples $25/ half bushel. Other attractions: hayrides, animals, donuts, country store, facepainting, BBQ, and more!

Kelder's Farm near New Paltz  in the Hudson Valley (2 hour drive). Admission (Free) In addition to the U-pick stuff they have (eggplants, apples, berries, pumpkins, tomatoes, corn, grapes) this farm is also home to the World's Largest Garden Gnome, and minigolf!.

For more farm reading check out Hudson Valley arts magazine Chronogram's U-pick directory of all of the region's farms and their respective natural bounties.

 

The Cloisters! Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

The Cloisters! Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

The Cloisters! Photo Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

#2 The Cloisters 

What: Although they are still in NYC, The Cloisters are far enough away to make you may feel like you've been transported out of the city limits. This gorgeous museum, which resembles a medieval European Abbey, houses some 5,000 pieces of medieval art. From Flemish tapestries to roman catholic altarpieces, it's a flashback to multiple cultures' adornment art. The museum itself lies of four acres of hilly land within Fort Tyron Park, which will be full of fall leaves and is laden with lookout spots that peer across the Hudson river or the city, depending which side of the park you're on.

Highlight: Also nestled within Fort Tyron is a dog run, playgrounds, bike lanes, plus the highly recommended New Leaf Restaurant & Bar that has a $19.95 pre-fixe brunch. It's a great cultural day trip that's got a little something for everyone- art, nature, food, and overall good times- plus you'll be back in Bushwick by dinnertime. Bonus: Since the Cloisters is owned by The Met, and the Met is a pay-what-you-wish institution, admission can cost as little as 1 penny.

Getting There: Take the 1 train to 190th street then take a walk uphill, following signs for The Cloisters.

 

Photo by Cameron Sperry.

Photo by Cameron Sperry.

#3 Stony Brook Village

What: Stony Brook Village is an adorable village about 50 miles northeast of Bushwick. This is the kind of short day-trip that's just meant to get you out of the city and into the fresh air of a tiny, picturesque, kinda kitschy town. It's so quaint that there's no cell service, and they actually provide free wifi for you to use. You won't believe that places like this actually exist.

Highlight: First thing's first - sit down for British high tea at Robinson's Tea Room. Order a pot or two from the expansive handwritten tea menu, and add a delicious, and filling, scone with clotted cream.

Other tips:  The tour of the Stony Brook Grist Mill that has been functioning since 1751; the U.S.S. Ohio's Hercules figurehead from 1820; and don't forget their "famous" Post Office, where a rustic mechanical eagle anticlimactically flaps its wings to mark the hour.

Getting there: Have a friend with a car? You'll be at the village center in an hour (LIRR will take about 2.5 hours).

Sleepy Hollow. Photo courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo cortesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

Photo cortesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

 

#4 Sleepy Hollow

What: Sleepy Hollow is a town that fiercely embraces its spooky reputation about a 50-minute train ride from Grand Central Terminal. For starters,  every street sign in Sleepy Hollow depicts a silhouetted headless horseman, and near the gas station by Headless Horseman Bridge lies stylized metal sculpture of the horseman in pursuit of a petrified Ichabod Crane, reflecting the mystical movie history of the town. Sleepy Hollow offers plenty of attractions this time of the year. And besides, it’s fun to have business at Grand Central that isn’t taking your visiting relatives sightseeing.

Highlight: Feeling bold? Enjoy an evening stroll across the haunted grounds of historic Philipsburg Manor, transformed for five consecutive weekends into the 18th-century living nightmare Horseman’s Hollow. Take to the tomb-laden rolling hills of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in which you can embark on a lantern-guided tour and visit the final resting place of Washington Irving himself, the creator of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The ideal date to mark on your calendar for your Sleepy Hollow getaway would be October 16, when you can see a Halloween parade done right.

Other tips:  On Beekman Avenue you can find a few excellent places to eat dinner including Moon River Grill and the Bridge View Tavern which has a delectable selection of beers on tap.

On your way back to the train, you may want to stop by what will probably be the only bar still open in all of Sleepy Hollow, the quaint Set Back Inn, at 33 Main Street.

Getting there: If you decide to venture by train, take Metro-North’s Poughkeepsie-bound Hudson Line from Grand Central or Harlem–125th Street and get off at Tarrytown. Know the returning train schedule and keep an eye on the time. If you miss the last train back to the city you'll be spending the night.

 

Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Photo cortesy of Flickr Creative Commons.

#5 Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

What: You don't have to be a baseball or tennis fan to spend a day at Flushing Meadows Corona Park (FMCP). Whether it's wildlife you seek, a Sunday art stroll, or some NYC history, FMCP is a great escape from our concrete jungle. Plus, you can still make it back to Bushwick for dinnertime.

Highlight: Start your getaway off in an iconic way at the Unisphere, also known as the "globe." Constructed for the first 1964-1965 World's Fair, the Unisphere is at the center of the park and a great photo op -- you may recognize it from Men in Black, Iron Man 2, or the Amazing Race season one.

More tips: Get nerdy! Spend hours in the New York Hall of Science and stick around for the Empire Drive-In, (Oct 4-20). The installation, curated by Ann Heppermann, features a sound program about cars and manufacturing. Catch a different film each weekend -- click here for the full schedule.

Take photos! On Saturday, October 5th at 1pm join the Urban Park Ranger Art and Photography program for "Fall Foliage" - a nature photography FREE event. All digital cameras welcome (you must provide your own camera).

Give back to the city! On Saturday, October 19th volunteer with the Flushing Meadows Corona Park Conservancy for It's My Park Day. Volunteers will clean up the Pat Dolan Trail by picking up litter, planting, weeding, and mulching.

Need more adventure? FMCP is a recreational haven, sporting paddle boats, kayaking and canoe launch points, hiking and bike paths, and a skate park. Pack a picnic lunch and enjoy some of the 898 acres the largest park in Queens has to offer.

Getting there: There are currently two service interruptions affecting access within this park: 1) The Aquatics Center will be closed until mid-October. 2) The gymnasium at Al Oerter Recreation Center is closed until further notice. Please call the center at (718) 353-7853 for updated information.

 

Photo from Darkness Rising's Website.

Photo from Darkness Rising's Website.

http://youtu.be/-OXYw9ePhyQ

#6 Darkness Rising Haunted House

What: October means Halloween and to us that means Haunted Houses! Hop on the LIRR to Massapequa for Darkness Rising, which was rated the Best Haunted House in the tri-state area in 2011. There are a ton of Haunted Houses on the island, so what makes this one so special? After years of two families (the Bairds and Kennedys) curating their own haunted attractions, in 2010, they joined forces to create a 12,000 square foot building filled with darkness, flesh eating monsters, creepy ghost children and everything else to make your skin crawl. One of the main goals is "to scare people through visuals, sound and smell." Aside from the generous amount of spookiness, the families donate all of the admission profits (a mere $15) to charities like, YES Community and The Anchor Camp. And if getting the crap scared out of you isn't your thing, you can either volunteer or donate! Plus, the house is open till 12 am on Fridays and Saturdays. How could you go wrong?

Getting There: Take The LIRR (train 2 toward Babylon) from Jamaica Avenue or in the city at Penn Station to Massepequa then walk for about 10 mins. Total travel time 1 hour 45 mins.

Watkins Glen Spectacular Waterfalls! Photo by Maria Gotay.

You may have a 4some if you head to Glen Watkins. Photo by Bhargav Patel

The Beach at Seneca Lake. Photo by Bhargav Patel.

#6 Camping in Watkins Glen State Park

What: If you're looking for a real escape- one that's 4-5 hours away by car- this trip is for you. Though the drive is taxing, it's worth it for the magical sites that await at Watkins Glen State Park. Fill a car or two with friends, burn some podcasts, and be hypnotized by the firey trees lining the I17 highway leading all the way to the base of the fingerlakes.

Highlight: Stop at nearby Ithaca for more leaf porn, or not. Glen Watkins State Park is a large gorge carved out by glaciers 10,000 years ago, leaving in their wake 2,000 foot cliffs, 19 waterfalls, and spectacular rock formations. There are many hiking trails to choose from so you can return on multiple days for hiking trips. Camp inside the park for a convenient stay, or, if you're planning on violating quiet hours, head a 15 mins drive away to Smith Park & Campground, which lies on a beautiful Seneca lake and has plentiful opportunities for stargazing. The town of Watkins Glen also has lots of cute restaurants, ice cream parlors, and shopping.

Getting there: By car, 4-5 hours away from Bushwick.

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