Westchester County, NY, Fall Festivals at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, Lyndhurst, Teatown Lake Reservation, Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Muscoot Farm, and the Greenburgh Nature Center
This year’s crop of fall festivals
Hudson Valley apples, local farms overflowing with freshly harvested produce, and lots of trees that actually change color—Westchester is uniquely positioned to enjoy the seasonal pleasures of autumn. There’s so much to celebrate, there’s no reason not have a harvest party. Here, a guide to fall festivals for every taste.
photo byRoberto Falck
Distinguished guests—baby piglets—at Stone Barns.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
To really take advantage of the season’s bounty, you have to go to a farm. Luckily, we have one—a great one. Stone Barns’ eighth annual Harvest Fest offers down-on-the-farm fun, like hayrides, live music, and farming workshops, sure—but go there for the food. The highlight of the festival is the pull-out-the-stops, all-out farmers’ market. The market will include goodies from the Blue Hill Café, pastries from Balthazar Bakery, bobbysue’s nuts, craft beers from Captain Lawrence Brewing, sweets from Red Barn Bakery, and Van Leeuwen artisan ice cream. Hit the ATM before you go, as these tasty treats are not included in the admission price.
For Fans of Old-Time Fun:
Lyndhurst hosts hands-on activities for kids.
Jay Gould’s 1838 Gothic Revival weekend house gussies itself up for an autumnal celebration—and hundreds of scarecrows, dressed to look like historical figures and fictional characters, are the guests of honor. Join them at the Scarecrow Autumn Festival for old-fashioned square dancing and other country games. And, of course, no fall festival would be complete without food, especially produce from local farmers. Those who love the riverside setting have an excuse to return on October 28, when the site hosts Boofest, a family-friendly Halloween shindig with barn dancing, a silly mansion tour, storytelling witches, and trick-or-treating.
Teatown Lake Reservation
The tranquil lakeside scenery at Teatown is enough to make a transcendentalist out of anyone. Thankfully, families who attend its Fall Festival can take part in seasonal merriment and gain some kind of environmental awareness. Kids can make eco-crafts and see the Reservation’s birds of prey. Braver ones can get a bird’s-eye-view of the Reservation by strapping into the harness of the SavATree zipline. You get a lot for your ticket, too: a child’s Funpass ($25) includes admission, three crafts, one ready-to-carve pumpkin, one hayride, and face-painting.
Events at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center can really get your goat.
For Drama Queens:
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
October 15 and 16
Even though it’s not yet Halloween, those with a flair for the dramatic can come in costume and march in a parade on the grounds of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center. The Harvest Festival Weekend also offers the opportunity for you to get in touch with your mischievous side with its ready-to-fire apple slingshot. This is all in addition to storytelling, pumpkin-carving, face-painting, and a scarecrow contest.
For Animal Lovers:
Muscoot’s Autumn Celebration fills its farm with games, activities, and hayrides. But we suspect you’ll spend your visit ogling the shaggy Brown Swiss cows, wooly Horned Dorset sheep, funny-looking Bronze turkeys (Thanksgiving is just around the corner, after all), sweet Tamworth pigs, and all the ducks, chickens, and horses that call the farm their home. Performances from a live band make your visit all the more lively.
For Cider (and DIY) Fans:
The Greenburgh Nature Center
It just isn’t autumn until you’ve had some fresh-pressed cider. The Greenburgh Nature Center’s Fall Festival goes one better, showing kids how make the cider themselves with an onsite hand press. The celebration continues with scarecrow-making, pumpkin-carving, a petting zoo, a scavenger hunt, and tractor rides.