Fun Fall Festivals and Activities in the Hudson Valley
Fall is in the air, and there’s nothing like fall in the scenic Hudson Valley. With the temperatures getting crisper and cooler, it is easy to imagine sweater weather, apple cider, pumpkin picking and pumpkin pie. From its magnificent greenery and stunning fall foliage to the abundance of events and activities, a visit to New York’s Hudson Valley during the autumn months strikes the perfect balance between nature and culture. And fortunately for us, festivals abound just in time to usher in the fall season. Here are some worth a visit:
Warwick, New York
Named one of the top 100 events in the country, over 30,000 visitors are expected to attend the Warwick Applefest Oct. 6, traveling from neighboring states to experience the extraordinary variety of this historic town’s apples, culture and entertainment. Toast the region’s signature fruit at this annual get-together by eating, drinking and enjoying over 200 craft vendors. The event features music and entertainment on several stages, a children’s carnival, farmers’ market and apple pie-baking contest. Admission is free. www.warwickapplefest.com
Bear Mountain State Park
Palisades Parkway, New York
It’s not too early to plan a leaf-peeping trip. The Lower Hudson Valley parks and preserves offer plenty of opportunity for Instagram-worthy shots a stone’s throw from Manhattan. Bear Mountain State Park, a 5,205-acre park located on the west side of the Hudson River in Rockland County, New York, offers biking, hiking, boating, picnicking, carousel, skating rink and more. It also features the Perkins Memorial Tower at its summit, complete with spectacular 360-degree views of the Hudson River, Harriman State Park, the Palisades and, on a good day, the New York City skyline. Perkins Memorial Drive is open through late November, weather permitting, and can be accessed via Seven Lakes Road: turn onto Perkins Memorial Drive and continue to the top for the breathtaking vistas. From Sept. 27-Oct. 20, visitors to Bear Mountain also can celebrate Oktoberfest with German food and beer, traditional entertainment and local artisan craft vendors.
Nyack’s Famous Street Fair
Nyack, New York
Looking for a great way to spend an autumn day? There is something for everyone at Nyack’s Famous Street Fair, which returns on Oct. 13 to picturesque Main Street, Broadway and Cedar Street in downtown Nyack. Visitors can peruse wares from over 300 vendors offering quality handmade arts and crafts, antiques, retail items, collectibles and home décor. To top it off, delicious festival foods will be available along with fair specials from Nyack’s popular restaurants and outdoor cafes. Musician Ritchie G will perform live, and children will be entertained at the Kid’s Zone, featuring a variety of inflatables. This free event will be held 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., rain or shine. www.pjspromotions.com, 201-666-1340.
Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
Croton-on-Hudson, New York
The wildly popular Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, featuring over 7,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkin lanterns, takes place in the evenings from late September through November against the stunning backdrop of the 18th-century Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. About an hour’s drive from New York City, the annual event is hailed as one of the best Halloween events in the tri-state area, thanks to breathtaking displays such as the Pumpkin Promenade, Pumpkin Zee Bridge, Pumpkin Planetarium star show and show-stopping 25-foot-tall jack-o’-lantern Statue of Liberty. Tickets go on sale Sept. 3. hudsonvalley.org/events/blaze/.
Heritage of West Nyack Fall Festival
West Nyack, New York
See how militiamen and women of the American Revolutionary War lived in the 1770s. Visitors can expect a colonial theme with living history demonstrations and crafts like pen-turning and lace-making, plus sheep-shearing, pumpkin-picking and decorating, horse-drawn hayrides, spooky storytelling, music, crafts, minigolf, country dances, a magic show and more. Food will be available for purchase. Free parking at Germonds Park, 131 Germonds Road.