The First Day of Fall

Dust off your boots and head out this fall with your favorite coffee in hand. The air is crisp and the cold is just around the corner. Take advantage of this seasonal break with a few off-the-beaten path staycation stops.

Pick your own pumpkin this season at Stuart’s Farm in Granite Springs. Hayrides and apple picking are just some of the perks hidden in this family-owned and operated farm. Your little ones may get a kick out of literally picking a pumpkin off its vine or strolling along the fields. Feel free to bring wagons, scooters, bikes, or strollers. For further information, call 914-245-2784.

Handmade puppets and puppet shows offer a nostalgic outing. No, puppets are not a thing of the past. Thespians will enjoy their classic tales complete with music and full scenery set stages. Puppetworks on 338 6th Avenue (4th Street cross street) opens up its theater to adults and children in a casual atmosphere. This season, from September 3 through December 18, Hansel and Gretel is showing. Public performances are Saturdays and Sundays at 12:30 and 2:30 p.m. Reservations can be made by calling 718-965-3391 or emailing in advance Private group showings, school groups, and parties are also available.

In Western New York, visit the Amish Trail for a fresh look at a slower pace of life. Custom tours are available and visitors can find hand crafted goods in metal works, windows, doors, furniture, and household goods. Affordable packaged and fresh food are offered along with areas for children to play and explore. Call 716-988-3301 today for more details or visit their website at

Celebrate the crisp Brooklyn outdoors at Brooklyn Boulders located at 575 DeGraw Street. Climbers and beginners alike can stretch their legs, build confidence, and grab hold of the more than 18,000 feet of accessible climbing space along walls and boulders. Classes are offered for every skill level in order to ensure safety of all participants. Family hours are on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

Luxury calls from the the Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino. Whether seeking a weekend retreat or simply an evening getaway, Seneca offers guest full-service accommodations. Feeling lucky? The casino offers serious players membership with Seneca Players Club featuring reward points and other promotions. Slots, game tables, and more are on-site. Reservations can be made by calling 1-877-8-SENECA.

If you have a sweet tooth in the family, check out Dylan’s Candy Bar in the heart of the city for floors of fun. Everything from retro and nostalgic candy sections to next-generation level cool can be found among the candy aisles. For a really special treat, skip the store and head straight to the top floor. The Candy Café and The Candy Bar have a reputation for great service and flavor-ific menu options. The are two locations, one is uptown across the street from Bloomingdale's , and the other is downtown in Union Square.

Authentic foodies may appreciate Gaia Italian Café. If you plan to go in for dinner, reservations are positively required, but this tiny restaurant holds a powerful position among locals for flavor and affordability. Specials are offered every night and the menu consists of scratch items. Without the pomp, Gaia is a classic and worthy of a try when you want to venture Lower East Side. Call 646-350-3977, preferably in the morning, for reservations.

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology probably is a spot you have never visited before, but this fall The Countess Greffulhe is the star exhibit. Fashion experts, art lovers, designers, and those curious at heart can appreciate the educational mantra behind each of MFIT exhibitions. The most fashionable museum in New York City offers more information on their website