Finding joy in fall traditions


The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze is one exciting nearby attraction to visit this fall. / Photo from visitsleepyhollow on Instagram

Margaret Dougherty, Managing Editor

With the season of autumn officially underway and cold weather fast approaching, now is the perfect time to indulge in some fun fall activities. From sipping on pumpkin spice lattes to enjoying a hayride, everyone has their own unique way of making autumn special. Here are some popular fall traditions that will provide inspiration on how you can make the most of this season and perhaps start a tradition of your own. 


Apple picking is a quintessential fall activity. The peak season typically runs from September through early October, so be sure to go soon to get the best tasting apples. There are plenty of orchards in Westchester County, but some students suggest going further upstate to find the most cost-efficient place. Sophomore Zenaida Perez recommends Lawrence Farms in Newburgh, New York after a recent trip. 


It’s a further drive but it’s worth it because they don’t force everyone to have an apple picking bag, which often totals to $40 per person,” Perez said. It’s also beautiful since it’s more upstate. 


As apple picking goes out of season, pumpkin picking takes its place. Choosing the best pumpkin for carving, painting or simple décor is another way to enjoy the cool air and make fall memories. In Westchester, consider going to local pumpkin patches such as Wilkens Farm in Yorktown Heights 


In addition to pumpkins, plenty of farms also sell items such as apple cider or freshly baked pies. However, if you’re up for the challenge, try to use apples or pumpkins to make your own homemade pie. 


As Halloween quickly approaches, another nearby attraction is perfect for those looking to celebrate the holiday.  


They have the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze in the Sleepy Hollow/Tarrytown area, which is 30 minutes up from New Rochelle,” sophomore Timothy Bergamini said. “It’s pretty fun.” 


With over 7,000 illuminated jack o’ lanterns, a museum full of pumpkin art and lots of spooky exhibits, the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze is a one-of-a-kind event that has something for everyone. Unfortunately, with limited capacity restrictions put in place, tickets might be harder to come by this year. However, if you are looking for another activity in the historic Sleepy Hollow area, the Headless Horseman Haunted Hayride has transitioned into a drive-thru attraction with safe Covid-19 guidelines. 


Although there are many specialized attractions to visit in the fall, sometimes the best traditions can be made in the comfort of your own home or dorm. Make some snacks and enjoy a football game, drink hot cider or hot cocoa wrapped under a cozy blanket or learn how to bake a loaf of pumpkin breadMake crafts with leaves, learn to knit a scarf or have a Halloween movie night. These ideas won’t break the bank, and they still celebrate the spirit of the season. 


Venturing outside, consider spending the last few weeks of nice weather having a picnic, going on a bike ride or raking a neighbor’s leaves. Taking a hike on a trail or even just a walk around town is a wonderful way to experience the beauty of nature this time of year. 


My favorite fall tradition is looking at the trees changing colors and going on hikes to step on the crunchy leaves,” sophomore Samantha Guardino said. 


Taking part in any of these traditions with friends and family is a surefire way to enjoy the season of autumn.