Fun, Fall & Festive: Upstate NY in October

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Top three things that come to your mind when fall hits.. ready? Go. My list always includes apple picking, pumpkin picking and curling up next to a fire with a good book and warm drink in hand. Too often I end up going to the same apple orchards and pumpkin patches though, which sucks the fun out of exploring. But not this year! Thanks to my WONDERFUL friend Maggie, I was introduced to The Pumpkin Hollow, a super festive fall wonderland off of West Seneca Turnpike out toward OCC. How she somehow finds these places and knows more about Syracuse than I do after only living here for three years is beyond me, but hey I’m not complaining!

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If you’re headed from Syracuse toward Marcellus, you can find The Pumpkin Hollow tucked in a small field on your right, right past the Nice N’ Easy. Don’t let the name fool you, this place is filled with goodies! Offering pumpkin picking, hay rides, a corn maze, a play area for children, a small petting zoo, a haunted house (which, ok, is a glorified barn with a sheet up and some sketchy lights, I would highly recommend actually not going inside) and various grilled foods/ baked goods inside a quaint gift shop, you can plan to spend several hours here, especially if you come with children or a large group. Here’s a peek at some of the fun:

First things first was food for us (typical), so we each grabbed a hotdog and meandered around a bit, finding our way over to the petting zoo since we’re apparently still children at heart. You can find here your choice of bunnies, horses, goats and ducks, and this little guy and I bonded right away when he decided to take a nice little nibble out of my finger while I was petting him. Trust me, I feel you buddy, I’m always hungry too. Next time I’ll come more prepared with a snack or two for ya.

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Shortly after I was recovering from having a chunk of my finger bit off, this adorable little girl stole my goat friend, but really I can’t be too mad, I mean LOOK AT THE CUTENESS.

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Seriously, if you have younger siblings or nieces/nephews, godchildren/grandchildren, consider spending an afternoon here before the weather turns. The entire facility really is devoted to family activities.

As the horrendously broke college students that we are, we obviously made the executive decision to spend all of our money on food (hotdogs, pumpkin bread and chocolate), causing us to leave empty handed in the pumpkin department. BUT, if you’re someone who goes to a pumpkin patch to actually, you know, pick pumpkins, you’ll find plenty of options here! Your typical spherical, orange pumpkins were organized by size and price range, and there were sections of more funky, green and white pumpkins to choose from as well.

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Of course, you can’t forget your gourds, which the interior designer in me always drools over- they make for the perfect touch of fall inside or outside of the house!

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If you’re looking for a way to spend the last few beautiful days that CNY wants to offer us, or looking to decorate your home for the upcoming holidays, stray away from Wegmans this year and come check out some locally-grown produce instead! Support a local farmer and spend some time with family and friends, what could be better.

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