Posted on

Where to U-Pick Christmas Trees on Long Island

Christmas Trees

Have an old fashion family Christmas and cut down you own tree just like the Griswold’s did in Christmas Vacation. Gather the family, bundle up and get ready for a U-Pick Christmas Tree outing that they will remember for years to come. Nothing can beat the smell of a real Christmas tree and it’s also environmentally-friendly and recyclable. Supporting community tree farmers also benefits the local economy.

Dart’s Christmas Tree Farm

2355 Main Bayview Road

Southold, NY, 11791

(631) 765-4148

Dates: Starting the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve

Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm/ Weekends 12-4pm

Tree Varieties: Pre-cut Fraser fir & Concolor fir

Website: http://www.dartstreefarm.com/

Dart’s is a three generation owned tree farm located on the North Fork on the Eastern end of Long Island. Walk through the Magic Forest and pick out the Christmas tree of your dreams, they will even cut it down for you.

 

Tilden Lane Farm

48 Wyckoff Street

Greenlawn, NY 11740

(631) 261-6392

Dates: Saturday November 25- Sunday November 26 Saturday December 2 – Sunday December 3 Saturday December 9 – Sunday December 10

Hours: 9 am – 3 pm

Tree Varieties: Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Balsam Fir, Concolor Fir, Canaan Fir, Blue Spruce, White Spruce, White Pine, Scotch Pine, Austrian Pine, Serbian Spruce, Nordmann Fir, Grand Fir and Norway Spruce.

Pet Friendly: Leashed dogs are welcomed

Website: http://www.christmastreesny.org/

Tilden Lane Farms is a member of the Christmas Tree Farmers Association of New York. Tilden Lane is family-owned and operated Christmas tree farm since 1793. They offer pre-cut trees as well and u-pick trees.

 

Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm

30105 Main Street

Cutchogue, NY11935

(631) 734-8641

Dates & Times: 7 days a week 9am-6pm

Types of Trees: Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir, Blue Spruce.

Pet Friendly: Leashed dogs are welcome

Website: santaschristmastreefarm.com

Santa’s Christmas Tree Farm is a great place for family outings, school trips, and Boy and Girl Scout trips. They have a tree shaker, provide free saws, and trim the bottom branches off the tree if needed. You have a large selection of trees to choose from, there are 45K trees that grow on the farm.

 

Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm

20685 Main Road

Mattituck, NY, 11952

(631) 298-4619

Dates: Opening on Black Friday (November 25th) through Christmas Eve (December 24th) 7 days a week

Hours: 9am -5 pm

Tree Varieties: Douglas Fir Trees, Fraser Fir, Spruce Trees, Balled trees and Charlie Brown Trees

Pet Policy: No pets allowed

Website: shamrockchristmastreefarm.com

Shamrock Christmas Tree Farm is family owned and operated since 1987. Shamrock grows some of the most beautiful trees on over 20 acres of land.

 

Matt and Mike’s Christmas Tree Farm

323 Weeks Ave

Manorville NY, 11949

(631) 874-3551

Dates: Open every day except Tuesday, starting the day after Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve.

Hours: 8:00 am to 4:30 pm

Tree Varieties: Norway Spruce, Blue Spruce, White Spruce, Serbian Spruce, Balsam Fir, Concolor Fir, etc.

Pet Friendly: Leashed dogs welcome

Website: mattschristmastreefarm.com

Matt and Mike’s Christmas Tree Farm provides you all the tools you need to cut down your Christmas tree including, bow saws, a trailer ride back and forth, netting, loading and tying assistance and even candy canes for the kids. They also have live trees in pots, burlap balls or you can have a tree dug from the field.

 

Lewin Farm

812 Sound Avenue

Wading River, NY, 11792

(631) 929-4327

Dates: Dates are approximate, please call to confirm

Hours: 9am-4pm (arrive by 3pm to have enough time)

Tree Varieties: Douglas Fir, Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce and White Pine

Website: www.lewinfarm.com/christmas-trees/

The Baiting Hollow Nursery at Lewin Farms is a great place to find a Christmas tree. They provide tractor rides out to the field and back, rent saws for $5, wrap the trees and help customers tie them onto their car.

 

Zuhoski Farm

11825 Oregon Road

Cutchogue, NY, 11935

(The Northwest corner of Bridge Lane & Route 48, Cutchogue, New York 11935)

(631) 734-5036

Date & Time: Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00am to dusk

Tree Varieties: Fraser and Douglas Fir

Website: zuhoskifarms.com

Zuhoski Farms has been around since the early 1900’s. During the holiday season, you can cut your own Christmas trees and buy wreaths, white pine roping, kissing balls, grave blankets and more.

Posted on

Fun Things to do with your Pets during the Holidays

pets & holidays

Santa Claus is coming to town! Children aren’t the only ones are taking posed photos with Santa anymore, fur babies and other domestic pets are welcome now too. Bring your pets to take some festive photos with St. Nick. Capture magical moments with keepsake photos and make memories that will last a lifetime. This holiday season; engage your pets in fun seasonal activities and traditions such as taking photos with Santa and bringing them to an ugly sweater party for pets and owners.

Paws & Claus (domestic pets only)

Broadway Commons

358 N Broadway

Hicksville, NY 11801

(516) 939-0679

Time: 7-9pm

Dates: November 21, 28 and December 5, 12, 19.

Time for Paws and Claus! Pets get an exclusive photo session with Santa at the Broadway Commons. Get ready for Christmas card photos, dress up your pet in a Christmas outfit or show off a shiny winter coat.

 

Pet Photos With Santa

Walt Whitman Shops

160 Walt Whitman Rd

Huntington Station, NY 11746

(Santa is in Center Court)

(631) 271-1746

Times: 7-9pm

Dates: Sunday, November 12 and December 10

Sit, stay and pose for pet photos with Santa. Bring your furry friends and pose with Santa in Center Court of the Walt Whitman Shops.

 

STAR Foundation Annual Fundraiser

Agway

295 NY-25A

Mt Sinai, NY 11766

Date: Saturday, December 2nd

Time: 11am to 3pm

Price: $10.00 for one beautiful color photo with a frame.

Additional copies (same pose/no frame) $5.00 each.

If you use own camera, there is $7.00 sitting fee (no portrait given.)

Capture the magic of season with a beautiful color photograph; bring your pet for a posed picture with Santa Claus. Pets will receive a special treat after visiting with Santa. All proceeds benefit the Save The Animals Rescue Foundation. STAR rescues and provides rehabilitation services for injured and orphaned Long Island animals and releases them back into their natural habitat.

 

Harbor Pets Ugly Sweater Holiday Party

Harbor Pets

120 Main St

Greenport, NY 11944

(631)-477-1518

Time: 5-8 pm

Date: December 16th

National Ugly Sweater Day is December 16th. Cats, dogs and other domestic pets can join the party now too at Harbor Pets Ugly Sweater Holiday Party. Join other felines and canines and pet owners for great photo ops, an ugly sweater contest and refreshments.

 

Petco Photos with Santa (Digital Photo Experience)

Location: At your local Petco or Unleashed by Petco stores

(Call your local store for more details)

Dates & Times: Saturday, December 2nd (1–4 pm)

Saturday, December 9th (1-4pm)

Saturday, December 16th (1–4 pm)

Cost: $9.95 donation

Bring your pets to take a photo with Santa while helping homeless animals in need. Petco is partnering with Santa’s Helpers for a digital photo experience. 100% of donations go to homeless animals through the All for Holiday Homes fundraiser. If you are looking for a holiday gift for an animal loving friend or family member, purchase the 2018 Petco Foundation calendar and coupon book for only $15. All proceeds help animals find good homes.

Posted on

The Best Holiday Shows Based on Christmas Movies

Holiday Shows

Did you know that some of the best holiday and Christmas movies are also plays and musicals?  The best part is you don’t have to travel all the way into NYC to see these plays; they are located right on Long Island. Make the holidays magical and memorable; plan a family outing to one of these holiday shows.

A Christmas Story

Dates: December 15, 2017 – December 27, 2017

Location: Patchogue Theatre

71 E Main St, Patchogue, NY 11772

Price: From $29-89 & Student Rush: $35 (1 hr before show with student ID)

Tickets: thegateway.org

A Christmas Story, The Musical depicts the timeless holiday favorite where Ralphie tries to convince his parents that they should buy him a Red Ryder B.B for Christmas. Enjoy iconic scenes like Flick getting his tongue stuck to the flagpole, the leg lamp in the window and the pink bunny suit. Get your tickets now, I triple-dog-dare you!

 

Frosty

Location: John W. Engeman Theater

250 Main Street

Northport, NY 11768

Dates: November 18 – December 31, 2017

Tickets: engemantheater.com

Frosty the Snowman is not just a beloved holiday song and childhood cartoon, it’s also a play. Frosty tries to save the town of Chillsville when Ethel Pierpot’s evil machine starts melting all the snow. Will Frosty make it back to the North Pole? Head over the hills of snow in Northport and see this timeless classic.

 

A Charlie Brown Christmas Live

Location: Madison Theatre at Molloy College

1000 Hempstead Avenue

Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Public Square Lobby

Dates: December 28 – December 30, 2017

Tickets: madisontheatreny.org

Price: $45-$95

The animated special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, aired over 50 years ago on television. Watch this story come to life in a stage adaptation featuring your favorite Peanut characters and classic score by Vince Guaraldi. Join Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang as they uncover the true meaning of Christmas.

 

Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Location: Tilles Center

720 Northern Boulevard Brookville, NY 11548-1300

Date: November 26, 2017 (Family workshop 1pm, Show starts 2pm)

Tickets: tillescenter.org

Tilles Your Way: (Buy 3 or more) prices: $53, $44, $35 (Prices reflect a 10% subscription discount and include a $3 facility fee)

Prices: Regular prices: $58, $48, $38 (prices include a $3 facility fee)

Do you recall the most famous reindeer of all? That’s right, Rudolf! The 1964 animated television special is soaring off the screen and hitting the stage. Join Rudolf, Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snow Monster as they help Santa save Christmas.

 

It’s A Wonderful Life

Location: Suffolk Theater

118 E Main Street

Riverhead, NY 11901

Date & Time: Sunday December 17, 2017 at 6:00PM  (Bar & Restaurant open at 4:30 Show at 6pm)

Price: $15, $20, $30 (Ticket options for this event includes row seating and cabaret seating)

Tickets: www.suffolktheater.com

The 1946 film, A Wonderful Life, is based on the short story, The Greatest Gift. After George Bailey wishes he was never been born, an angel is sent to earth to show him how many lives he impacted and how life would be different if he was never born. Watch A Wonderful Life performed live in the style of an old time radio show at Suffolk Theater’s state of the art marquee.

Posted on

Breakfast, Brunch and Dinner with Santa Claus

Selfies with Santa

Year after year you leave plate out of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa and go to sleep. What is you had the opportunity to actually dine with Santa and have breakfast, brunch or even dinner with him? Share this beloved holiday tradition with your kids and plan a festive day the entire family can enjoy.

Brunch with Santa

Window on the Lake

235 Lake Shore Rd

Lake Ronkonkoma, NY 11779

Date & Time: Sunday, December 17th (Seating starts at 10:30am)

Reservations are a must. 2 hour session 10am-3pm. Call 631-737-0088.

Cost: Adults $44.95

Children 3-12 years old $19.95

Enjoy an elaborate buffet brunch with Santa including a Belgian waffles, a carving station, omelets, pastas, hot buffet, cold dishes, soft serve ice cream sundae bar, desserts, etc. Drinks include unlimited soda, juice, coffee and tea.

 

Brunch with Santa

Lombardi’s On the Bay

600 S Ocean Ave

Patchogue, NY 11772

Date & Time: Saturday, December 16th (Seatings at 11am and 11:15pm)

Cost: Adults $36+ tax

Children 3-10 $18+ tax

Children under 3, no charge

Call 631- 654-8970 for reservations.

Nothing compares to a delicious breakfast on the bay with Santa. Load up on omelets, cold antipasto, salads, bread, carving station meats, pasta, dessert, unlimited soda, etc.

 

Brunch with Santa

Giorgios Baiting Hollow

224 Smithtown Blvd

Nesconset, NY 11767

Dates: December 10th & 17th

Cost: Adults $38.95

Kids 4-12 years old $21.95

​To make a reservation, call 631 727-6076 to reserve a spot.

​Enjoy an award winning buffet brunch at Giorgio’s in Baiting Hollow. Brunch includes a plethora of items: omelets, French toast, pancakes, Italian cookies and pastries, a chocolate fountain, ice cream bar, carving station and much more. Santa will be handing out treats and taking pictures with all the kids.

 

Santa Brunch

Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center

431 E Main St

Riverhead, NY 11901

Date &Time: December 10th 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Seatings: 10am, 12pm, 2pm.

Cost: Children 3-12: $24.95 (Members – $22.95) Adults: $49.95 (Members – $42.95) Children 2 & under are free.

Celebrate the holidays at the annual Santa Brunch at the Long Island Aquarium. A buffet brunch will be served in the Sea Star Ballroom. At the brunch, kids will make a special holiday keepsake to bring home. After brunch, walk around and explore the sea life in the aquarium. Make sure to bring your camera to capture photos with Santa and your favorite exhibits.

 

Breakfast with Santa and Friends

United Skates of America Roller Skating Center

1276 Hicksville Rd

Seaford, NY 11783

516-795-5474

Date: Sunday December 17th

Time: 9:30am-11:00am 

Cost: $20 per adult

$15 per child

Children 2 and under are free

(This is a non skating event)

This event will sell out. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

Come down to United Skates of America, Mrs. Claus is whipping up a delicious buffet breakfast including scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon, bagels, fruit punch, coffee and tea. Santa, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer all will be there!

 

Brunch with Santa

The Crescent Beach Club

333 Bayville Ave

Bayville, NY 11709

Cost: $40 plus tax for Adults

$20 plus tax for Children

Reservations required. Call 516-628-3000

Brunch is always better at the beach! Enjoy a Sunday Brunch with all the holiday trimmings, including a free picture with Santa Clause himself. There will be face painting for children and mimosa’s or Bloody Mary’s for the adults.

 

Dinner with Santa/Brunch with Santa

Black Forest Brew Haus

2015 New Hwy

Farmingdale, NY 11735

Reservations are required. Call 631-391-9500 to reserve a table.

Dinner with Santa: December 9th & 16th 5pm to 7pm

Cost: Adults $ 55.95

Kids under 10 $25.95

Kids under 4 $15.95

Brunch with Santa: December 3rd, 10th & 17th. Seatings at 10am 12 noon and 2pm.

Cost: Adults $33.95 per adult

Kids under 10 $20.95

Kids under 4 $9.95

Join Santa for his two favorite meals, dinner and brunch. Pick your favorite session and enjoy a German inspired meal with Der Weihnachtsmann (Santa Claus.)

Posted on

Countdown to the Holidays with Christmas Craft Beers

Christmas Craft Beers

Mrs. Claus is always experimenting with new recipes in her kitchen at the North Pole. Long Island breweries are no different; they brew innovative beers using a variety of ingredients in their Christmas craft beers. This holiday season, breweries are showcasing seasonal ingredients including maple, cranberries, butternut squash, oranges and candy canes. They are also brewing up heavy, dark, complex, winter seasonals. If you’re counting down to Christmas with a craft beer advent calendar, be sure to stock up on these holiday favorites.

Lithology Brewing-Farmingdale, NY

Watermill Holiday Ale-8.25% abv

Looking for a seasonal beer that isn’t too heavy? Try the Watermill Holiday Ale made with butternut squash. The winter squash gives this beer a sweet yet nutty flavor. This ale is 8.25% abv, but the squash flavor keeps it light and smooth.

Maple Cinnamon Amber Ale- 5.1% abv

This ale has a beautiful amber hue and the aromas of maple and cinnamon smell like fresh baked cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. This ale isn’t over sweet or spiced, making it easy to drink. The Maple Cinnamon Amber Ale has all the flavors you would want in a fall cider, but inside a well-crafted beer.

Spiced Rock Hammer Vanilla Porter- 6% abv

This porter is vanilla, spice and everything nice. This beer contains real vanilla beans, chocolate, coffee and of course a little seasonal spice. The roasted malt flavor is sure to warm your soul on a cold winter day without the heaviness of a stout.

 

Spider Bite Beer Co. – Holbrook, NY

Cran It In Your Mouth-6% abv

Cranberries are holiday staple. Did you know that cranberries are considered a Native American superfood? This cranberry ale perfectly balances sweet and tart. You’ll be thankful for this beer this holiday season.

Boris Jr. – 11.5% abv

If you love Boris the Spider Russian Imperial Stout, you will love this specialty imperial stout, Boris Jr. Enjoy aromas of chocolate, coffee and a variety of malts as you sip this strong specialty stout.

Overbite- 11% abv

Overbite is a black double IPA. This beer was brewed to be strong and keep you warm on cold winter nights. Overbite has a toasty malt flavor that is slightly bitter but satisfying. Watch out Stone and Odell Brewing, Spider Bite’s black double IPA is top-notch.

 

1940s Brewing Company-Holbrook, NY

 Appley Ever After (Gluten-Reduced Seasonal) – 6% abv

1940s Brewing Company has a gluten reduced option on tap, made by a Celiac for Celiacs. Gluten-free brewer, Michelle Pagano, uses apple juice with a hint of honey. An enzyme called Clarity Ferm, reduces gluten down to a level acceptable for celiacs. Whether you are gluten-free or not, Appley Ever After is definitely worth trying.

Orange Whip (Imperial Oatmeal Stout)-8.5% abv

Oatmeal gives this beer a smooth and nutty flavor while the orange peels and vanilla beans give it a creamsicle like feel. This beer is dark and creamy with a full-bodied roasted flavor. This imperial stout is strong and sure to provide winter warmth.

 

Po’Boy Brewery– Port Jefferson Station, NY

Candy Cane Cider

You don’t have to travel all the way to North Pole for festive ciders from Po’ Boy Brewery. Candy Cane Cider has a sweet peppermint twist, reminiscent of the Christmas confectionery treat. This cider will leave a slight tingle on your lips and a minty fresh aftertaste.

Gingerbread Cookie Cider

Taste, taste fast as you can, this cider tastes just like a Gingerbread Man! The Gingerbread Cookie Cider has notes of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Enjoy the seasonal spice of this Christmas cookie inspired favorite.

Spice Fig Beer

Forget the figgy pudding; this Spice Fig Beer embodies the flavors of the iconic English dessert. The Spice Fig Beer has notes of dried fruits, nutmeg, cinnamon and molasses. This beer will have you singing, we all want some figgy beer!

Po’ Boy Brewing is adding new ciders and beers to their lineup every two weeks, go and try them before they tap out.

 

Great South Bay Brewing– Bay Shore, NY

Sleigh Ryed-6.6% abv

Great South Bay’s red rye winter ale, is worth traveling over the hills of snow for. It has piney notes of juniper berries, sweet malts and a hint of spice from the rye. Be sure to have presents under the tree and Sleigh Ryed in the fridge this holiday season.

 

Brewers Collective-Bay Shore

Long May She Reign-10% abv

The Brewers Collective is known for brewing a variety of constantly changing beers. Their winter seasonal is named after the thrilling fantasy, Long May She Reign. This imperial stout has notes of chocolate and coffee and reigns strong at 10% abv.

 

Posted on

Best LI Restaurants to go to for Thanksgiving

Are you debating if your family should go out to eat this Thanksgiving? Here are 3 reasons to go out to eat for Thanksgiving dinner.

Bountiful Cornucopia of Choices

Restaurants offer lavish buffets and prix-fixe menus. If you’re not into traditional Thanksgiving foods, there are a plethora of other options that you can choose from. Restaurants also offer unique spins on the traditional Thanksgiving dishes if you’re bored of the same dishes year after year. There are also kid-friendly options like chicken fingers, pizza and macaroni and cheese for picky eaters. Anyone who has dietary restrictions or food allergies can order off the regular menu. If you have a big sweet tooth, there are a variety of desserts including pies, cakes and ice creams that you can order.

Less Stress

Treat mom, grandma or whoever does the holiday cooking in your family to a labor –free holiday. Put the chefs to work and let the host sit down, drink a glass of wine and enjoy spending time with the family this Thanksgiving. I’m sure the usual cook/host will be very thankful for no food shopping, cooking and cleaning this holiday.

No Leftovers

Rest assured, there will be no need to repurpose leftover turkey for a whole week if you go out to eat for Thanksgiving. Honestly, do you really eat turkey more than once a year? Now you won’t have to feel guilty if you throw away and leftover food that you have no room to store. Let the restaurants offer turkey noodle soup and turkey sandwich specials the day after Thanksgiving.

The Carlturn

1899 Hempstead Turnpike

East Meadow, NY 11554

(516) 542-0700 (Reservations Suggested)

Cost: Thanksgiving Dinner– Palm Court, Gold Cost Room & Gatsby Room

*$65.00 per person, *$30.00 Per Child (3-10 yrs.) *Plus Tax, Gratuity & Beverages

Thanksgiving Buffet-Ballroom & Drawing Room

*$49.00 per person, *$27.00 Per Child (3-10 yrs.) *Plus Tax & 20% Gratuity

The Carltun has a large spread for their Thanksgiving Buffet including Tuscan antipasto, assorted pastas, a carving station, salmon, chicken, salads, kid friendly choices, cakes, pies and ice cream, etc.

Westbury Manor

1100 Jericho Turnpike

Westbury, NY 11590

(516) 333-7117

Cost: Thanksgiving Day Buffet: $49.00 per person All children under 10 yrs. $21.00

(All Kid’s Entrees include Ice Cream & Soft Drinks)

À La Carte Dinner Menu (Includes appetizers, soups and salads, pastas and entrées)

Wesbury Manor’s roasted Vermont turkey is sliced and served with a side of sweet potatoes, French green beans, chestnut stuffing, cranberry sauce and turkey gravy for only $39 a person or $21 per child.

 The Milleridge Inn

585 N Broadway

Jericho, NY 11753

(516) 931-2201

Cost: In the Cottage $55.95 (+ tax) Sit Down Prix Fixe 11am-6pm

Grand Buffet $55.95 (+ Tax) Grand Buffet 11am-4pm (seating every ½ hour)

Enjoy walking through the historic Milleridge village of specialty shops including the bakery, flower shop, candy shop and boutique stores before or after your meal. The grounds are beautifully decorated, making it a great place for family photo-ops.

Piccola Bussola

970 W Jericho Turnpike

Huntington, NY 11743

(631) 692-6300

Cost: (Family-Style A La Carte Menu, prices as marked on menu)

 La Bussola Ristorante

40 School Street

Glen Cove, NY 11542

(516) 671-2100

Cost: (Price Fixe Menu: $49 Adults & Children 12 and under $22)

Piccola Bussola

159 Jericho Tpke, Mineola, New York 11501

(516) 294-4620

Cost: (Buffet Family Dinner: $45 Adults & Children 12 and under $22)

If you decide to dine at Piccola Bussola, try the sweet potato gnocchi with maple cinnamon sage brown butter and the pumpkin ravioli, these pasta dishes with a fall twist are fabulous.

Thyme

8 Tower Place

Roslyn, NY 11576

516-625-2566

Thursday, November 23rd (1pm-7pm)

Thyme will serve Brunch on Friday, Nov. 24th (11:30am-3pm)

(Reservations require credit card authorization)

Cost: All menus & pricing subject to change, based on availability

Thyme works closely with local farms and uses the best quality seasonal ingredients. Enjoy a Thanksgiving Feast that highlights the seasons best.

Posted on

Great Outdoor Activities to do this Fall on Long Island

Great Outdoor Activities to do this Fall on Long Island

During the fall, Long Island is a great place to enjoy the mild weather, spend time with friends and family and explore seasonal themed activities. Here are some great outdoor activities that you will want to add to your autumn bucket list.

Pumpkin Patches

Nothing quite says fall like pumpkins. There are several u-pick pumpkin patches and farms that where you can walk through the fields and pick the perfect pumpkin fresh from the vine. Pumpkins can be used in a variety of ways, they can made into sweet and savory dishes like pie, soups, or breads, carved into jack-o-lanterns, or used as ornamental displays. Spending the day at a pumpkin patch is a fun outing that the whole family will enjoy.

Pick Apples

Apple picking is a great family activity, date or day trip with friends. Trek out to the east end where there are plenty of orchards and farm stands with a variety of apples to choose from. Many places allow visitors to pick apples and as well as other types of fruit and vegetables that are ripe during the fall including tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. Keep in mind that apples come into bloom during different times a year so plan your trip to coincide with apples varieties that you enjoy the most.

Get Scared

Halloween is the biggest fall holiday. Haunted houses are a spook-tacular way to get into the Halloween spirit. If you’re a fan of The Walking Dead, check out NYZ Apocalypse, they offer an interactive zombie survival experience. Bayville Scream Park offers 6 different attractions including Bloodworth Haunted Mansion, Uncle Needle’s Fun House of Fear, Temple of Terror, Zombie Pirates, Evil in the Woods and The Cage. Bayville also offers a tame Halloween experience for children during daylight hours called Kids “Not So Scary” Days. Other haunted attractions on Long Island include Halloween themed escape rooms, haunted mansions, castles and barns.

Watch the Fall Foliage

Fall is an ideal time to watch the leaves transform into beautiful shades of oranges, yellows and reds. Bayard Cutting Arboretum, Sunken Meadow State Park, Massapequa Preserve and Sands Point Preserve have hiking and walking trails with natural glory everywhere you look. Some places even offer free guided tours during the fall season to help visitors appreciate the beauty of nature. Create a fall scavenger hunt to keep your kids observant and entertained during the walk. Make sure to dress warmly, wear a comfortable pair of shoes and of course enjoy the view.

Escape from aMAZEing Corn Mazes

Did you know that some farms not only grow crops but also provide visitors with other activities such as corn mazes? Find your way though the winding path of a corn maze while getting lost in all the twists and turns retracing your steps while trying to navigate your way out. Be sure to check out F&W Schmitt Family Farm, Harbes Family Farm and Mattituck Barnyard “aMAZing” corn mazes this fall.

Posted on

How to Have a Successful Halloween Party for Kids

You are about to launch the biggest and best Halloween party ever. Your kids and their friends are ecstatic about the activities, decorations, and creepy creations. Here are some tips and suggestions to assist you in your preparation.

Get Organized

Search the web and read books and magazines for interesting new ideas and activities. Sit down and make a list of everything that needs to be done and all the items that need to be purchased. If you are ordering any items online, make sure to allow plenty of time for shipping, exchanges, and returns. Make a list of all the perishable foods that need to be purchased and place your catering order 24-48 hours in advance.

Create a Scary Haunted House

A haunted house is a great addition to any Halloween party. Select an area of the house or yard (an outdoor shed, a porch area, or a specific room in the house) and start setting up in advance because it will take some time to create and prepare the haunted house. Use plenty of spider webs, life-size scary figures and spooky music to create the perfect ambience.

Prepare Ghoulish Goodies

Food and beverage selections are a great way to get creative. For example, fill a rubber glove with water, freeze and remove the glove. Place the ice hand inside a bowl of blood red fruit punch. Wrap hot dogs in strips of puff pastry to create miniature mummies. Create ghoulish names for all of the food selections and write them on small place cards.

Stock-Up on Halloween Candy There is a saying about purchasing Halloween candy, if you think you have enough candy, go out and buy some more. You can never have too many goodies to pass out to kids, you can even stock up on supplies a month before the party. Hand out goody bags either before or after the festivities begin, write the kid’s names on each bag in case they get misplaced.

 Host a Costume Contest

Dressing up in costumes is one of the best parts of Halloween. Hold a costume contest for the most original, the scariest and the best overall costume and encourage all the children invited to the party to dress up. You can even hold a separate contest for all the adults and helpers at the party. Have the guests vote by secret ballot and hand out special prizes to all the winners.

 Halloween Bingo

Have a Halloween bingo party, the equipment is minimal and all ages can participate; you will be amazed at how engaged the guests are. This will become an annual event that everyone looks forward to. Give out fun prizes such as cash, trinkets, or small gift cards to the winners.

Planning a Halloween party does not have to be difficult task, follow these tips and you will have the most successful and exciting Halloween party ever. Guests will be looking forward to your party for years to come.

Posted on

Ways to Enjoy your Backyard Garden this Fall

Ways to Enjoy your Backyard Garden this Fall

Ways to Enjoy your Backyard Garden this Fall

Fall certainly has its benefits; the cool weather makes it pleasant to be outdoors and embrace the beauty of nature before the winter arrives. Your backyard should showcase what you enjoy; it should be a space that reflects your personality while accenting the exterior of your home. Here are a few ideas that will enhance to your backyard enjoyment during the fall months.

Plant some Veggies

Fall is a great time for gardening; many crops grow best during the cool weather. Several plants need to be watered less when it’s cold. Many leafy vegetables including kale, cabbage and Swiss chard grow best in cool weather. Experts suggest planning young plants rather than seeds and fertilizing before it gets too cold. Other vegetables that grow well in the fall include beats, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, peas, spinach, turnip, radishes, eggplant, cucumbers and squash. Fall gardens are also typically cheaper to create and maintain, just another reason to start planting. Fall is also a great time to repair summer lawn damage by seeding and fertilizing the bare spots on the grass.

Build a Butterfly House

Did you know that birds aren’t the only ones that need a home in your backyard? It turns out that you can attract more butterflies by building a butterfly house. Butterfly houses are tall and narrow structures with a few vertical slits in the front. They serve as shelter for butterflies during the colder months. A great way to add security to the butterflies’ home is by adding tree bark in a vertical position; this provides better protection and gives the butterflies something to cling onto when they go into hibernation. A butterfly home needs to be set up in a sunny location, mounted against a wall or wooden pole about 4 feet off the ground.

Prepare for Spring

Did you know that the fall is great time to start preparing your garden for next spring? Some plants need to set their roots before the ground freezes. Some of these plants include daffodils, tulips, hyacinths, and crocus. Perennial flowers are great additions to fall gardens because they come back every season without needing to be replanted. If you don’t have a green thumb, these flowers are beautiful and low-maintenance. Other flower options include mums, peonies, hibiscus, asters, and coral bells.

Create a Backyard Oasis

Create an area in the backyard where you can relax and watch the changing leaves. Take advantage of the end of the season patio furniture sales and score some great deals on outdoor furniture. Adding a bench, hammock or swing are great ways to provide comfortable and cozy seating. Buy or build a fire pit and gather around with friends and family, roast some hotdogs or make everyone’s favorite campfire treat, s’mores. Enhance the ambiance of your garden by adding string lights to illuminate the backyard during those autumn nights. Add a garden gnome, they are good luck and protect the garden.