Top Picks for Fall Family Fun in CNY

Top Picks for Fall Family Fun in CNY

Fall is officially here! The autumn season is loved by so many. Not only is it the kickoff of the holiday season, but there are so many fun and cozy activities to do.


The best activities are the ones the entire family can join in. Activities that are enjoyable for all age groups. Whether you are looking for traditional fun or something new, here are 10 fall activities for the whole family!


Fall Family Fun


Fall Geocaching

Geocaching is an outdoor game that requires participants to navigate to specific coordinates using a handheld GPS or a phone GPS. Once you find the location you then need to hunt for the ‘prize’ which is usually a hidden box filled with items left from other ‘hunters’. Sometimes the cache will have clues to the location of another cache.


Geocaching is fun for small children because they are going treasure hunting! It’s also enjoyable for older children and adults because there is strategy and an end goal in mind. Combine that with beautiful Upstate New York fall weather and scenery and you have the perfect family day.


Visit New York Upstate for more information on geocaching in your area. There are many free apps you can use, including Geocaching, Cachly, C:Geo, and Spyglass.


Fall Hiking

Hiking in the fall offers a breathtaking experience. Fall leaves are especially vibrant and beautiful in New York due to the unique environment and climate of the state. When it comes to adventuring with small children, it is best to keep it fairly easy. According to New York Upstate, there are 9 trails that are particularly great for when you have children in tow.


Apple Picking

A tradition you do not want to skip. Apple picking allows children to gain a sense of accomplishment after they’ve searched for the perfect apples and personally picked them. Many apple picking farms also offer homemade apple pies and other baked goods and apple cider.


Pumpkin Patch

Who doesn’t love picking the perfect pumpkin for carving, painting, or simple displaying on their front porch? Just like apple farms, there are often homemade baked goods, yummy fair foods, and warm apple cider available.


Horseback Riding

This one might not be a traditional fall activity, but it should be! Onondaga County Parks offers horse back riding from September 6-October 27, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Horses are one of the few animals that has the ability to really bond and connect with people. Your children will love spending time with their new furry friend! 


Free or Cheap Fall Family Activities


Hay Ride

Hay rides are so popular and must in the fall. Many community organizations and churches offer free hayrides. You can also usually hop on a hay ride when you’re at the farm picking apples or pumpkins. There’s no combination more nostalgic than hay rides and pumpkin or apple picking.


Corn Maze

Corn mazes are another activity that require a bit of creative thinking. Many corn mazes offer family deals and young children are often admitted for free. Springside Farm, located in Fabius NY, offers a $35 family pass which not only includes unlimited access to the corn maze, but also unlimited access to their tree maze, jungle maze, petting zoo, pedal cars, jump pad, zip lines, foosball, barrel train, wagon rides, playground and more. Children under 2 years old get in for free.


Pumpkin Carving / Pumpkin Painting

Oh course you have to carve or paint your pumpkin after you get home from the pumpkin patch. The best part about this family activity is that it’s totally free. Just use carving tools or knives from your kitchen, or children’s craft paint. Remember to always supervise.


Caramel apples

Caramel apples are a traditional fall treat, especially during the month of October. The best part about them, aside from how delicious they are, is the fact that they are super easy and simple to make. Set out bowls of assorted toppings like chopped peanuts, mini M&Ms, or toasted coconut.


If you want to keep things even more simple, buy caramel dip to set out with your toppings and cut apples into wedges.


Fall Festivals

Festivals and fairs are a great way to get your kids out and into the community. There are a lot of options for fall festivals in CNY.


Ithaca NY, September 27-29, Apple Harvest Festival

Oswego NY, October 5-6, The CNY Great Pumpkin Festival

Newark Valley NY, October 5-6, Newark Valley Apple Festival

Cortland NY, October 5-6, Great Cortland Pumpkinfest

LaFayette NY, October 12-13, LaFayette Apple Festival


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