Now that we're 'officially' into fall, it's time to start planning all those fun day-trips and weekend getaways to experience all this time of the year has to offer. Maybe start with this bucket list?

1 - Take a Scenic Chairlift Ride at McCauley Mountain: Located in Old Forge, this is one of the best ways to see the fall foliage. Make sure you call ahead to get their fall schedule: (315) 369-3225

2 - Check out the Utica Zoo's "Spooktacular:" October 28 and October 29 from 11am - 5pm (both days), is a family-friendly, Halloween event at the zoo. There will be trick-or-treating, Harvest Hayrides, and of course your chance to see all the animals at the Utica Zoo.

3 - Get a Fall-Inspired Drink at Utica Coffee Roasting Company: Nothing says "fall" quite like sipping on a pumpkin spice latte or a s'mores flavored beverage. Pick up one of these drinks or one of their other goodies, take in fall, and support a local business all at the same time.

4 - Head to a Haunted House or Escape Room: You've got plenty of options for either one of these fall activities. There are a LOT of haunted houses and escape rooms in our area.

5 - Scary Movie Marathon: Sure, this isn't just a "Central New York-Thing," but it's the perfect activity for those rainy fall days in our area. "The Exorcist," "A Nightmare on Elm Street," and "Children of the Corn," are a few ideas for your marathon, but there are TONS of others to choose from.

6 - Go for a Fall Foliage Drive: You don't have to leave town to see all the beautiful, changing colors of the leaves. Thanks to all the hills and valleys in our area, a quick drive up Higby Road or a ride through the back roads of Deerfield and Schuyler will give you the perfect view.

7 - Carve a Pumpkin: Head to Critz Farms or Candella's Farm and Greenhouses (or one of the hundreds of other places to get pumpkins in our area), pick out that perfect pumpkin and get ready to make it a scary... or fun, Halloween decoration. Plus, this is a fun activity the whole family can enjoy.

8 - Watch the Utica Comets Play: It's almost hockey season. Enjoy a fall night at the newly renovated (and newly renamed) Adirondack Bank Center at the Utica Memorial Auditorium.

9 - Visit Fly Creek Cider Mill: If you're having a hard time getting into the "fall spirit," Fly Creek Cider Mill can fix that for you. Between watching the apples being pressed into apple cider, enjoying the fall goodies and snacks at their "Snack Barn," and picking up some treats from their gift shop (apple wine and fudge, anyone?), you're sure to feel better about this time of the year.

10 - Take a Ride on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad: See the fall foliage in a unique way by taking the train from Utica up to Thendara. They have rides scheduled every Friday and Sunday through October 22nd. Visit: for more details on their fall foliage trains and other excursions they have going on.

11 - Have a Backyard Fire: Mix the cool, crisp fall air with the heat from a nice little fire and you've got yourself a perfect fall evening. Add in some adult beverages and maybe a s'more or two, and you're set.

12 - Get Lost in a Corn Maze: Just like the haunted houses and escape rooms, there are tons of corn mazes all over Central New York. Whether you're looking for a family-friendly adventure everyone can enjoy or something a little more spooky, you're sure to find exactly what you're looking for, and without having to drive hours just to experience it.

13 - Take a Day-Trip to Howe Caverns: Okay, so you can do this in the spring and summer as well, but there's something that makes it a little more "scary," when heading underground in the fall. Maybe go for their "Lantern Tour" for an extra "spooky-feeling."





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