Apples to apples…to vodka
By Francesca Bruno
This is the time of year when many upstate New Yorkers are rushing to their local farms for a favorite seasonal beverage: apple cider. But soon you may start seeing something else—a more refined beverage made from apples. No, it’s not hard cider; in fact, it doesn’t even taste like apples. The product is vodka. And it just might be coming to a liquor store near you.
That’s the hope of Derek Grout of Golden Harvest Farm in Valatie, a family-owned and operated business, known at this time of year for their apples and delectable cider donuts. The farm itself dates back to the 1940s, when Dan and Madeline Zinke purchased it, turning the 50-acres of land into a viable orchard, complete with a cold storage building and partially-enclosed farm market.
A third generation member of the founding family, retail manager Derek Grout had visions of bigger things for the modest farm, located just south of Albany. Two-and-a-half years ago, his friend-turned-businesspartner Tom Crowell suggested the idea of making vodka from apples. They attended a seminar at a winery in New Hampshire, viewed a demonstration and soon after, the two formed Harvest Spirits.
“There’s limitless sales potential in this,” said Grout. “We have plenty of apples and can press them year round.”
Apples, like other vegetables or fruits, can be made into vodka because they contain sugars. Traditionally, vodkas have been made with potatoes or corn, but the use of the apple has been catching on in places like Scotland and Germany. Grout would be one of the few businesses in the area that distill from a “single-source” location; and as far as apples go, the concept of vodka made from the fruit is still a fairly unique idea in this area. Its potential profitability was certainly a plus for Grout.
“We’re taking the cider apple surplus, which is worth five cents a pound, and bottling it to get a higher value,” he said.
At 1,000 gallons of cider per 50-60 gallons of actual vodka, that’s not bad. The first batch probably won’t be available for shipping for about a month. That’s because Harvest Spirits will be conducting batch rather than continuous distilling—heating 100 gallons of cider at a time—as well as closely monitoring the temperature to make sure it’s just right. Although there’s no aging involved, the process is a maze of pipes, heating and cooling, and alcohol separation.
“It’s very much like refining crude oil,” said Grout.
The creation of Harvest Spirits comes on the heels of new legislation passed by Governor Eliot Spitzer that allows farm-based distilleries to sell to consumers and set up tasting rooms. However, Grout admits that it’s been a slow process. Even though they’ve had the equipment since April, they’re still waiting for their license. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, which handles the licensing process for wineries and distilleries in the United States, requires operators to purchase equipment first, before talks of licensure can even begin. So while it’s already taken them six months to get a hold of the equipment (plus two-and-a-half days to set it up), it will be at least another six months from that purchase until they can legally operate.
Grout, who pointed out the tags that still dangle from the pipes and tanks, is raring to go. For one thing, the bottles have been ordered and the marketing plan is nearly complete. The vodka is to be called “Core,” a double entendre referring to both the apples from which it is made and the “core” tank of the machinery where the vodka is processed. Since the drink itself will have a “neutral taste”—because any actual apple flavor would have to be artificially added and an apple-flavored vodka would “pigeonhole” their product—Grout and Crowell decided to move away from an apple theme on the label, relying only on the brand name to convey the vodka’s origins and a “distilled in small batches” script below to inform the consumer of its handmade quality. The bottle itself will be simplistic, squat and silk-screened. To develop the product, Grout sought the help of a marketing firm out of San Francisco and a marketer with whom Grout once worked when he was in the field himself in Boston.
“People are getting mind-numbing marketing thrown at them,” said Grout, who added that conducting studies would only provide them with a guess of what people might want. “We’re trying to look more expensive, but position ourselves away from the other vodkas that are already out there.”
While ambitions are high, for now they’re realistic. Grout says Harvest Spirits will be doing their own distribution to cut back on costs and distributing only to liquor stores in Valatie and Kinderhook. But he’s also hoping that word will spread, as New York City residents travel and take up second homes in the upstate area and perhaps bring some Core vodka back down to the city with them. Although their marketing niche has yet to be determined, Grout is relying on customers’ knowledge, tastes and desire to buy local.
Where the business will go once it has started up is uncertain as of yet. Grout says they probably won’t be focusing on making vodka from other fruits, adding that his decision to do so was influenced by his father Alan’s penchant for their apple crop. He also doubts internet sales. But Grout did express some interest in making a gin or vanilla infused vodka at some point, trying to keep the flavors as natural as possible.
While making an educated guess that the future of drinks will be more refined, not knowing if this particular venture will yield profit hasn’t phased Grout, who notes that his first duty is to helping to run the farm.
“We’re taking a giant leap forward,” he said.
Golden Harvest is located at 3074 US Route 9 in Valatie. For more information call 758.7683 or go to www.goldenharvestfarms.com.
9 nifty things to do this fall
By Francesca Bruno
Check out the leaves
Main Street / Route 7A Manchester, VT www.manchestervermont.net
Mohonk Mountain House New Paltz www.mohonk.com
Adirondack Scenic Railroad Lake Placid to Saranac Lake www.adirondackrr.com
Take a hike
Prospect Mountain Lake George www.adk.org/trails
Appalachian Trail: Glastenbury Mountain Bennington, VT www.appalachiantrai.org
Mount Greylock Summit Lanesborough, MA www.mass.gov/dcr/parks/mtGreylock
Visit a winery
Windham Vineyard and Winery Windham www.windhamvineyard.com
Brookview Station at Goold’s Orchard Castleton www.brookviewstationwinery.com
Hudson-Chatham Winery Ghent www.hudson-chathamwinery.com
Go apple or pumpkin picking
Bellinger’s Orchard Fultonville www.bellingersorchard.com
Bowman Orchards Rexford www.bowmanorchards.com
Indian Ladder Farms Altamont www.indianladderfarms.com
Lose yourself in a corn maze
Liberty Ridge Farms Schaghticoke www.libertyridgefarmmaze.com
Ellms Family Farm Ballston Spa www.ellmsfarms.com
Hull-O Farms Durham www.hull-o.com
Go for a bike ride
Erastus Corning Riverside Preserve Albany www.albany.org
Mohawk-Hudson Colonie Trail www.geocities.com/mhbway
Bikeway Niskayuna Trail www.geocities.com/mhbway
Bikeway Rotterdam Trail www.geocities.com/mhbway
Ashuwillticook Rail Trail Lanesborough, Cheshire, Adams, MA www.mass.gov/dcr
Enjoy a hot air balloon ride
Adirondack Balloon Flights Glens Falls www.adkballoonflights.com
Blue Sky Balloons Beacon www.blueskyballoons.com
Above Reality Hot Air Balloon Rides Jericho, VT www.balloonvermont.com
Knit something warm
Wool’N’Word West Sand Lake hometown.aol.com/sbo12441
BeauKnits Ltd. Cohoes www.beauknitsltd.com
Saratoga Needle Arts Saratoga Springs www.saratoganeedlearts.com
Decorate for the season
Christmas Tree Shops Albany www.christmastreeshops.com
Wit’s End Giftique Clifton Park www.witsendgiftique.com
Deanna’s Country Shoppe West Sand Lake 283.6252
Haunted Upstate New York
As with every Halloween season, ghost stories and spooky tales light fires to our imaginations. Was that just the wind making that noise? Is there something lurking in the shadows? While this month may make our minds play tricks on us, being scared is all part of Halloween fun. Below is a listing of places around the Capital Region that may have you checking over your shoulder should you ever visit.
Sage College in Albany – The graphic design building on campus is rumored to host the spirits of children who died in a fire long ago when it was a children’s sanitarium.
College of Saint Rose in Albany – Many students have reported sightings of ghostly figures in four of the houses. A little girl killed in a fire, a priest, a musician who committed suicide and a deceased gardener are said to be responsible for the hauntings.
Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary on Wolf Road – It is said that the ghost of a middle-age man haunts the building. He is sometimes spotted briefly in mirrors and likes to switch the lights on and off and create noise at night.
Hunters Woods in Ballston Lake – Strange sounds can be heard late at night coming from the woods. Reports of children’s laughter and gun shots occur at times. Legend has it that in the 1500s over 60 people were murdered in these woods.
Cohoes Music Hall – A ghost named the Black Lady is reported to haunt the balcony of the music hall. Wearing 1930s-style fashions, this specter has an angry look in her eyes and can sometimes be spotted in mirrors.
The Cohoes Falls – Only at the full moon can a little Indian girl be seen trying to paddle against the rapids.
Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown – The ghost of famed baseball player “Shoeless” Joe Jackson is said to roam the halls after hours. Several sounds can be heard like glass breaking when nothing is broken, a ball being hit, and the cheers of a crowd. “Shoeless” Joe also likes to complain about not being inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Revelatory Hero’s Cemetery in Latham– This graveyard for about a dozen Revolutionary War soldiers is rumored to be haunted on full moons. Voices of men, as well as the sound of drums, can be heard at night.
Loudon Cottage in Loudonville – This house was once owned by Clara Harris, the woman who was sitting next to President Lincoln when he was assassinated. Her ghost, as well as Lincoln’s, has been spotted here.
Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs – A ghostly woman in a blue Victorian dress likes to open and shut doors and windows, as well as switch lights on and off.
Vale Cemetery in Schenectady – Spirits tend to roam the graves as well as sit in the trees at night. Some of the statues are said to bleed from their eyes and even from the tops of their heads at night.
Forest Park Cemetery in Troy – Rumored to have been built over an ancient Indian burial ground, this cemetery is now haunted by these Indian spirits.
Big Moose Lake in the Adirondack Mountains – In the early 1900s, Chester Gilette drowned his girlfriend Grace Brown in the lake. Grace is reportedly seen out on the lake or haunting a cabin she once lived in. The 1951 movie “A Place in the Sun” was based on the tragic story.
For more information on these stories as well as other haunted places around New York, please visit: www.theshadowlands.net.
The last hoorahs of summer
By Francesca Bruno
Summer lovers, fear not. Though fall has arrived, there are a variety of activities reminiscent of those warm days that carry on through the fall, some even into the winter. For those of you clinging onto that last ray of summer sun, here’s a sampling of what the area has to offer.
Hi-Way Drive-In | Coxsackie
Located on Route 9W, seven miles north of Catskill and five miles south of NY State Thruway exit 21-B, this 1950s-era drive-in features three screens, each with a different double feature. Although no longer open seven nights a week as it is during the summer season, Hi-Way remains open on weekend nights through the month of October.
El Rancho Drive-In Theatre | Palatine Bridge
This drive-in, located west of Albany on Rural Route 5, has been operating since 1952. With a large, solo screen and the capacity for up to 400 cars, El Rancho continues its season through the month of October, open only on weekend nights during its closing weeks.
The Farm at Kristy’s | Schodack
Miss picking your own fresh summer fruit? The seasons and produce may change, but you can still enjoy picking your own apples and pumpkins while roaming the orchards this fall at Kristy’s. And after an afternoon of harvesting, don’t forget to try their delicious cider and cider doughnuts.
Golden Harvest Farms | Valatie
Even though most farm stands close in the winter and spring, Golden Harvest stays open all year round. Come for the fall apple and pumpkin rush. And in January and February, even when there are slim pickings, their store always has complimentary hot mulled cider and fresh baked goods.
Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market | Troy
With both summer and winter seasons, this farmers’ market delivers freshness all year round. The summer market, which consists of an outdoor venue full of great food and good music, continues on through the month of October. And in November, when the winter market kicks in, you can browse around for the same great products indoors.
At the Warehouse Farmers’ Market | Albany
This downtown farmers’ market operates every Saturday and Sunday morning through afternoon, moving indoors when the cold weather hits. Crafts and antiques venders run their operations a little later into the afternoon.
Toll Gate Ice Cream | Slingerlands
A step back in time to the malt shops and burger joints of yesteryear, Tollgate offers their homemade ice creams all year round. During the fall season, you may want to keep an eye out for their autumnal flavors, like the ever-popular and tasty pumpkin. A must-stop destination no matter what time of year it is.
Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf | Queensbury
Yaaarrr in for a good time at Pirate’s Cove, where mini-golfing meets high-seas adventure! Although their hours are subject to change (phone ahead in the fall to check), this upstate treasure remains open through the month of October.
FunPlex Fun Park | East Greenbush
A cluster of activities, including a miniature golf course, batting cage, basketball court (with some of the most warped and challenging backboards known to man) and go-kart race track, await you at FunPlex, just off of Routes 9 & 20. The facilities remain open Friday through Sunday during the month of October.
Great Escape | Lake George
Although this theme park is no longer open on weekdays and its Splashwater Kingdom water-themed park is closed as of the end of Labor Day weekend, the rides at Great Escape proper remain open on weekends through the end of October. And if you find yourself missing the water rides, be sure to check out their lodge and indoor water park.
John Boyd Thatcher State Park | Voorheesville
This park may be open year round from morning till dusk, but its famed Indian Ladder Trail, offering sweeping mountain views, remains open only through November 15th, perfect for leaf peeping (weather permitting). Pack a picnic and head out into the Helderbergs!
Albany Aqua Ducks | Albany
Take a ride through Albany’s historic districts with the Aqua Duck—an amphibious vehicle that concludes the tour with a ride into the Hudson River. The duck tours are offered through October, and the non-aquatic trolley theme tours are offered even later into the season.
Hudson River Maritime Museum Rondout Lighthouse Tours | Kingston
Tours of the Rondout Lighthouse are available at the Museum from May through October. The lighthouse is located on the Hudson River at the mouth of Rondout Creek, a short boat trip from the museum. It’s always a good idea to check with the museum to confirm the availability of the lighthouse tours before planning a visit.
The Utica Zoo | Utica
Whoever said zoo visits were reserved for the summer? You can still get your fill of exotic and native animal exhibits at the Utica Zoo, which is open all year. The zoo has served the region for over 88 years and has grown from its small beginnings with three fallow deer to its present collection of over 200 animals.
Easy ideas for bringing the beauty of fall into your home
Bringing the look, feel and fragrances of fall into your home doesn’t have to mean hiring a decorator or going on an accessory buying frenzy at your local home design store.
According to design experts at The Art Institutes schools, just a few simple and easy-to-do ideas can usher a beautiful and colorful autumn right into your home.
For Mary Saleeby, an Interior Design instructor at The Art Institute of New York City, the arrival of fall means, “It’s time to put summer behind us and escape into cranberries, pomegranates and lovely leaves.”
In her Manhattan home, Saleeby likes to fill glass cylinders with Clementine’s and branches, and for a wonderful smell, insert four or six whole cloves into the fruit before making the arrangement or centerpiece. The cloves release their smell and the arrangement maintains it’s fragrance for weeks.
Pomegranates arranged in baskets are also a wonderful and affordable addition to creating a fall look for your home. Saleeby recommends taking a shallow dish or platter, lining the bottom with fresh cranberries, and insetting pumpkin scented pillar candles of various heights. “This idea works as a random arrangement or a centerpiece,” she says.
“Try adding an indoor fragrant wreath or swag designed for the season,” says Alma Yoss, an Interior Design instructor at The New England Institute of Art in Boston. Yoss, who lives in New Hampshire, likes to “locate the wreath close to the entry of a home and complement this with seasonal potpourri at strategic locations where people will be sitting or congregating.”
Changing the color of candles and throw pillows, Yoss suggests, is another inexpensive and creative way to change your decor seasonally.
And nothing says fall like mums. Mums are very affordable at most home garden centers, and can be found in all sorts of colors, sizes and varieties. “Mums are hearty, long-lasting plants. Fill wood baskets with mums, and place them throughout your home to add freshness and color,” recommends Mary Saleeby. If you live near the woods, use the great outdoors as your home design store. Saleeby likes to make door arrangements using acorns, dried leaves berries and dried apples.
Lastly, Saleeby says, “Use that special copper pot for mulled cider which will be simmering on your stove with a few cloves and cinnamon sticks.”
For more information on The Art Institutes, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/nz.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
Albany’s 16th Annual Columbus Parade & Italian Festival – A great celebration of the Capital Region’s Italian culture and heritage culminates on October 6th with the parade. Weeklong celebration includes an Italian buffet, Italian Cinema Night, discussion of Italian heritage, Italian dining on a Dutch Apple Cruise, bocce tournament, and an Italian lunch and Aqua Ducks tour. For more info: www.columbusdayalbanyny.com.
Fall Northeast Arts & Craft Show – A juried arts-and-crafts show with up to 75 exhibitors from throughout the northeast. 9am-3pm. Empire State Plaza, Albany. For more info: 786.1529.
October 3; 5-7; 12-14; 19-21; 26-28
Ultimate Terrors: Premier Haunted Event of the Capital Region – Features three uniquely-themed haunted houses, over 70 “mostly live” actors, “freakish” live shows (three different stages), a dark museum, a paintball shooting gallery with live targets, two, vortex tunnels, air-brush tattoos, food vendors, and more. Not recommended for children under the age of 11. 6:30-9:30pm. Adults $21; children (6-11) $16. Altamont Fair Grounds, Altamont. For more info: 583.7767; www.ultimateterrors.com.
Oktoberfest – Celebrate the Harvest the Old World Way. Tasty German food and drink specialties, Big Wally on the accordion, arts and crafts vendors all in a festival. Empire State Plaza, Albany. For more info: 473.0559; Convention.Center@ogs.state.ny.us.
From October 9
Capitol Hauntings: A Special Halloween tour of the NYS Capitol – Does the night watchman who died in the Capitol fire of 1911 still make his rounds? Which two United States Presidents visited the Capitol after they died? What happened to the “lost” Capitol murals and their eccentric artist? Does the secret demon carved in stone hold a Capitol curse? Come to the New York State capitol for a special tour that explores these questions and other legends connected with this historic building. Monday-Friday, 12:30-3:30 pm. Free. Office of General Services, Empire State Plaza, Albany. For more info: 474.0538; www.ogs.state.ny.us.
Oktoberfest Dinner-Dance – Live music provided by Big Wally. Delicious German dinner for $20 or $6 for live music and dancing. 6-11pm. German-American Club of Albany, 32 Cherry Street, Albany. For more info: 482.5845; www.timesunion.com/communities/gaca.
October 20-21; 27-28
Haunted Museum and Pumpkin Patch – Thrills, chills, music and laughter return with the Pumpkin Patch and the “3,000-square-foot maze of pure terror” that is the Haunted Museum. Children are encouraged to come in costume and journey through the magical Pumpkin Patch. Additional activities include face-painting, take-home crafts and a holiday parade. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Not recommended for children under 10 years of age. Proceeds benefit the Museum’s after-school programs. 11am-5pm. Children and adults $6 for Haunted Museum; $2 for Pumpkin Patch. New York State Museum, Albany. For more info: 474.5877; www.nysm.nysed.gov.
Fall Weekend – Dinner and a jazz concert. Package includes a special wine tasting dinner prepared by Chef Joe Maloney and evening concert with musician Steve Wilson and pianist Helen Sung. $69/person ($15 concert only). Rensselaerville Meeting Center, Rensselaerville. For more info: 797-5100; www.RMeetingCenter.com.
Macabre Music: The Mask of Red Death and other scary pieces – An hour-long presentation of excerpts from Musicians of Ma’alwyck special Halloween concert which promises to make you check under your bed before your turn out your light! 2pm. Free. Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Albany. For more info: 434.0405; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Macabre Music: Musicians of Ma´alwyck – This concert promises to put you in a Halloween frame of mind. A reception follows the performance. 4pm. $20 For those intrepid souls who want to experience a complete fright, the Oakwood Cemetery Association is offering a lantern tour of the cemetery at 6:30 for an additional $5. Gardner Earl Chapel, Oakwood Cemetery, Troy. For more info: 377.3623; www.musiciansofmaalwyck.org.
Autumn in Austerlitz – Early 19th century theme, games, crafts, exhibits, house tours, soup kitchen, children’s parade, quilt exhibit, silent auction and more. 11am-4pm Austerlitz Historical Society, Old Austerlitz Site, Route 22, Austerlitz. For more info: 392.0062; www.oldausterlitz.org.
Legends by Candlelight – Candlelight tours of the museum grounds; ghosts and spooks of the museum’s history. 6pm-7pm. Clermont State Historic Site, Clermont. For more info: 537.4240; www.friendsofclermont.org.
Halloween Harvest – Costume contests, pumpkin decorating, local farms and crafts, dog demonstrations, performers, music, and a tour of the museum grounds by candle light. 11am-7pm. Clermont State Historic Site, Clermont. For more info: 537.4240; www.friendsofclermont.org.
Ghosts and the Victorians – Program starts by discussing ghosts in the Victorian Era, then head out for a sunset walk in the landscape. 4pm. Registration required. Olana State Historic Site, Route 9G, south of Hudson. For more info: 828.0135; www.olana.org.
Haunted House – Copake Town Park, Mountain View Road, Copake. For more info: 329.1234; www.copake.org.
October 5-7; 12-14; 19-21; 26-28
Massacre Mansion-Haunted House – Take a frightful guided tour in the scariest haunted house in the Catskills! Explore the house, dark maze and wolf hollow trail. Fri. & Sat. 7-11pm; Sun. 7-9pm. Blackthorne Resort, East Durham. For more info: 634.2541; www.blackthorneresort.com.
Oktoberfest – Austrian and German-American bands, Schuhplatter dancers, vendors, puppet shows, jugglers, magicians, horse petting zoo, and food and drink. Free arts & crafts and free pumpkins for the kids. Hunter Mountain, Hunter. For more info: 1.888.HunterMtn; www.huntermtn.com
Oktoberfest/Pig Roast – Fine German Cuisine & phenomenal pig roast. Great food, drink & people, music & games. Rain date Oct. 7th. Blackthorne Resort, East Durham. For more info: 634.2541; www.blackthorneresort.com.
Fall Bulb Day – Purchase bulbs selected to do well in challenging garden situations, and join in planting more spring flowering bulbs in Woodland Walk. Cider and doughnuts for all volunteers! The Mountain Top Arboretum, Tannersville. For more info: 589.3903; Mtarbor@mhonline.net.
13th Annual Windham Autumn Affair – Features a juried arts and crafts show with continuous live entertainment, food, Chinese auction and children’s entertainment. 10am-4pm. Village of Windham. For more info: 734.3852; www.windhamchamber.org.
14th Annual Apple Harvest Festival – Apples, crafts, food, live entertainment. Hourly drawings. Sat. 10am-4pm; Sun. 9am-4pm. Angelo Canna Town Park, Cairo. $2. For more info: 622.3939; www.caironychamber.org.
28th Annual Belleayre Fall Festival and Craft Fair – Featuring quality arts and crafts, a huge ski equipment and winter apparel sale and season pass specials, live music, German food and beer and lots of kids activities, plus the chairlift “Sky Ride” for foliage and hiking enthusiasts. 10am -5pm. Free; Sky Ride is $8 for adults, $5 for juniors (13-17), children under 12 free with paying adult. Belleayre Mountain (Overlook Lodge), Highmount. For more info: 845.254.5600 x428; email@example.com.
Mountaintop Pumpkin Festival – Crafts, music, hayrides, pumpkin painting, BBQ, mini-golf, paintball, driving range charity raffle and more. 11am-4pm. Bear Creek Restaurant & Recreational Park, Hunter. For more info: 263.3839; www.mentgroup.com/events.
Night of 100 Pumpkins – Bring your imagination to Catskill’s 4th Annual Pumpkin carving and illuminated Jack-O- Lantern parade. Multi-generation event. Pumpkins and supplies provided. Bring your own cart/wagon. 5:30pm-8pm. Raindate Oct. 27. Hose Co #5 Firehouse, Main St., Catskill. For more info: 943.1929.
Candlelight Ghost Tours – Featuring two different tour routes, east side and west side Adults $10; children (ages 6-12) $8; under five free. All tours depart from Pioneer Park, located on the corner of Main and Pioneer streets. Reservations required. 7pm. For more info: 607.547.8070; www.cooperstownghost.com
Fly Creek Cider Festival – Enjoy autumn’s most flavorful beverage, cider, at the peak of spectacular fall foliage. Observe cider making operations throughout the day using the Mill’s vintage equipment dating back to 1856. Sample our cider made without modern technology that provides a taste of NY’s water-powered past. For more info: 607.547.9692; www.flycreekcidermill.com.
Fall Foliage Trains – Weekend Fall Foliage Trains with Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad, Round Trip. 1pm. For more info: 607.432.2429; www.lrhs.com.
Middlefield Fall Festival & Craft Show – Community festival featuring local crafts, seasonal products, live music, food, hay maze, ghost stories, children’s activities. 10am-4pm. For more info: 607.547.9515; www.middlefieldmuseum.org.
October 19-20, 26-27
Things that Go Bump in the Night – Listen to stories of hauntings and ghostly happenings that occurred at The Farmers’ Museum and in and around the region as you take a guided tour of the historic village by flashlight. Tour Times: 5pm, 5:30pm, 6pm, 6:30pm, 7pm, & 7:30pm. $7 per person; pre-registration required. For more info: 607.547.1450.
October 20, 27
Halloween Express Train – Halloween Express Trains on the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad. Adults $10, seniors $9, children 4-12 $7, under 4 free. 6pm.
For more info: 607.432.2429; www.lrhs.com.
Taste of Fly Creek Series at Fly Creek Cider Mill – Special sampling of Apple Salsa Day with Salsa Bob. Promotions and recipe ideas are paired for each day’s tasting. This featured sampling is in addition to the Mill’s daily sampling of over 40 different products. 9am-6pm. For more info: 607.547.9692; www.flycreekcidermill.com.
Halloween Adventure Day with Scary Stories – Great things to make, pumpkin to decorate, a costume contest, scary stories in the evening and more. Noon-6:30pm. Regular cavern tours available from 9am-6pm; special character tours available. For more info: www.cooperstownchamber.org.
Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce Annual Halloween Parade – From Cooper Park to the Firehouse. 6pm. For more info: 607.547.9983.
All through October
Fall Festival at Liberty Ridge Farm – Conquer the maze, play in the “Barnyard” full of activities for all ages, take a scenic trolley ride along the banks of the Hoosic River, pick pumpkins, feed the farm animals, enjoy a meal or fresh baked goods from the farm kitchen, or browse through the Country Store. Various times & special events. Liberty Ridge Farm, Schaghticoke. For more info: 664.1515; www.libertyridgefarmmaze.com.
18th Annual Goold Orchard Apple Festival & Craft Show – This year’s festivities will include the all new Brookview Station Wine Tent with farm wineries from across New York State as well as the debut of the Brookview Station Winery’s Apple Wine. Featuring crafters and specialty food items, music by local artists, Poppytown Puppet Theatre shows at 10am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm. 9am-5pm. Rain or shine. Goold Orchard, Castleton. For more info: www.goold.com.
RiverSpark Annual Fall Foliage Bus Trip – Includes tour, bus, snacks, lunch and all materials. 9am. $59. For more info: 270.8667; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Storytelling Ghosts – Ghosts from the Mansion’s past coming to tell their stories. Souper supper served. 6-9:30pm. Knickerbocker Mansion, Schaghticoke. For more info: 677.3807 or 629.2374; www.knickmansion.com.
Halloween Celebration – A dark play, eerie music and a scary tour. Discounted fee to all three events is $25/adult. Also, the Russell Sage Creative Arts Department presents The Turn of the Screw, to be presented in The Gardner Earl Memorial Chapel. 1pm-3pm. $10; limited seating. Chamber Music by The Musicians of Ma’alwyck; 4pm-6pm; $10; limited seating. Meet at the bell just beyond the chapel for a Halloween Flashlight Tour; 6:30pm. Adults $12, children 4-12 years $5. All persons under 19 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Call to register. Oakwood Cemetery, Troy. For more info: 800.556.6273.
Ghost walks – A 90-minute, mile-long tour of haunted village sites. Fri. & Sat. 7pm. Adults $10; children (7-11) $5. The Arts Center Gallery, Saratoga Springs. For more info: 584.4132.
Nature Hike & Foliage Viewing – 10am. $5; $10 for families; free for P.L.A.N. members. Spruce Mountain, Corinth. For more info: 587.5554; email@example.com.
Harvest Ball – Benefits Saratoga Bridges NYSARC, Saratoga Chapter. Saratoga Springs City Center, Saratoga. For more info: 584.0027.
Autumn Festival – Live music, hands-on activities, demonstrations of traditional farm crafts by local artisans, bake sale and more. Waldorf School of Saratoga. 11am. $3. For more info: 584.7643.
The Great Pumpkin Challenge Race – Certified by the USA Track & Field Adirondack Association, the run consists of a 5K road race, a 10K road race and a Children’s One-Mile Fun Run. Starts at 8:30am; 5K, 10K at 9:30am; Fun Run at 10:30am. Columbia Pavilion, Saratoga State Park. For more info: 587.0723; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legend of Sleepy Hollow With the PuppeTree—Three Puppeteers use over 100 shadow puppets to present the popular Hudson River story by Washington Irving. Ages 5 and up. 2pm. Free. Community Room, Saratoga Springs Public Library. For more info: 584.7860.
Haunted Walking Tour – Halloween ghost and history walking tour. 10am. Waterford Rural Cemetery. For more info: 238.0809.
Fall Festival – Celebrate fall with a parade, activities and fireworks in the Village of Ballston Spa. For more info: www.saratoga.com.
Fall Festival – Magic, music, face painting, sidewalk chalk contests, pony rides and more. 10am. Downtown Saratoga Springs. For more info: www.saratoga.com.
October 5, 12, 19, 26
Ghost Tours of the Stockade – Costumed guides with antique lanterns leave every 15 minutes to lead you through the 300-year old Stockade neighborhood with chilling tales of ancient ghosts and long forgotten residents. 7pm. Stockade, Schenectady. For more info: 388.5128.
Columbus Day Kids’ Activities – Celebrate the spirit of exploration by commemorating the 50th anniversary of space exploration with special kids’ activities and Planetarium shows at the top of the hour. 12:30pm-3:30pm. Free with Museum admission. Schenectady Museum & Suits-Bueche Planetarium, Schenectady. For more info: 382.7890; www.schenectadymuseum.org.
Schenectady County Farm & Foliage Day – A day-long event designed to promote agriculture and tourism in Schenectady County, farms and organizations around the county will present family activities throughout the day – pumpkin painting, live music, scarecrow making, farm and garden tours, farm demonstrations, a corn maze, a foliage driving tour and much more. Exhibits by the 4-H, Girls & Boys Club, Cabot Cheese, Scotia Glenville Children’s Museum and more. Food from Mosall’s Grove. 11am-4pm. Free. For more info: 388.4355.
Thru October 31
Pick-A-Pumpkin Pumpkin Patch – Pumpkin picking, gourds, Indian corn, hay & cornstalks. Entertainment includes hayrides, Storybook land, farm animals, Halloween Shop, cider donuts, hay tunnel, crafts, tree house, mazes and food. Mon.-Fri., 3pm-8pm; Sat. 10am-8pm. Closed Sundays. Pick-A-Pumpkin Pumpkin Patch, 2716 Creek Road, Esperance. For more info: 868.4893; www.pickapumpkin.com.
1st Annual Oktoberfest and Craft Show – 20+ fine craft vendors and family fun, including hay rides, face painting, removable tattoos, a bouncy bounce and more. Wurst, hot dogs, potato salad, hamburgers, cider donuts, cotton candy, carmel apples and much more. 10am-5pm. Esperance Elks Lodge 2507, Esperance. For more info: 895.2631.
Garlic Festival & Fall Harvest Show – Garlic galore and a celebration of the fall harvest. Apples, cider, pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks, mums; cider donuts and pies on the weekends. Retail farm market, country gift shop, greenhouse & garden center. 9am-5pm. Sunnycrest Orchards Farm Market, Sharon Springs. For more info: 284.2256; www.sunnycrestorchards.com.
Fall Workfest – Bring your friends and work gloves to the Landis Arboretum to help get the grounds ready for winter. 9am-3pm. Landis Arboretum, Esperance. For more info: 875.6935; www.landisarboretum.org.
Meet the Author & Outdoor Walk – Author Anita Sanchez (The Teeth of the Lion: The Story of the Beloved and Despised Dandelion) presents an outdoor walk to study some common plants and their lore. 2pm-3:30pm.Landis Arboretum, Esperance. For more info: 875.6935; www.landisarboretum.org.
Full Moon Owl Prowl – Learn about common owls — where they live, what they sound like, and what they do. George Steele, instructor. 7pm-8:30pm. $5 suggested donation. Landis Arboretum, Esperance. For more info: 875.6935; www.landisarboretum.org.
25th Annual Halloween at Howe Caverns –The silver anniversary of this annual charity benefit takes visitors on a journey below the earth’s surface into the great “haunted cave” filled with monsters and giggles. 2007 proceeds benefit the Schoharie County ARC. Ticket sales from 5:30pm-8:30pm. Adults $10; children 12 and younger $5. discounts do not apply. For more info: www.cooperstownchamber.org.
The 1st Schoharie Scary Horror Film Festival – The Schoharie Scary Horror Film Fest is an international competitive festival dedicated to showcasing new short films from the most audacious filmmakers working in the horror genre today. Non-profit, competitive festival. Times and prices TBA. Bouck Hall (SUNY Cobleskill), Knapp Hall 202, Cobleskill. For more info: 254.0611.
Halloween Event – Costume parade & entertainment. 12-3pm. Visitor Center and Lansing Manor Museum, New York Power Authority, North Blenheim. For more info: 800.724.0309; www.nypa.gov.
Pumpkin Festival – Petting zoo, pony rides, children’s activities, good food, music, pumpkin giveaway. 8am-12pm. South Street Pavilion, Glens Falls. For more info: 638.6301.
Gore Mountain Harvest Festival – Family fun featuring scenic gondola rides, Adirondack vendors, live entertainment, kids’ activities, hearty fall food & drink. 10am-5pm. Free. Gore Mountain, North Creek. For more info: 251.2411.
Gore Mountain Leaf Cruncher 5k Trail Run – Challenging annual 5k trail run. North Creek. For more info: 251.2411.
Family Day – Fall activities make corn husk dolls, bean mosaics & play games from years past. 1pm-3pm. Free. Chapman Historical Museum, Glens Falls. For more info: 793.2826.
Lake George Brewers’ Oktoberfest – Area brewers showcase their Oktoberfest beers with German music, food, fun! Canada St, Lake George. For more info: 668.0002.
Haunted Trail & Barns – Creep along the wetland, be prepared for creatures lurking in the woods. Spooky fun inside the barns. Tricks & treats, wear your costume. All-weather event. Up Yonda Farm Environmental Education Center, Bolton Landing. For more info: 644.9767.
Halloween Pug Parade & Party – Over 160 Pugs in costume on parade. Prizes for best costumes, several categories, raffles, food. Contest 12pm, parade at 1pm. Chestertown. For more info: 494.2758.
Goblin Gallop – Fairly flat, fast course. Overall & age groups including wheelchair & walking divisions. Halloween Hop ?-mile Fun Run for ages 12 & under. 9am & 10am. Runners register, spectators free. Abraham Wing School, Glens Falls. For more info: www.adirondackrunners.com.
Victorian Ghost Nights – A séance, Ouija board, ghost stories, tea leaves readings, and other Victorian pastimes in historic De Long House. 6pm-8pm. Chapman Historical Museum, Glens Falls. For more info: 793.2826.
30th Annual Fall Coin, Stamp & Collectible Show – 10am-4pm. Free. VFW Post, Queensbury. For more info: 654.9585.
Fall Fair – Baked goods, books, tapes, porch sale, jewelry, antiques & collectables, Christmas items, household items, linens. Raffle. 380 Glen St, Glens Falls. For more info: 793.2189.
Halloween Costume Skate – Lake George Forum, Lake George. For more info: 668.2200.