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Fall: All things spooky, harvest-related and just plain fun.

by Tori Martinez - Managing Editor
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 06:25 pm
Photo courtesy of Zarpentine Farms' Facebook page
Zarpetine Farm hosts a themed corn maze every year. It's fun for all ages and dog-friendly!
Photo courtesy of Zarpentine Farms' Facebook page Zarpetine Farm hosts a themed corn maze every year. It's fun for all ages and dog-friendly!
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The temperature drops into the 50s and 60s, the air and wind are cool and crisp, and the leaves begin to fade into various shades of red, orange and yellow, dropping from trees and landing in a crunch beneath your feet: fall is here.

With the change in season come fuzzy sweaters, warm drinks and rainy days in, spent watching old movies or reading a book. Among some of the quintessential, nostalgic autumn entertainment is apple picking, haunted hayrides and corn mazes, activities that are easily accessible to students at The College at Brockport. Many farms hosting such activities are within a 15-minute drive, and even activities within Rochester are only a 30-minute drive. 

For apple lovers, Robb Farms is right off the NY 31 on Gallup Road, about 10 minutes from campus. Throughout the season, the farm has more than 20 varieties for picking, with five selections to choose from at any given time. Behind and across from the little shop at the farm are rows of trees with signs to point you in the direction of your favorite type of apple. A bag of apples is normally $5, but with a student ID, you can get it for $2. Pumpkins sit in front of the trees for easy access, but to the left of the farm is a whole patch where you can pick your own. Inside the shop are pre-picked apples, as well as homemade honey and other goods. Make your way to the back of the store and you’ll find a large shelf of donuts: apple crisp, sour cream, cinnamon sugar, blueberry and pumpkin. 

“Saturdays and Sundays are the days to get donuts, because we make them continuously throughout the day so they’re nice and warm,” owner Margie Robb said. Her sister and niece help make the donuts on the weekends.

The large metal machine next to the checkout line is where fresh apple cider is kept, made right on the farm. You can watch as someone pours the cider into a half or whole gallon jug; half gallons are $3, whole gallons are $5. Robb Farms is open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Zarpentine Farms in Hilton also has plain, cinnamon sugar and glazed donuts, as well as a large selection of other baked goods, such as apple fritters and a variety of pies and cookies. The farm also has pumpkins, ranging from small $1 pumpkins to large $5 pumpkins, no matter how big they are. One of the highlights of Zarpentine Farms is its corn maze, or “maize” as they spell it. Each year brings a new theme to the 20-acre maze; this season’s theme is the Rochester Red Wings. Brittney Thomas, who oversees the market on the farm, says it takes a minimum of 45 minutes to get through the maze.

“If it’s wet, make sure you have your rain boots,” Thomas said. “At night, bring a flashlight. Just come prepared to get lost and be ready for what happens.”

Unlike other mazes, Zarpentine’s is not “haunted” by people in costume. It’s family friendly, including dogs. Hours for the maze are Fridays from 6 to 10 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The market is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

A 30-minute drive into Rochester might be worth it if you live for the adrenaline from scream parks and haunted houses. The nearest is Dark Matter Scream Works, located in the The Mall at Greece Ridge. Walk through Blood Manor, Circus of the Damned, Contagion and The Void, all for $20, or $18 with a student ID. The houses are open on select Thursdays and Sundays from 7 to 10 p.m. and Fridays and Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m. A little further away is Nightmare Manor, located at 3333 West Henrietta Road, near the Marketplace Mall. Tickets are $16 with a student ID, open Thursdays and Sundays from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 7:30 p.m. to midnight.

If you’d rather be towed around a farm by wagon than walk through houses on foot, you might be looking for VerHulst Haunted Hayride, located on the NY 104 in Spencerport. At the end of the ride, you might have to walk through the woods a little, ending at a corn maze. The whole attraction takes about 45 minutes. Rides begin at dusk, with ticket sales going until 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and until 9:30 p.m. on Sundays, for $24 each.

As there are endless fall activities to spend money on that are worth driving for, so too are there countless low-cost or no-cost things to do right in a dorm or apartment that can get you in the fall spirit. Snuggle under a blanket and watch classic Halloween movies during the month of October; make a mug of hot apple cider with a few cinnamon sticks; take a walk along the Erie Canal; or sit on a porch or lawn and read a book. You can also walk around the Village of Brockport and window shop for cute fall or Halloween decorations, or drop by The Strand for a scary movie like “It”. Tickets at The Strand are only $8.25, or $6.25 with a student ID. Maybe stop into Java Junction for a pumpkin spice latte. 

Throughout the next two months, look for posters around campus, in academic buildings, dorm buildings and the Seymour College Union. Brockport Student Government and various clubs and organizations host fall, Halloween and Thanksgiving themed events. Whether you are in your dorm, apartment, somewhere on campus or somewhere off campus, there is more than enough to find that can quench your autumn thirst.

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