This weekend my friend Molly and I took a trip to local agrotourism hot spot Critz Farms for their annual Fall Harvest Celebration. Molly actually introduced me to Critz Farms last fall and I couldn’t wait to go back for this year’s seasonal celebration! The farm has so much to offer for autumn adventurers and makes for the perfect weekend outing for those looking to celebrate New York‘s favorite season.
If you’re in the Central New York area, I would definitely recommend visiting the farm for a relaxed, hygge fall adventure. There is plenty to do for both children and adults alike and – bonus – the majority of activities take place outside, making it perfectly safe during the era of COVID. Read on to learn more about available activities and my own personal travel tips for your day at the farm!
Every year Critz Farms designs a corn maze based on a different theme. This year’s theme is safari animals. The maze isn’t terribly difficult (don’t worry – you won’t get lost in there) so it’s great for families. It’s also a really fun way to get your daily step count up! Corn maze map in hand, you’re encouraged to look for stations while solving the puzzle. There are seven stations total and if you find at least five and mark it on your entrance ticket, you can then redeem the ticket for a serving of homemade apple fritters at the Critz Cafe (said fritters are to die for, by the way).
Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin Patch
While there are plenty of pre-picked pumpkins available for purchase at the gift shop, it’s much more fun to head out to the pumpkin patch to pick your own. The pumpkin patch is a short walk from the Critz Cafe and gift shop but I definitely encourage you to get the full experience and take the wagon ride out to the patch instead. The wagon ride is definitely a much-appreciated amenity for the journey back, after you’ve picked out your pumpkin (33-weeks-pregnant me appreciated it double this year).
After you’ve picked your pumpkin, you’ll head to the gift shop to have it weighed (this is where you’ll also pay for it). While you’re there, you can check out a variety of pre-picked pumpkins and gourds, along with holiday decor, local maple syrup, local wines, etc. My personal favorite though – and perhaps the most popular area of the gift shop – is the fudge counter. Buy five squares, get one free! Naturally, I bought five.
While you’re there, I definitely encourage you to grab a snack or, at least, a bottle of cider at the Critz Cafe. Food options at the farm include chili, mac and cheese, fries, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. Plus – as mentioned – apple fritters that area pretty freaking amazing.
Cider Making and Tap Room
I wasn’t able to partake in sampling spiked cider this year but the tap room is definitely a hot spot for adult festival-goers. You can watch how cider is made before then enjoying a pint (or two). There are also plenty of picnic tables and chairs placed outside for those who are still hesitant to spend too much time indoors.
- Playground for young children
- Small barn filled with farm animals (pre-COVID guests were also able to feed the animals)
- Apple picking & wagon rides to the apple orchard
- Bring a mask: Due to COVID-19, the farm is asking that all visitors wear a mask when on-site, except for when seated at a dining area. Don’t forget to bring one with you!
- Wear comfortable shoes: You’ll probably do a fair amount of walking if you plan on taking advantage of all the different activities. Make sure to wear comfy shoes! If you plan to do the corn maze and it has recently rained, I would highly recommend wearing boots. Last year it was a wee bit muddy when we visited and I was really glad to be wearing my waterproof boots from L.L. Bean.
- Pack a bag: Consider bringing a large tote, cross body bag or backpack to help you keep your items organized while walking around the farm. Pack your bag with hand sanitizer, a water bottle and perhaps even a camera – the farm is full of photo opps!
- Bring your wallet: While you’ve probably paid for your ticket ahead of time (you can buy it here), there are plenty of opportunities to spend more dough once inside the farm. You may want to purchase lunch, a pumpkin, a drink or a goodie at the gift shop.
I really had the best time visiting Critz Farms last weekend with my friend and look forward to making the Fall Harvest Celebration a yearly tradition. Let me know in the comments if you decide to visit! I’d also love to hear about your favorite fall destinations – share away!