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17th Annual Franklin County CiderDays
Apples are the stars of this weekend-long fest, spread over 13 orchards near the Vermont--Massachusetts border. The schedule includes cider-making workshops and a hard-cider-tasting salon. If you're interested in the history of the fruit, reps from the North and South will host an apple tasting and debate the regional origin of the pippin, a dispute that dates back to the Civil War. Locations, times and prices vary; visit ciderday.org for details. Nov 5--6. Travel time: 3.5hrs from NYC by car.
New England Tree Climbing Association
This organization takes climbers to wooded locations in New York, New Jersey, Vermont and Connecticut. Novices can start out with the Adventure Climb ($60, children $30): Following a short safety instruction class, you're free to start scaling conifers. Ropes and a special "saddle" are already in place, allowing you to safely ascend to a height of up to 80 feet—let go and enjoy the sensation of hanging in place, as you gawk at colorful fall leaves or, later in the season, unobstructed views of the surrounding forests.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture
This sustainable farm's events calendar is jam-packed in the fall, offering food-minded day-trippers plenty of delicious options for seasonal classes. Sign up for Farm to Table: Farm, Cook, Feast (Nov 5 11am--1:30pm; $50) to get your hands dirty harvesting ingredients and then turn them into lunch during a cooking class. Or take advantage of mushroom season and forage for wild varieties of the fungi (and other uncultivated goodies) on a tour with "Wildman" Steve Brill (Nov 6 1--3pm; $20--$25). 630 Bedford Rd, Pocantico Hills, NY (914-366-6200, stonebarnscenter.org). Wed--Sun 10am--5pm. Advance registration highly recommended. Travel time: 45mins from NYC by car.
Sonoma Falls Cider Mill and Country Store
While away a day at this charming rustic center: Start by filling up at the all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet (Sat, Sun 8am--noon; $4.95--$6.95). You'll need the fuel for the numerous outdoor activities offered, including hikes through the namesake cascades, horseback rides ($40 per hour) or simply exploring 2.5 miles of walking trails that surround the space. Through Sun 30, take advantage of the seasonal bounty by hopping on a tractor for a free ride to the pumpkin patch, where you can pick your own monster gourd (60 per pound; call ahead to check availability). You can also learn how maple syrup is made by visiting the on-site sap house, which turns out the sweet treat beginning in March. 140 Old Liberty Rd, Livingstone Manor, NY (845-439-4949, sonomafallsny.com). Mon--Fri 9am--5pm; Sat, Sun 8am--6pm. Travel time: 2hrs from NYC by car.
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