10 things to do on the North Fork this October

Team Beetlejuice competes in the coffin races during the 2017 Halloween Fest in Riverhead. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

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There is more to October on the North Fork than corn mazes and pumpkin picking.

Here are 10 fun events and activities for you to make the most of this fall — no u-pick required.

Darkside Haunted House. (Credit: Krysten Massa)

Darkside Haunted House

Darkside Haunted House reopens in time for the Halloween season on Friday, Oct. 5. The destination for things scary and spooky is celebrating its 20th season in Wading River. Darkside is open from 7 to 11 p.m. on Halloween. Can’t wait to step inside? Here’s the full schedule.

The Ram’s Head Inn is offering special deals this October. (Credit: Courtesy photo)

Shelter Island Dine & Stay Deals

With the bustle of summer in the rear view, Shelter Island has returned to an even more leisurely pace. Soak in the crisp coastal breezes and seasonal cuisine at the Ram’s Head Inn. The inn is offering Friday prix-fixe dinners. The $35 three-course dinners can be enjoyed with specially priced wines and live music in the lounge. There is also a Sunday night stay package that offers discounted lodging starting at $250 a night with dinner for two. Reserve a spot.

Buoys for the Bays Painting Party

Channel your inner artist for a good cause. The Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program is hosting a painting party at Borghese Vineyard in Cutchogue on Friday, Oct. 12. This paint night is for artists of all skills levels. For a $20 donation you will receive all painting materials and instruction, as well as a complimentary glass of Rosé for the Bays. The resulting artwork will be curated by the North Fork Art Collective’s Kara Hoblin into an exhibit that will hang at Borghese Vineyard. Buoys will be auctioned on October 20 in support of Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program’s “Back to the Bays Initiative.” For details visit eventbrite.com

A scene from the annual Riverhead Country Fair.

Riverhead Country Fair

The Riverhead Country Fair is one of the largest festivals in all of New York State. It honors our region’s rich agricultural heritage. The fair features displays and competitions, live music, vendors and family-friendly entertainment.

This year marks the 43rd anniversary of the Riverhead Country Fair, which will take place Sunday, Oct. 7, along the Peconic Riverfront, in downtown Riverhead. For more information visit riverheadcountryfair.com.

Greenport Harbor Brewery Oyster Fest

Greenport Harbor Brewery is hosting its annual celebration of one of the North Fork’s favorite bivalves on Sunday, Oct. 7. The sixth Oyster Fest, held at the brewery’s Greenport location, is a showcase of local beer and fresh-grown shellfish. The party starts at noon. Find out more.

An osprey flying over the water. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Autumn Birds for Beginners

On this slow amble around Hallock State Park, an expert from Group for the East End will guide you through woodlands near Long Island Sound, looking and listening for migrating birds on their way south. Bring binoculars for this family-friendly event. For reservations or more information on the Sunday, Oct. 14 event, please contact Steve Biasetti at 631-765-6450 ext. 205 or sbiasetti@eastendenvironment.org.

Gleaning of the Fields

It’s a biblical ritual that still makes a difference today. Garden of Eve is hosting its annual Gleaning of the Fields event on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. Head out into the fields to pick vegetables that have been left behind after the harvest for donation to those less fortunate.

Long Island Cares takes the food to pantries across Long Island. Each year the event yields thousands of pounds of produce for the charity. Afterwards, enjoy a hot lunch at the farm’s café and visit the farm animals. Register today.

Chili Night at Jamesport Farm Brewery

Support the North Fork Environmental Council and sample chili from local restaurants. The $40 ticket includes a Satur Farms salad, cornbread, one Jamesport Farm Brewery beer and samples of chili. There will also be a Chinese auction with prizes donated by local businesses. Chili Night is planned for Friday, Oct. 26 at Jamesport Farm Brewery. Get tickets.

Halloweenfest 2017. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Halloween Fest and Masquerade Ball

Have a ball — masquerade style — at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead. The evening encourages guests to dress up in costume for a night of dancing, passed hors d’ouevers and light buffet. The adults-only event is being held Saturday, Oct. 27. Get tickets.

And it isn’t the only Halloween-related fun to be had in Riverhead that weekend. Halloween Fest returns to the downtown Friday, Oct. 26. The three-day festival kicks off with a screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Suffolk Theater. The fun continues Saturday with the 2nd annual Coffin Races, trick or treating on Main Street, a parade and more. Local restaurants will also feature specials during the festival. Get the details.