Five fall activities for families not to miss on Long Island

The annual Great Jack-O’-Lantern Sail. (Credit: Long Island State Parks)

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Fall isn’t all about pumpkin picking and hay rides. Head off the fork to discover family fun across Long Island this autumn.

From a fishing festival to a clam chowder contest, there are plenty of events to fill your weekends.

The annual crab races at the Montauk Fall Festival. (Credit: Richard Lewin)

Fall Festival in Montauk

The 37th annual Fall Festival takes place Saturday, Oct. 6 and Sunday, Oct. 7 on the Green across from the Montauk Chamber of Commerce. The Clam Chowder Contest held on Saturday at 11 a.m. is one of the highlights of the weekend. Other activities include a free carousel rides, Long Island beers and wine, Oktoberfest foods, a farmers’ market, and more.


Fall Family Freshwater Fishing Festival in Hempstead

Integrate fishing and fall activities at this annual fishing festival. Kids cast for pumpkins, explore outdoor exhibits and enjoy fly-fishing demonstrations. Fishing rods are available for loan on a first-come, first-served basis. There will also be inflatables, face painting, pumpkin decorating and other craft activities.

The Fall Family Freshwater Fishing Festivalis Saturday, Oct. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hempstead Lake State Park.


Scenes from the Fall Festival at Sagtikos Manor. (Credit: Sagtikos Manor Historical Society)

Fall Festival at Sagtikos Manor

Experience what life was like on Long Island in the 1700s during the annual Fall Festival at the Sagtikos Manor in Bay Shore. The will be performances by the 3rd NY Revolutionary Regiment illustrating Colonial times on Long Island.

Other craft demonstrations include spinning, weavers, cooking, broom making, beekeeping, pottery making, sheep shearing, quilting, and more. Children’s activities will include arts and crafts and old-fashioned games. There will also be food vendors and shopping.

The Fall Festival is Sunday, Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Spooky Fest at Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre

The Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) celebrates Halloween with Spooky Fest, a family-friendly event that takes place at the Tanglewood Preserve. Wooded paths, exhibits and festivities on the preserve will be featured, along with eerie lighting, special effects and characters. Food trucks will be on hand.

Spooky Fest is held on weekends from Saturday, Oct. 13through Sunday, Oct. 28from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.


The ring toss at the Great Jack-O’-Lantern Sail. (Credit: Long Island State Parks)

Annual Great Jack-O’-Lantern Sail in West Babylon

Saturday, Oct. 27, the 6th annual Great Jack-O’-Lantern Sail will take place at Belmont Lake State Park in West Babylon from 3 to 6 p.m. The first 50 carved pumpkins received are placed on flotation devices with candles inserted inside and sailed around the lake behind kayaks. Children’s activities include crafts, games, trick-or-treat stations, and more, along with the not-so-scary “Spooky Den.”