December on the North Fork is no longer sleepy and quiet. There is so much to do during this final month of the year that we had a tough time narrowing it down to just ten things. Here is a list of our favorite things to do to celebrate the holiday season across the North Fork.
Take a private wreath making workshop
Get hands-on and festive in a private wreath making workshop with Backyard Blooms in Riverhead. Each attendee will hand-craft and decorate a beautiful Frazier fir wreath. These small and private workshops are held in Backyard Blooms’ antique window greenhouse and ensure proper social distancing. The cost is $50 per person and there is also an option for children. Reach out to Kim for availability [email protected].
Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program is hosting its annual Shellabration fundraiser virtually this year. Beginning on Saturday, December 5, ticket holders ($25 each) will have access to tips, cooking demonstrations, and specials to improve your oyster and shellfish game at home. There will also be raffles and a “Shellabingo” game to keep the fun going. To buy a ticket or learn more about sponsorship opportunities visit virtualshellabration.org.
Drive through a holiday light show
Watch your family enjoy the magic of the holiday season from the comfort and safety of your car at the Riverhead Holiday Light Show, back for its third season. Open through Dec. 30, attendees can expect a 20- to 25-minute drive through the one-mile light show with dozens of larger-than-life displays, some towering as tall as three stories and spanning more than 50 feet in length. Tickets cost $23 per car and are on sale online at riverheadlightshow.com or available at the gate for $25 per car. For the complete schedule visit riverheadlightshow.com or email [email protected] riverheadlightshow.com.
Decorate North Fork Gingerbread
While the wildly popular Gingerbread University will not be opening their doors for gingerbread decorating this year, they are making it possible to continue the beloved tradition with their at-home decorating kits, available for pickup. Choose from many options including jumbo 12-inch gingerbread trees, bears, trains, dreidels, and their signature deluxe large house. Prices range from $12.50 – $42.50 depending on the item. Place your order at [email protected] and pickup Saturdays or Sundays from noon – 5 p.m.
Eat local at home
If you’re tired of meal planning but would prefer not to dine out, three North Fork businesses are making it possible to eat locally at home. Every Tuesday throughout the winter, Goodfood. in Mattituck offers family empanada night. Choose from two options: option one, which is priced at $49, includes a dozen assorted empanadas, a quart of seasonal soup, and your choice of two sides (one pint each). Option two gets you one dozen empanadas and a second dozen at half price. The Lenz Winery offers its monthly meal kit, Local Apron. December’s kit features Crescent Farms Duck Breast with a merlot plum sauce made by local chef Kyle Romeo of Barrow Food House, local Brussels sprouts, plus Lenz’s 2015 Estate Selection Merlot and 2015 Chardonnay. The cost is $80 per kit and includes a link to the cooking demonstration. Order online at lenzwine.com/the-local-apron-by-lenz/ and pick up at the tasting room. Missing restaurant service? Fortino’s Tavern in Greenport has made it possible to enjoy a four-course sit-down dinner with passed hors d’oeuvres in your own home. The complete service, which includes passed appetizers, a plated appetizer, salad, entrée, and dessert, comes with a chef, a server, full setup, and breakdown. It’s priced around $100 per person with a minimum of 6 people. Although all dinners are completely customizable, popular themes are Surf ’n’ Turf night and Italian night. For more information, email [email protected].
Wander around a Magic Color Forest
Visit Dart’s Tree Farm in Southold for an outdoor experience like no other. While you’re cutting down your Christmas tree this year at the 103-year-old farm, be sure to visit the Magic Color Forest and wander through rows and rows of brightly painted Fraser firs. After you take in the magic, head inside the 17th-century barn that’s filled with ornaments, décor, gifts, and holiday cheer. The Magic Color Forest will be open until Christmas Eve.
Craft with Morning Sun Shop
After strolling the Magic Color Forest at Dart’s Tree Farm, visit Morning Sun Shop (located in the farm stand on the property) to craft and decorate an ornament ($7) or stocking ($10). The sustainable farm and holiday shop, which is open Friday – Sunday, has glass or plastic ornaments to paint, glitter, or fill with natural elements from the farm like dried flowers, plus oversized stockings. Direct message the shop on Instagram to reserve your session.
Warm-up at North Fork Table & Inn
Every Sunday in December from 4 – 8:30 p.m., warm up around your own mini bonfire as you indulge in s’mores and Port at North Fork Table & Inn. $55 includes a curated s’mores set for two, a mini bonfire, two glasses of Port or Pastry Chef Sebastien Rouxel’s rich hot cocoa. Book your reservation here.
::CANCELED:: Shop a Traditional German-style Holiday Market
Head to Greenport Harbor Brewery in Peconic on Saturday, December 5 from 1 – 5 p.m. to shop local artisans under a tent decorated in the holiday spirit. Some of the local artists and creators include: In the Attic Too & Salvage Yard, White Flower Farmhouse, The Times Vintage, K. Beebe, Kara Hoblin, Disett Chocolates, and much more. Also, there will be oysters and traditional German fare. – THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER
Soak up the spirit of Christmas alongside horses
Spirit’s Promise Equine Rescue is hosting a holiday lights tour this month on weekends until Christmas. The outdoor walking tour lasts approximately 30 minutes and guests will enjoy whimsical light displays, visit Santa’s Workshop, and interact with Santa’s reindeer. The cost is $22 per car and pre-registration is required. For more information and to register visit https://bit.ly/spiritspromiselighttour.