The temperature is starting to drop and the sun is setting earlier now. You might notice more of a chill in the air in the mornings and at night. Leaves are beginning to turn brilliant colors and the sights and scents of pumpkin everything abound. It's fall, and we're turning our attention to apple orchards, harvest fests, haunted houses and more that make autumn an awesome time of year in the Erie region.
So, check out this list of things to do in the Erie area this fall. This list isn't all-inclusive, it couldn't possibly be since there is so much to do in the area when the seasons change. Be sure to visit GoErie.com/calendar to see more things to do.
Attend a harvest festival
What better way to embrace fall than to attend an event with most, if not all, of the season's trappings? And, like a field full of decorative gourds, harvest festivals are plentiful in the region.
Port Farms Harvest Festival runs through Oct. 30 at Waterford's Port Farms, 2055 Stone Quarry Road. The festival includes hay wagon rides, a corn maze, slide mountain, ball zone, game garden, pedal carts, animal exhibits, tire fort and more. It is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Tickets are $14.45 for weekend general admission, $11.95 for weekday general admission, $69.95 for a season pass and $49.95 for a mini season pass. Call 814-796-4500 or log on at portfarms.com for information.
Some of the region's other fall harvest events include the following:
Sissons' Pumpkin Patch will be open Saturdays and Sundays, through Oct. 30, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at 11244 Springfield Road, Girard. Sissons' patch includes hayrides, corn and logic mazes, slides, an obstacle course, pedal karts and more. Tickets are $10 for ages 2-60, $5 for 61 and older, $27 for a season pass and free for younger than 2. Call 814-873-5201 or visit sissonspumpkinpatch.com for information.
You have to check out the pumpkin cannon at Peek'n Peak's 34th annual Fall Festival, scheduled for Oct. 8-9 and Oct. 15-16 at the resort, 1405 Olde Road, Clymer, New York. The event, which runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. each day, features live music, craft vendors, demonstrations, kids zone, carriage and pony rides, food, beverages and more. Admission is free. Visit pknpk.com/fall-fest or call 716-355-4141 for details.
Conneaut Lake is hosting its 31st annual Fall Pumpkin Fest, featuring Giant Pumpkin drop, arts and craft vendors, food, rides, kids activities and more. The three-day event at Conneaut Lake Park, 12382 Center Ave., Conneaut Lake, is set for Oct. 14, 2-7 p.m.; Oct. 15, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Oct. 16, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for those 12 and older is $5, while those 11 and younger get in free; parking is $5. For more information, visit conneautlake.com/event/2022-pumpkin-fest.
The Pumpkintown at Mason Farms Country Market, 839 Peninsula Drive, returned this fall. Hours are Sundays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Pumpkintown includes the market nursery outfitted with a petting zoo, cornstalk maze, bouncy houses, slides, haunted house and concession stand. It is free to enter, but individual ride tickets are $1.50 each, while a ride-a-rama ($14) and season pass ($35) are available for purchase. Pumpkintown Jr. is available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday (except for holidays and non-school days) for a rate of $10 for a ride-a-rama. For more information, visit masonfarms.com/pumpkintown.
Barb & Richard Sipple fall harvest display. 2359 Hershey Rd., Erie (Summit Township, just west of the back entrance to the Target shopping plaza). Pumpkins and other fall harvest stuff. 7-days a week. Honor system on payment. Through Halloween. For info: 814-449-3235.
Check out the giant corn maze at Wooden Nickel Buffalo Farm, 5970 Koman Road, Edinboro. The farm includes the maze, petting zoo, live bison, pick-your-own-pumpkin patch, gift shop and more. The corn maze is open Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays until 9 p.m. From Oct. 1 to Nov. 6, the maze is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Price is $8 for ages 5 to 54; $5 for age 55 and older; group pricing available. For more information, visit woodennickelbuffalo.com/events/ or call 814-734-2833.
Barb and Richard Sipple have a fall harvest display at 2359 Hershey Road (Summit Township, just west of the back entrance to the Target shopping plaza). Pumpkins and other fall harvest stuff are on display seven days a week. Honor system on payment. Open through Halloween. For information, call 814-449-3235.
Take a fall foliage drive
Hop in the car, truck or SUV and travel along Route 6, on Route 19 into Crawford County, on routes through the Allegheny National Forest, or down Route 8 or Route 77 for breathtaking views of fall foliage.
The fall colors usually hit their peak in early- to mid-October in our region, according to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources at bit.ly/pafallfoliage.
As a bonus, a drive along the Route 6 corridor will also reveal several murals or pieces of art to go along with the stunning leaves along the route.
Get your scare on at haunted attractions
Prepare to be petrified by costumed actors and harrowing special effects at the area's haunted house attractions.
Starting Sept. 30, the Eeriebyss Factory of Terror, 1053 W. 12th St., opens its creaky doors to patrons on weekends for frights and more inside an old factory covering more than half a mile. Eeriebyss runs Sept. 30-Oct. 30 on Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m.-midnight, and Sundays, 6-10 p.m. General admission is $20 per person. Parking is free. Visit eeriebyss.com for more information.
At Conneaut Lake Park, the Ghost Lake Multiverse of Fear opens Sept. 23 and runs Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m.-midnight, and Sundays, 7-11 p.m., through Oct. 31. The haunted attraction includes 10 eerily-themed areas, including Blood Moon Meat Market, Carnival Of Rust and more. Admission is $25 for adults and $15 for kids under age 11. Visit ghostlake.net for more information.
Have a wild time at ZooBoo
Dress up the kids and get ready to experience the Erie Zoo animals at the annual ZooBoo event. Kids get a chance to trick-or-treat, check out the different animals at each station and learn more about the wildlife.
ZooBoo runs Oct. 12-30 on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 6-9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, noon-9 p.m., at 423 W 38th St. Tickets, which go on sale starting Oct. 1, cost $7 for an Erie Zoo member who won't be trick-or-treating, and $9 for those who are treaters. Non-members prices are $11 for non-treaters and $13 for treaters. For more details, call 814-864-4091 or visit eriezoo.org.
Take the kids trick-or-treating
Get your little ghosts and goblins dressed up, grab a pillow case or plastic pumpkin basket and head out for some door-to-door candy collection at the end of October.
Dates and times vary for the annual Halloween fun. Here's a listing:
Costumes and candy: Here is when trick-or-treating is scheduled for the Erie area
Check out the Eeerie Fall Fest, Gridley Park, North Park Row and Liberty Street, on Oct. 22 at 11 a.m. A Halloween parade begins at 12 p.m. The event is sponsored by Gannon University and Our West Bayfront. For information, visit ourwestbayfront.org/events or call 814-871-7960.
You can also take the kids to the Millcreek Mall Trail of Treats Oct. 27 and 28. Times and ticket information are pending. Visit millcreekmall.net for details. The mall, 5800 Peach St., also will host a Halloween costume contest for kids and adults Oct. 21 from 6-8 p.m. in Center Court. Pre-registration is required at the mall customer service booth or by calling 814-868-9000.
In what has become annual traditions in some parking lots, trunk-or-treat events are also scheduled for October, including at St. Paul's Lutheran Church parking lot at 3108 Sterrettania Road on Oct. 29 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Children will travel around the parking lot collecting goodies. Call 814-833-1761 or visit stpaulserie.org for information. The Erie Free Store, 2816 Elmwood Ave., will also host its annual trunk-or-treat on Oct. 29 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Visit facebook.com/ErieFreeStore for details.
Watch steelhead make their run
Steelhead trout begin their migration into the Lake Erie tributaries as soon as Labor Day, but the peak run doesn’t come until after Thanksgiving in most years. Head to Trout Run or Godfrey Run off Route 5 in Fairview Township to watch the spectacle of the steelhead run. It's an entertaining show, even if you're not into fishing.
The spring fish leave the streams in April, or sooner, and head to the colder depths of Lake Erie, drawing not as much attention as the fall run.
Stocking for season: PA volunteers stock 100,000 steelhead fish, survey more than 400 anglers near Erie
Enjoy your favorite local wine or craft beer
What pairs well with cooler temperatures? How about a trip along the Lake Erie Wine Trail or Ale Trail?
Follow the trail of more than 20 wineries along Lake Erie provided by lakeeriewinecountry.org for a memorable fall excursion.
Thirsty for wine?: Here's a list of Erie-region wineries
If you want to try local craft beer, the Lake Erie Ale Trail includes 16 regional breweries. Follow the trail provided by lakeeriealetrail.com.
Some other beer-related events include the following:
Peek'n Peak Resort, 1405 Old Road, Clymer, New York, is hosting its eighth annual German Beer Festival, titled the "Wurst Party Ever," on Nov. 5 from 5 to 9 p.m. in the main ski lodge. Visit pknpk.com/wurst-party-ever for ticket details and more.
St. Joseph Church/Bread of Life Community, 147 W. 24th St., will host its 16th annual Oktoberfest for three days. The event runs 5-11 p.m. on Sept. 30, 1-11 p.m. on Oct. 1 and 11-5 p.m. on Oct. 2. Admission is free for the annual celebration, which includes German food, beverage and music. Visit bit.ly/oktoberfestin814 for details.
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Pick some apples
How do you like them apples?
It's a line made famous in "Good Will Hunting," but it's also something to think about when fall rolls around.
Apple picking is a fun autumn activity for family and friends, or just as a solo experience. Pluck your own fruit right from the tree and take it home to enjoy in countless recipes or simply on its own.
Take your pick: Head to North East's Sceiford Quality Fruit or Burch Farms, travel to Girard's Lehman Orchards, visit Meadville's Heagy's Orchard or Ashtabula, Ohio's Brant's Orchard, among others in the region.
Fruitful endeavor:Fall into apple picking at this Crawford County fruit orchard
Enjoy an autumn stroll
Grab a thermos full of apple cider or your favorite pumpkin-spiced drink and visit one of the region's parks to check out the change of season in nature as you hike through crisp trails at Presque Isle State Park, Asbury Woods, Headwaters Park or one of the many others. Visit erietrails.org to learn more.
You might also want to check out a few of these events:
You could also learn about the ghost that inhabits the old train station and tunnels at The Brewerie at Union Station, 123 W 14th St. Haunted history tours at the brewery are scheduled for Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 21, 7 and 9:30 p.m.; Oct. 26, 7 p.m.; and Oct. 28, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Check brewerie.com for more details.
Visit Sparrow Pond Campground, 11103 Route 19 North, Waterford, for the Haunted Hayride & Walk of Darkness. The ride runs Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 23-Oct. 29, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. The rides are not recommended for children younger than 4. Ticket price is $12.95. For more information, visit sparrowpond.com/haunted-hayride or call 814-796-6777.
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This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: Fall 2022 in Erie, PA: Harvest fests and more things to do this autumn