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Fall Activities On or Near SUNY Campuses to Take Part In Before the Season Ends

Apples on a branch stem.

Get ready for pumpkin spice lattes, warm apple cider, and the scenic New York foliage because autumn is here. Fall is a great time to be outdoors enjoying our northeast weather and sunlight, or indoors with friends as the days get shorter and we get closer to winter. Luckily, our SUNY schools have a lot of fall-themed activities, both on and around campus, to celebrate the season. Take a look at these options below and enjoy some cinnamon, spice, and everything nice… and have fun!

1. Apple picking

Apple picking is the epitome of fall fun. Did you know that New York State grows more than one billion pounds of apples each year? That makes it super easy to enjoy New York State apples, fresh apple cider, and tasty donuts at local orchards spread throughout the state. Some options near a SUNY campus include:

SUNY New Paltz: Three apple farms are located within 5 miles of the campus center. Take your pick between Wilklow Orchards, Apple Hill Farm, and Jenkins-Leuken Orchards. You’ll have access to any kind of apple your taste buds desire.

SUNY Oswego: Fruit Valley Orchard is only a five minute drive from campus. Here you can enjoy picking pears as well as your favorite apples.

SUNY Cobleskill: Agriculture is alive and well at Cobleskill. A one of a kind apple orchard lives on campus for student access and class demonstrations. The campus also boasts a 10 acre arboretum.

On Wednesday, Oct. 24th, schools across New York will be participating in the New York Campus Crunch to support local food and agriculture, bringing apples into the campus dining environment and to snack on all day long.

2.  Homecoming

Homecoming weekend is an annual event that has activities for students, families, and alumni to celebrate their college. Get into the spirit by spending the day tailgating, attending live performances, and reminiscing about the good ‘ol days. Some SUNY homecoming highlights include:

University at Albany: Great Dane Game Day is Saturday, October 20, the Danes are taking on the Towson Tigers in a CAA football game. Before the homecoming football game enjoy a lunch buffet, live music, and activities that are fun for the whole family.

University of Buffalo: The annual homecoming carnival on Friday, October 12, features rides, live entertainment, foods, and games. Top the night off with a pep rally, bonfire, and fireworks.

SUNY Plattsburgh: A planetarium show awaits homecoming visitors on Friday, October 12. One of this year’s laser light shows is set to Pink Floyd’s album, “The Dark Side of The Moon.”

3. Fall career fairs

Polish your resumes, wear your professional best, and practice your elevator pitch. Learn more about job and internship opportunities at the following career fairs:

SUNY Canton: Looking for a full time job, part time job, internship, or a summer job? Students, alumni, faculty, and even members of the community can head over to the Fall Career Fair on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Monroe Community College: On Thursday, Nov. 1, free LinkedIN head shots and the chance to network with recruiters from finance, manufacturing, health care, technology, and security companies is made possible by the Professional Recruiters of Rochester.

SUNY Polytechnic Institute: Local, statewide, and national employers will be present at the Career and Graduate School Fair on Friday, Oct. 19.

SUNY Broome pumpkin

4. Get your pumpkin on!

Celebrating fall would not be complete without pumpkins. Whether orange or white, big or small, or painted or carved; pick and taste pumpkins at these fun events.

SUNY Cortland: “The Great Cortland Pumpkin Fest” is a celebration of harvest season. Festival goers get to enjoy the first pumpkins of the season while munching on fall themed food.

Purchase College & Westchester Community College: “Meander through an 18th-century landscape and discover a breathtaking display of more than 7,000 illuminated jack o’ lanterns—all designed and hand-carved on site by our team of artisans” at the The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze.

Corning Community College: If real pumpkins aren’t your thing, but you still like the look of them, shop the Glass Farmers Market at the Corning Museum of Glass for unique handmade fall items that include decorative hand-blown glass pumpkins.

5. Hayrides and corn mazes

Have you ever been on a hayride or made your way through a corn maze? Many farms and orchards in New York offer these excursions. Take a stroll through a corn maze or choose between a relaxing ride across the scenic upstate or a haunted hayride.

SUNY Adirondack: Visit Apple Jacks Orchard‘s resident goat, or throw yourself in their corn pit. Take your friends apple or pumpkin picking and enjoy some of their iconic desserts such as caramel apple sundaes!

Binghamton University: A 30 minute drive is well worth it to find your way through this professionally designed corn maze at Stoughton Farms. If eight acres worth of corn maze aren’t enough, you can also have fun with a corn cannon, pumpkin blaster, cow train rides, hayrides, jumping pillow, and more!

SUNY Ulster: The Headless Horseman is constantly ranked as one of the top haunted house attractions in America. Try to brave your way through all of their haunted attractions. Located in Ulster Park, NY, part of the Historic Haunted Hudson Valley, this 250 year old farm is more than 65 acres of mystery and fright, perfect for Halloween.

6. Ice skating

It’s not winter yet, but it’s getting cold enough for ice skating in New York. Hockey season starts soon for our college athletes and some neighborhoods will have backyard ponds being tended to prep for a winter of fun. You can grab your friends, family, and even coworkers and visit one of these ice skating rinks for an early season skate.

SUNY Broome: Has a 758-seat hockey arena that holds many events, both on and off ice, for students and public organizations. They also have cafe and an arcade room.

SUNY Geneseo: The Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena is home to the powerhouse Geneseo Knights Men’s Hockey Team. Skate on the same ice as them during open recreation ice skating, available from early October through the end of the semester.

SUNY Oswego: The Marano Campus Center Ice Arena, home of the successful Lakers hockey teams, offers open skating sessions throughout the week for the public and students. In addition, students can participate in skate and shoot hockey sessions, skating lessons, and more.

7. Walk and run for a great cause

There are many opportunities to support organizations that give back to the local community and raise awareness for specific needs. These organizations organize 5k runs/walks to bring people together to learn about a cause and raise money to help those in need. Running 5k’s not only help you stay in shape before the winter season starts, it also let’s you get a breath of fresh autumn air.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center: On Sunday, Oct. 21 join the local Brooklyn community in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk and help support the American Cancer Society in their efforts to finally defeat cancer.

SUNY Geneseo: All proceeds from the Ramon Rocha 5K Run/Walk will benefit The Arc of Livingston-Wyoming which supports people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The race takes place on Saturday, Oct. 20.

Hudson Valley Community College: The 10th annual Race Away Stigma 5K takes place on campus on Saturday, Oct. 20. This event aims to help eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health concerns.

8. Participate in community service events 

Participating in community service events offers students a chance to help out their neighbors and friends in surrounding areas. Fall is a great time to find neighborhood cleanup opportunities, food drives featuring fall harvest yields, and much more.

SUNY Columbia-Greene Community College: Offers numerous community service training programs, non-credit courses, and workshop opportunities.

SUNY New Paltz: Saturday, October 20 is Make a Difference Day. The 14th annual service day brings together students, faculty, and staff for volunteer opportunities throughout the region.

SUNY Potsdam: Show your Potsdam Pride and participate in the Day of Service on Saturday or Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4. Grab some friends and create your own project that can help community members in need.

9. Visit a “haunted” SUNY campus

Have you heard about the rumored haunted areas in our SUNY Campuses? There are a number of mysteries surrounding some buildings and grounds on SUNY campuses across New York State. Here are some highlights:

SUNY Brockport: Hartwell Hall is the most haunted place on campus. Staff claim to hear doors opening and closing, strange noises, and ghosts moving throughout the hall

SUNY Cortland: Two haunted hot spots are present on campus. The Gridiron Ghost occupies Clark Dormitory room 716. The ghost has reportedly been seen on many occasions, clad in uniform. He also had a cut above his eyebrow that continually bleeds. In Cheney Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, students report uneasy feelings when glancing a mural honoring a former female student’s untimely death.

SUNY Plattsburgh: The famous MacDonough Hall has an eerie history. Many claim to have seen or heard haunted happenings, like screaming and strange noises during the night time.

Check out the other haunted hot spots from last year’s list for more options to experience a Halloween scare.


What other events do you know about? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.


Written by Tiffanie Li

Tiffanie is a Social Media Assistant Intern at SUNY System Administration. She is a senior at SUNY Albany double-majoring in Psychology and Communications.

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There are 2 comments

  • Great activities!

    I will surely try to do some of them!

  • Sean Deery says:

    No Stony Brook or Suffolk County Community College??

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