Life Out East

Fall in the Hamptons: 8 Things to Do on the East End This Autumn

The Hamptons are most often associated with summertime fun, but the fall season is actually one of the most beautiful times of year here. The vineyards and other farms are harvesting their last crops, the approach of Halloween and Thanksgiving revive some yearly traditions, and the annual lighting of the Montauk Lighthouse is a reminder that winter is coming. Here are eight great things to do during fall in the Hamptons.

1. Visit the Parrish Art Museum for The Art of the Brew

With over 3,000 works of art, the Parrish Art Museum is one of the largest cultural destinations in the Hamptons. From Route 27, you can see the distinctive silhouette of the contemporary shed-like structure designed by Herzog & de Meuron. While the museum is always a great destination, you should not miss the The Art of the Brew on October 26. The celebration combines live music, a sampling of local beers and ciders and a chance to explore the galleries. Participating breweries include Great South Bay, Moustache Brewing and Twin Fork Beer Co., among others. Visit the museum website for ticket information.

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A pumpkin patch in East Hampton. (Image Source/Getty Images)

2. Experience Halloween in the Hamptons

For the month of October, the Rogers Mansion in Southampton is taken over by ghouls and ghosts — all part of a walk-through exhibit that also features info about the history of Southampton whaling captain Albert Rogers, the mansion’s namesake. But if you really want to try to scare yourself silly, or at least try something different, book a private investigation of the mansion and adjacent Halsey House. The tours are led by members of the Long Island Paranormal Investigators, who will take you along as they research whether previous (read: ghostly) occupants of the mansion are still lingering. You must be 15 or older to attend; space is limited. To register, email cflanagan@southamptonhistory.org or call 631-283-2494, ext. 500.

3. Go Pumpkin Picking in the Hamptons

There are  farm stands where you can buy a pumpkin right out of the field, visit a corn maze or pick your own apples. But what makes Hank’s Pumpkintown in Water Mill so popular that it literally clogs traffic on Montauk Highway is that it offers one-stop shopping for all of those things, plus fresh-made apple cider and cider donuts that are cooked right before your eyes and served warm. For another terrific but more low-key choice, try “The Maize” at Fairview Farm at Mecox, located on Horsemill Lane in Bridgehampton. The farm has an eight-acre corn maze with two footbridges that offer scenic views of Mecox Bay.

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Wölffer Estate vineyards, the setting for a big party this fall.

4. Hit the Wölffer Estate for Wine and Music

This popular Sagaponack winery is always interesting to visit, but every Friday in October, November and December, they will host Candlelight Fridays. From 5 to 8 p.m., visitors can enjoy live music in the Estate Tasting Room along with wine by the glass (or bottle!) and cheese and charcuterie. Reservations are encouraged and can be made up to two weeks in advance.

5. Check Out the Peconic Land Trust Autumn Open House

The Peconic Land Trust is hosting an Autumn Open House on Saturday, October 26, at the Bridge Gardens in Bridgehampton. A visit to the five-acre gardens is always worthwhile, but the fall events are particularly good for families. Guests of all ages are welcome to attend the October Open House for a chance to plant bulbs, join a scavenger hunt and build pinecone bird feeders. Also, be sure to attend the Annual Holiday Wreath Workshop on Sunday, December 1. Visit the Peconic Land Trust website for more info.

6. Eat Your Way Through Bay Scallop Season and Long Island Restaurant Week

One of the local culinary highlights of the fall is the eagerly awaited harvesting of Peconic Bay scallops, which begins during the month of November. It coincides a bit this year with Long Island Restaurant Week, which runs from Nov. 3 to 10. The scallop harvest can run till March, depending on conditions, but local lore says that the earlier you sample those bay scallops, the tastier and more delicate they are.

7. Show Off Your Creative Chops at the 5th Annual Patron Art Show

On Saturday, November 30, Sag Harbor‘s John Jermain Memorial Library will host its 5th Annual Patron Art Show from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Artists of all ages, working in any medium, may submit their work for the exhibition, which will run between November 27 and January 30, 2020.  The library is accepting submissions on November 20 and 21.  For more info, visit the library website or call 631-725-0049.

8. See the Lighting of the Montauk Lighthouse

One vivid annual reminder that Christmas and Hanukkah are just around the corner is the annual lighting ceremony for the holiday decorations on the Montauk Lighthouse. “The Light,” as it’s sometimes called, was commissioned by Congress during George Washington’s presidency, and construction was completed in 1796. This year’s lighting will take place at sunset on November 30. The lighthouse is a nonprofit entity reliant on donations to fund the cost of the holiday lighting. For more info on how to visit or to donate, visit its website.

[This post has been updated.]

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