Something wicked lurks within the abandoned peach orchard at Depiero's Country Farm. But to discover which petrifying presences lie in wait, intrepid guests must walk through Night-mares Haunted Attraction's unsettlingly named Twisted Maniac Trail. Scares spring from behind every turn, sometimes in the form of special effects, other times in the form of actors donning horrifying getups. At certain points, those scenes may depict intense, blood-soaked frights not recommended for children 10 and under. If the outdoor trail ever gets too freaky, participants of any age can be escorted out quickly by shouting "safety", just like the protagonist does at the anti-climactic conclusion to Friday the 13th.
Cupcakes bring out the child in people, so who better to make those treats than a child? Patrick DeBiase, the owner of Stud Muffins Cupcakes, is just 13 years old. He first started baking at the age of four with the help of his grandmother, who is a classically educated pastry chef. With her help, he creates Stud Muffins’ variety of cookies and cupcakes, which are delivered to doorsteps when customers order them through his online shop or through wishing really hard. In the future, Patrick has big plans to attend culinary school and open a storefront for his business, but for now, he's content serving the community—his business donates 50 cents to the Tourettes Syndrome Association for every dozen cupcakes sold.
The staff at the newly opened Hudson Valley Cakery bakes every item in its quaint bakery from scratch and whips up pies, cupcakes, tarts, and custom cakes without artificial flavors or preservatives. The shop even offers gluten-free options among the frosted creations behind its glass cases. Hudson Valley Cakery opens for breakfast and serves coffee every day but Monday, tempting customers with treats such as champagne-custard and raspberry-buttercream cupcakes as well as flaky, cinnamon-laced morning buns. To boot, eight varieties of pie render decision making at the bakery as difficult as getting apple pie classified as an enemy of the state.
The baristas and bakers of Gypsy Donut and Espresso Bar perform a daily balancing act of baking handmade treats from locally sourced and free-trade ingredients, reducing their carbon footprint, and expanding their community outreach. They accomplish the first feat by producing a tasty assortment of donuts using ingredients acquired from local purveyors and farmers and brewing free-trade beans roasted by Nyack’s own Stumptown Coffee. Their dedication to reducing waste inspires them to donate used coffee grounds for composting, and they also make use of the building’s exposed brick walls and reclaimed materials including a fallen pine tree, which was fashioned into a counter. The staff is equally committed to the local community, and they demonstrate this by giving surplus food to local pantries and participating in the Mostly Music Festival with their edible saxophone routine. They encourage participation from their guests by allowing them to make donut-flavor suggestions with a grand prize of a half-dozen donuts given to the winning idea's generator.
Nestled inside a Victorian home, Blooming Hearts Treasure Shop, a winner of Bergen Health & Life magazine's 2012 Readers' Choice Award for Best Gift Shop, tempts the quaint and the whimsical with shelves and cases full of heart- and flower-themed gifts for women, children, and the home. A kaleidoscope of color and cornucopia of scents, it offers handmade and wearable art and accessories, as well as indulgent bath and body products and garden tools. To put a finishing touch on each gift, the staff offers free giftwrapping, and the shop's tables and vividly colored play space for kids welcome guests to linger, relax, and enjoy the scenery.
A teapot dangles from the ceiling, poised to pour tea into the three cups waiting beneath it. It's not a quirky new way to enjoy tea, but a light fixture in the homey space at Harmony Tea House.
Eccentric, yet charming, with mismatched chairs and tableware, teatime here is reminiscent of an afternoon spent in a cozy home, which is likely why the readers of Bergen Health & Life magazine named it Best Tea House 2013. Fragrant pots of tea in 23 loose-leaf varieties accompany just-baked scones, finger sandwiches, and sweets during tea time, which may also include servings of the two seasonal soups and salads offered every day.
In addition to traditional afternoon tea, Harmony Tea Room hosts events such as Mommy and Me teas and brunch every third Sunday of the month. And of course, it's a relaxing setting for baby showers, book clubs, and birthday parties for stuffed animals dressed in their finest tutus.