Starting as a child at the age of five, Louis DiCrescenzo wandered between rows of vines, toddling along behind his grandfather as he worked the vines in their family vineyard in Monte San Biagio just south of Rome. Today, with four generations of winemakers behind him, Louis and his son Michael combine tradition and innovation to create high quality estate-bottled wines at Altamont Vineyard & Winery. With more than 20 types of grapes grown and harvested in the Helderberg mountains of Upstate New York, Altamont Vineyard & Winery produces a carefully curated selection of fine red and white wines. Visitors can take meandering tours of the picturesque winery and vineyard, cruising through the vines, heading to the wine room to see how it's all made, and sipping samples of the final result: adult juice boxes. The vineyard is also an ideal destination for events, private parties, tastings, and tours.
There’s a fire in the field and only one way out. Unfortunately, that way is twisted and riddled with dead-ends. But at the end, past 5 acres of carved paths and corn-themed puzzles, past thousands of stalks of corn swaying in the wind, past delirious visions of poker-playing scarecrows, is a fire hose. Such is the theme of Ellms Family Farm’s interactive Hero Rush Amazing Maize maze, an obstacle that carries on pastoral autumn traditions with roughly 90 minutes of music and fun. Yet this maze is just one way that the Ellms family celebrates the changing season—it also serves up crispy apple-cider donuts, lobs wee ones into the air on the farm-favorite Jumping Pillow, and treats guests to a number of other themed activities it has developed over the years.
The farm’s history stretches back to 1984, when Chip and Sally Ellms planted their first batch of Christmas trees and began inviting visitors to stop by and admire the easy wind and downy flakes of winter. As the family grew, the farm kept pace, expanding to cover more than 200 acres and incorporate activities that help guests celebrate autumn as well. Throughout the harvest season, guests flock to the fields to play conductor or coal shoveler on the MooMooChooChoo train or pick out fresh pumpkins in the patch.
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Lynn Gorman Bakos harnesses more than 30 years of riding experience—including time studying under an Olympic rider—as she presides over Renegade Farm. Certified by the American Riding Instructors Association, Lynn trains many of her own horses to help to ensure that the animals are gentle in demeanor. During lessons, Lynn teaches students in either the outdoor riding ring or indoor lighted arena, beyond which lies more than 40 acres of lush, tree-lined pasture where riders have the chance to take a long enough running start to create the first Pegasus.
Unlike baking under UV lamps, being spritzed with Island Mist Tanning’s aloe-based tanning solution moisturizes skin, takes only five minutes, and keeps bodies bronze for up to two weeks. Plus, its organic airbrush tan ensures an even, natural-looking coat. The shop also offers mobile tanning and party packages, as well as products such as vegan bronzer.
With more than 3,300 square feet of eclectic gifts and home wares, The Cross Eyed Owl Gift Shop can seem a bit daunting to first-time visitors. The store’s quirky charm and welcoming staff quickly dissipates that initial sense of trepidation, however, and one is left to fall in love with unique gifts and home accessories from brand names such as The Naked Bee, Robert Rothschild Farms, and Beanpod Candles. The wide variety of products—including stuffed animals, home décor, and gourmet foods—means that you can select a gift to convey any message, from "happy birthday" to "sorry I shrunk your Lego set." Every aisle throughout the store nearly overflows with comfy pajamas, baby outfits, wedding gifts, and wall art.:m]]