Haunted houses, corn mazes, and apples, oh my!
New state guidelines announced earlier this week mean that beloved fall activities including corn mazes, apple and pumpkin picking, and haunted houses will be able to open for New Yorkers to enjoy as early as Saturday.
"The new guidance announced today will ensure that these businesses can open to the public, allowing families to enjoy their favorite fall activities while providing a boost for our farming communities and local economies," Gov. Cuomo said in a release on Tuesday.
Agritourism businesses will be allowed to open with reduced capacity They must require face-coverings and social distancing between parties and individuals and will have to to sanitize frequently touched surfaces.
"As one of the nation's top agricultural states, New York traditionally comes together in the fall to celebrate the harvest — from apples to grapes to pumpkins. This year, while things may not look exactly the same on your favorite farm, I am happy to say we can still celebrate agriculture's bounty and the many family-friendly activities that go with it,” said Richard A. Ball, the state agricultural commissioner.
Petting zoos will not be allowed to open this season.
Those who run some of the East End favorites are ready to go.
Fairview Farm in Mecox will open its corn maze and pumpkin picking activities starting Saturday. The maze will be open Fridays through Sundays and holidays between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Across the road, the Milk Pail's apple orchards and pumpkin patch will be open for picking starting on Saturday. Labor Day weekend hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Through the fall, the farm will be open Fridays through Mondays, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“It is important to advise people that we are unsure of how this will progress," said Jennifer Halsey Dupree of Milk Pail. "We may have to limit the number of people at the farm, and they should check the website for up to date information."
The Harbes Orchard in Riverhead will also open for the season Saturday for apple-picking. The farm will be open Mondays through Fridays between 10 am. and 5 p.m. and on weekends and holidays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.