Stepping Out

Fall festivals around Long Island

A look at the season's delights, beyond the pumpkin patch


The short season that is fall seems to come and go before we know it. So now’s the time to savor being outdoors and enjoy all that is so special about this time of year. The weekends are full of activities and festivals that celebrate the best of this short season. So get outside this weekend and partake of some autumn fun – which involves much more than just pumpkins.

Gone Fishing
Junior anglers always enjoy the Fall Fishing and Children’s Festival, presented by the I Fish NY program, on Saturday, Oct. 13, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The annual event, at Hempstead Lake State Park in Rockville Centre, offers a variety of fishing and non-fishing activities for the family.
“The Fall Fishing and Children’s Festival is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and learn about the great sport of freshwater fishing,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Peter A. Scully said. “The festival combines the opportunity to fishwith a variety of children’s activities to provide a rewarding family experience.”
A large amount of stocked trout offers families an appealing introduction to the sport of freshwater fishing. The day begins at 10 a.m., featuring fly-fishing instruction, casting practice, fish cleaning services, loaner rods, and free bait. Additionally, a display area is set up by Trout Unlimited, DEC’s Environmental Education staff, as well as other fishing and environmental organizations.
Besides the fishing, other activities include pumpkin decorating, a magic show, pony rides, and face painting. Kids will enjoy the casting contest where participants can catch a pumpkin or “hook” a prize.
Prior to the festival, the park’s South and MacDonald Ponds were stocked with trout by Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery.
The cost is $6 for those 12 and over; $8 parking fee. MacDonald and South Ponds at Hempstead Lake State Park, Rockville Centre. (631) 444-0283 or

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