1. Sunflower Festival at Wickham Farms
The Sunflower Festival is where you can probably get some of the best photos ever taken of you. It’s a blast to go with friends and wander through the sunflower fields. They have normal yellow and mutated varieties of sunflowers in reds and oranges, which are my favorite! You can pay to pick your own flowers and take them home to cheer up your dorm room or apartment.
2. Go apple picking
My favorite place to go apple picking is, again, Wickham Farms! They have festivals for different kinds of apples throughout the season, and you can check on their website which kinds will be available on specific dates. This allows you to go whenever your favorite variety is in peak season. This year, I went on the same day as their candy drop, where they actually drop candy from a plane that passes over! This was a ton of fun, and it’s nice to take a break from homework and projects, and go feel like a kid for a day. They also have a giant corn maze you can get lost in with your friends. Other orchards you can visit include Whittier Fruit Farm, Green Acre Farms U Pick, and The Apple Farm.
3. Stay in shape and sign up for a race in Rochester!
As a former cross country runner, I may be a bit biased, but fall is some of the best running weather here, and as the season goes on, it only gets better. Signing up for races is one of the best ways to incentivize yourself to stay in shape (if you’re into running, of course). Getting regular exercise in is also great for your self-esteem and mental well-being, and keeps you energized and in a good mood. There are races for all levels, including the Pumpkins in the Park 5k during Halloween time, the Turkey Trot, and the Rochester Marathon and Half-marathon.
4. Make s’mores and smudges behind Gracie’s!
While I advocate trying to stay in shape, you have to (in the words of Tom and Donna from Parks and Recreation) treat yo’ self. Behind Gracie’s, the freshman dining hall connected to the residence halls, there are a few charcoal grills and picnic tables. You can use these to make s’mores or smudges (replace the chocolate with Reese’s peanut butter cups) with friends, which is especially fun at night!
4. Make a perfect (or not-so-perfect) Jack-O-Lantern
Carving pumpkins with friends is one of my favorite things to do in fall. After we carve the pumpkins, we like to roast the seeds as a snack. Places you can go to pick pumpkins include The Great Pumpkin Farm, Stokoe Farms, Wickham Farms, or if you’re feeling lazy or not wanting to PICK a pumpkin, Wegmans! You can also paint your pumpkins if you don't want to carve one.
5. Go to an RIT hockey game
We aren’t a football school. Our sports enthusiasm here is all funneled into hockey and other sports, such as lacrosse, volleyball, cross country, or soccer. But our hockey games take spiRIT to a new level. If you go to a hockey game, you can join the corner crew, which is a section of LOUD students that have organized chants against the opposing teams.
6. Destress from midterms and watch scary movies with friends!
My favorites are (in order from scariest to least scary): The Conjuring, the Halloween movies, A Quiet Place, Train to Busan, The Shining, Get Out, and the Scream movies. (Although you can never go wrong with Halloweentown, too!)
How to watch them at RIT:
- Amazon Prime
- Tiger TV: You can use Tiger TV on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone once you download the app and sign in. You can also access this platform on a TV if it’s a smart TV. Otherwise, you’ll need a device like a Roku or an Apple TV in order to stream via Tiger TV.
7. Go to Brick City Homecoming
During Brick City weekend, thousands of families and alumni visit campus. There are so many events you can attend, including the featured speaker (recents have included Mayim Bialik, Trevor Noah, and Brandon Stanton, the men’s hockey game at Blue Cross Arena, the women’s hockey game, pumpkin chunkin’, tours of downtown Rochester, features and exhibits of student work, and Classes Without Quizzes!
8. Visit a State Park
There are so many beautiful parks where you can take hikes, whether you prefer more difficult ones or easy ones, and see the fall foliage. Early-mid October has the best weather before it gets a bit rainy! Letchworth State Park, Watkins Glen State Park, Robert H. Treman State Park, and plenty of others less than two hours away. Letchworth is the closest, but the longer drives to the others are well worth it!
9. Get fall drinks at Midnight Oil!
One of several coffee shops on campus, Midnight Oil is essentially a Starbucks, and carries their coffee. You can get pumpkin spice, praline chestnut, peppermint mocha, and caramel brulee lattes. They also have some delicious pastries, including macarons and chocolate-hazelnut croissants.