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3 Reasons to Visit Westchester in the Fall

Jack o'Lantern in Sleepy Hollow, NY

I just moved to Westchester and, to be honest, I loved where I lived before.  So, I was not quite sure how much I would love living here. However, I have fallen in love with Westchester!  One of my favorite things about moving has been exploring Westchester and finding so many things to do.  There seems to always be something to do in Westchester, particularly in the fall.  There are three main reasons you need to visit Westchester this fall.

#1 Halloween

Horse and headless rider in Sleep Hollow in Westchester, NY

Halloween is a part of the fall season that many Americans look forward to.  Many Americans enjoy dressing up, eating candy, and telling scary stories.  Westchester is the home and birthplace of many scary stories… and you can actually go visit where they took place!  Some of these legends include The Legend of Buckout Road and Ghost Ship of the Hudson River, but the most well-known scary tale from Westchester is “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” written by Washington Irving.  You can read some of these stories if you want to practice your English reading and vocabulary! While “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a work of fiction, it is believed that the places and people from Sleepy Hollow were the inspiration for the story.  The story took place in the small town of Sleepy Hollow, which is less than 10 miles from Pace University’s English Language Institute in White Plains!  You can even visit the cemetery in Sleepy Hollow where the story took place!


#2 Fall Activities

Fall in Westchester - pumpkins in a pumpkin patch you can pick

Hayrides and Corn mazes – there are several fun farms in Westchester where you can pick apples, ride hayrides, go through corn mazes, and celebrate fall and harvest times.  Several of the popular farms are Outhouse Orchard, Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard, and Stuart’s Fruit Farm.   All of these offer apple picking, pumpkin picking and decorating, hayrides, games, corn mazes, and apple cider donuts and are less than 30 minutes from ELI in Westchester.

Horseman’s Hollow – I have not visited Horseman’s Hollow yet, but it is on my list to visit in the next month or two. Horseman’s Hollow is in Sleepy Hollow, where “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” took place. There are tours and events such as a Murder and Mayhem Evening Lantern tour, which guides groups through the cemetery while retelling horror stories.  What a fun way to practice English!

Great Jack O Lantern Blaze in Westchester features carved pumpkins in spooky displays

The Great Jack-O’-Lantern Blaze – this fall event is the one I am most excited about. Every year almost 1 million people visit the Great Jack-O’-Lantern Blaze.  Over 7,000 illuminated Jack-o’-lanterns are hand-designed and carved by volunteers and then put together to create pictures, sets, and scenes.


#3 Scenery

Westchester County is well known for beautiful scenery.  I just moved to Westchester, and one of my favorite things to do on the weekends has been to explore the amazing scenery. Autumn is a particularly beautiful time of year as the leaves change colors.  

Mario Cuomo Bridge lit up blue at night

Westchester Riverwalk – this is my dog’s favorite place is Westchester!   Along some of the Hudson River towns like Tarrytown, Irvington, and Sleepy Hollow, there is a Riverwalk path along the coast of the Hudson River.  The Riverwalk is quiet and beautiful, and it smells wonderfully like the ocean.

Pierson Park – Pierson Park is right along the Riverwalk in Tarrytown and has many paths and benches among the foliage.  Pierson Park also has several picnic areas and playgrounds including one that has waterspouts for children to play in.

Bronx River Parkway Reservation – The Bronx River Parkway Reservation is actually the oldest park in Westchester and has been open since 1925.  There are wooden footbridges, ponds, and paths for biking, walking, running, or taking pictures.


Live and Learn English in Westchester!

All of these places are easily accessible from Pace University’s English Language Institute in Westchester.   Come join us to learn and practice English and visit all of these places!  Visit the ELI website or ELI's social media, contact the ELI, or apply here.


Word List:

  • Halloween (n.): an American holiday (October 31st) when there are costume parties, trick-or-treating, decorating pumpkins, visiting scary or haunted places, and telling scary stories
  • legend (n.): a story told from the past, especially one that is popular and well-known. Legends are thought to be historical, but are passed down by story-telling and normally cannot be proven
  • Jack-o’-lantern (n.): a pumpkin that has a face or other pattern carved into it and then lit from the inside
  • scenery (n.): landscapes of nature that are thought to be beautiful
  • autumn (n.): the third season of the year when crops are collected and harvested and leaves change colors and fall
  • foliage (n.): a collection of plants and leaves
  • footbridge (n.): a bridge that is designed for people or animals to walk, run, or bike over

WRITTEN BY SARAH BRUBAKER