With the plethora of fall harvest festival taking place all over the TriState area, it sometimes becomes difficult to choose which ones are worth it and which ones are not. The Fall Harvest Festival at Mill Neck Manor is not just another festival with tons of fun things to do, beautiful crafts to buy and delicious food to eat; its proceeds go to the Mill Neck Family of Organizations, which include the school for the deaf, services for deaf adults and early childhood center.
The first thing we noticed upon arriving at the festival after parking in the free, organized parking lot, was the vibrant fall colors that seemed to be the theme of the handmade crafts vendors. Many of the crafts were decorative home goods that were not just gorgeous, but also very affordable. There were also many crafts that were specifically for children. We bought our daughter a cute plush tooth fairy doll that came with a little handbag to store the tooth for $6.75.
The highlight of this festival was the food. Not surprisingly, it was a big array of pretty much everything you could find at a festival, and more: from pickles, burgers (including veggies burgers), bratwurst, cheeses, pretzels and corn on the cob, to fudge, funnel cakes, strudel, pies and cider. There was also some fresh produce and a variety of apples (it is, after all, also called “Apple Fest”). You have to buy tickets in order to purchase most of the food (as well as for the children’s activities) and there are plenty of tables to eat at a shaded area. You can even bring food from home to eat there. We loved the homemade strawberry-banana smoothie and excellent sweet corn on the cob. The kids loved their pretzels as well as the home-made cider (no added sugar) for $6 a gallon that turned out to be a huge hit!
The children’s activities were plentiful: bouncy houses, games, face painting and some crafts, such as pumpkin decorating and sand art. There was also live music. My daughter had a blast at the bouncy house and the slide and enjoyed a book reading that also had a sign language interpreter for the hearing impaired.
The restrooms were average-sized port-a-potties that were clean and stocked with toilet paper and hand sanitizer. I was lucky enough to use a slightly bigger port-a-potty that had enough room for both my daughter and I and was relatively clean (as far as port-a-potties go, at least).
After a couple of hours in the warm sun we headed home with full bellies, two happy children, and two content parents. We’re looking forward to next year!
Fee: $5.00 per car.
40 Frost Mill Road
Mill Neck, NY 11765