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Long Island families' favorite fall rituals

Amaya Reid, 4, and her brother DJ, 2,

Amaya Reid, 4, and her brother DJ, 2, of New York City, attended the White Post Farms Fall Farm Festival in Melville for the first time. The bouncy houses, pony rides and pig shows topped their list of fun activities. (Sept. 24, 2011) Credit: Jennifer Berger

When I was a kid, I always looked at the fall season in a negative way. I hated saying goodbye to my flip-flops and hello to homework. But as I got older, I learned to love everything about autumn -- from watching the leaves change color and cleaning my closets for the summer/winter switchover, to pumpkin picking, hayrides and fresh apple cider. Now, as a sleep-deprived mom, I can't wait until the clocks turn back and we gain that extra hour of precious sleep!

Many families have rituals, something they traditionally do each season or holiday. In my family, it was going to Hicks Nurseries in Westbury. My sister, brother, and I would pick out pumpkins and visit Otto, eagerly awaiting Halloween. I think there's something so special about family rituals and I look forward to passing on some of my memorable fall traditions to my family.

So for this week's question, we reached out to our Twitter and Facebook fans to learn how Long Island families embrace the fall season with their loved ones. Here's what they had to say:

Fall starts with decorating the house with scarecrows, pumpkins, leaves and anything orange! We go apple picking and make apple pies the next day. Then, it's off to pumpkin picking, which is a fun-filled day for the kiddies. When we get home we love to carve and paint our pumpkins. Fall is all about a nice warm cozy house with the beautiful aroma of caramel cinnamon apple and pumpkin spice candles. We love the fall!
-Gilda Aparicio, via Facebook

Going to the Milk Pail Orchard for apples and pumpkins and then going home and making our traditional apple pie. Yum!
-Erika Mandelman Muller, Merrick

Picking and carving pumpkins and making pumpkin rolls!
-Sam Colvin, Hempstead

We go pumpkin picking every year at Helen's Farm on the North Fork. While we're there, we go for a hayride and pick out some mums. Then we head over to Martha Clara Vineyard for a picnic lunch. Tones of fun!
-Jessica Maguire, Westhampton Beach

As it was in our childhood, my sister and I love going to Hicks Nurseries. We've been going since we both were toddlers and love taking my sister's daughter there. Soon we'll pass the tradition on to my son.
-Kate Interrante, via Facebook

The annual Fall Festival on the Green in Montauk.
-Joe Mulligan, Bellmore

Cleaning out closets with old clothing and coats that are not being used and donating them to shelters. Also, going apple picking on Columbus Day weekend.
-Wanda Muhammad Rahman, via Facebook

Watching the Yankees in the playoffs!
-Christine Zichittella-Heeren, Rocky Point

Head out to Sound Avenue. We first stop at Lewin Farms for apple picking and then head over to one of the farms to go pumpkin picking along Sound Avenue. We stop at Briermere Farms for delicious fresh fruit pies and cookies. Then we head over to Martha Clara Vineyard for a picnic lunch and hayride. Finally, we head across the street to Harbes Family Farm for the corn maze.
-Katherine Folti-Lotito, via Facebook

Our favorite fall ritual includes a ride out East to Harbes Family for pumpkin picking and then maybe a day for the adults at the wineries. Long Island's fall season is magnificent!
-Bill McCartney, Levittown

Nothing like apple and pumpkin picking with the family out East!
-Roast Sandwich House, Melville

Take a ride out East to pick pumpkins, go to Lewins and stock up on veggies nd then stand on line at Briermere Farms with the rest of LI to pick up pies. We get the blueberry creme and the pumpkin and cookies for the ride home.
-John Ryder, Ronkonkoma

Swapping out summer to fall clothing. Getting the final Halloween costume choices from our kids. Going out East to pick pumpkins and apples with family and friends. Lewin Farms for the fresh vegetables and possibly Briermere Farms for incredible cookies. OK, the pies, too!
-Richard C. Damm, Baldwin Harbor

Annual fall road trip out East for pumpkins, corn mazes, hayrides and then ending up in Greenport for dinner!
-Trish Reilly Auerbach, via Facebook

Apple picking, pumpkin picking and carving and baking the pumpkin seeds!
-Michelle Kramer Kelly, via Facebook

My fall favorite is Halloween. I'm in love with Halloween!
-Samantha Cardona, via Facebook

Pumpkin picking out East, all the places are great! Corn mazes, wine tasting, hot apple cider, hayrides, playgrounds and picking up pies at the famous pie place (I won't name it because it's already too crowded!) on the way back to share with family, friends, and coworkers in the city.
-Alicia Kammerling, New York, NY

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