Long Island fall festivals equate to serious feasting. Whether it’s oysters, apples, chocolate or craft beer, there’s an event for every palate.
Don’t miss four of autumn’s finest that draw the largest crowds:
FALL HARVEST FESTIVAL
Walking in the smell of roasted corn immediately makes the husked vegetable a must have. Freshly made bratwursts are served from the grill and the apple strudel comes right out of the oven. Not to mention the plethora of just picked apples from orchards upstate ranging from Honey Crisps to Granny Smiths. Everything apple – apple butter, candied apples and apple cider - is sold along with homemade cheeses and meats.
A pumpkin patch with an array of children’s activities and a craft vendors market round out this event set on an 86-acre Gold Coast estate, which houses Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf.
When and where: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 6-7, Mill Neck Manor, 40 Frost Mill Road in Mill Neck
Info: 516-922-4100, millneck.org
Admission: $15 per car
THE OYSTER FESTIVAL
Two tips: bring an appetite and bring cash. This 35th annual event has a legendary food court that’s so extensive it would make Bobby Flay blush. Oysters are served every which way – on the half shell, oyster stew, oyster po’ boy sandwiches and fried oysters. Plus, more seafood specialties like steamed clams, fried calamari, crab rolls, shrimp cocktail, fish tacos and full lobster dinners. Not a seafood fan? Not a problem. There’s every kind of treat from bacon on a stick to southern fried chicken to pumpkin ravoli to empanadas to tornado potatoes.
Live music is played all afternoon on both days plus there’s three giant tents holding 140 artisan crafts, oyster-eating and shucking contests and a full carnival section with rides and midway games overlooking Oyster Bay Harbor.
When and where: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 13-14 Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, One West End Avenue in Oyster Bay
Info: 516-628-1625, theoysterfestival.org
I LOVE CHOCOLATE FEST
Get in the know about cocoa at this indoor/outdoor event where everything is chocolate. From fruit to crepes to mini cupcakes to bourbon to truffles, each item has a chocolate theme with more than 50 chocolate exhibits including a chocolate donut eating contest and a bonfire specifically for making s’mores.
Artisanal foods, crafts, wine and spirits will be for sale with entertainment such as a fire juggler, fiddle player and an old time baseball game.
When and where:10 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 3-4, Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Road in Old Bethpage
Info: 631-488-0521, lovechocolatefest.com
Admission: $16.50 ($13.50 ages 4-12)
GREAT BEER EXPO
You’ll get a commemorative tasting cup to choose from 50 breweries serving samples of over 100 craft beers in Nassau Coliseum’s Exhibition Hall. Long Island breweries will be represented along with imported brands from as far away as Belgium and Germany.
Food will be sold to compliment the brew (think hot dogs, jerky and pretzels). A row of vendors ranging from hand rolled cigars to sports memorabilia to hot sauce complete the picture.
When and where: 12:30-4 p.m. and 5:30-9 p.m. Nov. 10 at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale
Info: 631-940-7290, greatbeerexpo.com/nassau
Admission: $55 ($45 advance), 21 and over