Fall date ideas

05:00 AM, Oct 10, 2013

Couples, sign up for a cooking class this fall and learn to craft savory soups, hearty entrees or sweet desserts side-by-side. (Thinktock)/


Written By Michelle Inclema Shippers

There is something about the feel of the cool crisp air, the sound of the colorful leaves crunching under your feet and the smell of cinnamon and nutmeg that makes you feel happy and content during the fall.

This season, you can share those warm fuzzy feelings with the object of your affections with help from our guide to fall date ideas.

You are the apple of my eye

Share your love for the Empire State’s number one fruit with your number one by going apple picking at a local orchard. Whether you live on the east or west side of the city, there is an apple farm just nearby. Prices are based per pound of apples; check websites for available apple varieties, special harvest events and other fall happenings before planning your trip.

And after a long day at the farm, head home and try your hand at making fresh applesauce, hard cider or a hot apple pie. For those that don’t want to waste time in the kitchen, enjoy a bowl of apple slices drizzled with warm caramel, chopped nuts and whipped cream.

Farms: Whittier Fruit Farm, 219 Whittier Road, Ogden, (585) 594-9054 or whittierfruitfarm.com; Green Acre U-Pick at Green Acre Farm, 3460 Latta Road, Greece, (585) 234-0252 or greenacreupick.com; G and S Orchards, 825 Atlantic Ave. (Route 286), Walworth, (315) 524-3823 or gandsorchards.com; The Apple Farm, 1640 State Route 444, Victor, (585) 924-3420, thevictorapplefarm.com.

Under the stars

There is something romantic about stargazing with your sweetheart. Get an up-close view of these great balls of fire by attending a public stargazing party hosted by astronomy club The Astronomy Section of the Rochester Academy.

The group hosts public star parties every month at Mendon Ponds Park or Northampton Park from early spring to late fall, and telescopes are provided by club members.

For another look at the sky, The Strasenburgh Planetarium has 12.5-inch diameter reflecting telescope on the roof that club members operate weekly on clear Saturday nights, weather permitting. Call the planetarium box office at (585) 697-1945 after 7:30 p.m. to confirm the weekly event.

For more information: (585) 987-5330 or rochesterastronomy.com

Get cooking

Coming home after a long day of work and cooking together is a great way to relax and catch up on your day without the distraction of cellphones or television. Don’t believe me? Sign up for a cooking class this fall and learn to craft savory soups, hearty entrees or sweet desserts side-by-side.

Upcoming classes at the NY State Culinary Wine Center in Canandaigua include sensational fall salads, soups, intro to sushi-making, pasta-making, cooking with apples and a special sausage, cabbage and beer-pairing event.

Classes are offered in the evenings and on weekends. Call (585) 394-7070 or go to nywcc.com.

Also,Dick and Ginger Howell share their love of great food with local wanna-be chefs at the Seasonal Kitchen, 610 W. Bloomfield Road, Pittsford. They pride themselves on teaching others how to craft masterful dishes that don’t take hours to prepare and they use simple ingredients. Call (585) 624-3242 or go to seasonal-kitchen.com/home.htm.

The couple that screams together

Though many of the haunted attractions in our area are advertised as family-friendly, it’s still a bonus to have someone to hold on tight to while a costumed actor chases you with a chainsaw. If you are like me and shut your eyes to shut out the terrors that await you, count on your date to be your guide through a house of horrors.

Local haunts: Haunted Hayrides of Greater Rochester, 3329 Eddy Rd. Williamson, Wayne County, (585)-423-2991, hauntedhayridesrochester.com; Verhulst Haunted Hayride, 5161 W. Ridge Road, Parma, (585) 352-8484 or verhulsthalloweenhayride.com; Nightmare Manor, Southtown Plaza, 3333 W. Henrietta Road, Henrietta, (585) 455-9781 or nightmaremanor.com.

Take a sip

If nothing spells romance for you like the aroma of hops and barley, visit a local brewery for a tour and tastings. And if fine wine makes your heart sing, take your date east of the city toward the Finger Lakes wine trail. (Just make sure to bring a designated driver.)

Rohrbach’s, a local brewery with a German flair, offers handcrafted brews. They are also known for German cuisine (potato pancakes and schnitzel, anyone?) as well as traditional pub fare at their brewpub located on Buffalo Road in Gates. Tours and tastings: Rohrbach’s Railroad Street Brewery, 97 Railroad Street, (585) 594-9800, rohrbachs.com.

Though Genny beer has long been a Rochester tradition, the Genesee Brew House, which includes a restaurant, landed on the map in 2012. Tours and tastings: 25 Cataract St., (585) 263-9200 or geneseebeer.com/brew-house/tour

The Finger Lakes Wine Center at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park represents 40 different wineries from the Finger Lakes region, rotating through 150 different wines throughout their open season. Finger Lakes Wine Center at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte St., Canandaigua. (585) 394-4922 or sonnenberg.org.

Crush some grapes

Spend an hour or two developing a distinguished palate for wine. With two locations in Webster and Hilton, Lake Ontario Winery’s vino experts will educate you on the basics of wine-making while you enjoy six samples of wine varietals. After class, head home and enjoy crafting wine with the take-home kit included with the class. Lake Ontario Winery and Vineyards: 1593 Hamlin Parma Townline Road, Parma (585) 392-5296; or 699 Five Mile Line Road, Webster (585) 671-1955, or go to mayerscidermill.com.

View from the top

New York State is known for its majestic fall foliage. Rather than take a drive through the country, why not take flight above the treetops? Imagine plucking a leaf from the top of a tree as you descend from 5,000 feet in a hot air balloon or snapping pictures from your seat on a chair lift. Definitely a date you will never forget!

Fall Sky Rides at Bristol Mountain, Bristol Mountain, 5662 Route 64, South Bristol (585) 374-6000 or www.bristolmountain.com/.

Hot Air Balloon Rides by Liberty Balloon Co., launch sites located at Canandaigua Lake, Letchworth State Park area, Conesus Lake and Mount. Morris, (585) 243-3178 or libertybal loon.com/balloon-rides.