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Five fall festivities you can do in New Jersey during the pandemic

Although the coronavirus has altered or held back many typical fall activities, there are still some that Seton Hall students can participate in outdoors to fully immerse themselves in the season.

1.       Hiking

One outdoor fall activity students can do is hiking. Students can enjoy the weather and take in the fall foliage on the trails while also maintaining their distance from others.

“What I enjoy most about hiking is being in nature,” Elizabeth Rauchet, a sophomore English major, said. “It’s a way to stimulate my mind by paying attention to my surroundings and making sure I am aware of my every step while also giving me a chance to step away from my phone and enjoy some fresh air.”

Spots to hike around Seton Hall include South Mountain Reservation in West Orange and Watchung Reservation in Mountainside.

2.       Pumpkin picking

Pumpkin picking is one of the more traditional fall outdoor activities in which students can still participate during the pandemic.

“What I enjoy about pumpkin picking is that I’m not on my phone as much and get to enjoy spending quality time with my family—it’s better than being inside,” Elizabeth Culha, a sophomore marketing and finance major, said.

Culha said she recommends that students visit Demarest Farms in Hillsdale. Some other pumpkin patches near Seton Hall include Conklin Farm U-Pick in Montville, Fairfield Farms in Fairfield and Farms View in Wayne.

3.       Apple picking

Apple picking is another popular fall outing that can still be done despite COVID-19.

“I like apple picking because it’s a fun thing to do with friends,” Dominique Adornetto, a sophomore biology and physical therapy major, said. “I love the hayride out to the field, the bright colors of fall and the tons of trees with all different types of apples that you get to bring home.”

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Adornetto said she recommends apple picking at Johnson’s Corner Farm in Medford. Other spots in New Jersey are Melick’s Town Farm in Oldwick and Alstede Farms in Chester.

4.      Haunted corn mazes and hayrides

While some things surrounding Halloween, like Trick or Treating, seem to be up in the air because of COVID-19, students are still able to visit haunted corn mazes and hayrides to get into the Halloween spirit safely.

“The aspect I love most about haunted corn mazes and hayrides is the thrill and adrenaline rush of getting scared,” Emma Boeninghaus, a sophomore financial technology major, said. “I also enjoy the creativity that goes into theming haunted attractions.”

Haunted attractions that students can visit include Field of Terror in East Windsor, Scare Farm in Hillsborough  and BloodShed Farms in Columbus.

5.       Flower farms

Though flowers may not be the first thing people think of when picturing fall scenery, flower farms are popular Instagram-worthy sites during the season.

Some Instagram posts feature backdrops of rows and rows of flowers at sunflower and lavender farms. Although it is one of the main draws, flower farms are not just for pictures as they offer pick-your-own sunflowers or lavender.

Spots to see, pick and take pictures with the sunflowers include Happy Day Farm in Manalapan and Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm in Jobstown. Places with lavender include Mad Lavender Farm in Milford and Pleasant Valley Lavender in Morganville.

Brooke McCormick can be reached at


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