There’s no doubt that the pandemic has severely impacted the way we live. From how we run errands to the way we work and learn, the threat of COVID-19 remains constant. And while the average American life expectancy is 78 years, our current national crisis indicates that if we don’t get things under control, we could experience thousands — if not millions — of lives being cut short.
But aside from the coronavirus’s impact on our survival rates, it’s also had major effects on the way we socialize and have fun. With the continued need to wear masks, practice social distancing, and reduce the inherent risks associated with public places, it’s no wonder that many of us are wondering whether we’ll ever really be permitted to have fun in a worry-free way again. Although Florida attracts more than 100 million visitors each year, the majority of New Yorkers need to stay put (and away from national hot spots) in order to reduce their risks.
With that in mind, you might be stuck in the area for the foreseeable future. And as the seasons change, what exactly can you do for fun? You might be pleasantly surprised with the fall activities that are still going on — with restrictions in place — in the greater Rochester area.
Apple and Pumpkin Picking
In the Empire State, apples reign supreme — and the fall wouldn’t feel quite so fall-ish without the ability to pick your own. Fortunately, there are still ways to support u-pick farms in the area — but these agricultural businesses are subject to stricter guidelines from the state. Pick-your-own fruit farms have to operate with reduced capacity, require face coverings, and maintain social distancing between individuals. It’s a good idea to bring your own reusable bag or container and to consider attending on a weekday to beat the crowds. Farms will have to sanitize high-touch areas frequently and do their part to reduce crowding in any stores they operate. Farms that also have corn mazes, hayrides, or haunted houses will be subject to additional regulations. While two of the biggest haunted hayrides in the area have already canceled their festivities for the year, those that continue to operate will have to follow all the aforementioned rules and clean between hayrides. Agritourism businesses that operate petting zoos will not be allowed to open those animal-friendly facilities to the public. Many farms are already making adjustments — and even increasing their offerings — that will allow guests to spread out safely. Before you go, be sure to check the farm’s website or social media page for pertinent updates.
Nature Walks and Leaf-Peeping
The fall foliage doesn’t get much more spectacular than it does in this region and there are plenty of ways to appreciate it in a way that doesn’t pose an inherent risk. You can take a drive to one of the area’s many locales to appreciate the changing leaves or take a walk on one of our many nature trails to get some exercise and feast your eyes on fall. There are even guided nature walks being held at Tinker Nature Park in Henrietta on select Saturdays. Make sure to bring your mask and hand sanitizer along and maintain distance between yourself and others.
The Key Bank Rochester Fringe Festival, now in its ninth year, has embodied the mentality, “the show must go on” — but with a virtual twist. Instead of canceling like the Jazz Festival did, Fringe is still offering 10 days of wild, wacky, and whimsical entertainment. But this year, there’ll be over 170 productions accessible through a screen. Although conventional event venues have experienced a lot of grief from the state, Fringe has gotten around that issue by presenting its shows digitally. The Spiegeltent might be absent, but the jaw-dropping feats won’t be. Many events are free, while others are more affordable than in years past to make some much-needed laughter and amazement accessible to all.
Of course, this list is far from exhaustive. In 2019, there were 5.8 billion Google searches performed each day — and if you want to stay on top of what’s happening in our region, you might not need to do much more than conduct an internet search. Just make sure to confirm that the results are current for 2020 and that whoever is hosting the event is taking proper pandemic precautions.
This entry was posted on Thursday, September 10th, 2020 at 4:29 pm and is filed under Art + Culture, Events, Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.