Fall Festivities At Sands Point Preserve

By Jana Raphael-McDonough

The excitement of autumn begins in September with the Village Day Fall Festival on Sunday, Sept. 23, from noon to 4 p.m.

The Sands Point Preserve Conservancy celebrates the beginning of the fall harvest season with outdoor activities for children of all ages. The festival features a petting zoo; hayrides and pony rides around the Great Lawn; pumpkin painting for budding artists, and a Green Grocer market featuring award-winning artisanal cheeses and farm picked fresh vegetables. The conservancy welcomes back Acoustic Mayhem and the students from Bach-to-Rock Music School for live performances throughout the afternoon. Guided nature walks and Qi Gong are also on the afternoon’s schedule. Refreshments from a variety of excellent food trucks will be available for purchase. In the event of inclement weather, the festival will be rescheduled for Sunday, Sept. 30.

Every year, the conservancy celebrates Halloween like no other place in the region. On Oct. 20 at 8 p.m., the preserve kicks off the Halloween festivities with PUSH Physical Theatre’s stunning adaptation of Bram Stoker’s 1897 horror novel, Dracula—an acrobatic spectacle from the “masters of motion theatre” in Castle Gould’s Black Box Theater. Historic Hempstead House will be transformed into a massive horror house on the theme of “Vampyres’ Lair”—bloodthirsty creatures of the night will be lurking everywhere throughout the mansion, and visitors will come face-to-face with a cast of actors who take their terrifying roles very seriously. The Haunt runs Oct. 25, 26, 28, 29, 30 and 31 from 7 until 11 p.m.

On Saturday, Oct. 27, at 7 p.m., the Halloween Ball takes over Hempstead House. A huge gala tent will be set up in the rose garden mausoleum to expand the 50,000 square foot mansion for this amazing party. This wildly popular event is the conservancy’s most important fundraising event of the year. For more of the gory details, visit www.sandspointpreserve.org.

The preserve offers education programs and Wellness/Fitness activities for all ages throughout the year. After school classes for children ages three to 10 years foster lifelong connections between art, wellness, and the natural environment. Registration is now open for classes, which begin the last week of September. The Fall session of Four Seasons of Family Yoga takes place on Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. Preregister at info@sandspointpreserve.org.

For adults, themed Guided Nature Walks explore many aspects of the preserve’s environment and related conservation initiatives on Oct. 14, Nov. 11 and the second Sunday of every month from 3 to 4 pm. The popular Owl Prowl for Adults ventures into the nighttime woods on Saturday, Oct. 13, at 7 to 9 p.m.

Weekly meditation and yoga classes are free for Conservancy members and $10 for non-members.

Members of the conservancy not only help support the Sands Point Preserve’s historic buildings and grounds, but they are also eligible for discounts to many events and free admission to the park. Fall is the perfect time to join with a 12-month membership and enjoy all that the preserve has to offer.

For more information, visit www.sandspointpreserve.org or visit the Welcome Center & Gift Shop at 127 Middle Neck Road, Sands Point, NY, 11050. The preserve is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the Welcome Center is open at noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

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