Although the fall season heralds cooler temperatures, it doesn’t mean you’ve got to be holed up in the house
   From leaf-peeping to apple-picking, hiking and seasonal festivals; there are so many ways to celebrate the season.
   The hills are ablaze with a colorful array of leaves. Red, orange, yellow and brown hues cover the rolling countryside of the Southern Tier  of New York all the way through the far reaches of Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier.
   Every day I walk my dog along the Chemung River, and the bright foliage and crisp air make the experience so enjoyable.
   Here are some ways you can make the most of fall.

– See where Elmira artists create their masterpieces at the 2009 Elmira Open Studio Tour, taking place Saturday, Oct. 10 and Sunday, Oct. 11. An opening reception, featuring live music and snacks is being held from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Community Arts of Elmira, 413 Lake St. in Elmira. Visit the Web site for a map and more information.

– The Falls Harvest Festival in Montour Falls promises a day filled with tons of family fun Saturday, Oct. 10. There will be food and merchandise vendors, live entertainment and fireworks.

– If you love boxing, don’t miss the Third annual Chuck Jennings Classic on Saturday, Oct. 10 at the Ernie Davis Community Center in Elmira. The doors open at 4 p.m. with the match starting at 5 p.m.

– Grab a coat and take a hike at Tanglewood Nature Center and Museum in Elmira or Spencer Crest Nature Center in Corning.

– Imagine strolling through an apple orchard picking your own apples right off of the tree. It’s a wonderful way to spend a fall day, add a little healthy produce to your diet, and shop local. There are several orchards throughout the area, including Reisinger’s Apple Country in Watkins Glen; Littletree Orchards in Newfield; Bohlayer‘s Orchards and Gardiner’s Farms, both in Troy, Pa.

– The highly anticipated Erie Bell football game, the annual match-up of high school rivals Elmira Free Academy and Southside High School, is scheduled for Oct. 24 at Southside High School on South Main Street in Elmira. There’s nothing like spending a crisp, cool afternoon cheering on your fave team. (Disclosure: I’m a 1989 E.F.A. grad). Go Blue Devils!!

– The First Arena in downtown Elmira is busy with some fun and exciting entertainment, including the awesome acrobatic feats of Cirque D’Or on Oct. 17, and  the fantastic tunes of country music legend Willie Nelson on Oct. 27.