By Mary Heyl

Autumn is one of the best times of year for visitors to spend a beautiful afternoon exploring the historic village of Randolph. There are many great activities for families to enjoy together as the seasons change, including fun holiday events this winter. Head down Route 219 to Randolph for a memorable weekend soon!

Calling all leaf peepers! Enjoy incredible views of the changing leaves, beautiful hillsides and Amish farm land along New York’s Amish Trail, which begins in Randolph and continues throughout Cattaraugus County. Visitors can enjoy the foliage and explore Amish shops, bake stands, and produce stands along the way; whether you’re looking for a gorgeous hand-made quilt, sturdy furniture, or homemade donuts, you’re sure to find it along the Amish Trail. Randolph’s Welcome Center at 72 Main Street has free Amish Trail maps available for you to start your self-guided tour; Saturdays are the best day to plan your trip, as all Amish businesses are closed on Sundays.

For an in-depth experience of one of the largest Old Order Amish communities in the country, book a guided tour with one of Randolph’s experienced Amish Trail guides by calling (716) 358-9701 ext. 208. Your guide will ride along with you in your vehicle and tailor the tour to suit the interests of you and your passengers, whether you’d like to fill your car with pumpkins and gourds or simply enjoy the scenery. Because Amish homes and businesses are spread out across several miles of winding roads, some unpaved, it’s easy for first-time visitors to miss some of the best locations along the trail when driving on their own. For just $40, a three-hour guided Amish tour is an unforgettable experience of one of the most beautiful areas in Cattaraugus County, especially this time of year.

If you’ve never visited Randolph, there’s no better time than Small Business. This holiday season, avoid the chaos of big-box stores and chains and shop local for your gifts right in Randolph! On Saturday, Nov. 26, Randolph businesses will be offering great sales and specials to celebrate this national shopping day and kick off the holiday season. Randolph Retail Company has a great selection of gifts, food items, beautiful made-in-the USA clothing, and Zum Bar products! Just next door, Yarn for Ewe has everything you need to make a cozy Christmas gift, and non-knitters can shop their selection of hand-knitted gifts and 18-inch doll clothing and accessories. Just outside of Randolph, Simply Natural Alpaca Gift Shop on Pope Road has gifts for every member of the family: alpaca socks, slippers, hats, sweaters, gloves, stuffed animals, and more!

Randolph will be celebrating its Country Christmas weekend on Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec.3. On Friday night, the Memory Tree Ceremony will take place to remember and honor friends and family who have passed away with the lighting of Randolph’s Christmas tree. On Saturday, Randolph Central School will be hosting its annual Christmas craft show all day in their two gymnasiums—this is the perfect opportunity to shop for that unique gift. New for 2016: Randolph’s Christmas parade will be an evening parade, starting at 6 p.m. Sponsored by Randolph’s Expressions Performing Arts Center, the parade will take place on Main Street and feature Santa and Mrs. Claus, who will be riding in the fire truck! Later that evening at 7 p.m., the East Randolph United Methodist Church will be hosting their annual Living Nativity, which even features a live camel.

For more information about the beautiful historic village of Randolph, visit, find Enjoy Randolph on Facebook, or call (716) 358-9701 ext. 208. Plan your visit today!