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Even if you’re visiting New York City, there’s nothing quite like Fall in this part of the United States. While those of us who have lived in the Northeast most of our lives (me!) take it for granted, autumn is a brilliant season.
Inside New York City, and just outside the five boroughs, whether it be Long Island, upstate New York, or Connecticut, you’re sure to find fantastic fall activities in New York City.
To help you with some ideas, I’ve created a list of my favorite fall things to do in NYC. I can’t wait to get outside this autumn!
Fall Activities in New York City
- Walk the High Line. The converted subway track is a beautiful walk at any time of year, but especially in the fall as the leaves turn to their autumn colors.
- Attend one of the many fall festivals happening throughout the city. Festivals for coffee, whiskey, chocolate, food, and wine – take your pick!
- Attend a Halloween event. New York City knows how to do Halloween, and there’s an event for everyone to enjoy! The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze and Sleepy Hollow are also incredible Halloween events just a quick train ride outside of the city.
- Families on the Upper West Side and Greenwich Village go all out each year, decorating their stoops for the season! Walk around the neighborhood and seeing the different scenes is one of my favorite fall activities in New York City.
- Stand along the route for the TCS New York City Marathon and cheer on the runners! The event takes place on the first Sunday of November every year.
- Have a picnic in a park before it gets too cold. Any of the City’s parks will do – Roosevelt Island, Governor’s Island, Prospect Park, Madison Square Park. What better way to spend one of the last mild-weather days than sitting outside on the lawn, surrounded by beautiful changing leaves.
- Take a tour of Central Park at sunset to maximize the autumn glow. There are walking tours, bike tours, even yoga tours in and through the park, to suit whichever of these fall activities in New York Cit you prefer!
Recommended Reading on New York City:
- Your Guide to the Best Free Things To Do in New York City
- Your Guide To New York City Museums Free Admission and Pay-As-You-Wish Hours
- Your Guide to Navigating the New York City Subway System
- The Best Observatories in New York City
- Head up to the top of one of New York City’s many observation decks to find overhead landscapes. Top of the Rock is the best one to catch views of the Central Park trees in their autumn splendor.
- For a full foliage fall things to do in NYC experience, head up to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx to see what happens when cooler weather comes to their garden. Then spend the afternoon roaming the Bronx Zoo.
- Try out some seasonal pumpkin eats at some of the City’s best restaurants. You can find a guide to the best pumpkin pancakes, whoopie pies, beer, and other pumpkin treats here.
- One of my favorite rooftop restaurants goes all out for each season, and their fall decor does not disappoint. You can find the Autumn edition of Serra by Birreria at Eataly’s Flatiron location.
- Some of the best fall things to do in NYC are just a short train ride away from the City! Try taking a trip to a cidery. Specifically Angry Orchard Brewery. Only a short trip up the Hudson train ride outside of New York City in Walden, New York.
- If you’re interested to see how the leaves change in the Northeast during this time of year, take one of the fall foliage tours from New York City. Experience a true Fall Fest on an Epic Clipper Ship. Classic Harbor Line offers yacht tours that leave from Manhattan and take you up the Hudson River for some spectacular autumn views of the Hudson Valley. Or, take the Hornblower’s New York Spirit Fall Foliage Lunch Cruise for a full afternoon experience.
- Go apple picking or pumpkin picking. Quite often, you can find both in the same place. Apple Dave’s Orchards & Applewood Winery, Stuart’s Fruit Farm, and Apple Ridge Orchards are all under two hours outside the city.
- Try your luck in a corn maze. Queen’s County Farm Museum has The Amazing Maize Maze, as well as their own pumpkin picking patch.
- Next up on your list for fall things to do in NYC—Go hiking! Central Park, Fort Tryon Park, Pelham Bay Park, and Van Cortlandt Park all have some easy outdoor paths. However, if you’re looking to really get into the autumn air on a more rigorous hike, Upstate New York and Connecticut have great places to explore. Just over an hour outside Midtown, Adren Point and Glenclyffe, and Breakneck Ridge are both easily accessible hiking spots by trains from Grand Central.
- Some of the best fall things to do in NYC happen for Thanksgiving. The day before Thanksgiving, head to the streets surrounding the Natural Museum of History. Starting around 1 p.m., you can watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons get blown up!
- On Thanksgiving morning, wake up early, bundle up, and head outside to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in person.
- After Thanksgiving, the holiday season in New York City officially begins. Check out my list of great holiday tours in NYC, and my NYC Christmas itinerary to spark your imagination for things to do during the most wonderful time of the year!
Make sure you get outside and experience the best fall activities in New York City before the trees are totally barren of leaves! Even on a short visit, you can absolutely squeeze in one or two fall festivities.
Which of these fall things to do in NYC are you most looking forward to?
- The Best Fall Festivals in New York City
- The Best Halloween Parties, Places, and Parades Around New York City
- The Best Places to go Apple Picking in Connecticut
- The Best Things to do in Poughkeepsie, New York