Do you know what is the best time to visit NYC? It’s when the leaves turn yellow, and the air is crisp with a hint of winter, it’s when autumn knocks at our doors bringing home our favourite festivities. Fall in NYC is an experience in itself. Many people visit the city just to participate and experience the many fall activities in NYC. From spooky Halloween events to leaf-peeping opportunities NYC is full of activities that make the autumn season all the more fun and memorable. For those thinking of traveling to The Big Apple to witness its fall festivities, make sure to check out our article on the best fall activities in NYC.
Best Fall Activities in NYC – A Quick Glance
10 Best Fall Activities in NYC – Overview
1. Best Fall Activities in NYC – Visiting the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
One of the best fall activities in NYC, that is equal parts dazzling and mesmerizing is the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze. For 19 years, the festival has been wowing locals and tourists alike. This year, the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze will be held through November 19, in the Hudson Valley at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-o-Hudson and through November 5 in Old Bethpage, Long Island. Both venues will be donned with thousands of hand-carved jack-o’lanterns, arranged in elaborate displays.
In Hudson Valley, these displays will include, the Statue of Liberty, the Pumpkin Planetarium, the Day of the Dead jack o’lantern tribute, a circus sideshow, as well as a pumpkin ferris wheel. On the other hand, in Long Island, the jack o’lanterns will wow the attendees by taking on various shapes which will include a Montauk mermaid and a giant pumpkin octopus.
2. Best Fall Activities in NYC – Witnessing the Secret World of Elephants
A new exhibit at The American Museum of Natural History is bringing in to spotlight the majestic and incredible creatures, elephants. The exhibit will be showcased under the name The Secret World of Elephants, and will display both ancient and modern elephants, giving visitors the chance to not only learn about what elephants eat, touch an elephant’s tooth, and listen to elephant calls, but will also offer them a chance to see a full-scale model of a wooly mammoth. Manny is that you? “Sinks to the floor sobbing.”
The exhibition will open to the public on November 23, Monday in the museum’s Lefrak Family Gallery. Museum members will be allowed entry for free, while others will have to purchase an additional ticket to witness the exhibition.
3. Best Fall Activities in NYC – Catching a Movie at the Empire State Building
Want to elevate your movie experience, literally? Then this fall head on to the Empire State Building, to catch various Hollywood films in which the building makes a cameo. The lineup includes An Affair to Remember which will be screened on October 22nd. An Affair to Remember is a 1950s film in which the Empire State Building costars and serves as the meeting point for the main characters of the film who met and fell in love while traveling on a cruise from Europe to New York. The couple agrees to reunite at the top of the Empire State Building in six months.
James and the Giant Peach will also be screened in the Empire State Building on November 11th, Saturday. This film is a 1996 musical fantasy, featuring the Empire State Building as the heroine. The last movie that will be screened there is Elf, on Sundays December 3, 10, and 17. The cost of tickets is $130 per person and included in the price are themed snacks and drinks as well as access to the building’s museum and observation decks. To purchase your tickets, visit the Empire State Building NYC website.
4. Best Fall Activities in NYC – Touring the Color Factory
One of the best of the best fall activities in NYC for families is visiting the Color Factory during the season when nature coats its leaves in hues of red and orange. The Color Factory goes all out for the fall season, donning its auburn autumn dress to impress the guests. The Soho immersive art museum is presenting this fall season Haunted Hues, which is a Halloween-themed exhibit, that includes Instagramable photo spots, a pumpkin patch experience with a Color Factory Twist, special treats as well as a scavenger hunt.
Every visitor will be given exclusive Haunted Hues giveaways and seasonal treats. The exhibit will run from 14th September to 1st November, with the price of tickets starting from $39. To book your tickets to the fun extravaganza head on to the Color Factory website.
5. Best Fall Activities in NYC – Participating in Fall-O-Ween
When you visit NYC during fall, one of its annual fall celebrations that you must take part in is Fall-O-Ween, an exciting mash-up of fall and Halloween. New York Botanical Garden’s Fall-O-Ween opened to the public on the 16th of September and will last till 31st October. The event consists of an exhibition of hundreds of pumpkins and gourds, 3D pumpkin carving, mini pumpkin decorating, food, and beverage stalls, and much more.
Moreover, apart from Fall-O-Ween, from Saturday, October 21st to Saturday, October 28, two family-friendly Spooky Garden Nights will offer Halloween-themed entertainment to the visitors which will include decorating trick-or-treating bags, dancing skeletons, plant potting, live shadow puppets, and much more.
Master pumpkin carver, Adam Bierton will also grace New York Botanical Garden on select weekends to create his nature-inspired, intricate pumpkin cravings that will leave you awe-struck and gaping-mouthed. He will also host a master carver competition, in which people will showcase their talent at pumpkin carving. Guests can also purchase pumpkins at the New York Botanical Garden shop.
6. Best Fall Activities in NYC – Visiting the Queens County Farm Museum
Another great family-friendly activity among the best fall activities in NYC is visiting the Queens County Farm Museum. Even though it’s not as easily accessible by public transit as most NYC museums are, Queens County is a true treasure that is worth the car ride or bus trek. The farm transports one to a world that is entirely different from Manhattan and makes one feel closer to nature. This 47-acre farm, that has been in operation since 1697, is the city’s longest continually farmed site, that is in operation even today.
When visiting the farm you can hop aboard a hayride, feed, and pet barnyard animals like ponies, goats, and shop, go pumpkin picking, and find your way through the Amazing Maize Maze. You can also purchase fresh veggies and fruits grown on the premises from the farm’s store.
7. Best Fall Activities in NYC – Go Apple Picking
Fruit that you pick yourself tastes better and if you always wanted to experience what it felt like roaming around an apple orchard, picking the juiciest apples, and munching on them as you stroll along the treelined pathway, then a visit to NYC is a must. When it comes to the best fall activities in NYC, apple picking is the most refreshing one. Apple orchards in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut let you pick your own apples by the bushel, allowing you to bring your sweet, hand-picked, hard-earned bounty home for pie-making and snacking.
Apple picking can be a great family trip as apart from picking apples the farms also offer hot ciders, donuts, corn mazes, farm-fresh snacks, hayrides, and a chance to pet farm animals. So, when you smell the crisp air, grab an empty basket and put on your best plaid as it’s time to embark on an apple-picking adventure.
8. Best Fall Activities in NYC – Eating Your Way through the Farmers Market
When fall rolls around, our cravings change, and suddenly there is an urge to feast on things like pumpkin, apples, and sweets, including apple cider donuts. So, when calls the stomach, visit one of the many open-air markets that NYC has to offer. These markets harbor all things apple and year after year, grace the stalls with scrumptious apple cider donuts.
Eat your weight in donuts as you stroll the market, and also stock up on apple cider, you never when your inner chief might awaken from its deep slumber, ready to make apple cider donuts of its own.
9. Best Fall Activities in NYC – Watching a Movie on a Rooftop
Watching a movie on a rooftop just hits differently. If you have never experienced it, it is a humble request to go to the Rooftop Cinema Club that is screening all the great gems Hollywood has to offer till October 31st. Eat popcorn and sip wine as movies like The Addams Family, Hocus Pocus, and When Harry Met Sally grace the screens.
For all the horror fanatics out there, the Rooftop Cinema Club is also screening scary movies like Paranormal, The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, American Psycho, The Shining, and other cult classics. For a more family-friendly experience, you can watch the iconic Coco, and Monsters, Inc.
10. Best Fall Activities in NYC. – Remembering the Fallen at a Powerful 9/11 Exhibit
An event that rocked America and sent the entire world into a state of shock was 9/11. To this very day, many of us have a vivid memory of that day, the panic on people’s faces, the registration of loss, the wailing sirens. When it comes to the best fall activities in NYC, remembering the ones who lost their lives on that tragic day should be number one on your list.
Photos illustrating the heroic moments, quotes from firefighters, a wall of victims’ names, and a video interview with a retired firefighter comprise the exhibit that is labeled Recovery and Reflection, Celebrating the 9/11 Tribute Museum and is put on display at the New York City Fire Museum. For adult admission you will have to pay a sum of $15 and for child admission, $6.
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