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Top 20 Things to Do in Fall in New York City

Top 20 Things to Do in Fall in New York City

UPDATED JULY 2019: There's nothing quite like New York City in the fall! Head to an old-fashioned fair, watch the iconic NYC marathon or Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, celebrate Halloween, check out a medieval festival, and so much more. There's fun to be had in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and everywhere in between.


1. How ‘Bout Them Apples

Take a day trip up to Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm in Yorktown Heights where you can pick your own apples and make it through the corn throughout September. Have fun at other nearby apple orchards and farms throughout September. 

2. Remembering 9/11

world trade center memorial

The events of Sept. 11, 2001 forever changed our city, our country, and our world. Take a moment to reflect with a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum at The World Trade Center Site in Manhattan’s Financial District. 

3. Fall Music Fun

Though summer is over, you can still get your festival fill in Brooklyn with Fall Music Fest 2019. Head to the Richard Rogers Amphitheater in Marcus Garvey Park to see awesome local bands perform until the sun goes down. Check our calendar for details closer to the event.

4. Good Old-Fashioned Family Fun

Indulge in traditional blue-ribbon competitions, an Amazing Maize Maze, pie-eating and corn-husking contests, pig-racing, carnival rides, vendors, and food vendors at the Annual Queens County Fair at the Queens County Farm Museum in Floral Park, Queens, held in mid- to late September. Check out these other fall fairs in the city for more fun. 

5. Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Don thine armor, summon thy bannermen, and make haste for Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights, Manhattan. Each year in late September, the Medieval Festival  boasts renaissance revelry for the young, old, and middle-aged!

6. If You Can Dream It You Can Make It

In late September, attend the World Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science in Corona, Queens, where up-and-coming creatives can get inspired to make, recycle, build, think, and play while celebrating art, science, and technology.

7. Food & Drink for All

Kids and parents alike will love the spread at the annual Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival. Held in mid-October, the event spans several days and features family-friendly tastings and classes and meet-and-greets with popular culinary personalities.

8. The Street Fair to End All Street Fairs

Every New Yorker should experience Atlantic Antic at least once in his or her life. Featuring more than 500 artists, craftspeople, musicians, and food merchants, this festival takes place in Brooklyn in September and is one of the city’s largest and longest-running street fairs. For details, check

9. All About Birds

Get up close with birds of prey during Wings Over Wave Hill Day at Wave Hill  in the Bronx, a three-day program on Veteran’s Day Weekend in November.

10. Pet Party

In early October, bring your pet(s) to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan for the Blessing of the Animals, a celebration in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.

11. The Spice of Life

Enjoy sizzling shows, dynamite dishes, and fiery fun at the Chile Pepper Festival, held in late September or early October at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in Crown Heights. 

12. Wild for Halloween

bronx zoo hay maze at boo at the zoo

Julie Larsen Maher

Boils and ghouls will go batty for the Bronx Zoo’s annual Halloween celebration, Boo at the Zoo, typically held early October through early November. Enjoy crafts, a haunted pirate hayride adventure, and themed animal exhibits. Costumes welcome! Check out our site for more Halloween fun. 

13. Fan-doms Unite!

If you’re a fan of pop-culture, you won’t want to miss New York Comic-Con held at the Javits Center in Manhattan in early October. This four-day gathering includes an entire day of kid-centric programming for ages 6-12 and connects fans, creators, and stars of popular TV shows, movies, and of course, comic books.

14. Back Under the Big Top

big apple circus bike riders

Courtesy Big Apple Circus

Big Apple Circus, NYC’s hometown circus, comes home again to Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park in Lincoln Square, Manhattan from mid- to late October through January. For show details, visit

15. A Gourd-Grabbin’ Good Time

Get a feel for old-fashioned county livin’ with a trip to Historic Richmond Town’s Decker Farm on Staten Island where you can enjoy a corn maze, hayrides, face painting, arts and crafts, and pick your own pumpkins throughout October.

16. Pumpkins Galore

Don’t miss The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze, an outdoor walk-through experience featuring thousands of hand-carved pumpkins, at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson. The Blaze opens in September and runs through mid-November and is certainly worth the trip north to Westchester.

17. We Run This City

Join your fellow New Yorkers and cheer on family, friends, and neighbors in early November as they run through the greatest city on Earth during the New York City Marathon. The race starts on Staten Island, spans streets in all five boroughs, and ends in Central Park in Manhattan, providing competitors with the sights, sounds, and sheer excitement only NYC can offer.

18. Viva Mexico!

Learn more about Dia de los Muertos and Mexican culture in early November at El Museo Del Barrio in East Harlem, Manhattan, which hosts educational activities, music, food, and other traditional activities celebrating the holiday.

19. We Salute You

Commemorate Veteran’s Day and celebrate the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces during the Veterans Day Parade, which features floats, military and vintage vehicles, and more than 20,000 marchers from all branches of military. Over the last few years, the opening ceremony has been held next to Madison Square Park and the route follows Fifth Avenue North to 56th Street. 

20. Turkey, Pomp, and Circumstance

macy's thanksgiving parade

Courtesy Macy’s

Arguably the world’s most famous parade, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade boasts behemoth balloons, beautiful floats, and the biggest names in entertainment—and it all takes place in the heart of Manhattan!




Here at NYMetroParents, we've got everything you need to have a safefun, and festive fall and Halloween season.  Whether it is pumpkin or apple picking, getting lost in a corn maze, making Halloween crafts or finding costumes and decorations, we're here to help. 

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Emma Steven

Author: Emma Steven is a British freelance writer living in Manhattan with her husband, two small kids, and two cats. Previously the Manhattan calendar editor for, she writes about parenting and New York City. She has written dozens of parenting articles for NYMetroParents, and has also been published on and When asked about what she most misses about the UK she’s most likely to say British humor and least likely to say British weather. See More

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