50 Ways to Have the Best Fall Ever in New York

50 Ways to Have the Best Fall Ever in New York

Have fun with your family in the New York metro area this autumn!

No matter where you live in the New York metro area—Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester County, or Rockland County—there are lots of fall activities for families to explore and enjoy. Family fun in autumn can include fairs, festivals, and more. From apple picking to haunted houses, volunteering to hiking and even ice-skating, we’ve got a complete rundown of ways to enjoy fall with your children and make memories to last all year.

We’re lucky to live in an area that’s beautiful all year round, but it’s never prettier than in the fall. Autumn is also a perfect time to have fun as a family: The temperatures are sane, the crazy crowds are gone, and busy work and school schedules make together time a commodity to be especially celebrated. To help you get started, we’ve rounded up 50 awesome seasonal activities—pick and choose your faves and make this a fall your family will always remember. 

  1. Attend a fall festival in your area.
  2. Join in on the 93rd Annual Feast of San Gennaro in Manhattan’s Little Italy. (It runs Sept. 12-22—11 days!)
  3. Play putt-putt before it’s too cold out.
  4. Spend a still-warm morning or afternoon exploring the High Line.
  5. Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by dancing, decorating a piñata, and more.
  6. Learn about marine science at the SUBMERGE NYC Marine Science Festival on Sept. 28 in midtown Manhattan.
  7. Take in a sensory-friendly theater show in NYC.
  8. Join the Kite Flight for Peace & Human Rights on Roosevelt Island Sept. 28.
  9. Enjoy some of the best leaf-peeping in the entire Northeast.
  10. Have an old-timey experience at the 37th Annual Queens County Fair Sept. 21-22.
  11. Take a scenic boat ride before the season ends.
  12. Attend the Long Island Fair at Old Bethpage—the county fair for the entire island—Sept. 21-29.
  13. Make colorful memories at Color Factory in Soho.
  14. Just because summer’s over, it doesn’t mean you have to stop family vacations! Plan a day trip for a long weekend.
  15. Rainy day? Make this Low-Mess Pom Pom Hand Puppet with the kids.
  16. Take in the scenery from horseback.
  17. Meet some of your kids’ favorite authors on Saturday, Oct. 5 at Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival.
    child eating apple
  18. Visit an apple orchard or farm for a day of pretty picking (and check out these 10 tips to make sure you have the best apple-picking experience possible).
  19. Spend the day exploring Times Square—it's not just for tourists!
  20. Lace up your hiking boots and hit these area hiking trails.
  21. Have (way) old-school fun at the New York Renaissance Faire.
  22. Shop for costumes for the fam at one of these fun Halloween costume store.
  23. Visit Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture in Pocantico Hills any weekend through November to meet the pigs and bees, taste farm-to-table foods, and more.
  24. Come out to watch Manhattan’s Columbus Day parade on Monday, Oct. 14, with more than 100 bands and floats.
  25. Take some time to reflect at NYC’s 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
  26. Ramble through Wave Hill on Saturday, Oct. 19 before taking in Vulture Culture: A Live Bird Presentation.
  27. Go big and pick your own pumpkins.
  28. Then decorate your pumpkins with our no-carve ideas.

    halloween events for families in new york
  29. Head out and enjoy some family-friendly Halloween activities. We’re talking haunted houses, corn mazes, and more!
  30. Check out the Spooky Pumpkin Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, with more than 100 scarecrows set among nearly 1,000 rare and unusual pumpkins and gourds.
  31. Find vintage treasures at the Brooklyn Flea.
  32. Aw, shucks: Oyster Bay’s annual Oyster Festival is Oct. 19-20.
  33. Go ice-skating—nope, it’s not too soon!
  34. See the colorful sights at one of the many Diwali festivals around the city.
  35. Get lost in (and find your way out of) a corn maze.
  36. Spend a weekend in scenic Mystic, CT
  37. For some truly spooky sights, don’t miss the 46th Annual Village Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village.
  38. Check out Six Flags Great Adventure’s Fright Fest Sept. 13-Nov. 3.
  39. Get yourself over to Governor’s Island before it closes Oct. 31.
  40. Head to the Bronx Zoo’s Treetop Adventure for nighttime zip lining.
  41. Cheer on runners at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 3.
  42. Observe Native American Heritage Month with feasts, arrowhead making, and more.
  43. Planning a bar/bat mitzvah, Sweet 16, or other bash? Browse the Celebrate Party Showcase in Melville in Suffolk County on Nov. 3 or in Tarrytown in Westchester County on Nov. 24.
  44. Enjoy the harvest bounty at a farmer’s market.

    macy's thanksgiving day parade clown u
  45. Ooh and aah at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade—and see what it takes to be a clown on the big day!
  46. Volunteer with your family at a local worthy cause.
  47. Toast the return of cooler weather by trying some of the best hot chocolates and teas in the area.
  48. Sit ringside at the Big Apple Circus, returning to Lincoln Center Oct. 12-Feb. 2! And get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating the circus.
  49. Bake a birthday cake with your children—even if it’s no one’s birthday.
  50. Get a jump on holiday decorating by cutting your own Christmas tree—if you celebrate!    

Weekend plans? Get local family events delivered to your inbox.