Fall is officially here—the seasons have changed, the fall drinks are brewing, and it's time to bring out the cable knit sweaters. It is also time to do fall things, like apple picking and strolling through forests of changing trees. We've pulled together a list of 12 fall things to do in New York, whether you live in New York or you're just visiting.
1. Visit Sleepy Hollow
Sleepy Hollow is one of the most fun places to visit in New York in autumn. We recommend taking the Metro-North Hudson Line train to Sleepy Hallow on the weekends for convenience. Here, you can walk the decorated streets, pop into cute shops, and participate in any Halloween events like the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze, which we'll get into later, or tours of the Sleepy Hallow Haunted House.
2. Go to a Pumpkin Patch
Fall means taking yourself, your friends, and your family to the local pumpkin patch to go pumpkin picking. It's the perfect fall activity, and you can dust off your flannels and pick out pumpkins of different sizes, shapes, and colors. If you're in New York City, we recommend Pumpkin Point on Governors Island.
3. Go Apple Picking
Right up there with going to visit a pumpkin patch, in terms of must-dos when it's fall, is going apple picking at a local orchard. Many orchards are only a quick train or car ride away from New York City on Long Island and upstate New York. Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard in North Salem and Wightman's Farms in Morristown are family-friendly favorites and offer several varieties of apples, so feel free to test drive a few.
4. Go to an Oktoberfest
What's better than sampling local brews and enjoying giant pretzels? Thankfully, if those are two of your favorite things, there are more than enough opportunities to do that this fall at the many Oktoberfests happening in New York. Torch and Crown Brewing Company, Loreley, and The Standard Biergarten are just a few we'd recommend checking out.
5. Visit the New York Botanical Garden
Almost no place in New York City takes fall more seriously than the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Fall festivities at the New York Botanical Garden run from September 16 to November 12 at its “Fall-O-Ween” event. It's just a short train ride away, and you can carve pumpkins, stay for the spooky garden nights, and walk through the fall foliage.
6. Peep the Leaves Changing Colors
As the movie ‘When Harry Met Sally' will show, fall is one of the best times to be in New York City. Whether taking a stroll through Central Park or Prospect Park, you can take in the sights of the trees and leaves changing colors. Slow down and enjoy the view.
7. Take a Boat Ride up the Hudson River
One of the best ways to see New York State is through a leisurely boat ride up the Hudson River. There are all-day boat rides, fall foliage rides, Oktoberfest rides, and everything in between. Check out the schedule, book beforehand, and enjoy your fall ride.
8. See The The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze
It's fall once you see the pumpkins shine. The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze occurs in Hudson, New York, and Long Island. Here, you can see a Ferris Wheel of pumpkins, more jack-o-lanterns than you can imagine, and a showcase of more than 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins. Tickets sell out fast, and the spots book up, so buy your ticket today!
9. Have an Apple Cider Donut
Nothing says flavors of fall more than an apple cider donut. There will be more than enough opportunities to have an apple cider donut, whether from your local bakery, your local farmers market, or when you go to an apple orchard. This is the only season you can get them, so take advantage of it.
10. Go to Your Local Farmer's Market
Fall is the perfect time for fresh produce. Find a local farmers' market near you, usually open on the weekends, and enjoy the fall harvest. There are no better ways to try the local foods from neighboring farms, enjoy the fall weather, and drink warm apple cider.
11. Take a Fall Hike
Outside of taking a Hudson Line Cruise, one of the best ways to see the leaves change colors is by taking a hike in Westchester County and Upstate New York. We recommend hiking through Bear Mountain, one of the Circle Line boat ride locations, where you can take in stunning views of the state and the fall foliage.
12. Watch the New York City Marathon
Another accurate marker of fall in New York City is the New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5. While the submissions to run the marathon are closed, anyone can watch it along the route starting in Brooklyn and ending in Central Park, Manhattan. Here, you can cheer, support your friends and community, and get inspired to run it in future years.
Even More Fall Things to Do in New York
There are plenty of things to do in New York in the fall. While we've pulled a list together, you'll have to get out there and find the time to do everything. We may have even left something off our list so you can discover it all by yourself. If traveling outside New York, check out some other fall activities like those at Disney World and Dollywood.