There’s nothing like feeling the crisp fall breeze while cuddled in a cozy sweater and sipping on a pumpkin spice beverage to warm even a cold New Yorker’s heart.
Just like we did for summer, we’re rounding up the must-dos of the season — from the obvious (yes, pumpkin and apple picking) to the more unique (weekend away in a medieval castle, anyone?).
Without further ado, here’s our ultimate fall bucket list for in & around NYC!
Before we know it, we’ll be stressing about what costume to wear this year, but you won’t have to worry about where to find the most perfect pumpkins near you since you’ve got us! From New Jersey favorites, to some within the five boroughs, check out our 10 best places to go pumpkin picking near NYC here, with a preview below:
- Queens County Farm Museum
- Demarest Farms, NJ
- Wilkens Fruit & Fir Farm, Yorktown Heights
- Secor Farms, NJ
The Bronx Night Market treats your tastebuds to some of the best global cuisine NYC has to offer. The event has been supporting local establishments from the borough since 2018 and has served more than 150,000 Bronx residents. The market is a monthly series that occurs on the last Saturday of the month, and the last event will be on Saturday, November 26 from 1p.m. to 7 p.m.
6. Explore a magical forest inspired by the wizarding world at “Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience”
Step into a magical woodland filled with curious creatures and characters from both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series with this amazing experience coming to New York this fall. An interactive experience packed with surprises, this is one experience you definitely will not want to miss–you may even spot a Hippogriff along the way! Grab your tickets today.
Each season, Eataly Flatiron’s rooftop SERRA by Birreria transforms into a gorgeous seasonal wonderland, and the fall version is one of the most beautiful! This year’s theme will take you on a journey through an autumnal Italian countryside, with bright fall decor lining the space. For drinks, try their “Floating into Fall” made with bourbon, amaretto, amaro, maple syrup, all topped with maple sugar!Read more about it here.
This visually stunning art installation allows you to step inside different rooms with a variety of displays that showcase elements of earth in a unique way. The exhibit brings art, technology, science and positive planet activism together for a memorable journey by using augmented reality, virtual reality, 3D holograms and projection mapping. Get your tickets here.
Make sure to head to an orchard soon to have your pick of the crispest, juiciest apples. The real question: are you a McIntosh or Granny Smith person? Find our full list of orchards near NYC here, with a sneak peek below:
- Hanks Pumpkintown: Water Mill, NY
- Harbes Orchard: Riverhead, NY
- Love Apple Farm: Ghent, NY
- Milk Pail Farm: Water Mill, NY
Extra SNYC pick: This day trip will take you on a bus directly from NYC to Pennings Orchard & Cidery in upstate New York. Stroll through the magnificent and plentiful orchard & then stop by their beer garden after. Grab tickets here.
14. Or, indulge in a delectable fall treat made by someone else!
NYC bakeries & restaurants go all-out with seasonal treats during fall, so make sure you enjoy those apple, pumpkin and warm-spiced bites of goodness like:
- City Cakes: Pumpkinbutter Crumble Cupcake/Pumpkindoodle Half Pound Cookie/Ginger Spice Half Pound Cookie
- Doughnuttery: Pumpkin Pie Brulee doughnut
- Chip: Pumpkin Spice Latte cookie
Spooky season is creeping up on us and tickets are now on sale for the groundbreaking Haunt O’ Ween adventure! L.A.’s award-winning Experiential Supply Co. is bringing their epically-scaled wonderland of tricks and treats to the East Coast. This experience will be filled with haunting encounters, curated photo ops, thousands of pumpkins, a graveyard rave, trick-or-treating, live music, and more! Grab your tickets here.
15-17. Get lost in a corn maze
Since this month is flying by we can only imagine October is going to creep up on us faster than ever, and what better way to celebrate trickery than solving your way out of a corn maze?! Bring family and friends for a day of trial and error as you navigate your way through corn as far as the eye can see at mazes nearest to New York City. Find the full list here, and check out a few below:
- Queens County Farm, Queens
- Stony Hill Farms, NJ
- Barton Orchards, NY
18. Get drinks at this gothic absinthe & champagne bar
Café de l’Enfer is one of the East Village’s best kept secrets—and the perfect spot to sip drinks during spooky season! This “gothic paradise” is inspired by the iconic Cabaret de l’Enfer from Victorian-era Paris. With an atmosphere that blends an abandoned Parisian theatre and Ossuary, you’ll be transported to a world of delightful darkness. Find it hidden in plain sight behind a ghoulish door on Avenue A and learn more on their website here.
19-22. Take in gorgeous views with the best fall foliage
Nothing says fall like witnessing the leaves change into gorgeous shades of reds, oranges, and yellows. Here are our recs for how to best enjoy it:
- Check out this map to see exactly when fall foliage is peaking across the state
- Plan a weekend away to one of the 5 Best Places To Catch The Changing Fall Foliage In New York State
- Head to these 16 Best Spots To See NYC’s Peak Fall Foliage
- View the foliage from a mountain roller coaster in upstate NY
Prepare yourself for a night full of mystery and magic, paired perfectly with cocktails. This fall, you’re invited to a haunted soirée at a stylishly eerie mansion! House of Spirits is a two-hour immersive cocktail experience that weaves a disquieting and interactive storyline certain to leave guests delightfully chilled just in time for Halloween. It opens October 1st and tickets are on sale now!
On Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th, explore and eat your way through dozens of Japanese and Asian-inspired vendors like Yakitori Tatsu, Oconomi, Tiger Tai, So Sarap, Tonkatsu Me, and so much more! The event normally brings in over 10,000 visitors and is held ten times per year. Learn more here.
25-29. Celebrate Oktoberfest
Prost! There are many ways to celebrate Germany’s most famous beer-filled holiday here in NYC, such as:
- Hopping aboard a cruise to Bear Mountain with German-themed food and drink specials
- Partaking in tons of fun and chowing down on tasty German dishes at Clinton Hall
- Enjoying all-you-can-drink beer at Torch and Crown Brewery
- Taking part in a series of massive Oktoberfest parties at Black Forest Brooklyn
- Enjoying two months of beer, lederhosen, schnitzel, and more at Loreley Beer Garden
Find a ton more exciting Oktoberfest plans here.
If you love carving pumpkins and all things Halloween, you’ll love the spectacular Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze. The event takes place in the Hudson Valley a quick train ride away, featuring over 7,000 illuminated pumpkins all hand-carved with various designs to create glowing sculptures. The illuminated pumpkins are turned into things such as dinosaurs, trains, carousels, snakes, skeletons, and just about anything you can think of. Read more here.
P.S. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze will also be taking place on Long Island! Learn more here.
Boo-lesque! at Hotel Chantelle will let you treat-or-treat your freakiest friends and spookiest sweethearts to a lavish two-course meal in the company of New York City’s most bewitching burlesque, petrifying pole, and alarming aerial performers (who have previously haunted venues such as The Box, House of Yes, Duane Park, The Slipper Room…etc.)! Tickets include two courses per person, but brews, potions, cocktails and additional food can be purchased on site — grab them here!
32-36. Go on a stunning fall hike
It’s the perfect time to check out some amazing hikes that are right on NYC’s doorstep as fall kicks in. With gorgeous fall foliage set to peak across New York pretty soon, this is the time to get out and take a little adventure! Each of these hikes are accessible by public transit, perhaps with a bit of walking (or even a short cab ride if you’d prefer) to reach the trailhead…but you’re there to hike so might as well start early. Here are a few to get started, and check out the full list here:
- Franny Reese State Park
- Arden Point and Glenclyffe
- Anthony’s Nose Hike
- Camp Smith Trail
- Wanaque Ridge Trail
We wrote about Happy Day Farm in New Jersey when it was peak sunflower season, and turns out it’s still the perfect place to go come fall! The over 20-acre farm in Manalapan Township, New Jersey will soon be launching their weekend fall festival, which includes everything you could need for a perfect fall day, including the perfect “pumpkin house” photo ops, and, of course, tons of pumpkin picking opportunities. Read more here.
38-39. Get spooky with these hauntingly beautiful Halloween concerts by candlelight
Fever’s wildly popular Candlelight concert series is going all out for the spooky season! This October, let the ominous yet melodic sounds of the violin possess you as you enjoy your favorite Halloween classics, from a Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics or A Haunted Evening at Church of the Heavenly Rest.
With spooky season creeping up on us quicker than expected, it’s time to take a look at how the city has shown its spirit in years’ past. Some stoops look like the owners have been collecting decorations for at least a decade—and we love every inch of it! From mummies to massive spiders, and countless creatures in between, here are some of the best stoops New Yorkers have come upon (and tagged us in!) while wandering the city each year. Though we can only imagine these decorations aren’t up yet, save this list of neighborhoods for when spooky season officially arrives!
- Upper West Side
- West Village
- Industry City, Brooklyn
- Astoria, Queens
- Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
Every year, this Victorian Queen Anne-style house house located at the corner of Albemarle Road and Argyle Roadhe in Prospect Park South is adorned with what seems to be hundreds of Halloween decorations. Skeletons climb the exterior of the house, spider webs cover the lawn, and ghosts greet you on the porch. Gravestones peek out from the bushes as zombie children are even found swinging together from the porch roof. Though we can’t promise they’ll go all out again this year, we can only hope they do! Read more about it here.
Theater-lovers (and just regular New Yorkers), rejoice, because Broadway Week is back! Score amazingly cheap Broadway tickets for half the normal price, and pick any time and day that work best for you during September 6 through September 25 to see the show! Learn more here.
47. Discover the stories of passengers and the history of the world-famous ship at the riveting Titanic. The Exhibition
The tale of the Titanic is featured in countless history books, films and TV series. However, there is rarely a chance to see parts of this piece of history in real life…until now. Step back in time to learn the true history of those aboard the fated ship at Titanic. The Exhibition, which will arrive this November in NYC. Featuring original objects belonging to passengers, recreations of the ship’s interior, and moving recollections of heroism from those who survived, it’s a must-visit experience. Join the waitlist here.
48. Take a rowboat out on Central Park’s picturesque lake
There’s nothing like a lovely afternoon rowing on Central Park’s lake, especially when the leaves change! Rent rowboats now through November, from 10 a.m. until dusk (weather permitting). It costs $20 per hour (CASH ONLY) and $5 for each additional 15 minutes, with a $20 cash deposit, and each boat holds up to four people. Find out more here.
This weekend getaway will take you straight into the pages of a fairytale! Wings Castle is a bed and breakfast inside of a replica of a medieval castle right in the middle of the Hudson Valley in the town of Millbrook in upstate New York — only 75 miles north of NYC. Find out more about it here.
50-54. Visit an NYC farmer’s market
It’s harvest season–the perfect time to load up on as much produce & locally baked goods as possible (apple cider doughnuts anyone?)! Try visiting one of NYC’s many farmers markets for perfectly tasty and fresh local produce, such as:
- Union Square Greenmarket
- Tompkins Square Greenmarket
- Fort Greene Park Greenmarket
- Sunnyside Greenmarket
- Saint George Greenmarket
Find our full list of markets here.
55-58. Get scared at a haunted house
Though some haven’t announced their 2022 season plans yet, here are typically the best haunted house experiences across NYC:
59. …Or just try your own real-life haunted house with these 15 Most Haunted Places In And Around NYC
We still have some time until Halloween, but there’s never a bad time to add a little mischief to our lives! New York City is full of its fair share of haunted spots, and you can check them out yourself to get into the spooktacular spirit! Find the full list of haunted spots here.
NYC’s 49th annual Village Halloween Parade is back this year on Monday, October 31st! This year’s parade will feature performances by The Brooklyn United Marching Band alongside special surprise guests, and the official after party will be held at Webster Hall, or, more aptly being referred to as “Webster Hell.” Find out more here.
61-65. Stay cozy once the temperatures drop by sipping on hot chocolate while taking a walk in the park
What’s better than walking through the crisp fall air, the leaves falling down around you, with a hot bev in hand? Here are some of our favorite spots in the city for some of the creamiest and most delicious hot chocolate
- Dominique Ansel Bakery
- Martha’s Country Bakery
- The Chocolate Room
When the weather gets cool, it’s time for comfort food. And what’s more comforting than ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness? Here are our some of our favorite spots around NYC to get this tasty dish:
- Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Flatiron
- Sek’end Sun, Astoria
- Murray’s Cheese Bar, West Village
- The Smith, Midtown East
The rest of the list can be found here.
70. Munch on delicious apple cider doughnuts
Do you prefer apple cider in liquid or doughnut form? Doughnut, of course! Some of our favorite places to grab them when the time comes in NYC is Dough in Flatiron, Peter Pan Doughnut in Greenpoint, and at some of the city’s local farmer’s markets (see #48-53).
From September 17 through October 30 “Fall-O-Ween” at NYBG will be offering an array of attractions and activities for all ages, from lawn games and self-guided tours to spooky nights on select evenings and dance parties. There’s an endless amount of things to do, and the full itinerary can be found here.
72. Enjoy gorgeous fall foliage and tons of fun and exciting fall programming at this historical region just a short drive from NYC
Autumn is all about spending your time outdoors and enjoying the crisp air, and just about an hour drive from NYC is the Historic Hudson Valley area that, especially come autumn, is a must-visit. More than 250,000 people visit this historical site and attend special events annually, and within the area visitors will find Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, some of New York’s go-to fall destinations. Learn more here.
If you’re ready for a gorgeous fall hike but want to make sure you can really take in the most picturesque views, make sure trails with waterfalls are on your list! Some of our favorite waterfalls and waterfall hikes in and around New York City include:
- The Ravine: Central Park, NYC
- Passaic Falls: Paterson, NJ
- Kaaterskill Falls: Hunter, NY