best things to do in nyc in fall

Fall in New York City (NYC) is a magical season filled with stunning foliage, crisp autumn air and fun-filled activities. There’s so much to see and do that you won’t want to miss out on any of it. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, this guide will help you make the most of your time in NYC during the fall season.


Fall is undoubtedly one of the best times to visit New York City. The weather is milder than in the sweltering summer months and less hectic compared to the holiday season. This makes it the perfect time for exploring the city’s many attractions, from parks to museums to outdoor events. Here are some of the best things to do in NYC during the fall.

Central Park

Autumn in Central Park
Autumn in Central Park

Central Park is a must-visit destination year-round, but there’s something special about it during fall. The park transforms into a spectacular display of autumn colors, with trees donning shades of red, orange, and yellow. Take a leisurely stroll along the winding paths, rent a bike to explore more of the park or simply relax on one of the benches while enjoying the scenic views.

Visit The Museums

Fall in NYC is a great time to visit some of its world-class museums. With indoor activities, you can escape the occasional chilly weather and immerse yourself in art, history, or science exhibitions. Some popular options include:

  1. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) – A treasure trove of over two million works of art spanning 5,000 years.
  2. American Museum of Natural History – Famous for its dinosaur fossils and the iconic blue whale model in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.
  3. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) – Home to an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.

Take A Fall Foliage Cruise

Fall is the perfect time for a scenic boat ride along the Hudson River. Several companies offer sightseeing cruises that showcase the stunning fall foliage from the water. You can choose from dinner cruises, brunch cruises or even just a relaxing afternoon cruise while enjoying views of Manhattan’s skyline and the Statue of Liberty.

Apple Picking In The Hudson Valley

Just an hour’s drive from NYC, the picturesque Hudson Valley offers a quintessential fall experience. Visit one of the many local orchards for apple picking, hayrides, pumpkin patches, and other family-friendly activities. Some popular spots include Barton Orchards in Poughquag, Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction, and Hillview Orchards in Highland.

Halloween Events

Fall in NYC also means Halloween is just around the corner! The city comes alive with spooky events and attractions that cater to all ages. Some of the popular Halloween attractions include:

  1. The Village Halloween Parade – A free, family-friendly event featuring massive puppets, music, dancers, artists, and more.
  2. Haunted Hayride at The Cloisters – An immersive experience that takes you through a haunted forest with live actors, special effects, and thrilling scares.
  3. Sleepy Hollow – A short drive from NYC, this small town is known for its legendary Headless Horseman and hosts several Halloween events throughout October.

Go On A Haunted Ghost Tour

For those who prefer a more low-key approach to celebrating Halloween, there are plenty of ghost tours available in NYC. Explore the city’s spooky side with knowledgeable guides who will regale you with tales of hauntings and paranormal activity at some of NYC’s most famous landmarks. Some popular ghost tours include:

  1. Ghosts of New York Walking Tours – Offering a variety of themed walking tours, including haunted pub crawls and ghostly graveyard visits.
  2. The Dead Files Experience – An immersive experience featuring real-life paranormal investigators sharing their stories of hauntings in NYC.
  3. The Haunted Houses of Harlem – Explore the history and ghostly legends of Harlem on this walking tour.

Enjoy Outdoor Film Screenings

During fall, several outdoor movie screenings take place in parks and public spaces across NYC. These events are a great way to enjoy a film under the stars while soaking up the crisp autumn air. Some popular outdoor screening series include:

  1. Rooftop Films – Showcasing independent films on rooftops throughout Brooklyn during the summer and fall months.
  2. Bryant Park Film Festival – A free annual event featuring classic movies screened against the backdrop of NYC’s iconic skyline.
  3. Central Park Conservancy’s Films in the Park – Free movie screenings held at various locations within Central Park throughout the season.

Attend An Oktoberfest Celebration

New York City hosts several Oktoberfest celebrations during fall, offering a taste of German culture and cuisine right in the heart of NYC. Some popular Oktoberfest events include:

  1. Brooklyn Oktoberfest – A two-week celebration featuring live music, traditional Bavarian food, and plenty of beer.
  2. Zum Schneider’s Oktoberfest – A lively German-style party hosted at this Lower East Side bar with live oompah bands, delicious food, and an extensive selection of imported beers.
  3. Germania Park Oktoberfest – A family-friendly event held in Queens that includes a carnival, live music, and traditional Oktoberfest fare.


Fall is truly a magical time to visit NYC, with its beautiful weather, vibrant foliage, and numerous events and activities to enjoy. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s museums or taking part in spooky Halloween celebrations, there’s something for everyone during this enchanting season. So pack your bags and head to NYC for a fall adventure you won’t forget!