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21 Things To Do In New York In The Fall

New York and autumn go together like subway rats and dollar slices.

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1. Central Park dresses itself in red and gold, just for you.

Andrew Dallos / CC / Flickr: amatuerphotographer

Kicking this off with a classic. Look, there is simply no way to overstate how beautiful the Park becomes this time of year. Go see it!

2. There's nothing like feeling the warmth of a fresh-baked Levain Bakery cookie through your gloves.

Katherine H / CC / Flickr: 66197572@N00

Trust me on this: Head to Levain in Manhattan (there's a location on the Upper West Side and one in Harlem, too) and get yourself a warm chocolate chip cookie, fresh from the oven. They're seriously huge, but let's be honest. You're not going to share.


3. It's only a short train ride (or drive) to go apple picking!

Take the Metro-North or a ZipCar up along the Hudson to find prime apple picking spots, or discover some of the beautiful farms out on Long Island. As a bonus, many farms offer additional fun, like fresh apple cider donuts and hay rides.

4. Here, Oktoberfest is best.

Head to Astoria's Bohemian Hall and Bee Garden to celebrate Oktoberfest for much of September and October each year to enjoy food, music, and of course: BEER.

5. You can enjoy a whole day devoted to delicious pickles.

New York City knows pickles, and nothing proves this better than the annual Pickle Day on the Lower East Side. If it it can be pickled, it'll be here. They've even featured pickle cupcakes, for the brave of heart and strong of stomach.

6. Fall marks the time of year when eating outdoors is actually quite enjoyable...

ais3n / CC / Flickr: ais3n

Top on your list should be Williamsburg's Fette Sau, where you can enjoy a rotating daily menu of delicious smoked meats and GALLONS of beer in a super casual atmosphere, including outdoor picnic tables. They don't take reservations, so run. Now.

7. ...and you can browse flea markets and street fairs without melting or freezing.

cisc1970 / CC / Flickr: franciscodaum

The Brooklyn Flea in Ft. Greene is particularly nice and well-maintained, but there are tons of markets and street festivals that pop up all over the city.


8. New York Botanical Garden's haunted pumpkin garden is a SCREAM.

Haha, because Halloween. But really, these carvings are actually impressive, involve GIANT pumpkins, and are truly worth your while. Head over to the Bronx and check 'em out.

10. Atlantic Antic showcases food from around the world, all on one street.

Betty Tsang / CC / Flickr: bettytsang

Every fall, Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue, which takes you through Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, and Downtown Brooklyn, offers the Atlantic Antic street festival, filled with great shopping and games. But, really, it's all about the food. Have a cheesy, warm arepa on one block, and Jamaican jerk chicken on the next. Visit a Halal food stand in one corner, then cross the street for elote. You'll roll home happy.

11. Have a ~divinely~ frightening experience in a cathedral.

jmm / CC / Flickr: workinpana

Every year, the Upper West Side's St. John the Divine goes all out for Halloween with striking performances, music, and an overall gorgeously creepy atmosphere. Not to be missed.

12. The Village Halloween parade is a sight to behold.

Adrian Cabrero / CC / Flickr: mytummytalkstome

OK, if you hate crowds, stay home. The West Village's Halloween parade draws thousands of costumed participants and onlookers. But it's really worth seeing at least once, if only because people tend to get extremely creative with their costumes!


14. Open House New York offers a deeper look at the city.

Every October, OHNY organizes a weekend of open houses around the city, allowing visitors, history buffs, and architecture nerds a glimpse behind the doors and down the halls of some of the city's historic buildings.

15. The Food Film Fest combines your two great loves.

You love food, right? And movies? Well then it's a good thing the Food Film Fest happens this time of year.

16. As it turns out, Staten Island is pretty damn haunted.

H.L.I.T. / CC / Flickr: 29311691@N05

Take a ferry ride (or a slightly warmer drive) to Staten Island and thoroughly creep yourself out by learning about the borough's many haunted places, like Seaview Hospital, or by trying to catch a glimpse of the Bedell Ghost.

17. And the autumn chill and early dark only add to Roosevelt Island's alluring creepiness.

gigi_nyc / CC / Flickr: 76807015@N03

The tiny neighborhood's old smallpox hospital is apparently no stranger to spooky activity. Oh, and there's also the fact that the island once housed an asylum.


18. Go on a haunted hayride. If you dare.

Head to Randalls Island Park for the New York Haunted Hayride, as a wagon takes you "through enchanted Halloween portals of ghostly apparitions, demonic possessions, orphanages of burnt children, creatures of leviathan proportion, Psychopathic Clowns of the Night and much, MUCH more." Sounds cute!

21. New York City's window displays will transport you to a magical holiday wonderland.

Victoria Pickering / CC / Flickr: vpickering

Around November, the department stores along New York City's famed 5th Avenue come to life with beautiful, intricate displays. (Just keep your elbows out and DON'T HOG THE SIDEWALK.) Also, there's nothing like seeing the Cartier store all done up like a giant Christmas gift. Get me every time.


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