10 Fall-Worthy Adventures in or Near New York City

Fall in New York is one of the best times to explore. The city has just recovered from its overly wet and humid summer, but has yet to reach the freezing sub-zero temperatures of winter. An even bigger plus is that there are far fewer people in the fall than in the summer or winter, making for a more peaceful and spacious experience overall.

New York offers many fall-centric activities. If you’re looking for something to do this pumpkin latte season, try one of the activities below.

ten Go apple picking

Nearly an hour in any direction outside of the city, there are plenty of apple farms for New Yorkers to visit to enjoy their countryside.

Just over an hour northwest is Warwick, NY, home to Apple Ridge Orchards. From New York, you can get to Warwick by train or car.

For apple or pumpkin picking, reservations are required. Apple Ridge Orchards is open every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday until 6 p.m. during the fall season.

Apple Ridge Orchards isn’t your only option. Barton Orchards, Kelder’s Farm, Fishkill Farm, Greig Farm, are just a few of the many other apple farms near The Big Apple, no pun intended.

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9 Take part in a pumpkin carving contest

Did you know that there are several pumpkin carving contests all over New York City?

Try the free community pumpkin carving contest at Washington Market Park in Manhattan’s West Village. Prizes are awarded in five categories: cutest, scariest, funniest, most realistic and most creative.

All you have to do is bring your own pumpkin! If you’re looking for a more indulgent pumpkin carving experience, several bars around town hold pumpkin carving contests, with the prize usually being something like a paid tab or bar credit.

Lucky Dog in Brooklyn and the Playwright Irish Pub in Manhattan offer this activity every October.

RELATED: 10 Pumpkin Patches Just Outside New York City To Visit This Fall

8 Visit the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

If you’re looking for an ethical activity to participate in, travel about an hour upstate to Woodstock Farm Sanctuary. Guided tours are offered every Saturday.

The sanctuary is committed to giving rescued farm animals lifelong homes. They allow visitors to meet animals that have been exploited and mistreated and the organization champions the fight for animal rights.

The farm is currently home to over 400 rescued animals. A visit is a great way to spend an autumn day.

seven Take a walk in the great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Each year, the Hudson Valley in New York and Long Island plays host to what is known as “The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze”. It is exactly as the name suggests; a large outdoor art gallery of illuminated Jack O’Lanterns.

Emblazoned pumpkins are lined up in rows, in all shapes, designs and sizes. Every year is different, but some past collections have included a Statue of Liberty, windmills, and even a fire truck, all made entirely of lighted pumpkins.

Tickets are required for entry which can be purchased directly from their site.

6 Light a lantern in the morning lights

For the past ten years, volunteers from Columbia University have gathered each fall in Morningside Heights to light lanterns for what is officially called The Morningside Lights.

The exhibit features dozens of lanterns made by volunteers who participate in a free workshop. Each year the festival has a theme.

The theme for 2022 is The Monument Reimagined, an open invitation to rethink the convention of public statuary and create your own monuments to speak to our present moment, our shared past and our hopes for the future.

A dream theme indeed, this year’s festival takes place on September 24, 2022.

5 Visit the Queens County Farm Museum

Whether you’re looking for a family activity, a hay ride, some compost, shopping for farm fresh produce, or just a country outing, the Queens County Farm Museum has something for everyone.

In the fall, they hold several events, including a “Maze by Moonlight”, which only lasts four nights, and is an interactive nighttime maze. They also have a pumpkin patch and have “Halloween on the farm” including a bunch of spooky activities.

A unique thing to do year-round, but ideal in the fall due to less crowds, is to visit The Floral Escape, a display of colorful flowers. General admission to the Queens County Farm Museum is free, unless you are looking for an event.

4 Watch (or run) the New York City Marathon

The New York City Marathon is a 26.2 mile marathon that runs through all five boroughs and is notoriously the largest marathon in the world. Its peak number was in 2017, with nearly 100,000 applicants.

If you’re not into running, the whole city watches the marathon runners every November, cheering them on from the sidelines.

It’s a wonderful sense of community to stand alongside your neighbors, or strangers if you don’t live in New York, and cheer on these motivated athletes. Have fun and bring a sign to encourage runners to keep going!

3 Anthony’s Nose Hike

About an hour drive north of New York is the fairly easy trail, Anthony’s Nose. This is one of the most popular trails in the Hudson Valley due to its location and level of difficulty.

It has an elevation gain of 675 feet and is about 1.9 miles long, round trip. It’s apparently called Anthony’s Nose after pre-Revolutionary Navy Captain Anthony Hogan.

He was well known for the structure of his nose, and when then-New York Rep. Pierre Van Cortlandt saw the resemblance between the tip and Anthony’s nose, well, he just knew it. was what he should call it.

2 Enjoy the leaves in Central Park

Central Park is huge and easy to spend the day there all year round. However, fall is one of the best times to visit with the leaves changing color making for generally aesthetically pleasing views, and also for great photography.

Make a day of it and bring a friend or two.

Pack a picnic and enjoy it on The Great Lawn, head to Belvedere Castle, see the Imagine Mosaic in memory of John Lennon, and admire some of the many Laws dotted around the park, all with the magnificent fall foliage.

1 Watch the annual New York Village Halloween Parade

The New York Village Halloween Parade is one of the best parades in town. Always on Halloween Day itself, October 31, regardless of which day of the week it falls on, NYC’s annual Halloween Parade takes over Manhattan’s 6th Avenue for the day’s festivities.

All different types of people march in the parade; from people hanging out on the streets to businesses to groups.

If you care less about walking and more about enjoying highly creative costumes, head to 6th Ave anywhere between Canal St. and 15th St., and prepare to be blown away by intelligence suits sums.

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