From foliage in Central Park to the Big Apple Circus, New York City features an abundance of fall activities. Explore our top picks for family fun in The Big Apple.
Foliage in Central Park
Although New York City's nickname is the concrete jungle, there are plenty of spots to see the warm hues of fall foliage. While Central Park is a great place to watch the leaves fall, finding the best spots throughout these 700 acres is not as easy. Our top picks: The Ramble, North Woods, and The Great Hill.
Looking for a local park? Try Hudson River Park. Sprawling 4.5 miles along the Westside of the island, Manhattan’s second biggest park has more than 50 varieties among its 1,700 trees. We recommend visiting Tribeca Boardwalk’s ornamental grasses, located between Watts and Laight Street by Sheraton Tribeca. This hyper-local park is a serene oasis yet to be interrupted by the masses.
September 16 - November 18
Take advantage of the crisp fall weather at Broadway Bites Food Stalls. Showcasing a diverse mix of chefs, artisans and baristas, you’ll find interesting takes on your favorite fall foods.
Travel Tip: If you missed the stalls, visit its indoor permanent location nearby The Westin New York Grand Central at Urbanspace Vanderbilt.
April 15 – October 18
Transport back to a world of magic and enchantment. The Cloisters is home to more than 2,000 medieval artworks and artifacts, but the inside of the building is not the only highlight of this uptown branch of the MET. Sitting on four acres overlooking the Hudson River, the Cloisters provide a spectacular fall experience. Explore the building yourself or take a guided tour, offered daily Monday – Friday.
Travel Tip: Stop by the Unicorn Tapestries and look closely. Can you recognize which one was featured in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?
The Merchant House provides a portal to the mid-1800s, back when New York City first emerged as a growing metropolis. Learn the secrets of the wealthy, merchant-class Tredwell family as you walk through their historical home on a variety of unique guided tours. Noted as “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House,” October features multiple spirited events, including candlelight ghost tours and paranormal lectures.
Although Chelsea Market, the downtown food hall featuring NYC’s famous local eateries, is open all year round, this space transforms in the fall with decorations including spider webs, skeletons and more surprises. While you admire the decorations, try some fall bites, like fudge at The Fat Witch or fresh apple cider doughnuts at Doughnuttery.
Prospect Park Zoo + Spooky Barn
The Prospect Park Zoo, neighboring Sheraton Brooklyn, is an easily accessible day of fun. Participate in the zoo’s special fall activity lineup, including zoo quests, creating a new world record for origami elephants, and sea lion training sessions.
Travel Tip: During Halloween, weekend stop by for the annual “Spooky Barn” event featuring costumed character scavenger hunts, face painting, and of course plenty of animals.
Big Apple Circus
October 19 – January 8
Within its iconic tents, the Big Apple Circus sparks joy and wonder. This classical circus includes clowns, jugglers, acrobats, and aerialists from around the world, as well as domestic and rescue animals, all creating performances that will leave audiences smiling and cheering.
November - December
As winter approaches, explore some indoor museums such as The Discovery Museum, featuring a special ghostbusters exhibit through December 31.