Autumn in New York is the perfect season to visit and spend some time exploring outside of the busier holidays. Usually, the tourist seasons in New York City are summer and winter (particularly around the holidays). Autumn and spring are the best seasons for lovely NYC weather, but visitors often sideline them. While that’s a shame for non-natives, it makes the city a little more special, especially when Manhattan is less overwhelmed with people. So if you’re thinking about taking a trip to the city, now is the perfect time.
To fully enjoy autumn in New York, there are a few things you should not miss. We’ve taken the liberty of laying them out for you, So read on for our tips on the best ways to enjoy New York in the fall.
Fall favorites in New York
It’s not called the Big Apple for nothing. Seriously, New Yorkers are sincere in their love of autumn produce – specifically apples and pumpkins. Although the city is a metropolis, there are actually a lot of places to enjoy some classic fall food and activities.
In fact, you can visit farms right in the city itself! The Queens County Farm Museum (located in, you guessed it, Queens) is ideal for an October day trip. Perfect for pumpkin picking (so you can carve your best jack-o’-lantern) and complete with a hayride, you may forget you’re in New York after stepping foot on this farm. On weekends throughout October, you can also pick up some of their famous apple cider and apple cider doughnuts. Through Halloween, The farm museum hosts a “maize maze” every Friday through Sunday. This place is a fall fanatic’s daydream.
For apple picking, you’ll have to go slightly out of the city to Congers, NY for a visit to Dr. Davies’s Farm Home. Make sure to book ahead on their website. You can go any day between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., so this stop will fit into your schedule whenever you can slip it in. Currently, you can pick Macintosh, Cortland, Red and Golden Delicious varieties of apples – only the best. What better way to welcome Autumn in New York?
Besides these specific locations, the city’s absolute best of farm life is found at its many farmers markets. Support local agriculture by stopping by one of these, where you’re bound to find all the best fall produce.
And, if you’re an apple cider doughnuts fiend (like we all tend to be at this time of year), you’ll find the best at Doughnuttery. Currently, their menu features a few autumn flavors that just can’t be beaten like Spicy Rooster (sriracha, maple, lime), Pumpkin Pie Bruleé (pumpkin, graham crackers, caramelized sugar, spices) and Green Tea Buzz (matcha green tea, honey, ginger). So, go a little crazy with your order when you’re picking up an old-fashioned apple cider doughnuts. (They’re all mini here, which means we can have as many as we want, right?)
Parties, events and festivals for celebrating autumn in New York
It seems like every fall weekend in New York is buzzing with things to do and places to go. If you thought things might slow down after the summer, you’d have never been so wrong. New Yorkers love to party, and party they shall. Especially given that all of the college students are back for the semester, and the city has largely opened back up to major activities and events.
For a whole week in November (8-14), there’s an entire festival dedicated to comedy! New York City’s comedy scene is legendary, with SNL cast members dropping in to perform at local venues and Caroline’s delivering on its iconic status. The NYC Comedy Festival will promote over 100 shows across all five boroughs, with over 200 comics in attendance. And these aren’t just lesser-known personalities, either. Big-name comedians will be present. Marc Maron, Megan Stalter, Michelle Wolf, Nick Kroll, Ronny Chieng and Vir Das have already been announced in the lineup.
The New York Film Festival this year is equally exciting. Running through October 10, you’ll want to catch a couple of movies here. The films highlighted this year are diverse and international, so you’re bound to discover something new and impressive.
The Japanese film “Drive My Car” is a much-anticipated release based on Haruki Murakami’s short story of the same name. Rebecca Hall’s timely black and white film, “Passing,” starring Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, will also be shown. Another movie screening is “Neptune Frost,” which challenges genre borders entirely as an Afro-futurist sci-fi musical. Check out the lineup of films yourself and see what catches your eye.
On Halloween, NYC is the place to be. The iconic Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is back this year. Yes, you read that right. It’s a dog parade. And they’re all dressed up for Halloween! How could you miss it?
Or, you can go to the Village Halloween Parade, which is full of human beings in costumes. This event has been a city staple since the 70s. As the city has so much history, going on a ghost tour is always a fascinating experience. The most well-known of these experiences is the Greenwich Village Tour.
And let’s not forget the New York City Marathon, which celebrates its 50 year anniversary on November 7. While most of us probably aren’t considering running in it, going as a volunteer or a spectator is truly an experience to be had. Cheer on runners at the starting line, finishing line or at another area of the course, which runs through all five boroughs of the city.
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