Break out your favorite cozy sweater and enjoy New York City in the autumn! Whether you prefer the colorful foliage in Central Park or the stars over the Highline, a local farmer’s market or a spooky ghost tour, our local’s guide will help you find fun activities for the season.
1. Peruse a Farmers Market
The city has seasonal farmers markets throughout Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. While times and dates vary, each market provides a great opportunity to meet local food producers and purchase food straight from the source. Here’s a few of our favorites:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays year-round; 8am-6pm // North and West sides of Union Square Park, Union Square/Flatiron.
Sundays, year-round; 9am-4pm // Columbus Ave Between 77th & 81st Street, Upper West Side.
Saturdays 9am-4pm, until December // North side of 23rd Street, east of 9th Avenue, Chelsea.
Sundays, year-round; 8am-2pm // South side of Queens Blvd at 70th Avenue, Queens
Wednesdays and Saturdays, year-round; 8am-3pm // Greenwich St between Chambers and Duane, Tribeca.
Saturdays, year-round; 8am-3pm // North 12th St and Union Ave, Brooklyn
2. Join a Ghost Walking Tour
If you’re not afraid to be spooked, join one of the city’s many ghost tours. Most are led by expert storytellers and historians, who narrate tales of New York’s haunted past. Even if you don’t believe in the spirits, you’ll still hear fascinating insight into the city’s rich history.
3. Stargaze at the Highline
Diller-von Furstenberg Sundeck, on the High Line at 14th St. // Price: Free
Dying to get a closer look into space? The Highline offers stargazing every Tuesday night in October, from dusk until the park closes. It’s perfect for both amateur astronomers and couples in need of a romantic spot.
4. Taste Wine in North Fork
While many New Yorkers know Long Island’s North Fork peninsula as an ideal summer getaway, in fall the area’s small towns and vineyards burst with color. Enjoy country views while visiting any of North Fork’s 40+ wineries, which produce a variety of award-winning red, white, and rosé selections.
5. View Prodigious Pumpkins at Giant Pumpkin Weekend
2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx // Date: October 21st -October 22nd // Price: Adults $23, Seniors $20, Students (with ID) $20, Children (2-12) $10, Children under 2 and Botanical Garden members free.
Head to the New York Botanical Garden’s Giant Pumpkin Weekend to see huge pumpkins from around the country - some weighing over a ton. Visitors can take pictures with the giant gourds and meet the farmers to learn more about the growing process.
6. Become an Art Enthusiast
Take advantage of your proximity to the best museums in the world this season. Autumn marks the opening of several exciting exhibitions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Michelangelo and Rodin shows, Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme at the Museum at FIT, Never Built New York at the Queens Museum, and Max Ernst: Beyond Painting at the Museum of Modern Art.
7. Pick Apples at Harvest Moon Farm
130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, NY 10560 // Price: $30 per bag for apple picking
Harvest Moon is a family owned apple orchard just north of the city. In addition to apple picking, Harvest Moon offers scenic hayrides, a bounce house, apple cannons, games, farm animals, pony rides, face painting, and food and craft vendors. “You can bring friends and family, pick apples, then chill while you drink delicious cider and jam to local bands that perform right on the orchard!” says Nicole Neuman, licensed real estate salesperson. “Grab a Zipcar or a train on Metro-North out of Grand Central and you’re about 30 minutes away from some of the best apple picking, fresh cider and fresh air in New York.”
8. Treat Yourself to the Theater
Looking for an exciting live event? This fall sees the opening of several highly-anticipated Broadway shows, including Time and the Conways (October 10), Springsteen on Broadway (October 12), M. Butterfly (October 26), JUNK (November 2), The Band’s Visit (November 9), Latin History for Morons (November 15), and Meteor Shower (November 29).
9. Dress Your Pet for the Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade
500 East 9th St, New York // Date: Saturday, October 21st, 12pm-3pm // Price: Free
Mirador’s Angela Buglisi Daley recommends stopping by the 27th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Described by CNN as "the largest dog costume parade in the world,” hundreds of pooches compete for thousands of dollars in prizes. Whether you bring your own best friend or just watch the adorable pups in costume, this parade is a must for animal lovers.
10. Join Central Park’s Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla
Central Park, Harlem Meer// Date: October 29th // Price: Free
Mirador’s Director of Operations, Leslie Zemnick, recommends Central Park’s Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla. Enjoy live music, spooky stories, pumpkin carving demonstrations, and of course the signature flotilla, which sets sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight. This event is BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin), so don’t show up empty handed.
11. Travel to Medieval Times at Fort Tryon Park’s Medieval Festival
Margaret Corbin Drive and adjacent lawns in Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan // Date: October 1st // Price: Free
Sport your royal attire and head to the 33rd Annual Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park, recommends Jessica Milton, licensed real estate person. The festival is held in the area surrounding The Met Cloisters, New York’s famous museum dedicated to Medieval art, where visitors are treated to authentic period music, dance, magic, jugglers, and jesters. The afternoon concludes with a thrilling joust between four knights on horseback.