It’s autumn in New York and seasonal family fun is ripe for the picking!
Here are 10 of our favorite fall activities for kids and parents, from Halloween parades to fabulous foliage viewing, all right in New York City.
Take a ferry over to Governors Island before this gem in the harbor closes for the season at the end of October. For fall, Picnic Point has been transformed into a pumpkin patch within view of Lady Liberty. Wander past the autumn colored Hills to Pumpkin Point where you’ll be able to pick (or just snap pics) from thousands of pumpkins, sip cider, and snack on ghoulish treats from Little Eva’s. They’ll even have a spooky hayride to take pumpkin pickers back to the ferry!
Catch the stunning Chihuly exhibition by world-renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly while enjoying the changing fall colors at New York Botanical Garden before it closes on October 29.
Coney Island rolls out some fall fun on the boardwalk with the annual Halloween Harvest at Luna Park. There’s face painting, a pumpkin patch, and pony rides and entertainment including magic shows and marching bands. (Bonus: You can check out the New York Aquarium and get a real Nathan’s Hot Dog while you’re here!)
Celebrate autumn on the High Line with weekly garden tours, take the kids to the Haunted High Line Halloween event on Saturday, October 28, or just enjoy the fall colors and crisp weather by walking the public park that runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street, between 10th and 12th Avenues.
Break out the costumes for Boo at the Zoo where kids can Trick or Treat around the Bronx Zoo. Hayrides, crafts, pumpkin carving, a haunted faresr for older kids, and special Halloween snacks for the animals are all on offer, too.
The Village of Vale is Lincoln Center’s dark fairy tale musical that runs until November 4. It’s just the thing to get kids in the creepy Halloween spirit (while still giving them a taste of classical music). One caveat: It’s best for ages 8 and up. For little kids (ages 2 to 5), there’s a monster story time on October 28 with the story of Crankenstein.
Take advantage of the sunny autumn days to explore the expansive city outdoor art that comprises the Public Art Fund’s Ai Weiwi: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors. These multi-platform, multi-media address the human migration crisis, and pieces have been installed all around the city, including large-scale sculptures in Washington Square Park (above) and Central Park. Think of it as an art scavenger hunt around the city.
At Symphony Space, one of Playground’s favorite family arts destinations with younger kids, there’s plenty of fall musical fun as part of the Just Kidding series, including a Halloween hootenanny with Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights and the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers: Everyone Loves Pirates.
Love a SUPER festive parade? Attend the annual NYC Village Halloween Parade on Halloween beginning at 7pm. The parade kicks off on Spring and Sixth Avenue and makes its way up to 16th Street.