Just ask any New Yorker and they’ll tell you that fall in New York City is without a doubt everyone’s favorite season. Locals come back from their summer escapades, the temps start to drop (which is must appreciated), and the city has a different energy when the leaves begin to change.
Even the most unsentimental of New Yorkers will feel a bit of gratitude once the autumn months hit. It’s hard not to re-fall in love with New York this time of the year.
With that being said, fall is also one of the best times to take a trip in and visit NYC. The city is buzzing and beautiful, and there are a plethora of ways to spend the days. It’s the perfect time of year for a girls weekend getaway, a couples escape, or even just a day trip in.
It can be overwhelming to know what to plan for, especially when there are so many things to do in New York City, so I find it helpful to break it down by the season. It just makes it a bit less daunting.
This is where my list of fall activities in New York comes into play. Even I’m guilty of not always taking advantage of all the city has to offer, so this list is for locals and tourists alike. There is a little bit of everything on this list, so I know it will make any fall getaway or staycation in the city a good one!
The Best Fall Activities in New York City
1. Take a walk through Central Park. This is number one on the list for good reason. There isn’t anything quite like the changing leaves in the park this time of year.
2. Get a festive fall latte from Maman.
3. Admire all the fall decor in the West Village—people deck out their stoops with pumpkins, hay bales, and more.
4. Hit up a famers market for some fresh apple cider donuts. The Union Square Greenmarket is a local favorite.
5. Catch a Yankees or Mets playoff game (granted they make it of course).
6. Check out Eataly’s rooftop restaurant, Serra by Birreria, for its ever changing seasonal decor.
7. Go to the Feast de San Gennaro for delicious food and a fun atmosphere throughout the streets of Little Italy.
8. Walk along the High Line as the leaves begin to change—there are lots of shops and restaurants you can stop at along the way.
9. Visit Loeb Boathouse, an iconic NYC restaurant, before it closes its doors for good later this fall.
10. Cheer on runners in the NYC Marathon. The energy in the city on this day is like nothing else.
12. Do some leaf peeping in the various parks around the city.
13. Have a picnic in Central Park—bring red wine, snacks, and a blanket. Don’t leave without snapping some Instagram-worthy pics!
14. Visit the 9/11 Memorial. This is a special thing to do at any point in the year, but visiting in the fall gives it extra meaning.
15. Go on a Lower East Side Food Tour, a walking tour where you get to stop and savor some of the best bites in the city.
16. Get pumpkin ice cream from Van Leeuwen.
17. Grab a drink at Bemelmans Bar. It’s a cozy spot to enjoy a cocktail on a chilly fall night.
18. Listen to live music at a jazz bar.
19. Bike through Central Park or along the West Side Highway to enjoy some foliage.
20. Stroll the charming neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and Cobble hill—the apartments are so dreamy!
21. Spend a day in Flushing, Queens eating some of the most authentic Chinese the city has to offer.
22. Visit the Met Cloisters once the fall foliage starts.
23. Head to Magnolia Bakery for some of their festive Halloween cupcakes.
24. Spend an afternoon cheering on the New York Giants.
25. Head to the New York Botanical Garden to admire their fall florals and seasonal displays.
26. Update your fall wardrobe with some shopping in SoHo.
27. Check out the New York City Wine & Food Festival, which takes place October 13-16 this year.
28. Sample all the best pumpkin spice latte’s the city has to offer. Basic? Sure. But totally worth it. Birch Coffee and Two Hands are a couple of go-to’s.
29. Stroll through the streets of the Upper East Side and take in all the festive decor.
30. Check out Orwashers, a classic NYC bakery that makes some of the best seasonal drinks. The baked goods and breads are to die for too.
31. Get brunch at La Mercerie—they have amazing crepes and the atmosphere is to die for.
32. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade live from the streets of Manhattan.
33. Grab hot chocolate and walk around the Jackie Onassis Reservoir.
34. Take pics on Bow Bridge—one of the most iconic places in Central park and easily one of the most Instagrammable too.
35. Have a cozy dinner at the Waverly Inn.
36. Take a day trip out of the city for apple picking upstate.
37. Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. With the cooler temps that fall brings, it’s the perfect time for a stroll between the two boroughs.
38. Spend an afternoon at a German beer hall. The Standard Biergarten is always a good time.
39. Take a row boat out for a spin in Central Park. This is a must-do activity that allows for a different vantage point to enjoy all of the rich fall colors.
40. Try one of Dante’s exceptional seasonal cocktails—you might as well have an espresso martini while you’re there too.
41. Catch a Broadway show. This is a quintessential NYC activity year round, but it’s an especially nice way to spend a cooler fall night.
42. Grab fresh croissants from L’Appartement 4F, a new and buzzing french bakery in Brooklyn. Pro tip: Get there early. I have heard that they sell out fast.
43. Grab a bagel! Although this isn’t fall specific, it’s an all-season must while visiting the city.
What are some of your favorite fall activities in NYC? I’d love to hear in the comment section below!