New York City is a magical place with endless events. And Autumn in New York is the best time to explore the perks of this crazy city. While visiting the Statue of Liberty or browsing the MET is a must, there are certain things beyond the standard tourist attractions that are best seen during the fall season. Here are 15 things you must do in New York in the fall.
1. Explore Central Park
Check out the lush colors of leaves at Manhattan’s most famous park–Central Park. Take a romantic stroll, have a picnic, or rent a paddle boat to absorb the brilliant colors of Central Park. You’ll feel like you’re living in the middle of a picturesque postcard.
2. Watch The Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade
For many, it’s a lifelong tradition to watch the Macy’s parade with your family every Thanksgiving morning. But it’s never quite the same as seeing the parade in the flesh. Go grasp the enormity of Snoopy or Kermit’s balloon as they hover over you, dance along to the high school bands’ drumming, and wait for the finale–a glimpse of Santa Claus to remind you that winter is quickly approaching.
3. Sample spiced drinks during Cider Week
‘Tis the season for spiced goods and there is no better time than Cider Week. From October 24th to November 2nd, various pubs around the city will offer specials on their best one-of-a-kind cider. Compare the difference as you bar hop though New York’s finest breweries and have a tasty snack to go with your seasonal cider.
4. Participate In The Village’s Halloween parade
Volunteer to participate as a puppeteer for the world-famous Village’s Halloween parade. Every year, the parade opens invitation for people (no puppeteer experience required) to carry giant skeletons to taunt spectators. If puppeetering is not your thing, you can always dress up in whatever ghoulish attire inspires you and admire other creative costumes in the midst of the crowd.
5. Ice Skate at Rockefeller Center
You’d be surprised to find out that you do not have to wait until winter to experience the magical ice-skating rink of Rockefeller Center. Depending on the weather, the rink is known to be available to the public as early as October. So rent out your skates and glide underneath the world famous gold Prometheus statue and cherish the Kodak moment.
6. Visit the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze
If you have the opportunity, drive over to Hudson County and experience the mind-blowing Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze. Home to more than 5,000 individually carved pumpkins, this event is the perfect opportunity to take a date or bring your kids. The pumpkins are decorated in unique fashion that range from dinosaurs to dragons. It’s guaranteed you’ll smile as thousands of glowing faces are eerily looking back at you in the darkness.
7. Go Apple Picking
While New York City is not known for its nature, the city is conveniently close to a plethora of apple groves. Whether it’s in Long Island or upstate, apple farms are readily accessible with a short car trip. For a small fee, you’ll be given a bucket to take home whatever apples catch your eye.
8. Be A Zombie At NYC’s Annual Zombie Crawl
Bar hop with a twist! Take advantage of this unusual opportunity to leisurely drink craft beer with pals in zombie get-ups. You’ll see waves of zombie faces having the time of their life as unaware tourists scramble for the nearest exit.
9. Admire Fall’s Foliage And Gours At The New York Botanical Garden
The New York Botanical Garden is known for displaying seasonal foliage to represent the current season. So when comes fall–check out the arrangements of gourds of all sorts of colors and shapes.
Drink a glass boot full of beer at NYC’s annual Oktoberfest and watch people in lederhosen prance their way around. You, too, could don Bavarian garb and participate in the parade. Afterwards, you’ll want to end the event with a nice authentic bratwurst or a gigantic pretzel with mustard to go with your Bock.
11. Ghouls, Goblins And Ghost Train Ride To Woodlawn Cemetery
This tour lets you take a secret WWII-era subway train to Woodlawn Cemetery to play detective. The supposedly haunted cemetery also makes a lovely picnic ground while you try to solve a mystery. Whether you successfully solve the mystery or not, you’re sure to have a blast.
12. Sip And Taste At The New York Wine & Food Festival
One of the nation’s largest food and wine festival takes place every year in October. Hundreds of restaurants and farmers will participate as vendors for you to sample their most popular menu items. So savor every bite of a wide selection of interesting treats to please the epicurean in you.
13. Shuck Oysters At The Annual Oyster Festival
Sample the best quality of oysters at Oyster Bay in Long Island. Shuck some shells, slurp up a bunch and remember to swallow–not chew.
14. Float a lantern At Hearst Plaza
Every year during the fall, the Shinnyo’s lantern festival takes place in Central Park to commemorate international peace. Thousands of New Yorkers flock with their own personal lanterns and messages written on them to float on Central Park’s lake. Be sure to come out during the evening and enjoy the flicker of thousands of glowing lanterns floating above stream.
15. Watch Independent Films At The New York Film Festival
Head over to Tribeca and enjoy celebrity watching during the annual New York Film Festival. If celebrity watching isn’t your thing, you can enjoy the latest independent films at Bryant Park or one of New York’s historical theaters throughout Manhattan. No New York experience is complete without dabbling in the city’s great cinema culture.