What We’re Fall-ing For

Autumn brings with it a new crop of seasonal activities in New York City

Though many tears will be shed at the reality of waving goodbye to summer, there are legions of New Yorkers excited the calendar is changing seasons once again. Maybe it is the wistful hearkening to their younger years of jumping in a pile of leaves, tossing a football in the park or trick-or-treating on Halloween but many swear this is the best time of year to be here.  The temperature will drop (along with the humidity, thank goodness), the colors will burst and it will once again be socially acceptable to order your favorite pumpkin-spiced infused latte.

Here then, are some ideas of how to capture that Autumnal spirit and New York ways to have a traditional Fall season.


Everyone is captivated by the magnificent beauty of the changing colors and light, the grandeur of which is more than enough to supersede the usual sights and sounds associated with New York City. There are several places to go to bask in the glow of brilliant foliage and ensconce yourself in the fuzziness of fall, some of which also incorporate some Halloween fun.

New York Botanical Garden
nybg The sprawling gardens are absolute paradise at this magnificent NYC locale. It is in the Bronx but easily accessible from Manhattan by taking the Metro North Railroad from Grand Central Station. The train will take you from midtown and leave you at the Garden gates. Literally. Take in the endless beauty and for some added fun, the Scarecrows & Pumpkins exhibit is running through October 30. Lots to see, do and learn for both kids and adults, all in a pretty, perfect setting.

Queens Botanical Garden
queens-botanical-garden Among the sweet sights at this impressive Queens spot will be the return of the popular feature Harvest Fest & Pumpkin Patch on Sunday, October 16. Live music, food, nature walks, a pumpkin patch and a bouncy house are among the fall fun offered here.

The Ramble (in Central Park)
Oh please don’t stop being a secret after appearing here but The Ramble is a spot in Central Park as bucolic as any rural area to which you could travel. Wooded paths, stone walks, brilliantly colored trees, a variety of bird species and a splendid serenity, all in a secluded area you will swear is soundproof, given it’s in the middle of New York City. And, it is completely free for you to go linger there a while in the foolishness of things.

Fear & Spookiness

Three seasons of the year people exert so much thought and energy running away from that which they are afraid. Yet come October, so many delight with fright and seek out the scariest thing they can find. Makes sense. There are two very well-regarded city attractions that cater to just this sort of thing.

Blood Manor
blood-manor Consistently one of the most highly-trafficked attractions come Halloween season, Blood Manor packs themes of spooks and screams into almost 5,000 square feet of labyrinthine space in downtown Manhattan. There are some frightful new features this year but the same warnings abound: don’t wear white – you won’t want to get blood on it. Insert ghastly laugh here. Be sure to consult with the Blood Manor web site for dates, times and tickets.

New York Haunted Hayride
new-york-haunted-hayride Yeah, um, if the horrifying 30 seconds spent on their web site is any indication of what’s to come in person you should run…for the entrance. You want to be scared, don’t you? Words like “disturbia”, “viscous demons”, “congregation of evil worship” and of course the hordes of psycho clowns will be more than enough to entice you to have your wits scared right out of you.


With both the Jets and Giants holding high hopes for the season, New York is definitely in a football frenzy. One of them will be home each weekend, save for October 9 and Halloween weekend, so you can go to MetLife Stadium to watch some NFL Football. But if you are up for more of a unique adventure, there is another option whereby you can feed your football and Fall fix.

Army Football
army-black-knights-football A fall afternoon spent at Michie Stadium on the campus of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, watching classic college football in an absolutely spectacular setting is as American as it gets. Only this seems to be a secret even to New Yorkers. Whether you live here or are visiting do yourself the favor of attending an Army game. The Black Knights are better this year too, and have home games October 15 and 22, November 5 (vs. Air Force) and November 19. Seriously, go. It is a bit more than an hour away from Manhattan by car (you can also take a bus).