Fall is one of the most beautiful times to visit NYC because you’ll get to see Central Park with all its colorful leaves, plus you’ll get to enjoy perfectly crisp and sunny weather most days.

It’s also one of my favorite times because it’s when a lot of the new Broadway shows will start playing. 

I’m heading back to New York from Africa in a few weeks and am already daydreaming about all the theater, food, friends, and activities that I’ll fill my time there with. 

If you’re looking for inspiration for your next visit, read on to discover all the best things to do in NYC in the Fall.

Best Fall Activities in NYC

things to do in nyc in the fall 2

1. Stroll Around Central Park

Central Park will forever be one of my favorite places on the planet.

Take an afternoon to stroll around the gorgeous park to admire all the colorful changing leaves with a warm drink in hand. 

If it’s warm enough out, bring a book or even picnic to enjoy in the sunshine. 



2. Catch a Show

No visit to NYC is complete without catching at least one Broadway show.

If you’re visiting in Fall, you’ll have the advantage of a larger selection of options since most shows choose to start previews around the beginning of October.

If you’re not sure what to see, shoot me an email. I’m always happy to give personalized recommendations!



3. Take a Day Trip

Every year as the leaves turn, New Yorkers pull out their favorite fall sweaters and make plans for day trips to apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and the occasional leaf peeping and wine tasting long weekend spent upstate. 

These are some of the best places just outside the city to get into the fall spirit:



4. Enjoy One Last Picnic

If the weather is just right, head to your local park for a little picnic.

You can easily grab items at a Whole Foods salad bar, or even just grab a bagel and coffee like I typically do. 

These are some of my favorite parks to plan picnics with my friends:



5. Go Horseback Riding in Prospect Park

If you’re feeling like doing something out of the ordinary, sign up for horseback riding in Prospect Park.

It’s beautiful during the fall since the weather will be cool and you’ll be gazing at all the colorful leaves.

Fair warning though, they only let your horse walk, which is fine for most people, but if you’re an experienced rider, you’ll probably get antsy to at least trot around a bit.



6. Take a Ride on CitiBike

If horses aren’t your thing, rent a CitiBike and go for a ride around town, or even over the Brooklyn Bridge.

It’s really pleasant with the cooler weather, and a cheap way to check out a few neighborhoods.



7. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Millions of tourists plan their trips to NYC to coincide with the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, so if you’re in town, you’ll want to check out this iconic tradition Thanksgiving morning (always the last Thursday of November).

You’ll want to wear lots of layers and arrive at your chosen point along the parade route extra early, no later than 7am for a good view since the parade begins at 9am.

The parade has been slightly changing its route over the last few years, so check their website for the most up-to-date information. 

Local’s Tip: If you’re in town the evening before, head to the Upper West Side to watch them blowing up the iconic parade floats.



8. Geek out at Comic Con

I haven’t been to ComicCon yet, but a few of my friends dress up every year to go.

The annual event happens every October at the Javits Center.

They rave about how much fun it is to meet other fans and check out some panels.

So if you’re into it, add it to your bucket list for when you visit NYC in the fall.



9. Shop All the Sales

If you’re in town the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday), you’ll be in for a big treat with some of the amazing discounts stores will offer, especially the department stores.

These are some sales I’m looking forward to shopping this year:



10. Warm Up with Comfort Food

One of my favorite things about sweater weather is being able to indulge in all the cozy, warm comfort foods that weren’t appealing during the sweltering summer.

These are some places I can’t wait to eat:



11. Go to a Secret Concert

There’s nothing like chilling out with some wonderful music after a long day of walking around. 

Grab tickets to one of Sofar Sounds “secret” concerts held at cool underground venues all over the city.

The concert I went to was at a new bar in Williamsburg and had three amazing performers.


Sofar Sounds

Each concert features three mystery performers in a surprise location. Book early to guarantee entry!

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12. Hit Up the Halloween Parade

The Halloween Parade in the village is easily one of the most popular spooky events in the city. 

It takes place at 7pm in Greenwich Village every year on October 31st, and is quite the event for people watching.

Feel free to dress up for the event, and be ready for big crowds and lots of partying.



13. Cheer on The NY Marathon Runners

If you’re in town during the NY Marathon, you might as well settle in for a day of drinking, since trying to get anywhere in the city is impossible with all the road closures.

Most locals pick a bar along the route and will alternate between drinking and standing on the sidewalk cheering on all the runners.



14. Catch a Sports Game

Sports isn’t really my thing, but I hear we have a solid football and baseball team.

If you’re into athletics, or just want to go drink and yell, look at booking tickets to see a game.

I hear both basketball and football are in season this time of year.


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Check out scoring deals on last-minute tickets for shows and events, including tickets to sold out shows!

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15. Plan a Fall Foliage Photoshoot

Everyone wants at least one pretty fall photoshoot on their social feed, so plan ahead and bring a tripod or a friend with you to Central Park for a fall foliage shoot.

If you’re not feeling brave enough to shoot your own photos, hire a photographer to get some gorgeous shots.


NYC Photo Journeys

Book a photo session using the code ALLYTRAVELS for $10 off any photo tour, photoshoot, or even City Hall wedding photography!

Book a Photo Session!
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16. Check Out the Local Holiday Decorations

New Yorkers know a thing about decorating, especially some townhouses in the nicer neighborhoods.

Grab a warm drink and head to one of these areas to stroll around and gaze at the unique decorations.

  • The Upper East Side
  • The Upper West Side
  • The Village
  • Dyker Heights


17. Head to NYFF

Cinephiles need to make time to hit up The New York Film Festival if they’re in town while it’s running (typically the beginning of October).

I’ve seen so many cool films over the years, and if you get lucky, you can occasionally score a ticket to an Opening Night!

Just book tickets weeks ahead of time for the best availability.



18. Catch a Concert in a Crypt

Death of Classical offers a schedule of concerts in unusual places like graveyards and crypts, making it a perfectly spooky and classy night out during the fall.

You’ll want to book tickets early, especially for their crypt series, because it always sells out.



19. Light up the Night with Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Brooklyn Botanic Garden is gorgeous on its own, but with holiday lights added, I’ve heard it becomes truly magical.

Catching the Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden has been on my NYC bucket list for ages. I’m hoping this is the year that I finally get to cross it off.

If you’re lucky enough to score tickets, let me know what you think!



20. Get Lost in a Corn Maze

Every year Queens County Farm Museum hosts NYC’s only corn maze.

This is the perfect spot for a festive day out with family or friends. We always team up to see who gets out of the maze first—losers buy drinks!

Tickets are available online and you’ll definitely want to book early!



21. Go to Halloween Harvest at Luna Park

For a festive and easy day out of the city, head to Halloween Harvest at Luna Park.

It runs on weekday holidays and weekends from the end of September until the end of October in Coney Island. 

You’ll get to enjoy the park’s rides, tractor racing, decorating stations, and even trick-or-treating on designated days.

Plus fall treats like cider, candy apples, cotton candy, and, well, pretty much all the fried food you can handle.


Wrapping It Up

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I hope you’ve found lots of inspiration for planning your trip to NYC this fall.

Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to checking out!

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