Activities and Things to Do in the Fall in New York

Autumn in New York City

In the fall, New York City sees the leaves change and feels the cooler weather come through the town. This is a perfect time of year to get outside during the day and enjoy the city's attractions in the evening. If your next trip to the Big Apple will be in the autumn, don't worry because we have assembled a list of the best activities and things to do to take advantage of the season, the weather, the events, and the energy of the city.
Central Park
Central Park
The heart and lungs of New York City, the famous, expansive, and huge Central Park is an iconic destination in the city featuring a variety of smaller attractions and features within itself. From ball fields and jogging paths to botanical gardens, concert spaces, cafes, ponds, playgrounds, and more, the park offers something for everyone. Don't forget to take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the park - one of the quintessential tourist activities in the city.
New York City, New York
Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue
Fifth Avenue is a world famous shopping street that is recognized for its high end flagship designer stores which include Cartier, Tiffany, Bergdorf-Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue. The street is an interesting place to wander, whether you're in to high end fashion, or simply want to take in the sites. For the most interesting stretch, explore between the south end of Central Park and the New York Public Library, with the blocks between 60th Street and 40th Street offering the most.
New York City has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: Best Places To Enjoy A Picnic In New York City and New York City's Best Architectural Landmarks.
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan is one of the city's most famous public parks. Visitors here can find the huge Washington Arch which is a large, marble triumphant arch which serves as a landmark and honors the nation's first president. In front of the arch is a nice fountain. The arch also serves as the terminus for 5th Avenue. Also located in the square is a monument to Alexander Lyman Holley, along with some walking paths, benches, and shaded tree areas which make for a nice and relaxing picnic spot.
Washington Square Village, NYC, New York
The Vessel
The Vessel
The Vessel at Hudson Yards in Manhattan was completed in 2019 as part art installation and part observation tower. The elaborate honeycomb-like structure rises 16 stories and offers views from the top of the surrounding area, along with some amazing views from within the structure itself. With 154 flights of stairs, 2,500 steps, and 80 landings for visitors to climb, there's an interesting view and photographic angle from every platform. Even though it's only been around for a few years, it has quickly become one of the most interesting and visited sites in New York. Tickets are free the first hour of opening, and then an admission fee is charged for the rest of the day.
20 Hudson Yards, New York, New York, 10017
Metropolitan Opera House
Metropolitan Opera House
The Metropolitan Opera House (also known as The Met), located on Broadway at Lincoln Square on the Upper West Side is part of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Opened in 1966 with approximately 3,800 seats, this is the largest repertory opera house in the world. It is home to the Metropolitan Opera Company but also hosts the American Ballet Theatre in the summer.
30 Amsterdam Avenue, NYC, New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
This world-class museum has one of the most in depth collections of art, spanning more than 5,000 years and representing cultures from around the globe. This is one of the largest museums in the world and it features a wide variety of topics. Everything from fashion to photography, and ancient times is represented. For the best price and the least crowds, visit the museum early on a weekday.
1000 5th Ave, New York, NY, 10028
Gapstow Bridge
Gapstow Bridge
One of many quaint bridges in Central Park, this one offers great views, nice pictures, or a romantic spot for a couple.
Central Park, New York City, New York, 10153
New York Botanical Garden
New York Botanical Garden
Located in the Bronx, this 250-acre site is on the list of historic landmarks in addition to housing a huge and gorgeous collection of flora and stunning landscapes. Open every day except Mondays, this destination in of itself draws large crowds, especially in the warmer months. It also operates molecular labs, educational programs, cooking classes, kid-friendly events, art exhibitions, and other events to bring in crowds. The building itself is architecturally significant, as it combines a historical beauty with a practical approach to protecting and growing the plants. (Admission on Wednesdays is free!)
Belmont, NYC, New York
Planning a trip to New York City? You might also be interested in Street Markets & Flea Markets in New York City and Things to Do In New York City on a Rainy Day.
9/11 Memorial and Museum
9/11 Memorial and Museum
This memorial commemorates the tragic loss of life felt on September 11, 2001 when suicide-piloted planes flew into the two towers of the World Trade Center. More than 3,000 people were killed as a result of the attacks on that day. The memorial is designed with a series of cascading waterfalls, recessed pools, and bronze panels that show the names of those killed during the attacks. The museum shows photos, videos, and artifacts from the events. It is recommended you purchase tickets in advance to visit the memorial. You can also visit for free on Mondays between 3:30 and 5:00, but reservations are still required.
180 Greenwich Street, NYC, New York, 10007
The Frick Collection
Located in the early 1900s mansion of Henry Clay Frick, this museum houses artwork by Monet, Rembrandt, Bellini, El Greco, and many more. There's also a covered garden with tropical plants and pond.
1 East 70th Street, NYC, New York, 10021
Tavern on the Green
This famous restaurant in Central Park serves American cuisine to locals and visitors. It has had multiple owners over the last few decades, but has continued to draw a crowd because of its terrific setting in the park and its delicious food and friendly service. Many visitors to New York enjoy a meal here while exploring the various sites and activities in Central Park.
67th Street & Central Park West, NYC, New York, 10023
Barrett Park Staten Island Zoo
This suburban zoo is located in West New Brighton on Staten Island. It's a small, 8 acre zoo that has reptiles, spider monkeys, donkeys, foxes, cows, and more. It's also the home of the famed Staten Island Chuck, a groundhog who predicts the Groundhog Day forecast yearly for New York City. Admission is normally $10, but it's free on Wednesday afternoons.
614 Broadway, West New Brighton, NYC, New York, 10310
Prospect Park Zoo
This 12-acre zoo located on the east side of Prospect Park in Brooklyn is home to a variety of primates, amphibians, farm animals, birds, and more. The shetland sheep are a popular favorite, as are the numerous colorful frogs and other amphibians in the hall of animals exhibit. It's fun for the whole family!
450 Flatbush Avenue, Prospect Heights, NYC, New York, 11225
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden was created in 1910 and is situated in the Prospect Park neighborhood. Here you can find a number of special plant collections a s well as the Steinhardt Conservatory which is home to the Bonsai Museum. Also in the Conservatory are several themed areas featuring various climates, a glass aquatic plant house, plus an art gallery. While admission is not free, a huge number of visitors enter every year making this a popular and well-visited destination. They host events, children's activities, and classes, too. While an admission fee is usually charged for entry, it's free on Tuesdays, Saturday mornings, and a few other days of the year, too.
1000 Washington Avenue, Prospect Heights, NYC, New York, 11238
New York City has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: The Best Science Museums in New York City and The 17 Best Children's Museums in New York City.
Orpheum Theatre
One of the most famous off-Broadway theatres, the Orpheum hosts a number of great shows, most recently of which is the smash-hit Stomp. The theatre was originally constructed in 1904, and over the decades has hosted plenty of popular productions such as Anything Goes and Little Shop of Horrors.
126 2nd Avenue, NYC, New York, 10003
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
This interesting museum located in the Museum Mile on the Upper East Side is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum showcases design aesthetic, creativity, contemporary design, and showcases other interesting related works of art and design.
2 East 91st Street, NYC, New York, 10128
Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center
Formerly Atlantis Marine World, the Long Island Aquarium opened in 2000 in Riverhead. It's home to a 20,000-gallon coral reef tank, which is one of the largest all-living coral displays in North America. Visitors can also see a huge shark tank, penguins, sea lions, a boat ride, and more. There's more than 100 exhibits in total which makes for a great day for the entire family.
431 East Main Street, Riverhead, New York, 11901
The Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium
This unique Long Island museum combines a grand mansion, a beautiful park, and a marine and natural history museum, as well as a planetarium. In addition to shows in the planetarium, there is also a rooftop observatory viewing every Friday night.
180 Little Neck Rd, Centerport, Long Island, NY, 11721
The Skyscraper Museum
This museum focuses on the architecture and engineering of tall buildings. The exhibits educate visitors on the history, construction, and design of some of the city's most unique skyscrapers. There are also family programs and educational resources available.
39 Battery Pl, New York, NY, 10280
Union Square
Union Square Park is a popular place to tourists and locals alike. The park is a hub of activity and there always seems to be something going on. Locals are often in the park playing chess, and there are performers that entertain tourists and those passing by. The park also has lots of public artwork as well as the Metronome and Countdown Clock, which shows 24 hour time from left to right and also counts down the time that's left in the day. Various markets are also held here at different times of the year, such as Christmas.
Interested in more travel advice for New York City? Check out The Best Parks, Gardens, and Things to Do Outdoors in New York City and The Best Iconic Skyscrapers to Visit in New York City.
The Bronx Museum of the Arts
This multicultural art museum has more than 1000 pieces of work that highlight 20th and 21st century artists who were either based in the Bronx or of African, Asian or Latino ancestry.
1040 Grand Concourse, New York, NY, 10456
The Morgan Library & Museum
This institution began as the private library of J. Pierpont Morgan and it was donated to the city. It includes drawings by Michelangelo, Rembrandt, and Picasso. There are three Gutenberg Bibles, and a copy of Frankenstein annotated by Mary Shelley, as well as manuscripts by Dickens, Poe, Twain, Steinbeck, and Wilde. There's also sheet music handwritten by Beethoven and Mozart.
225 Madison Ave, New York, NY, 10016
The Cradle of Aviation Museum and Education Center
The Cradle of Aviation Museum is an aerospace museum that educates visitor's on Long Island's role in the history of aviation. The museum also has an attached planetarium, the JetBlue Sky Theater Planetarium, which shows educational films that cover a number of topics including pre-historic sea monsters and galactic journeys. This museum is in Garden City, Long Island.
Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Garden City, Long Island, NY, 11530
Queens County Farm Museum
This fun and family-friendly museum lets kids and adults explore everything about life on a farm, including getting to know the animals. They have pigs, alpacas, sheep, goats, and chickens, as well as hay rides, a bush maze, and a variety of education events. They also have seasonal activities such as pumpkin picking in the fall and more. Most days are free, except during special events.
73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Queens, Floral Park, New York, 11004
Children's Museum of Manhattan
This hands on museum is perfect for kids who want to get their energy out, play, and explore. The museum's exhibits are designed to be touched and played with and kids will learn about culture, history, and science in a fun and hands on way. This museum is perfect for young kids that are 6 and under.
212 W 83rd St, Upper West Side, New York, NY, 10024

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New York City has plenty more to offer, so see also our other articles: Famous Squares and Plazas to Visit in New York City and The Best Planetariums to Visit near New York City.
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