Timeout New York Kids

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NYC botanical garden and park guide: Fall 2012

Time Out Kids unveils its latest NYC botanical garden and park guide for fall 2012, with events your family won't want to miss this autumn.

  • Wave Hill Enchanted Forest

  • Photograph: Jason Gardner

    Ghouls and Gourds

  • Photograph: Jason Gardner

    Ghouls and Gourds

  • Chile Pepper Fiesta

  • Chile Pepper Fiesta

  • Photograph: Victor Chu

    Visitors explore Mario Batali's Kitchen Gardens in the Ruth Rea Howell Family...

  • NYBG Haunted Pumpkin Garden

  • NYBG Haunted Pumpkin Garden

  • Thain Family Forest at NYBG

  • Thain Family Forest at NYBG

Wave Hill Enchanted Forest

1. Go for a walk in the woods
What better way to take in the changing colors of the season than by hitting a leaf-strewn trail under a crisp blue sky? At Central Park's Woodland Discovery Day (Oct 20 11am--2pm), families can take a guided tour of the newly opened "Woodlands" exhibit, then borrow a nature kit—a backpack containing a hand lens, binoculars, colored pencils and two field guides—to explore the nearby North Woods. Among the inhabitants you might spy are raccoons, squirrels and even chipmunks, in addition to more than 200 species of birds. For a more hands-on experience, head to the annual Enchanted Wave Hill Weekend (Oct 21--22 10am--2pm), where little ones can craft tiny houses with sticks and leaves, take in stories about fairies and channel the day's magic in a session of painting on silk. If a bona fide hike is in order, hop the subway or MetroNorth train to the New York Botanical Garden and set off on a walk through the newly restored Thain Family Forest, the largest swath of native forest left in the city. Streams, waterfalls and trees as far as the eye can see are apt to capture the imagination of little urban dwellers.

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