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50 things to do in New York City with kids in the fall 2013

Get ready for fall! Our list of things to do in New York City this season—exhibits, shows, festsivals and more—will keep your family busy through Thanksgiving.

  • Photographer: Filip Wolak

    1. Celebrate the Feast of San Gennaro, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

  • 2. Enjoy a flim at the BAMkids Movie Matinee series, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

  • Photograph: courtesy Film Forum

    3. Watch a classic flick at Film Forum Jr., one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

  • Photograph: Jonathan Aprea

    4. Make a puppet for the Morningside Lights Parade, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    5. Be an inventor at the World Maker Faire, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    6. Experience country life at the Queens County Fair, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

  • 7. Get spooked at the Haunted Pumpkin Garden, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

  • 8. Watch a musical production of Tilly the Trickster, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

  • Photograph: courtesy of Shinnyo-en

    9. Take part in the Lantern Floating for Peace, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

  • 10. Listen to performances at the Westbeth Kids Groove Festival, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.

Photographer: Filip Wolak

1. Celebrate the Feast of San Gennaro, one of the best things to do in New York City with kids in the fall.


We love September in New York City—temperatures cool down, sweaters come out of the closet, pumpkin-flavored treats start to pop-up everywhere and there are tons of new festivals, concerts, shows and exhibits for families. To kick start your crew's season, we've put together a list of the 50 best things to do in New York City this fall (many of them are even free!). Scroll through our top 50 list to get the scoop on everything from an avian art exhibit called "Tweet" at the Children's Museum of the Arts to a San Francisco Ballet production of Cinderella at Lincoln Center. Happy fall!


1

Celebrate the Feast of San Gennaro

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Little Italy’s 87th annual street party salutes the patron saint of Naples in a series of raucous celebrations. For eleven days, Mulberry Street succumbs to food vendors, live music and carnival-esque games and rides in between the festival’s main events: the 12th Annual Cannoli Eating Competition (Sept 12 at 2pm), the Grand Procession, a huge parade complete with floats and marching bands (Sept 14) and the traditional religious procession in which the statue of San Gennaro is carried through the streets (Sept 19). All ages.

  1. Manhattan
  2. Thu Sep 12 - Sun Sep 22
More info
2

Enjoy a film at the BAMkids Movie Matinee series

  • Price band: 1/4

Saturdays this fall mean catching up on kid-friendly classics (and some more recent films, too) at BAM. Watch one of our favorite non-Disney animated movies of the 20th-century, Charlotte's Web (Sept 21) plus its 2006 live-action successor, which will play simultaneously in another theater. Other picks this season: the claymation hit Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Oct 2), the 1993 version of The Secret Garden (Nov 16), a two-for-one showing of Albert Lamorisse's The Red Balloon followed by White Mane (Nov 30), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Dec 7) and finally, A Christmas Story (Dec 21) to ring in the season. Ages 7 and up.

  1. BAM Rose Cinemas 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St, 11217
  2. Sep through Sat Dec 21
More info
3

Watch a classic flick at Film Forum Jr.

  • Price band: 1/4

Today’s 3-D movies and Blu-rays are great, but don’t you want your kids to experience the cinematic classics of past generations, too? At the second year of this Sunday series, Film Forum will screen family-friendly silent movies, musicals, animated features, and plenty of classic comedies and shorts. Pick include Journey to the Center of the Earth (Sept 15), David Copperfield (Sept 22), West Side Story (Oct 6), The Bride of Frankenstein (Oct 27), The Iron Giant (Nov 17), Monkey Business (Dec 8) and Meet Me In St. Louis (Dec 22). Most screenings include fun contests and shorts preceding the feature film. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Film Forum 209 W Houston St, between Sixth Ave and Varick St, 10014
  2. Sep through Sun Dec 22
More info
4

Make a puppet for the Morningside Lights parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

The second (and now annual) event organized by Columbia University’s Miller Theatre delivers a week’s worth of all-ages creative workshops in which families can design and craft their own lanterns, then showcase their work in a twilight procession through Morningside Park (Sept 21 at 8pm). The result? A glowing, somewhat eerie (but nonetheless beautiful) mass of handmade art. This year’s theme, “The Luminous Deep” calls for ocean-inspired works, so we’re expecting to see some really, really cool jellyfish. Be sure to sign up for workshops and the parade online. A special craft table for families can also be found at the Common Ground Festival (Sept 21 2–5pm) on the day of the  parade in Morningside Park. Ages 8 and up.

  1. Morningside Park Morningside Drive, from 110th to 123rd Sts
  2. Sat Sep 14 - Sat Sep 21
More info
5

Experience country life at the Queens County Fair

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

A reading of Charlotte’s Web is about as close as most city kids have come to a blue-ribbon livestock and produce competition. But at this annual outdoor fest, they’ll get a glimpse of farm life firsthand—or at least a wonderful re-creation of it. Pie-eating and corn-husking contests, hayrides, carnival rides, lumberjack shows, a Bavarian garden, Irish and German folk bands, pig racing and the three-acre Amazing Maize Maze may have tykes plotting a move to the country. Admission does not include maze entry, carnival rides and games, or various other fair activities. All ages.

  1. Queens County Farm Museum 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, between 73rd Rd and 74th Ave
  2. Sat Sep 21 - Sun Sep 22
More info
6

Get spooked at the Haunted Pumpkin Garden

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Get a spooky fix in this scary patch, where frightening spirits lurk in between the gourds. Kids can play in the Pumpkin House, stage a show in the Pumpkin Puppet Theater and get some extra mileage out of their costumes at daily parades. During weekends, expect encounters with creepy crawlers (think frogs, snakes and spiders) and more surprises, including the all-new Spooky Nighttime Adventures—built like a (not-so-scary) haunted house, after-hours visitors can traverse by flashlight through the Trick-or-Treat Trail, where there will be plenty of candy, owl pellet dissecting, gourd-decorating, spooky stories and live entertainers (Oct 19, 20, 25 & 26; $20). See the website for the full schedule. All ages.

  1. New York Botanical Garden Bronx River Pkwy, at Fordham Rd
  2. Sat Sep 21 - Thu Oct 31
More info
7

Take part in the Lantern Floating for Peace

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Kids of all backgrounds can take part in a modern Shinnyo-en Buddhist lantern ceremony by building, decorating and floating their own creations on a pond inside Trump Rink. While similar ceremonies are held annually in places like Japan and Hawaii, it’s the first for NYC, where the theme “Be a Light for Peace” honors peacemakers one day after the United Nation’s International Day of Peace (September 21). All afternoon long, enjoy live performances by Taiko drummers and local musicians. Ages 5 and up.

  1. Trump Rink Central Park, enter at W 59th St at Sixth Ave, 10065
  2. Until Sun Sep 22
More info

  1. 1–10
  2. 11–20
  3. 21-30
  4. 31–40
  5. 41–50

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