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Fall festivals in NYC

Get into the spirit of the season with these fall festivals in NYC

Written by
Danielle Valente
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What’s the first thing you think about come September? Hot apple cider, sweaters, hayrides, pumpkins, leaf-peeping, apple picking… the list goes on and on. For fall family fun, grab the kids and head out to one of the many fall festivals in NYC and beyond. Autumn is a beautiful time in NY, and these festivals pack in all that autumn goodness, from harvest celebrations and corn mazes to Halloween festivities and scary movies. Enjoy the best of the season for your next fun family outing. Whether you’re heading out for a fall day trip or sticking closer to home, these fall festivals are chock full of autumn activities that the whole crew will love.

Fall festivals in NYC

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  • City Life

Revel in the Halloween fun amongst the animals at the Bronx Zoo with magic shows, pumpkin carving demonstrations, mind reading and trips through a spooky extinct animal graveyard. Each day, animal-themed costumed stilt walkers and Halloween animal puppets will put on a "MASKerade" while the Wildlife Theater will pull out all the stops with performances in Astor Court. Advanced tickets are required before attending and reentry is not permitted.

This rustic New Jersey attraction is an autumnal paradise: Every weekend (and Fridays in October) from Sept 12 to Oct 25, visitors have a plethora of seasonal fun to enjoy, including one of the country's most impressive corn mazes at 10 acres, pumpkin bowling, a tractor pull, Hay Mountain, Giant Jenga and a slew of other cool activities. Advanced tickets (released two weeks before the event) are required. 

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Snag yourself a candy apple and let the fun begin! Schmitt Family Farm's Annual Fall Festival is perfect for those with young chilren: A fun playground, a mini golf course and petting zoo will keep the littles entertained as the temperature drops and fall colors swoop in. Parents will gravitate toward the vegetable, pumpkin and sunflower picking—just make sure you hop on the tractor to get there. You'd be remiss to leave without a visit to the market and a bag of popcorn. The event will run on weekends from Sept 17 to Oct 30.

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  • City Life

If you’ve ever wanted to step inside Disney’s 1998 movie Halloweentown, which is set in a magical town filled with friendly pumpkin people, ghosts, ghouls and witches and thousands of glowing pumpkins, you’ll finally have your chance this fall. From September 30 to October 31, Los Angeles’ beloved Haunt O’ Ween will finally pop up on the East Coast in Holmdel, New Jersey—an hour’s drive from NYC.

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Grab a cozy blanket and settle in for a frighteningly fun flick under the stars: Apple Ridge Orchards' annual Spookley Movie Night lets guests enjoy a moonlight walk through the apple orchards before a 6:45pm screening of Spookley the Square Pumpkin. Admission also includes a pumpkin! Spookley Moview Nights will take place on Oct 14 and 21 from 5:30–8pm. 

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  • Weird & Wonderful

Get into the fall spirit by seeing if you can navigate this three-acre corn maze at a farm in Queens. Called The Amazing Maize Maze, this plant puzzle at the Queens County Farm Museum lives up to the hype. This year, the maze pays homage to Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic “Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory” painting, and it was developed in collaboration with Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. 

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  • Things to do
  • Quirky events

Like a well-stocked candy stash, the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze is an essential part of Halloween in New York. The attraction is set along the beautiful 18th century riverside landscape of Van Cortlandt Manor and boasts a pumpkin promenade like none other: There are over 7,000 hand-carved jack o'lanterns waiting to impress visitors. As you tour the grounds, expect synchronized lighting, spooky music and more dazzling, Instagram-worthy features like the Pumpkin Carousel and the Pumpkin Windmill.

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