The best things to do in the fall in NYC

Find the best things to do in the fall in NYC, including can't-miss seasonal events, Halloween activities and more
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Anthony Quintano
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On the hunt for some stellar things to in the fall? NYC has plenty, for once the weather cools down, Gotham’s cultural scene heats up! This guide will help you find the best things to during the season of all things pumpkin spice, including the best fall and Halloween festivals, NYC street fairs, autumnal treatments at the best spas in NYC and seasonal events happening at some of the best New York attractions.

Best things to do in the fall

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Oktoberfest NYC
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Bars

Oktoberfest in Central Park

Strap on those lederhosen—really, people will be wearing them—and head to this German wunderland. When the display of intricate Karneval costumes and the cheerful Austrian tunes during New York’s Steuben Parade end, quench your thirst with pitchers of Bavarian brews (Hofbräu, Erdinger), and cheers to lively sets from Spitze! and the Polka Brothers. Wunderbar! Presale tickets already sold out (omigod), but more drop around September 12, so get ready.

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Queens County Farm Museum Apple Festival
Photograph: Jeff Kollbrunner
Things to do

Kickoff to Fall

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Fact: Nothing says autumn like an intricate corn maze, wooden bins filled to the brim with just-picked apples and a pumpkin patch overflowing with gourds. All three of these iconic seasonal staples are present at this annual festival, which celebrates the season’s return to Queens County Farm Museum. Tap your toes to country & western band Savannah Sky while sipping crisp apple cider, get lost in the Amazing Maize Maze, and watch the farm’s flock of Cotswold and Romney sheep get a new hairdo during a shearing demonstration. (It’s going to be baaadass.)

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Photograph: Courtesy Cider Week
Things to do, Festivals

Cider Week

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There are many types of apples (Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Granny Smith), but the best variation of everyone’s favorite autumnal fruit is clearly the fermented kind. And for seven glorious days, you can guzzle bushels of the good stuff at more than 50 bars and restaurants in NYC and indulge in free tastings, events and workshops at popular drinking dens such as Chelsea Wine Vault and Craftbar.

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Photograph: Shutterstock
Things to do

Fall "AF' Fest

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Join Time Out New York as we bid farewell to sunblock and flip flops and embrace the best things fall has to offer! We'll be at LIC Landing on Sunday, October 1, enjoying pumpkin patches, haystacks, apples, leaves and views for days! Wash down a fall-inspired meal from Dinosaur BBQ with complimentary drinks from Peroni Beer, Indaba Wines and Rekorderlig Cider. Be there for all the Insta worthy photos fit for the season! 

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Feast of San Gennaro 2013
Photograph: Courtesy Elyssa Goodman
Things to do, Festivals

Feast of San Gennaro

In its 91st year, the celebration of the patron saint of Naples will fill the streets of Little Italy with carnival games, a cannoli-eating contest, parades and live music, while Mulberry Street eateries like Balaboosta will serve street snacks from booths outside their front doors.

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Photograph: Beth Levendis
Things to do

Giant Pumpkin Weekend

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Pour out some spiked apple cider for your soon-to-be picked pumpkin homies, which will become the main display at New York Botanical Garden’s pumpkin garden. These monstrous gourds—weighing up to 1,800 pounds—are available for your photo-taking pleasure.

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Photograph: Courtesy Kisha Bari
Things to do

Photoville

icon-location-pin Brooklyn Heights
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Kings County exhibition producer United Photo Industries returns Brooklyn Bridge Park to create a pop-up village honoring the art of picture taking. Dozens of shipping containers, which double as venues for curated gallery installations, will contain various works. And get excited, because the Smorgasburg Beer Garden is returning this year with food and drinks in addition to the night time screenings each evening; you'll find a few vendors selling all sorts of food and drinks.

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Queens County Fair
Photograph: Courtesy Queens County Farm Museum
Things to do, Festivals

Queens County Fair

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Get a little rural living without leaving the city limits at the 35th iteration of this down-home festival. For two days, the Queens County Farm Museum will become even more agrarian than usual with livestock competitions, pie-eating contests, awards for the fastest corn huskers and pig races and Irish and German musicians to keep your feet stomping. While there, try to make your way through the Amazing Maize Maze, a three-acre labyrinth, or take a spin on carnival rides. Glean tips on fashioning your own farm-to-table fare at a colonial cooking demo, or knock back a few at a Bavarian beer garden. You can even register online to enter your own craft, vegetable, or baked or canned goods in one of the blue-ribbon contests.

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9/26/10. Atlantic Antic, 2010
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Atlantic Antic

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NYC’s largest street festival takes over Downtown Brooklyn for its 43rd year, with 10 blocks of food, performers, art and more. Peruse dozens of Brooklyn-based food vendors, craft breweries and artisanal shops, and try to catch all the acts at performance stages while burning a hole in your pocket with all the provisions. Pace yourself.

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Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/NumbPhoto
Things to do, Walks and tours

Haunted Lantern Tours at Fort Totten Park

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Ain’t afraid of no ghost? That’s good, because you might spot a few spirits (hopefully the friendly kind) during this Urban Park Rangers tour that blurs the line between history and Halloween. Use the lanterns provided (not your iPhone flashlight, bro) to explore the creepy Water Battery Gate at Fort Totten Park in the pitch-black while your guide shares goose-bumps–inducing stories about the phantasm-infested grounds. Enter at Shore and Abbott Rds.

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More fall stories

Photograph: Courtesy Steve Acres/Into the Veil
Things to do

The best fall date ideas in NYC

We’re familiar with “summer loving,” but once you take a gander at our list of fall date ideas, you’ll soon see that “autumn loving” is what it’s all about. Just think of all the possibilities! From admiring fall foliage at the best NYC parks, to holding your S.O.’s hand during New York’s spookiest ghost tours, we think these activities are the foundation for a long-lasting relationship. And, hell, these date ideas will get your through cuffing season at the very least. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in the fall in NYC

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Things to do in New York by month

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