8 Things To Do in the Big Apple This Fall

Visit New York City while the autumn breeze is blowing. Here’s what to do and see in the big city during the fall months.

Fall is such a beautiful season, and I know I’d rather explore city streets when the weather’s not blazing hot or freezing cold. Visit the Big Apple when the weather’s nice and see what this major city is like in the autumn. These 8 ideas will get you started!

Union Square Greenmarket

Union Square Greenmarket

Just because you’re visiting a major city that doesn’t mean you can’t have farm-fresh food! Head to the Union Square Greenmarket in the fall and enjoy a leisurely day of shopping while the weather’s nice. 

You’ll find regional bakers, fishers, and of course, farmers selling their wares. Be warned: if you don’t like large crowds, this might not be the place for you. Some days there will be up to 60,000 shoppers exploring the market. 

Once you’ve finished your shopping at the Greenmarket, take the time to stop by a cooking demonstration or swing by a cookbook signing. Learn more about what’s available at the market here

Walk the High Line

If you’ve never walked the High Line, why not explore this famous NYC spot in the fall? The former railway line was transformed into a park and allows you to see the city from a different angle while you explore the two-mile path. You’ll see the west side of Manhattan from a unique perspective while enjoying the beauty of the High Line park in the fall.

Village Halloween Parade

Each year in Greenwich Village on the west side of Lower Manhattan, there’s an over-the-top, can’t-miss Halloween parade. The theme changes from year to year, so even if you’ve been before, you can expect to be surprised by the costumes and floats. Get creative and make your own costume – embrace your inner artist!

Read More: Fall in Love With Leaves On These Scenic Drives

Randall’s Island Park

Located on an island in the East River, Randall’s Island Park is a fabulous place to appreciate nature and participate in some outdoor activities while you’re still in the big city. With 480 acres, there’s plenty to explore and take advantage of, such as barbecue areas, football fields, running tracks, golf courses, baseball fields, tennis courts, and so much more. Have a fall picnic or enjoy a concert at Randall’s Island Park in the autumn weather.

Annual Feast of San Gennaro

Little Italy in NYC decorated for the Feast of San Genarro

Do you love Italian food? Schedule your trip to NYC over the weekend of the Annual Feast of San Gennaro. Many of the events are centered around music, and the celebration includes a Musical Tribute to the Armed Forces, a Vocal Tribute to Frank Sinatra, and several live music acts. 

Of course, Italian food is the star of the show. There’s a zeppole (a small, round, sweet pastry) eating contest, a pizza-eating contest, a meatball-eating contest, and of course, a cannoli-eating contest. Stop by to watch these master eaters do their best, or visit a Little Italy restaurant and watch the celebration all around. Learn more about the festivities on the Feast of San Gennaro’s official website.


You don’t need to travel to Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest with a big crowd! On Pier 15, you’ll find Oktoberfest activities throughout September and October. For $60, you can enjoy a two-hour beer tasting at Waterfront Bar. Or watch the Steuben Parade and then participate in the Oktoberfest celebration in Central Park that takes place after the parade. 

Central Park

Fall trees in Central Park and NYC buildings

Of course, you can’t go to NYC in the fall without seeing the beauty of Central Park’s autumn foliage. There are over 18,000 trees in the park, and many of them change colors in the fall. The Central Park Conservancy even offers guided Fall Foliage Walks where you can learn easy tips for identifying trees.

The trees in Central Park differ from other New York trees. According to the Central Park Conservancy, “As days become shorter, trees will detect the oncoming winter not necessarily by colder temperatures, but by the angle at which the rising and setting sun hits their leaves. 

“This has a unique effect on Central Park’s trees which are often obscured by many shadows cast by surrounding buildings. As a result of the light and temperature gradient, the trees often have a distorted sense of the seasons, meaning Central Park frequently experiences a later foliage turn than other parts of New York.”

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Whether you like getting out of town for the holidays or your fall trip to NYC happens to be over Thanksgiving, if you can find a way to attend the Macy’s Parade, do it! Bring your kids and see the enormous floats up-close and in-person. Hear the bands play while you watch the giant balloons pass by!

These eight ideas are just the tip of the iceberg of what to do in the Big Apple. Catch a Broadway (or off-Broadway) show. Shop at a vintage clothing pop-up. Go to Ellis Island and then to Liberty Island to see the Statue of Liberty up close. You could spend months in NYC and still not see everything there is to see!

Read More: Seven Fall Festivals Worth the Trip

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