Stepping into fall in NYC means not only stepping into a thousand falling leaves, stunning fall foliage, and crisp autumn air but also into a bustling fall calendar. Autumn events abound, so without further ado, here are the highlights. Enjoy!
78 South Street New York, NY 10038
First things first: beer. Who doesn’t love a reason to celebrate, that reason being that it’s fall and there’s good German beer in the world? Who doesn’t want to be outside (especially in the fall), overlooking iconic NYC bridges and rivers, watching live music, participating in games, a tall stein of Hofbrau in one hand, a giant pretzel in the other? Welcome to Oktoberfest, autumn’s answer to the all-day, all-month party. This year’s Oktoberfest began in mid-September and runs every Saturday and Sunday through October 20. The event features food, games, entertainment, and, of course, beer. Prost!
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway Floral Park, NY 11004
Saturdays and Sundays through October 26
Even though NYC has everything, there are some things one wouldn’t think it would have. And they would be wrong. Because, yes, NYC has a corn maze – a giant, 3-acre maze of corn for you to find your way out of. Fun for the whole family ensues when, after a brief stalk talk, you navigate your way out of the maze by finding clues and solving puzzles. Looking for something a bit more romantic? There are two nights in October when you can navigate the maze by moonlight. Grab a flashlight and your partner by the arm and get lost in the stalks.
Re-opens October 12
One of the most iconic NYC wintertime activities one can have is ice skating around The Rink at Rockefeller Center. That said, the rink re-opens in the fall. So, go for it! Because no matter what the season, ice skating to music around a rink in the center of New York City is just fun.
Throughout NYC, there are projects, buildings, and structures that are closed to the public year-round – except for one weekend. This year, Open House New York takes place on October 19-20, and it’s the one weekend of the year where over 250 sites over all five boroughs open their doors to the public, free of charge. Locations are as varied and exciting as the history which surrounds them, from historic farmhouses to Art Deco theaters to new buildings at the cutting edge of design and technology. Take a tour, talk with architects and urban designers, watch performances. This annual festival celebrates the architecture and urban design of New York City, and after attending, you might have a new appreciation for the city yourself. Grab a map – and a friend – and get exploring!
Halloween is the one time of year where you can dress up as anything in the world that you want, and the more outrageous, the better. For a holiday as great as that, it makes sense to start it a day early. At the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla on October 30 in Central Park, enjoy pumpkin carving, a costume parade, a pumpkin patch, and the Pumpkin Flotilla, in which hundreds of lit-up pumpkins set sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight. For a truly breathtaking display of pumpkins, all alit, head up to the Hudson Valley’s Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, where over 7,000 jack-o’-lanterns are on a spectacular display, complete with synchronized lighting, and an original soundtrack. And on the night-of, head over to “the nation’s most wildly creative public participatory event,” the Village Halloween Parade. Wearing a costume lets you walk in the parade alongside hundreds of puppets, dancers, artists, bands, thousands of other New Yorkers, and the host of the parade, Zohra, the Giant Spider.
If you’re one of the 50,000+ people, who will run the NYC Marathon, massive kudos to you. If you’re there to support and cheer on the runners, that’s great, too. The 26.2-mile course begins in Staten Island, then winds around Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and ends in Central Park. Help raise thousands of dollars for charity, run for your health, and have fun. Not to mention, you’ll have endless bragging rights.
After so many activities, you might want to relax. Go ahead – turn your home into a spa and let go of the world for a while.