The Best New York Fall Family Bucket List 2023

The Best New York Fall Family Bucket List 2022

The Best New York Fall Family Bucket List 2023

Out of all the seasons, fall is easily the most fun for families to enjoy together. The house smells like a pumpkin-spiced dream, the leaves are changing and kids are mapping out the best spots for trick-or-treat candy. What a season! 

One of the biggest reasons to love fall is the beautiful weather! The just-right temperatures make for the perfect family day out – indoors or outdoors. That means there is no excuse not to check off everything on your fall bucket list. 

And we have plenty of ideas to get you started below!

Reflection of New York buildings in Central Park

1. Go for a whirl around one of New York’s many carousels before they close for the winter. Some favorites include Jane’s Carousel, Central Park, Seaglass Carousel and Bryant Park.

2. Pick the perfect pumpkin without leaving the city! Queens County Farm Museum boasts a sprawling patch and festive fall activities.

3. Head over to Central Park, where the park’s 18,000 trees turn into a beauty of fall hues; the best part is that the change of seasons  happens a bit later than Upstate. 

4. Take the older kids (or brave tweens) to one of NY’s many haunted houses for a scary good time. Some top-rated ones include Blood Manor and Long Island’s Bayville Scream Park.

5. Take a fall walk on the Highline and head to The Whitney afterward; kids are free!

6. Leave the kids with a sitter and head to Long Island to tour its many beautiful wineries while you take in breathtaking autumnal views. 

7. If you have done this walk before, you know walking the Brooklyn Bridge is not only one of the most iconic things to do in New York; it is gorgeous. 

8. Head to The Central Park Boathouse (Mid-park at 74th Street) and take a rowboat ride for up to four people. Note: Children must be at least 3 feet tall. Boats are by walk-up and can be paid for with a credit card or Apple Pay. $25 per hour. 

9. Take advantage of the Culture Pass and visit the amazing cultural institutions that participate.

10. Is it even fall if you don’t enjoy some cliche treats, like hot apple cider? Pick a cup up at your local farmers’ market this season.

11. Take a fall road trip and explore all the beauty New York and our neighboring states has to offer.

12. Hop on a ferry and explore Governor’s Island before it closes for the winter. 

13. Corn mazes are a fall staple, and there’s plenty nearby to choose from. The cream of the crop includes Von Thun’s, Hank’s Pumpkintown, and Harbes.

Apple Picking NYC 2022

14. While Levain Bakery cookies are iconic, their hot chocolate is also a treat. This is the perfect cold-weather treat made with hand-shaven Valrhona dark chocolate and steamed milk of your choice.

15. The entire family will appreciate the gorgeous city at seventy floors up with the stunning views of the city that can be seen from Top of Rock– where you can check out picturesque views of the Hudson and East Rivers, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, and the Chrysler Building.

16. Hop on a train and take in Broadway with some big Apple favorites like The Lion King, Aladdin, Harry Potter, and The Cursed Child, which is kid-friendly and helps support the theatre district. 

17. Check out the Lego Store on Fifth Avenue (636 Fifth Avenue), where kids will have a fun experience at the brick lab, customizing a Minifigure at The LEGO Minifigure Factory or just doing the free stuff and enjoying the store.

18. Spend a fall day and enjoy nature and pockets of woodlands at Prospect Park. Visit Lefferts Historic House, Prospect Park Zoo, or take the kids on the Carousel Carousel ( the only wheelchair-accessible CarouselCarousel in the nation)located at Prospect Park’s Children’s Corner or head over to one of the park’s seven (!) playgrounds. 

19. Take your wizards to the Harry Potter Store, where they can visit three stories of 21,000 square feet of magic and have an in-store experience via digital technologies that integrate with the Harry Potter Fan Club app. 

20. See a Drive-in Movie. Head over to Skyline Drive-In and watch one of their family-friendly movies. Do not have a car? Check out their outdoor seating! 

21. Visit the Little Island off of Pier 55 for a unique public park experience. This small island uses stunning architecture and adventurous landscaping to create a peaceful escape from busy city life. 

22. Ride the East River Ferry and explore NYC – check out Governors Island, South Brooklyn, and more!

23. Head to Summit One Vanderbilt and take in the beautiful city skyline from 1,000 feet in the air! This skyscraper lets visitors look over NYC in their all-glass enclosed elevator and transparent glass sky-boxes! 

Photo, Iwan Baan, courtesy of AMNH

24. Exploring the American Museum of Natural History never gets old. The best part is New York residents decide what they pay for general admission. Carve out time to check out its new addition, The Gilder Center (free with regular paid admission to the museum.)

25. Get on the Staten Island Ferry, first because it is the Staten Island Ferry and it’s iconic; secondly, it has one of the best views of The Statue of Liberty, and it is *FREE*. Catch it at the Whitehall Terminal in Manhattan.


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