The Best New York Fall Family Bucket List 2022
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!
1. Leaf peep at Central Park and check out the changing leaves (it happens later in the city than Upstate, whoo- hoo!)
2. Head to the New York Botanical Garden for their Fall-O-Ween celebration, featuring pumpkins and gourds galore
3. Six Flags Fright Fest is back with its signature ghoul parade, multiple haunted walks and more chilling thrills. Bring the younger ones during the day for not-so-scary activities and entertainment
4. Pick the perfect pumpkin without leaving the city! Queens County Farm Museum and Decker Farm in Staten Island each boast sprawling patches and festive fall activities on weekends in October
5. Best NYC views from 300 feet with special event opportunities at the Dream Wheel NJ! Tip: Park in lot C at the American Dream Mall and go to the 3rd floor.
6. Stop by Levain Bakery for a Fall Chocolate Cookie of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, molasses, chocolate and more
7. Catch a ball game without sweating through your clothes. Fall marks the start of football, basketball, and hockey season
8. Geek out at NY Comic Con, coming to the Javits Center Oct. 6-9, and meet your favorite stars up close. Don’t forget to snap a photo to impress your friends!
9. Check out Museum of The City of New York’s Movies for Minis, a new series of monthly movies accompanied by an art-making workshop for kids of all ages. Check dates at mcny.org
10. The mother of all Halloween parades winds through Greenwich Village on October 31, where spectators will view every kind of costume imaginable. This year’s theme is freedom!
11. 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, Long Island’s Bayville Scream Park, and Bane’s Haunted House in Midtown
12. Spend an October weekend in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, to visit Phantoms by Firelight at Old Sturbridge Village
13. 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
14. Dress your pooch in their Halloween finest and join the costumed canine convoy in Tompkins Square Park (Brooklyn) on Oct. 22 for their famous annual dog parade
15. Head to beautiful New Jersey for fall family fun with apple picking to leaf peeping, and more; For all the fun fall things to do, check out VisitNJ.org
16. Pedal your way past colorful foliage on a scenic bike tour
17. From Spooktacular Night Walks to Bronx Zoo Mornings and School Break camps, WCS Education has something to offer for every family! Check out our programs at bronxzoo.com/learn/families
18. Pack the family in the car or head out on foot to explore the over-the-top spooky decorations and local haunted houses. It’s not just us; they’re totally getting more elaborate (and terrifying) every year!
19. Take a fall walk on the Highline, and head to The Whitney afterward; kids are free!
20. Leave the kids with a sitter and head to Long Island to tour its many beautiful wineries, while you take in breathtaking autumnal views
21. Enjoy the fall air and see a movie outdoors or in a car at the Skyline Drive-in
22. Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at El Museo del Barrio
23. Long Island Aquarium has great events this season. Check out their website for all the fun- including the Haunted Tree House all October. The Bats, Barnacles & Broomsticks Halloween Party is on Oct 29th and their Annual Wine Tasting Event – Fish & Sips on November 11th
24. Head to Central Park Lake (open until the end of November and weather permitting) and rent a boat or take a gondola ride
25. Take advantage of the Culture Pass and visit the amazing cultural institutions that participate
26. Hop on a ferry and explore Governor’s Island before it closes for the winter
27. Corn mazes are now a fall staple and there’s plenty nearby to choose from. The cream of the crop include Von Thun’s, Hank’s Pumpkintown and Harbes, among others
28. Head to Hudson River Park’s SUBMERGE Marine Science Festival on October 15 (11:00 AM – 3:00 PM, at Pier 84. With live activities, SUBMERGE brings marine science to life. This interactive science festival is open to the public
29. Take the kids to Central Park on Oct. 30 for a Halloween parade, kid’s activities and more. Be sure to head to the northeast corner at 6:30 for the annual Pumpkin Flotilla, when dozens of jack-o-lanterns are sent floating down the Harlem Meer in a stunning procession that is not to be missed
30. Check out Palisades Climb Adventure which is the world’s tallest indoor ropes course, standing 85 feet tall and featuring over 75 unique challenge elements designed for climbers of all ages and skill levels. For younger visitors, check out the Sky Tykes course, which allows for easy parental guidance at any course level
31.Times Square is for families; discover kid-friendly attractions, family-style restaurants, immersive shops, free outdoor events, and theater. Explore the Times Square Family Fun Guide at tsq.org/families
32. An award-winning event, the Norman Bird Sanctuary Annual Harvest Fair, is one not to miss. Challenge friends to a sack race, scarecrow building competition, rope climbing, live music, and feast on delish fall food
33. Book a whale watching cruise for a chance to spot these peaceful giants before the water gets too cold
34. Go Brick-or-Treating at LEGOLAND New York and join their Monster Party for live shows, attractions, character meet-and-greets and more
35. Head to East Rutherford, NJ to American Dream. Get your thrills in at Nickelodeon Universe, North America’s largest indoor theme park or enjoy the world’s largest indoor wave pool at DreamWorks Water Park. Shop at Saks Fifth Avenue, Zara, and more! End your day at Carpaccio, Bergen County’s #1 New Restaurant
36. Take your family on a picturesque fall hike at Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen Cove, LI. Leading down to a quiet beach, this easy-for-kids trail is one of the most serene on the island