Best Autumn and Halloween Activities in NYC

Sarah Funk and Laura Peruchi on the row boats at Mohonk Mountain House. Photo by Thiago Ghisi

By: Stefanie DiMartino

It is officially fall in NYC and Halloween is right around the corner. Even though things have been a little different this year, it doesn’t mean there aren’t still tons of fun things to do, all while staying safe and following health/safety guidelines. For the top autumn and Halloween Activities in (or near) NYC, check out my top picks below.

Watch my video guide!

The Top 15 Autumn and Halloween Activities in NYC

Visit Mohonk Mountain House’s Hiking Trails and Lake

New Paltz is a short 1.5-hour bus ride from Manhattan. There, you can see some of the most beautiful autumn foliage at Mohonk Mountain House. This picture-perfect resort is located on a lake, and you can take rowboats out for only $20 per 30 minutes! Reservations are not needed in advance for the rowboats.

Sarah Funk and Laura Peruchi on row boats near Mohonk Mountain House.
Sarah Funk and Laura Peruchi on row boats near Mohonk Mountain House. Photo by Thiago Ghisi.

To get to the resort, you can drive or walk the trails. I recommend hiking their 2.5-mile trail that leads to the stunning resort. It is an easy walk through the woods and the fall colors are amazing! Make sure you reserve in advance to walk the trail because it gets sold out this time of year. It is a very easy walk (I saw kids as little as 4 doing it).

Sarah Funk and Laura Peruchi walking through the main trail.
Sarah Funk and Laura Peruchi walking through the main trail. Photo by Thiago Ghisi.

Please note that the only way you can visit the resort this time of year (since it is peak season) is by buying a hiking pass, spa package, or having a meal there. Their brunch was unimpressive and overpriced, so I recommend doing the hiking or spa package option. For more details on visiting this area, check out my friend Laura’s blog post all about it.

Sarah Funk and Luis Yanes at Mohonk Mountain House.
Sarah Funk and Luis Yanes at Mohonk Mountain House. Photo by Laura Peruchi.

APPLE/PUMPKIN PICKING

With autumn and the cooler weather upon us, there is no better activity than to go apple and pumpkin picking. Certainly, apple and pumpkin picking is sure to get you into the autumn spirit, especially since there are so many great farms and orchards to choose from. You can read more about my Top 7 Best Apple and Pumpkin Picking Farms here

Photo by Tom Swinnen from Pexels

CLASSIC HARBOR LINE: FALL FOLIAGE CRUISES

Now – November 15 | $88+

Surely, one of the best ways to get excited for fall and Halloween is with a cruise on the water, especially a fall foliage cruise. “Celebrate Autumn on one of our NYC Fall Foliage Cruises.  Join us for the last leaves of fall and jump aboard one of our classic boats and head north up the Hudson River to take in the beautiful fall foliage. Escape from the chaos of the city and join us for a 2.25 – 2.5 hour fall foliage cruise on luxury yacht Manhattan or hop aboard a 3.5 hour fall foliage sail aboard Schooner Adirondack! Feel the crisp autumn air upon your face and take in the brilliant crimson red, pumpkin orange and a golden yellow of the Hudson Valley for an afternoon of leaf-peeping.” – Classic Harbor Line

Autumn on a Classic Harbor Line boat.
Autumn on a Classic Harbor Line boat. Photo by Sarah Funk

COLOR ME MINE UPPER WEST SIDE: PUMPKIN PAINTING PARTY

October 23 | 5-7pm | $10+

177 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10013

If you enjoy ceramics and letting your artistic side shine through, Color Me Mine is a fun and unique experience. Located on the Upper West Side, join a Pumpkin Painting Party to get into the Halloween spirit! Safety guidelines are being followed, so “Grab some friends, paint some memories and create something fun this season! It’s time for a creative night out with friends or family!” – Color Me Mine

Reserve your spot here

https://www.instagram.com/p/CF-2TGsDRtn/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

HALLOWEEKEND AT RADIAL PARK

October 29-31 | 7pm | $100+

Radial Park at Hallets Point, 27-50 1st Street, Astoria, NY 11102

Enjoy Halloween weekend at Radial Park for a unique drive-in and theatrical experience! Cult Halloween movie favorites will be playing all weekend. On October 29th, Beetlejuice will be playing. On October 30th, Hocus Pocus will be playing. And, on October 31st, The Rocky Horror Picture Show will be playing. There will be a theatrical performance by the Neon Coven, a comedic magic show by Mark Clearview, and haunted installation, plus trivia, games, and prizes by Travel Channel. It is sure to be a spooktacular time! 

Buy Tickets Here

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGU2a8IjVBO/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

BLAZE: LONG ISLAND

Now – November 1 | $24+

Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Rd, Old Bethpage, NY 11804 

The beloved Pumpkin Blaze is back. While tickets for the Hudson Valley are sold out, a new, second location is available this year.  There are still tickets available for Long Island, so grab them while you can! The pumpkin blaze is like no other experience and you get to enjoy the outdoors while admiring 7,000+ illuminated pumpkins and pathways. The displays are beautiful and it’s a fun activity, which is why it is on this best autumn and Halloween activities list!

Sarah at the Pumpkin Blaze in the Hudson Valley.
Sarah at the Pumpkin Blaze in the Hudson Valley. Photo by Jeffrey Mendoza

BOO AT THE ZOO

Thursdays-Sundays, Now – November 1 | $39.95+

Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd, The Bronx, NY 10460

Head north of NYC to the Bronx Zoo for Boo at the Zoo, which is sure to be tons of Halloween fun! “Our annual Halloween tradition is back at the Bronx Zoo. We have family-friendly activities and have taken all the safety precautions for you to have a great experience. Come dressed in your Halloween best and enjoy it. Some of the activities include “Bootoberfest,” a bird meet and greet, magic shows, an extinct animal graveyard, corn maze, pumpkin carving demos, and lots more!” – The Bronx Zoo

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFHxzMJgewJ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

HALLOWEEN ON THE FARM

October 31 | 11am-5pm | $20+

Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, NY 11004

“It’s a monster mash! Wear your costume to the farm for this Halloween spooktacular for kids and their grown-ups. Halloween on the Farm Tickets include: The Amazing Maize Maze, spooky hayrides, trick-or-treating with the farm animals (find eight stations located throughout the farm’s 47 acres to safely experience Halloween), and an Adopt-a-Worm composting program, ghastly crafts, and recycling tips at the Con Edison Ecology Booth.” – Queens County Farm Museum 

Photo by Łukasz Nieścioruk on Unsplash

THE FALL ESCAPE

Now – November 29 | $18+

Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, NY 11004

Making the list twice, Queens County Farm is the place to visit for the best autumn and Halloween activities in NYC. Offering the most perfect, instagram-worthy experience, plus amazing photo ops, the Fall Escape is a must! “Escape into a blissful fall floral fantasy with endless photo ops throughout your visit. Take a selfie beside our life-size Pumpkin Spice latte cup topped with floral swirl, spread your wings in our giant floral butterfly or wander through the blooming Enchanted Fall Forest – an escape for each of your fall must-haves! Don’t forget to say Hi to Ellie the Elephant wrapped in her blanket of blooms and take a stroll under our lush tunnel of florals for all the fall feels. A moment to capture! Take a stroll through a series of multi-sensory floral-filled installations in this immersive fall floral pop-up.” – The Floral Escape

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFpNr0zjFNL/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

CENTRAL PARK: 59TH STREET TREE WALK

East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022 

Certainly, one of the best autumn activities, and one that is free, is taking a stroll through Central Park. There are so many trails and landscapes to take in while walking. A particular favorite during fall is the 59th Street Tree Walk. “Visitors on the 59th Street Tree Walk will see many species of trees, each with a unique identity. Signs on tree trunks or nearby on the ground teach visitors about the trees along the path, giving walkers the opportunity to learn something new while they enjoy a stroll past Central Park’s most popular sights.” – Central Park Conservancy

https://www.instagram.com/p/CFxQEGflzsf/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

BLOOD MANOR

October 22 – November 7 | $40+

Blood Manor, 359 Broadway, New York, NY 10013

2020 has been scary enough. If you’re looking for more Halloween scares and screams, Blood Manor is the place for you. Of course, with COVID-19 safety precautions in place. 

“Blood Manor is a first-class haunted house attraction comprised of approximately 10,000 square feet of themed rooms, corridors, and a labyrinth of passageways designed to to maximize one’s fears. Designed to be the most intense, creepy, and scream inducing haunted house attraction in the New York tri-state area.” – Blood Manor

Note: Not recommended for children under 14.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGfacOLlytm/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

JOHNNIE’S CARWASH ON OAK

October 22-25, October 29-31 | Fri & Sat, 6-10pm, Sun, 6-9pm | $25

521 Oak Street, Copiague, NY 11726

For a coronavirus safe activity that includes some scares, check out Johnnie’s Car Wash on Oak, located on Long Island. It will be transformed into a “Tunnel of Terror” with props and performers running around.

Learn more here

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGHt8EBngbX/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

DARE TO RIDE: THE HORSEMAN’S TRAIL

Now – November 1 | $39.95+

Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses, 778 Broadway, Route 9W, Ulster Park, NY 12487

In spite of the coronavirus, businesses have been coming up with clever ways for people to have Halloween fun. Replacing the usual haunted hayride, this year, there will be a unique drive-thru haunted experience on The Horseman’s Trail. “Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses is located in Ulster Park, NY, part of the Historic Haunted Hudson Valley. The historic manor circa 1793 incorporates over sixty-five acres of naturally landscaped property including foreboding woods, surreal ponds, fruit orchards and more. Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses is a unique, immersive experience with a theme that changes each Halloween season. Headless Horseman continually evolves with unusual monsters, amazing illusions, stunning special fx, unique and original costumes, makeup, animations and frightening detail. Only the courageous will survive the intense encounters with the infamous Headless Horseman.” – Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses

Note: Not recommended for children under 13

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGfTg6JLitS/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

PIER 17 PUMPKIN ARCH

Heineken Riverdeck at Pier 17, 89 South Street, New York NY 10038

For instagram-worthy fall/Halloween photos, you must check out the Pier 17 Pumpkin Arch. “Featuring more than 500 pumpkins, and other autumnal accoutrements, the Pumpkin Arch is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and celebrate the harvest season and Halloween. Cozy up, take a stroll down to the Seaport and let the arch bring all the fall feels to your feed.” – Pier 17

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGH9-hnpiIv/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

GREAT PUMPKIN PATH

Now – November 1 | 10am – 6pm | $15+

New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458

If you can’t get enough of fall scenery and pumpkins, be sure to visit The New York Botanical Garden. “Discover plentiful pumpkins and hordes of gourds along the twists and turns of our Great Pumpkin Path on the Conservatory Lawn, culminating with some of the largest pumpkins in the world with the arrival of giant pumpkins on October 24. Keep an eye out for a display of whimsical scarecrows throughout the Garden as well.” – NYBG

https://www.instagram.com/p/CF2QZDPBahk/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

I hope this Top 15 Best Autumn and Halloween Activities in NYC list helps to get you into the spooky season spirit! Have fun and stay safe! For more advice check out my favorite things to do in autumn here.

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