New York’s Best Fall Family Bucket List 2022
Of all the seasons, fall is easily the most fun for families to spend together. The house smells like a pumpkin-spiced dream, the the leaves are changing and the kids map out the best spots for trick-or-treating candy. What a time!
One of the biggest reasons to love fall is the beautiful weather! The perfect temperature makes for the perfect family day out – indoors or outdoors. That means there’s no excuse not to check off everything on your fall bucket list.
And we have more ideas to get you started below!
1. Check out the leaves in Central Park and watch the changing leaves (it happens later in the city than Upstate, whoo-hoo!)
2. Head to Botanical Garden of New York for their Fall-O-Ween celebration, with plenty of pumpkins and gourds
3. Six Flags Fright Fest returns with its signature ghoul parade, many haunted walks and many more chilling thrills. Take the youngsters during the day for less scary activities and fun
4. Pick the perfect pumpkin without leaving town! Queens County Farm Museum and Decker Farm in Staten Island each has a number of patches and festive fall activities on October weekends
5. Best view of NYC from 300 feet with special event opportunities at Dream Wheel NJ! Tip: Park in lot C of the American Dream Mall and go to the 3rd floor.
6. Stop it Levain Bakery for Fall Chocolate Cookie ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, molasses, chocolate and more
7. Catch a game of ball without getting your clothes sweaty. Fall marks the start of football, basketball, and hockey season
8. Geek out NY Comic Con, coming to the Javits Center Oct. 6-9, and meet your favorite stars up close. Don’t forget to take a photo to impress your friends!
9. behold Museum of the City of New York’s Movies for Minis, a new series of monthly shows accompanied by an art-making workshop for children of all ages. Check dates at mcny.org
10. The mother of all Halloween parades will roll through Greenwich Village on October 31, where spectators will see every type 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 spooky good time. Some top-rated ones include Blood Manor, Long Island’s Bayville Scream Park, and Bane’s Haunted House in Midtown
12. Spend a week in October in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, to visit Phantoms by Firelight in Old Sturbridge Village
13. Take a ride on one of New York’s many carousels before they close for the winter. Some favorites include Jane’s Carousel, Central ParkSeaglass Carousel and Bryant Park
14. Dress your pooch in their Halloween best and join the costumed canine convoy in Tompkins Square Park (Brooklyn) on October 22nd for their famous annual dog parade.
15. Towards handsome New Jersey for fall family fun with apple picking to leaf peeping, and more; For all the fun things to do in the fall, check out VisitNJ.org
16. Pedal your way colorfully leaf 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. Put the family in the car or take a walk to explore the awesome decorations and locale haunted houses. It’s not just us; they are absolutely more detailed (and awesome) every year!
19. Walk down the Highline, and head to The Whitney afterwards; kids are free!
20. Leave the kids with a sitter and head to Long Island to tour the many beautiful wineries, while you take in the fall scenery.
21. Enjoy the fall air and watch a movie outside or in a drive-thru at the Skyline Drive-in
22. Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on The neighborhood museum
23. Long Island Aquarium there are wonderful events this season. Check out their website for everything fun- including the Haunted Tree House throughout October. The Bats, Barnacles & Broomsticks Halloween Party is on Oct 29 and their Annual Wine Tasting Event – Fish & Sips on November 11
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 Pass on Culture and visit the outstanding cultural institutions that participate
26. Hop on a ferry and explore Governor’s Island before it closes for the winter
27. Corn mazes Now it’s a fall staple and there are plenty of nearby options. The cream of the crop includes Von Thun’s, Hank’s Pumpkintown and Harbes, among others
28. Head to SUBMERGE Marine at Hudson River Park 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. Bring the kids to Central Park on October 30 for the Halloween parade, children’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 won’t be missed.
30. behold Palisades Climb Adventure which is the tallest indoor ropes course in the world, standing 85 feet tall and featuring more than 75 unique challenge elements designed for climbers of all ages and skill levels. For younger visitors, check out the Sky Tykes course, which allows easy parental guidance at any level of the course
31.onmes Square for families; discover kid-friendly attractions, family-style restaurants, immersive shops, free outdoor activities, and theater. Check out the Times Square Family Fun Guide at tsq.org/families
32. An award-winning event, the Annual Harvest Fair at the Norman Bird Sanctuary, is one not to be missed. Challenge friends to a sack race, scarecrow-making contest, rope climb, live music, and feast on delicious fall food.
33. Book a whale watching cruise for a chance to spot these peaceful giants before the waters turn cold
34. Walk Brick-or-Treating at LEGOLAND New York and join their Monster Party for live shows, attractions, character meet-and-greets and more
35. Go to East Rutherford, NJ at American Dream. Get your thrills 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 beautiful fall hike Garvies Point Museum and Preserve in Glen Cove, LI. Heading down to a quiet beach, this kid-friendly trail is one of the most peaceful on the island.