Macy’s balloon inflation – Photo by Charley Lhasa
Fall is a favorite time of year for many families. Fall means football, cozy sweaters, vibrant foliage, family-filled holidays and pumpkin-flavored treats. Although the kid-favorite season summer is over and school is back in session, the autumn season is full of exciting family-friendly things to do, especially in New York City.
Whether you call the Big Apple your home or are planning a visit this fall season, there are plenty of attractions and activities providing fall family fun to families of all sizes and ages. Scroll through our list and pick out how you and your family will enjoy all fall has to offer this year.
Play With Leaves In The Park
One of the best things about fall is being outside breathing in the cool, crisp air and seeing all the leaves change colors. And when you have kids, playing with all the colorful, crunchy leaves that fall to the ground provides hours of free family fun and great photo ops. New York City is home to several parks and thousands of trees.
Central Park – Photo by Ralph Hockens
Some NYC greats are Central Park in Manhattan, Prospect Park in Brooklyn and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Stroll through one of these parks, walk along a scenic trail, have a nice family picnic and then play with some leaves for a fun and free afternoon activity.
Enjoy Pumpkins And A Forest-Filled Weekend
Not too many activities top taking your family to a pumpkin garden, and in the big city, the New York Botanical Garden is the place to go. Every year they put on the Haunted Pumpkin Garden, which is a combination of Halloween festivities, displays of creatively decorated and carved pumpkins, fascinating pumpkin sculptures and an exhibition of the largest pumpkins in North America. Get your kids in the spooky spirit this year until October 31st at NYBG’s Haunted Pumpkin Garden.
The Thain Family Forest, New York Botanical Garden – Photo by Kristine Paulus
After Halloween, participate in a Fall Forest Weekend at NYBG’s Thain Family Forest. On November 1-2 and 8-9, bring your family for an outdoor adventure as you go on a themed discovery walk or ride a canoe down the Bronx River and enjoy the beauty of nature during the autumn season.
Have A Fall Adventure At A Farm
Even in the concrete jungle of New York City you can find a little taste of country life. Green Meadows Farm offers a petting zoo full of various animals. Kids not only pet these friendly furry creatures, they feed them, learn about each animal and can even ride a pony and milk a cow. Even better, when you visit them during the fall, you receive a free pumpkin!
Another farm is the Queens County Farm Museum. During October they have a 3-acre Amazing Maize Maze, a pumpkin patch, a haunted house and a children’s festival where you come dressed in your Halloween costume, participate in free festive games, listen to live country music, eat Halloween treats and drink warm cider. Check the dates and times of each event before visiting.
Get Involved With The Famous Turkey Parade
Thanksgiving in New York City means one thing — the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. If you only ever watch the parade on your TV, it’s time to see it up close and personal from the streets of NYC this year. Taking your family to see the giant balloons, colorful floats and dancing parade performers and hear the sounds of the bands live will make this Thanksgiving the best one yet.
Balloon Inflation, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Photo by Kristine Paulus
The day before the parade, start the parade festivities off early by watching workers fill up the balloons and letting your kids see their favorite characters, like Spider Man and Sponge Bob, come to life right before their eyes.
Attend A Circus Or Disney On Ice Performance
New York is one of the entertainment capitals of the world with events, festivals and shows happening daily. During this fall season, take your family out one night to the circus or to see a favorite Disney show on ice. The Big Apple Circus is doing performances from October 17 – January 11 at Lincoln Center. Watch in awe as trapeze artists magically fly above you, acrobats demonstrate how they defy gravity, teams juggle with their feet and more.
Big Apple Circus – Photo by Julie
Another great night out is attending Disney on Ice. You and your family can see the Box Office hit Frozen at the Barclays Center on November 4 – November 16. See Elsa, Anna, Olaf and the rest of the cast bring their winter wonderland tale to life on the ice for an unforgettable performance. Besides the cast of Frozen, Mickey and Minnie Mouse will host the performances and there will be surprise appearances by other favorite Disney characters. It’s the perfect kind of family outing.
Warm Up With A Cup Of Tasty Hot Chocolate
The quickest and sweetest way to warm up on a chilly fall day is with a cup of hot chocolate. Two family-friendly spots in NYC are City Bakery and Dylan’s Candy Bar. City Bakery is one of the most famous hot chocolate spots in the city, especially during its annual Hot Chocolate Festival. Stop in with your family anytime during a cool autumn day for a delicious cup of their thick, creamy, chocolaty drink topped off with a giant homemade marshmallow.
Picking out candy at Dylan’s Candy Bar – Photo by m01229
Dylan’s Candy Bar is every kid’s, and maybe adult’s, sugar heaven. Enjoy a mug of their delicious hot chocolate in their Candy Café, which you can make even sweeter by topping your mug off with birthday cake, cookies or some candy.
Whether you and your family live in or are taking a trip to New York City, fall is one of the best times to be in the city. There’s magic in the crisp autumn air and the fall activities are endless, making your stay in NYC full of fall family fun.
-This post was written and provided by IHG Hotels. IHG offers hotels for every type of occasion and has 4,700 properties in nearly 100 countries.