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Best of Fall and Halloween in NYC

As Billie Holiday famously sings, “It's Autumn in New York. It's good to live it again.” Fall is full of so many exciting activities in the city from parades to pumpkin patches, there is something for everyone! Whether you want to stroll through Central Park to see the leaves change or enjoy adorable dogs dressed up in costume, the city has it all during autumn. This list highlights some of the best, and my personal favorite, places to enjoy and things to do this fall season.

Governor’s Island

While it may not be everyone’s first thought when they think of fall in the city, this is personally one of my favorite spots during the season. There are no cars allowed and the island is full of nature so it makes it a peaceful place to spend an afternoon. The last two weekends of October they have introduced a spot called “Pumpkin Point” where you can pick out a free pumpkin! They also have fall-themed foods those weekends, which include cider and pie. The leaves are always stunning and the views you can enjoy of the Manhattan skyline are amazing. It's an island worth enjoying all seasons, but it definitely hits a peak in October!

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

One of the largest dog costume parades in the world is definitely worth seeing. The event is on October 21st this year. The costumes here are always insanely creative and it's so exciting seeing so many dogs dressed up. They even compete, and in many cases, the owners match costumes with their dogs. This is such a joyful event and can help put you in the Halloween spirit.

Queens County Farm Museum

While it is a bit out of the way, this farm is worth a visit. It is still reachable through public transportation and is the perfect place to get you into the fall spirit. They have a corn maze with different themes and have apple cider, donuts, apple picking, and a pumpkin patch. The hayrides can provide a scenic view often not seen in the city and the farm offers fresh produce to buy. If you find yourself wanting an escape from the city, this farm is definitely worth a visit.

Green Wood Cemetery

The perfect place for a spooky halloween night, this cemetery offers everything from concerts to tours. There are options for moonlight tours of the cemetery and catacombs sure to put you in the mood for the holiday. They also have concerts in the catacombs for a truely unique experience. During the day, the cemetery provides trolley tours including both more general tours, as well as specialized ones such as “ghost tours.”

Queens Night Market

This is the place to visit for a more food-based experience. It is truly one of my favorite places to try foods of all cuisines in the entire city. They have everything from empanadas to ice jelly, the market is truly a place to experience food from so many different cultures. The best part; it's free to get in and every food item is six dollars or less!

Pumpkin Nights, Bronx Zoo

The zoo is a fun place to explore any day and it has some fun events in the fall. On weekends through October, the zoo will have pumpkins carved as animals, education on animal night behavior, and more! They also have “Boo at the Zoo” during the day if you like to dress up and would like to see the animal exhibits as well.

Central Park

One of my favorite free things to do during the season is to stroll through the park and check out the leaves. Some of my favorite spots are The Belvedere Castle, Bow Bridge, Gapstow Bridge, and The Ramble. It'll give some great views of different landscapes and cityscapes with amazing butts of color. Such a fun place to do a photoshoot or have a fun picnic.

Fort Tryon Park

Another amazing place to see some great foliage on the water, this park feels very much like a trip in the woods out of the city. Many of the paths overlook the Hudson and the views from the top of some of the hills are incredible. While it is a bit of a hike, it's another great place to stroll through in the fall.

New York Botanical Garden “Fall-o-ween”

The gardens have events for every weekend to put you in the Halloween spirit. They have a pumpkin carving competition, garden nights, and of course, fall foods. They encourage wearing your costume and walking through the immense gardens, which are fun to explore in their own right. Another great place to put you in the Halloween and fall spirit.

Greenwich Village Halloween Parade

This is definitely worth experiencing at least once during your time in the city. You can choose to either participate or watch, and both are quite fun. There are all types of costumes as well as bands, floats, and other exciting things. This year is the 50th anniversary so it is sure to be exciting!

Written by Kat Reed

Photography by Mark Bluemle and Theo Young

Models: Gina Fisher, Summer Lucas

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