Fresh air, pretty trees, apple cider doughnuts, hay rides and some bungee trampolines - that's autumn apple picking in New York. Some farms are rustic with just the fruit, others are carnival.
* Go early. Most of the orchards are packed by mid-day. Weekdays are less crowded but the hay rides, music etc. won't be happening.
* Be prepared for lots of walking in uneven, possibly muddy terrain. Boots, layers and baby carriers instead of strollers.
* Bring cash, lots of it. Most farms don't take credit cards and all the food and activities add up quickly. If you're just there for the apples, make sure your kids know that in advance.
This spacious family farm features scenic tractor drawn wagon rides, pick your own apples & pumpkins, brilliant sunflowers, a giant “Adventures in Chester” corn maze, pony rides, moon bounce and so much more. Visit with friendly farm animals, navigate the maze nighttime by flashlight at a harvest moon hayride, enjoy live entertainment, freshly baked pies and cider donuts, fresh pressed apple cider and homemade seasonal ice cream. Plus wine tasting provided by Tomasello Winery. Pet-friendly.
Approx. 1 hour drive or 2 hours train ride (with transfer) from mid-Manhattan. Free Alstede Farms Courtesy Coach from train station.
See train schedules (select NY Penn Station to Gladstone Station)
On October 12th, 13th and 14th, Barton Orchards will be having its Harvest Fair. General Admission is $15.00 per person (children 3 and under are free) and includes access and entry to all of the farm’s activities (see below for complete list)
Visit this 175 acre working family farm for apple picking, a corn maze, hay rides, fun park, haunted house, live music, petting zoo, hayrides, pig races and more fall fun. Unlike most orchards, dogs welcome. Also treetop robe climbing courses for ages 7+ ($49.95).
Approx. 1 hour 45 minute drive from mid-Manhattan.
Autumn adventures at Liberty Science Center include an outdoor 4,000-sq-ft webby Spider Maze, an 8-foot-tall haystack, hay maze, petting zoo, indoor pumpkin patch, pumpkin painting ($2) and science experiments, ballistic apple picking with bows and arrows and more fall fun. Enjoy seasonal treats, like apple cider and pumpkin spice and check out new exhibitions: Dinosaur Train: The Traveling Exhibit and Angry Birds Universe: The Art & Science Behind a Global Phenomenon.
Approx. 20-50 minute drive (traffic varies) or 50 minute train ride (with transfer) from mid-Manhattan. Or take a ferry from World Trade Center to Liberty State Park then walk 20 minutes.
See train schedules (select33rd Street PATH Station to Liberty State Park Light Rail Station)
Pick sustainably-grown apples, including some organic varieties straight from the trees, enjoy wagon rides throughout the large orchard, get free sunflowers, choose a pumpkin, enjoy live music, wander through a corn maze ($3), get your face painted and more fall fun on a spacious farm. Food for purchase includes fresh-pressed cider, cinnamon-sugar donuts, homemade pies traditional Jamaican Jerk Chicken, grass-fed burgers, seasonal farm-fresh veggie meals and our homemade mac & cheese.
Approx. 1 hour 20 minute drive from midtown Manhattan.
It’s about so much more than the apples (though there are plenty to pick) at this farm festival – hayrides, apple cannons, bouncy castles, bungee trampolines, live music, hardscrabble cider, donuts, pumpkin picking, face painting and pony rides and food including BBQ, brick oven pizza, kettle corn plus hard cider for adults.
Tons of activities but each one costs $5-$10, cash only, so bring lots of bills and/or let your kids know their limit beforehand. ATMs available in the farm store. Crowds get huge as the day goes on so get there early – orchards open at 9 am for peaceful pre-festival picking. Or escape the crowds at nearby Outhouse Orchards, a short walk up a small hill with the same apples, a hay ride, a cute farm shop and corn maze.
Approx. 1 hour drive or or 1 hour 20 minute train ride from mid-Manhattan Two mile taxi ride from the Metro North Harlem Line Croton Falls stop. See train schedules.
Pick a variety of apples among pretty farm foliage at this friendly, family-run farm with a great view. Hay rides available on weekends. Visit the farm stand for picked pumpkin, gourds, Indian corn and corn stalks plus produce and freshly baked farm-made pies and doughnuts. Lots of walking and can get quite muddy so wear boots.
Approx. 1 hour drive from midtown Manhattan.
Pick-Your-Own apples and pumpkins at this peaceful farm. Pick up bags, baskets, and picking poles then ride the hay wagon (or walk) to this week’s picking orchard. Also get a pumpkin from the patch, check out a corn maze and three farm markets with pressed apple cider, freshly baked pies, apple cider donuts and gift items. Come dressed for country orchards (closed-toed shoes & tall socks).
Fewer activities than other farms but usually less crowded and less $$.
Pick a pumpkin from Muscoot Farm’s patch, take a hayride, enjoy live music, attend an art show and glitter a pumpkin, enjoy music, drink cider, eat doughnuts, watch a live pumpkin carver and more autumnal activities.
Celebrate autumn at the farm. Explore the grounds and buy a variety of Hudson Valley apples, donuts, fresh cider and apple pie plus mums for gardens, locally-made jams, farm-fresh produce from the fields (not pick-your-own) and more. Also get lost in The Amazing Maize Maze, a 3-acre challenge of finding clues, solving puzzles and making your way out NYC’s only corn maze. Wander through a patch to find the perfect pumpkin at the longest continually farmed site in New York State. Look out for goats, steer and alpacas. From 1-7 pm, be scared inside the haunted farmhouse ($4/in advance, recommend for ages 6–12).
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List of Events
Tuesday, October 1
Dine ats Eataly's “autumn greenhouse” with a lush, colorful atmosphere, an extensive fall cocktail menu (think: apple cider all'italiana), and vibrant seasonal plates infused with traditional flavors of Italian autumn and featuring top local produce. Online reservations recommended; eat at the bar if there's a wait at the tables. Open rain or shine - the roof is retractable.
Sunday, October 13
Sit/lie/play on an interactive outdoor lounge chair, designed by a local mom, with steel rings that turn for multiple views of this bus city block.
Take a free ferry ride from Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan to Staten Island and back for great views of The Statue of Liberty and the Mnahattan & Brooklyn skylines. 25 minutes long trips (1 hour round trip) depart every half hour (every fifteen minutes during rush hour).
Walk though multiple blocks of 100+ murals by artists from around the corner and around the world, providing new arrays of visual experiences that change how people interact with their environment. Mural map available online.
Uptown artists transformed three blocks of fencing located adjacent to the 125th Street Metro-North station into a canvas for murals that support and uplift the community.
Ten oversized sculptures of New York City birds in danger of extinction roost on the UWS Broadway malls. Brookyln-based artist Nicolas Holiber painted but did not weatherproof reclaimed lumber, allowing for the city’s natural forces to affect it, highlighting the environmental challenges faced by each species.
Kehinde Wiley’s monumental public sculpture of a young, African-American urban streetwear sitting astride a massive horse in a striking pose visits Times Square before its installation in Richmond, Virgina on a nationally landmarked boulevard lined with Confederate statues, including monuments to Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson. An interesting update on these controversial monuments and good way to talk to kids about race and history (and/or just say hi to the big horse if they're not ready for…
An office tower plaza features a dynamic Jean Dubuffet sculpture and a peaceful Noguchi rock garden fountain.
Humanitarians Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi Brazilian are depicted facing each other in street artist Eduardo Kobra’s colorful harlequin-pattern mural.
Watch rainbow lights dance across hexagonal honeycomb shapes on the ceiling of the Bleecker Street Station in a light installation by Leo Villareal.
Colorful florals decorate the wall outside a shoe store with fun funky shoes. A poster with a shoe telling us to ‘Choose Love’ might lead to philosophical questions about the emotional ability of footwear.
Street artists from around the world vibrantly transformed the streets surrounding the newly-opened 3 World Trade Center with fun, colorful murals, bringing love and joy to a place of mourning.
Albert Einstein is a NY-loving graffitist in street artist Eduardo Kobra’s colorful harlequin-pattern mural.
Wonder at how a giant gummy bear ended up in a prison mugshot, gripping an identity placard in between his gelatin paws in this lobby installation by WhIsBe.
Shop by weight from bins of colorful Venchi bon-bons or pick up some artisanal chocolate made in Italy with raw ingredients in a variety of shapes and textures according to traditional recipes, from smooth spread to crunchy bars to elegant cigars. Or sample some of the best gelato in the city in a range of flavors.
Splash in fun fountains and find lots of cool details at this waterfront playground designed by the artist Mark Reigelman. Features like spinning valve wheels cast from Domino Sugar originals and a 26-foot-high silo with ladders, webbing and slides pay homage to the manufacturing process of the former nearvy Domino Sugar refinery.
See bold geometric forms in the first major exhibition of outdoor sculptures by New York-based abstract painter Carmen Herrera. Compare what you each see in the large-scale monochromatic sculptures.
Central Park's largest playground features a shaded area with swings and slides, a large, maze-like climber, lots of water features with tunnels, ramps and slides plus giant rocks to climb.
See freestanding, outdoor paintings by eight international artists that can be viewed in the round and in dialogue with the surrounding natural and industrial landscapes, expanding the tradition of outdoor painting.
This magical interactive, transformable playground lets kids create their own play space with sand, water, giant foam blocks, mats, wagons, fabric, and crates at their fingertips. Great view of the East River and bathrooms.
Frolic and splash with beloved hippo statues in this well maintained playground in lovely Riverside Park featuring swings, wooden and metal play equipment, slides, a spray shower, picnic tables, benches, sand pit, a drinking fountain, bathrooms and summer weekday art projects.
This rustic playground hosts an amazing 45-foot granite slide nestled into a rocky hill, bucket and tire swings, and an amphitheater and miniature stone bridge made of natural materials like plants, stone, and wood at a child’s scale.
The longest pier in Hudson River Park hosts an awesome playground with eight different water features (including some very unpredictable fountains), rock climbing walls, swings, monkey bars, a big sandbox, geodesic-dome-shaped climbing net and more. Also explore a 18-hole miniature golf course, a snack bar, sand volleyball courts, berthing areas for historic ships and a large artificial turf lawn.
Everything is baked on-site throughout the day at the UES outpost of legendary bakery, from an array of rustic breads to the world-famous six-ounce chocolate chip walnut cookie. We are constantly debating the merits of these versus the equally giant dark chocolate peanut butter chip cookies, and the whole wheat walnut raisin rolls are also yummy (and a little healthier). Off-the-menu ice cream sandwich - two three-ounce cookies surrounding vanilla ice cream from Ample Hills - available on occasion, follow…