39 Fall Day Trip Ideas for NYC Families
There's something about the fall season that makes us antsy for a day trip out of the city with the kids to enjoy the changing leaves with a hike in cooler temps or just to explore a new museum a bit further afield, hot chocolate in hand for the ride. Maybe it's knowing that in just a short couple of holiday-fueled months, New York City will once again be plunged into a frozen tundra of black-crusted snow.
So whether you're looking for a road trip that's less than an hour away or a kid-friendly weekend overnight, we have 39 super fun destination ideas, including fall hikes in nearby Westchester, places to see wild animals (and dinosaurs) and sea creatures in Connecticut and New Jersey, and New York lighthouses, historic homes, foodie hot spots and seasonal fun like hayrides and pumpkin picking.
1. Get a day pass to the labyrinth at Mohonk Mountain House.
2. Try a corn maze, hayride or pumpkin picking.
3. Pick your own apples.
4. Go for a tasting at a North Fork winery.
5. Extend swim season at the massive new Kalahari Resorts indoor water park.
6. Ogle the artistry at the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze.
Trucks rule at the Diggerland theme park in New Jersey.
8. Operate real heavy machinery at Diggerland USA.
9. Take the Coaster Bus to a local amusement park.
10. Dig for fossils at Big Brook.
11. Sign the Constitution at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
12. Touch a shark at Adventure Aquarium.
13. Romp amongst the outdoor art at Storm King Art Center.
14. Step back into colonial time at a living history museum.
Kids encounter 40-plus life-size dinosaurs at this Connecticut park.
15. Take your little paleontologist to Dinosaur Place.
16. Drive to a new-to-you science museum.
17. Build an adventure at Westchester’s Legoland Discovery Center.
18. Hop over to Liberty Science Center.
19. Go on a kid-friendly fall foliage hike.
20. Challenge yourselves at the Catamount Aerial Adventure Park.
21. Go farm to table at Stone Barns Farm.
22. Go on a car-free getaway to Dia: Beacon.
23. Take Metro-North to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk.
24. Hand-feed the giraffes at Claws 'N' Paws Animal Park.
25. Walk Bushkill Falls or another waterfall hike in the Poconos.
26. Discover something new in the Poconos.
27. Go horseback riding and play on a family-run, real dude ranch.
28. Play all 200 games at a pinball museum arcade and stroll the off-season Asbury Park Boardwalk.
29. Dive into a world of color at The Crayola Experience.
30. See how your chocolate is made at Hershey’s Chocolate World.
31. Peek at the Saugerties lighthouse and spend the day in the river town.
The pristine and secluded Lake Awosting is just one of many hiking spots in Minnewaska State Park.
32. Hike, bike or climb Minnewaska State Park and lunch in New Paltz.
33. Take an easy Hudson Valley hike.
34. Feed the animals at the kiddie wonderland that is White Post Farms.
35. Milk the cows at the historic farm at Philipsburg Manor.
36. Treat your preschooler to a day of play at the Mid-Hudson Children’s Museum.
37. Have a day of outdoor discovery at the Hudson Highlands Nature Museum.
38. Make a splash at Camelback’s new indoor waterpark, Aquatopia.
39. Visit historic Philadelphia.
Top photo by Seth Lemmons via Flickr.