If you think you need to head out to the 'burbs for an authentic fall harvest experience, we've got good news: You can pick the perfect pumpkin, go on a hayride, ride a pony or meet farm animals, and even get lost in a massive corn maze right here in NYC. Did we mention we're excited for fall in the city?
So if you're looking to skip the car rental, hop onto the subway instead to head out to these fall harvest festivals and pumpkin patches, all located within the five boroughs. Looking for more fall fun? Check out our NYC Fall Guide for the best of the season.
Click through to our listings for all the details, including times, locations, and prices.
Your little city slickers know their way around the streets, but can they navigate the Amazing Maize Maze? Photo by Stephanie Ogozalek.
NYC Corn Maze
The Amazing Maize Maze – Glen Oaks, Queens
Weekends Saturday, September 24-Sunday, October 30 plus Columbus Day
You need a lot of room for a good corn maze so it's no surprise that the biggest one in NYC is located on the grounds of the Queens County Farm Museum. Since the maze changes every year, tackling it has become a tradition for my family. Before you embark on your adventure, staff members explain how to find hidden clues and solve puzzles that help you successfully navigate to the exit. If you've got older kids who enjoy a challenge, try doing it by flashlight: The corn maze will stay open until 9pm on October 15 and 22. Note: If you visit the weekend of September 24-September 25, you can enjoy the Queens County Fair, and on Sunday, October 30, you can hit the farm's Children's Fall Festival; both require additional fees.
NYC Pumpkin Patches
At many of the city's harvest festivals you'll find a one-day or weekend-long pumpkin patch where kids can pick their own, but these two NYC spots host a pumpkin patch for the whole month of October.
Pumpkin Patch – Coney Island, Brooklyn
Weekends September 24-October 30
Head to Luna Park for a Halloween festival every weekend! The pumpkin patch, located between The Ticker and The Brooklyn Flyer will cost $5 to enter, but you'll be rewarded with a ghoulish gourd to take home and carve.
Decker Farm Pumpkin Picking Weekends – Staten Island
October 1-30 plus Columbus Day; closed on October 8
This 19th-century farm is part of the Historic Richmond Town living history museum. Pumpkins are set out in a field for kids to "pick." There's also a hayride, small cornstalk maze, and face painting. The farm is located off the main grounds but a free shuttle bus is provided. If you visit during The Great American Harvest Fest on Sunday, October 23, you can also see costumed crafts people doing old-school trades such as stone carving and tinsmithing.
Pumpkin Patch – Glen Oaks, Queens
Weekends October 1-30 plus Columbus Day
Admission to the Queens County Farm Museum is FREE unless there's a special event scheduled such as the Children's Fall Festival on Sunday, October 30. Like Decker Farm, children are "picking" pumpkins lying on a lawn but it's a fun experience for little kids and there are lots of other farm attractions. Pumpkin prices vary.
RELATED: Best Apple Picking Orchards Near NYC
Autumn Moon Festival dancers celebrate at Snug Harbor. Photo courtesy of Snug Harbor.
NYC Fall Harvest Festivals
Autumn Moon Festival – Staten Island
Saturday, September 17
Enjoy a multicultural take on the season at this Asian harvest festival in Snug Harbor's serene New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden. Ethnic music and dance performances, martial arts demos and calligraphy lessons are on tap.
Autumn Moon Cultural Festival and Lantern Parade – Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Sunday, September 18
The second half of Better Chinatown's annual Chinese harvest season celebration, this fete in Leif Ericson Park includes cultural performances, traditional crafts and a holiday children's lantern parade, which marches down Eighth Avenue from 65th to 49th Streets.
Harvest Day – Lefferts Historic House, Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Sunday, September 18 and Sunday, September 25
Head to Lefferts Historic House in Prospect Park to help dig up potatoes in the garden. Afterward, cook and sample the harvest, and participate in potato sack races and other retro games. Admission is FREE, but advance registration required.
Breukelen Country Fair – Canarsie, Brooklyn
Saturday, September 24
Hit the historic Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum for a PuppetMobile presentation, pony rides, games, face painting, arts and crafts, a pop-up farmer's market, cider pressing and farm-fresh foods. Note: Some activities require no-cost tickets so RSVP. FREE
Halloween Harvest Festival – Coney Island, Brooklyn
Weekends, Saturday, September 24-Sunday, October 30
Luna Park's annual harvest fest kicks off in September and runs through Halloween weekend with a pumpkin patch, spooky crafts, dance contests, Halloween-themed temporary tattoos, balloon animals, special events like the dog costume parade, and more. Plus, the annual fete expanded this year to include a petting zoo and pony rides. Of course, you'll be able to enjoy all those famous Luna Park rides, too.
Pickle Day – Lower East Side
Sunday, September 25
Over pumpkins already? Well at this fest you can pick the perfect pickle rather than that orange fruit. Taste a selection of the LES' signature eat, both sweet and dill, from old-school vendors such as Guss' or newcomers such as Sour Puss. Fun for kids includes face painting, dancing and games. Think you've got pickling prowess? Enter the fair's first home pickling contest. FREE
Oktoberfest & Pumpkin Patch – Sunnyside, Queens
Saturday, October 1
The members-only Sunnyside Gardens Park opens its gates to the public for this annual festival. Enjoy games, live music, a variety of crafts for kids, pumpkin picking and decorating, an artisan market, and classic German-style food and beverages served in the park’s woodlands. FREE admission, but there are fees for activities.
RELATED: 25 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Queens This Fall
Get your face painted with a seasonal theme at Randall's Island's harvest fest. Photo courtesy Randall's Island Park Alliance.
Harvest Festival – Randall's Island
Saturday, October 1
Hit the isle's Urban Farm for seasonal fun, including pumpkin hunting, face painting, fresh apple cider tasting, and tours of the crops. Afterward, explore the attraction-packed isle. FREE
Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival – Staten Island
Saturday, October 8
Head to Willowbrook Park in Staten Island's Greenbelt for a festive day of face painting, pumpkin picking, rides on the Carousel for All Children, puppet shows, and seasonal crafts. FREE admission, but there are fees for activities.
Harvest Festival – Upper East Side
Saturday, October 8
Head to the lovely Carl Schurz Park for a small pumpkin patch, hayrides, and a rocking concert by a local family band. FREE
Pumpkin Day – Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 8
Hit McCarren Park to pick the perfect pumpkin, and enjoy arts and crafts, face painting, and kids' activities, all sponsored by local businesses and live entertainment. Buying advance tickets is recommended.
King Manor Museum Fall Festival – Jamaica, Queens
Saturday, October 15
Celebrate harvest season by sampling some culinary delights from NYC's days of yore such as Dutch eats cooked over a fire pit. Apple cider pressing, butter churning, and fall-themed crafts are also on tap. FREE
Kids Fest: Stages in the Square – Flatiron
Saturday, October 15
Madison Square Park's annual fest returns mid-month, though details on performers are still to be worked out. Performances will be geared toward children up to age 12 and include a diverse lineup from puppet shows and circus acts to dance, theater, and music. FREE
Fall Harvest Festival – Forest Hills, Queens
Saturday, October 15
Hit Forest Park for this annual shindig featuring pumpkins to pick, kiddie games, live entertainment, and other seasonal fun. FREE
Harvest Fest & Pumpkin Patch – Flushing, Queens
Sunday, October 16
Hit the Queens Botanical Garden for live tunes, retro games, garden walks, composting demos, a petting zoo, and pony rides, plus a pumpkin patch. Most activities are free with admission.
Harvest Festival – Staten Island
Saturday, October 22
Head to Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve to carve pumpkins, build scarecrows, play seasonal games, and groove to live music. Don't forget to dress up: A costume contest is on tap.
Giant Pumpkin Weekend – New York Botanical Garden, the Bronx
Saturday, October 22-Sunday, October 23
Gawk at plenty of impressive gourds in this favorite seasonal exhibit; stick around to explore all the fall fun the garden has to offer, including Scarecrows: From the Heartland to Horror on the Mitsubishi Wild Wetland Trail, and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes at Pumpkins: Playful & Plentiful in the Everett Children's Adventure Garden.
The Great American Harvest Fest – Staten Island
Sunday, October 23
Watch costumed crafts people pressing cider, making candles and lace, embroidering and quilting, stone carving, and tinsmithing at Historic Richmond Town. Afterward, hit Decker Farm's pumpkin patch to pick out your pumpkin, try the corn maze and hitch a hayride.
RELATED: Get Outta Town: 30 Great Fall Day Trips for NYC Families
Enjoy performances and more at the Brooklyn Bridge Park Harvest Festival. Photo by Etienne Frossard/courtesy of BBP.
Harvest Festival at Brooklyn Bridge Park – Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 29
Head to Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park to pick a pumpkin and enjoy arts and crafts, storytelling, games, a photo booth, face painting, and live tunes. FREE
Children's Fall Festival – Glen Oaks, Queens
Sunday, October 30
One of my family's favorites, this massive bash at the Queens County Farm Museum features traditional games such as sack races and trinkets-in-the-haystack, live music, bouncy houses, a haunted house, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Families are encouraged to attend in costume, and this is the perfect day to hit the farm's Amazing Maize Maze and pumpkin patch.
This post, originally published in September 2010, is updated annually.
Top image: NYBG Pumpkin Festival. Photo courtesy of NYBG.