30 Fall Day Trips from Long Island for Families

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze returns to Old Bethpage Village Restoration and makes for a stunning day trip after dark. Photo courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley
The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze returns to Old Bethpage Village Restoration and makes for a stunning day trip after dark. Photo courtesy of Historic Hudson Valley

With the end of August upon us, it's the perfect time to start plotting a fall day trip from Long Island for your family. Whether your idea of a getaway involves brightly-hued foliage or you're craving an adventure in the urban jungle, we've rounded up 30 fall day trips from Long Island for families. Some are close by, while others require a few hours in the car or Long Island Rail Road, or perhaps a ride on a ferry. No matter where you go or how you get there, you're sure to create some lasting memories on these fall getaways.

If you're craving an extended adventure, consider booking one of these nearby destinations for a weekend visit.

We've got more seasonal fun in our Fall Fun Guide and plenty of all-season day trip inspiration in our Day Trips Guide for Long Island families.

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Fall Day Trips on Long Island

1. Sip and Dine Among the Vines

Explore a kid-friendly winery on the East End.

2. Explore the South Shore Beaches Via Two Wheels

Bike along the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway.

RELATED: Best Fall Festivals and Fairs for Long Island Families in 2022

Fall day trips from Long Island apple picking
Apples are ripe for the picking on the East End. Photo by Jaime Sumersille

3. Grab a Taste of Fall

Hit up a nearby farm for apple picking.

4. Leaf Peep

Go for a fall foliage hike or explore one of these nature trails.

5. Take a Carousel Ride in Greenport

The carousel is a perfect reason to visit this charming North Fork village.

6. Step Back in Time

Visit one of these historical sites dotting the landscape.

7. Get a Taste of Local History

Head to the Village of Stony Brook, where you can explore the Long Island Museum.

RELATED: Weekend Getaways near NYC For Families this Fall

Fall day trips from Long Island Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns
The Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns returns to Long Island this fall. Photo courtesy of the event

8. See Pumpkins that Light up the Night

Two jack o'lantern shows grace Long Island this fall: The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze will light up Old Bethpage Village Restoration in late September, while Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns features the longest jack o'lantern trail in the world. 

9. Get a Taste of Island Life

Hop on the ferry to Shelter Island and spend the day exploring this local gem.

10. Explore the Barrier Beaches

Another fun ferry destination: Fire Island, where waters are often warm enough to swim in well into October.

11. Swim with the Sharks

Or watch them from above. The fall is a great time to visit the Long Island Aquarium. There are multiple events happening, including a princess tea party and a screening of Jaws.

12. Take Advantage of the Offseason

Explore the Hamptons and Montauk now that the tourists have left.

RELATED: State Parks on Long Island Worth a Visit

Fall day trips from Long Island The High Line
Explore Manhattan's above-ground oasis, the High Line. Photo by Timothy Schenck/courtesy of Friends of the High Line

Fall Day Trips from Long Island to New York City for Families

13. Walk Above the City Streets

Hike the High Line and take in the unique city views. 

14. Get Up Close to an Engineering Marvel

Take in the Vessel at Hudson Yards. Make it an afternoon and treat yourself to lunch at Mercado Little Spain and dessert at Dylan's Candy Bar. 

15. Go Sky High

Visit Edge, the highest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, which rises 102 stories above the city streets.

16. Get Wild in the Bronx

Explore the Congo, traverse the treetop adventure, and travel back in time to the prehistoric era with the Dinosaur Safari, which runs until October 30th. Boo at the Zoo is another fun event that allows kids to trick-or-treat around the zoo. Animals are unpredictable, so you never know what cool things you'll see when you go. 

RELATED: Top Attractions in NYC: Best Things To See and Do With Kids

Fall day trips from Long Island SIX on broadway
Plan a day-cation to NYC to take in a Broadway show, like the girl-powered SIX. Photo by Jody Mercier

17. See a Broadway Show

Explore the city's world-class theaters, and check out a kid-friendly performance.

18. Walk Around an Urban Oasis

Get lost in Central Park, visit the zoo, or walk the Brooklyn Bridge and explore its namesake park.

19. Get an Up-Close Look at Lady Liberty

Hop on a ferry to Governors Island for wide-open spaces and stunning skyline views.

RELATED: Great Animal Farms and Petting Zoos on Long Island

Fall day trips from Long Island Croton Gorge
Catch the fall foliage on a visit to Croton Gorge in Cortlandt, New York. Photo by William Doyle via Flickr 

Fall Day Trips from Long Island in Upstate New York

20. Head North

See what the northern part of New York has to offer as you cross a few items off our Hudson Valley bucket list.

21. Treat Yourself

Find the kitschy roadside King Kone in Somers for a sweet treat, or visit one of these other ice cream shops in the Westchester area.

22. Hit the Road

Go on a scenic drive to take in the changing colors at these nine stunning spots.

23. Picnic in a Picturesque Setting

Explore the Storm King Art Center, which offers larger-than-life sculptures and beautiful fall foliage spread over a sprawling 500 acres.

24. Take a Train Ride

Book a ride on the open-air Catskill Flyer and enjoy a scenic trip through Ulster County.

25. Get Building

Legoland New York is just an hour-and-a-half from NYC. Ride roller-coasters, Lego cars, and of course build Lego masterpieces before heading back home, or spend the night and head home in the morning.

RELATED: Pick-Your-Own and More Farm Fun on Long Island

Fall day trips from Long Island Six Flags Great Adventure Safari
Enjoy a drive-thru safari at Six Flags in Jackson, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great Adventure

Fall Day Trips from Long Island in New Jersey

26. Get Some Thrills

Load the kids in the family station wagon for a wild drive through the Six Flags safari and then explore the main park and all of its coasters.

27. Enjoy the Outdoors

Spend the day chasing waterfalls at one of these easy northern New Jersey hikes.

28. Tackle the Indoor Waves

Get the swimsuits out and visit DreamWorks Water Park at the American Dream mall. There are so many fun things to do, including Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, that you may even want to make a weekend of it. 

Fall Day Trips from Long Island to Connecticut

29. Board the Port Jefferson Ferry

Head to Bridgeport on the ferry. We've rounded up the top 25 Things to Do in Bridgeport, including catching a hockey game, Beardsley Zoo, and a science museum.

30. Chug Down the Tracks

View the fall foliage from the scenic train ride of the Essex Steam Train. Steamboat tickets are available as well, and can be purchased as a combo ticket with the train ride. 

A version of this post was first published in 2015. 

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