25 Fall Day Trips for Long Island Families

Storm King's 500 acres of open green space are a beautiful backdrop for a fall walk. Photo by Mommy Poppins
Storm King's 500 acres of open green space are a beautiful backdrop for a fall walk. Photo by Mommy Poppins

With Labor Day weekend upon us, it's the perfect time to start plotting fall day trips from Long Island. Whether your idea of a getaway involves brightly hued foliage or you're craving an adventure in the urban jungle, we've rounded up 25 fall day trips for Long Island families. Some are close by; 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.

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.

Fall Family Day Trips Around Long Island

Apples are ripe for the picking on the East End. Photo by Jaime Sumersille

1. Sip and Dine Among the Vines

Explore a kid-friendly winery on the East End.

2. Grab a Taste of Fall

Hit up a nearby farm for apple picking.

3. Explore the South Shore Beaches Via Two Wheels

Bike along the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway.

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.

RELATED: Weekend Getaways Near NYC For Families This Fall

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze welcome Long Islanders with a colorful display. Photo courtesy of the Historic Hudson Valley

6. See Pumpkins that Light up the Night

Check out the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze when it returns to Old Bethpage Village Restoration in late September.

7. Get a Taste of Island Life

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

8. Explore the Barrier Beaches

Another fun ferry destination: Fire Island. Insider's secret: Because it lies on the Gulf Stream, Fire Island waters are often swimmable into October.

9. Step Back in Time

Visit one of these historical sites dotting the landscape.

10. Get a Taste of Local History

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

11. 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

Explore Manhattan's above-ground oasis — the High Line. Photo by Timothy Schenck/courtesy of Friends of the High Line

Fall Day Trips to New York City for Long Island Families

12. Walk Above the City Streets

Book your timed-entry tickets in advance and hike the High Line.

13. Get Up Close to an Engineering Marvel

Climb the stairs of 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. 

14. Go Sky High

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

15. See a Broadway Show

Explore the city's world-class theaters, which are all reopening now.

16. Walk Around an Urban Oasis

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

17. 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

The King Kone stand is worth a visit for classic treats and family-friendly eats. Photo courtesy of the venue

Upstate New York Fall Day Trips for Long Island Families

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. Hit the Road

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

21. 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.

22. Take a Train Ride

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

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

Enjoy a drive-thru safari at Six Flags in Jackson, New Jersey. Photo courtesy of Six Flags Great Adventure

Fall Day Trips in New Jersey for Long Island Families

23. 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.

24. Enjoy the Outdoors

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

25. Hit the Slopes

Fast-forward to winter and visit Big Snow at the American Dream entertainment complex and prep for the upcoming ski season.

A version of this post was first published in 2015. Writer Kristen Markel contributed to this 2021 update.

Top photo by Carl/CC BY 2.0

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