Best Things To Do on Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day in NYC
Columbus Day is on the horizon and that means New York City kids are staring down another day off. Officially rechristened Italian Heritage Day/Indigenous Peoples Day on the school-year calendar, the holiday falls on Monday, October 10, 2022. If it's snuck up on you, don't panic! There are plenty of things to do in New York City whether you're celebrating Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day.
Fall offers the perfect chance to hit one of New York City's many destination playgrounds, of course. Still, we've also scoured our Family Activity Calendar and museum listings, and combed through our day trip guides to put together this list of 25 things to do with the family on Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day. So, step away from the screen and step outside to enjoy all the city has to offer.
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1. Brooklyn Children's Museum
2. Take a Hike
Have a picnic in Central Park before the chilliness of fall sets in. Photo via Flickr by ep jhu
3. Central Park
Get lost in the North Woods, explore The Ramble, and marvel at the soaring arches in Central Park's family-friendly northern edge, hit the slides at one of our favorite Central Park playgrounds, or explore a new-to-you corner of the park.
4. Go Under the Sea
Come face-to-face with a real-life predator at the New York Aquarium's Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit, and explore the rest of the exhibits, including Spineless, the Playquarium, and more.
5. Visit Governors Island
Take the ferry to the action-packed isle to enjoy playgrounds, public art, bike riding, and tons more fun.
Summit One Vanderbilt is a high-art observation deck experience. Photo by Diana Kim
6. Hit an Observation Deck
7. See the Parade
Cheer on the throngs of performers when the Columbus Day Parade marches up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 72nd Street, featuring marching bands, floats, dance troupes, and plenty of Italian pride.
8. Explore the World's Borough
We've found 47 fun things to do in Queens, so you'll have no problem filling up the day with new-to-you experiences
Fearsome and friendly scarecrows greet visitors as they walk along the trails of the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden at NYBG. Photo courtesy of NYBG
9. Celebrate Fall-O-Ween
10. Ride a Bike
11. Play with Magic
Pick up a magic wand, learn a few tricks, or see a magic show at one of these magic shops in NYC.
Book an overnight at the enchanting Kenoza Hall for a Catskills getaway. Photo by the author
12. Enjoy a Sweet Catskills Getaway
Fall is the perfect time to explore this picturesque New York region. We've rounded up more than 30 family-friendly places to play, eat, and stay in the Sullivan Catskills.
13. Have Some FREE Fun
We've found 100 things to do in NYC that don't cost a thing!
14. Do Some Halloween Prep
RELATED: The Best Zoos and Aquariums in NYC
Dig out your wildest costume, and join the Bronx Zoo for family-friendly outdoor activities and entertainment during Boo at the Zoo. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher
15. Make Furry Friends at the Zoo
16. Get Cultured
Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York's largest art museum
17. Hit the Road
Venture out of the city for one of these 30 fall day trips.
Legoland's monster-inspired Brick-or-Treat adds a whole new layer of sweet fun onto your visit to this mega theme park in the Hudson Valley. Photo by Katherine Dhurandhar
18. Go Brick-or-Treating
The famous Legoland New York is just an hour north of the city. Perfect for the under 12 set, there is plenty of kid-friendly amusement park fun to enjoy. Visit on October weekends to take advantage of its Halloween event.
19. Romp at a Play Space
If you need to let the kids run wild, we've found a dozen budget-friendly indoor playgrounds within city limits.
20. Explore American Dream
21. Go Pumpkin Picking
RELATED: Fall Fun Guide for NYC Families
Enjoy the fall decor, photo-ops, haunted attractions, and rides at Six Flags Fright Fest. Photo by Jody Mercier
22. Get Scared
23. Get Lost in a Corn Maze
24. Eat All the Apples
25. Get Away
If you're craving more than a day trip, we've found 20+ weekend getaways nearby, perfect for a cozy fall escape.
Originally published in 2013.