30 Perfect Family-Friendly Fall Day Trips from NYC
With fall upon us, we're craving more than just a change of seasons. Sometimes, fresh scenery—even for a day—can do wonders to reboot and re-energize New Yorkers weary from the back-to-school routine. With that in mind, we've rounded up 30 family-friendly fall day trips from NYC.
Whether fall in your house means an afternoon harvesting nature's bounty at local farms, heading out for a hike, or something else, we've found nearby day trips to fit your style. Some of these day trips are even accessible by public transportation. Read on for our top family-friendly fall day trips sure to inspire your love of the season, and find more getaways in our Day Trip and Weekend Getaways Guide.
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1. Apple Picking
Enjoy the crisp fall air and the sweet smell of apples by visiting one of these nearby apple orchards for a day trip full of harvest fun.
2. Doughnut Tasting
Eat your way through the treat of the season—apple cider doughnuts—at these Westchester farms.
Find the perfect pumpkin at an area farm. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
3. Pumpkin Picking
4. Explore the North Fork
The North Fork of Long Island is great for leaf-peeping, cider doughnuts, and (most important!) a visit to a family-friendly vineyard.
5. Kid-Friendly Farms
Spend the day at Alstede Farms, where kids can pick apples and pumpkins, see the barnyard animals, hitch a wagon ride, or climb astride a pony on weekends, making it almost a farm-themed mini-amusement park that happens to grow great apples.
6. All-Aboard for a Hudson Valley Getaway
Embark on a no-car required getaway to one of these charming towns in Westchester and beyond.
RELATED: 20+ Fall Weekend Getaways Near NYC
Get lost in The Amazing Maize Maze in Queens. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
7. Corn Maze
You need not even clear city limits to visit the Amazing Maize Maze at the Queens County Farm Museum, NYC's only corn maze.
8. Petting Zoos
Snuggle up to animals at these kid-friendly petting zoos.
9. Long Island State Parks
Enjoy the magnificent state parks of Long Island for some nature-themed fun.
10. Bask in Fall Foliage
Enjoy the foliage on one of these family-friendly hiking trails dotting Long Island.
RELATED: Best Family Theater in NYC This Fall
Autumn is the perfect season to visit Storm King Art Center. Photo by Eva Schwartz
11. Storm King Art Center
Visit Storm King Art Center in Orange County, New York. Enjoy the art, let the kids run around, picnic, and marvel at the changing leaves.
12. Hit the Slopes
Hit Hunter Mountain in the Catskills before the snowflakes start to fly.
13. Picnic at Bear Mountain State Park
Take a picnic and explore the grounds of Bear Mountain State Park.
14. Explore Sagamore Hill
Drive or ride out to Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay on Long Island to learn about Theodore Roosevelt. The foliage on the grounds is fantastic.
The South Mountain Reservation has a kid-friendly playground and plenty more perks for an all-day visit. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
15. Daycation at South Mountain Reservation
Experience the best of the 'burbs by spending a day exploring New Jersey's South Mountain Reservation with its zoo, hiking trails, destination playground, and more.
16. Rent a Boat
Row, paddle, or peddle your boat at one of these New Jersey rental spots.
17. Drive through the Hudson Valley
Take a scenic drive or hike through these leaf-peeping hot spots in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.
18. Explore the Palisades
Enjoy the natural beauty and changing colors at Palisades Interstate Park.
Northern New Jersey is home to a collection of fun waterfall hikes easy enough for families. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
19. Take a Waterfall Hike
If leaves aren't enough eye candy, explore one of these waterfall hikes in Northern New Jersey.
20. Liberty Science Center
Hop across the river to visit one of our favorite Jersey-kid spots: The Liberty Science Center.
21. Hit an Out-of-Town Museum
22. Ride the Pumpkin Train
Kids love trains and Halloween, so combine the two with one of these Halloween and fall train rides in New Jersey.
Stroll the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor to see the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze come to life each night. Photo by Susan Miele
23. The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze
24. Visit Legoland
25. Book a Ghost Tour
The Garden State has never looked as spooky as it will during one of these evening outings where you never know who or what you'll encounter.
26. Take in a Seasonal Festival
Might we suggest the Happy Day Farm Fall Festival in Manalapan, New Jersey, or the Oktoberfest at the Riverhead, New York, farm Garden of Eve, and the Soukup Farms Harvest Festival, in Dover Plains, New York?
Enjoy a different kind of wild ride at Six Flags Great Adventure Safari. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
27. Experience a Drive-thru Safari
Load up the family station wagon for a wild drive through Six Flags Great Adventure Safari.
28. Indoor Water Parks
29. See the Wolves at the Lakota Wolf
While you're in the Poconos, consider stopping by the Lakota Wolf preserve for an educational tour.
30. Conquer 100 Things
Start checking items off our list of 100 things to do with kids in New York state before they grow up.
Originally published in 2011.