30 Fall Day Trips from NYC for Families
With fall looming on the horizon, it's hard not to dream of fall day trips from NYC because 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. 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 fall day trips from NYC to fit your style. Some of these fall day trips are even accessible via public transportation. Read on for our top fall getaways for families that are 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.
Try your hand at archery or more old-school tests of skill at the New York Renaissance Faire on weekends from late August through early October. Photo courtesy of the Faire
3. Renaissance Faire
Step back in time at Sterling Forest for the New York Renaissance Faire, which plays weekends through early October.
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. Ride a Mountain Coaster
Hit one of these local thrill rides where you can whirr down the mountainside.
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.
7. 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.
RELATED: 20+ Fall Weekend Getaways Near NYC
Get lost in The Amazing Maize Maze in Queens. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
8. 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.
9. Petting Zoos
10. Long Island State Parks
Enjoy the magnificent state parks of Long Island for some nature-themed fun.
11. Bask in Fall Foliage
Enjoy the foliage on one of these family-friendly hiking trails dotting Long Island.
12. Hit the Shore
Fall is a fine time to visit the Asbury Park beach and boardwalk with fewer crowds.
Autumn is the perfect season to visit Storm King Art Center. Photo by Eva Schwartz
13. 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.
14. Picnic at Bear Mountain State Park
Take a picnic and explore the grounds of Bear Mountain State Park.
15. Hit the Rails
Pedal your way along abandoned rail trails on quad bikes for a fun outing and plenty of leaf peeping.
16. Whale Watching
Early fall is prime whale-watching season and we've found 10 whale watching cruises near NYC.
17. Drive the Hudson Valley
Take a scenic drive or hike through these leaf-peeping hot spots in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.
The South Mountain Reservation has a kid-friendly playground and plenty more perks for an all-day visit. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
18. Daycation at South Mountain Reservation
19. Conquer Some Thrill Rides
Most theme parks are open well into the fall and these amusement parks near NYC serve up big-kid thrills.
20. Pick Some Sunflowers
New Jersey, Long Island, and the Hudson Valley come into full bloom with sunflower picking at these flower farms near NYC.
21. Visit Mystic
The seaside town of Mystic, Connecticut, overflows with family-friendly attractions including the Mystic Seaport Museum and Mystic Aquarium.
Northern New Jersey is home to a collection of fun waterfall hikes easy enough for families. Photo by Rose Gordon Sala
22. Take a Waterfall Hike
If leaves aren't enough eye candy, explore one of these waterfall hikes in Northern New Jersey.
23. Liberty Science Center
Hop across the river to visit one of our favorite Jersey-kid spots: the Liberty Science Center.
24. Hit an Out-of-Town Museum
25. 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.
Old Bethpage Village Restoration is the backdrop for the stunning Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze on Long Island. Photo courtesy of the venue
26. The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze
27. Visit Legoland
28. Indoor Water Parks
29. See the Wolves
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.