Where To Do Fall Stuff Within 90 Minutes Of NYCGet over it, everyone likes pumpkins and fresh air.
Fall in New York City is practically perfect, but given the lack of apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and winding freeways cloaked with technicolor foliage within city limits, it's worth taking a day or two to experience fall things outside of the city. From farms that let you chuck pumpkins as hard as you can, to stunning examples of modern architecture that double as prime leaf-peeping locations, these are some of our favorite autumnal experiences within a 90 minute drive of Midtown.
Some of the seasonal venues on this list haven’t yet announced opening dates for Fall 2023. Be sure to check before you go.
Jones Farm Country Store
Cornwall, NY; 78 minutes from Midtown
Want to spend the day inside a fall-themed Pinterest board? Jones Farm has everything you need, from some of the best apple cider doughnuts in the Hudson Valley to the sweetest resident black cat. This is not a pick-your-own farm, but you can pose in front of piles of pumpkins, gather apples from wheelbarrows, and enjoy an array of very delicious baked goods. Come in the morning, find a table in the cozy interior of the country store, and order whatever specialty pancakes (think gingerbread or Oreo) they have on offer.
Colt's Neck, NJ; 78 minutes from Midtown
If “eating pie” is on your list of fall things, a visit to Delicious Orchards is a must. This country farm store in Colts Neck, NJ is massive, and you could easily spend hours pouring over local produce and trying to pick which of their fantastic pies to take home. On weekends, you can get freshly fried apple fritters from the Fritter Shack, then take a short drive down the road to Eastmont Orchards, where you can pick your own apples and have a photoshoot to show off your favorite flannel.
Beacon, NY; 90 minutes from Midtown
This is one of the best and most popular fall hikes near NYC, so if you’re going to hike Breakneck Ridge, you’ll want to get an early start. There’s no proper parking lot, so you’ll need to find a spot along the side of the road, and those can fill up quickly. Once you’re on the trail, expect a short but intense scramble to several breathtaking overlooks before a gentle descent back to the trailhead. You do need to feel comfortable with heights and have a baseline level of physical fitness to do this hike, but the leaf-peeping is unparalleled. There are usually a few food trucks at the base of the hike, but you’ll still want to come prepared with plenty of water and snacks.
The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze
Croton-on-Hudson, NY; 64 minutes from Midtown
If you can’t decide whether walking through thousands of hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns on a chilly October night sounds like peak fun or a tourist trap, let us break it down for you: it’s both. Yes, the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze can get crowded, but that’s because it’s a really good time. They have locations in Long Island and the Hudson Valley, and since the event is so popular, you can go any night of the week. If you can, find a way to get there on a weeknight, when you’re almost guaranteed to have a more pleasant time. Tickets start at $24 per person and this event almost always sells out, so you should buy them online at least a week before you plan to go.
Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center
Garrison, NY; 80 minutes from Midtown
Just down the road from Breakneck Ridge is Manitoga, a stunning example of midcentury modern architecture plopped in the middle of a 75-acre “woodland garden.” You can park in the lot and hike around the property for free, which is a totally nice way to spend a fall afternoon. If you've planned ahead, try to score tickets for a tour of the house. The basic tour starts at $30 per person and is offered four times a day, Friday-Monday, but there are a number of other special experiences worth checking out.
Staten Island, NY; 40 minutes from Midtown
If you suspect that slingshotting a pumpkin as hard as you can will make you feel just a tiny bit better about the coming winter, you’re right. In addition to hurling pumpkins, this Staten Island farm has corn mazes, pumpkin carving tutorials, farm stands, and general pumpkin patchery. Decker Farms runs their fall programming every Saturday and Sunday in October, and you can purchase a timed ticket online for $10 per person.
Sleepy Hollow, NY
Sleepy Hollow, NY; 50 minutes from Midtown
The town of Sleepy Hollow is under an hour from Midtown by car, and it seems to have been explicitly designed for fall activities. This is where the Hudson Valley location of the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze is located, but you’ll also find things like Haunted Hayrides and the historic Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. For a less Halloween-focused fall experience, we highly recommend touring Kykuit, an opulent Rockefeller estate with charming grounds to wander around.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden
Randall Manor, Staten Island; 50 minutes from Midtown
This expansive botanic garden on Staten Island is a great place to visit any time of year, but it’s particularly stunning when the leaves start to change. You can tour historic buildings and opulent gardens, and on weekends, a ton of local farms set up one of the best artisan markets around. During the month of October, you can also sign up for a “Spooky Snug Harbor” tour, which takes place at night and offers insight into some of the area’s dark past.
Bayville Scream Park
Bayville, Long Island; 70 minutes from Midtown
No haunted house will be able to compete with the nightmare of the early 2020s. But if you’re looking for a close second on Long Island, you can try Bayville Scream Park. They have a bunch of haunted house options, including zombie axe-throwing, which sounds both terrifying and therapeutic.
Morristown, NJ; 50 minutes from Midtown
Wightman’s apple-picking season is in full stride, and they have a bunch of other harvest season activities too. Each ticket to Wightman Farms covers corn maze fun, pumpkin patches, and hayrides—and you can buy tickets online ahead of time for $25. Wightman Farms also sells a bunch of produce and farm goods, and they have a few food trucks set up where you can buy lunch.
Harvest Moon Farm And Orchard
North Salem, NY; 65 minutes from Midtown
On weekends, this Northern Westchester farm offers apple picking, homemade cider, and a farm store where you can buy a gourd that looks like a bumpy telephone. Each ticket costs $15 (it’s cash-only, but there’s an ATM on the property), and you’ll need to make a reservation ahead of time if you want to pick apples.
Calverton, Long Island; 90 minutes from Midtown
Unlike some places that are essentially just autumnal amusement parks, Lewin Farms is an all-season farm. There’s a whole field dedicated to pick-your-own eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes that’s open until late October. Grab some nightshades (and pumpkins), check out the farm stand, and then wander through their five-acre corn maze. Find more details here.
Queens County Farm Museum
Queens, NY; 25 minutes from Midtown
If you’re looking for a pumpkin patch that’s accessible via subway or rideshare, try Queens County Farm Museum. It’s been around since 1697, which means it’s automatically spooky. They’re open for hayrides, corn maze exploration, and pumpkin picking every day until 4pm. Also, they have a farm store where you can buy apples from the Hudson Valley, flowers, honey, cider, and (most importantly) donuts. And don't forget to say hi to the lovely alpacas.