Fun activities to spice up fall break

Bryna Shuman
Courtesy of Gunnar Hildonen via flickr.com

NYU’s fall break next week offers a rare respite from the onslaught of essays, research papers and all-night studying for midterms. The break is the perfect opportunity to explore the city, or even to escape for a few days. Here are the top five things to do to make the most of this short vacation.

Hiking

With the leaves changing, it is a great time of year to be outdoors. This fall break, load a backpack with trail mix and granola bars and get some friends together to venture outside of the city. For a nice day trip, travel 40 miles north of New York City to Harriman State Park, which boasts over 30 lakes and 200 miles of hiking trails. For a weekend getaway, head to the Adirondack Mountain region of upstate New York.

Courtesy of Eric Frommer via flickr.com

Kayaking

Take in the fall foliage from a different location — the river. Many companies along the Hudson River offer kayak tours and rentals. Manhattan Kayak Company provides extensive city-based tours for beginning and advanced levels. If you prefer a break from the city, head to Beacon, N.Y. and rent a kayak from Mountain Top Outdoors. If you purchase your ticket from any Metro-North train ticket office and take the Hudson Line to Beacon Station, you can get a four-hour kayak rental for the price of the two-hour option.

via flickr.com

Volunteer

Do some good this fall break and volunteer. Spend an hour or two at one of the many soup kitchens in the city, help clean up a park with friends or tutor a high school student for the SATs. If you are looking for a long-term commitment, visit New York City Service’s website  to find a community service project that matches your interests.

Courtesy of Ed Yourdon via flickr.com

Football

Football is a great activity to play or watch this season. Spend a chilly, fall night supporting a local high school team, or organize a pickup game with friends in Central Park. If you prefer to watch from home, tune in to the New York Giants vs. the San Francisco 49ers game Sunday, Oct. 14 at :30 p.m.

Courtesy of Mie Martoccia via Flickr.com

Corn Maze

Nothing says fall better than spending a day getting lost in a corn maze. Travel to Queens County Farm, about half an hour outside of Manhattan, where navigating the corn maze takes about three hours. For an extra challenge, visit the farm on Saturday, Oct. 13, for the Maze by Moonlight event when the maze is open until 9 p.m. Queens County Farm also has other fun fall activities including hayrides, walking through pumpkin patches, feeding animals and drinking apple cider.

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 8 print edition. Bryna Shuman is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected] 

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