As the weather cools down and the leaves start to turn brighter, there is no denying that autumn is upon us. In the spirit of ringing in the new season, check out some of these attractions the city has to offer.
Pumpkin Fest at Central Park Bandshell
Finding a pumpkin patch in Manhattan is no easy task. Thankfully, NYC Parks & Recreation’s Pumpkin Fest offers classic autumn activities like this for free. This annual event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Attendees get to pick their own pumpkin for carving on site. Other attractions at the event include Big Apple Circus performers, Harry Potter-style Quidditch matches and the Pride of NY Farmers Market.
Enter at 72nd Street and Central Park West
Corn Maze at Queens Country Farm Museum
The Queens County Farm Museum is home to the only corn maze in all of New York City. The two-and-a-half acre interactive maze, where visitors find clues and solve puzzles, is open Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout October. Admission is $9 per person, but groups of 10 or more receive a $1 discount per person.
7350 Little Neck Parkway
Apple Picking at Fishkill Farms
Get out of the city for a weekend at one of the only orchards in the region offering pick-your-own organic apples. Visitors can pick from 13 organic apple varieties, such as Empire, Golden Delicious and Mutsu. Moreover, you only have to pay for what you pick. The farm also hosts Harvest Festival Weekends throughout October with homemade food, donuts and cider, as well as entertainment in the form of hayrides ($3 per person) and live music.
9 Fishkill Farm Rd.
Ghosts of Greenwich Village Tours
Get into the Halloween spirit with a free tour of Greenwich Village’s haunted sites. This guided-tour takes you through several spooky village landmarks, such as the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and Mark Twain’s “House of Horror.” Throughout the tour, guides will also entertain and frighten you with tales of ghosts and spirits involved in Marie’s Crisis and the Club Kids Murder. Tours run every Wednesday and Friday through Sunday in October at 7:30 p.m. Reservations are required, so visit the Free Tours by Foot website to select a tour date.
The Ride: Haunted New York
Halloween buffs willing to splurge for the $74 ticket should partake in this one-of-a-kind tour that exposes the dark side of New York City’s iconic sights. Patrons are transported in a luxury bus equipped with 40 plasma monitors and surround sound, which help to supplement the Halloween-themed show playing out on the streets. Ghost stories and urban legends starring the famous and infamous missing, dead and undead New Yorkers make for a hilariously spooky adventure. Tours run Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday nights at 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. The Ride leaves on time, so don’t be late.
Departs from 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Oct. 21 print edition. Deborah Lubanga is a contributing writer. Email her at [email protected]