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Katie Sagal

Things to Do in New York in Fall 2018 - Attractions, Activities & More

Heading to the Big Apple for some fall festivities? There’s so much to see and so many things to do that you’ll have a hard time narrowing it all down into one trip. If you’re planning a trip and looking for things to do in New York in the Fall in 2018, take a look at our suggestions for the top attractions and activities to check out this year, including...

  • Special Exhibits at The Met
  • Fall foliage from Popular Observation Decks
  • Metroplitan Museum of Art Special Exhibits
  • Georgia O'Keeffe at the New York Botanical Garden
  • Sporting events
  • and more...

Save on Attraction Admission

Regular admission to a number of these New York activities are available on the New York City Explorer Pass®. Choose as you go from dozens of top attractions and save up to 50% on combined admission vs paying at the gate. Check out all New York tourist passes, attractions and prices. Please note, some of the Fall events listed below may be separately ticketed and not available on the Explorer Pass.

The RIDE in Masquerade

2018 Dates TBD

Image of Carnival, Mask, Crowd, This time of year, New York's most enjoyable and entertaining tour bus is in full costume -- the RIDE is now in Masquerade! What better way to celebrate the Halloween season than with a gorgeous historical costume? Marvel at the heritage of old world European masquerade as the guides on this unparalleled tour treat you to a special seasonal version of their famed RIDE. Seriously, you'll feel like you're attending a historical ball with Marie Antoinette. Of course, it's not all glitz and glam -- you'll also be treated to scary stories, enticing videos, and the very tangible presence of the spirits of New York City past. It's all in all some super seasonal fun! Getting In: The RIDE in Masquerade tickets are available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Amazing City Views of Fall Foliage

Get a bird’s eye view of the beautiful fall foliage in Central Park, as well as the bustling streets of NYC, from your perch atop one of the city’s best vantage points. Both of the city's iconic observation decks provide a good opportunity for you to enjoy your unique perspective on the changing scenery below, and to take some great photos, too. The Empire State Building is a classic, while the Top of the Rock provides more unobstructed views. Can’t go wrong with either! Getting In: Empire State Building tickets and Top of the Rock tickets are both available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Statue of Liberty

Image of Art, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Sculpture, Statue, Fall is time for remembering our history, and there are few places so historical as New York City. Take a ferry out to our Lady Liberty, then tour the Ellis Island Museum as you learn all about the history of early immigration in America. Crowds will be thinner this time of year, too, and it may be easier to get additional tickets to the pedestal or crown (as long as you don't plan your vacation for a holiday weekend). Getting In: Statue of Liberty ferry tickets are available with the New York City Explorer Pass®. Crown and pedestal admission is separately ticketed and is not included with the pass.

Art Museums

Image of Indoors, Museum, Person, Shoe, Handbag, There are few places as culturally diverse and as artistically accomplished as NYC. So it's no surprise that it's home to some of the world's most prestigious and fascinating museums. Two of our favorites are the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art, which each offer amazing and inspiring works of art from all around the world for your enjoyment. If you're headed to the Met, be sure to check out their exciting new exhibit (which we all previewed at this year's Met Gala), "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." This special exhibit of apparel and accessories will be on display through October 8, 2018. Additional fall special exhibits at the Met include topics like African American photography, Japanese painting, twentieth-century furniture, African sculpture, and more. Getting In: Metropolitan Museum of Art tickets and Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) tickets are both are available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Get Out for a Bike Ride

Image of Backpack, Bag, Adult, Male, Man, Person, Bicycle, Vehicle, Shoe, Cycling, Fall in New York is that perfect mix of crisp and cool – not too cold to stay inside but just pleasant enough that you aren’t working up much of a sweat on a leisurely bike ride. Didn’t bring a bike with you? Just rent one in Central Park and enjoy pedaling along their many scenic bike trails. You'll get to enjoy the many sights and sounds of Central Park, including Belvedere Castle, the Shakespeare Garden, Central Park Zoo, and so much more. If you prefer a little bit of guidance to maximize your Central Park explorations, you can take a bike tour of the area, too! Getting In: Central Park bike rentals and Central Park Bike Tour tickets are available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Sightseeing Cruises

Image of Bridge, City, Nature, Outdoors, Scenery, Landscape, Metropolis, Urban, You could also opt for a night cruise, to enjoy the beautiful skyline.
Grab a scarf and light jacket and head out to the water to enjoy an informative and relaxing sightseeing cruise. New York is particularly suited for water tours, as you can see nearly all of the major landmarks like the Empire State Building, Wall Street, the Statue of Liberty, and the Freedom Tower without venturing on dry land. Getting In: Many cruise options, like the popular Circle Line NYC Landmark Cruise, are available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Sporting Events & Arena Tours

Image of What better way to celebrate fall with sports fans than with a visit to their favorite ballpark or arena? The Yankees have some really amazing talent and their post-season chances are looking good. And while baseball is winding to a close in the fall, basketball is just getting started and the Knicks are ready to go with some new talent on board this season. And don't forget about the Rangers, either! If you can't make it to a game, consider taking a tour of local venues, like Yankee Stadium or Madison Square Garden. Getting In: Yankee Stadium Classic Tour tickets and Madison Square Garden Tour tickets are both are available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Georgia O’Keeffe: Visions of Hawai‘i

New York Botanical Garden now through October 28, 2018

This special exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden is a must-see for art and plant lovers. Come to see Georgia O'Keeffe's iconic paintings of Hawaii -- now together in NYC for the first time since 1940. These lush, evocative paintings are paired with the exotic Hawaiian plants that inspired them, creating a truly inspiring combination of art and science that we know you'll just adore. This exhibition is included with general admission. Getting In: New York Botanical Garden tickets are available with the New York City Explorer Pass®.

Brooklyn Book Festival

September 10-17, 2018 Brooklyn Borough Hall & Citywide

Image of City, Urban, Downtown, People, Person, Handbag, Image credit: Julienne Schaer.
Enjoy panel discussions and readings from authors around the world at one of the city’s favorite bookish events. Find your next big read, your next author crush, or just reconnect with an old favorite. Sunday, September 16th is the Festival Day and Literary Marketplace (pictured above). There are also author events throughout the city on various days, including heavy hitters like Martin Amis, Jennifer Egan, Eve L. Ewing, Justina Ireland, N.K. Jemisin, Tayari Jones, Malina Lo, Joseph O'Neill, and many more. This is an ideal family event, with specialty kids' readings and books as well. Children's Day is September 15, held in the MetroTech Commons. Getting In: Admission to the Brooklyn Book Festival is free.

Oktoberfest in NYC

Throughout October Various locations

Image of Alcohol, Beer, Beverage, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Ring, Male, Man, Handbag, Child, Girl, Image credit: Filip Wolak
Oktoberfest isn’t just one festival – it’s an entire collection of events, beer halls, brewery tours, beer gardens, and so much more. You’ll find a wide variety of events all over the city, ranging from the kid-friendly to the adults-only. Some of our favorites include Beer at the Pier (at Watermark bar) and Oktoberfest Night at Citi Field (a good family event). Getting In: Admission to various Oktoberfest events are separately ticketed and is not included with the New York City Explorer Pass®. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit individual event websites.

Atlantic Antic

September 23, 2018 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn

Wander through more than 500 food, craft, and beverage vendors as they take over one of Brooklyn’s busiest streets You’ll also be treated to a diverse musical lineup and other great performance art, so it’s an all-around cultural fest. This year marks the 44th occurrence of this perennially popular event! Getting In: Admission to Atlantic Antic is free.

Medieval Festival

September 30, 2018 Fort Tryon Park

Image of Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Lady, Costume, Photobombing, Male, Man, People, Bride, Wedding, Handbag, Shoe, Image credit: Jakob K. Layman
Are you a lover of all things historical? Ever wish you could see a joust, or wear a suit of armor? Immerse yourself in the all the fun parts of the Middle Ages (no black plague or bad dental hygiene here) with a visit to this free, kid-friendly event. Gnaw on some turkey legs and sip some mead as you listen to minstrels serenade the masses. Getting In: Admission to the Medieval Festival is free.

Columbus Day Parade

October 8, 2018 5th Ave.

Image of Glove, Adult, Female, Person, Woman, Hat, Male, Man, Officer, Child, Girl, People, Military, Military Officer, Image credit: Marielle Solan
Marvel at tens of thousands of marchers who gather together to commemorate Columbus’s landing in the Americas. It’s also a celebration of Italian heritage, which you know NYC is pretty good at. This parade has a smaller scale than something like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, so it’s a good opportunity to enjoy festive NYC without the crazy crowds. Getting In: Admission to the Columbus Day Parade is free.

A Few Other Suggestion for Things to do in New York this Fall

Image of City, Downtown, Urban, Road, Street, Town Square, Car, Person,

  • Hop aboard a fall foliage cruise on the Hudson River.
  • Later in the season, check out one of New York’s famed ice rinks like the one in Rockefeller Plaza.
  • Visit the Queens County Farm Museum for all sorts of seasonal fun like pumpkin picking and corn-maze exploring.
  • Cheer on the runners at the world-famous New York City marathon.

Let's Recap

So there you have it – scads of exciting and festive things to do in New York in the fall in 2018. From parades to festivals and bike rides to cruises, whatever you do you’re bound to have fun. And remember, you can save on combined admission on many of these popular attractions, tours, and more with the New York City Explorer Pass®. Please note, some of the Fall events taking place mentioned in this post may be separately ticketed and not included with the Explorer Pass.

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