One of the best things about fall in New York is escaping the city. Autumn breezes are in abundance and leaves are morphing from vivacious greens to vibrant oranges, yellows and reds. Treat yourself to a fall excursion at one of our favorite outer-city escapes, many of which are suitable for children.
Van Cortlandt Manor
See more than 5,000 individually hand-carved, illuminated jack o’ lanterns in this elaborate walk-through experience. Meander through an historic, 18th-century riverside landscape and discover a breathtaking display – all made of jack o’ lanterns! Stroll through the Tunnel O’ Pumpkin Love and emerge to the incredible sight of gourd-filled Jack-in-the-Box springing up and bouncing around. Flying pumpkin ghosts will soar above the lantern-lit path.
Dia: Beacon is 240,000-square-foot museum inside of a re-purposed Nabisco factory that offers plenty of space to roam and explore. After seeing the museum’s collection, mainly mid-century and contemporary works, head to Main Street to explore galleries, antique stores and local restaurants.
Jersey City, NJ
The Liberty Science Center has a plethora of hands-on exhibits and activities for kids of all ages. Don’t miss the animation exhibit, where kids can bring their own creation to life surrounded by colorful larger-than-life characters from Cartoon Network.
Bear Mountain, NY
Fall is the perfect time to make the 50-mile trip to Bear Mountain. The park features a large play field, shaded picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, Trailside Museums and Zoo, hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails. An outdoor rink is open to ice skaters from late October through mid-March. Be sure to hit up the merry-go-round, where native animals such as black bear, wild turkey, deer, fox and bobcat join the de rigueur carousel horses. Note: enjoy Oktoberfest through the end of October!
Poughquag, New York
Barton Orchards is a fall destination fit for the whole family. Features: petting zoo, hayrides, five-acre corn maze, haunted house, and miles of apple picking. Visitors can choose from 25-plus apple varieties from Macintosh to Fuji or grab a fresh-baked pie and pack on the pounds for winter.