Things to do in NYC in the Fall – affordable + fun!

November 23, 2021

Keep reading to find some of my favorite things to do in NYC in the Fall! If you’re anything like me, fall is one of your favorite seasons of the year! From the fall foliage to the crisp outside air – it’s just the best! During the fall season, I try to plan as many weekend trips as possible to take advantage of the beauty all over the country. One of my favorite places in the United States is New York City. I’ve been more times than I could count and each time I fall more in love with the city. November 2020 we took a train up to NYC for the weekend and did all of my favorite things to do in NYC in the fall!

The below things to do in NYC in Fall are affordable ideas are for someone who has probably been to NYC a time or two before and just wants a more relaxed way to truly enjoy the city!

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CENTRAL PARK

I cannot properly express how much I LOVE Central Park. It’s arguably the best thing to do in NYC in the Fall! Caleb and I spent an entire day here just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful fall weather! We started the day by grabbing soup to go near Rockefeller Center [one of the closest place to get soup near the park – yes, I have gone on a soup picnic more than once lol]. Then we found a good place in the grass that was off the beating path enough it was peaceful, but central enough we still had killer views. See what I did there ;)

Once we decided to get up from out little picnic haven, we started walking around looking at all the stunning colors of the fall leaves. The bright yellow leaves – to dieeeee for!! Then it was time for a little snack from a street vendor [ice cream, my fav!] and find a good bench to do lots of people watching!

Want more ideas? Here is a list of things to do in NYC in Central Park for free or almost free:

  • Go on a picnic
  • Walk around looking at all the fall leaves
  • People watch – who doesn’t love to do this?! #guilty
  • Grab a good book to read on a park bench
  • Climb Umpire Rock
  • Get food from a street vendors – some of the best food in NYC if you ask me!
  • Rent bike to ride around
  • Play frisbee in Sheep’s Meadow
  • Shop from street artists
  • Go to the Central Park Zoo
  • Catch a ride on a horse drawn carriage
  • Go ice skating *winter only
  • And soooooo much more!
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Click here to watch a little video recap of our picnic day in Central Park!

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BROOKLYN

When making a list of things to do in NYC, you must include of the best boroughs – Brooklyn! I love the slightly more grungy, local vibes [of course, once you get out of the more touristy area of DUMBO]. If I had to choose my favorite part of Brooklyn it would 10000% be their bagels. There’s no other bagels in the world like them!

For our second day in the city, we woke up early to grab some bagels at La Bagel Delight and find a quiet bench to watch the sunrise over the city. It’s such a sweet way to see the city before the true hustle and bustle starts.


Pro Tip: get a bakers dozen of bagels to take home with you!

Every time I visit NYC, I get bagels to take home. Sometimes I feel a little crazy on the train carrying a massive paper bag of bagels, but once I get home I’m always so glad that I did!

Instead of taking the Subway, we walked over the Brooklyn Bridge to get back to Manhattan. Highly recommend doing this because you get to be outside and get even more views!

Is fall your favorite season too? Check out my blog The Best Things to do in Acadia National Park – especially in the Fall!

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EDGE NYC

One of my favorite things about New York City is of course the iconic skyline. There’s so many places on the ground with great views, but there’s nothing like getting a bit higher [maybe even 100 stories up] to get a better view!

The Edge NYC Observation Deck is located in the innovative Hudson Yards, right next to the Vessel. It’s not a 360 platform around the building but rather a platform jets out from the side of the building. The outdoor deck has massive, mostly seamless, glass panels all around it. Similar to the Wills Tower in Chicago, there’s even an area with glass floor that you can stand on and see all 100 stories down to the ground. I’m absolutely terrified of heights so just getting close to the glass end was enough for my heart! In addition to the outdoor observation deck, the entire floor has stunning floor to ceiling window views [incase the weather isn’t as lovely outside]. It’s also home to one of NYC’s newest and most thrilling attractions, City Climb. If you like scaling city sky scrappers, then this might be an adventure you want to look into!

I’ve been to almost every city observatory or viewing deck in New York City and the Edge is BY FAR my favorite! Unlike the top of the Empire State BuildingTop of the Rock, or One World Observatory at Freedom Tower, you can see all the buildings in the iconic NYC skyline. For example, when you’re on the top of the Empire State Building and looking at the skyline, you’re missing one of the most iconic parts of the NYC skyline!

General admission tickets start at the slightly more affordable price of $31/per person if you purchase in advance online! When we visited, it had somewhat recently opened so we didn’t wait at all in any sort of lines. I’ve waited 2 hours + on a weekend at night to get to the top of the Empire State Building.

Below: If you’re looking south, towards One World Tower and Brooklyn, this was the view. It was a super hazy day so I’m sure you could see even further on a clear day!

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Below: my sweet husband Caleb who is usually on the other end of the camera but occasionally I can convince to get in the photo with me – even if it’s just a selfie!

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NYC is one of my favorite places to visit, especially for a quick weekend trip to get away. I hope you found this blog things to do in NYC in the fall helpful and inspiring for your next trip! Before traveling, be sure to always check the local CDC guidelines for that area. Please reach out to me on Instagram @wildlyinlove__ and send me a message if you have any questions at all! I’d be happy to help in any way I can! :)

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