As the leaves start to change color and pumpkin lattes become the go-to drink of the season, New York City comes alive. With the city’s sweltering summer days behind, and the winters sub-zero temperatures a mere fear in the not too distant future, the cool and progressively crisper days of autumn make for comfortable exploring – think clear blue skies, cool sunshine and the unshackled spirit that imbues. No better time, then, to take a bite out of the Big Apple. It’s as easy as getting your ESTA, buying a plane ticket and reading this list; our 6 IDEAL reasons to visit New York in autumn (or should we say Fall).
THE CITY’S CHANGING COLOURS
Come autumn, New York’s city parks, walkways, and tree lined streets are ablaze with the glow of autumnal hues. The fall foliage in Central park is something else – its 20,000 (or that number there about) trees are a riot of colour and while the park is impressive at anytime of year, come autumn it’s a real showstopper. The Brownstone lined streets of Manhattan’s West Village or Brooklyn’s Williamsburg become the perfect backdrop for the colours of the season. On one of the city’s crisper days, there is nothing more pleasant than walking the Highline, leaves crunching under foot. Indeed an October stroll along this elevated walkway will have you ‘falling’ (sorry we had to) for the city big time.
Halloween in New York City is an all-out celebration, full of fright-filled activities and events; and depending on your feelings about it, can be simply spooktacular or a hectic, hellish affair. There are plenty of opportunities for organised fun, including seances, scary film screenings and fancy dress parties, spooky haunted houses and ghost tours that bill themselves as scary, blood-curdling and bone-chilling. The city’s annual Village Halloween parade is the perhaps the biggest draw; an extravagant display of some the most outlandish and incredible costumes the world.
PUMPKIN’S ON THE MENU
Find yourself in the Big Apple, hungry for some autumnal flavours, and even the greediest, most scrutinizing soul will likely be satisfied, especially if you’re after a taste of pumpkin. Indeed, fall’s favorite flavour can be found in more than just a pumpkin latte and if you’re a fan of the much beloved orange gourd, then New York is the place to come. A staple, of course is the pie with dozens of Manhattan’s bakeries selling them by the dozen. Pumpkin beer also reigns over other crafts during the fall season. And if you want to squash your craving for it (sorry we had to, again) then some favourites include Smuttynose Pumpkin Ale, Brooklyn Post Road Pumpkin, brewed by none other than the legendary Brooklyn Brewery, and Chelsea Pumpkin Ale brewed by Chelsea Craft Brewing Company – to name but a few.
OPEN HOUSE NEW YORK
For two days each October, Open House New York happens. And happens with some gusto. Usually falling on a weekend, it’s a citywide celebration of architecture, urban design, and everything cultural. You can visit more than 200 locations during Open House New York, so there’s no excuse for missing it.
THE THEATRE & FESTIVALS
If you’re a culture vulture with a penchant for the arts and the theatre, then autumn is one of the best times to visit. Many of the locals have come back to the city from their summer holidays, which for people in the know means that many of the main museums and theaters debut their headline exhibits and shows in time for their return.
The season is also full of festivals. If you want to see New Yorkers merrymaking and dressed up in lederhosen, then Oktoberfest, a Bavarian celebration of some rowdy repute, takes place across the city. Expect copious amounts of beer served in stein glasses and plates of bratwurst sausages.
One of New York’s most important annual events, the Oyster Festival, also takes place every fall. Indeed, oysters are a major part of the city’s history and it was once the oyster capital of the world. And while pollution eventually took its toll and the ones in the city’s waters were no longer safe to eat, it hasn’t stop New York’s love affair with the bivaine.
Towards the end of the season, on the border between fall and winter, is Thanksgiving. Which of course, needs little introduction. More pumpkin pies, more parades and turkey. And be sure to attend The Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Day Parade to enjoy the festivities with the locals.