Fall-ing in love with NYC: botanical events around the City


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Skylar Oh, Contributor

Falling leaves and cooler temperatures have signaled the end of a restful and quiet summer and the beginning of fall in New York City. With fall foliage, harvests, pumpkin and apple picking and the beginning of the holiday season, there are plenty of things to help get you into the fall spirit. But if you haven’t witnessed the magic of the changing leaves, that might be where you should start. Grab a pumpkin spice latte, or any of the sweet fall specials located in Cafe 101, and come on out to explore all the fall festivities NYC has to offer! 

Central Park

Spanning over 843 acres between the Upper East Side and Upper West Side of Manhattan, the most famous park in NYC is also one of the best spots to catch the changing leaves! Give or take a couple of weeks, fall foliage typically peaks in November, with its bright colors lasting anywhere from three to four days. With so many picture-perfect spots, whether it be the Wagner Cove, Bethesda Fountain or the Belvedere Castle, this is the place to ring in the season with the friends you’ve made at the University!  

If you want to visit another park in the City, try The Highline, located in the Meatpacking District. Along with its beautiful fall views, you can also easily access The Vessel and The Edge to see the views from up high or pop into the Chelsea Market if it gets too cold. 

“Fall-O-Ween” – New York Botanical Garden

NYC’s Seven Botanical Gardens, which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries, are now hosting several events with “plentiful pumpkins” and “gourds and ghouls” for all age groups, whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart. Day or night, there’s something for everyone to do! On Oct. 29 and 30, check out the “Pumpkin Carving Face-Off,” “Pumpkin Parade,” “Spooky Pumpkin Garden Nights” and “Halloween at the Garden.” 

Additionally, the “Scarecrows & Pumpkins” event runs through Oct. 30 for those who are interested in a fun and calm way to celebrate Halloween weekend! Further details can be found on the New York Botanical Garden’s website.

Apple Orchards

Apple Ridge Orchards, located in Warwick, NY,  is a family-run orchard. It’s one of Hudson Valley’s most scenic and rustic orchards with amazing views, delicious apple cider and donuts! Until mid-late October, you can pick your own apples, step inside a honey bee observation hive or ride an old-fashioned hayride. To get there, take a bus from Port Authority to Warwick. There’s also the Warwick Taxi service, which can help take you and your group to and from the farm. 

Another option is Harbes Orchard in Riverhead, NY, another family farm that offers both apple and pumpkin picking, as well as corn mazes, spooky night mazes, hayrides, fall foods and more! Along with these activities, enjoy a glass of wine with their famous roasted super-sweet corn, signature apple cider donuts or tomato mozzarella paninis with fresh produce.