New York City in the fall is an incredible experience – the colors, the crisp air, the energy. Enjoying the City this fall doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. In fact, here are 17 things you can do for free in New York City this fall!
1.Enjoy the Fall Foliage
New York City bursts with color in the fall. Any tree lined street will have the autumn hues but to get a full experience of New York City’s colors, take a walk through Central Park.
2. Enjoy All Things Italian at the Feast of in Little Italy
The Feast of San Gennaro was first celebrated in New York City in 1926. Come enjoy all things Italian including a cannoli eating contest, a pizza eating contest, a couple of processions, live music, and food vendors,
3.Take a Free Tour of New York City’s Neighborhoods
Take free tours of some of New York City’s most interesting neighborhoods with Big Apple Greeter, a volunteer based non-profit. Tours are led by New York City locals, many of whom can lead tours in more than one language.
4. The Village Halloween Parade
The Village Halloween Parade is the largest Halloween parade in the US. Anyone in a costume is welcome to participate in the parade.
5. Visit a Museum
There are a lot of museums in New York City that offer free admission on specific days, some that are free everyday, and some that have a suggested donation. You can see a list of free New York City museums here and here.
6. Ride the Staten Island Ferry
Enjoy perfect views of Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan and more from the Staten Island Ferry. The 5 mile boat ride takes 25 minutes (each way). Read some of the interesting fun facts about the Staten Island ferry on their website.
7. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States and a New York City architectural icon. The bridge is 1.1 miles long (1.8 km) making it easy to walk or bike across.
8. Go Kayaking on the Hudson River
Go Kayaking along the Hudson River courtesy of The Downtown Boathouse. Free kayaks are available for 20 minutes at a time. The downtown Boathouse also offers free kayaking classes and three hour trips led by volunteers.
9. Visit Federal Hall
New York City’s Federal Hall is a golden trove of American history. The original building is where George Washington, the first president of the United States, took his presidential oath. It was home to America’s first supreme court and congress. Federal Hall is now a museum of the beginnings of the United States and a memorial to George Washington. There are free self-guided tours as well as guided tours.
10. Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade might be America’s most famous parade. It’s held every November and broadcast around the world by to more than 50 million people. Check the parade website for the route. The parade is three hours and offers bands, dancing, floats, singers, cars, and more.
11. Dumbo Arts Festival
The Dumbo Arts Festival is an annual, three day event. Visitors can enjoy indoor and outdoor exhibits and installations, street art and performance, dancers, poets, and more.
12. Take a Tour of the Brooklyn Brewery
Did you know there was a brewery within easy access from Manhattan? The Brooklyn Brewery has been brewing for over 25 years. According to its website, “Its award-winning roster of year-round, seasonal and specialty beers have gained the Brewery notoriety as one of the top craft beer producers in the world.” They offers free tours of their facility during on the weekends on a first come, first serve basis.
13. Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral
St Patrick’s Cathedral is a famous New York City architectural landmark dating back to the beginning of its construction in 1958. The American Gothic Revival church is located around the corner from Rockefeller Center.
14. Take a Walk on the High Line
The High Line offers a unique view of New York City. It’s a park located on an elevated fright rail line that hovers above the city’s streets. Along the 1.45 mile parks offers art installments, events, interesting plants, food vendors, and benches and chairs to relax on.
15. Open House New York City
For one weekend a year, Open House New York (OHNY) celebrates the City’s architecture with unusual access to some of New York’s most interesting buildings. From the OHNY website: “From private residences and historic landmarks, to hard hat tours and sustainable skyscrapers, OHNY gives you rare access into the extraordinary architecture that defines New York City, while introducing you to the people who make the city a vibrant and sustainable place to live, work, and play.”
16. Medieval Festival
Step back in time at the Medieval Festival. This one day event is filled with jesters, jugglers, jousts, medieval music, food, mime, magic, and of course fun!
17. Bryant Park
Bryant Park is one of the best places to hang out in New York City. It has free Wi-Fi, free classes, free ping pong, an open air library open to everyone plus a lawn or tables and chairs to choose from.