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The best fall festivals in New York City

A haunted pumpkin patch comes to the city and more highlights of the fall festival season.
Great Jack-o'-Lantern Blaze

Many of us didn’t wait until the start of fall on Sept. 21 to bust out the sweaters and Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Now that it’s officially here, there’s tons of seasonal fun kicking off with apple harvests, pumpkin patches and fall festivals right in the city and just a short trip beyond.

Queens County Fair

Take a drive to Queens County Farm Museum for its 35th annual Queens County Fair, which includes everything you want in an old-fashioned fall carnival on the farm: carnival rides and games, blue ribbon competitions, pie eating and corn husking contests, live music, a beer garden, and children's entertainment by magicians, jugglers and acrobats. Though the festival is only one weekend long, you can go on a hayride in a wagon, take a selfie with a llama in the petting zoo, pick a pumpkin, enjoy live music and make time to get lost in the farm’s Amazing Maize Maze, the largest in the region, weekends through Oct. 29. Sept. 23-24, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., adults $10, kids $5, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park, Long Island

Scarecrows & Pumpkins

Every weekend beginning Sept. 30 through Halloween, you can get up close with the “spooky” creatures of the season like bats and reptiles at the New York Botanical Garden. Plus, find the biggest pumpkins during the annual Giant Pumpkin Weekend (Oct. 21-22), when the largest pumpkins from around the country — some weighing in at more than a ton — arrive at the garden, with Q&A sessions with the growers. Through Oct. 30, $20-$25, nybg.org

 

Our Fall Festival season has begun! We welcome everyone to our farm and orchard for this year's amazing apple harvest! It runs every Saturday and Sunday from now until the end of October (plus Columbus Day), 10am-5pm. Activities include apple picking, a pumpkin patch, wagon rides, pony rides, inflatables, many food vendors and much more! Don't forget to grab cider donuts, sweet apple cider, apple pies and other offerings from the farm store! We offer apple picking 7 days a week and the store is open everyday as well if you're looking for a more laid back experience. Please check www.hmorchard.com for more information Hope to see everyone here at Harvest Moon! 🍎 . . #applepicking #pickyourown #appleorchard #harvestmoonorchard #northsalem #northsalemny #suportyourlocalfarmer

A post shared by Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard (@harvestmoonorchard) on

Harvest Moon’s Fall Festival

It’s apple-picking time — and pumpkin season is not far behind — so get both done at Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard in Westchester County. Swing by on weekends in September and October when this charming eco-conscious farm holds its fall festival with hayrides, kids activities, live music (Saturdays), apple cannons, cider tastings, fresh baked pizzas (Saturdays) and a barbecue. $5-$10, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 130 Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, New York

Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

For the most spectacular pumpkin display, head out to Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, where some 7,000 gourds have been carved to commemorate the biggest pop culture moments of the year and illuminated throughout the 18th century estate. The walk-through experience along wooded pathways, orchards and gardens takes you past creepy fields of traditional Jack O’Lanterns and larger-than-life pumpkin sculptures like the Pumpkin Zee Bridge, Statue of Liberty and the all-new fully functional Pumpkin Carousel. This event sells out quickly, so hustle. Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 5-9, 12-31, Nov. 2-5, 9-12, 17-18, 24-25, 525 S. Riverside Ave., $22-$27, hudsonvalley.org

Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns

This October, the pumpkin patch is coming to you. For the first time, the haunted gourd extravaganza that is The Rise taking place at Old Westbury Gardens will have a smaller outpost on Governors Island for five days. Local artists are channeling their spooky creativity to create the Night of 1,000 Jack-o’-Lanterns, hand-carving and painting pumpkins to spook and delight visitors amid the historic buildings of the island. Oct. 26-29, ferry at 10 South St. to Governors Island, $20-$26, therise.org

Ghouls & Gourds 2014 from Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Vimeo.

Ghouls & Gourds 2017

At this music and harvest festival, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden dons its fall finery to host Ghouls & Gourds 2017. Groove to two stages of live music and entertainment like the Louisiana zydeco sounds of Jeffrey Broussard and Creole Cowboys and a woodland waltz led by the Mettawee River Theatre Company. Expect tons of nature- and Halloween-themed fun like rutabaga skeeball, helping to build a giant spiderweb, a menagerie of larger-than-life mythical creatures, and what’s promised to be “Brooklyn’s wackiest costume parade.” Oct. 28, noon-5:30 p.m., $20-free for kids under 12, 990 Washington Ave., Prospect Park, bbg.org

 
 
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