24 Free Things to Do in NYC This Fall


When Harry Met Sally and Autumn in New York taught us the treasure of free fall activities in New York City. The colorful foliage of Central Park is the perfect backdrop for a fun picnic in the park. The crisp breeze of fall will add a skip to your step as you explore Governor’s Island. Don’t be intimidated by the reputation of things to do in NYC for being pricy and sophisticated. There are many free fall activities in New York City that can be just as fulfilling as a classy meal or Broadway show. If you’re looking for some fun things to do in the City this fall, take a look at these free things to do in NYC.

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STARGAZE ON THE HIGHLINE

If a stroll along NYC’s elevated park isn’t on your list of free things to do in New York, your list needs some work!  Stop between West 15th and West 16th Streets on Tuesday evenings for a little stargazing. The Amateur Astronomers Association sets out free telescopes so you can peruse the fall skies up close.


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QUEENS COUNTY FARM MUSEUM

Take a little journey to Queens Country Farm Museum this autumn. The grounds offers a variety of fun things to do in fall. You can go pumpkin picking, hang out with sheep (it’s not so bahhhhhd), or just wander the grounds at no cost. For a small fee, tackle their famous corn maze or brave the haunted house.


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BROOKLYN BOTANICAL GARDEN

If you love aesthetically pleasing nature then this free fall activity in NYC is another beautiful spot to explore. At the Brooklyn Botanical Garden you can stick to your budget while basking the beauty of NYC’s finest nature offerings. Best of all, entrance to the garden is free every Tuesday. Line up at the front gate at 1pm for a free garden tour.


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OPEN HOUSE NEW YORK

If you’re on the lookout for unusual free things to do in New York City this fall, attend Open House NY. On Saturday and Sunday, October 15 – 16, glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes in some of the City’s most famous buildings. Want an intimate knowledge of Grace Church or City Hall? This is your chance!


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VILLAGE HALLOWEEN PARADE

Perfect for the cosplay lover, the Village Halloween Parade is one of the most fun free things to do in NYC. Bring a costume and join the celebration at one of NYC’s most colorful events. It gets weird, if you’re into that kind of thing.


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THE MoMA

Artists looking for free things to do in New York should head down to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Friday evenings for a special treat. From 4 – 8pm you can wander the halls of this iconic museum for free! Looking for free date ideas? Admission to Friday evening films at the MoMA is also on the house, but fills up quickly. Book in advance to avoid missing out.


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NEW YORK EARTH ROOM/BROKEN KILOMETER

Art enthusiasts will also enjoy these DIA Foundation installations. Scattered across NYC, both installations take up entire rooms in Soho and open back up in September. If you (or a date) enjoy modern art, this is a fun, unique free date idea for this fall.


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YOGA IN BRYANT PARK

Bryant Park is full of free fall activities in New York City! Try out juggling and knitting on the Upper Terrace, or join a public BookClub on the Lawn. Yoga fans can participate in free class Tuesday mornings and Thursday evenings. Enjoy the crisp fall evening and get in shape at the same time!


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MOVIES UNDER THE STARS

Looking for more free date ideas? Bryant Park is also one of many parks in NYC which host free movie nights under the stars. A free fall activity you can cuddle up for, film offerings range from 80s classics like The Big Chill to new features like Disney’s Zootopia.


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CHELSEA GALLERIES

At 10th and 11th Avenue between 18th and 29th Street stretch dozens of free galleries to explore. This gathering of exhibitions holds hours of free things to do in New York. Paintings, sculptures, and photographs present some of the greatest new art in the world.


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PUBLIC BEACHES

When making a list of free fall activities in NYC, we can’t forget the public beaches that dot the island. Whether brainstorming free date ideas or just free things to do, never underestimate a simple stroll along the beach or day romping in the waves.


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LIBRARIES

Cozy and endless, wandering the libraries of New York can be a fun thing to do in fall. The New York Public Library offers much more than a vast selection of books, too. Visit the library’s exhibit to learn more about the architecture and history of one of New York’s oldest buildings. For avid thespians, a day at the Library for the Performing Arts at Julliard College holds countless scores and video archives to peruse.


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THE WHISPERING GALLERY

A charming free first date idea, this gallery is a fun, little romantic secret of the Big Apple. Located in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant, its archways have a surprising acoustic quality. If two people whisper upwards from diagonal arches, their words are ‘telegraphed’ back and forth across the room. Free things to do in NYC  are rare treasures and secrets even more so. Take advantage when you find one!


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HARLEM MEERS

If you fancy a stroll in a rose garden or free outdoor concert, check out the many free date ideas scheduled at Harlem Meers. Part of Central Park, this grassy spot is easy to get to and buried deep within the heart or New York City. For a break from the hustle and bustle, spend an afternoon at this quiet little spot.


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BROOKLYN BREWERY

Do you crave free fall activities in NYC and awesome beer? Then spend your day at the Brooklyn Brewery! This famous attraction gives free tours of its facilities on weekends and offers a cheap glass of beer afterwards. With new brews debuting soon, this is a fun thing to do in fall you definitely shouldn’t miss.


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TAPING THE JIMMY FALLON SHOW

Do you dream of momentary stardom on the Jimmy Fallon Show? Sign up sooner rather than later for this incredible free date idea. Tickets are also available at the door, but with so many Jimmy fans around, plan ahead secure your spot in the crowd.


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KAYAK THE HUDSON RIVER

Get on the water with this free fall activity on New York City’s Hudson River. Downtown Boathouse on Pier 26 offers free kayak rentals for the brave and adventurous. A beautiful fall thing to do, take your date out on the water or paddle out with a group of friends.


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GOVERNOR’S ISLAND

Take a day away to explore the free fall activities on New York City’s Governor’s Island. With a museum, flowing green fields, and nice eats, Gov Island is a great place to spend your day. Keep thing cheap with a free ferry from Brooklyn or Manhattan on weekends before 11:30am and spend a stress-free day wandering through the island. This is a great free date idea to escape the noise of the busy city.


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STATEN ISLAND FERRY

It’s a classic, it’s fun, and it’s a free thing to do in NYC! For a taste of history and a gorgeous view, hop on the Staten Island Ferry for a ride in the harbor. One of the best free date ideas, you can spend a leisurely few hours getting to know each other and enjoying the harbor breeze. Avoid rush hour and you’re golden.


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SOCRATES SCULPTURE PARK

Another park boasting a host of free fall activities in New York City, this green patch on the water is home to dance shows, outdoor cinema events, kayaking and canoeing rentals, and even some Shakespeare. Of the many free things to do in New York, few places offer such a diverse selection so consistently cheap. Hunting for a few free date ideas to keep you in the game? Stick with Socrates and you’ll be well-prepared for a while.


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BRONX ZOO

Looking for fall things to do with some company from the animal kingdom? Charm your date on a Wednesday with free tickets to the Bronx Zoo. If you don’t mind occasional crowds, this adventurous free date idea is great exercise and lots of fun. Many creatures get a bit rowdy preparing for hibernation, making the zoo a uniquely fun thing to do in fall.


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NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDENS

Still looking for nature-inspired free things to do in NYC? If you have another free Wednesday, wander over to the New York Botanical Gardens. This beautiful stroll is one of the more serene free fall activities in NYC.


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NEW YORK AQUARIUM

Get aquatic for free on Fridays starting at 3pm at the New York Aquarium. A creative solution for what to do in New York City on a Friday night, add this beautiful aquarium to your list of free date ideas. It has everything, from octopi to dolphin shows.


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JUILLIARD SCHOOL

Hoping for free things to do in NYC incorporating music or theatre? If you want to save on quality art, hang out at the Juilliard School. Often with many often forgotten concerts, the school is a great resource for free fall activities in NYC. Student recitals and concerts happen year round, so make a point of checking the Juilliard website when planning what to do in NYC.

Don’t fret when you look for free fall activities in New York City. With the right knowledge of venues and events, you can find a wealth of free date ideas and free things to do on your New York weekends. Get out there and embrace the Big Apple with gusto!



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