7 Great Things to Do in New York in October

Please do your best to limit your travels around New York during this time. If you decide to travel, please check the status of the places you are going. Some places around the state are temporarily closed or have changed their hours We will not be updating individual articles to note these changes. Stay safe and wear a mask!

There might not be a better month to travel in New York than October. As the weather cools and the leaves change from green to yellows, reds, and oranges, the beauty of the state comes into full view.

Throughout the state, there are many great things to do in New York in October, even with things being so different in 2020. So, whether you are looking to enjoy the great fall foliage, experience the Halloween season, or have some family fun, there’s something to do on this list.

Check over the list below and then start planning your autumn travels in New York.

Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links. We will make a small commission from these links if you order something at no additional cost to you.

(Article updated on September 16, 2020, for New York events in October 2020.)

The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze in Hudson – September 18-November 21

Jack O Lanterns in New York in October
Pumpkin lovers won’t want to miss the Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze.

Pumpkin lovers from all over the state head to Hudson, New York for The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze each fall. Take a stroll through one of the state’s largest jack o’ lantern displays with over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins all lit up for the occasion. Each jack o’ lantern is designed & carved by the festival’s team of artisans and volunteers.

In addition to their impressive jack 0’lantern display, visitors can also enjoy the Museum of Pumpkin Art, the Pumpkin Carousel, and a star show at the Pumpkin Planetarium.

For admission prices and more information, visit the event’s site.

Apple Picking Throughout New York

Apple Picking in New York in October
Apple picking is a fun October activity for the whole family.

New York is the country’s second-largest apple-producing state, so it should come as no surprise that there are many orchards throughout the state. What’s great for travelers and residents alike is that many of these orchards offer you the chance to pick your own apples.

At these orchards, you can often pick from a variety of apples, including several developed in New York, depending on your preferences and how you plan to use the apples. However, no matter what variety you go for, you are sure to get the freshest possible apples when you pick them yourself.

In addition to apple picking, many orchards also have other activities including pumpkin picking, corn mazes, and more.

For a great list of apple orchards offering pick-your-own apples, click here.

Bane Haunted House in New York City

Located in the Hell’s Kitchen section of New York City, Bane Haunted House is one of the scariest places to visit in the country. In fact, they have one of the highest rates of people dropping out in the middle of the attraction because they got too scared in the entire United States (Over 2,000 people dropped out last year alone).

Stepping inside, there are over 100 actors ready to scare you inside this 40,000-square foot haunted house. In fact, they claim to be the only haunted house in New York that uses no animatronics.

If you are ready for some ultimate freights, check out their website to get tickets and for more information.

ZooBoo Spooktacular at the Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester – October 10-31

The entrance to Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester, NY
The Seneca Park Zoo features a fun ZooBoo Spooktacular for kids this October.

Looking for something less scary? The Seneca Park Zoo in Rochester will once again be hosting their ZooBoo Spooktacular Tours on weekends in October.

Visitors are encouraged to wear costumes to the zoo. Once inside, purchase a Spooktacular Guide which leads you through the zoo and offers information on the animals at the park. Each pack also includes activities for kids and, of course, Halloween candy.

For more information and to get tickets, visit the zoo’s website.

Fall Foliage Throughout New York

Fall in the Adirondacks with Whiteface Mountain in the background
The fall foliage season in New York shouldn’t be missed.

Without a doubt, New York is one of the most beautiful states for fall foliage.

From the mountains of the Adirondacks to the vineyards in the Finger Lakes and the urban charm of Central Park, the fall colors in New York shouldn’t be missed.

For those wanting to do a bit of traveling to see fall foliage, you can find the best time to visit each corner of the state in the weekly map put out by the state. You can find the map, which is updated every Wednesday during the fall foliage season, here.

The Burrville Cider Mill in Watertown

Workers making apple cider donuts at Burrville Cider Mill in Upstate New York
The apple cider and apple cider donuts at the Burrville Cider Mill are some of the best you’ll find in New York.

If you love fresh fall produce, there’s no better place to visit in New York than the Burrville Cider Mill near Watertown, in New York’s Jefferson County.

This historic mill was constructed in 1801, making it one of the oldest buildings in the region. The adjacent waterfall once powered the mill but now provides great scenery while enjoying the mill.

Each year from roughly Labor Day through Thanksgiving, the Burrville Cider Mill puts out some of the best apple cider you’ll find in New York. They also make fresh apple cider donuts daily. While visiting here is great at any time of the season, October is the peak for their delicious products.

If you visit, come early, as there is often a line, especially on weekends.

Headless Horseman Haunted House and Hayride in Ulster Park

If getting scared during the Halloween season if your thing, the Headless Horseman Haunted House and Hayride is for you.

Located in Ulster Park, not far from where the story of the Headless Horseman was located, this scary attraction is sure to frighten even the bravest visitors. In 2020, this will be a drive-through attraction, so you can see these freights from the relative comfort of your vehicle.

They also feature a haunted house and corn maze attractions.

You can find out more about visiting on their website.

Looking for more events in New York? Check out our picks for great things to do in New York in November.

Do you have a favorite thing to do in New York in October that isn’t on this list? Let us know in the comments below.


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