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8 Great Things to Do in New York in October

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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 2023. 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.

(Article updated on September 13, 2023, for New York events in October 2023.)

The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze in Croton-on-Hudson

Dinosaur pumpkin carvings at the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze in Westechester County NY
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is one of New York’s most unique Halloween Events.

Pumpkin lovers from all over the state head to Croton-on-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.

This great event is open from September 15 through November 19 in 2023. For admission prices and more information, visit the event’s site.

Lake George Oktoberfest – October 6-8

Lake George NY as seen from the Minne Ha Ha
Lake George will be home to a fantastic Oktoberfest celebration this month.

Beer lovers will want to head to Lake George in the Adirondacks this October for their annual Oktoberfest celebration.

Lake George Oktoberfest is held over three days and is a free-to-attend street fair. Visitors can browse great local art, enjoy carnival rides, and try their hand at a variety of competitions (like keg tossing)!

There will also be plenty of local beer, German food, and Bavarian activities.

For more information, visit their website.

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.

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.

Fall Festival in Ellicottville – October 7-8

Head to southwestern New York for the annual Fall Festival in Ellicottville, New York.

During this event, downtown Ellicottville is turned into a wonderful street fair filled with incredible art vendors, live music, and great food. There are also chair-lift rides, races, and much more.

For more information, visit the festival’s website.

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 Attractions in Ulster Park

If getting scared during the Halloween season is your thing, the Headless Horseman Haunted Attractions 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. Visitors can experience 10 different haunted attractions, including a walk-through forest and six haunted houses.

You can find out more about visiting 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.

More places worth exploring in New York

1 thought on “8 Great Things to Do in New York in October”

  1. Thanks for sharing the unique places in NY. I have been on quite a few adventures because of your website and am looking forward to many more. I do some photography and have seen some beautiful places.


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