Fall Fun in New York and Beyond!


Fall is many people’s favorite time of year! The leaves change color, the days are cooler, pumpkin spice and other Fall treats are everywhere AND then there is Thanksgiving! There is a lot to love about Fall. In this blog we will look at some of the best ways to enjoy Fall in and around New York, as well as reminding you about Thanksgiving traditions that you can follow as well.

Fall Leaves

Did you know that viewing Fall leaves is a popular activity for New Yorkers? People not only enjoy the colorful leaves in the many city parks, they also take day trips to explore New York State and New Jersey as well. Further away there are some great spots around the Catskills, Finger Lakes and many other locations across New York State! Most of these places you can reach with public transport or on a guided tour if you don’t want to go alone.

How do you work out where to go to see the best leaves? Well, you can check out the Fall Foliage Report! The Fall Foliage Report is a rating system developed to show you where the best leaves are at any time. You can find the foliage report here . At the moment the report is showing that the leaves in and around New York are nearing their peak or are at their peak right now. This means that it is the perfect time to enjoy this Fall hobby!

Some of the best places to view Fall leaves in New York and New Jersey are:

Brooklyn Botanical Garden While you are there, why not check out “Lightscape”? Lightscape is a special light display running until mid-January. More on this shortly, so keep reading!

Central Park Probably one of the easiest places for Zoni students to get to. Don’t forget to take your camera. At this time of year, the park is an Instagram paradise!

The Bronx Zoo is a very cool place to enjoy the Fall leaves! The zoo is easy to reach and although you need to buy a ticket (around $30 unless you go on a Wednesday evening – then it is $9.90) it is really worth it! The Bronx Zoo also has a holiday lights show beginning on November 19 and finishing early January. More on this below.

Old Beth Page Village Restoration (Long Island) Only an hour by car or 2 hours by train away from the Manhattan campus, the Beth Page Village is a type of museum giving you a glimpse at what life was like in the 1800s! It is also a stunning place to see Fall leaves. Tickets are $14 and must be booked in advance.

Fall Leaves

Belleville Park (New Jersey)

Is a medium sized park in Essex County that still maintains some of its original design. It's known for its wide lawns, winding paths and mature trees that separate nature from the city. Getting to Belleview Park is easy. From Newark Penn Station it is a 17-minute train ride (the train leaves every 4 mins).

Palisades Interstate Park (New Jersey)

The Palisades Interstate Park runs alongside the Hudson River and aside from being a beautiful place to view Fall leaves, it also has cliffs and hiking/skiing trails for people to enjoy. Palisades Interstate Park is easily reached from both our Palisades Park and Manhattan campuses. From both these locations it is about 30 mins drive or an hour on public transport.

Other Fall Activities

Aside from checking out the leaves there are tons of other fun activities to do this Fall in and around New York. Here are a few of our picks:

As we mentioned earlier in this blog, both the Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Bronx Zoo have holiday lights displays. Which one should you visit? Both are amazing but each has its own special characteristics.

Lightscape at Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Lightscape focuses on highlighting the beauty of nature with a variety of lights and illuminations as well as a special soundtrack playing as you move through the gardens. Highlights include: Winter Cathedral Tunnel, Fire Garden and the Sea of Light. More information about tickets, opening hours and current safety measures can be found on the botanic garden website (linked above).

Magical Bronx Zoo

A Celebration in Lights at Bronx Zoo

Enjoy 260 animal and plant lanterns, including 79 brand new lanterns at the Bronx Zoo! The lanterns are separated into different regions of the world including Africa, Asia, Latin America, North America, Oceans and the Forest of Color. In addition to lanterns, you can see Ice Carving, enjoy street performers, ride the holiday train and enjoy fire-roasted smores! Make sure to check the Bronx Zoo website (linked above) for the latest safety rules and regulations before you go.


Although it is not a strictly Fall activity, you can check out the Photoville exhibition taking place now across the boroughs. Photoville is a FREE outdoor exhibition of photographs by over 400 artists! The photos are scattered throughout the city including Brooklyn Bridge Park and Times Square. There are also exhibition spots in Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx.

Don’t forget Thanksgiving!

This year Thanksgiving falls on Thursday 25th November. Thanksgiving is one of the most important national holidays in the United States. Traditionally, it is the time when people travel home to see their families. We know that this might be difficult for our students, many of whom are far from home, so instead we thought we’d remind you how you can celebrate Thanksgiving too!

Remember that the point of Thanksgiving is to give thanks for all the good things that have happened in the year. Even though the pandemic has made life harder, we still have a lot to be thankful for. Try to think of (at least) one thing to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day!

There are many delicious foods that are traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving. Many of the recipes are very easy and fun to try! The most famous Thanksgiving food is Turkey. Unless you have a big family or a lot of friends, cooking a whole turkey might be a little unrealistic. However, many supermarkets sell half or part turkeys so you can have this traditional food too.

Other Thanksgiving favorites include: mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing and pumpkin pie.

Another Thanksgiving tradition is watching Football. This tradition started in the 1920’s. Since 2006, there have been 3 games played on Thanksgiving Day. This year the Detroit Lions play the Chicago Bears, the Dallas Cowboys play the Las Vegas Raiders, and the New Orleans Saints take on the Buffalo Bills. These 3 games are broadcast on free tv and are split between Fox, CBS and NBC. For more information check out www.nfl.com.

Fall is a wonderful time to be in New York and the surrounding areas. There are so many exciting things to do and see! Wrap up warm and enjoy everything the city has to offer.

If you would like to learn more about our courses, visit our website www.zoni.edu or contact us at info@zoni.edu. We are always happy to help!

Thanksgiving Food

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