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NYC's Best Fall Activities For Kids And Families

New York Botanical Garden Halloween Hoorah
credit: New York Botanical Garden

Looking for something cool and fun to do with the little ones in your life this fall? You've come to the right place. From getting Star Trek-certified to finding your way out of a corn maze and re-imagining the humble scarecrow, the city offers lots of ways to celebrate the season. Read on for our picks for the five best fall activities for kids going on now through the end of October. By Jessica Allen.

credit: Garrett Ziegler

The Amazing Maize Maze

Queens County Farm
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park, New York 11004
(718) 347-3276

More: Best Fall Activities, Events On Long Island

Did you know that there's an actual working farm in the middle of the city? As if that weren't mind-blowing enough, every fall the Queens County Farm Museum puts up a three-acre corn maze, designed to stump you with twists and turns among the stalks. This year's theme is "The Big Apple," and cider, pies, and other apple goodness will be available for purchase. For an especially spooky treat, try the Maze by Moonlight event on October 15 and 22, when the maze will stay open until 9 p.m.—and you'll wander around by flashlight or moonlight. Weekends, now through Sunday, October 30, 11 am to 4:30 pm, $10 for adults, $5 for kids (ages 4-11)

credit: Luna Park

Halloween Harvest

Luna Park, Coney Island
1000 Surf Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11224
(718) 373-5862

More: Best Halloween Events In NYC

Summer might be over, but Coney Island—and its myriad attractions—doesn't stop just because the weather gets colder. The Halloween Harvest at Luna Park includes glitter tattoos, pumpkin picking and decorating, Kooky Spooky Karaoke (may we suggest "Witchy Woman?"), pony rides, a petting zoo and story time with notable children's book authors like Doreen Cronin and Robin Newman. Don't forget to grab a dog at Nathan's too. Weekends, now through Sunday, October 30, free to attend, but some rides and activities have separate costs.

credit: Historic Richmond Town

Pumpkin Picking

Historic Richmond Town
441 Clarke Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10306
(718) 351-1611

More: Best Apple Picking Orchards Near NYC

Staten Island's Historic Richmond Town gives you a taste of what life was like in the early days of the United States, through more than 130,000 artifacts spread across four historically accurate sites, including Decker Farm. In addition to picking your own pumpkin, you and the kiddies can get your faces painted, bump along on a hayride, get crafty at the arts table and tour the homestead's farmhouse. The Great American Harvest Fest takes place on October 23, and this year the annual festival features a short original play called Sins of Salem, which promises "justice, Salem-style." October weekends, 11 am to 4 pm, tickets required.

New York Botanical Garden Halloween Hoorah
credit: New York Botanical Garden

Scarecrows and Pumpkins

New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd.
Bronx, NY 10458
(718) 817-8700

More: Best Places For Pumpkin Picking Near NYC

As if spending the day wandering around the beauty and bounty of the New York Botanical Garden wasn't glorious enough, the annual Scarecrows and Pumpkins festival features all kinds of Halloween- and fall-themed installations and events. An art display by sculptor and master pumpkin carver Ray Villafane portrays the history of the scarecrow, while unusual and rare pumpkins augment the Everett Children's Adventure Garden. Select dates include puppet shows, jewelry-making with seeds, and meet-and-greets with farmers. Now through Sunday, October 30, 10 am to 6 pm, tickets required.

credit: Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum / Facebook

Starfleet Academy Experience

Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
Pier 86, W 46th St & 12th Ave
New York, NY 10036
(212) 245-0072

More: Best Places To Geek Out In NYC

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, the Starfleet Academy Experience is 12,000-square-feet of memorabilia, holograms, projection maps, and other interactive technologies related to the incredibly popular, hugely influential television show and movie franchise. Whether your kid is loyal to Captain Kirk or Mr. Spock, he or she will totally dig the opportunity to attend the 24th-century academy. Prepare to boldly go . . . Now through Monday, October 31, 10 am to 7 pm, tickets start at $25 for adults and $18 for kids (ages 5-12).

Jessica Allen is a New York-based writer.
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