Festivals are the happiest of fall activities—they’re parties we look forward to year-round. In New York, just as we do with most things, we do festivals big and the right way. From celebrations for jack o’lanterns, to balloon festivals, to massive feasts, the Empire State is home to some of the best fall events around. Eat, drink, party, and sightsee to your heart’s content at these fun fall festivals in New York!
Hundreds of colorful hot-air balloons will dot the sky over this free four-day event, which attracts crowds of around 150,000 people. The festival is family-friendly and features food, fun, and live music.
This popular pumpkin-art festival features thousands of jack o‘lanterns arranged in impressive, large-scale designs like tunnels, the Statue of Liberty, or the “Pumpkin Zee Bridge.” Buy tickets early because this festival sells out fast!
Since 1983, this waterfront event has drawn hundreds of thousands of people seeking food and fun. The famous oyster festival hosts an annual shucking and eating contest, along with arts and crafts, children's entertainment, and activities.
Looking for an old-fashioned county fair in New York City? The enormous Queens County Fair will make you feel transported to the countryside, with blue-ribbon livestock competitions, pie-eating contests, corn husking, and an array of other cherished pastimes.
Taking place every year in Little Italy, this religious festival attracts revelers from every creed to witness its colorful parades, delicious food (including a world-famous cannoli-eating competition), and carnival activities.
A three-day fall festival, Downtown Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival takes over the downtown area with local produce, fresh baked goods, family entertainment, games, rides, prizes, and much more. It hosts around 30,000 people every year.
This Catskills ski mountain pays homage to Germany each fall with a multi-weekend Oktoberfest celebration. The family-friendly festival features live music, free crafts for the kids, great food, and, of course, a lot of beer.
Get transported to another time at New York’s Renaissance Faire, which runs every Saturday and Sunday for two months each year. Visitors enjoy live shows like jousting, fun games, food, and souvenirs.