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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Fall Date Ideas

What better place to fall in love than at New York City parks in autumn.

Central Park

New York City's most iconic park offers perfect views of fall foliage among its most famous date spots. Take a romantic stroll up the elm-lined Mall to Bethesda Terrace (72nd Street). Check out the intricate Minton Tile Ceiling above the terrace walkway as you walk up to the iconic Bethesda Fountain. Head north west on the trail past the boathouse and The Lake to the romantic Bow Bridge. Stay north on the trail and walk up to Belvedere Castle (79th Street), which features the highest views of the park. 

If you have more time, check out the gated Conservatory Gardens at 105th Street. This year-round garden is divided into three smaller gardens, each with its own style—French, Italian, and English—and secluded spots for cozying up with your loved one. There are also ice skating rinks at both ends of the park, as well as the Central Park Zoo and a free art gallery at the Arsenal (64th Street).  

View the Central Park Conservancy interactive map of Central Park

More information about Central Park

Oakland Lake, Alley Pond Park

This serene view in Alley Pond Park is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves have all changed colors. It's the perfect place for a romantic stroll through the park's kaleidoscope of colors as the red maples, pin oaks, sweetgum, and wild cherry trees show off their brightest hues. Oakland lake, which is really a pond, is about 15,000 years old and is filled with many species of fish, that in turn, attract hundreds of thousands of migrating birds in the fall. Our Urban Park Rangers suggest heading out on the Tulip Trail to see more of the park's lovely fall foliage. Don't miss the Alley Pond Giant, a tulip tree that is the oldest (and maybe the tallest) tree in New York City. Looking to explore more of Alley Pond Park? Use this trail map to dicover the best birding spots, scenic views, and an obstacle course in the park! 

More information about Alley Pond Park

Ice Skating


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Our ice skating rinks are open! Grab your skates (or rent a pair) and hit the ice with your date.

Find an ice skating rink

Northern Manhattan Parks

If your date likes a little adventure with spectacular views of autumn, head uptown to Manhattan's northernmost parks.

Fort Tryon Park


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Park

Fort Tryon Park's massive pathways are perfect for viewing fall foliage on either side of the Hudson River. The park is home to the famous Cloisters museum, and the Heather Gardens—the city's largest free public garden, which is in bloom all year!

More information about Fort Tryon Park

Inwood Hill Park


Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Head a bit north to the many colors of autumn at Inwood Hill Park, home to Manhattan's only natural forest. Use this trail map to help guide you through forest and past historic spots in the park. 


Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Walk up to the park's northern tip for a beautiful view of the Henry Hudson Bridge and a stunning sunset from Muscota Marsh. Watch our Urban Park Ranger's tour of Inwood HIll Park on Periscope

More information about Inwood Hill Park

Fort Washington Park

Trek south through the oak-hickory forest to Fort Washington Park, just under the George Washington Bridge, and relax on the waterfront near the Little Red Lighthouse. The waterfront view here is breathtaking come nightfall, when the sun sets over the Palisades and the bridge lights up the area. 

More information about Fort Washington Park

Highbridge Park


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

If you're looking for a quiet stroll among some of the best of the city's fall foliage, head across the way to Highbridge Park. Be sure to check out the High Bridge, New York City's oldest standing bridge, which re-opened last year after closing for more than 40 years for rehabilitation. The bridge connects Manhattan and the Bronx. 

More information about Highbridge Park

Historic Houses


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Looking to keep warm? Travel back in time to old New York at one of our many historic houses across the city. Check out the 300-year old preserved historic village Richmond Town in Staten Island, or the massive Van Cortlandt House in the Bronx.

In Manhattan, visit the Morris-Jumel Mansion—the borough's oldest surviving house. Some believe the house is haunted by the wealthiest woman in 19th century America, lady Eliza Jumel, who hired the late Alexander Hamilton's son as a divorce lawyer while married to his killer, Aaron Burr. Aaron Burr died on the same day the divorce was finalized. 

More information about our historic houses

Clove Lakes Park


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Prepared to be wowed by the colors of fall at this beautiful park on Staten Island. It's winding paths, towering trees, lakeside views, and romantic bridges, make for one the best experiences of fall in the borough.

More information about Clove Lakes Park

Pelham Bay Park


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

If you're a fan of seeing the gradual changing colors of the leaves, frequent the shorelines of Pelham Bay Park. Take a stroll along Orchard Beach, or take a seat on the 20,000-year-old bedrock at Hunter's Island. Enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Twin Islands in the Long Island Sound. Bonus tip: Pelham Bay Park is a hotspot for spotting owls during the fall and winter.

More information about Pelham Bay Park

Turtle Cove Golf Center


Photo Courtesy of the Turtle Cove Golf Center

The city's largest park is also a great spot for golfing. Take customized golf lessons for couples of all skill levels at the park's Turtle Cove Golf Center. Grab a bite to eat at the Park Place Cafe, which boasts wood-fired pizzas and assorted heroes.

More information about Turtle Cove Golf Center

Francis Lewis Park


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

This spot is a favorite among neighborhood couples of all ages, and their pups. Admire the changing leaves while hanging out on the lawn or cozy up to peaceful sounds of the river crashing on the tiny Queens beach under the Whitestone Bridge.

More information about Francis Lewis Park

Birding


Photo by Malcom Pinckney/NYC Parks

Because New York City is located on the Atlantic Flyway, our parks offer great viewing spots to see all kinds of birds heading south during the Fall Migration. Explore some of the best places to go birding in New York City, or join a birding event with our Urban Park Rangers or our partners.

Find a birding event

Silver Lake Park


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Often referred to as the Central Park or Prospect Park of Staten Island, this park is a borough must-see come fall. Its winding nature trails and footpaths do not compare to the breathtaking beauty of the lake that sparkles in any weather. Have a seat and enjoy the view, play golf on the 18-hole golf course, or take a walk through the many valleys of this iconic park, once home to skating championships and the Catskill water supply system.

More information about Silver Lake Park

Fall Foliage Walks


Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Fall is one of the best times to go hiking in New York City. From the blushing red maple leaves to the flirty yellows of the hickory forests, this time of year offers the perfect opportunity and weather to discover new and favorite parks while the leaves show off their new shades. We recommend strolling through Bloomingdale Park in Staten Island, Kissena Park in Queens, McGolrick Park in Brooklyn, and Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. Or join a hiking trip or fall foliage walk with our Urban Park Rangers and conservancies. Those looking to set out on their own can check out our these recommended hiking trails

More information about fall foliage at New York City parks

Cunningham Park


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Far more than just a fall foliage must-see, Cunningham Park is renowned for picnic areas that are perfect fall spots for an afternoon date.


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

There's a 3-mile hiking trail through the park and the famous Vanderbilt Motor Parkway. If you're sporty, you're in the right place. There are cricket, soccer, baseball, and football fields, as well as tennis, basketball, and bocce courts. Bring your pups!

Oh, and there's free wifi.

More information about Cunningham Park

Snug Harbor & Botanical Garden


Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

This Staten Island go-to spot is home to 26 historic buildings, a farm, nine gardens, and the new home of the Staten Island Museum! Its Greek revival-style music hall is one of the oldest concert halls in the city, second only to Carnegie Hall. The museum hosts many performing arts events, art exhibits, festivals, and fall foliage tours throughout the season. Come check it out.

More information about Snug Harbor & Botanical Garden

Zoos


Photo by Julie Larsen Maher/Courtesy of the Wildlife Conservation Society

If you're on a first date, zoos offer the perfect opportunity for easy conversation and breaking awkward silences because there's so much to see, explore, and learn about. Check out the baby tigers at the Bronx Zoo, the little river otters at the Prospect Park Zoo, and the oryx at the Staten Island Zoo. 

Highland Park


Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Climb all the way to the very top of the park to the charmingly beautiful Ridgewood Reservoir. Walk around the greenway for beautiful bursts of fall colors, rare views of the city, and to spot birds passing through the area during fall migration.

More information about Highland Park

Fort Totten Park


Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Escape to this beautiful historic site tucked away in Bayside, Queens. Its waterfront view offers a quiet space for a romantic stroll. The 150-year-old fort here is still used by the Army and the Coast Guard, but our Urban Park Rangers offer regular tours of the fort and surrounding wildlife, especially during the fall. 

More information about Fort Totten Park

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