Living in New York City is magical no matter the season; however, there is something extra special about the City in the fall. From attending street festivals to leaf-peeping in Central Park, there is so much to see and do. If you are searching for quieter ways to enjoy the season this year though, you can avoid the crowds by exploring some of these hidden gems around the City.
This tiny pocket park nestled in between two buildings on the Upper West Side is easy to miss. Septuagesimo Uno offers a peaceful place to enjoy a sliver of nature for those lucky enough to find it. Built in the late 1960s as part of Mayor John V. Lindsay’s effort to add more parks to the City, it was renovated again in 2000.
The park’s name is Latin for “Seventy-One,” referring to its location on 71st Street between West End and Amsterdam Avenues. Visit for a quiet moment in your day, while viewing the colors of fall peeping out from among the buildings.
The Elevated Acre
Located in the Financial District in Lower Manhattan, this one-acre green space is located on a rooftop and offers commanding views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge.
Visitors can enter at 55 Water St. via an unassuming escalator at street level, which opens to a lush garden filled with riverfront-inspired plantings. Isolated from the hectic pace of the city below, the Elevated Acre is a peaceful spot that gives you a unique elevated view, and a green oasis in the midst of the City as the seasons change.
Hallett Nature Sanctuary
This little-known corner of Central Park offers a perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of city life and has an interesting history.
In 1934, NYC park commissioner Robert Moses designated the space as a bird sanctuary – closing it to the public. After years of neglect, several invasive plant species threatened to overrun the sanctuary. In 2001 the Central Park Conservancy intervened to restore and maintain the sanctuary. More than a decade later, the area was opened to the public in 2016.
Native plants and lush foliage provide a quiet spot for visitors. Birds and wildlife still flourish, and you’ll catch a beautiful glimpse of The Pond and more atop thousand-year-old rock formations.
It’s located on the East Side between 60th and 62nd and is open daily from 10 a.m. until 30 minutes before sunset.
Known for its use of repurposed shipping containers, this pop-up photography festival usually takes place under the Brooklyn Bridge.
This year, Photoville is offering free online exhibitions, in addition to physical displays – on high-resolution banners – scattered throughout the five boroughs. The festival runs longer this year – from mid-September through late November – giving you plenty of time to view the exhibits.
According to its website, Photoville’s mission is to “...promote a wider understanding and increased access to the art of photography and visual storytelling...connecting artists to a wide global audience by activating accessible public spaces via large scale exhibitions.”
Find a listing of all displays, and plan a trip to see one - or more - near you.
77th/79th Street Greenmarket
Sweet apples, brightly colored mums, and pumpkins for carving – autumn would not be complete without a visit (or two!) to a local farm stand. Nestled on the west side of the American Museum of Natural History, the 77th/79th Street Greenmarket is wonderful to visit during fall.
Located on a beautiful tree-lined street, the market is open Sundays year-round and offers a huge variety of locally-sourced items. Besides the standard fruits and vegetables, you’ll also find flowers and plants, wool, baked goods, fish, meats, and more.
More to Explore
You may also enjoy our next article, 5 Unique Ideas for Virtual Get-Togethers. When you can’t physically be near friends and family, try one of these fun ideas instead.