Although many of our favorite fall traditions are on hold this year, not all is lost. There are still plenty of ways to celebrate the arrival of sweater weather in NYC. From online exhibitions to leaf-peeping gorgeous foliage in Central Park, here are our top picks for things to do while social distancing in NYC this fall.
Due to COVID-19, activities mentioned may become unavailable at any time. We recommend checking city mandates and facility websites for operating hours, updates, and social distancing measures before visiting. For ticketed activities, we recommend securing your spot online in advance.
Explore NYC online
For those who can't travel to NYC in person (or those who just feel safer in the confines of your room), you can still explore the city online. Many of NYC’s bars, nightclubs, and music venues remain closed to patrons, but have created a way to support local musicians by live streaming performances. Broadway has online watching options from shows past, while the city’s museums continue to come up with exciting ways to explore online. Following a five-month closure, The Met has reopened its doors but still has plenty of online programming available such as museum collections, short videos, and curator talks. The MoMA’s online archive includes more than 89,000 works and the Street Museum of Art has a collection of NYC’s best street murals and graffiti. For more virtual art exhibitions, tours, and more, visit our guide to exploring NYC online.
It’s time to get creative with what you choose to eat while in the city, and where. Avoid dining rooms and opt for takeout from your favorite NYC eatery to enjoy outside in a park. Give your tastebuds a tour of around the world with our concierge-approved international cuisine for every occasion, part one and two.
See Fall Foliage in Central Park
Make the most of this beautiful season by visiting Central Park to watch nearly 18,000 trees transform. Vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow, and purple adorn oaks, elms, and red maples. Places of extraordinary color include the Mall’s canopy of American elm trees and the Great Hill’s European beech trees. Visit the Central Park Conservancy for an annual fall guide and a map of where to find foliage. For more fall social-distancing fun in Central Park, pick up a pre-made picnic meal, try to spot the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s mobile pop-up concert truck, or participate in an outdoor yoga class.
Set Sail to Liberty Island
Been putting off a trip to the Statue of Liberty because of the troves of tourists? Now is the time to take the ferry to Ellis and Liberty Island. The grounds of Liberty Island tour is open, as well as the Museum (although limited to 25% capacity), while the Statue of Liberty’s Crown and Pedestal interior areas remain closed until further notice. Reserve your ticket in advance, here.
Take a Walk on the High Line
The iconic 1.45-mile-long elevated green space is open from noon to 8 p.m. daily, with a free timed-entry reservation system, reduced operating hours and amenities, and limited capacity to allow for social distancing. The trail was created on a former New York Central Railroad spur on the west side of Manhattan and runs from Gansevoort Street to the Javits Center on 34th Street. Reserve your pass online, here. Want to explore the High Line from anywhere? Download the free app.
Visit an Outdoor Biopark
Get up close to your favorite flora and fauna at the Central Park Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, or the NY Botanical Garden. The open-air bioparks have all since reopened, albeit with strict social distancing measures in place. Expect limited visitors, one-way paths, contactless interactions, hand sanitizing stations, mandatory masks, and date-specific tickets that must be reserved in advance.
Looking for more travel tips and activities in the age of COVID-19? Stay up to date with The Manhattan Club Blog and get your guide to the best of New York.