The New York Botanical Garden is the perfect place to experience the splendor of fall. Beginning October 3, NYBG visitors can behold a plethora of pumpkins along the Great Pumpkin Path on the lawn of the newly reopened Enid A. Haupt Conservatory; spy whimsical, pumpkin-headed scarecrows around the Botanical Garden grounds; and marvel at displays of kiku—meticulously trained Japanese chrysanthemums in awe-inspiring shapes and styles—in and around the Conservatory and the Leon Levy Visitor Center. Explore the seasonal bounty of the Edible Academy, which is also reopening just in time for fall, and traverse the winding trails of the 50-acre, old-growth Thain Family Forest to view the changing colors and textures of autumn in the weeks ahead.
For New Yorkers and visitors alike, the grandeur of the fall season is just 20 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Taking Metro North Railroad from Grand Central Terminal to the Botanical Garden station or going via subway are the easiest ways to access the autumn spectacle at NYBG.
Hordes of gourds await discovery along the twists and turns of NYBG’s Great Pumpkin Path all month long. On October 24, giant pumpkins that are some of the largest in the world arrive and will be on view through November 1. These humongous pumpkins, some weighing more than 2,000 pounds, have been nurtured from seed by doting growers and brought to the Garden in collaboration with the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth.
Displays spotlighting kiku in and around the Conservatory and Visitor Center should not be missed. Highly skilled NYBG horticulturists spent 11 months growing and caring for these chrysanthemums (kiku in Japanese) that were cultivated from single cuttings, pinched back, and tied to frames. Flower buds develop as nights grow longer, and in fall, the plants burst into bloom in modern and ancient styles such as ogiku (single stem), kengai (cascade), and ozukuri (thousand bloom)—a highly complex technique in which a single stem is trained to produce hundreds of simultaneous blossoms in a massive, dome-shaped array.
During Hello Harvest! in the Edible Academy from October 3 through November 1, children can discover fall’s bounty by participating in a scavenger hunt, learn how the garden is prepared for the winter season, and collect and save seeds with their own take-home seed packet. The Edible Academy is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 1:30–5:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
The Thain Family Forest is the largest uncut expanse of New York’s original wooded landscape and one of the best places in New York City to see fall foliage as the season progresses. Track the changing hues with the NYBG Fall Color Cam.