The New York Botanical Garden is the perfect place to experience the splendor of fall. On display now, 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.
Since its temporary closure on March 15, due to COVID-19, NYBG has continued to develop and implement new safety protocols in accordance with the latest State and New York Forward requirements for businesses and cultural institutions, CDC guidelines, and OSHA standards. The Garden’s gradual reopening process incorporates enhanced safety measures based on best practices and guidance from health authorities and government agencies. New measures include requiring staff and visitors over the age of two to wear face coverings; increasing sanitization of public and staff areas; daily health screenings for on-site staff; supporting hygiene and social distancing practices; requiring timed-entry tickets purchased in advance; operating at a reduced capacity; and more.
The new, limited timed-entry ticketing system staggers visitors’ arrivals, promotes social distancing, and mitigates the risk of crowding in high-traffic areas. Advance purchase of timed tickets is required and will be confirmed by e-mail with the option to print or download a mobile ticket. Ticket options include the Garden Pass + Conservatory for access to the outdoor gardens and collections, the newly reopened Conservatory galleries, and the Courtyards; the Garden Pass for access to outdoor gardens and collections; and the Grounds-Only Pass, available to New York City residents only with valid proof of identification. Visitors who do not purchase advance tickets will not be guaranteed admission at this time. Garden Patrons and Members must also reserve timed tickets in advance. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit our website at nybg.org.
NYBG’s reopening plan is subject to change based on government guidance and in response to altered circumstances.
The New York Botanical Garden is a museum of plants located at Bronx River Parkway (Exit 7W) and Fordham Road. It is easy to reach by Metro-North Railroad, bus, or subway. The Garden is open year-round, Tuesday through Sunday and Monday federal holidays, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The best way to enjoy the Garden is with the All-Garden Pass, which includes admission to the grounds as well as to seasonal gardens, exhibitions, and attractions such as the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, and Tram Tour. For ticket pricing, please check the web site: >HERE