How To: Fall-filling Weekend for Under $30



An autumn-themed weekend is perfectly doable without leaving New York City.


You have a free weekend in New York City this fall. You want to go out with friends, but everything seems too expensive. The typical fall festivities, like apple picking and corn mazes are off in the far-off land of New Jersey and upstate New York. Millions of people live in the city; surely there must be some way to take part in the awesomeness of autumn without losing time or money. In fact, you can plan an autumn-themed weekend in the city for $30 or less. It’s guaranteed to be fall-filling.

Friday afternoons are full of potential. What better way is there to start your weekend than on campus? Make sure you’re sporting maroon or have some dance moves prepared, and head over to the Indoor Plaza for free pizza.

For some, Friday evenings are for staying in and relaxing. For others, they’re for going out and letting go of all the stress piled up from the week. If you’re the former, stay in and watch a seasonal Hallmark movie. “Over the Moon in Love” and “Love, Fall & Order” premiere soon. If you’re in the mood to go out, head to Bryant Park, which hosts over 1,000 free activities annually. You could easily catch a juggling act or live music, or take an outdoor dance lesson on a Friday night. If you’re a bookworm, the Reading Room, a big tent full of tables and chairs inside the park, is open daily until 7 p.m. There are numerous books, newspapers and magazines to choose from if you want to grab a seat and read with a scenic view. Writing workshops are offered from time to time here and sometimes poets and authors even come to talk about their famous works.

After a peaceful evening on Friday, what’s better than an event-filled Saturday? If you are feeling ambitious, wake up early and head to Rockefeller Center to stand outside for the Today Show. Maybe while you wait for the show to start, you and your friends can grab some pumpkin spice lattes to kickstart your day. There are many coffee shops within walking distance of Rockefeller Center. About an hour or so into taping, cast members will come out and greet you. This is a fun, free and unique New York activity to check out before the weather gets too cold.

After being spotted on live television, it’s time for breakfast. Head to the nearest subway station and take the train to Union Square, which will cost you $2.75. As you come out of the subway, you’ll find the Union Square Greenmarket, which is open from 8 a.m.  to 6 p.m. This is the ideal place to find all of those fantastic fall flavors. Pick up some fresh-picked apples, cider, baked goods, bread, produce and perhaps a pumpkin for decor. You can even pick up a weekly recipe for some cooking inspiration. If you’re thrifty, you could probably limit your spending to about $20 or less. 

After you put away your farmers’ market goodies, you have the rest of the day to soak up the autumn breeze and go on some new adventures. Perhaps you would like to go cheer on your fellow Rams at a football game. Even if football isn’t for you, you can take the Ram Van to Rose Hill anyway to enjoy an afternoon of walking around the campus and admiring the fall foliage. A round trip on the Ram Van will only cost you $7.

For many students, Sundays are usually reserved for homework, but we have to take advantage of the sunny, cool weather while we still can. 

It would not truly feel like fall at Fordham without a walk through Central Park. There, you can catch a glimpse of the leaves changing color on the trees and feel a breeze without getting hypothermia. Perhaps you will be reminded of the scenes filmed here for “When Harry Met Sally” when the couple takes a stroll through the park together — or when you pass Boathouse Restaurant, where Sally and her friends met for lunch. Or maybe you will think of the scene from “Bride Wars,” when Emma and Liv are running through the park together. There are numerous movies that have been filmed here during the fall, so be sure to visit this iconic park to which that we live so close.

In the mood to see some masterpieces? Walk to the east side of the park to get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While you are here, be sure to take a look at some of the autumn paintings and other pieces that are permanently on display, such as “Autumn Oaks” by George Inness or “Autumn Landscape” by Tiffany Studios. If you show your student ID, you can make as much of a donation as you would like — 25 cents is totally acceptable. 

With the afternoon well-spent, it’s time to head back home. Get some work done and take a moment to reflect on the cheap (a total of $30 or less), fabulous fall weekend you have just experienced.