When you think of fall, country landscapes probably come to mind. Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, leaf peeping—such autumnal pleasures are stereotypically rural pursuits. But don’t rule out urban settings for fall fun this season. Whether you’re visiting us in New York or Chicago, The James can guide you to plenty of activities without ever having to leave the city. Here are just a few outside-the-box ideas for enjoying autumn.

Autumn in New York

Who says you have to leave the city to see fall foliage? There’s no better time to explore Central Park than autumn, when the leaves put on an unparalleled show of gold and red. You can’t go wrong with 843 acres of paths, lakes, ponds, and open meadows, but be sure to visit the park’s more rugged features, including the North Woods, Harlem Meer, and The Ramble.

If fall makes you starry-eyed, don’t fight the feeling. Instead, stop by the High Line at 14th Street on Tuesdays, where you can view celestial bodies through high-powered telescopes on loan from the Amateur Astronomers Association.

Prefer to do your peeping indoors? Check out the collections on view at one or more of New York’s classic art museums. Special exhibitions this fall include Picasso’s sculptures and Jackson Pollack’s work at the Museum of Modern Art, international style at the Costume Institute, and art by Frank Stella and Archibald Motley at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Fall for Chicago

Chicago’s German population makes it the perfect destination to enjoy a good beer. Although Oktoberfest has passed, other beer-centric celebrations are still on tap, including the Chicago Beer Festival. If you can’t attend an event, be sure to sample some of the city’s local brews during your stay, such as those from Goose Island, Baderbrau, and Pipeworks.

Looking for a little local color? Take in the crisp air and changing leaves during an autumn stroll in the park. Try Lincoln Park, Milton Lee Olive Park, or head to the Morton Arboretum, which hosts cider and ale tastings and other fall-themed events through October. Don’t forget a jacket—and your camera.

If fall’s chillier temps inspire cozier, indoor pursuits, grab your popcorn and see some flicks at the Chicago International Film Festival. With more than 130 feature films from more than 50 countries, there’s something for everyone at this annual event.

Nothing screams “Halloween” better than a haunted house—and the Chicago area has plenty to choose from. Get your chills and thrills at some of our favorites, including the 13th Floor Haunted House (Melrose Park), Disturbia Screams in the Park (Rosemont), and Statesville Haunted Prison (Lockport).

Celebrate fall by attending one or more of these events when you book a room at The James Chicago or The James New York.

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