Fall is in the air as film festivals, masquerade balls, art, pumpkins, haunted houses and parades come into play. Mark your calendars now, so you don’t miss out on all the fun.
10/ 1 – 15: See classics, documentaries, and full-length feature films by the world’s great filmmakers at the New York Film Festival (NYFF).
10/ 1 – 29: Boo at the Zoo features costume parades, magic shows, a hay maze, a haunted forest, pumpkin carvers, and treats at the Bronx Zoo and is included free with all tickets. Weekends plus Monday Oct. 9.
10/1 – 31: Archtober offers special tours of buildings (some by boat), lectures, films, and exhibitions that help us to appreciate architecture and design in everyday life.
10/2 – 14: Fall for Dance Festival features 20 international dance companies in five unique programs and two world premiere commissions at City Center.
10/3 (6 p.m.): Watch the Parade of Boats, including working ships, historic sailboats, magnificent yachts, and fireboats, as a narrator describes their history and purpose at Pier 62. Free unless you attend the dinner on Pier 61.
10/4 (6 p.m.): Get in line to buy $1 pizza samples from dozens of New York City’s best pizzerias at Slice Out Hunger in St. Anthony’s Church to support charity.
10/5 – 8: Fans of comic books, games, sci-fi, anime, manga, and popular culture meet artists, celebrities, vendors, and publishers at New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Midtown Manhattan.
10/5 – 28 (Thurs. to Sat.) Chihuly Nights transforms the grounds of the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx into an enchanted world of lit artwork, with music and cocktails for sale.
10/6 – 8: Hear famous and influential authors, journalists, poets, screenwriters, and cultural icons speak at the New Yorker Festival, which also includes comedy, film screenings, tastings, and walking tours.
10/6 – 8: Meet chocolatiers, artisans, and chefs at The Big Chocolate Show, with demonstrations onstage, master tasting classes (extra), chocolate and cocktail tasting on Friday, and family day on Sunday in Chelsea.
10/6 – 11/4: Intense, creepy actors confront you in the labyrinth of passageways at Blood Manor, 163 Varick Street. Not for pre-teens.
10/7: Diwali at Times Square features cultural performances, dancers, a live concert, Indian food, and digital fireworks at Broadway & 45th Street. Free.
10/7 (12 to 4 p.m.): Tour Manhattan’s only remaining lighthouse (until full) at Little Red Lighthouse Festival with food vendors and live music in Fort Washington Park. Free.
10/8: Hear great songs from stage and screen at Elsie Fest in Central Park.
10/8 – 9: Bring a chair to the Indigenous Peoples Day Native American Festival, which features artists, singers, colorful dancers, and authentic tribal cuisine on Randall’s Island. Free.
10/9 (11:30 a.m.) Watch 35,000 marchers and 100 bands, floats, and contingents go up Fifth Avenue from 47th to 72nd in the Columbus Day Parade, also on TV at noon. Free.
10/11 – 12 (7 p.m. to 2 a.m.) Pancakes & Booze Art Show is a traveling exhibition by 100 artists, with free pancakes, DJ music, live body painting, and a bar at M1-5 Lounge for age 21+.
10/12 – 15: New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) features cooking demos by celebrity chefs, seminars, classes, wine tasting, celebrity dinners, and a weekend grand tasting.
10/12 – 15: You never know what to expect when Art in Odd Places brings visual and performance art to nearly the entire length of 14th Street. The 2017 theme is sense. Free.
10/13 (7 to 10 p.m.): Chefs serve their favorite burgers on the roof of Pier 92 at the $225 Blue Moon Burger Bash for age 21+.
10/13 (7 to 11 p.m.) Cocktails for a Cure is an “inspiring evening complete with the hottest music, signature cocktails, and premier cuisine” including restaurant hors d’oeuvres, a photo booth, an open bar, a karaoke room, and two DJs on two floors at Up&Down to support charity.
10/13 (6 to 8 p.m.): An $85 ticket to Aperitivo gets you cocktails and wines served with restaurant hors d’oeuvres at The Standard, High Line for age 21+.
10/13 – 15: Choose a three-hour session to attend the New York Coffee Festival for tastings, exhibits, demos, and live music at Metropolitan Pavilion.
10/13 – 20: The Imagine Science Film Festival has a different theme every year. In 2016, it explored “light” in all its forms and meanings, from photons and photography to shadows and color perception.
10/14 (4 to 6 p.m.) Chef Robert Irvine of TV’s Food Network hosts Pigs and Pints, a $110 tasting of roasted pig, pork tacos, and bacon desserts, with beer, wine, and spirits at The Standard, High Line for age 21+.
10/14 – 15: Visit 275 of the city’s architecturally and culturally significant spaces and places (many closed to the public) during Open House New York Weekend. Most locations are free, but almost half require reservations.
10/15 (12 to 5 p.m.): Buy a pickle on a stick or other pickle-themed food, take part in games and activities, and hear live music at Lower East Side Pickle Day on Orchard Street (from Delancey to E. Houston), where vendors once sold pickles from barrels. Free.
10/16 – 20: Techweek includes speakers, vendors, recruiters, and parties, mostly at Metropolitan Pavilion.
10/18 – 11/ 15: See world-class performances, films, and artist talks with a focus on music during White Light Festival at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.
10/19: Join 1 million New Yorkers eating apples today. Find locations for Big Apple Crunch on the website. Free.
10/19 (9 p.m.) Secret location. Men wear suits and ties, women wear dresses, and all don Venetian masks for the Masquerade Ball Gala, which begins with a cocktail reception.
10/19 (6 to 9 p.m.) Try food and drink from 20 countries as you walk around Edible Escape at Pier A Harbor House.
10/19 – 21: Garment District Arts Festival offers exhibitions, performances, workshops, open studios, art, and gallery receptions near 8th Ave. and W. 38th St.
10/19 – 22: See films about the world’s favorite foods and then eat them at the NYC Food Film Festival at AMC Empire 25.
10/19 – 22: See films (including documentaries) about global issues at Chelsea Film Festival in three venues.
10/19 – 22: The Margaret Mead Film Festival screens 50 outstanding non-fiction films and hosts special events and performances that explore world cultures at the American Museum of Natural History.
10/19 – 24: NewFest screens a variety of gay and lesbian films at Cinépolis Chelsea.
10/19 – 11/5: Hear two or three spine-tingling stories read live onstage with orchestral score and sound effects each night at H.P. Lovecraft Festival at 81 Christopher Street.
10/20 – 26: See stunning films (mostly short) about wildlife worldwide, and attend an opening reception or panel discussion at Wildlife Conservation Film Festival at Cinema Village Theater.
10/20 – 29: Cider Week NYC celebrates traditional hard cider with tastings, flights, pairings, classes, and events.
10/20 – 21 and 26 – 30: Doors slam, floorboards creak, and voices call into the night during evening Candlelight Ghost Tours at Merchant’s House Museum.
10/ 21: Dogs don crazy costumes to win prizes at Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade in Tompkins Square Park. Free.
10/23 – 28: New York Television Festival (NYTVF) offers screenings of creative shows, educational panels, competitions, pitches, fan events, parties, premieres, and seminars for artists, industry leaders, and viewers alike.
10/ 26 – 29 (preview Oct. 25): Find affordable art at the Print Fair at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
10/26 – 29: The competitive NYC Horror Film Festival (NYCHFF) shows short and full-length films at Cinepolis Chelsea.
10/26 – 11/5: The audacious new ballet The Red Shoes, based on a beloved fairy tale, tells the story of a ballerina forced to choose between an affair of the heart and her rapturous love of dance at New York City Center.
10/27(7 and 10 p.m.): Watch a silent classic horror film with live organ, and then see an immersive show of fantastic creatures that surround you at Halloween Extravaganza at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
10/27 (10 p.m.): Danse Sauvage Halloween Ball by Dances of Vice promises “provocative performances that delve into animalistic fantasies and fever dreams” with costumes required (preferably “feral”) and a no-host bar at Capitale for age 21+.
10/27 – 28 Halloween bar parties
10/ 27 – Copacabana Times Square, Slate and Bowlmor Chelsea Piers
10/28 – Cielo, Rosewood Theatre, The Time Hotel
10/27 – 28: Bring a flashlight for a guided tour of the crypt at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, and hear stories about the entombed, during Crypt Crawls for ages 12+.
Halloween at the mansion
10/27 – 29: Bring photos, candles, and marigolds to remember the departed at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery during Day of the Dead, with food and crafts for sale. Free.
Halloween for kids
10/28 (11 a.m.): LC Trick-or-Treat includes candy, crafts, photos, a costume parade, and a film at Lincoln Center. Free but arrive early to get a ticket, one per person.
10/28 (8 p.m.): Watch “otherworldly performances featuring the wonders of the circus, the sideshow, the opera, the dancehall, and the theatre” when Underworld Circus transforms Masonic Hall NYC into the Halls of Hades at 46 West 24th Street.
Disney Halloween Ball
10/28 (11:30 p.m.): Disney Halloween Ball features a Disney rock cover band playing songs from classic Disney movies, sing-alongs, dancing, Disney-themed cocktails, and a costume contest at Irving Plaza.
10/28 Kids can come in costume for trick-or-treating, magic shows, craft projects, music, and live storybook characters at the Halloween Celebration at the American Museum of Natural History.
10/28: Mix, mingle, frisk, and frolic to DJ tunes with crowds at the Masquerade Ball in the grand opulence of Capitale for age 21+.
10/28 (pre-show 6:30 p.m.): Watch three outlandish witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) on the big screen in Hocus Pocus, with pre-show drag impersonators, a cash bar, a costume contest, and a dance party at Schimmel Center at Pace University.
10/28 – 11/1: TEFAF New York Fall Fair features exceptional fine and decorative art from international galleries at the at Park Avenue Armory. Repeats in May.
Halloween in Central Park
10/29(4 to 7 p.m.): Wear a costume and bring a carved pumpkin (see rules) to Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla for spooky music, crafts, a parade, and twilight pumpkin float at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center. Free.
10/30: Famous actors are among the cast at 24 Hour Plays on Broadway, where you watch six brand new plays created, staged, memorized, and performed in a single day at American Airlines Theatre.
Halloween scavenger hunt
10/31 (7 p.m.) The Amazing Halloween Scavenger Hunt begins at Slattery’s Midtown Pub with clues on your phone that send you around the city performing physical and mental challenges with a Halloween theme.
10/31 Children in costume can get free Halloween candy at Where to Trick-or-Treat with New York City Kids.
10/31 (2 to 5 p.m.): Wear a costume or mask to Spooky City to enjoy a haunted scavenger hunt, spooky tales, a Monster Mash Dance party, and pumpkin decorating at the Museum of the City of New York.
10/31: Dance, dine, show off your costume, and watch creative cabaret acts all evening at Village Halloween Costume Ball at Theater for the New City. Outdoor entertainment starts 4 p.m., indoor 8 p.m.
10/31 (7 p.m.): The big Village Halloween Parade features 53 bands, dancers, artists, puppets, and thousands of New Yorkers in costume parading up 6th Avenue from Spring St. to 16th St. Free.