Art, film and food festivals galore, pumpkins, Halloween Balls and of course Comic Con make October packed full of eventful treats.
10/ 1- 13: Fall for Dance Festival features 20 international dance companies in five unique programs and two world premiere commissions at City Center.
10/ 1- 13: See classics, documentaries, and full-length feature films by the world’s great filmmakers at the New York Film Festival
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/ 1- 31: See scarecrows in the garden and join kids’ activities at Spooky Pumpkin Garden at New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. Weekends add creepy creatures like bats and reptiles plus pumpkin-carving demonstrations.
10/ 3: Get in line to buy $1 pizza samples for cash from dozens of New York City pizzerias at Slice Out Hunger in St. Anthony’s Church to support charity.
10/ 3 (6 p.m.) Join hundreds of people at Pool Light Launch, the dedication party for a lighted public art installation floating in the East River, with DJ music at Pier 17. Free.
10/ 3 – 6: 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.
October 4 – 20: African Restaurant Week has 75 gastronomical events, including a A Taste of Africa food festival in Harlem, chef-hosted dinners, pop-up experiences, cooking classes, and special fixed-price African menus at 19 restaurants.
10/ 4 – 27 Boo at the Zoo features Halloween games and crafts, a scavenger hunt, and talks about bats at Prospect Park Zoo.
10/ 4 – 11/ 9: Intense, creepy actors confront you in the labyrinth of passageways at Blood Manor at 359 Broadway. Not for pre-teens. See schedule.
10/ 5: Hear great songs from stage and screen at Elsie Fest in Central Park.
10/ 5: Join animal lovers walking their dogs at Strut Your Mutt, a family-friendly festival with food trucks, vendors, and activities in Hudson River Park at Pier 84.
10/ 5: Tour Manhattan’s only remaining lighthouse (until full) at Little Red Lighthouse Festival with food vendors and live music in Fort Washington Park. [In case of bad weather, see the website for instructions.] Free.
10/ 5 – 6: Attend live panel discussions featuring cooking experts and New York Times journalists discussing the biggest food issues of today, with book signings and cocktail sampling at The Talks at TheTimesCenter.
10/ 5 – 6: Enjoy pizza, beer, wine, and music at New York Pizza Festival with 30 pizzeria stations on Crescent Avenue in the Bronx.
10/ 6: 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/ 7: 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/ 10 7pm: The NYC 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+. Pay cash at the door or buy a line-jumper ticket online.
10/ 10 – 13: New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) has cooking demos by famous chefs, seminars, wine tasting, and celebrity dinners. Many events age 21+.
10/ 10: Clio Art Fair is a curated fair in Chelsea featuring artists without exclusive gallery representation. Held in March and October. Free.
10/ 11 “Feast on unforgettable tacos and festive side dishes as you sip on unlimited tequila cocktail creations” plus beer and wine, with DJ music during $150 Tequila Cazadores Tacos After Dark at Second for age 21+.
10/ 11 – 13: Hear famous and influential authors, journalists, poets, screenwriters, and cultural icons speak at the New Yorker Festival.
10/ 11 -13: Choose a three-hour session to attend The New York Coffee Festival for tastings, exhibits, demos, and live music at Metropolitan Pavilion.
10/ 12: Titans of BBQ serves premium steaks “and everything else you can imagine that can be slow cooked, smoked, or grilled on an open flame” with dessert, beer, wine, and cocktails at Pier 97.
10/ 12: Chef Robert Irvine of TV’s Food Network hosts Rocktails, a walk around tasting of “specialty craft cocktails, wine, beer, and bites” with a classic rock cover band at Highline Stages for age 21+.
10/ 13: Adults get cocktails, kids get face painting and crafts, and everyone gets “New York’s tastiest ice cream treats” at Family Ice Cream Fun-dae at Second.
10/ 13 11 – 3: America’s Greatest Sandwich Showdown is a walk-around tasting of sandwiches (pastrami on rye, Italian sub, grilled cheese, Cubanos, meaty arepas, juicy burgers) with beer, wine, and cocktails at Highline Stages for age 21+.
10/ 13 – 14: Bring a lawn chair to Indigenous Peoples Celebration, which features artists, singers, colorful dancers, speakers, and authentic tribal cuisine on Randall’s Island. Free.
10/ 14: Watch marchers, bands, floats, and Italian folk groups parade up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72nd in the Columbus Day Parade, on WABC-TV at noon. Free.
10/ 16: Architecture & Design Film Festival features films, parties, and panel discussions with design leaders and filmmakers at Cinépolis Chelsea. Typically opening night is held at SVA Theatre.
10/ 17 – 19: Garment District Arts Festival offers exhibitions, performances, workshops, open studios, art, gallery receptions, and installations within walking distance of 7th Avenue and W. 38th Street. Program.
10/ 17 – 20: Watch films about the world’s best foods and then eat them during NYC Food Film Festival at AMC Empire 25 and other venues for age 21+. Your ticket includes unlimited food and drinks.
10/ 17 – 20: Chelsea Film Festival screens “independent shorts, feature-lengths, and documentaries from emerging directors” at AMC Loews 34th Street.
10/ 17 – 20: The Margaret Mead Film Festival screens 40 outstanding non-fiction films and hosts special events and performances that explore world cultures at the American Museum of Natural History.
10/ 17 – 20: Art in Odd Places (AiOP) brings surprising visual and performance art to most of 14th Street (from Avenue C to the Hudson River). The theme in 2019 is “invisible” and features artists who are age 60+. Free.
10/ 17 27: 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/ 18: Cocktails for a Cure promises young professionals a premium open bar, gourmet light bites, dance music, and a silent auction at Marquee New York to support charity.
10/ 18 – 25: Imagine Science Film Festival screens science-inspired short films with a different theme each year. The theme in 2019 is survival of life on earth and beyond.
10/18 – 19 & 10/ 23 – 30: Hear true tales by flickering candlelight of restless phantoms, voices calling into the night, and unsettling occurrences at Merchant’s House Museum during Candlelight Ghost Tours. Midnight tours cost more.
10/ 19: Marco Polo Festival in Chinatown and Little Italy features a parade of giant marionettes on Mulberry Street (from Bayard to Grand) ending at a stage on Grand Street with music and dance performances from China, Mongolia, and Italy. Free.
10/19 – 20: Visit 270 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 they may require reservations.
10/ 19: Dog Halloween Costume Party is a dog costume contest at Fountain Plaza in Washington Square Park. Free.
10/ 19 – 11/24: 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/ 21: Meet the best chefs and mixologists, selected by New York Magazine,as they prepare and plate your food with an open bar at New York Taste at 269 11th Ave.
10/ 23: NewFest screens a variety of gay and lesbian films at Cinépolis Chelsea & SVA Theatre. (Please note that the film are not listed in order by date.)
10/ 24 – 26: Billed as the largest photography and imaging show in North America, PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo features educational seminars, workshops, photo walks, master classes, and 200 exhibitors at Jacob Javits Convention Center.
10/ 24 – 27: Find affordable art from 81 dealers at the Fine Art Print Fair at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
10/ 25: Join one million New Yorkers eating apples today to celebrate Big Apple Crunch. Free.
10/ 25 – 26: Bring a flashlight on the Crypt Crawl, a guided tour of the crypt at The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine with stories about the entombed, for ages 12+.
10/ 18 – 21: The Margaret Mead Film Festival screens 40 outstanding non-fiction films and hosts special events and performances that explore world cultures at the American Museum of Natural History.
10/ 25, 26, 31(8 p.m.): Costumes are recommended at the Monster Ball, which has DJ music, multiple dance floors and bars, and a costume contest at Stage 48 for age 21+.
10/ 26 (2 to 5 p.m.): The Amazing Halloween Scavenger Hunt has you read clues on your phone that send you around town performing physical and mental challenges, beginning at Slattery’s Midtown Pub.
10/ 26: WatchTime New York has manufacturers of 30 brands, an optional cocktail party, and “a schedule of specially curated presentations and industry panels for every caliber of watch geek” at Gotham Hall
10/ 26: 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/ 26 (9:30): Dance of the Red Death Halloween Masquerade by Dances of Vice is a fantasy party welcoming costumes both demonic and divine, and featuring risque performances at Capitale for age 21+.
10/ 26: Play video games from 100 developers at the family-friendly Halloween Game Expo, which welcomes costumes (without guns) and includes “games, pizza, treats, and prizes” at Microsoft Technology Center. Free, but you must register online and bring ID.
10/ 26 – 27: Photos, candles, and marigolds cover an altar to celebrate the departed outdoors at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery on Day of the Dead, with live music and a Mexican market of food & crafts. Free.
10/ 30 6pm: Central Park kids in costume are welcome to join the parade. Free.
10/ 30 (4 to 7 p.m.): Bring a carved pumpkin (see rules) to Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla for spooky stories, crafts, a 6 p.m. costume parade, and a 6:30 p.m. pumpkin float near Charles A. Dana Discovery Center. Free.
10/ 31: Wear a costume or mask to Spooky City: Halloween to enjoy a haunted scavenger hunt with treats, 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. Free outdoor entertainment starts 4 p.m., ticketed indoor 8 p.m.
10/ 31: The big Village Halloween Parade features 53 bands, dancers, artists, puppets, and thousands of New Yorkers in costume parading up 6th Avenue (from Spring Street to 16th Street). Free.
10/ 31 – 1/5: Winter Village at Bryant Park has a free ice skating rink with skates for rent, plus 125 holiday kiosks.