New York City events calendar for October 2015. Best festivals, fun things to do, weekend street fairs, kids activities and Halloween haunted houses in NYC, New York.

Best events for 12 months -
New York City
Best events for 12 months
October 2015
October 2015

Enjoy the best New York City events, festivals, and things to do with this calendar of events.

Mileage is from Rockefeller Center in downtown New York City, New York.

Gypsy music

October 1 - 4, 2015 (begins Sept. 18)

3.5 miles south

New York Gypsy Festival includes 10 performers from India, Serbia, Russia, Slovakia, Mexico, and the U.S.

Film festival

October 1 - 11, 2015 (begins Sept. 25)

NYC locations

See classics, documentaries, and full-length feature films by the world’s great filmmakers at the New York Film Festival (NYFF).

Dance festival

October 1 - 11, 2015 (begins Sept. 30)

0.4 miles south

Fall for Dance Festival features five unique programs by international dance companies at City Center.

A reading of terrifying tales

October 1 - 11, 2015

2.5 miles south

Hear six spine-tingling stories read live onstage with orchestral score and sound effects at H.P. Lovecraft Festival at Kraine Theater. Discount tickets $10.

Twilight Sail

October 1 - 11, 2015 (6:30 p.m. also Sept.)

4.5 miles south

Take a two-hour Twilight Sail aboard the beautiful Clipper City tall ship, which has a full bar and departs.from Battery Park in Manhattan. Discount tickets $23.

Architecture and design month

October 1 - 31, 2015

NYC locations

Archtober offers special tours of buildings, lectures, films, and exhibitions that help us to appreciate architecture and design in everyday life.

Funny Hitchcock play

October 1 - Nov. 30, 2015 (also Sept.)

1.7 miles south

The 39 Steps is a classic film by Alfred Hitchcock about a wrongly accused man racing to clear his name while evading the law. This comedic spoof is a fast-paced play at Union Square Theatre.

Discount tickets $20 to $45.

Edgy puppet show

October 1 - Dec. 20, 2015 (also Sept.)

0.4 miles west

Humans and puppets live in a shabby neighborhood on Avenue Q and entertain mature audiences with sassy songs and funny antics at New World Stages.

Discount tickets $45.

Feel-good musical

October 1 - Dec. 30, 2015 (also Sept.)

0.6 miles west

Kinky Boots, based on a true story about a shoe factory owner and a drag queen, has an inspiring and joyful score by Cyndi Lauper at Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Discount tickets $49 to $179.

Hippie music

October 2, 2015 (8 p.m.)

27 miles north

Hear 1970s performers (The Family Stone, Badfinger, Rick Derringer, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels) play classics from the hippie era during Hippiefest at Tarrytown Music Hall.

Discount tickets $34.

Literary and arts festival

October 2 - 4, 2015

NYC locations

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.

Disney spoof

October 2 & 16, 2015 (9:30 p.m.)

1 mile SW

Distorted Diznee has high-energy dancing, comedy, dazzling costumes, and lip synching by drag queens dressed as Ariel, Mary Poppins, and Snow White at Laurie Beechman Theatre for age 17+. Discount tickets $10 (and $20 food/drink minimum).

Romantic jazz cruise

October 2 & 23, 2015 (6:45 p.m.)

2.4 miles SW

Enjoy skyline views, live jazz, and a complimentary drink aboard a 1920s-style yacht during the Evening Jazz Cruise, which begins at Chelsea Piers (Pier 62). Discount tickets $34.

Adult relationship comedy

October 2 - 25, 2015

1.1 miles SW

Women are Crazy Because Men are *** is a harsh and hilarious play “about young couples stumbling through the minefield of codependency” [LA Times] at Abingdon Theatre for age 17+. Discount tickets $25.

Pumpkin spectacular

October 2 - 25, 2015

23 miles east

Walk through a garden of 5,000 pumpkins artistically carved with glowing faces of celebrities and demons at Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns in Old Westbury. Closed Mon., Tues., Wed., and Oct. 8.

Halloween theme park

Oct. 2 - 31, 2015 (Sept. 18 - Nov. 7)

33 miles NE

Bayville Scream Park [sound] has 5 terrifying attractions, plus “not so scary” kids days on Long Island. See dates.

Haunted house - Long Island

Oct. 2 - 31, 2015 (preview Sept. 25)

62 miles

Professional actors wear intense makeup at Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse [sound] which also offers a Kids Adventure on weekends in Bellport. Schedule.

Haunted house - SoHo

October 2, 2015 - Nov. 7, 2015

3 miles south

Celebrate the macabre when intense, creepy actors confront you in the labyrinth of passageways at Blood Manor, 163 Varick St. Not for pre-teens. See dates.

Discount VIP tickets $29.

Best walking tour

October 2 - Dec. 28, 2015 (10 a.m. also Sept.)

2.2 miles south

City of Dreams Tour gets excellent reviews for its walking tour (3.5 hours) led by an expert guide in East Village, Little Italy, and SoHo that includes a bakery snack and a pub drink. Discount tickets $25.

Dog films

October 3, 2015

2.6 miles north

The Dog Film Festival features short films about the bond between dogs and humans at Symphony Space.

Marine science festival

October 3, 2015 (11 a.m.)

3.5 miles south

Learn about the oceans from marine scientists and hands-on activities at Submerge at Pier 26. Free.

Whiskey on a sailboat

October 3, 2015 (4:45 p.m.)

4.2 miles south

Enjoy skyline views, whiskey tasting, and chocolate truffles during a Whiskey Tasting Sail aboard the Shearwater (largest sailing vessel in NYC), departing from Lower Manhattan. Discount tickets $67.

Jazzy burlesque sail

October 3, 2015 (9:30 to 11:30 p.m.)

4.5 miles south

A Burlesque Sail on the Clipper City tall ship features romantic Jazz Age music from the ‘30s and ‘40s, plus three dancers, for age 21+. Discount tickets $36.

Mexican dance

October 3, 2015 (8 p.m.)

10 miles north

Experience throbbing mariachi music, swirling colors, and stamping heels when Ballet Folklórico de México performs at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Discount tickets $13.

Gluten-free expo

October 3 - 4, 2015

5.7 miles NW

Sample and purchase products from 150 vendors at the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo at Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ.

Food and beverage show

October 3 - 4, 2015 (non-public Oct. 2)

10 miles south

Sample New York beer, wine, spirits, and cider with local food, and visit vendor booths at Cheers NY at Industry City in Brooklyn. Requires age 21 ID.

Crafts fair

October 3 - 4 and 10 - 11, 2015

1 mile north

Autumn Crafts Festival features hundreds of juried artists, entertainment, and craft demonstrations in tents outside the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Repeats in June. Free.

Halloween at the zoo

October 3 - 31, 2015 (weekends)

9 miles north

Boo at the Zoo features costume parades, magic shows, a hay maze, scary stories, pumpkin carving, and treats at the Bronx Zoo and is included free with a regular ticket.

Pumpkin festival

October 3 - Nov. 1, 2015 (weekends)

23 miles SW

Pumpkin Picking at Decker Farm features hayrides, face painting, farm animals, farm tours, arts and crafts, a corn maze, square dancing, and a pumpkin patch at a historic working farm in Staten Island. Open Sat. and Sun. except Oct. 10. Open Oct. 12.

Short-film festival

October 4, 2015

2.6 miles south

Join people worldwide watching the Manhattan Short Film Festival and voting for their favorites. You can see the films at Anthology Film Archives.

Pickle day

October 4, 2015 (12 to 5 p.m.)

3.5 miles south

Buy a pickle on a stick or other pickle-themed food, take part in activities, and dance to DJ music at Lower East Side Pickle Day on Orchard St., where vendors once sold pickles from barrels. Free.

Medieval fair

October 4, 2015

9 miles north

The Medieval Festival transforms Fort Tryon Park into a medieval town with bright banners, processional flags, and performers in period dress. Enjoy medieval music, magic, dancing, juggling, food and craft vendors, and knights jousting on horseback. Free.

Muddy obstacle race

October 4, 2015

16 miles NE

Down & Dirty Obstacle Race [sound] is a 3 or 6 mile race with 20 challenging obstacles at Pelham Bay Park. Discount tickets $50.

Brunch on a sailboat

October 4 & 11, 2015 (also Sept.)

4.2 miles south

Enjoy skyline views on a two-hour Champagne Brunch Sail aboard the Shearwater classic schooner, which departs from Lower Manhattan. Discount tickets $67.

Brunch on a yacht

October 4 - Dec. 27, 2015 (Sundays)

3 miles south

Enjoy a buffet, live jazz, and two hours of views on the Sunday Jazz Brunch Cruise by Hornblower Yachts, departing from Pier 40.

Discount tickets $44.

Magic show

October 5 - Dec. 28, 2015 (8 p.m. Mondays)

2.4 miles south

Five professional magicians perform card tricks and feats of wonder with plenty of humor at Monday Night Magic in Players Theatre. Discount tickets $15 to $40.

Japanese-American musical

October 6 - Dec. 30, 2015

0.4 miles west

Allegiance is the story of George Takei from his family’s confinement in World War II to his role as Lieutenant Sulu in Star Trek, at Longacre Theatre. Discount tickets $49 to $149.

Pizza party

October 7, 2015

3 miles south

Eat pizza samples from dozens of New York City’s best pizzerias at Slice Out Hunger in St. Anthony’s Church.

Horror show - Lower Eastside

October 7 - 31, 2015

4 miles south

Nightmare Horror Show is a scary theater festival instead of a haunted house this year at 107 Suffolk Street.

Pop culture convention

October 8 - 11, 2015

1.5 miles SW

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.

Odd art

October 8 - 11, 2015

2.6 miles SE

You never know what to expect when Art in Odd Places brings visual and performance art to 14th Street along its entire length. Free.

Natural fiber festival

October 10, 2015

9 miles south

Kings County Fiber Festival features a marketplace of natural-fiber artists who crochet, dye, felt, knit, quilt, spin, and weave, plus crafting demonstrations and an art exhibit at historic Old Stone House in Brooklyn.

Pow wow

October 10 - 12, 2015

6 miles NE

The Indigenous Peoples Day Native American Festival features artists, singers, colorful dancers, and authentic tribal cuisine on Randall’s Island.

Columbus Day Parade

October 12, 2015 (11:20 a.m.)

0.1 miles south

Watch 35,000 marchers and 100 bands, floats, and contingents go up Fifth Avenue from 47th to 72nd in the Columbus Day Parade. Free. Street closures.

Indie film fest

October 12 - 18, 2015

0.9 miles west

NYC Independent Film Festival celebrates the independent filmmaker with screenings, panels, and parties at the Producers Club.

Technology festival

October 12 - 18, 2015

1.8 miles south

Techweek includes speakers, vendors, recruiters, parties, and a conference on Thursday and Friday.

New-music marathon

October 13 - 17, 2015

NYC locations

CMJ Music Marathon includes a daytime conference of music-industry panelists, and evening performances by 1300 bands in 80 rock clubs throughout the city.

Architecture & design films

October 13 - 18, 2015

3.1 miles south

Architecture & Design Film Festival features 22 films, panel discussions with design leaders and filmmakers, and parties at Tribeca Cinemas.

White Light Festival

October 14 - Nov. 22, 2015

1.5 miles NW

See world-class performances, films, and artist talks with a focus on music during White Light Festival at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

Wine & food spectacular

October 15 - 18, 2015

NYC locations

New York City Wine & Food Festival features cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs, seminars, classes, wine tasting, and dinners, which all support charity.

Film festival

October 15 - 18, 2015

1.8 miles SW

See films (including documentaries) about global issues at Chelsea Film Festival at SVA Theatre.

Hamburger bash

October 16, 2015 (7 to 10 p.m.)

1.2 miles NW

The best chefs in the U.S. serve their favorite burgers with mac & cheese, beer, live music, and dancing on the roof of Pier 92 at Blue Moon Burger Bash, $225.

Chubby Checker

October 16, 2015 (8 p.m.)

36 miles west

Prepare to “do the Twist” when Chubby Checker and The Spinners perform live at Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ. Discount tickets $26.

Breakdancing show

October 16 - 18, 2015

4.2 miles north

Watch the best street dancers from around the world perform solo and in groups at Breakin’ Convention at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Discount tickets at Goldstar and Groupon.

Cool science films

October 16 - 23, 2015

NYC locations

This year the Imagine Science Film Festival explores air in all its forms and meanings, from respiration to weather.

Animal film festival

October 16 - 25, 2015

NYC locations

See stunning films (mostly short) about wildlife worldwide, and attend an opening party or panel discussion at Wildlife Conservation Film Festival.

Sandwich tasting

October 17, 2015 (12 to 3 p.m.)

0.8 miles NW

Stacked: Sandwiches and Sides is a walk-around lunchtime tasting at Hudson New York.

Marco Polo Festival

October 17, 2015 (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

3.1 miles south

Marco Polo Festival celebrates Chinatown and Little Italy with a puppet parade (map) and cultural performances on Grand Street from Mott St. to Mulberry St. Free.

Jazz festival

October 17, 2015 (2 to 7 p.m.)

11 miles south via ferry

Hear legendary jazz artists at Staten Island Jazz Festival at Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

Architecture open house

October 17 - 18, 2015

NYC locations

Visit 200 of the city’s architecturally and culturally significant spaces and places (many closed to the public) during Open House New York Weekend. Free.

Honey festival

October 17 - 18, 2015

12 miles north

Honey Weekend features a candle-making workshop, honey-extraction demos, hive exhibits, and honey tastings at Wave Hill cultural center in the Bronx.

Oyster Festival

October 17 - 18, 2015

33 miles NE

The Oyster Festival has live entertainment, tall ships, pirate shows, midway rides, art, oyster eating and shucking contests, and a seafood court in Oyster Bay on Long Island. Free.

Meat festival

October 18, 2015 (4 to 7 p.m.)

1.3 miles west

Get a $165 ticket to Meatopia to eat grilled meat like a carnivore with drinks and live music at Pier 92.


October 18, 2015 (1 p.m.)

10 miles NW

Watch the New York Jets play the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium. Discount tickets $67.

Harvest festival

October 18, 2015

11 miles east

Buy a pumpkin, take a nature walk, hear music, play games, do crafts, ride a pony, pet animals, shop from food & craft vendors, and visit a beer tent at Harvest Fest & Pumpkin Patch in Queens Botanical Garden.

Oktoberfest crawl

October 19, 2015

2.8 miles south

A ticket to New York City Oktoberfest gets you a 12-ounce beer at eight bars in the East Village, beginning at Paulaner. Discount tickets $29.

TV festival

October 19 - 24, 2015

NYC locations

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.

Family party at the museum

October 21, 2015 (5 to 7:30 p.m.)

2 miles north

The pricey Family Party offers activities like dancing, digging for gems, seeing butterflies and frogs, peering into microscopes, and meeting museum scientists at the American Museum of Natural History for $175 adult, $85 child.

Big top circus

October 21, 2015 - Jan. 10, 2016

1.1 miles NW

The Grand Tour by Big Apple Circus has a 1920s travel theme with acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, clowns, rescue animals, and a band in Damrosch Park at Lincoln Center. Discount tickets $32 to $60.

Garment District festival

October 22 - 24, 2015

1 mile SW

Garment District Arts Festival offers exhibitions, performances, workshops, open studios, art, and gallery receptions near 8th Ave. and W. 38th St.

Cultural film festival

October 22 - 25, 2015

2 miles north

The Margaret Mead Film Festival screens 45 outstanding non-fiction films and hosts special events and performances that explore world cultures at the American Museum of Natural History.

Food and film festival

October 22 - 25, 2015

8 miles south

See films about the world’s favorite foods and then eat them at the NYC Food Film Festival in Brooklyn.

LGBT film festival

October 22 - 27, 2015

1.7 miles SW

NewFest screens a variety of gay and lesbian films at Bow Tie Chelsea Cinemas.

Haunted house - Brooklyn

October 22 - 24 and 29 - 31, 2015

5 miles south

Gravesend Inn is a haunted hotel with animated characters and gory scenes, produced by students in City Tech's Theatreworks program, at 186 Jay Street.

Bad theater

October 22 - Nov. 7, 2015

1.2 miles south

Bad Theater Fest welcomes new writers and actors, often with hilarious results, at Treehouse Theater.

Autumn beer festival

October 23 - 24, 2015

1.5 miles south

Sample 150 craft beers with local restaurant food at NYC Craft Beer Festival, Armory on Lexington Ave.

Haunted Fort Totten

October 23 - 24, 2015

16 miles east

Follow a park ranger on the Haunted Lantern Tour in search of ghouls and learn about the history of the Water Battery at Fort Totten Park in Queens. Free.

Art & antiques

October 23 - 29, 2015

1 mile north

See exceptional art at the prestigious International Fine Art & Antiques Show at Park Avenue Armory.

Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 23 - 30, 2015

2.5 miles south

Doors slam, floorboards creak, and voices call into the night during evening Candlelight Ghost Tours at Merchant’s House Museum.

Apple day

October 24, 2015

NYC locations

Join 1 million New Yorkers eating apples today. Find locations for Apple Crunch on the website. Free.

Halloween at Socrates Park

October 24, 2015

4 miles NE

Halloween Harvest Festival includes art and costume making workshops, face painting, restaurant food, live music, and a dog costume contest at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. Free.

Halloween at Prospect Park

October 24, 2015 (12 to 3 p.m.)

7 miles south

Take a Halloween Haunted Walk with a parent past vampires and witches to Lookout Hill. Last year, Halloween Carnival nearby had games, pony rides, and treats. Both free in Prospect Park. Food trucks available.

Obstacle race

October 24, 2015

8 miles east

Urbanathlon tests your strength and endurance on a 4.5-mile course with 7 obstacles (or 10 miles with 14 obstacles) at Citi Field, followed by a party. Discount tickets $69.

Thriller dance

October 24, 2015

20 miles south

Practice dancing Michael Jackson's “Thriller” in advance, then show up (ghoulish costume optional) to perform Thrill the World NYC on the Coney Island Boardwalk, followed by dinner. Free to watch.

Halloween on Staten Island

October 24, 2015

32 miles south

Halloween Extravaganza features a haunted kitchen, animals, hayrides, bouncy rides, face painting, a magician, and goody bags at the Conference House.

Halloween at the zoo

October 24 - 25, 2015

10 miles south

Boo at the Zoo features a spooky barn, costume parade, dance party, craft making, and treats for the animals at Prospect Park Zoo.

Halloween parades for kids

October 24 - 31, 2015

NYC neighborhoods

Kids in costume are welcome to join Free Halloween Parades for New York City Kids in neighborhoods.

Dogs in costume

October 24 & 31, 2015

3 and 6 miles south

Halloween in Central Park

October 25, 2015

3.2 miles north

Wear a costume and bring a carved pumpkin (see rules) to Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla for free spooky music, crafts, a parade, and twilight pumpkin float at Charles Dana Discovery Center.

Bronx bike ride

October 25, 2015

7.5 miles north

Register to join the family-friendly Tour de Bronx, which follows a scenic 25-or-40-mile course from the Grand Concourse in the Bronx to a music festival in The New York Botanical Garden. Free.

Halloween festival for kids

October 25, 2015

16 miles east

Wear a costume to Children’s Fall Festival, which has games and bounces, a haunted house, a corn maze, a petting zoo, pony rides, pig races, country music, crafts, and food at Queens County Farm Museum.


October 28 - Nov. 22, 2015

8.3 miles south

Watch the Brooklyn Nets play at Barclays Center.

Spooky evening

October 29, 2015 (6 p.m.)

15 miles NE

Cemetery Walk + Tombstone Talk is a guided, candlelit walk to Pell Cemetery followed by a talk about funerary monuments by a tombstone expert and carver at Bartow-Pell Mansion.

Halloween show

October 30, 2015 (7 or 10 p.m.)

3.6 miles north

Watch silent 1922 German horror film “Nosferatu” with live organ, then see an immersive show of fantastic creatures at Nosferatu and Procession of the Ghouls at The Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Halloween in Richmond Town

October 30, 2015

27 miles south

Halloween in Richmond Town features trick-or-treating, crafts, apple bobbing, games, and friendly ghosts at historic Richmond Town in Staten Island.

Crypt tour

October 30 - 31, 2015

3.6 miles north

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 Crawl for ages 12+.

Halloween pub crawl

October 30 - Nov. 1, 2015

NYC locations

Join costumed party goers and get drink specials at New York City Halloween PubCrawl.

Scary Movies

October 30 - Nov. 5, 2015

1.2 miles NW

Enjoy new and old Scary Movies at Lincoln Center, and a vampire-themed costume party opening night.

Trick or treating for kids

October 31, 2015

NYC locations

Children in costume can get free Halloween candy.

Halloween scavenger hunts

October 31, 2015

NYC locations

Find hidden clues and complete fun tasks with a Halloween theme in a race around Manhattan.

Halloween at the museum

October 31, 2015 (2 to 5 p.m.)

2 miles north

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.

Halloween costume ball

October 31, 2015

3 miles south

Dance, dine, show off your costume, and watch creative cabaret acts all evening at the Village Halloween Costume Ball at Theater for the New City.

Halloween masquerade ball

October 31, 2015

3 miles south

Mix, mingle, frisk, and frolic to DJ tunes at the pricey Masquerade Ball in the grand opulence of Capitale.

Halloween parade

October 31, 2015

3 miles south

The big Village Halloween Parade features 53 bands, dancers, artists, puppets, and thousands of New Yorkers in costume parading up 6th Avenue. Free.

Parade after-party

October 31, 2015

2.1 miles south

Get a ticket and a costume to join the crowded dance party, and witness scenes of terror and debauchery when four-story Webster Hall becomes Webster Hell.

Halloween party

October 31, 2015 (uncertain)

3 miles east

HalloQueens is a chic and arty Halloween ball at the Museum of Modern Art in Long Island City. Cash bar.

Halloween party

October 31, 2015

4 miles SE

Celebrate the living and the dead in costume with DJ sets at Dia de los Terribles at the Wythe Hotel.

Victorian Halloween Ball

October 31, 2015

4 miles south

Phantasmagorey Victorian Halloween Ball has a dark and whimsical Edward Gorey theme, with costumes, digital art, jazz, and optional dessert buffet in a haunted Victorian mansion at Down Town Association.

Halloween for children

October 2015 (undated)

10 miles SE

Kids can wear costumes, dance to music, make kooky crafts, play games, go on a scavenger hunt, and hear stories at Monster Mash, Brooklyn Children’s Museum.
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© October 2015 calendar of events in NYC, NY: Halloween haunted houses, parties, festivals, best things to do in New York City, New York.