New York City events, festivals, things to do – October 2018

New York City
calendar of events

October 2018
best events in New York City

Short-film festival

October 1 - 8, 2018 (begins Sept. 27)

Location uncertain

Join people worldwide watching the Manhattan Short Film Festival and voting for their favorites.

Architecture and design month

October 1 - 31, 2018

NYC locations

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

Halloween theme park

Oct. 1 - Nov. 4, 2018 (starts Sept. 21)

33 miles NE

Bayville Scream Park [sound] has six terrifying attractions, plus “not so scary” kids’ days (weekends 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.) on Long Island. See schedule.
CityPass New York

Virtual-reality festival

October 3 - 4, 2018

11.6 miles south via ferry

Fost Festival promises the “best interactive, cutting-edge storytelling experiences” featuring virtual reality, augmented reality, haptics, games, film, panels, entertainment, and food, with a free shuttle to Snug Harbor Cultural Center from the Staten Island ferry.

Comic Con

October 4 - 7, 2018

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.

Natural fiber festival

October 6, 2018

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.

African Restaurant Week

October 7 - 21, 2018

multiple locations

African Restaurant Week has 75 gastronomical events, including food festivals, chef-hosted dinners, pop-up experiences, and cooking classes, with 26 restaurants offering special fixed-price African menus.

Columbus Day Parade

October 8, 2018

0.1 miles south

Watch marchers, bands, floats, and Italian folk groups parade up Fifth Avenue from 47th to 72nd in the Columbus Day Parade, on WABC-TV at noon. Free.

Wine & food festival

October 11 - 14, 2018

NYC locations

New York City Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF) features cooking demos by famous chefs, seminars, classes, wine tasting, celebrity dinners, and a weekend Grand Tasting.

Odd street art

October 11 - 14, 2018

2.6 miles SE

You never know what to expect when Art in Odd Places brings visual and performance art to nearly the entire length of 14th Street. Theme in 2018 is women. Free.

Coffee festival

October 12 - 14, 2018

1.7 miles south

Choose a three-hour session to attend The New York Coffee Festival for tastings, exhibits, demos, and live music at Metropolitan Pavilion.

Marco Polo Festival

October 13, 2018

3.1 miles south

Marco Polo Festival celebrates Chinatown and Little Italy with a puppet parade on Mulberry Street (from Bayard to Grand) ending at a stage on Grand Street with cultural performances. Free.

Architecture open house

October 13 - 14, 2018

NYC locations

Visit 240 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 many require reservations.

Pickle day

October 14, 2018

3.5 miles south

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.

Harvest festival

October 14, 2018

11 miles east

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

Architecture & design films

October 16 - 29, 2018

1.7 miles south

Architecture & Design Film Festival features films, parties, and panel discussions with design leaders and filmmakers at Cinépolis Chelsea.

Apple day

October 18, 2018

NYC locations

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

International film festival

October 18 - 21, 2018

1.4 miles SW

Chelsea Film Festival screens “independent shorts, feature-lengths, and documentaries from emerging directors” at two venues (AMC Loews 34th Street & Fashion Institute of Technology).

Animal film festival

October 18 - 28, 2018

2 miles south

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.

Masquerade ball

October 19, 2018 (8 p.m.)

3 miles south

Men wear suits and ties, women wear dresses, and all don Venetian masks for The Champagne Ball at GoldBar.

Bronx bike ride

October 21, 2018

6 miles north

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

Halloween show

October 26, 2018

3.6 miles north

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.

Halloween at Fort Totten

October 26 - 27, 2018 (uncertain)

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. Also check out the Halloween Festival on Saturday. Free.

Art prints

October 26 - 28, 2018 (preview Oct. 25)

1.5 miles SW

Find affordable art from 81 dealers at the Fine Art Print Fair at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.

Halloween at Socrates Park

October 27, 2018 (uncertain)

4 miles NE

Halloween Harvest Festival includes art and costume making workshops, face painting, restaurant food, live music, and a dog costume contest (1 p.m.) at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. Free.

Halloween scavenger hunt

October 27 - 31, 2018

multiple locations

The Amazing Halloween Scavenger Hunt has you read clues on your phone that send you around the city performing physical and mental challenges with a Halloween theme. The 2018 dates are Oct. 27 (Brooklyn), Oct. 28 (Queens), Oct. 31 (Manhattan).

Elite art fair

October 27 - 31, 2018

1 mile north

TEFAF New York Fall is a fair that offers exceptional fine and decorative art from international galleries at the Park Avenue Armory. Repeats in May.

Halloween in Central Park

October 28, 2018 (4 to 7 p.m.)

3.2 miles north

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.

Halloween festival for kids

October 28, 2018 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

16 miles east

Wear a costume to Children’s Fall Festival, which has games, bounce houses, a haunted house, farm animals, pony rides, hayrides, country music, crafts, and food vendors at Queens County Farm Museum.

Halloween costume ball

October 31, 2018

3 miles south

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.

Halloween parade

October 31, 2018

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 (from Spring Street to 16th Street). Free.

Cool science films

October 2018 (undated)

NYC locations

The Imagine Science Film Festival screens science-inspired short film with a different theme every year.

Literary and arts festival

October 2018 (undated)

NYC locations

Hear famous and influential authors, journalists, poets, screenwriters, and cultural icons speak at the New Yorker Festival.

New York Film Festival

October 2018 (undated)

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 2018 (undated)

0.4 miles south

Fall for Dance Festival features 20 international dance companies in five unique programs and two world premiere commissions at City Center.

Indian festival of lights

October 2018 (undated)

0.5 miles SW

Diwali at Times Square has cultural performances, dancers, and Indian food vendors during the day, and at 6 p.m. a concert with “Bollywood stars, artists and performers” at Times Square (Broadway & 47th). Free.

Winter in Bryant Park

October 2018 (undated)

0.5 miles south

Winter Village at Bryant Park has a free ice skating rink with skates for rent, plus 125 holiday kiosks that stay open until Jan. 2.

Food and film festival

October 2018 (undated)

0.7 miles SW

See films about the world’s favorite foods and then eat them at the NYC Food Film Festival at AMC Empire 25.

Plays made in a day

October 2018 (undated)

0.7 miles SW

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.

Garment District festival

October 2018 (undated)

1 mile SW

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

Tacos & Tequila

October 2018 (undated)

1 mile NW

“Sample a wide variety of delectable tacos and creative cocktails prepared by top chefs and mixologists” during Tacos & Tequila for $150 at Hudson New York for age 21+.

Hamburger bash

October 2018 (undated)

1.2 miles NW

Chefs serve their favorite burgers with live music, beer, wine, and spirits on the rooftop of Pier 92 at the $225 Blue Moon Burger Bash for age 21+.

Gourmet barbecue

October 2018 (undated)

1.3 miles NW

Backyard BBQ serves “delicious BBQ staples, innovative grilled bites, decadent desserts, and fun & games” on the rooftop of Pier 92. Tickets are $175 with beer, wine, and cocktails ($40 for age 2 to 20).

Tasting event

October 2018 (undated)

1.3 miles NW

A $150 ticket to Smorgasburg gets you cocktails, food, and live music on the rooftop of Pier 92 for age 21+.

White Light Festival

October 2018 (undated)

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.

LGBT film festival

October 2018 (undated)

1.7 miles SW

NewFest screens a variety of gay and lesbian films at Cinépolis Chelsea.

Technology festival

October 2018 (undated)

1.7 miles south

Techweek includes speakers, vendors, recruiters, and parties, mostly at Metropolitan Pavilion. Tickets come in three price levels ($0 to $115) that determine your access to events.

Cultural film festival

October 2018 (undated)

2 miles north

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.

Cheese tasting

October 2018 (undated)

2.1 miles south

“Savor artisanal cheeses from the finest local farms and artisans, served alongside fantastic wines” during the $95 Fromage Fête at Norwood, 241 W. 14th St.

Cocktail party

October 2018 (undated)

2.2 miles SW

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.

Dessert night

October 2018 (undated)

2.2 miles SW

Pie vs. Cake is a $125 walk-around tasting of gourmet desserts “with a star-studded panel of expert judges” at The High Line Hotel for age 21+.

Day of the Dead

October 2018 (undated)

2.3 miles south

Bring photos, candles, and marigolds to remember the departed outdoors at St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery on Day of the Dead, with food & crafts for sale. Free.

Celebrate immigrants

October 2018 (undated)

2.4 miles south

A ticket to We, America gets you exotic street food, an open bar, live music, inspiring speakers, and a silent auction to benefit immigrants at the Astor Center.

Candlelight Ghost Tours

October 2018 (undated)

2.5 miles south

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

Parade of Boats

October 2018 (undated)

2.5 miles SW

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.

Happy hour cocktail party

October 2018 (undated)

2.6 miles SW

An $85 ticket to Aperitivo gets you creative cocktails, wine, and restaurant bites at The Standard, High Line for age 21+.

Tasting hosted by Robert Irvine

October 2018 (undated)

2.6 miles SW

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+.

French wine tasting

October 2018 (undated)

2.8 miles SW

Taste 100 wines, champagnes, spirits, and cheese from France at the Toast of France, with auctions to support charity, at Le Du’s Wines in the West Village.

Pizza party

October 2018 (undated)

3 miles south

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. Bring cash.

Crypt tour

October 2018 (undated)

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 Crawls for ages 12+.

Hip hop convention

October 2018 (undated)

4.2 miles north

Watch the best hip-hop dance companies from around the corner and around the world perform at Breakin’ Convention at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Brooklyn Oktoberfest

October 2018 (undated)

4.4 miles SE

The inaugural Brooklyn Oktoberfest promises “authentic German dancing, food, entertainment, beer, and more” in a four-hour session at Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse.

Japanese convention

October 2018 (undated)

4.4 miles SE

Enjoy Japanese food, drumming, rock, pop, games, and cosplay at Asian Ultra at Brooklyn Expo Center.

Taste of the world

October 2018 (undated)

4.4 miles south

A ticket to Edible Escape includes food and drink from different countries at Pier A Harbor House for age 21+.

Wine tasting

October 2018 (undated)

4.4 miles SE

Brooklyn Wine Fest includes unlimited tastes of wine from 10 countries, with live music and food for sale at Brooklyn Expo Center for age 21+.

Fall festival for families

October 2018 (undated)

5.5 miles SW

Hoboken Harvest Festival features hay rides, pony rides, trackless train rides, a petting zoo, a hay maze, pumpkins, crafts, inflatables, and live music at Pier A Park in Hoboken, NJ. Free.

Cider tasting

October 2018 (undated)

5.7 miles SE

A ticket to Ciderfeast includes unlimited cider samples from 10 producers paired with small bites of hearty food in Williamsburg for age 21+.

Pow wow

October 2018 (undated)

6 miles NE

Bring a lawn chair to Indigenous Peoples Day, which features artists, singers, colorful dancers, speakers, and authentic tribal cuisine on Randall’s Island. Free.

Tasting in Brooklyn

October 2018 (undated)

6 miles SE

Best of Brooklyn is a $95 walk-around tasting of signature dishes from local restaurants paired with cocktails at 39 S. 5th Street in Brooklyn for age 21+.

Beer tasting & 5K

October 2018 (undated)

7 miles NE

Brew Hop 5K & Beer Festival includes unlimited beer samples, food trucks, lawn games, and live music at Randall’s Island Park for age 21+. The 5K run/walk is optional.

Lighthouse festival

October 2018 (undated)

7.2 miles north

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.

Chile Pepper Festival

October 2018 (undated)

7.5 miles SE

The Chile Pepper Festival features fiery foods like hot sauces, spicy pickles, “hot” chocolates, and chili peppers, plus sizzling music like salsa and Afro-Brazilian funk, at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

Fall festival for families

October 2018 (undated)

7.5 miles SE

Enjoy non-stop music, activities, and entertainment at Ghouls & Gourds at Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Costume parade 4:30 p.m. Free for kids age 12 and younger.

Sustainable food festival

October 2018 (undated)

9 miles south

Get back to nature at Permaculture Festival & Skill Share, which has garden walks for herbs and flowers, craft & health vendors, demonstrations of making soap and plant-based dye, music, discussions, and cooking in the brick oven at Old Stone House of Brooklyn.

Brandy & cider tasting

October 2018 (undated)

10.3 miles south

Sample true brandies and hard ciders with food and drink expert Tonya Hopkins at Fall for Brandy, including warm breads from the brick oven of Old Stone House in Brooklyn.

Jazz festival

October 2018 (undated)

11 miles south via ferry

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

Show-tunes festival

October 2018 (undated)

1.2 miles north

Hear great songs from stage and screen at Elsie Fest in Central Park.

Haunted house

October 2018 (undated)

3 miles south

Intense, creepy actors confront you in the labyrinth of passageways at Blood Manor, 163 Varick Street. Not for pre-teens. See schedule.

Haunted house - Brooklyn

October 2018 (undated)

5 miles south

Gravesend Inn is a haunted hotel with high-tech animated characters, produced by students in City Tech’s Theatreworks program, at 186 Jay Street.

Zombie night in Washington Hts

October 2018 (undated)

7 miles north

Visit a zombie paint station at 3:30, attend pre-show events at 4:15 (costume parade on stage, short zombie film, and tribute to the feature’s director), and then watch the 1968 classic film Night of the Living Dead at 5 p.m. at the United Palace.

Haunted house - Long Island

October 2018 (undated)

60 miles east

Professional actors wear intense makeup at Gateway’s Haunted Playhouse [sound] in Bellport. It adds a Kids Adventure on some weekends. See schedule.

Halloween for kids

October 2018 (undated)

1.1 miles NW

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.

Chic Halloween cirque show

October 2018 (undated)

1.5 miles south

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

October 2018 (undated)

2 miles south

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. Anyone under age 16 must be with a parent.

Halloween at the museum

October 2018 (undated)

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.

Family party at City Museum

October 2018 (undated)

2.9 miles north

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.

Edgy Halloween ball

October 2018 (undated)

3.1 miles south

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+.

Halloween masquerade ball

October 2018 (undated)

3.1 miles south

Mix, mingle, frisk, and frolic to DJ tunes with crowds at the Masquerade Ball in the grand opulence of Capitale for age 21+.

Pumpkin spectacular

October 2018 (undated)

5 miles south via ferry

Walk through a garden of thousands of pumpkins artistically carved with glowing faces of celebrities and demons at Rise of the Jack O’Lanterns. See schedule.
  • Old Westbury Gardens (Long Island)
  • Governor’s Island

Halloween at Prospect Park

October 2018 (undated)

7 miles south

Take a Halloween Haunted Walk with a parent past vampires and witches to Lookout Hill. Halloween Fair (nearby on The Nethermead) has family activities and food trucks. Both are free in Prospect Park.

Halloween - Bronx Zoo

October 2018 (undated)

9 miles north

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.

Halloween Game Expo

October 2018 (undated)

0.9 miles SW

Play video games from 100 developers at the family-friendly Halloween Game Expo, which welcomes costumes and includes “games, pizza, treats, and prizes” at Microsoft Technology Center. Bring ID.

Halloween - Prospect Park Zoo

October 2018 (undated)

10 miles south

Boo at the Zoo features a scavenger hunt, face painting, Halloween games and crafts, talks about bats, treats for animals, and a 4 p.m. dance party at Prospect Park Zoo.

Halloween garden for families

October 2018 (undated)

12 miles north

See scarecrows in the garden and do kids’ activities for ages 2 to 10 (daily), meet bats and creepy Halloween creatures (weekends), and wear a costume and visit the trick-or-treat trail at Scarecrows & Pumpkins at New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

Halloween at the mansion

October 2018 (undated)

15 miles NE

“Watch out for spirits and other creatures as you intrepidly make your way through the mansion and grounds of Bartow-Pell” when it transforms into a Haunted Mansion for age 10+.

Pumpkin festival

October 2018 (undated)

23 miles SW

Pumpkin Picking at Decker Farm features hayrides, face painting, farm animals, farmhouse tours, arts and crafts, a corn maze, and a pumpkin patch at a historic working farm in Staten Island.

Traditional Halloween festival

October 2018 (undated)

27 miles south

Halloween in Richmond Town features kids’ trick-or-treating, games, crafts, apple bobbing, and friendly ghosts at historic Richmond Town in Staten Island. Buy tickets in advance on their web page.