Let’s face it, October is the perfect month to be in New York. Poised in between the sweltering summer and chilly winter seasons, not only is the weather often divine and devoid of humidity, but the vibe is refreshing, colorful and alive. Overstocked Halloween candy aisles aside, there is nothing predictable about October in the city. Our recommendations this month are full of surprises, leaving you with positive fall feels and new ways of discovering the city you already love.
Theatergoers, we have great news. After a one year hiatus, the NYC Fringe Festival is back. Its new incarnation runs the entire month, starting with FringeBYOV to include “open access” performance venues in the outer boroughs, and followed by FringeNYC, which mounts shows only in Manhattan. The Fringe showcases hundreds of new plays, musicals, solo shows, operas, stand-up, performance art and more (October 1 – 31).
Architecture and design lovers, we have great news for you, too. Archtober has arrived and with it hundreds of events, tours, and exhibitions throughout the entire month dedicated to the visual art responsible for the best of New York City’s castles in the clouds (October 1-31). Among them, the World Habitat Day panel at the United Nations and topic talk “Opening – Close to the Edge: The Birth of Hip-Hop Architecture,” (October 1).
World Habitat Day’s 2018 theme is Municipal Solid Waste Action, and getting in on the action is the LES Ecology Center. They’ll be hosting a Free Compost Workday and tour of the East River Compost Yard open to all volunteers who want to help sift and bag compost plus get an inside look at the process of converting organic waste into compost (October 1, 1-3pm).
Ongoing since the end of last month is the 56th Annual New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center (now through October 14) and kicking off its 15th year is the Fall for Dance Festival (October 1-13). Both offer a stunning array of programming and while the latter is completely sold out thanks to tickets at $15 and top-tier talent from across the globe, you can check same-day availability at the box office.
When was the last time you sang, “You belong among the wildflowers. You belong somewhere you feel free…” by the late, great Tom Petty? Well, add it to your Spotify playlist then bring that song to life at the Wildflowers Meadows Tour on Randall’s Island (October 3).
Since long before social media, a place has existed where superfans could gather to geek out on their favorite comics, graphic novels, anime, video games and shows. New York ComicCon, now in its 12th year, returns in all its costume-clad, IRL glory to the Javits Center (October 4-7).
Against the backdrop of breaking some of the most important news stories of the year, The New Yorker Festival arrives with panels, lectures, performances and special events across a wide array of topics. Check the calendar for listings, which include Evening Joe (with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski; moderated by David Remnick), singer/songwriter Kacey Musgraves, hip hop artist Miguel and journalist Ronan Farrow (October 5-7).
You can’t walk more than a few blocks in Manhattan without seeing a Daschund; the sweet little weiner dogs are such a popular breed. If you happen to own one or are a fan, The Dachshund Friendship Club has organized a Dachshund Oktoberfest takeover meetup in Washington Square Park (October 6). Later that day, Mr. Breath-of-Musical-Political-Satire-Fresh-Air himself, Randy Rainbow, is live with Rosie O’Donnell at The Paramount (October 6). And if you’d prefer to sweat on the first weekend in October, SweatCon is doing for boutique fitness what Brooklyn did for the bar crawl. Sign up for three back-to-back classes for under $100 at participating studios and get your fall workout on (October 6)!
Finish out the weekend by attending either the 81st Pulaski Day Parade celebrating Polish independence or #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke with Political Commentator Karine Jean-Pierre at the 92nd St Y (October 7).
Monday is Columbus Day and if you have the day off, there are two events to catch before they close. The first, ‘Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination’ at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and second, Free Kayaking on the Hudson (both on October 8, aka your last chance!).
When it comes to music, October at Madison Square Garden is lit, even if the lineup is entirely male and majority of the acts have been around since well before “lit” was something the kids say. In order of appearance: Eric Clapton (October 6-7), The Eagles (October 9-10), Maroon 5 (October 14-15), Elton John (October 18-19), Justin Timberlake (October 22 + 24), Billy Joel (October 27), Marc Anthony (October 28) and Twenty One Pilots (October 30).
Meanwhile Mandy Patinkin brings his own legendary musical chops to the Off Broadway scene with ‘Concert: Diaries 2018’ at New York Theatre Workshop (October 10). Look no further than Playbill for a list of buzzworthy Off Broadway plays opening this month, including “Gloria: A Life” starring Christine Lahti as feminist icon, Gloria Steinem.
Exciting things are happening on the food and drink scene, including the New York City Wine and Food Festival (October 11-14), newly opened West Village Shake Shack Innovation Lab, and South Village Farmer’s Market (October 12).
English folk electro indie pop singer/songwriter Ben Howard plays two nights at Hammerstein Ballroom for music that is all about the natural world vibes of this season (October 12 + 13). You will want to check out this gifted artist who is touring in support of his third album, Noonday Dream.
But first, coffee. Because when it comes to the caffeine elixir of the gods, who needs more of it than the City that never sleeps? The New York Coffee Festival at Metropolitan Pavilion features coffee vendors, latte art lessons, a brew bar, coffee music, coffee art, we will see you there (October 12-15, tickets available online). Or, if you prefer something a little less stimulating but no less enjoyable, try the 2nd Annual Toast of France wine tasting event at Le Dû’s Wines (Oct 14). With more than 75 wines and spirits from France, all proceeds go towards the non-profit Wheeling Forward.
By mid-month, you’ll be ready for some rest and rejuvenation. That is where Spa Week comes in with a week of $50 treatments and special offers at participating spas and wellness centers (October 15-21).
The White Light Festival at Lincoln Center begins this year with its intent to “focus on what it means to be human in an increasingly fractious world” and will feature Rundfunkchor Berlin’s Human Requiem, a reinvention of Brahms’s masterful Ein deutsches Requiem (October 16 – November 16).
Festival life continues at the content strategy focused NAB Festival with keynote speakers Martha Raddatz and Robert De Niro (October 17 – 18).
We haven’t talked Fall wardrobe updates or fashion, but by mid-to-late month bathing suits will be stashed away for your next vacay. The good news is it’s time to go shopping, so check out Manhattan Vintage Clothing Show & Sale (October 19-20) and the city’s best sample sales, found on 260NYC.
The NYC Autumn Wine Festival in Chelsea, now in its sixth year, has expanded and relocated to the historic Altman Building (October 20). Besides the +100 wines curated by experts, VIP tickets will offer access to a Rosé and Bubbly Suite with 20+ rosés and sparkling wines. Then take the buzz with you over to Gotham Comedy Club for “The Manhattan: Comedy for the New Yorker in You” featuring Alex Barnett and Adam Oliensis (October 20).
Candy corns are tempting (especially the candy corn pumpkins) but hold off until you visit the Artisanal Sweet Treats Bazaar at Grand Bazaar on the Upper West Side. The cakes and cookies will make your eyes pop and taste buds dance, plus 100% of Grand Bazaar NYCs profits are donated to four local public school (October 21).
The Global Real Estate Convention at the Marriott Marquis will host top brokers, investors, legal and technology experts and government officials addressing important issues impacting the global real estate market (October 22).
Since Winter is coming, we thought it would be a good idea to start preparing now. Towards that end, a little cold exposure as the Rangers take on the Florida Panthers at MSG (October 23).
Manhattan’s second film festival of the month, NewFest, is the city’s biggest LGBTQ Film Festival now entering its 30th year (October 24-30). This year’s opening night film is 1985, and the festival lineup includes a restored High Art followed by a Q/A with filmmakers and cast.
Halloween means ending the month on a party note, including the Masquerade Ball: A Sexy Venetian Carnival Affair at Stage 48 (October 26), Sunset Angels, Cupids and Devils Halloween Rooftop at Crown (October 27), an ‘80s costume party at Sweetwater Social (October 27) and Haunted Yacht Party (October 28).
Don’t miss the best one of all: Washington Square’s Dog Halloween Costume Party (October 28).
If you’re still looking for some costume inspiration before the big day, the TEFAF exhibit at the Armory includes fine and decorative art from antiquity to 1920 (October 27 – 31) or head over to the High Line for the season’s final night of free, guided stargazing (October 30).
The Village Halloween Parade is our send-off suggestion to you before we meet again in November. It is the best parade the city offers all year. The 2018 theme is I AM a Robot. The related parade Concept is inspired by the 200 year anniversary of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” which asked a question that has “haunted subsequent fictions of robots, cyborgs, and androids… We invite all of our Halloween makers and marchers to join our positronic collective, expressing your inner cyborgs for an evening of robotic revelry.” Anyone in a costume is allowed to join. May this be the year you march.
Happy Halloween and see you in November!