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October 2015 events calendar for New York City

Plan your month with our events calendar of the very best activities, including Halloween activities and our picks from theater, the arts and music

Filip Wolak

Let’s be honest: There are lots of cool things to do in October—we love Open House New York and the CMJ Music Marathon—but we’re just getting ready for Halloween festivities at the end of the month. Use our events calendar to find the best Halloween NYC events, along with our favorite theater and music events.

RECOMMENDED: Full events calendar for 2015

Featured events in October 2015

The best of Open House New York

Open House New York is an annual weekend-long event during which historic buildings, architectural masterpieces, sundry landmarks and attractions welcome the public for great walking tours and nosing around. It's the perfect opportunity to explore normally off-limits parts of New York and have a good old snoop.

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By: Evelyn Derico

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

The Village Halloween Parade is fun and all, but does it have a plethora of puppies in adorable outfits? For that, you’ll have to head to the East Village for this annual dog parade. The getups are remarkably elaborate and conceptual—no surprise given the $4,000 worth of prizes on offer, including an iPad Mini for Best in Show. No pooch? No problem: Grateful Greyhounds, Bide-A-Wee, Friends of Animal Rescue and the Mayor's Alliance for New York City Animals will be on hand with canines that need a loving home. Just remember, a dog's for life, not just for a costume contest.

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Tompkins Square Park, East Village Saturday October 24 2015

Columbus Day in New York

Capra, Scorsese, Cuomo, Snooki: We love our Italian Americans. Every October since 1929, we get to celebrate them on the anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s greatest discovery—America (more or less). This year’s Columbus Day Parade, will feature Italian-music performers and the sounds of "Il Canto degli Italiani," the Italian national anthem.

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Halloween in NYC

Have you figured out what you're doing this Halloween? NYC is full of Halloween parties and events (including the iconic Village Halloween Parade and the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade)—use our guide to find things to do, Halloween stores where you can pick up a killer costume, the scariest haunted houses and more.

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Stromae

Rising electro-songsmith and Time Out New York cover star Stromae (real name: Paul Van Haver) specializes in soulful bangers that sound at once sophisticated and bombastic. He's a huge star in his native Belgium, and increasingly a recognizable name in the States as well. This headlining spot at the Garden will be his biggest NYC gig yet.

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Madison Square Garden, Midtown West Thursday October 1 2015

Steely Dan

Despite the insistence of Seth Rogen's character in Knocked Up that "Steely Dan gargles [his] balls," and though the band hasn't released a new album in more than a decade, the Dan's stock has continued to rise in recent years. Hell, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker & Co. even turned up at Coachella earlier this year. The inimitable jazz-pop sophisticates with the most sly, most depraved lyrics in pop show off their airtight grooves during their annual Beacon run, preceded by a PNC Bank Arts Center gig with like-minded vet Elvis Costello in support.

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Beacon Theatre, Upper West Side Tuesday October 6 2015 - Friday October 16 2015

Free events in October 2015

Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park

Life was tough in the Middle Ages, what with feudalism, the Crusades and that whole plague business. But it did have some cool aspects to commend it—like castles, Chaucer and pointy hats—which are celebrated at this annual throwback fair. Explore an anachronistic village in the area around the Cloisters, where you can listen to bards and minstrels, wash down a fire-roasted turkey leg with mead and watch riders unseat each other in a jousting tourney.

Read more
Fort Tryon Park, Washington Heights Sunday October 4 2015

Columbus Day Parade

He may be one of the most famous failures in history, but 35,000 marchers and nearly 1 million spectators are expected along Fifth Avenue to mark the day when Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas and to celebrate the heritage of the Italian-American community. Sure, it isn’t New York’s glitziest parade, but where else can you catch the tarantella, a frenzied Italian folk dance? Fifth Ave from 44th St to 72nd St. RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of Columbus Day 2013

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Manhattan Monday October 12 2015

Open House New York

This annual event gives attendees access to 150 of the city’s coolest and most exclusive architectural sites, private homes and landmarks, as well as behind-the-scenes tours and programs. This year, get a sneak peek of the newly renovated Great Hall of the New York Hall of Science, which has been under restoration by the Ennead Architects for several years, see the inner workings of the Sims Sunset Park Recycling Facility, designed by cutting-edge firm Selldorf Architects, and tour the Spitzer School of Architecture’s Solar Roofpod, which was completely designed by its students. You'll also have another chance to see many places you might have missed last year, along with some notably new buildings like the Kickstarter Headquarters, which used to be the historic Eberhard Faber Pencil Factory. Look for the full schedule (and the chance to preregister for certain events) in the first week of October.

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Various venues Saturday October 17 2015 - Sunday October 18 2015

“Chuck Close: Recent Work”

Close returns to a style that more closely resembles the one that put him on the map than his endeavours over the last couple of decades. His use of a grid and color separation techniques to create self-portrait recall his hyperrealistic paintings of the 1970s, while being far more abstract.

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Pace Gallery, Chelsea Friday September 11 2015 - Saturday October 17 2015

Halloween Harvest Festival

Fashion your own costume to resemble Fido’s at this daylong holiday primer. Four-legged family members can compete in the Canine Costume Contest while their two-legged counterparts create their own getups on-site with the help of resident artists.

Read more
Socrates Sculpture Park, Astoria Saturday October 24 2015

Music events in October 2015

Stromae

Rising electro-songsmith and Time Out New York cover star Stromae (real name: Paul Van Haver) specializes in soulful bangers that sound at once sophisticated and bombastic. He's a huge star in his native Belgium, and increasingly a recognizable name in the States as well. This headlining spot at the Garden will be his biggest NYC gig yet.

Read more
Madison Square Garden, Midtown West Thursday October 1 2015

Twin Shadow

Since George Lewis Jr. introduced himself to the public as north Brooklyn's one-man laptop act Twin Shadow, he's added a live band to the fray and made for some kind of Prince-inspired, slick-dance-ballad endeavor, which is to say that it's awesome. His most recent full-length, Eclipse, is his most fully realized vision yet, so be ready to move to sparkly new jams.

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Terminal 5, Hell's Kitchen Thursday October 1 2015

Toro y Moi + Astronauts, Etc.

Chazwick Bundick is somewhat of a stylistic chameleon. Under the Toro y Moi moniker, his sound has dramatically evolved on each album from synth-swathed "chillwave" to full-on smooth-funk goodness—and with this year's new LP, What For?, he's turned to Weezer-esque indie rock (and don't forget his club-ready output under the dance alias Les Sins). Catch the man-of-many-hats' new material live before he switches gears again.

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Music Hall of Williamsburg, Williamsburg Thursday October 1 2015 - Friday October 2 2015

Destroyer + Jennifer Castle

Dan Bejar, a collaborator with New Pornographer and an idiosyncratic Canadian singer-songwriter who makes music as Destroyer, put forth a dynamic, mature interpretation of the soft-rock genre on 2011's Kaputt. Bejar still loves his ’80s influences, but in the sparkly first single, "Dream Lover," from his new album, Poison Season, he turns from smoothed-out soft rock to "Born in the USA" Springsteen, trading cryptic murmurings and muted saxophone lines for a howling horn section and pounding drums. It's a welcome change to see the poetic indie-rocker let loose.

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Webster Hall , Downtown Sunday October 4 2015

Steely Dan

Despite the insistence of Seth Rogen's character in Knocked Up that "Steely Dan gargles [his] balls," and though the band hasn't released a new album in more than a decade, the Dan's stock has continued to rise in recent years. Hell, Donald Fagen, Walter Becker & Co. even turned up at Coachella earlier this year. The inimitable jazz-pop sophisticates with the most sly, most depraved lyrics in pop show off their airtight grooves during their annual Beacon run, preceded by a PNC Bank Arts Center gig with like-minded vet Elvis Costello in support.

Read more
Beacon Theatre, Upper West Side Tuesday October 6 2015 - Friday October 16 2015

Tame Impala

Tame Impala's first two critically acclaimed LP's, Innerspeaker and Lonerism, parlayed fuzz-soaked tidal waves of melodic psych-rock into massive anthems that, dare we say it, channeled John Lennon at times. The new one, Currents, polishes that winning formula into a silkier sound that's referential but never merely derivative: old-fashioned, newfangled and timeless all at once.

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Radio City Music Hall, Midtown West Tuesday October 6 2015

Panda Bear

Panda Bear, a.k.a. Animal Collective indie-pop visionary Noah Lennox, released his first album since 2011, Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper earlier this year, a dazzling effort that layers organic electronic textures and Lennox's Beach Boys–y vocals into bizarre choral-sounding freak-folk.

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Bowery Ballroom, Lower East Side Tuesday October 13 2015 - Thursday October 15 2015

Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder. Songs in the Key of Life. Elder statesman of pop Wonder isn't usually the type to dwell on past glories, but this time he is. You've read the best-of lists, and you know the tunes. While he's extended his tour beyond the original 12 dates, Wonder certainly isn't one of those artists who ride the nostalgia wave until it crashes.

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Prudential Center Wednesday October 14 2015 - Tuesday November 24 2015

Chance the Rapper + Hiatus Kaiyote + D.R.A.M + Towkio + Metro Boomin

No one wants to be late to the party in terms of “discovering” a new music sensation, certainly not in today’s world of panic-pile-on, next-big-thing Internet hysteria. Given that Chance the Rapper has been building hype steadily since his debut mixtape dropped last year and was recently nominated for XXL mag’s Freshman picks, if you’re just getting into April’s Acid Rap mixtape (like this writer), yes, you are late. But if the party’s that good, who cares what time you arrived? Musically speaking, you just opened the door on a roomful of people going nuts. Chancelor Bennett is the Chicago MC behind the madness. He’s only 20 years old (though that’s a whole three years on fellow Chi-Town hotshot Chief Keef), and his musical career got something of a step-up when he was suspended from school for ten days in 2011 for smoking weed.

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Terminal 5, Hell's Kitchen Friday October 23 2015 - Sunday October 25 2015
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Arts events in October 2015

Fall for Dance

The super-affordable festival offers a smorgasbord approach to dance-o-philes, so each evening features a tasting menu of international superstars and local favorites. This year, 20 companies and dancemakers take part, including Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the San Francisco Ballet, Dorrance Dance, Steven McRae, Miami Ballet, La Compagnie Hervé Koubi and even the great clown Bill Irwin, who premieres a collaboration with Tiler Peck and Damian Woetzel.

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New York City Center, Midtown West Wednesday September 30 2015 - Sunday October 11 2015

Drop Dead Perfect

Drop Dead Perfect: Theater review by Adam Feldman Principal among the pleasures afforded by the mock melodrama Drop Dead Perfect is, naturally, Everett Quinton, who tends to be among the principal pleasures of anything he’s in. Naturally may not be quite the right word, for Everett is a master of camp artifice, schooled in the wild-eyed ways of the Ridiculous Theatrical Company, with a knack for playing demented dames like this play’s Idris Seabright. A 1950s Florida gargoyle with a penchant for painting still lifes, no matter how her subjects must be stilled, she’s as ruthless as she is rich, and as handy with a hatchet as a brush.

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Theatre at St. Clement's, Hell's Kitchen Until Sunday October 11 2015

Doris Salcedo

Poetic is the label usually given to the work of this artist, who plumbs the haunted intersection where personal and historical trauma meet. Playing off the political turmoil of her native Colombia, her installations feature found objects and materials (furniture, clothing, etc.) altered to evoke harrowing events that continue to cling to memory, despite official efforts to bury the past.

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Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Upper East Side Until Monday October 12 2015

"Andy Warhol: Campbell’s Soup Cans and Other Works, 1953–1967"

On July 9, 1962, Andy Warhol made his one-person debut at a Los Angles gallery called Ferus, founded five years earlier by curator Walter Hopps and artist Edward Keinholz. It represented the first showing of Warhol's Campbell's Soup Can paintings, an image he became indelibly linked with. Often installed in a grid, they were originally hung in a single line at Ferus, an installation MoMA revives here in its look at Warhol's early years, when he turned the art world upside down.

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Midtown West Until Monday October 12 2015

New York City Ballet Fall 2015

The company's fall season includes a week of Peter Martins's luscious Swan Lake, two Balanchine programs, Jerome Robbins's N.Y. Export: Opus Jazz and a flurry of premieres by choreographers Justin Peck, Troy Schumacher, Robert Binet, Myles Thatcher and Kim Brandstrup, the last of which will be set to Debussy's Jeux.

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David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center), Upper West Side Tuesday September 22 2015 - Sunday October 18 2015

Okwui Okpokwasili: Bronx Gothic

After an earlier run at Danspace, the dancer and theater-muse Okwui Okpokwasili brings her solo storytelling dance work about youth, terror and the erotic to New York Live Arts. In the piece, Okpokwasili plays strange games with her own autobiography, using both her past and her own body (which she taxes to its limits) to explore notions of truth and revelation. Anyone who hasn't seen it already should seize the chance—it casts a potent spell.

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New York Live Arts, Chelsea Wednesday October 21 2015 - Saturday October 24 2015

José Limón International Dance Festival

In celebration of its 70th anniversary season, the José Limón Dance Foundation invites guest artists from the Royal Danish Ballet (performing The Unsung) and the Bavarian State Ballet (performing The Exiles), as well as students from all over the world, to perform with the Limón Dance Company in a magesterial retrospective of major works from the repertory.

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Joyce Theater, Chelsea Tuesday October 13 2015 - Sunday October 25 2015

American Ballet Theatre Fall 2015

A stupendous fall season from American Ballet Theatre includes a premiere by Mark Morris, as well as modern classics like the elegantly modern Frederick Ashton's Monotones I and II, Balanchine's Valse-Fantaisie, Kurt Jooss's anti-war masterpiece The Green Table, Paul Taylor's Company B and Twyla Tharp's The Brahms-Haydn Variations. Many of these are crucial works that changed the form itself, and it would be madness for anyone interested in the 20th Century and its movements to miss them.

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David H. Koch Theater (at Lincoln Center), Upper West Side Wednesday October 21 2015 - Sunday November 1 2015

More events in October 2015

Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park

Life was tough in the Middle Ages, what with feudalism, the Crusades and that whole plague business. But it did have some cool aspects to commend it—like castles, Chaucer and pointy hats—which are celebrated at this annual throwback fair. Explore an anachronistic village in the area around the Cloisters, where you can listen to bards and minstrels, wash down a fire-roasted turkey leg with mead and watch riders unseat each other in a jousting tourney.

Read more
Fort Tryon Park, Washington Heights Sunday October 4 2015

Columbus Day Parade

He may be one of the most famous failures in history, but 35,000 marchers and nearly 1 million spectators are expected along Fifth Avenue to mark the day when Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas and to celebrate the heritage of the Italian-American community. Sure, it isn’t New York’s glitziest parade, but where else can you catch the tarantella, a frenzied Italian folk dance? Fifth Ave from 44th St to 72nd St. RECOMMENDED: Full coverage of Columbus Day 2013

Read more
Manhattan Monday October 12 2015

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

The Village Halloween Parade is fun and all, but does it have a plethora of puppies in adorable outfits? For that, you’ll have to head to the East Village for this annual dog parade. The getups are remarkably elaborate and conceptual—no surprise given the $4,000 worth of prizes on offer, including an iPad Mini for Best in Show. No pooch? No problem: Grateful Greyhounds, Bide-A-Wee, Friends of Animal Rescue and the Mayor's Alliance for New York City Animals will be on hand with canines that need a loving home. Just remember, a dog's for life, not just for a costume contest.

Read more
Tompkins Square Park, East Village Saturday October 24 2015

Halloween Harvest Festival

Fashion your own costume to resemble Fido’s at this daylong holiday primer. Four-legged family members can compete in the Canine Costume Contest while their two-legged counterparts create their own getups on-site with the help of resident artists.

Read more
Socrates Sculpture Park, Astoria Saturday October 24 2015

The Amazing Maize Maze

Assemble clues and solve puzzles to find your way out of this playfully named three-acre corn maze in Queens. On Oct 5 and 12, the cereal labyrinth shuts at 9pm instead of 4:30pm—test your navigational skills and see if you can use the stars to find the exit.

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Queens County Farm Museum, Queens Saturday September 19 2015 - Sunday October 25 2015

Halloween Celebration at AMNH

As if the usual dinosaur skeletons and other bones weren't haunting enough, more than 30 of the museum's halls will sport chilling decor for this holiday event. Kids can trick-or-treat and make arts and crafts. All ages.

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American Museum of Natural History, Upper West Side Saturday October 31 2015

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