101 things to do in New York City: Fall 2012

Your essential guide to the season’s best things to do in New York City—festivals, parties, hot new spots and more—makes like a leaf and drops.

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  • Photograph: Courtesy www.amiaga.com

    21. See the Manhattan skyline from a new vantage point

    Pictured: FDR Four Freedoms Park

  • 22. Pogo during a rockin’ outdoor concert

    Pictured: Gogol Bordello

  • Photograph: Eric Harvey Brown

    23. Coo over dogs in costumes

    Pictured: Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade, October 2011

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    24. Build puppets for the Village Halloween Parade

  • Photograph: Nabil Elderkin

    25. Stay in town and go to All Tomorrow's Parties: I'll Be Your Mirror USA 2012

    Pictured: Headliner Frank Ocean

  • Photograph: John Shearer

    26. See Jer in Staten Island

    Pictured: Jerry Seinfeld

  • Photograph: Fredric King

    27. Follow the deliciousness to Governors Island

    Pictured: Vendy Awards

  • 28. Visit a museum for free during Museum Day Live!

    Pictured: Brooklyn Museum

     

     

  • 29. Yell “Avast, ye scurvy dogs!” at PirateCon

    Pictured: Johnny Depp, who is rumoured to be attending PirateCon. (Full disclosure: We started the rumor.)

     

     

  • 30. Take a trip to Lady Liberty’s reopened crown

    Pictured: View from the crown of the Statue of Liberty

Photograph: Courtesy www.amiaga.com

21. See the Manhattan skyline from a new vantage point

Pictured: FDR Four Freedoms Park

21

See the Manhattan skyline from a new vantage point

It’s been 40 years since Mayor John Lindsay and Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller announced plans for a memorial to commemorate President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1941 address to Congress. Set to open this October, the four-acre FDR Four Freedoms Park on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island was designed by renowned architect Louis I. Kahn and anchors a large waterfront space along the East River. History buffs will enjoy reading about Roosevelt’s leadership on a digital network accessible through the park’s Wi-Fi, while others can appreciate the serene grounds, dotted with 120 linden trees and offering sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline.

  1. Roosevelt Island
More info
22

Pogo during a rockin’ outdoor concert

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Alfresco concert season might be winding down, but there are still a few choice open-air gigs worth checking out. Case in point: The daylong blowout Riot Fest, which goes down at the new Williamsburg Park and features gypsy-punk party-starters Gogol Bordello, first-wave pop-punkers Descendents, Florida punk-rock crew Hot Water Music and other sweat-inducing acts.

  1. Williamsburg Park Kent Ave, at North 12th St
  2. Sat Sep 13
More info
23

Coo over dogs in costumes

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

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 the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade. The getups are remarkably elaborate and conceptual. Last year, we saw dogs dressed as Lady Gaga, a peacock and an A train (complete with a stuffed rat). Enterprising owners stand to win prizes if their pooch is selected Best in Show, so start planning Fido’s outfit now.

  1. Tompkins Square Park Ave A, between 7th and 10th Sts
  2. Sat Oct 25
More info
24
Village Halloween Parade puppet raising, one of Time Out's 101 things to do in New York City in the fall

Build puppets for the Village Halloween Parade

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Join parade organizers and the master puppeteers from Superior Concept Monsters for a day of hands-on crafting in a charming old barn upstate, near Rhinebeck. Jobs range from the mundane (there’s a lot of papier-mâché to be made) to the sophisticated (such as welding), depending on your skill set, but all get to enjoy the bonhomie and an automatic spot in the parade. A round-trip Zipcar ride is provided, and volunteers are treated to two homemade meals, a constant supply of coffee, hot apple cider and doughnuts. The day comes to a close with beers and a bonfire by the Hudson. Find out more with our report from last year’s Village Halloween Parade puppet raising. Sign up via halloween-nyc.com.

  1. Location revealed with R.S.V.P.
  2. Oct 6, 13, 20, 27
25

Stay in town and go to All Tomorrow's Parties: I'll Be Your Mirror USA 2012

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Formerly a premier out-of-town getaway, ATP has become a staycation opportunity. The vibe may not be as homey as in years past, but the booking is every bit as shrewd: Frank Ocean, the year's buzziest R&B eccentric, headlines, with support from darkly sensual Cincinnati alt-rockers the Afghan Whigs (whose frontman, Greg Dulli, curated the fest), inspired intergenerational composers' collabo Philip Glass and Tyondai Braxton, Montreal avant-prog orchestra Godspeed You! Black Emperor, hip-hop tastemakers the Roots and more. With a lineup like that, we'll happily be their mirror—whatever that means.

  1. Pier 36 299 South St, between Gourverneur and Jackson Sts, 10002
  2. Sat Sep 22 - Sun Sep 23
More info
26

See Jer in Staten Island

  • Critics choice

Though it’s been 14 years since the end of Jerry Seinfeld's beloved “show about nothing,” the affable New Yorker thrills fans this fall with a return to both his comedic and geographic roots. This series of headlining shows will take place over five Thursday nights in October and November, and Seinfeld has come up with the perfect gimmick: There’s one in each borough. By the end of the run, we expect he’ll have mined enough area-specific faux pas to do another new hour of material.

  1. Various venues 2900 Campus Rd, at Hillel Pl, one block from junction of Flatbush and Nostrand Aves
  2. Thu Nov 13
More info
27

Follow the deliciousness to Governors Island

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Now in its eighth year, the Vendy Awardss celebrate the city’s ever-growing ranks of mobile eateries doling out honors in categories such as Dessert, Rookie and—new this year—Market Vendor. More than 25 finalists will park on Governors Island and dole out their signature grub. Cast your vote for the People’s Taste Award alongside official judges such as Eddie Huang (Baohaus), Kate Krader (restaurant editor at Food & Wine) and Brooklyn rappers Das Racist. An open bar stocked with win and Brooklyn Brewery suds should help ease the time spent waiting in line. Visit nycvendys2012.eventbrite.com for tickets.

  1. Governors Island Governors Island
  2. Sat Sep 13
More info
28

Visit a museum for free

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Download a voucher from smithsonian.com/museumday to receive two free tickets to one of 28 New York City museums and cultural centers during Museum Day Live! Participating big-name institutions include the Brooklyn Museum, which opens one of its major fall shows, “Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe,” on Sept 28; El Museo del Barrio and the Studio Museum in Harlem, two of the three museums hosting “Caribbean: Crossroads of the World”; and the New-York Historical Society, which premieres “Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School” on Sept 21.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Sat Sep 27
More info
29

Yell “Avast, ye scurvy dogs!” at PirateCon

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Full seafaring attire is mandatory at this pirate-themed bar crawl, so don’t bother turning up without a cutlass, peg leg and talking parrot on your shoulder. (Those who do not meet the head-to-toe sartorial requirements will be booted out of the crew.) You’ll also be expected to talk like a bandit of the high seas; we suggest you bone up on your buccaneer lingo on International Talk Like a Pirate Day's website (talklikeapirate.com). PirateCon is free to attend, but bring plenty of cash for rum and beer, and have a MetroCard handy (or hooky). Keep your one good eye on the website 24 hours before the event, when the treasure map detailing your route will be revealed.

  1. Location TBA
  2. Until Sat Sep 21
More info
30

Take a trip to Lady Liberty’s reopened crown

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

In 2011, the interior of the Statue of Liberty was closed for a yearlong renovation project that included improvements to the monument’s stairs and elevators. Access will be reinstated in late October or early November (an exact date hasn’t been set yet). Visitors will once again be able to climb the 393 steps to the inside of the statue’s crown and marvel at the view of New York Harbor. In the meantime, Liberty Island is still open to the public, should you simply want to pose in front of the iconic copper lady.

  1. Liberty Island
More info

Users say

3 comments
Rod Carlysle
Rod Carlysle

I was really enjoying this list, I hadn't made plans for tonight, so I was sitting alone, in my apartment, with my tabby Max. He and I were especially excited about the Queens County Fair, but unfortunately I don't think we'll be able to make it since my mother will need to be taken to the doctor's that weekend and she likes knowing that I'm at home in case she needs me. It was an enjoyable evening, me and Max, but unfortunately when we came to the end of the list our pleasant evening was brought to an unexpected halt. I searched the entire length of this list, and the rest of your website, but I can't seem to find the 101st thing to do in NY. LIkely I won't be able to do it, I don't get out of the house that often because of my asthma, but I really enjoyed imagining myself doing those wonderful things with all those happy looking people. I hope you'll post the 101st item, if no please send it to the included email address, I don't have a computer with a printer, but that is my mother's email address, she'll print it out and deliver it to my apartment, Yours Truly, Rod

Mandy
Mandy

This list is awesome! I'm particularly jazzed about the LitCrawl and Halloween Parade. You left taking a language class off the list though. Fall is the perfect time to take an indoor class and keep your mind active. I took a Spanish class at Fluent City and it was awesome. The offer 10 languages (French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, German, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Hebrew) and have affordable classes in Brooklyn and Manhattan. My teacher was Ricardo and he was really cool. Check out their classes at http://www.fluentcity.com Thanks for the list!!