Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

38 fun and free things to do in NYC in October 2012

There's nothing we love more than free things to do in NYC; behold, our list of 38 gratis October events that won't cost your family a dime.

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    The Little Red Lighthouse and the GWB

  • Open House NY

  • Photograph: QCFM staff photographer

    Queens County Farm Museum

  • Photograph: Marielle Solan

    Fall Kids Fest

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    Century of the Child at MoMA

  • My Dog Loves Central Park Country Fair

  • Harmony on the Hudson

  • GrowNYC's Halloween Costume Swap

  • Halloween Harvest Festival

  • Dia de los Muertos

  • World Financial Center Screamin' Green Halloween

  • LES Pickle Day

  • Central Park Pumpkin Sail

  • Photograph: Virginia Rollison

    39th Annual Village Halloween Parade

Photograph: Virginia Rollison

The Little Red Lighthouse and the GWB

J&R Jr. Kids' Night Out
Keep your family's Saturday night low-key with free pizza and an animated film. Each week, downtown store J&R Jr. will screen a different movie, including Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Sat Oct 6), Monster High: Ghouls Rule (Sat Oct 13), Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (Sat Oct 20) and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Sat Oct 27). Sat Oct 6, 13, 20, 27 at 5pm J and R Junior. Ages 5 to 10.

Target First Saturday: Mickalene Thomas
In conjunction with the exhibition "Mickalene Thomas: Origin of the Universe," the Brooklyn Museum hosts a jam-packed night of music, performance art, lectures and hands-on fun. Brooklyn-based Mickalene Thomas explores topics like feminine identity and beauty through a colorful visual medium. Kids can create plush collages inspired by the artist, have their photo taken against a backdrop of Thomas's work, or check out '70s-inspired threads at the fashion show. Sat Oct 6 510pm. Brooklyn Museum. All ages.

Open House New York Weekend Family Festival
This annual festival held in conjunction with Open House New York offers families a slew of hands-on activities celebrating the city's architecture. Past offerings have included workshops in which kids built a mini city, created architectural masks, played with Lego robotics and made stained glass windows. No preregistration required. Sat Oct 6, Sun Oct 7 noon4pm. . All ages.

Origamic Architecture
In celebration of Open House New York, the Japan Society is offering free admission, and a free drop-in workshop on "origami architecture." Kids ages five and up and accompanying adults will use the Japanese art of paper folding and elements of modern architecture to create fanciful art they can take home. Space is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sun Oct 7 10am5pm. Japan Society. Ages 5 and up.

Budding environmentalists can get their fill of earth-friendly entertainment with games, performances, an eco-fashion show and plenty of facts about going green. Kids can also participate in the recycling olympics and compete for the title of top recycler. Sun Oct 7 11am6pm. Solar One. All ages.

Queens County Farm Museum Apple Festival
Youngsters can munch on apples and sip freshly pressed cider, then go for a hayride and play games at this autumn extravaganza. Plus, after learning all about the fruit, kids can check out the nation's largest apple cobbler as it's baked on-site. Sun Oct 7 11am4pm. Queens County Farm Museum. All ages.

Meet the Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Drop by Word for a storytime with Sophie Blackall, one of our very favorite children's book author-illustrators. Today she'll be reading from the latest Ivy and Bean book (written by Annie Barrows), Ivy and Bean Make the Rules. Sun Oct 7 at 1:30pm. WORD. Ages 6 to 12.

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