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

Day of the Dead Celebration
Celebrate the Day of the Dead at the National Museum of the American Indian. The festivities include music and dance performances and lots of hands-on workshops for the kids. Sat Oct 27 14pm. National Museum of the American Indian. All ages.

Gateway 40th Anniversary Campfire Program
Learn the history of the 25,000-acre-plus national park while making s'mores and singing songs around the campfire. Sat Oct 27 68pm. . All ages.

DayLife Featuring Lower East Side Pickle Day
An area rich in history with more unique traditions than can be documented, the Lower East Side smiles back on the past today. In the heart of the old Pickle District, this Orchard Street fair features samples of the green delicacy from India and Haiti to Malaysia, Brooklyn and, of course, those good old-fashioned kosher dills from the LES. Plus, in keeping with the spirit of Halloween, kids will get their faces painted and compete in a costume contest. Sun Oct 28 noon5pm. Orchard St between E Houston and Delancey Sts. Free. All ages.

Central Park Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail
Your family can bring its finest jack-o'-lantern (5 to 10 lbs) and watch as it sets sail in Harlem Meer with tons of other carved masterpieces. Kids can also parade through the park in the annual Halloween procession to show off their dashing costumes. See website for decoration restrictions. Sun Oct 28 46:30pm. Central Park, Charles A. Dana Discovery Center. All ages.

39th Annual Village Halloween Parade
With a different spooky theme every year, the city's largest Halloween extravaganza runs up Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street. This year's theme is "Tick! Tock!"—the parade will feature physical symbols of the passage of time and will be led by Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit (he's late, he's late, for a very important date!) and a fleet of winged alarm clocks. Make sure your tots are comfortable with crowds before setting out: Typical attendance tops 2 million revelers. Wed Oct 31 710:30pm. Sixth Ave from Spring St to 16th St. All ages.

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