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15 fabulous things to do in NYC this weekend

Jennifer P

Fri 21

Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel Voorhees Theatre; 6pm; $8, students with ID $5
New York’s most high-tech haunted house is not only truly terrifying; it also has an educational element. Every year, students in City Tech’s Theatreworks program produce the attraction from the ground up, with skeleton pirates, talking paintings and a grisly bathroom. Participants trigger the hotel’s spooky surprises with a series of hidden sensors that respond to the audience’s movements.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to things to do in NYC this weekend

NYC Food Film Festival AMC Empire 25; 7pm; $75-$95
Feast your eyes—and belly—at this tenth annual fest showcasing more than 20 gastro-minded flicks and serving up those same dishes seen on screen. Opening night revisits the best films from the fest's ten years and offers treats from Amanda Cohen’s Dirt Candy, The Brooklyn Star, Max & Mina’s Ice Cream and more. 

Stranger Things Party at Lot 45; 10pm; $20–$60
This party is going to be an eleven out of ten. For three nights, this hip Bushwick watering hole will transform into Hawkins, Indiana and the Upside Down for a night of '80's nostalgia. The DJ will be playing the full Stranger Things soundtrack, and there will be plenty of waffles to go around. Play games like trivia and, of course, Dungeons & Dragons.

TV Hangover presents The Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror Videology Bar & Cinema; 9:30pm; $5
It doesn't really feel like Halloween until Kang and Kodos make an appearance, so get in the spooky spirit by watching some of your fave "Treehouse of Horror" episodes, playing drinking games and showing off your Simpsons trivia knowledge at this popular Williamsburg watering hole.

Holy Trinity: Bey x RiRi x Nicki Brooklyn Dance Party Baby’s All Right; midnight; $10
The always happening Williamsburg concert venue Baby’s All Right has blessed us with another one of its all-night ragers, at which the playlist includes tracks by the most powerful female pop stars in the world: Beyoncé, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj. (Sorry, T-Swizzle.) Resident DJs Dame Luz and Wassup Gina control the woman-powered tunes, so ladies, grab your girls and get in “Formation” before you put in some serious “Work” on the dance floor. And don’t forget to take photos with your tribe inside the Poseybooth; you’ll want to relive this “Moment 4 Life.” Mic drop! 

Sat 22

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade Tompkins Square Park; noon; Suggested $5 raffle ticket
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 thousands of dollars worth in prizes up for grabs 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.

Halloween Harvest Luna Park; noon; ticket package prices vary
NYC’ s largest amusement park has been transformed into a spooky fun zone with Halloween Harvest, a family-friendly festival going on at Luna Park on weekends through October 30. They'll be crafts, raffles, entertainment, and of course, the Luna Park rides that make the park so special. With the beach and the Cyclone set as the backdrop, the southern coast of Brooklyn makes for a great holiday experience. 

Giant Pumpkin Weekend New York Botanical Garden; 10am; $20
Pour out some spiked apple cider for your soon-to-be picked pumpkin homies, which will become the main display at New York Botanical Garden’s pumpkin garden. These monstrous gourds—weighing up to 1,800 pounds—will be available for your photo-taking pleasure. 

Dracula…Entirely from Memory Videology Bar & Cinema; 9:30pm; $10
Eight actors recreate the story of Dracula entirely from memory, which, when you think about it, is precisely what actors do every time. But in this case there's no script apart from a handful of lines written by the audience, which the actors are obliged to incorporate into their telling, along with sound effects played at random by the host. As if that weren't enough, one audience member is presented with a horn, which when honked prompts the actors to create a scene that makes sense in context, but has absolutely no place in the story of Dracula. That's a lot of variables, but one thing is for sure: everyone is in for a wacky, unpredictable and hilarious night. 

Wasapalooza The Bell House; 9pm; $20–$35
Lace up those Docs, the women of Wasabassco take the stage at the Bell House for a night of grunge-themed seduction. Count on two things: you'll hear all your fave Nirvana and Soundgarden jams and you'll never see a flannel shirt the same way again. 

National Pantsuit Day March Location TBA; 3pm; free
Are you with her? Then slip into those shoulder pads and take to the streets to show your support for the self-described "pantsuit aficionado" (for real, check her Twitter bio). The march will begin at an undisclosed park in lower Manhattan, proceed across the Brooklyn Bridge to Clinton's campaign headquarters and conclude with a celebration in DUMBO. If you're willing to part with your pantsuit, you can donate it to Dress for Success at the end of the day.

Blocktoberfest The Well; 12:30pm; $10–$30
Sick of lederhosen and bratwurst but still want an excuse to chug copious amounts of beer? Bushwick’s version of Oktoberfest includes brews from more than 15 local breweries and a taco truck! 

Sun 23

Artisanal Sweet Treats Bazaar Grand Bazaar NYC; 10am; free admission
With Halloween just around the corner, it’s pretty hard not to think about all the delicious candy (walking into Duane Reade has never been more dangerous). So consider Grand Bazaar’s artisanal treats market the grown-up version of trick or treat—no costumes required. Devour sweets from 25 vendors including mouthwatering macarons, cupcakes and pies from spots such as HunnyBon, Lagusta’s Luscious, Harlem Chocolate Factory and more. Hell, we’re getting a toothache just thinking about it. 

Psychics for Breast Cancer 301 Bleecker Street; noon; $15–$65
Pay what you want for a palm or tarot card reading? We're in. All for a good cause? That's a bonus; you had us at "pay what you want." A Psychics for Breast Cancer Awareness event lands on Bleecker Street and now you can get your palms read by an experienced psychic at this fundraiser. Presenting psychic Christine Wallace, a veteran with over 30 years experience in the art of palm and psychic readings and tarot cards, who will be hosting the event. Normally, the price for palm readings is $40 and $90 for tarot readings, but during the fundraiser, people can choose what they want to pay for a reading. With the fundraiser donating a percentage of the proceeds to breast cancer awareness, we see a kind heart in your future.

Taxidermy Carnival ACME Studio; 4pm; $40
Revel in an evening of weird while celebrating the art of taxidermy and the authors behind the new book Stuffed Animals. There will be custom drinks, live jazz, vintage films and more. 

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