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47 outstanding things to do in NYC this October

Village Halloween Parade 2013
Photograph: Filip Wolak

Phenomenal things to do

October 4
Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park
If you always feel a pang of regret for a life not lived while you’re watching Game of Thrones, then take this chance to swashbuckle in a world of jousting, mead and minstrels. You won’t recognize Fort Tryon Park once it has been transformed into a comprehensive Middle Ages village, but it shouldn’t take you too long to become acquainted with a fire-roasted turkey leg. 

October 8–11
New York Comic Con Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
One of the nation’s largest entertainment convention promises to be bigger than ever with more than 150,000 proud geeks taking over the city. Expect to see fans decked out in costumes from genre fixations like Mad Max: Fury Road and Batman: Arkham Knight, along with endless comics vendors, panels, screenings and parties.

October 12
Columbus Day Parade Midtown
Party like you just discovered a new continent (or at least you think you did) with more than 35,000 marchers and nearly a million spectators as the Italian-American community celebrates our country’s founding. 

October 24
Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade
You finally have an excuse for making your poor pet wear a Wonder Woman tiara every October: The biggest dog costume parade in the world is giving away more than $4,000 in prizes to costume contest winners. Let your puppy prance on the catwalk and meet other flamboyant friends of the species, and watch your emotional defenses fall as you meet dogs up for adoption all over the park. 

October 31
Village Halloween Parade Greenwich Village
Some insist that attending this annual blowout is a rite of passage for all NYC newcomers. What could have been a basic drunk costume parade gets its signature spooky spirit from its hordes of bizarre puppets and dozens of musical troupes on the march.

Buzzworthy theatre and film events

October 2
Legend opens in theaters
Redramatized for an audience that never knew 1990’s The Krays or Spandau Ballet, the real-life London gangster saga of Ronnie and Reggie Kray gets a more substantial outing, this time courtesy of Mad Max: Fury Road’s Tom Hardy, playing both siblings in a double role. 

October 6
Old Times American Airlines Theatre
Clive Owen stars in the sexually charged Harold Pinter play about a man, his wife and her mysterious ex-roommate.

October 8
Fool for Love Manhattan Theatre Club
The stage at Manhattan Theatre Club will get hotter than a desert when Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda tangle as angry ex-lovers.

October 9
Steve Jobs opens in theaters
Director Danny Boyle is always interesting—even when he goes too far (i.e., the London Olympics opening ceremony)—and we can’t wait to see how Michael Fassbender nerds up as Apple’s founder. Expect fireworks from the sidelines, though, as Inherent Vice’s feisty Katherine Waterston continues her rise as Jobs’s thrown-off girlfriend.

October 14
The Gin Game John Golden Theatre
Two crotchety residents at a nursing home bicker over cards—and they’re played by the legendary James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson.

Eclipsed Public Theatre
The radiant and fascinating Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave) stars in this Africa-set play about war and survival. 

October 16
Crimson Peak opens in theaters
Guillermo del Toro's latest fantasy is a swirling, impeccably mounted melodrama about a young woman (Mia Wasikowska), a dashing suitor (Tom Hiddleston) and a spooky house straight out of Hitchcock's Rebecca.

Bridge of Spies opens in theaters
We expect big things from this Steven Spielberg guy. He returns to the prestige season after 2012’s extraordinary Lincoln with this Cold War courtroom thriller starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance and Alan Alda.

October 22
Dames at Sea Helen Hayes Theatre
A goofily versatile cast of six fills the Helen Hayes with musical merriment and Busby Berkeley-style spectacle. 

October 23
Suffragette opens in theaters
Early feminist crusaders come to life in this London-set drama starring Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter and (in what might just be an exhortatory cameo) Meryl Streep as the inspiring Emmeline Pankhurst. 

Unforgettable food and drinks

October 3, 4
Cheers NY Industry City, Brooklyn
Head to Sunset Park for this inaugural beer, wine, cider and spirits industry expo touting limitless pours of boozy offerings native to New York State. Sip on rye and corn moonshine from Brooklyn's Standard Spirit or get a taste of the Long Island bays with artisan vino from Raphael Vineyard. 

October 4
Pickle Day Lower East Side
In the heart of the old Pickle District, this Orchard Street fair offers samples of cukes ranging from India to Brooklyn and, of course, tried-and-true kosher varieties from the LES. Crunch on a Bloody Mary–infused version from Pioneer Cannery or hot dills from the Pickle Guys, and tap into your competitive side for pickle pun-offs and home briner competitions. 

October 15–18
Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival various locations
The power-packed, four-day event returns with more than 100 hands-on cooking classes, top toque dinners and late-night revelry to benefit Food Bank for New York City and No Kid Hungry. Saturday's all-day Grand Tasting extravaganza once again takes over the 130,000-square-foot riverside space at Pier 94 with offerings from big-name chefs like Andrew Zimmern, Masaharu Morimoto and Marcus Samuelsson.

October 22–25
NYC Food Film Festival Various Locations
This immersive four-day feast shows more than 30 gastro-minded flicks alongside dishes featured onscreen, like Japanese noodles with a Cocolo Ramen short and beers with an Edible Films episode about Brooklyn Brewery head Garrett Oliver. You can cast ballots for the flick that won your heart (and stomach), in categories like Food Filmmaker of the Year and Best Food Porn. 

October 23, 24
NYC Craft Beer Festival 2015 69th Regiment Armory
Pour yourself into the fall season with nearly 75 craft brewers tapping 150 unlimited pours of their limited release and seasonal suds. Get schooled on all things beer with three expert-led seminars from the likes of renowned homebrewer Gail Ann Williams and The Audacity of Hops author Tom Acitelli.  

Mesmerizing dance performances 

September 30–October 11
Fall for Dance City Center
You simply can not see more dance for your buck than at this beloved festival, a jam-packed smorgasbord which expands your dance-lovin' palate every year.

October 7–10
Jesse Zaritt + Jumatatu Poe: More Mutable Than You Gibney Dance: Agnes Varis Performing Arts Center
The dancer-choreographers Jesse Zaritt and Jumatatu Poe use dance to destroy the boundaries between them; they started making the work when they lived in different cities, and their work continues to incorporate distance in strange and talismanic ways.

October 13–25
José Limón International Dance Festival Joyce Theater
To wish itself a happy 70th birthday, the José Limón Foundation hosts a broad-based festival of the modernist master's best known works.

October 21–24
Okwui Okpokwasili: Bronx Gothic New York Live Arts
If you didn't get to this electrifying solo dance/storytelling hybrid last year, you must not let it slip by you again. It's a textbook case of how to link the dance and theater forms and is basically unmissable.

October 30–December 5
Ralph Lemon: Scaffold Room The Kitchen
A multiphase dance-theater work by Ralph Lemon is always cause for celebration, but this one includes superstars like April Matthis and Okwui Okpokwasili (whose solo show is another of our picks for the month!) and the result promises complicated pleasures.

Inspiring art

October 12­–January 24
"Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom" Metropolitan Museum of Art
The biggest exhibit of Ancient Egyptian art in years, this presentation of 230 objects drawn from 37 museums and collections in North America and Europe, as well as The Met's own considerable holdings, could be rightfully called a blockbuster show.

October 13­–January 10
"Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet" American Folk Art Museum
This exhibition of 180 artworks on loan from the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland examines how Outsider Art became recognized in America with the help of French artist Jean Dubuffet, who coined the term "Art Brut" in the 1940s to describe the work of self-taught artists.

October 30–­February 7
"Frank Stella: A Retrospective" Whitney Museum of American Art
Frank Stella once famously proclaimed of his abstract paintings that “what you see is what you see,” and certainly, there’s lots to see in this survey of the artist’s 50–year career, which ranges from restrained contoured canvases of the late 1950s and early ’60s to the dizzying arrays of shapes, colors and forms—often protruding into space three-dimensionally—that mark his work today. 

October 9–­January 6
“Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting” Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Throwaway materials—plywood, plastic sheeting, burlap—are part of the mix in these abstract compositions from the 1950s by Alberto Burri(1915–­1995), a postwar Italian artist whose canvases were often torn or spotted with holes burned through the surface: Burri’s way, perhaps, of dealing with the still-fresh memories of World War II.

October 7­–January 10
“Andrea del Sarto: The Renaissance Workshop in Action” The Frick Collection
Following in the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, Andrea del Sarto (1486­–1530) changed up Florentine painting by adding an element of realism that represented a departure from the sublime idealizations of high Renaissance art. Though hugely successful in his time, he’s little-known today, something this show—the first monographic survey of the artist’s work—wants to remedy.

Awesome concerts

October 1
Stromae Madison Square Garden
An established superstar back home, Belgian electro-popper Stromae's international renown skyrocketed with his megahit "Alors on Danse," earning him a spot here headlining the American arena big leagues: Madison Square Garden. 

October 6–17
Steely Dan Beacon Theatre
Though we haven't seen a new release from the jazzy soft-rock legends since 2003, the Dan's ability to draw massive crowds for an eight-night run at Beacon Theatre all these years later speaks to their grooving tunes' eternal staying power. With so many viewing opportunities, you have no excuse to miss 'em. 

October 13–15
Panda Bear Bowery Ballroom
It's a fact: No one sounds quite like Animal Collective, and no one in Animal Collective sounds quite like Panda Bear. Stepping out from the pivotal indie-weirdo crew, his solo material—like this year's visionary Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper—concocts textured electronic-pop landscapes layered with Beach Boys–y vocals. 

October 21
Billy Joel Madison Square Garden
Bar-rockers routinely take up residence at shady Brooklyn dive digs, but only the Piano Man himself can do the same with New York's most iconic venue. With his monthly showing at the Garden, you can scream along with a beer held high this month, and then do it again the next (and the next).

October 25
The Who Prudential Center
As this stadium trek threatens to be the group's final days on the road, make sure to catch all the wind-milling, classic rocking action of Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey and Co. when their 50th Anniversary tour hits town.

Outrageous comedy

Octobrt 1–3
Sinbad Carolines on Broadway
The veteran comedian and actor who's been performing for nearly 40 years is more alive onstage than ever. He could probably do a whole set without saying a word, but lucky for us, he’s got a hilarious way with words, too. 

October 9, 10
Bobcat Goldthwait Gotham Comedy Club
The comedian and director comes back to the stage after promoting his recent documentary, Call Me Lucky

October 15–18
Mary Lynn Rajskub Carolines on Broadway
The comedian and actress probably best known for her role in 24, has a deep history with comedy. See how she flexes her silly Mr. Show roots. 

October 16, 17
Rosie O’Donnell Gotham Comedy Club
After releasing a stand-up special earlier this year, the comedy veteran is back at it while headlining a weekend at the famed venue. 

October 18–24
Week at the Creek: Sean Patton The Creek and the Cave
A newcomer compared to the rest of the list, however his electric charm and story style delivery makes his act a must-see.

Marvelous LGBT events 

October 2–4
Justin Vivian Bond: Dixie McCall's Patterns for Living Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater
The Public Theater continues its yearlong retrospective of downtown performance legend Justin Vivian Bond with this revival of V’s first-ever show, which premiered in San Francisco 25 years ago.

October 5
Kelli Dunham + Elsa Waithe Bowery Poetry Club
A pair of queer comedians present a night of comedy about gender, race, drugs and more.

October 8–10
BenDeLaCreme’s Cosmos Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe
The camptastic RuPaul’s Drag Race alum (and Miss Congeniality winner!) is back in town with this boozy, spacey show.

October 10
Horse Meat Disco Output
London’s burly disco kings are back in town with a little help from Honey Dijon and Discodromo.

October 17, 24
Paige Turner: Confessions of an Un-Natural Blonde Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe
Tireless Manhattan hostess Paige Turner makes her Beechman debut with this show that has already impressed the discerning queens in Provincetown.

Unreal shopping deals

October 1 
End of Season Sale LURKshop  
You'll have to travel to the Hamptons for this beauty boutique blowout, but it's worth it since you can score cute Clover Cloth limited edition tees for $39 (instead of $52) and the brand's amazing perfume for $168 (normally $225). 

October 1, 2 
Sample Sale Showroom Seven
This sample sale is a can't-miss if you want high-end designer duds for as low as $50. And yes, you're going to want that Johnny Was embroidered blouse. 

October 12–18
Spa Week various locations

Get ready to relax your face off, New York! Book the most luxurious spa treatments in Gotham—for only $50—now.

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