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Every fall festival worth going to in NYC

Written by
Jennifer Picht

All Halloween events aside, there are tons of other celebrations happening during leather jacket weather, which cover everything from comedy and horror films to beer and more this fall. Because we don't want you to miss out the best festivals happening in autumn (including Halloween festivals), we decided to list all the fêtes we're most looking forward to this season. Fall in New York is the best, you guys! Here's how to spend it. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in the fall in NYC

The New Yorker Festival at various locations; Fri 7–Oct 9; $65
The New Yorker is sending its finest staffers around town to talk with fascinating figures in literature, film, TV, music, theatre, tech, activism and beyond. Preview upcoming shows and films, hear concerts from star acts like Andre Bird and Father John Misty, one-on-one interviews with Bruce Springsteen and enjoy panel discussions with Mr. Robot with actor Christian Slater. Just be sure to do your research before taking the mic during the Q&A section.

Future of Storytelling Fest at various locations; Fri 7–Oct 9; $75, individual events at various prices
This festival invites you to explore how developments in virtual reality, interactive theater and nonlinear fiction are turning game players into protagonists and audience members into participants. You can try full-sensory narrative experiences like the NASA-inspired Home: VR Spacewalk while wearing an Oculus Rift headset, or head to experiences all over NYC, including Sleep No More, costume campfest 8Players and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

New York City Wine and Food Festival various locations; Oct 13–16; various prices
You may not be able to fit into your Halloween costume this month, but it will certainly have been worth it. Spend four days feasting at tastings, classes and dining events all over the city with appearances by the likes of Whoopi Goldberg, Guy Fieri, Dominque Ansel, Martha Stewart and more.

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival at various location; Oct 14-17; various prices
For one weekend, the Brooklyn Horror Club is hosting a top-notch scary movie festival including spooky titles including We Are The FleshFury of the Demon and Psychotic!. Just don't scream too loudly.

Queens Beer Festival LIC Flea & Food; Oct 15; $29-$68
How is it possible that Queens is throwing down for its very first beer-lovers' celebration in 2016? Some of the city's finest brewers will descend on the LIC Flea for a full weekend of curating boozing, with vendors including Singlecut Brewery, Queens Brewery and Flagship Brewing Co. offering their best batches. 

Harvest Fest and Pumpkin Patch Queens Botanical Garden; Oct 16; $12
While haunted houses and ghost tours pop up all over town, Queens is keeping Halloween classic with this day of frolicking in the pumpkin patch. Head to the Botanical Garden and smell the fresh fall air in the arboretum, pinetum and circle garden, then join the shenanigans at this fest where you can check out live music, join nature walks and learn hipster-ready crafts like pickling. Hit up food vendors and a beer and wine garden to enjoy a cider on the crisp grasses. If you get tipsy, fear not! The only thing better than a petting zoo is a drunk petting zoo. 

Diwali: Hindu Festival of Lights Times Square; Oct 16; free
Diwali is the type of holiday everyone can get behind: he annual Indian festival celebrates the triumph of light over dark, and there’s nowhere more lit than Times Square. Check out live music and entertainment and dance the night away.

Marco Polo Festival Grand St between Mott and Mulberry Sts; Oct 15; free
This annual festival celebrates the unity between the East and the West during the time of the Silk Road, when ancient markets in Asia and Europe started the idea of world commerce and trade. Along with a procession at the beginning, the festival also features performances by cultural groups from around the city. 

Halloween Harvest Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park; Oct 29; free
Fashion your own costume to resemble Fido’s at this daylong holiday primer and get your face painted by Agostino Arts. Four-legged family members can compete in the Canine Costume Contest while their two-legged counterparts create their own getups on-site with the help of resident artists. There will also be circus acts, including jugglers, stilt walkers and clowns (the friendly and funny kind) and plenty and tasty fair concessions to keep you satisfied. 

Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla Central Park; Oct 30; free
Celebrate the Halloween season at one of the best park’s in the city for fall foliage: Central Park. Listen to ghost stories, check out a costume parade and get creative by carving a pumpkin. After the festivities, the Central Park Conservancy will partake in a traditional Pumpkin Flotilla, where 50 gourds (possibly your creation) will take a sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight. 

New York Comedy Festival at various locations; Nov 1–6; various prices
Comedy Central is shutting it down this year with a slate of household names in comedy performing and speaking throughout the city. See stand-up from the likes of Tracy Morgan, Bridget Everett and Dane Cook, catch the Daily Show's Trevor Noah do an original set at the Beacon Theatre, and much more. NYC comedy fans are serious, so don't wait to reserve your seats.

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