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NYC events in October 2016

Plan your month with the best NYC events in October 2016 including amazing Halloween activities, festivals and more

Photograph: Filip Wolak

Let’s be honest: There are lots of cool NYC events in October 2016—we love Open House New York and New York Comic Con—but there will be all sorts of spectacular Halloween festivities at the end of the month, too. Use our events calendar to find the best Halloween events, along with our favorite theater debuts, fall concerts and street fairs.

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2016

Featured events in October 2016


Open House New York

The Metropolitan Opera House is one of this year’s brand-new additions to the Open House New York, the weekend-long festival where more than 250 fascinating sites across New York open their doors to the public. The incredibly popular two-day event offers glimpses into spaces that are usually off limits to the public, from sky-high rooftop gardens to palatial apartments.

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By: Evelyn Derico

Rooftop Cinema Club

Check out a classic, sip Champagne and experience a Manhattan or Brooklyn sunset at the sultriest of film series.

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By: Joshua Rothkopf

Columbus Day Parade

He may be one of the most famous failures in history, but 35,000 marchers and nearly 1 million spectators are expected along Fifth Avenue to mark the day when Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas and to celebrate the heritage of the Italian-American community. Sure, it isn’t New York’s glitziest parade, but where else can you catch the tarantella, a frenzied Italian folk dance? Fifth Ave from 44th St to 72nd St.

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By: Jennifer Picht

New York Comic Con

This glorious geek assembly brings in more than 151,000 visitors, beating San Diego Comic-Con and making NYCC the second-biggest event in the city. Wear a Batman T-shirt or a full cape-and-cowl at this packed pop culture mecca, where anyone can be a superhero.

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By: David Goldberg

East Side Synagogue High Holidays 2016

Celebrate the High Holidays with East Side Synagogue’s free services, now in their 33nd year. The October 3 Rosh Hashanah service (10am-2:15pm) features Jewish “kosher gospel” singer Joshua Nelson and the award-winning music of Broadway and TV composer Gary William Friedman. Free light lunch follows the service, catered to Jews who come from reform, conservative and unaffiliated backgrounds and people of all faiths or no faith. 

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Wed Oct 12 - Mon Oct 3

Cider Week


There are many types of apples (Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Granny Smith), but the best variation of everyone’s favorite autumnal fruit is clearly the fermented kind. And for seven glorious days, you can guzzle bushels of the good stuff at more than 50 bars and restaurants in NYC and indulge in free tastings, events and workshops at popular drinking dens such as Chelsea Wine Vault and Craftbar.

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Various locations Until Monday October 31 2016

Kickoff to Fall

Fact: Nothing says autumn like an intricate corn maze, wooden bins filled to the brim with just-picked apples and a pumpkin patch overflowing with gourds. All three of these iconic seasonal staples are present at this annual festival, which celebrates the season’s return to Queens County Farm Museum. Tap your toes to country & western band Savannah Sky while sipping crisp apple cider, get lost in the Amazing Maize Maze, and watch the farm’s flock of Cotswold and Romney sheep get a new hairdo during a shearing demonstration. (It’s going to be baaadass.)

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01 Oct 2016

The Rink at Rockefeller Center


Even if the sidewalks are overrun with tourists, you’ll have ample room to skate at the city’s most iconic rink; only 150 people are allowed on the ice at once. That also means that by the time Thanksgiving hits you should prepare for painfully long lines. So when the rink first opens in mid October, make like Chicagoans when voting—go early and often.

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The Rink at Rockefeller Center , Midtown West Until Sunday April 2 2017

Haunted Lantern Tours at Fort Totten Park

Ain’t afraid of no ghost? That’s good, because you might spot a few spirits (hopefully the friendly kind) during this Urban Park Rangers tour that blurs the line between history and Halloween. Use the lanterns provided (not your iPhone flashlight, bro) to explore the creepy Water Battery Gate at Fort Totten Park in the pitch-black while your guide shares goose-bumps–inducing stories about the phantasm-infested grounds. Enter at Shore and Abbott Rds.

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Fort Totten Park Friday October 28 2016

Giant Pumpkin Weekend

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.

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New York Botanical Garden , The Bronx Saturday October 22 2016 - Sunday October 23 2016

Scarecrows: From the Heartland to Horror

For years, scarecrows have been the guardians of gardens, scaring birds since the first U.S. settlers. Today, scarecrows are not only frightening pigeons, but humans. See: Night of the Scarecrow and Husk. There’s no denying that these makeshift mannequins are seriously spooky, which is why the New York Botanical Garden’s brand-new Halloween exhibit is all about ’em. Sculptor and artist Ray Villafare created original art to showcase the evolution of scarecrows, comprising larger-than-life sculptures with moving eyes, hands and limbs. Check out these monstrous creations after dark...if you dare.

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New York Botanical Garden , The Bronx Until Sunday October 30 2016

NYC Food and Wine Festival

Now in its ninth year, the NYCWFF is about as star-studded as food events get, with a myriad of tastings, dinners and classes hosted by Food Network and Cooking Channel personalities including Giada De Laurentiis, Aaron Sanchez and Anne Burrell. Highlights include a late-night sushi party with Masaharu Morimoto and a Nordic breakfast with Claus Meyer.

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By: Christina Izzo

The New Yorker Festival

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 Mitsy, 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.

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Until Sun Oct 9

Halloween in NYC

Have you figured out what you’re doing this Halloween? NYC is full of Halloween parties and events (including the iconic Village Halloween Parade and the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade)—use our guide to find things to do, Halloween stores where you can pick up a killer costume, the scariest haunted houses and more.

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By: Time Out New York contributors

The Village Halloween Parade

Before you head out to some of the best Halloween parties in NYC, start with the basics: namely, the world’s largest pumpkin day procession, the Village Halloween Parade in NYC. With over 50,000 zombies, giant puppets and Donald Trumps taking to the streets, you may need a little help with navigation. So dress in your best Halloween costume ideas (or else you won’t be allowed to march), work on your Halloween makeup and get ready for the walk of your life.

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By: David Goldberg

Music events in October 2016

Blood Orange

Formerly known as the man behind Lightspeed Champion, Devonté Hynes has risen to the status of omnitalented alt-pop visionary: producer to Sky Ferreira and Solange, Hollywood soundtracker (Palo Alto) and—working as Blood Orange—’80s-obsessed soul-pop mastermind. This year’s Freetown Sound, Hynes’s third record under that moniker, was a complex, swirling affair, an upbeat ode to dance one moment and a soul-searching dirge the next.

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01 Oct 2016

Sigur Rós

Icelandic band Sigur Rós maintains a seemingly unpiercable facade beyond its remote native land—blame it on the combo's brainy, loose dreamscapes, which turned unexpectedly turbulent and aggressive on its most recent effort, Kveikur. The group pared down in recent years to a trio after the departure of keyboardist Kjartan "Kjarri" Sveinsson, but you can expect the trim lineup to craft an enormously expansive, otherwordly experience nonetheless.

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Wed Oct 5 - Fri Oct 7

Descendents + Fucked Up

Born out of an L.A. punk scene that prized efficiency, the Descendents have been delivering 90-second fastballs of buzzed-up bubble gum off and on since the late ’70s. The band went on several extended hiatuses in the ’90s and aughts; its new, excellent LP, Hypercaffium Spazzinate, is just its third in three decades­. The songs might be more mature, but they’re still as fast and concise as ever.

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08 Oct 2016

Drake + Future

Two of the most influential voices in rap right now grace the house that Billy Joel built—er, plays all the friggin’ time—with this four-night stretch at Madison Square Garden. Expect to hear cuts from last year’s team-up album, What a Time to be Alive (unavoidable viral hit “Jumpman” is a shoo-in), and plenty from Drake’s latest LP, Views.

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Tue Oct 11 - Wed Oct 12


After years of wayward traveling through dance music's many realms—IDM, deep house and so forth—Machinedrum's Travis Stewart settled into a distinctive niche of spastic vocal-sample–heavy UK bass music with 2011's Room(s). After a few EP's and a follow-up LP, Vapor City, he's refined that style with the addition of his own voice, famous drum-sample Amen breaks and acoustic guitar to make for a potent live set.

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13 Oct 2016

DJ Shadow

DJ Shadow became an instant headphone hero in the ’90s with his debut album, Endtroducing…, a stone-cold hip-hop classic that set off nearly two decades of a scene swamped with imitative efforts by fellow sample slayers and turntable terrors. The man himself will be rocking the decks tonight in Williamsburg, as he tours behind a new album, The Mountain Will Fall, which trades ’90s turntable sounds for contemporary Ableton production.

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Fri Oct 14 - Sat Oct 15


It's easy to see why Chvrches emerged as one of the most heavily hyped bands 0f 2013. The coed Scottish trio's swooning, Prince-meets–Kate Bush synth pop, captured on exquisite singles such as "The Mother We Share," is an irresistible sonic confection. Now the cosmic popsters land at Radio City Music Hall, in support of their sophomore 2015 album, Every Open Eye.

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15 Oct 2016

Regina Spektor

Thanks to the ascent of ladies such as Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles and Christina Perri, the female quirk-pop field is a lot more crowded now than it was when Regina Spektor broke through with “Fidelity,” her oft-licensed semihit, in 2006. Yet one needn’t proceed too deeply into Spektor’s latest to remember what an idiosyncratic talent she remains: On Remember Us to Life (released on September 30), the NYC songstress returns to form.

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Mon Oct 17 - Tue Oct 18


Gojira, a French extreme-metal outfit that's steadily accrued a rabid following, thanks to its rare balance of complexity and catchiness, gigs in support of its latest progged-out opus, Magma. This one's gonna get intense.

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Terminal 5 , Hell's Kitchen Sunday October 23 2016

Sia + Miguel + AlunaGeorge

Five-time Grammy-nominee Sia brings all her electro-pop dramatics to the Barclay Center with her "Nostalgic for the Present Tour." At 40 years old, Sia might seem like an unusual artist to dominate the charts, but her powerhouse vocals and aesthetic are not to be missed. Critically acclaimed R&B artist Miguel and electronic duo AlunaGeorge join as the special guests.

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Barclays Center , Prospect Heights Tuesday October 25 2016
See more NYC concerts in October

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Caren A
Caren A

We just saw the preview for Songbird, A Tennessee Fiction that will be at 59E59 Theater in October for a limited run. My partner and I were blown away by the show.   It's worth adding to you list of must see this fall.   I think the tickets are on sale right now.