NYC events in October 2018

Plan your month with the best NYC events in October 2018 including the Village Halloween Parade, food fests and more
Fall in NYC
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Comons/Flickr/Gigi_NYC
By Time Out New York contributors and Jennifer Picht |
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Aside from spooky Halloween parties, there are plenty of other awesome NYC events in October 2018. Use our events calendar to plan the quintessential month for leaf peeping and spotting fall foliage, pumpkin picking and more things to do in fall. Aside from that, there are some major artists and bands playing kick-ass fall concerts and more art and theater openings you don’t want to miss this month. 

RECOMMENDED: Full NYC events calendar for 2018

Featured events in October 2018

1
TWA Terminal at JFK
Photograph: Nicolas Lemery Nante
Things to do, Festivals

Open House New York

The Metropolitan Opera House is one of the newest 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.

2
New York Comic Con
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Things to do, Festivals

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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3
March in the Village Halloween Parade
Things to do

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.

4
The Village Halloween Parade in NYC
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Things to do, Festivals

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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5
Photograph: Courtesy Jennifer Mitchell
Things to do

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze guide

One of the best things to do in the fall in New York is check out The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in Hudson Valley, New York. Trust us, it’s worth the trip. Witness an army of more than 7,000 glowing, intricately carved pumpkins shining along the riverside near Van Cortlandt Manor. This is the tristate area’s most spirited Halloween happening, and also one of the best fall day trips from NYC. Ogling pretty gourds isn’t the only draw. There are also "stargazing" opportunities inside the Pumpkin Planetarium, flying ghosts and a special appearance by Sleepy Hollow’s Headless Horseman. 

6
Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/petercruise
Things to do

The Rink at Rockefeller Center

Before you sip your first pumpkin beer or latte of the season, The Rink at Rockefeller Center will already be open and ready for skaters. That’s right—ice skating is not only one of the best Christmas things to do, but it’s one of the best things to do in fall! Every year, The Rink at Rockefeller Center ushers in the holiday season by opening up to the public in early October.

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7
Sothys
Photograph: Courtesy Sothys
Shopping

Spa Week in NYC

Forget your endlessly-flooding mailbox and get ready to relax during Spa Week, NYC’s favorite time to chill out and one of the best things to do in fall in the city. This is not just one of the biggest NYC events in October—hundreds of spas around the country offer soothing treatments for only $50! 

8
BRIC Jazzfest
Photograph: Courtesy David Andrako
Music, Music festivals

BRIC JazzFest

icon-location-pin Fort Greene
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One of the borough's most celebrated musical institutions, BRIC is best known for its staple summer concert series, Celebrate Brooklyn! in Prospect Park. The organization puts the same keen curatorial eye for both local and international musicians to work at this massive festival. A week of jazz-related films and works culminates in a three-night star-studden marathon at the BRIC House in Fort Greene. The 2018 edition of this festival also crowns the organization's 40th anniversary. This year's headliners include singer and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello (Oct 19), who recently released a masterful collection of covers of ‘80s and ‘90s R&B hits, as well as Christian Scott, a wicked postbop trumpeter with a serious knack for groove-friendly atmospherics (Oct 19). Also not to be missed is Xenia Rubinos, who splits the difference between jazz fusion and Tune-Yards–like vocal experimentation (Oct 19). The full lineup also includes Stefon Harris & Blackout, Cyrus Chestnut Trio, The Jazz Passengers, Deva Mahal, Kat Edmonson and Noa Fort among many others. Additionally, this year features the festival's first debut commissioned work, completed by scorching trumpeter Keyon Harrold.

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9
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Photograph: Cat Stevens
Music, Rock and indie

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds

icon-location-pin Prospect Heights
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Over their three decades and counting, Cave & Co. have lost none of their fire and drama playing live. What’s more, the band’s latest album, Skeleton Tree (2016), demonstrates that Cave’s writing has only intensified its profoundly haunting qualities. Bathed in grief and world-shattering loss, the album was written in the aftermath of the passing of the singer’s 15-year old son.

10
Harry Potter: A History of Magic
Photograph: Courtesy Jim Kay, Bloomsbury Publishing
Things to do

"Harry Potter: A History of Magic"

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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Go all the way into the mythological antecedents of the world's most beloved magical saga at this spectacular exhibition, which collects artifacts from the British Library and New-York Historical Society and from J.K. Rowling's archives. You'll learn about the history of dragons, griffins and other essentials of Hogwarts lore; peer at rare notes and art from Rowling and illustrator Mary GrandPré, and view costumes from the current production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Brace yourself for a museum gift shop more packed than Honeyduke's.

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11
Museum of Pizza
Photograph: Courtesy Kate Owen and Nameless Network
Restaurants, Pizza

The Museum of Pizza

icon-location-pin Greenpoint
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Everyone knows New York City has the best pizza, so it's about time Gothamites' favorite cheap eat got its proper due. Enter the Museum of Pizza (nicknamed MoPi, naturally) from the "youth media company" Nameless Network. The kingdom of 'za is grabbing a slice of the city as an immersive, Instagram-baiting funhouse with a pizza art gallery, a "stalactite-inspired" cheese cave, a pizza beach, pizza meditation and a real-life edible slice included in admission.

12
Visitors at adidas: Art & Yoga
Photograph: Courtesy Kolin Mendez
Things to do

Adidas: Art & Yoga

icon-location-pin Prospect Park
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If there’s one thing we’ve learned from living in New York it’s that people will do yoga just about anywhere—even in the middle of Times Square in honor of the Summer Solstice. From rooftops to some of NYC’s best parks, Gothamites love to downward dog in unique places outside of their normal, go-to yoga studios. One of the current and coolest places you can perfect your warrior pose is at the Brooklyn Museum. On select dates every month, head to the art museum for an hour yoga session followed by mindfulness meditation. The class itself is only $10 (yoga mats provided), and that includes museum admission. Afterward, you can stick around and enjoy a self-guided tour of the galleries. The next class is this Saturday, August 11 from 9am to 11am. Find your Ohm and then get inspired by the art? Sounds like the perfect way to kick off the weekend to us.

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13
Altar Frontal, New Julfa, 1741
Photograph: Hrair Hawk Khatcherian and Lilit Khachatryan, Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, Armenia
Art, Masterpiece

Armenia!

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Given the exclamation point in the title, it would seem that the Met is very excited, indeed, about its survey of Armenian art and culture spanning the 4th to 17th centuries. And why not? The show presents some 140 rarely-seen treasures (including gilded reliquaries, illuminated manuscripts, textiles and liturgical objects) to tell the story of Armenia’s embrace of Christianity, and it’s central role in shaping Armenian identity.

14
Sarah Lucas, Edith, 2015
Photograph: © Sarah Lucas, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London
Art, Contemporary art

“Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel”

icon-location-pin Lower East Side
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One of the bad girls of the original Young British Artists group, Sarah Lucas emerged in the early 1990s with provocative, in-your-face work that, as Brits like to say, took the piss out of attitudes revolving around gender and social norms. Sex, death, abjection and class provided the fodder for satirical jabs at the lofty pretensions of high culture. Scabrous and contentious, Lucas’s work weaponized self-abasement to take on male privilege in the art world and society at large. This exhibit marks her first museum show in the United States.

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15
Jacopo Tintoretto, Head of a Man, c. 1550s
Photograph: Courtesy Royal Collection, London
Art, Masterpiece

“Celebrating Tintoretto: Portrait Paintings and Studio Drawings”

icon-location-pin Central Park
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One of greatest painters of 16th-century Venice, Tintoretto was known for working fast while employing a bold form of brushwork that was atypical for the era. Though Tintoretto’s reputation rested upon his vast, religious scenes, this show—drawn on public and private collections, as well as the Met's own holdings—focuses on studies and portraits.

16
Bruce Nauman, Human Nature/Life Death/Knows Doesn’t Know, 1983
Photograph: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © 2018 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Art, Contemporary art

“Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts”

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Both MoMA and its Queens satellite devote space to this unpacking of the work of Bruce Nauman in the biggest retrospective of his career. A Conceptual Art pioneer who led the development of practices such as performance, video and installation art during the 1960s and ’70s, Nauman emphasized process over product, pushing the boundaries of the artist’s role while aggressively interrogating the human condition with pieces that were noted for their piquant psychological insights.

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17
Peter Saul, Government of California, 1969
Photograph: © Peter Saul, courtesy Mary Boone Gallery, New York, collection of Brian Donnelly, New York
Art, Contemporary art

“Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy”

icon-location-pin Lenox Hill
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Even paranoiacs have real enemies, and sometimes those paranoiacs are artists, too. The truth is out there in this show featuring works that us through the conspiratorial looking glass.

Music events in October 2018

Billy Joel
Photograph: Kevin Mazur
Music, Rock and indie

Billy Joel

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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The erstwhile angry young man—since 2014, an official Madison Square Garden franchise, like the Knicks and Rangers—is tacking on date after date in what’s threatening to become an endless run.

Justin Timberlake
Photograph: Tom Munro / RCA Records
Music, Pop

Justin Timberlake

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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A consummate pro, J.T. mixes a young Sinatra’s swagger and charisma with the airtight funk of peak Michael Jackson, making magic night after night with a crack big band.

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Elton John
Photograph: Rebecca Taylor
Music, Rock and indie

Elton John

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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With the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, Sir Elton is saying a final goodbye to the touring life. That's right—this is your final chance to catch the rollicking songman live in person, as he takes the audience on a massive visual journey spanning his entire 50-year career. Swoon along to "Tiny Dancer," make juvenile hand gestures to "Crocodile Rock" and smile meaningfully at your folks during "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" here for one last time.

Mudhoney
Photograph: Emily Rieman
Music, Rock and indie

Mudhoney + Pissed Jeans + Art Gray Noizz Quintet

Seattle's Mudhoney, one of the veteran grunge outfits that failed to hit it big, yet racked up impeccable indie-rock cred, pays an always-welcome visit to the East Coast. New-school scuzz-rock overlords Pissed Jeans and the raucous Art Gray Noizz Quintet set the stage.

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Screaming Females
Photograph: Courtesy Christopher Patrick Ernst
Music, Rock and indie

Screaming Females

icon-location-pin Greenpoint
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The local indie-rock heroes, whose punky, crunched-out anthems manage to sound both commanding and casual, hit Greenpoint behind their imaginative and wildly entertaining lastest, All At Once. Brace yoursef, frontwoman Marissa Paternoster's soul-shaking vibrato is even more thrilling live.

Liz Phair
Photograph: Nicole Fara Silver
Music, Rock and indie

Liz Phair

The alt-rock icon celebrates the 25th anniversary of her raw breakout record, Exile in Guyville, with a gig that promises cuts from her protean demo recordings under the name Girly Sound.

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Made in America Festival 2013
Photograph: Michael J. Chen
Music, Dance and electronic

Nine Inch Nails + The Jesus and Mary Chain

The industrial icons roll into town behind their latest, Bad Witch, which finds the band as vigorous and relevant as ever. The tour's supporting acts are nothing to sneeze at: shoegaze luminaries the Jesus and Mary Chain join Reznor and Co. for all dates, Savages bassist Ayse Hassan's Kite Base rounds out the lineup on Oct 13 and electronic maven Daniel Avery opens the last three shows. Get there early. 

serpentwithfeet
Photograph: Courtesy the artist
Music, Rap, hip-hop and R&B

serpentwithfeet

Sitting at the intersection of R&B, classical and gospel, serpentwithfeet’s Josiah Wise creates pop music that manages to be both cavernous and intimate, experimental and accessible. His stunning debut album, soil, appeared in June and excellently showcases Wise's otherworldly vibrato, giving it ample space to shiver against the potent, haunting textures of producers Clams Casino, mmph and Katie Gately. Expect to get some shivers of your own at this Elsewhere appearance.

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Music, Rock and indie

Big Thief

Big Thief’s second full-length release, Capacity, appeared last year and found guitarist and vocalist Adrianne Lenker following up her folk-rock band's critically acclaimed debut, Masterpiece, with a slow-burner that expertly distilled years of songwriting experience into a wide-ranging yet seamless collection. You'll hear from it at this show, and be mighty glad you did.

Maroon 5
Photograph: Courtesy Universal Music
Music, Rock and indie

Maroon 5

For a second there, it seemed like this Cali funk-pop crew's popularity was on the wane, but thanks to his profile boost as a coach on reality talent contest The Voice, Adam Levine is riding high once more. Whatever you think of the falsetto-shrill, modelizing frontman, Maroon 5’s slick, radio-friendly rock, as heard on last year's V, really hits the spot when you’re in the mood for an effervescent earworm.

See more NYC concerts in October

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