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The best fall festivals in NYC

Get your fill of amazing food, culture, music, film and multicultural events at fall festivals this season

Photograph: Ryan Jensen Studios
By Tolly Wright |

We can all agree that fall in New York is the best and for good reason: From Oktoberfest through Thanksgiving, it’s nonstop festival season. Whether you’re hoping to feast on samples from some of the best restaurants in NYC or get all sorts of spooky for Halloween, brave the dropping temperatures for these awesome fall festivals.

RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in New York this fall

Complete list of fall festivals

Honey Weekend at Wave Hill
Photograph: Courtesy Wave Hill
Things to do, Talks and lectures

Honey Weekend

Explore the world of beekeeping and its sweet rewards during Wave Hill's annual weekend dedicated to honey. Check out an extraction demo and a hive-and-honey information station for an overview of apiculture (2–4pm), or head straight to the garden's shop to taste several varieties.

Pumpkin patch
Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Carolyn Williams
Things to do

Harvest Fest and Pumpkin Patch

icon-location-pin Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing

At this seasonal event, families can listen to readings from Fresh Meadows Poets, catch bluegrass music, go on a bird walk and of course, peruse the pumpkin patch for the perfect Halloween crop. All ages.

NYC Food Film Festival
Photograph: Ryan Jensen Studios
Things to do, Festivals

NYC Food Film Festival

This immersive four-day feast shows more than 30 gastro-minded flicks alongside dishes featured onscreen, like Japanese noodles with short film Cocolo Ramen. Other showings include an Edible Films episode about Brooklyn Brewery head Garrett Oliver and the tragic diner doc Nothing with Something, and all compete for titles like Food Filmmaker of the Year and Best Food Porn. You can cast ballots for the flick that won your heart (and stomach), so eat wisely.

Theater, Comedy

Bad Theater Fest

This festival of deliberately substandard work includes comedy, vaudeville and mock drama—staged, appropriately enough, at the PIT Loft Space. Expect to see shows with gaping plot holes, underdeveloped characters and some strong (but ultimately wrong) choices.

Bars, Beer bars

NYC Craft Beer Festival 2015

Bottoms up at this weekend-long brew fest, pouring unlimited tastings from nearly 75 breweries nationwide, including Dyckman Beer Co.’s Café con Leche Milk Stout, a chai-spiced cider from B. Nektar and Irish Yankee Beer’s Sunbird Red ale. Then soak up all that booze with baked empanadas (mac and cheese, beef) from Dos Toros Taqueria.

Things to do, Festivals

Halloween Harvest Festival

Fashion your own costume to resemble Fido’s at this daylong holiday primer. 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.

Django Django
Photograph: Mikael Gregorsky
Things to do

Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival

For four days, both well-established and promising up-and-coming producers will be at some of Brooklyn's hottest venues, including Output, Verboten and Music Hall of Williamsburg. This year the annual fest is bringing the likes of Django Django, MK, Voices of the Lake and an 11-piece version of genre-defying Floating Points.

Cider Week NYC

To celebrate the season of spiked apple spirits, restaurants and retailers around the city will host cider-pairing classes and tap takeovers spotlighting upstate cideries, including Bellweather, Bad Seed and Harvest Moon. Throughout the week, stop into shops like Astor Wine & Spirits for free tastings and Murray’s Cheese Bar for $25 three-course lunches (cheese-and-cider flights, pear-cider sorbet).


New York Comedy Festival

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 Margaret Cho and Kathy Griffin, catch Trevor Noah do an original set at the dawn of his Daily Show career, enjoy conversations with Billy Crystal and Bill Maher and more. NYC comedy fans are serious, so don't wait to reserve your seats.

Winter's Eve Lincoln Center
Photograph: Albert Gershengoren
Things to do

16th Annual Winter's Eve

Ring in December with this annual tree-lighting ceremony and New York's largest holiday festival. Along with the arboreal illumination in Dante Park (Broadway at 63rd St), catch live performances, ice-sculpting demonstrations, circus performers and tastings ($1–$4) from more than 30 Lincoln Square restaurants.