New York City in October is amazing as preparations for the holiday season begin. With countless things to do, concerts to attend, and New York October events happening throughout the city, one thing is for sure – your trip won’t be boring! Below we have summarized all of our favorite things to do in New York in October.
The 25 Absolute best Things to Do in October in New York
1. Opening of the One Vanderbilt observation deck (October 21st)
This is THE event of October for me: the newest observation deck in New York opens! The SUMMIT One Vanderbilt is located directly at Grand Central Station and gives you a sensational view of Central Park, Midtown and the East River.
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Find out more in our article (including impressive pictures) of the One Vanderbilt observation deck.
2. NYC Comic Con (October 7th – 10th)
Attention all comic and anime fans! New York in October holds the world-famous Comic Con, where you can meet the actors of your favorite childhood comic series and other legends of the industry. Cosplay is a very popular activity during this event, so if you’re out in the city, and you are met by people dressed up as comic heroes, don’t be surprised. Comic Con usually takes place at the Jacob Javits Center next to the Westside highway. You can find tickets for Comic Con NYC here.
3. Take a fall foliage cruise
From mid-October you can book the popular boat tours. Get on board and enjoy the colorful fall foliage along the Hudson River.
Find out more in our article on the best fall foliage cruises in NYC. There are several cruises, sailing tours and even a brunch cruise that you can choose from!
Stop searching🚦 These are the 50 Absolute Best Things to Do in New York (90+ pages)
We’ve chosen the 50 best spots, events and activities to showcase the full diversity of New York City. Even after more than 20 visits, the city never gets boring for us. And with our recommendations, you’ll have a really good time in New York, too, and you’ll have plenty left for your next visit. If you’re not planning a trip yet, you’re sure to get wanderlust after perusing this list! Also available here:
4. Musical “Tina” is back on Broadway (October 8th)
The Broadway musical “Tina” honoring Tina Turner officially re-opens on October 8 and is available for booking beginning October 12. It showcases the life and musical journey taken by the rock ‘n’ roll star – the broadway show has received a whopping 12 Tony Award nominations. There is always at least one performance at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, located in the middle of the Theatre District (47th Street corner 7th Avenue), except on Mondays. Tickets are available here.
If you can’t find any available tickets you could also check:
- Hadestown (from September 2)
- Wicked (from September 14)
- Hamilton (from September 14)
- The Lion King (from September 14)
- Chicago (from September 14)
- Six The Musical (from September 17)
- To Kill A Mockingbird (from October 5)
- Phantom of the Opera (from October 22)
- The Book of Mormon (November 5)
Here you can find the full list of current Broadway Shows.
5. Honorable William Wall
This has been my discovery of the summer – and if you’re in New York until mid-October, you absolutely have to go there. It is the floating boathouse of the Manhattan Sailing Club, is called Honorable William Wall and is located right next to Ellis Island. Especially in the evening, when you look at the illuminated Manhattan, it is just sensational here.
This is my review (AWESOME!) of the Honorable William Wall.
6. The New Yorker Festival (October 4 – 10)
The New Yorker Festival, organized by the publisher of the same name, will take place for the 21st time. It is one of the most popular fall festivals in New York, bringing you the “biggest names in politics, literature, film, music, art, and pop culture on panels, discussions, and performances” over 7 days.
Click here to see our Guide to The New Yorker Festival.
7. New York Coffee Festival (October 8 – 10)
This annual coffee event takes place in New York again and is obviously for coffee lovers who can’t function in the morning without their caffeine. There are endless tastings of various roasts and workshops with baristas from Toby’s Estate Coffee to Irving Farm. Last year, the CEO of Gregory’s Coffee was present at some events. Tickets are available here.
8. Columbus Day and the Columbus Day Parade (October 11th)
On Columbus Day, New Yorkers commemorate the “discoverer” of America, Christopher Columbus. Each year, a grand parade is organized in New York, which runs across Fifth Avenue. 35,000 people including bands, fleets, and Marines take part in this parade, which attracts around a million visitors and another million people in front of the TV in their living rooms.
The parade starts at Fifth Avenue on the corner 44th Street. It heads north up to 72nd Street (start: 11:30 AM, end: 3:00 PM). Want to get more information? This is our guide about the Columbus Parade in New York.
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9. New York Film Festival (until October 11).
The 59th New York Film Festival will take place from September 24 to October 10, 2021 – it’s an event series from the famous Lincoln Center. There are two different types of tickets you can use to support this non-profit organization: on the one hand, virtual tickets for online events and tickets for films that are shown in public – as drive-ins! There are three different drive-ins: in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.
You can find more information here.
10. New York City Wine and Food Festival (October 14 – 17)
This is for all of the foodies and wine connoisseurs. The New York City Wine and Food Festival offers more than 100 events over 3 days. There’s everything from tastings of America’s favorite foods to intimate dinners with world-renowned chefs, cooking classes, nutrition seminars, wine tasting, and parties. Prepared and served by America’s favorite food stars, this event is a real highlight for New Yorkers and tourists from around the world. Tickets can be found here.
11. Open House New York Weekend (October 16th + 17th)
The annual Open House New York event allows tourists and locals to access the city’s main buildings for 2 days. The main thing here is to experience the city differently and to meet the people who design and build New York. All sorts of buildings can be visited, from the very historic to modern apartments or industrial buildings that are scattered all over the five boroughs.
There will be tours, lectures, performances and events around the meaning of architecture and urban design. All the information about this cool event can be found here.
12. Phantom of the Opera re-opens! (from October 22nd).
After “Tina The Musical”, the world-famous musical “Phantom of the Opera” is also celebrating its re-opening! From October 22, this Broadway show will take place as usual at The Majestic Theatre.
13. Happy Birthday Statue of Liberty (October 28th)
On October 28th in 1886, the Statue of Liberty was ceremoniously opened and is without question one of the most important landmarks of New York. What you can experience there and whether the crown tickets are worth it (no!), you will learn in our guide to the Statue of Liberty New York.
14. Take photos of the famous Pumpkins Arch at Pier 17
One of the most famous and beautiful photo motifs in autumn in New York is the Pumpkins Arch at Pier 17. From here you can look wonderfully at the Brooklyn Bridge and the East River and take really beautiful photos.
The South Street Seaport with Pier 17 is one of our favorite neighborhoods. What you should not miss there, we tell you in our guide to the Seaport District NYC.
15. Watch an NBA game
The NBA season kicks off this month and we’re always looking forward to watching one of the many NBA games in New York. Whether it’s the Brooklyn Nets or the New York Knicks, both teams like try their best to show-out in front of the home-town crowd.
16. Visit Rangerstown: Ice Hockey in New York
October is always a very special month for sports enthusiasts like us, because in addition to the NBA, the NHL season also starts with many exciting matches. We ourselves have already been to several games of the New York Rangers in Madison Square Garden and can only recommend a visit. The atmosphere is terrific!
Let’s Go Rangers!
17. Enjoy Open Streets Columbus Avenue (every Sunday)
This is fun: every Sunday the Columbus Avenue will be close to cars (68 to 77th streets). Here you can enjoy outdoor dining, visit the famous Bazaar at 77th street or just stroll around.
More information here.
18. The Ice Rinks Open
If you’re looking for some ice skating, then coming to New York in October is perfect. On October 8th, most of the ice rinks open up for the season! Bank of America’s Winter Village at Bryant Park (behind the Public Library), and the Wollman Rink in Central Park are just two of New York City’s finest ice rinks.
19. Bushwick Film Festival (October 20 – 24)
This 5-day Indie Film Festival is finally back. For the 14th time, the film festival will take place in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn and will offer you many virtual and accompanying events in addition to live screenings.
This event is especially popular with New Yorkers. Take advantage of a visit to get to know Bushwick better. It’s worth it!
Tickets and the full program can be found here.
20. 11th Annual Harvest Festival at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park (October 23)
We love Pier 6 in the summer because it’s home to PILOT Brooklyn, one of our absolute favorite spots in all of New York City.
The annual Harvest Festival celebrates the change from summer to fall. You can expect live music, a small procession, lawn games and much more. You can enjoy all this with the skyline of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge in the backdrop.
The full list of events can be found here.
21. The Village Halloween Parade in New York City (October 31st)
Ah yes. Halloween. The original Celtic custom is celebrated on this day and is a popular day in the USA. Every year in New York in October, countless children are dressed in costumes and go door to door “scaring” people and yell out “trick or treat”. The major attraction on this day is New York’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade which brings out more than two million spectators.
22. New York Philharmonic
October is the first full month to catch the New York Philharmonic’s best concerts at Lincoln Center. Finally, again!
23. The Annual Pumpkin Flotilla (October 31st)
The highlight of the Halloween celebration, however, is the Pumpkin Flotilla. As is gets dark around 6:30 pm, priorly carved pumpkins are released into the Harlem Meer and will be float around for 30 minutes.
The spectacle draws hundreds of visitors to the northeast corner of Central Park.
Here you find more information about The Annual Pumpkin Flotilla.
24. The Best Rooftop Bars for Fall
If you think the rooftop bar season is over in the fall, then think again! Not in New York! There are many rooftop bars in NYC that offer fresh air even in the cold season. There are magnificent views of urban canyons AND pleasant warmth. Check out some of the best rooftop bars here. Some of these bars are open during the winter and fall.
25. Central Park in the Fall
One of the most beautiful retreats in Manhattan is Central Park. There is something going on at every corner and the trees are now in their best autumnal color. You can just stroll around Central Park, ride your bike, or take a guided tour.
Here you find everything you need to know about Central Park Fall Foliage.
23. Celebrate “Oktoberfest” in Greenpoint (till October 3rd)
The famous German bar “Zum Schneider”, which had its home in Alphabet City for 20 years, will host Oktoberfest, which will be held at the Bushwick Inlet in Greenpoint / Brooklyn from September 23 to October 3.
Join the celebration with pretzels, hax’n and delicious beer – accompanied by a typical Bavarian live band.
The Weather in New York City in October
Monthly Avg DAY
Monthly Avg NIGHT
64.4°F / 18°C
50°F / 10°C
7 hours daily
The most popular tours in October
Enjoy the most beautiful fall foliage in New York by taking a scenic cruise!
Explore New York's highest observation deck, regardless of the weather!
Spend a great evening onboard our favorite dinner cruise in New York!
Seeing a Broadway show is always a good idea, especially if you have a discount code for your tickets!
The Football season is in full swing. See the Giants or the Jets live!