Best October Events in NYC 2019

October in New York City sees the trees in Central Park showcasing their autumnal colors, residents and visitors alike donning jackets and sweaters, and a plethora of events and activities sure to appeal to a range of interests and tastes. If you find yourself in NYC this October, here are some of the best October events happening here.

New York Film Festival

The 57th New York Film Festival kicks off at the end of September, but runs through the first two weeks of October, wrapping up on the 13th. The Film Society of Lincoln Center runs the festival, which presents feature films, documentaries, avant-garde pictures, and revivals, as well as panels and presentations. Films are screened at theaters around Lincoln Center.

Film buffs visiting the Big Apple this month will be overwhelmed by the selection of festivals available. In addition to the NYFF, there’s the Architecture & Design Film Festival (October 16–20), Chelsea Film Festival (October 17–20), Food Film Festival (TBA), American Museum of Natural History’s Margaret Mead Film Festival (October 17–20), NewFest LGBTQ Film Festival (October 23–29), and Wildlife Conservation Film Festival (October 17–27).


October is Archtober in New York City, a month-long celebration of the city’s architecture and design. Look for “Building of the Day” lunchtime tours led by each project’s architect. A highlight of Archtober is also the Architecture Open House Weekend from October 19–20. During the two-day open house, hundreds of city buildings, houses, and historic places and spaces are open to the public at no charge, many with guided tours. A sampling of places includes the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, City Hall, the French Consulate, and the Edgar Allen Poe Cottage.

St. Patrick's Cathedral NYC

Credit:  Alessandro Colle / Shutterstock

Comic Con

This four-day comic book extravaganza runs from October 3–6 at the Javits Center. It’s a popular fan convention featuring artists, writers, publishers, and stars of comic books, manga, anime, graphic novels, and more, as well as literary and celebrity guests. Look out for fans dressed as their favorite characters (called “cosplay”) and a variety of limited edition and exclusive products for sale.

Indigenous People’s Day

Many communities are replacing Columbus Day celebrations with Indigenous People’s Day events, meant to honor the heritage of the peoples who lived here before Columbus arrived. In New York City, Indigenous People’s Day actually a three-day affair, held at Randall’s Island from October 12–14. The “pow-wow” features dances, songs, music, and more.

Tour de Bronx

For a completely different way to see the Bronx, sign up for the Tour de Bronx bike ride. Choose from a 25- or 40-mile tour of the borough, both finishing up at the New York Botanical Garden. The ride, which requires a road-worthy bicycle, is the largest free cycling event in the state, and participants receive complimentary souvenir T-shirts.

The Village Halloween Parade

If you find yourself in the city on Halloween, there are countless neighborhood parties, costume contests, and festivals. Kids can even go trick or treating at the American Museum of Natural History on October 26! But adults should try not to miss the famous annual Halloween parade in the Village. You can even join the parade—but you MUST wear a costume. Be there at Sixth Avenue at Canal Street beginning at 6:30 p.m. for an experience like no other. This year’s parade theme is “Wild Thing,” and those dressed in theme costumes can march with the parade’s Grand Marshal.

West Village Halloween parade

Credit: JInspired By Maps / Shutterstock

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