Best of Fall New York City Events

The fall season is here! While some of us are excited for the change of seasons, others are lamenting the loss of long daylight hours. Regardless of which camp you fall into, there’s plenty to look forward to as Autumn 2017 kicks off. From film festivals to Halloween festivities, here are my picks for some of the best events in NYC this fall:

Arts, Music & Culture

New York Burlesque Festival
9/21 – 9/24, various locations and times
$15 – $75

Now in its 15th year, the New York Burlesque festival will kick off with a “teaser” party on the night of the 21st, followed by three days of live music, performances, and showcases. The New York School of Burlesque will also provide lessons for those who want to try their hand at burlesque dance basics. The 4 Day Crystal VIP tickets are already sold out, but regular VIP tickets are still available – those will get you access to all events, prime seating, and merchandise discounts.

Museum Day Live!
9/23, various locations and times
Free to the public

Sponsored by Smithsonian magazine, Museum Day Live! offers free passes to museums and cultural institutions across the country. Participating museums in NYC include the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, and many more. Everyone who wishes to attend can download 1 ticket for themselves and a guest.

New York Film Festival
9/28 – 10/15, various times and locations
$10 (single event, members) – $99 (all-access pass)

The New York Film Festival is one of the longest-running and most prestigious film festivals in the United States. The Film Society of Lincoln Center will present feature length films, documentaries, experimental pieces, and retrospectives from around the world across two and a half weeks. Tickets are on sale for individual screenings and events, and all-access passes are available for a reasonable $99.

Photo courtesy of Eventbrite

Tunnel to Towers 5K
9/24, 9:30am – 2pm
$0 – $70

The Tunnel to Towers 5K pays homage to first responders who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 – and to those who continue to put their lives on the line for our safety. The 3.5-mile course starts at the Brooklyn portal of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel and finishes at West and Murray Streets in Manhattan. Registration is $80.


The New Yorker Festival
10/6 – 10/8, various times and locations
Ticket prices TBA

The New Yorker Festival brings together authors, actors, artists, and other leaders who are shaping our culture. Discussions, screenings, and live performances will take place across the city – a full list of venues and events will be announced soon.

Photo courtesy of Blood Manor

Blood Manor
10/6 – 11/4
163 Varick Street (Hudson Square)
$35 – $55

This high-tech – and highly realistic – haunted house is not for the faint of heart, but if you enjoy a good scare, Blood Manor was made for you. Walk through a 5,000 square foot “haunted” house with themed rooms and a labyrinth of passageways to discover the horrors on display. It’s recommended that you buy tickets in advance, but a limited number will be available at the door every night.

Open House New York
10/14 – 10/15, various times and locations
Free – $150 (passport)

Every October, Open House New York allows entry to some of the city’s most important buildings. Residential, industrial, historical, and contemporary constructions are all fair game for exploration as well as tours, talks, and performances. While many OHNY sites are free to visit, some do require advance reservations. The $150 passport will get you and a guest expedited line access to events, and is tax-deductible. The 2017 list of sites will be published to the OHNY website in the coming weeks, but in the meantime last year’s list of more than 275 sites is available for browsing.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

44th Annual Village Halloween Parade
10/31, 7pm
6th Ave from Spring to 16th Street
Free to the public

The Village Halloween Parade is a beloved NYC tradition, with elaborate costumes, floats, and performances traveling up 6th Ave from Spring to 16th streets. This year’s grand marshal will be singer-songwriter Jessica Vox. Pro tip: the best way to see the parade is to participate in it! Anyone who shows up in costume is welcome to march, which allows for views you simply can’t get from the sidewalks.


Architecture & Design Film Festival
11/1 – 11/5
Cinépolis Chelsea

The Architecture & Design Film Festival offers a curated selection of films, panel discussions, and events to engage and educate those who are interested in architecture and design.

Imagine This: Women’s International Film Festival
11/4 – 11/5
Wythe Hotel (Williamsburg)
$10 (single event) – $45 (all-access pass)

This NY-based film festival is devoted to showcasing the work of women from around the world. For two days in November, the ITWIFF will bring screenings, social events, and an award ceremony to the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. Whether you purchase a ticket for a single block of screenings or an all-access pass, you’ll get unlimited popcorn along with your ticket.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

New York City Marathon
11/5, 8:30am – finish

The New York City Marathon draws over 50,000 runners and millions more spectators. The course traverses all five boroughs of the city, starting in Staten Island, proceeding through Brooklyn and into Queens, across the Queensboro Bridge into Manhattan, up through the Bronx, and back down to Central Park. For information on where to cheer on the runners – or to sign up yourself – check out the NYC Marathon website.

Photo courtesy of the US Air Force

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
11/23, 9am
Macy’s Herald Square – Central Part West @ 77th

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been a tradition for more than 90 years, with millions of people lining the streets of Manhattan to watch marching bands, floats, Broadway performers, and of course, balloons make their way from Central Park to 34th Street. Many restaurants along the parade route offer VIP experiences, which include brunch and a private viewing area. More information about this year’s parade will be posted to the Macy’s website as Thanksgiving approaches.


Photo courtesy of

Handel’s Messiah
12/12 – 12/16, various times
New York Philharmonic
$31 – $145

Handel’s Messiah is a holiday favorite for people of all backgrounds because of its incredible choral writing and inspiring score. Every year, the New York Philharmonic hosts a series of performances of Messiah, which tend to sell out early. Tickets for this year’s concerts are already on sale, so get yours soon if you have never been before.

Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration
12/14 – 12/16
Cathedral of St. John the Divine (Upper West Side)

The acoustics of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine lend themselves well to musical extravaganzas like Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration. Musicians, vocalists, dancers, and drummers will perform a modern take on ancient solstice rituals as the official start of winter draws near. A full list of performers along with information on tickets is available on the event website.

Food & Drink


Photo courtesy of NYC Honey Week

NYC Honey Festival
Location, times, and ticket prices TBA

NYC Honey Festival is a celebration of local beekeepers, honeybees, and honey. More than two dozen vendors will bring their honey-related products and services, from beeswax cosmetics to honey-sweetened food and beverages. Educational programming from area beekeepers will help raise awareness of how we can help honeybee populations worldwide.

NYC Craft Coffee Festival
9/30, 10am – 12:30pm & 2pm – 4:30pm
Villain (Williamsburg)
$35 – $45

20 speciality roasters and coffee shops will bring unique beans for you to sample accompanied by live entertainment and delicious snacks. VIP tickets get you in one hour early, so you can enjoy the festival before the crowds descend.


Chile Pepper Festival
10/1, 11am – 6pm
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Free (Members & kids) – $25 (adults)

Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s end-of-summer celebration brings back the heat with live bands, spicy food artisans, and “chile-chocolate debauchery.” Tickets will be available at the door, but if you get yours ahead of time you can enjoy expedited entry. This year’s food vendors will include Raaka Chocolate, OddFellows Ice Cream, and Mama O’s Premium Kimchi.

Photo courtesy of

Best of Brooklyn
10/13, 7 – 9pm
Industria (Williamsburg)

Renowned foodie Action Bronson will host this NYC Wine & Food Festival-affiliated event, which will highlight the best food that Brooklyn has to offer. Signature dishes from Brooklyn restaurants will be paired with cocktails from House Spirits Distillery. Tickets are on sale now – get yours before they sell out!

Pickle Day
Orchard Street between Delancey and East Houston
Free to attend

Orchard Street between Delancey and East Houston will be lined with local picklers, tasty pickled treats, live music, and activities (including a home pickling contest). This family-friendly event will also include non-pickled foods and wares from local boutiques, so even if brine doesn’t appeal to you, there will be plenty for you to enjoy.


New York Taste
11/6, 6-9pm
The Waterfront, 269 11th Ave
$100 – $195

The best of New York’s restaurant scene will come together to serve a diverse menu curated by Gillian Duffy. Enjoy all you can eat and drink from more than 40 celebrated NYC restaurants and mixology bars. Charity partner City Harvest will receive a portion of the evening’s proceeds, helping to feed NYC families who need help putting food on the table.

Cocoa and Carols Holiday Cruise
11/24 – 12/28
Meet at Chelsea Piers (Pier 62)
$36 (kids) – $64 (adults)

This 1.75 hour cruise around Manhattan features a live musical performance and complimentary cocoa and cookies. This cruise is specifically geared toward families, and live caroling takes place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The heated deck salon will ensure you can enjoy views of the city even as winter starts to set in.


Wine Riot
12/1 – 12/2
Brooklyn Expo Center

A ticket to Wine Riot is an all-access pass to hundreds of new wines from around the world. Connoisseurs will guide you in finding new favorites and provide tips and tricks for becoming an expert wine taster. Photo booths, a temporary tattoo booth, and live entertainment will add to the fun.

As you can see, there’s plenty to eat, drink, and see over the next few months – enjoy getting out on the town before the winter cold sets in!

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