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What’s Happening in NYC in October

October is a delightful time to visit New York City. The weather is typically clear and crisp, the fall foliage has transformed Central Park into a stunning array of kaleidoscopic hues; and there are dozens of fun events and activities suitable for all types of travelers. From food and beverage events ranging from the hyper-focused to the high-brow, to spirited Halloween events that start early and continue all month long, there’s no shortage of fun ways to spend an October trip to New York City. Whether your interests lie in art and architecture or film and food, here are five of our favorite things to do in New York City in October.

NYC October Events

MoMA Reopens: October 21

We can’t wait to head back to New York City’s celebrated Museum of Modern Art when it reopens after a massive renovation on October 21. Following a $450 million expansion and total reimagining, guests visiting the MoMA after it reopens will discover an additional 30,000 square feet of gallery space designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro. There’s also a new studio space for live programming, performances and immersive installations, an overhauled museum shop, and visitor-friendly changes like extended hours and a private entrance for members. MoMA,  one of Refinery’s favorite museums in NYC, will reopen with a handful of exciting new exhibits, too, such as a survey of South American art, and a display of 100 homemade films from the 20th century, among others.  

New York City Wine & Food Festival: October 11-14

@nycwff photo via Instagram

Snag tickets to one of the Big Apple’s most revered culinary events of the year, the New York City Food & Wine Festival. Running from October 10 to 13, ticket holders can elbow up to a table for an elaborate dinner designed by a celebrity chef; experience panels on the intersection of cuisine and culture, travel and storytelling; and participate in master classes with award-winning chefs, mixologists and pastry artists. For a seriously fun NYCWFF event, head to one of the pier parties, during which you can stroll around, enjoy the skyline and sample everything from burgers to classic brunch bites (think: eggs Benedict and endless bloody Marys). Tickets for NYC Wine & food Festival events range from under $100 to upwards of $700, and often sell out fast. Photo by @eatingwell via @nycwff on Instagram

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival: October 11-18

Celebrate Halloween early with a jaunt across the East River for the frightful Brooklyn Horror Film Festival. See world premieres of terrifying flicks, as well as forever-frightful vintage films (such as the German horror, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari), along with scary shorts and a “nightmare radio” event. The genre festival will primarily screen at Nitehawk Cinema and Cobble Hill Cinemas from October 17 until October 24, and tickets start at $16 for general showings.

The New York Coffee Festival: October 11-13

New York is a highly caffeinated city, and travelers can get in on the coffee frenzy from October 11 to 13, during the New York Coffee Festival. Now in its fourth year, this specialty coffee experience features tastings from more than 85 suppliers; a handful of workshops and demos; a cold brew cocktail bar featuring Kahlua and Absolut cocktails blended with eye-widening cold brew, and a street food market. Get buzzed at the Metropolitan Pavilion on Sixth Avenue. Tickets start at $30 when purchased in advance. 

Open House New York: October 18-20

Photo via @openhousenewyork on Instagram by Shannon Nakken

Open House New York is an annual architecture-focused event giving locals and visitors access to more than 300 iconic New York landmarks that are often closed to the public. Many sites are open all weekend long, free of charge, while others are available by reservation only. The full list of sites participating in 2019 is released on Oct. 1. Splurge on a $150 OHNY Passport for access to an expedited line so you can really maximize your OHNY weekend.

The Village Halloween Parade: October 31

There is an outright overwhelming number of ways to celebrate Halloween in New York City, but the most famous is the Village Halloween Parade. Now in its 46th year, the massive street party is exclusively open to costumed participants (this year’s theme: “Wild Thing”) though anyone can watch. Join the dancers, bands, and hundreds of towering puppets at Sixth Avenue and Canal at 6:30pm on October 31, or line up along Sixth Avenue between Spring Street and 16th Street to view the participate. The parade is free to watch, and it costs $25 for access to a “secret” entry point, plus a live DJ, early admission and TV coverage. You worked hard on your wild parade party costume after all, right?

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