< Back to Refinery Hotel New York

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

Charles White Retrospective at MoMA: Opens October 7

We can’t wait to head back to MoMA for a major retrospective on 20th-century painter Charles White. His works, created over the course of his career in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, powerfully showcase African Americans in what White called “images of dignity.” See the exhibition, which runs through January 13, at MoMA, one of our favorite museums in NYC.

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 11 to October 14, 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. Tickets range from under $100 to upwards of $700, and events 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 horrifying flicks, as well as terrifying vintage films, along with scary shorts and a “Drinking With the Dread” game featuring the cult classic, Return of the Living Dead. The genre festival will primarily screen at Nitehawk Cinema from October 11 to October 18, and tickets start at $16 for general showings.

The New York Coffee Festival: October 12-14

New York is a highly caffeinated city, and travelers can get in on the coffee frenzy from October 12 to 14, during the New York Coffee Festival. Now in its third year, this specialty coffee experience features tastings from a dizzying number of suppliers; a handful of workshops (learn to make lovely latte art from a master barista); and demos, live music, and a street food market. Get buzzed at the Metropolitan Pavilion on Sixth Avenue. Tickets start at $29 when purchased in advance.

Open House New York: October 12-14

Photo via @openhousenewyork on Instagram by Shannon Nakken

Also during the second week of October, Open House New York is an annual architecture-focused event giving locals and visitors access to iconic New York landmarks that are often closed to the public. Many sites are open all weekend long, free of charge, while others (the Brooklyn Navy Yard Building; The Met Breuer) are available by reservation only.

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 45th year, the massive street party is exclusively open to costumed participants (this year’s theme: robots) 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, though tickets to the official after party, The MascureAIDS Ball, start at $250. All proceeds go to the Research Foundation to Cure AIDS.

Related Articles

Refinery New York Book A Room