It’s tempting to spend the fall luxuriating by the fire, poetry book in one hand, hot toddy in the other, and fuzzy socks on our feet. But even hygge gets old (plus, who’s got a personal fireplace in this town?), and the arrival of fall in NYC brings an urgent drive to soak up every available ray of vitamin D before daylight saving time strikes and The Dark Months appear. Fortunately, there are plenty of autumnal activities to make this brief period of bliss count.
Through October Citywide Culinary pop-ups have swept New York City, and this fall, there are a few standout spots that you’ll have to act quick to catch. Enjoy beach house vibes and Greek food at an outdoor space in LIC, feast on Southern cooking in the Village, and send off summer at the Rosé Mansion in Midtown. There’s something extra satisfying about snagging limited-time only bites and brews that you’d have missed if you’d blinked. Cost: Check event pages for admission, food, and beverage costs
All season long Citywide Winter weather is right around the corner, and you’ll want to be prepared. Now is the time to plan for polar temperatures and take up some useful new hobbies -- and the city has plenty of practical one-day classes on deck. Whether you learn how to brew your own beer, make homemade pasta, or pair wine with cheese, you’ll be set for those inevitable snow days when you’re in desperate need of entertainment. Check our guide match with a class. Cost: Our picks for NYC’s best classes range from $35 to $220
Through October Citywide If you can’t visit Munich for Oktoberfest, you still have plenty of chances to strap on your lederhosen and get in the spirit right here in NYC. Kick off the festivities at the Steuben Parade, then head to any of the myriad biergartens and venues that are getting in on the action. Cost: Depends on how many times you want to prost
Fall is the season of change. Changing leaves, changing temperatures, changing wardrobes. It’s also the best time to switch up your wireless service, because you can save big for a limited time on a new Unlimited plan from Verizon. How you use that savings (this article should give you a few ideas) is totally up to you.
Thursday, September 26 - Sunday, September 29 Various locations City life is stressful and you deserve a little fun. Experience all things risqué at the four-day New York Burlesque Festival, featuring 120 performances by variety entertainers, circus performers, burlesque and boylesque dancers, and live musicians and DJs. After you’ve seen how it’s done, check out the shopping boutique and find your own burlesque accessories so you can bring the party home with you. Cost: Events range from free to $65
Friday, October 4 - Sunday, October 27 Williamsburg Who said the spooky season’s only for humans? Treat your canine companion to The Dodo’s Best Dog Day Ever, a Halloween-themed pop-up experience with plenty of photo ops. Indulge your pooch in a makeover and dog-friendly nibbles, visit the puppy pumpkin patch, and pass through a haunted house filled with rescue dogs -- it’s the Halloween adventure your best friend will surely enjoy. Cost: Tickets range from $15-$79; basic admission for one adult + one dog is $35
Saturday, October 5 - Sunday, October 6 Little Italy (Bronx) In a city of clashing opinions, there’s one thing and one thing only that unites us all: our appreciation for a good slice. The second annual New York Pizza Festival grants you access to premier pies from several American and Italian pizza-makers. The event also features wine, beer, and music (gotta complete the vibe), and proceeds from the weekend benefit hunger-relief organization Slice Out Hunger. Cost: $25 for three slices or $35 for six slices; drink tickets and VIP passes are also available
Thursday, October 10 - Sunday, October 13 Various locations Over the span of four days, more than 50,000 people will enjoy parties, meals, classes, and tastings around the city -- and you can be one of them. The New York City Wine & Food Festival hosts 80 food and wine events featuring first-rate chefs, restaurants, and entertainers including Rachael Ray, Whoopi Goldberg, Alessia Cara, and Thrillist’s own Really Dough? stars Mark Iacono and Scott Wiener. Cost: Most tickets are in the triple digits, but check back here for our picks of the best events under $100
Saturday, October 12 - Sunday, October 13 Harlem This festival right in the middle of African Restaurant Week brings flavors from all over Africa to one location for a two-day culinary event that’s equal parts tasty and musical. Live DJs and special performances will provide the soundtrack to your culinary tour around the continent, and an Afrobeats day party will help you shake off a few calories to make room for more. Cost: Tickets start at $15 for entry and rise depending on your appetite. The top ticket tier is $50 for 10 tastings.
Wednesday, October 23 - Tuesday, October 29 Venues TBA For three decades, NewFest has amplified powerful queer stories at the New York LGBTQ Film Festival, a days-long series of film screenings, Q&As, and parties that celebrate queer perspectives and promote dialogue about issues facing LGBTQ+ people. All are welcome to attend, and tickets can be purchased individually or in multi-event passes. Cost: Individual event ticket prices vary; festival passes start at $150
Saturday, October 26 - Sunday, October 27 East Village Welcome beloved souls back home at a Día de los Muertos celebration at the St. Mark’s in-the-Bowery churchyard. The weekend-long event features live performances, an art market, Mexican food, and an altar dedicated to those who have shuffled off this mortal coil. Guests are invited to take part in the Mexican tradition by placing photographs of departed loved ones on the altar. Cost: Free to attend
Thursday, October 31 Greenwich Village/SoHo If you think New York’s wild now, pop downtown on Halloween. The streets turn mad with performers, puppets, artists, and thousands of exuberant city folk sporting their wackiest homemade costumes at the Village Halloween Parade. If you want to march, costumes are mandatory; if you’d rather watch from afar, costumes are… still encouraged. It is still Halloween, after all. Cost: Free
Thursday, October 31 - Sunday, January 5 Midtown & Union Square Three main markets pop up in Manhattan during the chillier months: the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park from October 31 to January 5, the Union Square Holiday Market from November 21 to December 24, and the Columbus Circle Holiday Market from December 4 to December 24. All will imbue you with holiday cheer -- provided you can brave the crowds. If your wallet’s dragging you down, there are plenty of treats and trinkets that’ll help you lighten it up. Cost: Free to peruse; vendor prices vary
Monday, November 4 - Sunday, November 10 Various locations Trevor Noah, Stephen Colbert, Jenny Slate, Nicole Byer, Norm MacDonald, Kathleen Madigan, Benito Skinner, and, like, 200 more join the lineup for NYC’s funniest week of the year. The NY Comedy Festival brings laughter to every borough with over 100 shows of all kinds in all sorts of venues. When some of the hottest names in comedy come together for the same event, you know it’ll make you lol. Cost: Many tickets hover around $50, but rise or fall depending on the show
Saturday, November 16 Various locations Embark on a crosstown beer run at this year’s NYC Beerathon, where competitors move through the city to sample as many as 26 beers at 13 venues. Each tasting is 6 ounces, and along the way you’ll encounter food options and rock-and-roll music to make the expedition more exciting. If you’ve completed the Beerathon before, don’t get too cocky: This year, they’re promising a more challenging course map to spice things up. Cost: $55 per person, or $50 per person when you order in pairs
Thursday, November 21 - Sunday, January 5 Belmont Traditional Christmas lights are a thing of the past; the Bronx Zoo’s holiday display is where it's at! Roam the park and gaze at larger-than-life animal lanterns, animated sculptures, and other LED designs that put those boxed icicle lights to shame. The family-friendly display lasts through the holiday season, making the perfect filler activity for any open evening. Cost: Adult (13+) tickets are $30; child and senior discounts available
Thursday, November 28 From the Upper West Side to Herald Square If you’re spending Thanksgiving in New York City, consider yourself lucky. Every year, more than 50 million viewers put their TVs on mute and set ‘em to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. But you can see the floats and watch the performances IRL. Find a coveted spot along the route and let the magic unfold before your eyes. When it’s all over and done with, you’ll still have plenty of time to make a holiday dinner. Cost: Free
Wednesday, December 4 Midtown Each year, America’s most famous Christmas tree takes center stage outside 30 Rock and stays up through the new year. But it needs to be lit before it transforms into a holiday icon. The televised Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting Ceremony brings performers to a very-crowded plaza to help usher in the season, and if you’re not afraid of rubbing shoulders with strangers, you can feast your eyes on the festivities up close and personal. Cost: Free
Monday, December 16 Prospect Heights Get new recipe ideas before Hanukkah rolls around at the 11th annual Latke Festival, a charity event that raises funds for The Sylvia Center. Meander around the Brooklyn Museum’s Grand Entrance Hall and sample creative renditions of the holiday favorite before voting on the one that impressed you the most. A panel of judges will help make the final call and determine which potato pancake deserves the most praise. Cost: Ticket prices TBA; check back here for details
Sign up here for our daily NYC email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun New York has to offer.