What To Do In New York in October: Our 10 Best Activities

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The spookiest season has arrived, filled with haunted houses and pumpkins, apple cider and hard cider, pizza and…pickles! Yet, even though Halloween is THE most anticipated event in New York in October, there are plenty of other arty, fun and festive events going on this month. Be sure not to miss a beat. Here’s our selection of the 10 best things to do in NYC in October 2019.

1- The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

When: October 3-31 – November 1-3; 8-10; 15-17; 22-23; 29-30
Where: 525 S Riverside Ave, Croton-On-Hudson, NY

great jack o lantern blaze - hudson valley

One of the best things to do in New York in October is see the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, “the Tri-State area’s biggest most electrifying fall event.” Instantly dive into the Autumn/Halloween spirit while wandering among 7,000 illuminated carved pumpkins, including dinosaurs, ghosts, a 25-foot tall Statue of Liberty and “instagrammable” zodiac signs. The only tricky part is the transportation to get to Van Cortlandt Manor which will take you a little under 1 hour in train from Grand Central Station, then a 10-minute walk but it is totally worth it as you’ll also get the chance to see the magnificent and colorful Hudson Valley in the fall.

Tickets start at $23

2- Spooky Pumpkin Garden at New York Botanical Garden

Through October 31st, 2019 at the New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx

spooky pumpkin garden at new york botanical garden

Photo: Courtesy of NY Botanical Garden

This is the perfect Halloween-themed outing if you are visiting New York in October with your kids. Throughout October 2019, the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx is hosting several events and workshops for children in its Spooky Pumpkin Garden. Festivities include daily exploration of the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, meet-ups with creepy creatures (think snakes and bats) from October 12th-27th on Saturdays and Sundays, Spooky Pumpkin (costumed) nights on October 18, 19, 25, & 26 from 6:30–8:30 pm, as well as pumpkin carving demos. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the rest of the Botanical Garden which should be magnificent at this time of the year.

To visit the NY Botanical Garden, book your tickets here.

3- New York Comic Con

October 3rd to October 6th, Jacob K. Javits Convention Center

new york in october - comic-con

(Photo: Richie S)

One the world’s largest Comic Cons and the nation’s biggest event dedicated to pop culture, New York Comic Con is one of our favorite events here in New York in October. Get your tickets to get a chance to meet your favorite actors, do some fun shopping, or show your best costumes. Or just hang around the Javits Center to see all the cosplayers in their incredible costumes. Especially if you’re with your kids, they’ll love it.


4- Slice Out Hunger Pizza Party

October 3rd, 2019 – St Anthony’s Church (155 Sullivan St, Manhattan)

new york in october - slice out hunger pizza party

On October 3rd at St. Anthony’s Church, you will have the opportunity to join the 11th annual $1 Pizza Party and get a taste of some of New York’s best slices. There will be pizza offered from some of the top pizzerias in New York. Entrance fee is 1$ and it allows you to get 1 slice from each participating pizzeria. 100% of the funds raised will directly to the Citymeals on Wheels charity, so eat on! But make sure you bring CASH to this event. Doors open at 06:00pm and close when the pizzas run out. Check it out on the official website for more details.

5- Pickle Day Festival in the Lower East Side

October 6th, 2019 – 04:00pm to 07:00pm in the Lower East Side

new york in october - pickle day festival in the lower east side

(Photo: LoriQoPB)

Pickles? How original you might think. Head over to Orchard Street, between Delancey and East Houston in the Lower East Side for the world’s largest pickle festival and you won’t regret it. Join the pickling contest, or come along to see what the vendors have in store for you.

6- Diwali at Times Square – The Indian Lights Festival

October 12th, 2019 in Times Square

new york in otober - diwali at times square festival

Photo: S Pakhrin

Check out this exciting free cultural festival, Diwali at Times Square, where you will find cultural performances, dancers, and Indian food vendors during the day, and at 6:00 PM, a Bollywood concert with Bollywood stars around Broadway & 47th street. This year’s edition will also pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, who will be “brought back to life through Hologram Technology.”

7- Go Iceskating at the Rink Rockefeller Center

Opens October 12th, 2019

the rink rockefeller center

The famous Rink at Rockefeller Center reopens on October 12th for the whole winter season. Even October might still be too warm to wear the complete winter outfit, it’s never too early in the year to put on your skates and go swing on the ice. So put on gloves and let’s go iceskating: the perfect activity before or after having checked out the Top of the Rock observatory!

8- Open House New York Weekend

October 18th to October 20th, 2019

new york in october - open house new york weekend

The annual Open House New York Weekend give New Yorkers and tourists alike the unique opportunity to visit the city’s main buildings during 2 days, viewing New York like an insider while getting a chance to talk with the architects and people who built the city’s most famous buildings. The Open House New York Weekend will also feature guided tours, performances, and events. Full lineup will be available on October 1st, 2019 on the event’s website.

9- Watch an NBA Game

nba game madison square garden

Great news: the NBA season finally kicks off this October 22nd 2019! Tickets sales have just started, so if you are visiting New York in October, you’ll already have the opportunity to watch New York’s finest NBA teams in action. On October 25th, don’t miss the game between New York’s 2 local teams: the New York Knicks and the Brooklyn Nets.

NBA Schedule at the Madison Square Garden, in Manhattan
– Saturday October 26th: Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks
– Monday October 30th: Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks

NBA Schedule at the Barclays’ Center, in Brooklyn
– Wednesday October 23rd: Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Brooklyn Nets
– Friday October 25th: New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets
– Wednesday October 30th: Indiana Pacers vs. Brooklyn Nets

Contact us at info@harlemspirituals.com to book the best seats!

10- The Village Halloween Parade

October 31st, 07:00pm-10:30pm in the Village

new york in october - halloween parade

The Village Halloween Parade is definitely one of the annual best things to do in New York in October. Thus, if you’re in the city on October 31st, be sure not to miss this iconic event and save yourself a good spot to watch its participants parade in their amazing costumes. Or even better, dress up and join in the fun! It’s one of our most festive (and spookiest) events!

NYC Sporting Events Schedule

nyc sporting events - metlife stadium

Baseball games schedule in NYC

See the Mets at Citi Field in Queens or the Yankees at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx:

  • Schedule TBD

Football games schedule in NYC

See the Giants or the Jets at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey:

  • October 6th at 01:00pm: New York Giants vs. Minnesota Vikings
  • October 13th at 01:00pm: New York Jets vs. Dallas Cowboys
  • October 20th at 01:00pm: New York Giants vs. Arizona Cardinals
  • October 22nd at 01:00pm: New York Jets vs. New England Patriots

Basketball games schedule in NYC

See the NYC NBA Schedule above.

New York in October offers such a wide range of activities to suit your every wishes. If you are looking for more things to do in New York City, search through our complete range of tours, attractions and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on www.harlemspirituals.com or contact us at info@harlemspirituals.com.

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