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Fun Activities in NYC in October 2021

Fun Activities in NYC in October 2021

Every and any month you visit New York City has its own unique opportunities for things to see and do – and October is certainly no exception. Plus, with the tenth month of the year comes a pleasant change in climate. Even though autumn officially starts in September – the more fall-like weather typically makes its appearance in October. Think crisp, clear mornings and brilliantly sunny afternoons that turn into evenings with just a slight chill in the air.


Now, you may be wondering what some of best events or fun activities there are that draw people to the city this time of year. Well, you’re in luck because I was just about to compose a blog post to dispense exactly that information! So, grab your cardigan and don those cute little boots you couldn’t wait to wear this season and check out the top five suggestions that the staff here at Beyond Times Square highly recommend you partake in when you visit NYC in October.


Enjoy Fall Foliage in the City

Yes. I know you may not immediately think of New York City as a great destination for leaf peeping – but you would be mistaken. Remember, NYC has plenty of green spaces to enjoy in the summer – over 30,000 acres! – which means just as many colorful spaces to take in when autumn arrives. First up there’s the city’s most well-known park – Central Park – featuring certain sections where you would swear you are in the middle of the mountains, not Manhattan. Here you will want to be sure to ramble through – well – The Ramble, stroll through The Ravine (which is part of the North Woods – Central Parks largest woodland area) and wonder about the Hallett Nature Sanctuary, previously known as The Promontory, and – fun fact – this area was actually not open to the public until 2016. Heading over to Brooklyn be sure to check out Prospect Park and two sections in particular – The Ravine, which has the distinction of being the bureaus only forest and Lookout Hill – one of the highest spots in the park that will give you stunning colorful treetop views. Other options to spot vibrant fall foliage include Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx which is home to three forests – each one ecologically distinct – and Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden on Staten Island where you don’t want to miss the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden that was created with materials shipped in from Suzhou, China. Now keep in mind these are just a handful of the many places that you can be wowed by the brilliant fall colors across the five bureaus! For more ideas check out the NYC Parks and Recreation website!

See More Broadway Shows

Broadway is back! Gosh I love the sound of those words strung together! September was the start of it’s long awaited return – with 16 shows returning to the stages that were left dark for 18 months. And come October we get at least nine more! Among them are Thoughts of a Colored Man touted as “A new American Play for a new Broadway,” Jeff Daniels as Atticus Finch and Tony Award winner Celia Keenan-Bolger as Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, Tina – The Tina Turner Musical about the life of the “Queen of Rock n’ Roll,” Caroline, or Change featuring Olivier Award Winner Sharon D. Clarke, Girl From the North Country packed with Bob Dylan’s most memorable tunes,  Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations, Jagged Little Pill – a musical inspired by Alanis Morissette’s Grammy Award-winning album, Mrs. Doubtfire – the musical adaptation of the 1993 movie and role made famous by the late, great Robin Williams and the longest running Broadway show in history, The Phantom of the Opera. Now – it is super important to note that no matter which show you decide to take in, proof of full vaccination along with your ID and valid ticket, as well as masks, are required at every venue. The exceptions? Children under age 12 and those with a medical condition or religious beliefs that prevent vaccination. However, those guests must supply proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the performance start time, or a negative COVID-19 antigen test taken within six hours of the performance start time. So, plan accordingly and take in the shows safely! Oh, and be sure and hit up BTSQ for tickets to the shows of your choice!

Attend The New York Film Festival

The 59th Annual New York Film Festival presented by Film at Lincoln Center is running through October 10th. And bonus – this year they are expanding to venues outside of the famed Lincoln Center – arthouse theaters to be exact – including the Brooklyn Academy of Music, also known as BAM in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, Anthology Film Archives in the East Village, Harlem’s Maysles Documentary Center and the farthest out – the Jacob Burns Film Center, 30 miles north of Manhattan in Pleasantville, Westchester. The New York Film Festival is divided into four categories of films. There is the Main Slate – which this year features 32 films from around the globe. There are the Currents and Currents: Shorts – focused on new and innovative voices and contemporary cinema. There is the Spotlight and Spotlight: Amos Vogel Centenary – the first of which consists of the most anticipated films of the season – including Academy Award, Grammy Award and Golden Globe winner Joaquin Phoenix in C’mon C’mon and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s directorial debut in The Lost Daughter while the latter is a tribute to the festival co-founder Amos Vogel. Next are the Revivals which are – well revivals of works from renowned film makers – with this year’s entries including John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 and Andy Warhol dedicated concert film Songs for Drella. In addition, the festival also holds free talks and round tables that you can attend with tickets to those being subject to availability. And, as with Broadway productions, proof of full vaccination and masks are required so that everyone can view the films safely.

Have Fun at New York Comic Con

Pretty fitting that the city nicknamed Gotham is home to the East Coast’s largest pop culture convention, don’t ya think? For those of you not familiar – New York Comic Con is the place to see and be seen if you proudly identify as a nerd or a dork or a geek or all three. Started one February weekend in 2006 it moved to October in 2010 (when it is still held) and it comes complete with big name TV and film stars which this year include George Takei, Hayden Christensen, John Cena and Captain Kirk himself – William Shatner – among many, many others. Last year – like pretty much every event – it was held virtually so you can bet that there will be a lot of pent up geeking out in 2021! So, what exactly can you expect from this event? There will be panels. There will be screenings. There will be professional programming. There will be exhibitors. There will be merchandise galore to take home as souvenirs. There is even a charity art auction. And. So. Much. More. In other words, or should I say in the words of the New York Comic Con website, they have it all covered – your favorite comics, TV, movies, toys, video games, cosplay, anime and manga! (And yes, I had to look up what the last three are.) And dare I say once again – plan accordingly because everyone will need to don a mask and everyone age 12+ will need to provide proof of full vaccination and those under age 12 will need to provide proof of a negative rapid antigen or COVID-19 test to enter New York Comic Con. 

Join the Halloween Parade and Parties in NYC

You know that nobody does the holiday season better than New York City – but did you know that the holiday season actually starts with Halloween? And you cannot talk about fun activities in NYC without talking about Halloween themed activities. First up – folks, you have not seen a Halloween Parade until you have seen the Village Halloween Parade. It is by far the most creative, innovative, wild, artistic and oh so entertaining event you may ever attend. The best part? The public is highly encouraged to participate! Held for almost five decades in trendy Greenwich Village – this will be the parade’s 48th year. And Randy Rainbow has been named Grand Marshall so you already know that there will be no shortage of laughs! But it’s not just October 31st and it’s not just the Village Halloween Parade. There are plenty of Halloween festivities to attend in the Big Apple all throughout the month of October. Such as… There are not so scary movie screenings like Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas. There’s pumpkin carving and pumpkin painting events. There are Halloween themed cruises for kids and adults alike. There are Halloween bar crawls. There are costume parties for everyone – even dogs – and everywhere – on yachts, in bars, on piers and rooftops. There’s a haunted hotel and Halloween trivia nights. There’s even a Halloween themed bike ride. So, don your best spooky, scary, sexy, or silly costume, grab a mask (even if your costume doesn’t require one – NYC indoor venues do!) and start the holiday season in October this year in the city that never sleeps.


Ready to plan your autumn trip to New York City? Whether it’s a post-summer get away or a pre-holiday escape – October here will not disappoint. And in addition to all of these fabulous fun activities – our team of experts at Beyond Times Square have plenty more ideas of things to see and do and would love to tell you all about them. So give them a call and get that fall NYC vacation planned today!