8 fun fall things to do this October


The mellow golden glow of fall sunshine, the rich, earthy odor of decaying leaves, and sudden cravings for apple cider and anything pumpkin can mean only one thing--it's October in NYC! Here are suggestions for how to soak in what is arguably the city's most beautiful month:

  1. Open House New York: This annual festival is one of America’s largest architecture and design events. Open House Weekend showcases over 200 private residences and historical landmarks that are usually inaccessible to the public. See their website for a list of events, all free, and locations: www.ohny.org (October 12-13)
  2. Columbus Day Parade: Celebrate the heritage of the Italian-American community at the 68th annual parade honoring Christopher Columbus. The parade down Fifth Avenue includes bands, floats and almost 35,000 marchers. (October 14, 11:30am, 5th Avenue)
  3. Village Halloween Parade: Celebrate Halloween by marching in the largest Halloween event in the country! Come in costume and join the parade of puppets, bands, dancers and other New Yorkers. After canceling last year’s parade because of Hurricane Sandy, parade organizers have christened this year’s celebration “Hallelujah Halloween REVIVAL” and will honor the heroes of Sandy. (October 31. Parade begins at 7pm, lineup for parade at 6:30pm on 6th Avenue between Spring Street and Canal Street. For more information go to: www.halloween-nyc.com)
  4. Apple Picking: Although some neighborhoods in the city offer apple-picking, you’ll have to leave the five boroughs to get the real fall experience. With King’s Fall Break around the corner, there's even more of a reason to take the 80-minute trip to Outhouse Orchards in Croton Falls, New York. Don’t miss their “world-famous” apple cider! (Open Friday-Sunday, 9am-6pm and accessible by Metro North to Croton Falls Station. For more information visit: www.outhouseorchards.info)

    Photo by Alexandra Nykamp

  5. Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel: A short walk from Brooklyn Heights, this haunted house at New York City College of Technology has been praised as the “most high-tech” haunted house in New York. Students from the Theatreworks program create the house and its scary effects in its entirety every year. (Open October 24-November 2 and $5 with Student ID. For more information go to: www.gravesendinn.org)
  6. Fall Festivals: The city may make it hard to satisfy those October cravings of pumpkins, apple cider and changing leaves, but these festivals do their best. Check out the Harvest Festival at Brooklyn Bridge Park on October 19 (Pier 6, 10:30am-1pm, Free), which will have pumpkins, crafts and music; the Central Park Pumpkin Festival on October 26 (Central Park at 72nd Street and 5th Avenue, Free) will have a pumpkin patch, haunted house, and a Quidditch Match.
  7. 15th Annual Great PUPkin: Come see dogs—and many times their owners too— decked out in creative Halloween costumes in Fort Greene Park on October 26. (Starts at 11am on the stairs of the Fort Greene Park Prison Ship Martyrs Monument)
  8. Take a Hike: If you’re staying in New York this fall break, but need a break from the city, there are many day hikes accessible by public transit a short distance from the city. From Ken Lockwood Gorge, Schunemunk Ridgeline, to Breakneck Ridge, there is a hike for every skill level. (Ken Lockwood is accessible by NJ Transit, Schunemunk by Short Line bus 733 and Breakneck Ridge is accessible via the Metro North line)