October in New York City


With events such as the Village Halloween Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, many would say that in New York City, autumn is the most wonderful time of the year. Beyond these and other holiday celebrations, however, there’s plenty more to enjoy. Below are a few upcoming highlights.
October 19-21 | BRIC House
For its ninth annual JazzFest, the Brooklyn Arts Center is focusing on what it calls “an expanded sense of jazz.” Among those scheduled to perform are legendary double bassist Reggie Workman, the genre-defying Afro-Caribbean trio Nite Bjuti, jazz/soul/R&B vocalist Melanie Charles, and musician/producer/rapper Terrace Martin, who has collaborated with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamarr, Snoop Dogg, and Herbie Hancock.
November 3-December 2 | The Metropolitan Opera
This new staging of Anthony Davis’s jazz-inflected opera, which features a libretto by influential writer Thulani Davis, stars baritone Will Liverman as Malcolm X and soprano Leah Hawkins as both his mother, Louise, and his wife, Betty Shabazz. The production covers Malcolm’s life, from his troubled childhood to his conversion to Islam up to his assassination.
November 4-December 3 | Polonsky Shakespeare Center
Michael Shannon is the hapless Estragon, and Paul Sparks the equally downtrodden Vladimir in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Samuel Beckett’s modern classic. This isn’t the first time Shannon and Sparks have worked together—both appeared onstage in The Killer and on TV in Boardwalk Empire, among other productions—so it will be interesting to see how their chemistry plays out here.
November 29-February 11, 2024 | Hayes Theater
Ten years after debuting Off-Broadway, Obie-winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s tale of a dysfunctional Southern family makes it to Broadway. Sarah Paulson and Corey Stoll play two of the family members returning to the homestead of the family’s recently deceased patriarch; cue exposed secrets, long-simmering resentments, and an artful blend of comedy and drama.
December 7-10 | Look Dine-In Cinemas
This festival focuses on science fiction as well as horror films, classics as well as new and upcoming releases. While the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award has not yet been named, past recipients included Kane “Jason Vorhees” Hodder, Brad Dourif, and Robert Englund.
October 7-February 4, 2024 | Brooklyn Museum
It’s only fitting that the Brooklyn Museum is hosting an exhibit dedicated to the borough’s favorite son—or rather, to the artworks and objects in its favorite son’s personal collection. More than 350 items will be on display, from works by Black artists, including Deborah Roberts and Kehinde Wiley, to sports memorabilia, giving insight into the filmmaker’s inspirations.
October 8-February 17, 2024 | MoMA
While living in Fontainebleau, France, in the summer of 1921, Pablo Picasso created two of his most renowned works: Three Women at the Spring and Three Musicians. Each work is impressive in and of itself, but when you consider that they’re rendered in disparate styles, the achievement is even more astonishing—and puzzling. Featuring two versions of each artwork as well as other works by Picasso from that summer, the show looks beyond the paintings to the artist’s stylistic evolution.
October 12-January 14, 2024 | New Museum
Judy Chicago is probably best known for her feminist installation The Dinner Party, which is part of the Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection. She has produced numerous other groundbreaking artworks during her six-decade career; however, as can be seen in what is the city’s first comprehensive survey of her work. Spanning three floors of the museum, the exhibition also features art and other materials by more than 80 other influential women, including Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Kahlo, and Hilma af Klint.
October 13-January 21, 2024 | Metropolitan Museum of Art
Henri Matisse and André Derain created what would become known as Fauvism—an art movement characterized by vivid colors and seemingly wild brushwork—during the summer of 1905. This exhibit presents 65 of the artists’ paintings and drawings from that summer and shows their influence on artists to come.
November 4-January 13, 2024 | White Cube
The New York branch of White Cube, the contemporary art gallery that originated in London, only opened this fall, and this exhibition of new works by Tracy Emin is only its second show. What’s more, it’s the polarizing artist’s first New York City show in seven years.
October 6-8 | various sites
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Misty Copeland, Roz Chast, Judy Blume, David Byrne, Colson Whitehead, and Tony Kushner are among the luminaries who will be in conversation with New Yorker writers and editors during what is billed as “three days with the world’s most interesting people.” In addition, rock band Paramore will perform, and director Alexander Payne will host a screening of his upcoming film The Holdovers.
November 3-12 | various sites
More than 200 comedians are scheduled to participate in this year’s fest. Dave Atell, Joel Kim Booster, Bill Burr, Jimmy Carr, Margaret Cho, Ilana Glazer, Brett Goldstein, and Dulcé Sloan are just a few of those performing standup. Samantha Bee will take part in the live trivia game “Wits End,” Conan O’Brien will present a live version of his podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” and Bowen Yang will be part of the variety event “That’s a Gay Ass Live Show,” among many other events.
November 12 | Queens County Farm Museum
Dancers from 10 Indian Nations will perform traditional dances in full regalia, celebrating not just the summer harvest but also indigenous cultures. In addition to the performances, the grounds will host a crafts and food market featuring authentic Native American art, jewelry, and other items.
November 17-January 1, 2024 | Radio City Music Hall
It wouldn’t be the festive season in New York City without the annual Rockettes show. Classic Christmas songs, the “Living Nativity,” lights and sparkle galore, and of course “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and the precision kick line: This truly is a treat for all ages.
November 24-December 31 | David H. Koch Theater
The New York City Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is another holiday tradition. You needn’t be a balletomane to get swept up in the extravaganza of dazzling sets, Tchaikovsky’s score, and the leaps and twirls of the 90 dancers.
October 6-8 | Metropolitan Pavilion
There will be no shortage of caffeine at this paean to all things coffee. In addition to scores of java and java-adjacent exhibitors, the event will include a barista competition, demonstrations and workshops on latte art, a masterclass on coffee cocktails, and musical performances by up-and-coming talents as part of the Coffee Music Project.
October 12-15 | various sites
More than 500 chefs from around the world will participate in more than 80 culinary events to support nonprofit organization God’s Love We Deliver. Among the highlights are lunch at Boulud Sud hosted by Daniel Boulud himself along with spice expert Lior Lev Sercarz; the David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris Annual Drag Brunch; master classes on making pizza, cocktails, and gluten-free pasta; and “Baking Championship: Fall Flavors,” presented by Food Network’s Duff Goldman and Carla Hall, where you’ll be able to taste the goodies yourself before voting for the best.
October 22 | 100 West 77th Street (at Columbus Avenue)
Food vendors are always part of the Upper West Side’s weekly Grand Bazaar market. This special pop-up within the market, however, will feature nearly two dozen local under-the-radar bakers, candy makers, and other creators of delights certain to sate even the most voracious sweet tooth.
November 11 | The Grand Hall at St. Mary’s (440 Grand St.)
Sample from more than 100 wines, ciders, and other libations, accompanied by nibbles, both sweet and savory, from local food makers. You’ll also be able to chat with the winemakers and food artisans—and of course, purchase items to fill your complimentary tote bag.
December 9 | The Weylin
More than 200 Scotches, bourbons, and other distilled spirits will be available for tasting, as will light bites. There will also be master classes on Texas bourbon and the art and science of blending whiskey.
October 14 | Museum of the City of New York (starting point)
“This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture,” the centennial exhibit of the Museum of the City of New York, runs through next July. A tie-in with the exhibition, this scavenger hunt will send you across Midtown and Upper Manhattan in search of sites featured in movies about the city based on some tricky (and not-so-tricky) clues.
October 21 | Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6
Live music, friendly scarecrows, arts and crafts, sack races, and more make this an ideal day out with—or without—the little ones.
November 5 | citywide
Starting on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and culminating in Central Park, the marathon runs through all five boroughs, making it easy for just about anyone to catch the action in person.
November 17-January 7, 2024 | Bronx Zoo
Make your trip to the zoo even more magical by visiting at night during the festive season. Nearly 400 life-size and larger-than-life lanterns replicating zoo animals adorn paths throughout the park; there’s also a synchronized Christmas tree light show and a walk-through Light Tunnel for those seeking even more illumination. Adding to the fun are ice-carving demonstrations, puppet shows, toasty treats including s’mores, and of course, the zoo animals themselves.
November 17-January 15, 2024 | New York Botanical Garden
Kids love this annual event, in which model trains and trolleys traverse almost a half-mile of track set among nearly 200 appropriately scaled New York City landmarks. Adults love it, too, thanks in large part to the artistry involved in creating the landmarks. In fact, on the evenings of December 7, December 14, and January 5, the show is open only to adults: During these Bar Car Nights, attendees can also enjoy cocktails and stroll the illuminated grounds.