Best October New York City Activities

The best Things To Do in New York in October range from catching the tail end of our most popular outdoor activities and excursions to escaping the city for fall foliage cruises and apple picking. Fairs and festivals are happening every weekend, the Met Martini Rooftop is still open and there is pretty much a major NYC sports team playing every day of the week.

October is a great month to visit, since the weather is usually mild and Columbus Day, celebrated the 2nd Monday in October, creates a three-day weekend, making it a very popular time for visitors.

Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) Rooftop Open

Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met) Roof

April 16–October 31, 2021
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden

As of May 2021, the Martini Bar is still closed, however the Roof Garden Commission: Alex Da Corte, As Long as the Sun Lasts will be on view from April 16–October 31, 2021 and features a 26-foot-tall kinetic sculpture featuring the beloved Sesame Street character Big Bird.

2019 Info: The Roof Garden is open daily and The Martini Bar is open Friday and Saturday evenings (5:30-8 pm)

Skyline Views, Art and Cocktails - what more could you want?

Every summer, the Met opens the Martini Bar on the Roof Garden Café, an 8,000-square-foot, informal, outdoor setting with breathtaking panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline and Central Park.

More info: 2021 Met Roof Martini Bar Schedule.

Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in October

Ghost Tours of New York City

Downtown Ghost Tour by Wall Street Walks

Celebrate Halloween month in New York City by visiting America’s most haunted city, the Big Apple, and learn the New York of myth, movies and books. Capture the spiritual side of the Big Apple through stories of lost opportunities, political intrigue, disease and murder

  • Haunted Broadway Theaters Walking Tour – Visit legendary theaters where the ghosts of famous Vaudeville and Broadway stars still take to the stage long after the performances have closed
  • New York City Ghost & Vampire Tours – Take a ghost pub crawl, visit legendary theaters where the ghosts of famous Vaudeville and Broadway stars still take to the stage long after the performances have closed and other haunted choices
  • Not in 2021 – THE RIDE in Masquerade offers chilling stories, beguiling videos, a transcendent MEDIUM channels ethereal visits with New York’s denizens of the past, a sprinkling of pumpkin orange and plenty of “BOO!” The award-winning cast of THE RIDE will don especially designed lace and jeweled masques of medieval court life to enchant and captivate their audiences on the million dollar motor coaches and billion dollar Manhattan streets.

Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in October

NYC Festivals, Fairs and Parades Fall

October Fairs Parades Festivals NYC

October in New York City is packed with Festivals and Fairs every week and weekend. If you’re looking for insider access to buildings not normally available to the public, check out the Annual ‘Open House’ New York City, allowing New Yorkers and tourists alike free access to hundreds of sites talks, tours, performances and family activities in neighborhoods throughout the five boroughs.

More of a celebrity chef fan and foodie? Check out the New York City Wine and Food Festival. Have no fear music and film buffs, there is plenty for you as well:  New York Television Festival and the New York Film Festival.

There are also dozens street fairs and gift fairs every weekend in October.

More Info: October Festivals, Fairs and Parades in NYC.

Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in October

Where to Stay during Fall in New York City

Fall is the perfect time to check into one of our hotels with an awesome roofdeck, free bicycles and/or right next to Central Park. Few activities in NYC are better than riding your free bike a few blocks into Central Park to see the fall foliage and having a snack at Tavern on the Green or the Boathouse. Finish off your awesome day by immersing yourself in one of our spectacular skyline views on a hotel rooftop!

Things To Do in New York in October Events Calendar

NYC Insider Guide October Events Calendar

Check out all our cool NYC events in October: New York Comic Con, Giants and Jets football, Nets and Knicks basketball, Halloween and Columbus Day Parade.

For even more things to do in New York in October, check out our guide to Fun Things to do in New York in Fall !!!!

Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in October

Free Things to Do in October

Free Things to Do in New York City

Kids, adults, outdoors, indoors, active, lazy…you name it! October is filled with free tours, attractions, museums, events, shows, fitness, movies and more.

So whether you want free Museums, neighborhood tours, a moonlight bike ride in Central Park, to ride the Staten Island Ferry, walk the High Line or Brooklyn Bridge, we have you covered with 100s of Free Things to Do in New York City (organized by day of the week).

Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in October

Apple Picking Near New York City

How’s this for irony? One of the very few things you can no longer do in The Big Apple is go apple picking! Not to fear, The Empire State has us totally covered. I try to stick to NYC adventures that don’t require a car, so rather than repeat what the experts have already discovered, I’ll lead you straight to them:

Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in October

Times Talks A-List Live Interviews

Times Talks New York Times Live Celebrity Interviews

One of the BEST ways to experience celebrities and A-Listers like only a New Yorker can. Stay tuned for top picks for October…

In prior years, they were Kate Winslet, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin discussing the new “Steve Jobs” movie, while Jennifer Hudson and Alice Waters share their new Broadway musical, The Color Purple, with conversation and performances and Cate Blanchett and Robert Redford discuss their new film “Truth.” There are always plenty of celebrity chefs, such as Giada De Laurentiis, Bobby Flay, Mario Batali and more, celebrating the Food and Wine Festival.

More Info: www.timestalks.com

Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in October

More Things to do in October

  1. Walk The High Line and visit the Whitney Museum in the Meatpacking District
  2. Take a Fall Foliage Cruise or bus tour
  3. Take a New York City Ghost Tour or visit a Haunted House
  4. Get your Halloween costume! The good ones go fast so don’t wait until the last minute. Check out Ricky’s (including their special Halloween pop ups), New York Costumes (on 4th Ave & 11st Street) and Abracadabra (W 21st St). Suited up? Great, now book your tickets for the best Halloween Parties in NYC.

Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in October

What to Wear – What to Bring – October in New York

October can be 80 degrees or snowing! No joke…Halloween has seen heat waves and snowstorms over the last few years. Average temperatures are roughly 57°F (14°C) and a 31% chance of rain, but there tends to be major downward spikes from day to night. In just an hour, you may go from comfortable in shorts and a sweater to freezing when the sun sets. Most NYC natives are wearing light coats, sweaters, jeans/pants/skirts, boots and carrying umbrellas this time of year.

Before packing, consult with a weather website, but always include outfits with layers, comfortable shoes, and a small knapsack for dumping layers into while walking around.

Back to Top of Best Things To Do in New York in October

More Things to do in New York City

100 Safe Things to do in NYC Today (Summer 2021)

Explore and Indulge Like a Real NYC Foodie

There is no shortage of pizza, bagels, street vendors, cupcakes, craft beer and cocktails, rooftops and mini food parks to explore and so many more food choices in the five boroughs, along with wonderful guides who can't wait to show you them all!!!!

Set Sail Safely in 2021 with Classic Harbor Cruises

Sunset Sail Schooner Adirondack

Price starting at $76
View details

Sunset Cruise on Yacht Manhattan

Price starting at US$62
View details

Champagne & Cheese Pairing Cruise

Price starting at US$78
View details

Best New York City Hotel Rooftops

NYC Hotel Rooftops offer some of the best skyline views in the whole City, along with cocktails and food, views, pools, cabanas, sundecks and retractable roofs. Our top picks for the most surreal views and cocktails include:

New York City Hotel Rooftops

See More: Best New York City Hotel Rooftops

Museums

Most every museum is open with reduced capacity, safety protocols  and most have reservations required. Check out the new Museum of Ice Cream (SoHo), Guggenheim, MoMA, Whitney and so many more museums from which to choose.

New York City Museums

Attractions & Sightseeing

Most every NYC attraction is open with reduced capacity, safety protocols and reservations required. Whether you want to sightsee from the sky or selfie with celebs @ Madame Tussauds, you can be safe and explore.

Go HIGH or Go Home

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory or Edge? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.

Edge NYC Observation Deck

  • Empire State Building - (86 and 102 floors) Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
  • Top of the Rock - (67-70 floors) Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
  • One World Observatory - (100-102 floors) Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
  • Edge - (100-101 floors) opened March 2020, highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building (photo)

Go Even HIGHER on NYC's Most Popular Helicopters

Secret NYC Insider Tours

Explore our subways secrets with a local guide, go behind-the-scenes at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, uncover surprising gems and historical tales of Grand Central Station, cocktail your way through Manhattan’s best and most secretive speakeasies and much more!

Fun Things to Do in NYC

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Sightsee from the Sky

Top of the Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory, Edge or Summit? Which is best and, if we have to choose, which should we visit? There is no easy answer, but here are some facts to help guide your choice.

Edge NYC Observation Deck

  • Empire State Building - (86 and 102 floors) Best for patient movie and history buffs who need to check it off their bucket list. Recently redone indoor 102nd Floor Observatory
  • Top of the Rock - (67-70 floors) Best for sweeping 360° vista views, including of the Empire State Building and Central Park. Shorter lines and cheaper than the ESB.
  • One World Observatory - (100-102 floors) Best for homage to the Twin Towers. Modern and high tech, with phenomenal views
  • Edge - (100-101 floors) Highest outdoor observation deck, glass bottom floor, deck extends 80 feet away from building (photo)
  • Summit One Vanderbilt - (91-93 floors) Opens Oct 2021, all glass elevator, indoor and outdoor decks and glass terraces off the side of the building

See All: Top New York City Tourist Attractions

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Take in ALL the Tours, Landmarks and Attractions and SAVE

NY Sightseeing Pass, New York Pass, NY Explorer Pass, CityPASS Compared

New York City Passes Compared

See All: New York City Pass Comparison Chart

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Secret NYC Insider Tours

Explore our subways secrets with a local guide, go behind-the-scenes at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral, uncover surprising gems and historical tales of Grand Central Station, cocktail your way through Manhattan’s best and most secretive speakeasies and much more!

Things to do in New York with Kids

One of the best parts of NYC is that what is fun for kids is usually just as much fun for adults. If you are joining us in NYC for a family vacation, then please read all about our local kid's favorites, along with special tips just for visitors.

Things to Do in New York With Kids

See All: Visiting New York with Kids.

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

FREE Things to do in New York City

There are tons of free things to do in New York all day, every day! Tours, attractions, museums, events, shows, sports, movie and more. Kids, adults, outdoors, indoors, active, lazy...you name it!

Free Things to Do in New York City

See All: Free Things to Do in NYC - weekly calendar of all free walking tours, free museum admissions, free things to do by season and more

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

New York City Shopping Guides

New York City Shopping

New York City Nightlife

How do you make the most of your time in the city that never sleeps?? Some of the best 'only in NYC' nightlife experiences include skyline views, dinner cruises, Museums and attractions open late til 2am, rooftops, night tours, comedy clubs and more. Some of our top NYC Nightlife picks:

New York City Nightlife

See all our Top Picks: New York City Nightlife

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Save HUGE $$$$ in NYC

New York City Coupons

Romantic Things to Do in NYC

There are tons of things to do on your romantic New York City vacation. Attractions open late with skyline views, Central Park Tours, VIP Experiences, a helicopter ride. Some of the most popular romantic ways to see NYC include:

Romantic NYC Hotel Deals

NYC Insider Pick
Price starting at US$120
View details

Romantic NYC Champagne & Skyline Cruises

Bestseller
Price starting at US$60
View details

Private Central Park Walking Tour with a Personal Photographer

Price starting at US$147
View details

New York City Private Helicopter Tour with Champagne Toast

Bestseller
Price starting at US$1,800
View details

Romantic Broadway Show Picks

Price starting at US$120
View details

Sunset Valentines Dinner Cruise in NYC

Bestseller
Price starting at US$145
View details

See more romantic things to do at: Romantic New York City Vacation and Valentine's Day in NYC

Explore and Indulge Like a Real NYC Foodie

There is no shortage of pizza, bagels, street vendors, cupcakes, craft beer and cocktails, rooftops and mini food parks to explore and so many more food choices in the five boroughs, along with wonderful guides who can't wait to show you them all!!!!

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Spot Celebrities in NYC

Celebrities in NYC

Where to find celebrities in NYC or which celebrities are living in NYC today are common questions by all, but celebrity sightings in NYC are way easier than you may think and happen all the time. You will, of course, see them on the subway, in Central Park, at the gym, in restaurants, at all the current hotspots, at shows and more. But here are some unique ways to see celebrities all over the city.

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

Get Out of Town for a Day

NYC is within 3 hours of so many other cities and areas you can visit for just one day. The weather in April makes is pretty easy to head to Washington DC, Boston, Philadelphia, Niagara Falls, the Hamptons, Woodbury Common Shopping Outlets and more quite easily.

Day Trips Out of New York City

Whether you live in NY or are visiting, and no matter how much you love NYC, escaping for a day is a treat for everyone. Top choices for 1-day Out of Town:

See All: Day Trips Out of New York City

Back to Top of Fun Things to do in New York City

More from NYC Insider Guide:

2 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.