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An A-Z guide on the best things do in New York in October

October in New York is a picturesque blend of autumnal charm and cultural richness. As the city embraces fall, Central Park transforms into a kaleidoscope of red and gold. The weather is cool and crisp, making it ideal for strolling through iconic neighborhoods and enjoying outdoor activities. Explore pumpkin patches or attend spooky Halloween events. Broadway theaters unveil new shows while art galleries buzz with activity. 

The city's energy is contagious as locals prepare for Thanksgiving. Pack layers, embrace the vibrant fall foliage, and relish the diverse cultural offerings that make October a delightful time to experience the Big Apple.

Is October a good time to visit New York?

October is a great time to visit New York because of the amazing weather and fewer crowds as compared to the high tourist season. The temperatures are mild. There’s a slight chill in the air, making it the perfect time to explore the city on foot and enjoy outdoor activities.

things to do in new york in october

Why you should visit?

  • Enjoy leisurely walks along the city's streets and parks or take a river cruise in the pleasant weather to witness the vibrant fall foliage.
  • Attend world-renowned events like the New York Film Festival, Broadway show premieres, and Open House New York.
  • Experience local charm at neighborhood harvest festivals, offering seasonal treats, live music, and arts and crafts.
things to do in new york in october

What to look out for?

  • Benefit from fewer tourists compared to the peak summer season, allowing for a more relaxed exploration of attractions and cheaper accommodation rates.
  • Join or witness the famous Greenwich Village Halloween Parade and explore haunted tours for a spooky and festive atmosphere.
  • Indulge in seasonal flavors at farmers' markets, try diverse cuisine, and experience the city's vibrant culinary scene.
  • Take advantage of fall sales and the debut of autumn collections in iconic shopping districts.

Overview of the weather in New York in October

weather in new york in october

More about the weather in New York in October

How hot is New York in October?

New York is not hot in October. It experiences mild temperatures, typically ranging from 15 to 20 degrees Celsius).

Can you swim at beaches in New York in October?

While the air may still be pleasant, water temperatures decrease, and swimming becomes less common due to cooler conditions. If you feel the sea water is not too cold for you, then why not go for a swim?

Does it rain in New York in October?

Yes, October in New York sees some rainfall. It's advisable to bring a light rain jacket or umbrella for occasional showers.

Is New York windy in October?

Wind levels in October are moderate. While breezy conditions can occur, it's generally not as windy as in some other seasons.

Best things to do in New York in October

New York in October
New York in October
New York in October

River Cruise to Witness Fall Foliage

Take a scenic boat tour around Manhattan to witness the city's skyline against the backdrop of autumn leaves. The changing colors of leaves at Central Park create a scenic backdrop for walks, bike rides, or boat rides on the lake. You can also sign up for a Hudson River Cruise, Tarrytown Boat Tour, Circle Line Sightseeing Cruise around Manhattan, or a sail on the Shearwater Classic Schooner for stunning views of fall foliage along the riverbanks. Consider taking a ferry ride between boroughs for a unique perspective.

New York in October
New York in October
New York in October
New York in October

Alice Austen House

The Alice Austen House, located in Staten Island, is a historic site that once belonged to pioneering photographer Alice Austen. Built in the 17th century, this charming cottage offers a glimpse into Austen's life and work. The house showcases her vast collection of photographs, providing insights into Victorian-era New York. Surrounded by gardens and waterfront views, the Alice Austen House stands as a tribute to one of America's earliest and most accomplished female photographers.

New York in October

Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Snug Harbor Cultural Center, situated on Staten Island, encompasses 83 acres of botanical gardens, museums, and historic buildings. Originally a retirement home for sailors, Snug Harbor is now a cultural hub hosting art exhibitions, performances, and events. Visitors can explore its diverse gardens, including the Chinese Scholar's Garden, and experience a mix of history and contemporary creativity in this scenic and vibrant cultural complex.

New York in October

The Hispanic Society of America

The Hispanic Society of America, located in Washington Heights, New York City, is a cultural institution dedicated to showcasing the art and literature of Spain, Portugal, and Latin America. Founded in 1904, it houses an extensive collection of paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and decorative arts. With its rich array of cultural artifacts, the Hispanic Society serves as a vital resource for scholars, artists, and enthusiasts seeking to explore and appreciate the diverse heritage of the Hispanic world.

New York in October

The Elevated Acre

The Elevated Acre, nestled in the Financial District of Manhattan, is a hidden urban oasis offering respite from the city's hustle. Perched above street level, it provides stunning views of the East River and Brooklyn Bridge. This serene park features lush greenery, seating areas, and a peaceful atmosphere, making it a beloved escape for office workers and locals seeking tranquility amidst the towering skyscrapers of downtown New York.

New York in October

Little Red Lighthouse

The Little Red Lighthouse, officially Jeffrey's Hook Lighthouse, stands beneath the George Washington Bridge in Fort Washington Park, Manhattan. Built in 1889, this charming beacon once guided ships on the Hudson River. Despite its small size, it gained fame through the children's book "The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge." Today, the lighthouse serves as a beloved symbol of perseverance and the coexistence of historic structures with modern infrastructure.

New York in October

The Morbid Anatomy Museum

The Morbid Anatomy Museum, formerly located in Gowanus, Brooklyn, was a unique institution exploring the intersections of art, death, and science. Founded in 2014, it housed a diverse collection of artifacts, taxidermy, and artworks related to mortality. Hosting exhibitions, lectures, and events, the museum provides a thought-provoking space for those interested in the macabre and how death has been represented and interpreted throughout history.

New York in October

Greenacre Park

Greenacre Park, a hidden gem in Midtown Manhattan, offers an oasis of tranquility amidst the urban hustle. Established in 1971, this pocket-sized park features a serene waterfall, lush greenery, and ample seating. With its unique design and peaceful atmosphere, it provides a retreat for locals and visitors alike, inviting them to escape the city's bustling streets and enjoy a moment of calm in this well-tended urban oasis.

New York in October

Central Park

In October, Central Park transforms into a picturesque haven of autumnal beauty. The park's foliage explodes in vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold, creating a breathtaking tapestry. Visitors can stroll along winding paths, relishing the crisp air and the sight of fallen leaves. The iconic Bow Bridge and reflecting pools provide stunning reflections of the changing colors. October in Central Park is a sensory delight, offering a serene escape into nature amidst the urban landscape.

Top experiences & things to do in New York in October


Events in New York in October

New York in October

New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con is an annual pop culture convention celebrating comics, anime, movies, and more. Held at the Javits Center, it attracts enthusiasts, cosplayers, and industry professionals. Attendees engage in panels, meet celebrities, explore exhibits, and celebrate their passion for all things geek culture, making it a vibrant and immersive experience.

New York in October

Columbus Day Parade

The Columbus Day Parade, held annually on the second Monday of October, celebrates Italian-American heritage. Marching down Fifth Avenue, it features vibrant displays of culture, music, and pride. The parade honors Christopher Columbus and showcases the contributions of Italian-Americans to the fabric of New York City, fostering community spirit and celebration.

New York in October

Open House New York

Open House New York is an annual event offering access to architecturally significant and historically important sites across the city. Held over a weekend, it allows the public to explore buildings, parks, and cultural spaces through guided tours, talks, and special events, providing a unique opportunity to discover the city's diverse and dynamic architecture.

New York in October

New York Film Festival

The New York Film Festival, hosted annually by the Film Society of Lincoln Center, showcases world-class cinema. Running for two weeks at Lincoln Center's venues, it premieres highly anticipated films, hosts screenings, and engages audiences with Q&A sessions and discussions. The festival is a prestigious event, celebrating cinematic artistry and cultural exploration.

New York in October

Halloween Parade in Greenwich Village

The Greenwich Village Halloween Parade is a renowned annual event attracting thousands of costumed participants and spectators. Spirited and creative, the parade marches through the heart of Greenwich Village on Halloween night. With its vibrant display of costumes, music, and theatricality, it's a festive celebration of artistic expression and community spirit in the heart of New York City.

New York in October

New York City Wine & Food Festival

The New York City Wine & Food Festival is a premier culinary event, bringing together renowned chefs, food enthusiasts, and celebrities. Held at various venues across the city, it features tastings, cooking demonstrations, and exclusive dinners. The festival celebrates the vibrant culinary scene while raising funds to fight hunger through Food Bank For New York City.

New York in October

White Light Festival

The White Light Festival, hosted by Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, is an annual event celebrating the transformative power of the arts. Showcasing a diverse array of performances, it explores the intersection of different cultures and artistic disciplines, inviting audiences to experience profound moments of beauty, contemplation, and reflection.

New York in October

Chile Pepper Festival

The Chile Pepper Festival in Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a spicy celebration featuring diverse pepper varieties. Attendees enjoy fiery foods, live music, and culinary demonstrations. This annual event highlights the vibrant world of chili peppers, attracting heat enthusiasts and food lovers alike for a day of flavorful exploration and festivities in a beautiful botanical setting.

New York in October

Global Citizen Festival

The Global Citizen Festival is an annual music event held in Central Park, New York City, advocating for global issues such as poverty and climate change. Aiming to inspire social action, it features performances by world-renowned artists. Attendees earn tickets through social activism, making it a unique blend of entertainment and advocacy.

New York in October

New Yorker Festival

The New Yorker Festival is a prestigious annual event by The New Yorker magazine, bringing together thought leaders, artists, and experts for discussions, performances, and panels. Attendees engage with influential figures across various fields, exploring contemporary issues, arts, and culture, creating a dynamic platform for intellectual exchange and cultural exploration.

Shopping in New York in October

October is an exciting time for shopping in New York City. With fall in full swing, you'll find a mix of end-of-summer sales and the debut of autumn collections. Iconic shopping destinations like Fifth Avenue, SoHo, and Madison Avenue showcase a vibrant blend of high-end boutiques and flagship stores. Explore the stylish shops in the Meatpacking District or discover unique finds in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 

Don't miss the chance to shop at the city's famous department stores, including Macy's, Bloomingdale's, and Saks Fifth Avenue, where window displays start embracing the festive season. Additionally, farmers' markets and local artisans offer autumnal delights and handmade crafts. October's pleasant weather encourages leisurely strolls, providing the perfect opportunity to shop for fall fashion, accessories, and souvenirs amidst the city's bustling energy.

Know before you visit New York in October

Travel essentials
What to wear?
What to pack?
New York in October
New York in October
  • Wear layered clothing to accommodate temperature variations throughout the day.
  • Bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler mornings and evenings.
  • New York is a walking city, so wear comfortable shoes for exploring neighborhoods and attractions.
  • Wear a hat, sunglasses, and a scarf for sun protection during the day.
  • New Yorkers often dress casually yet stylishly, so bring a mix of comfortable and fashionable clothing.
New York in October
  • Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring the city on foot.
  • Carry a small bag for essentials, maps, and any items you pick up during the day.
  • Keep your devices charged, especially if you'll be using maps or taking photos. Ensure you can charge your devices by bringing the appropriate adapters.
  • Stay hydrated as you explore by carrying a reusable water bottle there are many water fountains available.
  • Have a guidebook or map for easy navigation and information about attractions.
  • Pack sunscreen, lotion, and chapstick to protect your skin from the sun, especially if you'll be spending time outdoors.
  • Don’t forget to pack your camera.
  • Be prepared for potential rain showers with an umbrella or raincoat.
  • Keep energy levels up with small, non-perishable snacks.
  • Bring any necessary medications or remedies you may need.
  • Carry your ID, passport, and any other travel documents in a secure, accessible pouch.
  • Pack weather-specific items like a hat, sunglasses, and a scarf.
New York in October

Getting around in New York in October:

  • By subway: The extensive subway system covers the five boroughs, providing a fast and efficient way to travel within the city.
  • By bus: The MTA bus network complements the subway, offering additional routes to reach various neighborhoods.
  • By taxi: Yellow cabs are readily available and can be hailed on the street or booked through ride-hailing apps like Uber and Lyft.
  • By ferry: Explore the city from the water with ferry services like the Staten Island Ferry or NYC Ferry.
New York in October

From backpacker hostels to luxury hotels and resorts, New York offers diverse accommodation options that cater to every budget.

  • Budget-friendly hotels: YOTEL New York, Blue Moon Hotel, Giorgio Hotel
  • Mid-range hotels: Hotel Edison, Candlewood Suites, La Quinta Inn and Suites
  • Luxury hotels: The Crosby Street Hotel, The NoMad Hotel, The Plaza Hotel
New York in October

New York boasts a diverse culinary scene, one of the best in the world. You’ll find a beautiful blend of cuisines from across the globe that will leave you wanting for more.

  • Awadh: This restaurant specializes in dishes from the Awadhi region of India, located in the Upper West Side.
  • Levain Bakery: Famous for its massive, gooey chocolate chip cookies, this Upper West Side bakery is a must-visit for dessert lovers.
  • Two Hands: A stylish Australian cafe with a laid-back vibe, offering excellent coffee and a diverse menu of brunch options.
  • The Spotted Pig: A gastropub with a Michelin star, offering delectable British and Italian-inspired dishes in a charming setting.
  • The Press Lounge: Located atop the Ink48 Hotel, it offers stunning views of the Hudson River and Manhattan skyline.

Hacks & tips to visit New York in October

  • The city sees a low tourist footfall in October. However, it is still advisable to make advance bookings to avoid last-minute hiccups.
  • October is a transitional month, meaning fewer tourists. Enjoy popular attractions with reduced crowds compared to the summer months.
  • Enjoy the vibrant fall foliage in Central Park, Hudson River Park, and other green spaces. Consider a leisurely stroll or a river cruise to fully appreciate the changing colors.
  • Embrace the Halloween spirit with events like the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. Plan costumes in advance for a memorable experience.
  • Take advantage of Columbus Day sales in early October for discounts on shopping items, especially clothing and electronics.
  • Attend local harvest festivals for a taste of autumnal treats, live music, and unique arts and crafts.
  • Utilize the efficient subway system or hop-on-hop-off buses to navigate the city conveniently.
  • Stay updated on events like the New Yorker Festival or the New York Comic Con for unique experiences during your visit.
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast for any unexpected changes and pack accordingly, especially if rain is in the forecast.
  • Planning to watch a Broadway show? Don't wait—popular shows sell out months in advance. Ensure you book your tickets well ahead of time.
  • When planning your itinerary, explore combo experiences for potential discounts. Online concierge services like Headout offer great deals on both combo and individual experiences in the city.
  • Go beyond popular tourist hotspots to explore diverse neighborhoods and hidden gems.
  • Buy city passes for attractions to save money and gain skip-the-line access.

Frequently asked questions about visiting New York in October

Is October a good time to visit New York?

Yes, October is a great time to visit New York with pleasant weather, fall foliage, and various events.

What are the best things to do in New York in October?

Explore Central Park, attend fall festivals, visit museums, and enjoy Halloween-themed events.

Is New York cold in October?

It's generally mild, but temperatures can vary. A light jacket is advisable for cooler evenings.

How hot is New York in October?

New York does not experience hot weather in October. It is pleasant with a nice chill in the air.

Can you swim at beaches in New York in October?

While air temperatures may be pleasant, water temperatures cool down, making swimming less common. However, if you think you are comfortable with it, you can definitely go for a swim.

Is it sunny in New York in October?

Yes, October in New York often experiences sunny days with crisp, cool air.

What clothes to wear in New York in October?

Layers are key. Bring a light jacket, sweaters, jeans, and comfortable walking shoes.

Is it rainy in New York in October?

Rainfall is moderate. Pack an umbrella, a raincoat, or a waterproof jacket for occasional showers.

Is New York expensive to visit?

New York can be expensive, but budget-friendly options exist, especially for dining and attractions.

How safe is New York?

Like any large city, practice general safety precautions, and stick to well-traveled areas.

What can I see in New York in October?

Enjoy fall foliage, iconic landmarks, and events like the Halloween Parade and NY Comic Con.

What are the major events in New York in October?

Columbus Day Parade, Open House New York, Halloween Parade, and the New York Film Festival are notable events.

What is the average temperature in New York in October?

Average temperatures range from 10°C to 20°C in October.

What are the best things to do with kids in New York in October?

Explore Central Park, visit kid-friendly museums, and enjoy Halloween events like pumpkin picking.