Autumn in New York brings abundant opportunities to enjoy the city.
From parades and festivals to special events in parks and museums, there is activity all over town. Maybe this is the year you finally make it to the Columbus Day parade? Or spend Halloween in the Village?
Or maybe you’re looking for something offbeat. Lower East Side Pickle Day, anyone?
Here’s hoping you’ll have time to see something fun and new, before late autumn blurs into the holiday season,
Bonus: Cooler temperatures make it easier to get around. Go by subway! See our directions below:
Here are 10 free fall events in Manhattan:
1. Wednesdays: “Taino Music with Irka” and “La Musica Taino con Irka,” a program for children ages 2 and older at the National Museum of the American Indian, in the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, 1 Bowling Green. Irka Mateo teaches Taino music and culture through stories, songs, movement and hands-on activities. The program is offered in English at 10:15 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. every Wednesday, and in Spanish at 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and until 8 p.m. Thursdays. Admission to the museum and to this program are free, but registration at the museum’s website is required for the program. Irka Mateo ensenara a los ninos, mayores de dos anos, acerca de la cultura taino con los cuentos, las canciones, el movimiento y las actividades manuales, cada miercoles a los 3:30 p.m.. Admision al museo y tambien al programa son gratis, pero se necesita inscribir al website. How to get there: The museum is in Lower Manhattan, on the South side of Bowling Green, adjacent to Battery Park. From Penn Station, take the shuttle to Grand Central Terminal and take the 4 or 5 train downtown to Bowling Green. For more info: nmai.si.edu.
2. Now through Oct. 29: “High Line Tour: From Freight To Flowers.” Ever wonder how the High Line came to become New York’s “park in the sky?” Volunteer docents lead free tours of the popular park, built on elevated railway lines, every Tuesday from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 to 11:15 a.m. Meet 15 minutes early at the Gansevoort Street entrance to learn about the history, design and landscape of the High Line. Tours run through Oct. 29, but can be canceled due to weather, so check for updates on Twitter via @highlinenyc. How to get there: Take the A,C, or E downtown to 14th Street and Eighth Avenue. Walk across town to Gansevoort and Washington streets, near Little West 12th Street. For more info: thehighline.org.
3. Sept. 24: New York City Dumpling Festival, noon to 5 p.m. in Sara D. Roosevelt Park on East Houston Street between Chrystie and Forsyth streets on the Lower East Side . From gyoza to pierogi, dumplings are loved all over the world. Enjoy Asian, European and South American varieties, as well as dumpling-related fun, including live “violin-centric” music from Yut and the Hot Four and other performances, dumpling-eating contests, and appearances from Mama Dumpling, a cute costumed mascot. Admission is free, but tasting tickets cost $20, with proceeds to benefit the Food Bank of New York City. Tickets are good for four servings from any food or drink booth, and include a raffle entry. Food service ends at 4:30 p.m. How to get there: From Penn Station, walk across town to 34th Street Herald Square and take the B or D train downtown to Grand Street at Chrystie Street. For more info: dumplingfestival.com
4. Sept. 25: Lower East Side Pickle Day. Noon to 5 p.m. on Orchard Street, between Delancey and East Houston streets. A veritable pickle bazaar, with more than 20 picklers and a “home pickling/dancing” contest. Live music, games (including a pickle toss!) and activities, vendors of food and goods. How to get there: From Penn station, take the A train downtown to Fourth Street, transfer to the M or F line and take to Essex Street. For more info: pickleday.nyc
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5. Sept. 25: The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride, featuring about 400 sharp-dressed motorcyclists astride classic bikes. The motorcyclists will assemble at Peck Slip from 10 to 11 a.m. After the ride, they’ll return to South Street Seaport at Front and Fulton streets for a rally, from about 1 to 3 p.m. How to get there: From Penn Station, take the A train downtown to Fulton Street, and walk toward Water and Front streets. Or, take a taxi. For more info: southstreetseaport.com.
6. Oct. 10: Columbus Day Parade, with Italian folk dancers, high school marching bands, and professional performing groups from the United States and Italy. The Parade marches up Fifth Avenue from 44th to 72nd Street with red carpet performances on Fifth Avenue between 67th and 69th Streets. Grand Marshal this year will be Robert LaPenta, founding general partner of Aston Capital Partners. How to get there: From Penn Station, walk across 34th Street to Herald Square and Broadway (about a block), and take the Q, N or R train up to Lexington Avenue/59th Street. Head West to Park Avenue. For more info: columbuscitizensfd.org.
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7. Oct. 15: Marco Polo Festival. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Grand Street, between Mott and Mulberry streets. Celebrates the communities of, and cooperation between, the immigrant neighborhoods of Chinatown and Little Italy, with a parade, instrumental and opera performances, acrobatics. The eighth annual festival takes its name from the Venetian merchant and explorer of the 13th and 14th centuries, who spent a good part of his life in Asia working with the Mongolian ruler Kublai Khan. How to get there: From Penn Station, walk across 34th Street to Herald Square and Broadway (about a block). Take the downtown D or B subway to Lafayette Street. Walk down Lafayette and turn left onto Grand Street. Or, take a taxi. For more info: twobridges.org.
8. Oct. 16: Diwali in Times Square. Celebrate the Indian festival of lights with performances and dance competitions, fashion shows, appearances by Bollywood celebrities, digital fireworks and a ceremony on a screen in Times Square for the lighting of diyas, lights in clay vessels. Hindus recognize Diwali as a time for good to conquer evil, and prayers are offered to Lakshmi, goddess of wealth, prosperity and light. Diwali also is celebrated by Jains, in remembrance of Lord Mahavir and his teachings of compassion, and by Sikhs, who celebrate the release of Guru Hargobind and 52 princes in 1619, after they were imprisoned by the Indian emperor Jahangir. How to get there: Walk up eight blocks along Seventh Avenue from Penn Station, or take the 1 subway to 42nd Street. For more info: diwalitimessquare.com
9. Oct. 22: Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Noon to 3 p.m. in Tompkins Square Park in the East Village. Highlight of the 26th annual parade is a runway competition among hundreds of costumed doggies. How to get there: From Penn Station, take the A train downtown to Eighth Avenue and transfer to the L train towards Canarsie to Third Avenue. For more info: tompkinssquaredogrun.com
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10. Oct. 31: Village Halloween Parade brings over-the-top visual treats, and a few tricks as well. You should see this spectacle at least once in your life. Maybe this is the year? The parade route runs up Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th street. Unless you get there early, it’ll be a mob scene between Bleecker and 14th streets, so plan accordingly or find space elsewhere along the route. The 43rd annual parade kicks off at 7 p.m. and ends around 11. How to get there: From Penn Station, take the 1 downtown to 23rd, 18th, 14th or Houston street, or the 2 and 3 line down to 14th Street. Walk across to Sixth Avenue. For more info: halloween-nyc.com
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