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What to Do In New York City in October 2022

By Brittany Leitner & Ashley ArtusSep 19 2022

If you blink, you might miss it. There’s only one month a year when you can enjoy the changing colors of the leaves and crisp air of fall before winter comes and makes everything bare again — and that’s the month of October. There’s a sort of stillness that envelops the city as you quite literally feel the seasons change. Just deciding to go on a walk through Central Park can turn into an all-day affair as you bask in the picture-perfect weather.

But if you’re looking for something more concrete to do with your days, there’s no shortage of fall-inspired activities to choose from. Don’t worry; this city may take Halloween seriously, but this month is more than just spooky stories and costumes. At Rockefeller Center, Art in Focus returns with the presentation of work by multidisciplinary artist Arghavan Khosravi. Composed of vinyl murals and vitrine installations, the pop-up invites viewers to draw their own interpretations of the artist’s subversive approach to traditional Persian miniature paintings. You can also catch the tail end of renowned visual artist Jeppe Hein’s Changing Spaces. The interactive installation fosters connection among Center Plaza visitors and offers a peaceful respite now through October 13.

If you’re searching for fun things to do in New York City in October, you’ll find there’s something to do and see for every interest. Whether you want to spend it enjoying an outdoor public art installation among the fall foliage or at your favorite stadium rooting for a New York team, there’s something for everyone on this list.

Below, find our recommendations for the best things to do in New York City in October.

Wondering what else is going on at Rockefeller Center this season? Scroll through our upcoming events, and sign up for The Center Newsletter to get the latest news delivered to your inbox.


Photo courtesy of the NYFF

1. New York Film Festival​

September 30 - October 16

Film buffs have gotten used to watching new releases from the comfort of their homes, but nothing beats the experience of watching a movie in theaters. There are multiple VIP package experiences available, and even all-access passes, like the Currents all-access pass. This allows movie-goers to see all of the 15 features and 44 short films representing cinematography from over 23 countries. You can explore all pass options here.

Photo: Still from "Triangle of Sadness"

Photo by Paola Kudacki, courtesy of the Met Opera

2. See a Show at the Metropolitan Opera

Season begins September 27, ongoing in October

On September 27, the 2022-23 season begins with the Opening Night gala premiere of Cherubini’s Medea at the Metropolitan Opera. All shows take place at the Metropolitan Opera House, which is worth visiting for the iconic architecture alone (it dates back to the 1960s). Proof of vaccination is no longer required to attend a show, however, all guests are required to wear a properly fitting mask while inside, except in designated areas while eating and drinking. Tickets to shows like Aida and Dialogues des Carmélites start at just $32.50.

See the full lineup of shows here.

Photo: Sondra Radvanovsky in the title role of Cherubini's "Medea"

October 31

Perhaps the most iconic event on this list is the Village Halloween Parade, which takes place on the boisterous streets of the West Village. Every year, the parade has a different theme; this year, it’s “Freedom,” which invites guests to enjoy the freedom of expression in one of New York’s most iconic and wildly creative events. The parade will be in full swing between 7 and 11pm (but it’s recommended to get there around 6:30), and VIP tickets are available. Otherwise, it’s completely free to watch from the sidelines. If you want to participate in the parade itself, you must be in full costume.

Photo by Danny Nanii

October 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30

Even the most concrete jungle-obsessed New Yorker finds solace in the ethereal moment when the leaves change, and if you want to celebrate the turning of the seasons (or just making it through another year!), you can toast to New York in style on this foliage cruise up and down the Hudson.

The boat itself is heated, but there are large windows so you can catch a glimpse of New York City sights, skyscrapers, and, of course, the trees. One ticket includes a complimentary drink — beer, wine, soda, champagne, coffee, or tea — with the option to purchase light snacks while on board (bringing your own snacks is also allowed). Tickets are $106 per person, and you can purchase them here.

Photo by Seth Hoffman

Begins September 26

Opened in the late 1960s, Madison Square Garden is one of the most iconic sporting venues in all of New York. It’s the home arena for the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers — the latter of which kicks off its preseason on September 26. Catching a preseason game brings all the excitement of the regular season events, but tickets are heavily discounted compared to regular season games. This year, tickets to preseason New York Knicks and New York Rangers games at Madison Square Garden start at just $51 and $50, respectively.

Reserve your preseason tickets here.

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