An art lover’s guide to fall in NYC

When the leaves changes and the temperature drops in the city, the party moves inside. Everyone has probably already heard of the Halloween Parade and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but for the more discerning among us, here’s a list of artsy-type-things. I’m actually using this post as my own personal notepad of things to do this season, so please enjoy.


First and most importantly – free shite! Get a sneak peek at places you might not have shelled out for otherwise during Free Museum Day, or even places that don’t let ordinary citizens inside normally on Open House Weekend.

Free Museum Day

Sept 24 2016

Smithsonian Magazine has compiled a list of museums that have free admission on Sept 24. Here are some highlights from NYC:

  • Asia Society and Museum
  • Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
  • Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
  • Museum of Chinesa in America
  • Museum of the City of New York
  • Society of Illustrators
  • The Morgan Library & Museum

Architecture Open House Weekend

Oct 15 – 16 2016

During this weekend in October, OHNY unlocks the doors of New York’s most important buildings to give people an opportunity to experience the city and meet the people who build, design, and preserve New York.

A few buildings require advance notice and reservation, but the majority are Open Access with interested people free to show up and partake.

Last year featured locations that are too long to list, but highlights include Bronx Museum of the Arts, Brooklyn Navy Yard Center at BLDG 92, Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, The New York Botanical Garden, Woodlawn Cemetery, Jay Street Firehouse, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn Central Library, City Reliquary, Seaport Culture District, City Hall, Woolworth Building Lobby, Japan Society, Frick Art Reference Library, Carnegie Hall, Noguchi Museum, Queens Museum, and World’s Fair Grounds.


Get your film fix in while it’s still warm enough to walk to the theater but too cold to try and spread a blanket in Bryant Park for a giant movie screen you can’t hear a word out of anyways.

New York Film Festival

(Lincoln Center) Sept 30 – Oct 16 2016

Now in it’s 54th year, the New York Film Festival brings new and important cinematic works from around the world to NYC. I’ve got my eye on the Projections section from Oct 7 – 9, featuring experimental “film and video work that expands on what our notions of what the moving image can do and be”.

$15–25 for most screenings

Brooklyn Horror Film Festival

(41–43 Wythe Ave) Oct 14, 2016

“The BHFF will be showing nothing short of the best in badass genre film.” What’s not to love?


Architecture & Design Film Festival

(Cinépolis Chelsea) Sept 28 – Oct 2 2016

Architecture, design, and film together. Can’t ask for much more than that.


Harlem International Film Festival

(MIST Harlem) Sept 14 – 18 2016

A film festival in honor of Harlem and the talent that it represents.

Coney Island Film Festival

(Coney Island Museum, Sideshow) Sept 16 – 18 2016

Everything you would expect from a film festival at Coney. With special screening of The Warriors, of course.


Manhattan Short Film Festival

(Film Anthology) Sept 29

Part of a network of over 250 cities worldwide screening 10 short films, the Manhattan edition takes place at Film Anthology this year.


(Various) Oct 20 – 25th 2016

Over 100 films, panels, and parties that shine a light on the LGBT experience.

Korean American Film Festival

(IFP Media Center) New York Oct 15 – 22 2016

KAFFNY highlights cinematic voices of those who live with two or more cultures, or as they call it, Third Culture.

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival

(Various) Oct 14 – 13 2016

The WCFF mission is to inform, engage and inspire audiences about the need for and importance of the protection of global biodiversity.

Imagine Science Film Festival

(Various, including Cooper Union, New Lab, Museum of Natural History, New York Hall of Science) Oct 14 – 21 2016

The theme of this year’s Imagine Science Film Festival is “Light”, an appropriate subject for both film and science lovers.

Margaret Mead Film Festival

(American Museum of Natural History) Oct 13 – 16

Celebrating the groundbreaking spirit of legendary Natural History Museum anthropologist Margaret Mead, this festival showcases art installations, virtual reality, and a host of new documentary films from around the world.

Starting at $30

Dog Film Festival

(Symphony Space) Oct 15 – 17 2016

A film festival for lovers of canines, featuring four dog-themed programs. Dogs not welcome in the venue, however doggy day care is available at Camp Canine, 20 blocks south of the venue.

All access pass $40.

NYC Food and Film Festival

Oct 20 – 23 2016

Back for its 10th annual showing, the Food Film Festival in NYC features both screenings of food-films and a feast of incredible dishes sourced locally and from abroad.

Details TBA.

Nordic International Film Festival

(Scandinavia House aka the Nordic Center) Oct 20 – 22 2016

NIFF celebrates Nordic and international films, with one part of the program highlighting nordic classic themes found in old Nordic productions.

New York Television Festival

Oct 24 – 29 2016

Although not technically a film festival, NYTVF celebrates the independent television movement and communities of artists.

Details TBA.


(IFC, SVA, and Bow Tie Chelsea) Nov 10 – 17

A documentary film festival encompassing reportage, memoir, history, humor, and more.

Theater & Performance

Most theater festivals run in spring and summer while most of the industry works on their scripts now. That doesn’t mean you can’t get great deals on Broadway or other places, or see a play get moulded to life before your very eyes.

Broadway Week

(Midtown) Sept 5 – 18 2016

Two for one Broadway tickets for various shows, including The Color Purple, Fiddler on the Roof, Aladdin, Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, Wicked, and The Lion King.

Elsie Fest Musical Extravaganza

(Coney Island Boardwalk) Sept 5 2016

New York City’s first outdoor music festival celebrating tunes from the stage and screen on the Coney Island Boardwalk.

F*ck!ng Good Plays Festival

(Rattlestick) Sept 10 – 17 2016

Self proclaimed bold, edgy, and provocative theater readings that will launch new plays that speak to the complexity of our world.

Free, donations encouraged. Note: these are not plays, but readings done before play productions start. A good chance to see theater in development!

BEAT (Brooklyn Emerging Artists in Theater) Festival

(Various Locations) Sept 15 – 23 2016

The fifth annual BEAT Festival is comprised of 10 days of immersive and experimental theater, dance and vocal performances, featuring more than a dozen cutting-edge local artists in intriguing and unlikely venues across Brooklyn.

Free – $20.

Fall for Dance Festival

(Various) Sept 26 – Oct 8 2016

Fall for Dance is an annual dance festival presented by New York City Center in New York City. The Festival’s five programs feature three world premieres and a more international slate of companies than ever before.


Art in Odd Places

(14th Street in Manhattan from Avenue C to Hudson River) Oct 6 – 9

Art in Odd Places aims to stretch the boundaries of communication in the public realm by presenting artworks in all disciplines outside the confines of traditional public space regulations.

H.P. Lovecraft Festival

(Kraine Theater) Oct 13 – 30th

Radiotheatre presents the world of H.P. Lovecraft, with readings onstage accompanied by award winning sound design and original orchestral scores.


Bad Theater Fest

Oct 15 – 30

“Seeking “so-bad-it’s-great” short films and theatrical performances. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning great!”

White Light Festival

(Lincoln Center) Oct 16 – Nov 16

The White Light Festival is a multidisciplinary fall festival focusing on music’s capacity to illuminate the many dimensions of our interior lives. Initiated in 2010, the Festival explores music’s spiritual power as revealed in different cultural traditions.

Arts & Crafts

Support your creative community and buy some affordable arts and crafts locally. Or just get your mom a nice handmade cat hair sweater for the holidays.

NY Art Book fair

(MoMA PS1) Sept 16- 18 2016

Art books galore, from zines to rare antiquarian books to art and art history books.

Affordable Art Fair

(The Metropolitan Pavilion) Sept 28 – Oct 2 2016

A giant art fair with all art under $10000, and half priced under 5k.

Tickets: $18–20

Maker Faire

(New York Hall of Science) Oct 1 – 2 2016

Showcasing creative and resourceful people in the areas of science and technology, engineering, food, and arts and crafts.

Tickets: $20+ for a day pass, $50–80 for a weekend pass

Autumn Crafts Festival

(Lincoln Center) Oct 1–2 and 8–9 2016

Held outside Lincoln Center, the Autumn Crafts Festival features fine arts and crafts for sale as well as demonstrations and foods.

Save 43% on NYC’s top 6 attractions with a CityPASS ›

Kings County Fiber Festival

(Old Stone House & Washington Park) Oct 8 2016

Featuring fiber artists such as crocheters, dyers, filters, knitters, quilters, spinners, weavers, and other artists creating design work that include fiber.


Print Fair

(Park Ave Armory) Nov 3 – 6 2016

Part of New York Print Week, Print Fair is an exhibition focusing on printmaking as an art form presented by the International Fine Print Dealers Association

Daily Tickets: $20

Renegade Craft Fair

(Metropolitan Pavilion) Nov 12 – 13

Renegade is a celebration of DIY spirit. Each fair gathers new and seasoned independent makers.


American Fine Craft Show

(Brooklyn Museum) Nov 19 – 20

This two-day event will present an extraordinary selection of handmade works in ceramics, jewelry, glass, furniture, wood, metal, mixed media, wearable and decorative fiber by 90 of the nation’s finest craft artists.

Tickets include general admission to the museum.

So there you go. If only there were enough time and money to do it all. My motto and mantra for the last 8 years of living in NYC has been pretty much this: if I’m bored, it’s my own damned fault.

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Artist with a passion for travel.

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