Warm autumn sunshine and lush fall colours make New York City in October an even more enticing travel destination than it already is. From the spectacular Columbus Day parade to dozens of Halloween events, there is no shortage of things to do to enjoy the beautiful fall weather!
Columbus Day Parade
Columbus Day falls on the second Monday of October, and this autumn long weekend is a popular one with travellers. New York City's annual Columbus Day parade, a long-running tradition since 1929, takes place on Fifth Avenue and celebrates the great growth and contributions of the Italian-American community. Broadcast on six continents, the parade boasts thousands of marchers, a steady stream of colourful floats and live music and entertainment ranging from the traditional to the cutting-edge.
Columbus Day celebrates all things Italian, and Oktoberfest is a festival of all things German! From lager and leiderhosen to bratwurst and pretzels, the annual Oktoberfest celebrations in New York recreate the lively party atmosphere that Munich's beer festival is famous for. On various Fridays and Saturdays throughout the month of October, Manhattan's Third Avenue becomes a pedestrian-only area to accommodate the music, dancing, and wide variety of German beers and delicious Deutschland foods.
Halloween in New York City: Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of the Ghouls
There are lots of fun things to do in New York City on Halloween for kids of all ages. A favourite New York City event, particularly for those who really like to get into the spirit of the holiday, is the Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of the Ghouls. Attendees don their Halloween costumes for this annual tradition, which takes place at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The cathedral hosts an evening screening of a classic horror flick which is then followed by the Grand Procession of the Ghouls, a spooky cast of elaborately costumed characters who make their way down the cathedral aisles accompanied by eerie tunes from the church organ. Tickets sell out quickly for this event and can be purchased online.
Ghost Walks and Haunted Tours of New York City
Visitors planning to visit New York around Halloween will be in the city just at the right time to participate in a ghost walk or haunted tour. These tours can be found all year round but many more take place around the end of October. Not only does a haunted tour allow those new to the Big Apple to explore different neighbourhoods of the city, but it gets even the most serious sight-seer right into in the spooky spirit of the season! Ghosts of New York Walking Tours offers leisurely 90-minute tours in different areas of the city such as "Ghosts of Time Square", "Edgar Allan Poe and His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village", and "Ghost Stories for Children of All Ages."
The crispness in the air and the warm autumn sunshine is also ideal for shopping trips up and down Madison Avenue and Fifth Avenue, home to renowned stores like Barneys New York and Bergdorf Goodman. The pleasant autumn temperatures also make October in New York the perfect time to stroll through historic Central Park, where the acres of majestic trees boast stunning fall foliage.