Happenings Guide Fall 2023

Happenings Guide Header


With events such as the Village Halloween Parade, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting, many would say that autumn is the most wonderful time of the year in New York City. Beyond these and other holiday celebrations, however, there’s plenty more to enjoy. Below are a few upcoming highlights.

Music Museums Arts Food Outdoor



Bric JazzFest 2023 credit: discogs.com, X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X credit: metopera.org, Waiting for Godot credit: Theatre for a New Audience_Facebook, Appropriate credit: broadway.org, New York City Horror Film Festival credit: nychorrorfest.com

1. BRIC JazzFest 2023

October 19-21 | BRIC House

For its ninth annual JazzFest, the Brooklyn Arts Center is focusing on what it calls “an expanded sense of jazz.” Among those scheduled to perform are legendary double bassist Reggie Workman, the genre-defying Afro-Caribbean trio Nite Bjuti, jazz/soul/R&B vocalist Melanie Charles, and musician/producer/rapper Terrace Martin, who has collaborated with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamarr, Snoop Dogg, and Herbie Hancock.


2. X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X

November 3-December 2 | The Metropolitan Opera

This new staging of Anthony Davis’s jazz-inflected opera, which features a libretto by influential writer Thulani Davis, stars baritone Will Liverman as Malcolm X and soprano Leah Hawkins as both his mother, Louise, and his wife, Betty Shabazz. The production covers Malcolm’s life, from his troubled childhood to his conversion to Islam up to his assassination.


2. Waiting for Godot

November 4-December 3 | Polonsky Shakespeare Center

Michael Shannon is the hapless Estragon, and Paul Sparks the equally downtrodden Vladimir in Theatre for a New Audience’s production of Samuel Beckett’s modern classic. This isn’t the first time Shannon and Sparks have worked together—both appeared onstage in The Killer and on TV in Boardwalk Empire, among other productions—so it will be interesting to see how their chemistry plays out here.


4. Appropriate

November 29-February 11, 2024 | Hayes Theater

Ten years after debuting Off-Broadway, Obie-winner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s tale of a dysfunctional Southern family makes it to Broadway. Sarah Paulson and Corey Stoll play two of the family members returning to the homestead of the family’s recently deceased patriarch; cue exposed secrets, long-simmering resentments, and an artful blend of comedy and drama.


5. New York City Horror Film Festival

December 7-10 | Look Dine-In Cinemas

This festival focuses on science fiction as well as horror films, classics as well as new and upcoming releases. While the recipient of this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award has not yet been named, past recipients included Kane “Jason Vorhees” Hodder, Brad Dourif, and Robert Englund.




Spike Lee credit: brooklynmuseum.org, Picasso in Fontainebleau credit: pablopicasso.org, Judy Chicago credit: newmuseum.org, Vertigo of Color: Matisse, Derain, and the Origin of Fauvism credit: wikiart.org, Tracy Emin: Lovers Grave credit: whitecube.com

 1. Spike Lee: Creative Sources

October 7-February 4, 2024 | Brooklyn Museum

It’s only fitting that the Brooklyn Museum is hosting an exhibit dedicated to the borough’s favorite son—or rather, to the artworks and objects in its favorite son’s personal collection. More than 350 items will be on display, from works by Black artists, including Deborah Roberts and Kehinde Wiley, to sports memorabilia, giving insight into the filmmaker’s inspirations.


2. Picasso in Fontainebleau

October 8-February 17, 2024 | MoMA

While living in Fontainebleau, France, in the summer of 1921, Pablo Picasso created two of his most renowned works: Three Women at the Spring and Three Musicians. Each work is impressive in and of itself, but when you consider that they’re rendered in disparate styles, the achievement is even more astonishing—and puzzling. Featuring two versions of each artwork as well as other works by Picasso from that summer, the show looks beyond the paintings to the artist’s stylistic evolution.


3. Judy Chicago: Herstory

October 12-January 14, 2024 | New Museum

Judy Chicago is probably best known for her feminist installation The Dinner Party, which is part of the Brooklyn Museum’s permanent collection. She has produced numerous other groundbreaking artworks during her six-decade career; however, as can be seen in what is the city’s first comprehensive survey of her work. Spanning three floors of the museum, the exhibition also features art and other materials by more than 80 other influential women, including Artemisia Gentileschi, Frida Kahlo, and Hilma af Klint.


4. Vertigo of Color: Matisse, Derain, and the Origin of Fauvism

October 13-January 21, 2024 | Metropolitan Museum of Art

Henri Matisse and André Derain created what would become known as Fauvism—an art movement characterized by vivid colors and seemingly wild brushwork—during the summer of 1905. This exhibit presents 65 of the artists’ paintings and drawings from that summer and shows their influence on artists to come.


5. Tracy Emin: Lovers Grave

November 4-January 13, 2024 | White Cube

The New York branch of White Cube, the contemporary art gallery that originated in London, only opened this fall, and this exhibition of new works by Tracy Emin is only its second show. What’s more, it’s the polarizing artist’s first New York City show in seven years.




The New Yorker Festival credit: festival.newyorker.com, New York Comedy Festival credit: nycomedyfestival.com, Harvest Dance Celebration credit: queensfarm.org, Christmas Spectacular with the Radio City Rockettes credit: rockettes.com, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker credit: nycballet.com

 1. The New Yorker Festival

October 6-8 | Various Sites

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Misty Copeland, Roz Chast, Judy Blume, David Byrne, Colson Whitehead, and Tony Kushner are among the luminaries who will be in conversation with New Yorker writers and editors during what is billed as “three days with the world’s most interesting people.” In addition, rock band Paramore will perform, and director Alexander Payne will host a screening of his upcoming film The Holdovers.


2. New York Comedy Festival

November 3-12 | Various Sites

More than 200 comedians are scheduled to participate in this year’s fest. Dave Atell, Joel Kim Booster, Bill Burr, Jimmy Carr, Margaret Cho, Ilana Glazer, Brett Goldstein, and Dulcé Sloan are just a few of those performing standup. Samantha Bee will take part in the live trivia game “Wits End,” Conan O’Brien will present a live version of his podcast “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend,” and Bowen Yang will be part of the variety event “That’s a Gay Ass Live Show,” among many other events.


3. Harvest Dance Celebration

November 12 | Queens County Farm Museum

Dancers from 10 Indian Nations will perform traditional dances in full regalia, celebrating not just the summer harvest but also indigenous cultures. In addition to the performances, the grounds will host a crafts and food market featuring authentic Native American art, jewelry, and other items.


4. Christmas Spectacular with the Radio City Rockettes

November 17-January 1, 2024 | Radio City Music Hall

It wouldn’t be the festive season in New York City without the annual Rockettes show. Classic Christmas songs, the “Living Nativity,” lights and sparkle galore, and of course “The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers” and the precision kick line: This truly is a treat for all ages.


5. George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

November 24-December 31 | David H. Koch Theater

The New York City Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is another holiday tradition. You needn’t be a balletomane to get swept up in the extravaganza of dazzling sets, Tchaikovsky’s score, and the leaps and twirls of the 90 dancers.




New York Coffee Festival credit: newyorkcoffeefestival.com, New York City Wine & Food Festival credit: Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival_Facebook, NYC Artisanal Sweet Treats Bazaar credit: grandbazaarnyc.org, NYC Autumn Crush – Wine & Artisanal Food Fest credit: crushwinexp.com, Whiskies of the World credit: whiskiesoftheworld.com

1. New York Coffee Festival

October 6-8 | Metropolitan Pavilion

There will be no shortage of caffeine at this paean to all things coffee. In addition to scores of java and java-adjacent exhibitors, the event will include a barista competition, demonstrations and workshops on latte art, a masterclass on coffee cocktails, and musical performances by up-and-coming talents as part of the Coffee Music Project.


2. New York City Wine & Food Festival

October 12-15 | Various Sites

More than 500 chefs from around the world will participate in more than 80 culinary events to support the nonprofit organization God’s Love We Deliver. Among the highlights are lunch at Boulud Sud hosted by Daniel Boulud himself along with spice expert Lior Lev Sercarz; the David Burtka and Neil Patrick Harris Annual Drag Brunch; master classes on making pizza, cocktails, and gluten-free pasta; and “Baking Championship: Fall Flavors,” presented by Food Network’s Duff Goldman and Carla Hall, where you’ll be able to taste the goodies yourself before voting for the best.


3. NYC Artisanal Sweet Treats Bazaar

October 22 | 100 West 77th Street (at Columbus Avenue)

Food vendors are always part of the Upper West Side’s weekly Grand Bazaar market. This special pop-up within the market, however, will feature nearly two dozen local under-the-radar bakers, candy makers, and other creators of delights certain to sate even the most voracious sweet tooth.


4. NYC Autumn Crush—Wine & Artisanal Food Festival

November 11 | The Grand Hall at St. Mary’s (440 Grand St.)

Sample from more than 100 wines, ciders, and other libations, accompanied by nibbles, both sweet and savory, from local food makers. You’ll also be able to chat with the winemakers and food artisans—and of course, purchase items to fill your complimentary tote bag.


5. Whiskies of the World

December 9 | The Weylin

More than 200 Scotches, bourbons, and other distilled spirits will be available for tasting, as will light bites. There will also be master classes on Texas bourbon and the art and science of blending whiskey.




Keys to the City Scavenger Hunt credit: mcny.org, Harvest Festival credit: Alexa Hoyer, New York City Marathon credit: nyrr.org, Holiday Lights credit: bronxzoo.com, Holiday Train Show credit: nybg.org

1. Keys to the City Scavenger Hunt

October 14 | Museum of the City of New York (starting point)

“This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture,” the centennial exhibit of the Museum of the City of New York, runs through next July. A tie-in with the exhibition, this scavenger hunt will send you across Midtown and Upper Manhattan in search of sites featured in movies about the city based on some tricky (and not-so-tricky) clues.


2. Harvest Festival

October 21 | Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6

Live music, friendly scarecrows, arts and crafts, sack races, and more make this an ideal day out with—or without—the little ones.


3. New York City Marathon

November 5 | Citywide

Starting on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and culminating in Central Park, the marathon runs through all five boroughs, making it easy for just about anyone to catch the action in person.


4. Holiday Lights

November 17-January 7, 2024 | Bronx Zoo

Make your trip to the zoo even more magical by visiting at night during the festive season. Nearly 400 life-size and larger-than-life lanterns replicating zoo animals adorn paths throughout the park; there’s also a synchronized Christmas tree light show and a walk-through Light Tunnel for those seeking even more illumination. Adding to the fun are ice-carving demonstrations, puppet shows, toasty treats including s’mores, and of course, the zoo animals themselves.


5. Holiday Train Show

November 17-January 15, 2024 | New York Botanical Garden

Kids love this annual event, in which model trains and trolleys traverse almost a half-mile of track set among nearly 200 appropriately scaled New York City landmarks. Adults love it, too, thanks in large part to the artistry involved in creating the landmarks. In fact, on the evenings of December 7, December 14, and January 5, the show is open only to adults: During these Bar Car Nights, attendees can also enjoy cocktails and stroll the illuminated grounds.


Reset Password

Start an account to create alerts and save your searches and more...

Get notified when new listings match your saved searches.
Save listings and get updated of any changes in price, status and new open houses.
Hide listings that aren't for you so you don't have to see them over and over again.
Get recommendations and stay up-to-date with your dashboard.

Start an account to create alerts and save your searches and more...

Get notified when new listings match your saved searches.
Save listings and get updated of any changes in price, status and new open houses.
Hide listings that aren't for you so you don't have to see them over and over again.
Get recommendations and stay up-to-date with your dashboard.

Sign in instantly with Facebook or Google!

Or sign up the old fashioned way