9 BEST Festivals and Events in New York City

New York City has come to be known as the city that never sleeps. There is always something happening and everything works around the clock in NYC. With an estimated population of 8 million people, there are many events to choose from. It's just a matter of finding out where to get your share of the big Apple. As it does every year, the Fall season brings with it a refreshing calendar of exciting events to look forward to.

Some are one-off occasions, while others are seasonal and happen once a year every year - like Super Bowl Sunday or Saint Patrick's Day. Because Fall is such a happening and busy time of the year, finding accommodation nearby the most happening spots is a complete riot.

New York is recognized by that name because it is the financial, and cultural capital of the world since World War II, and though London took its place after 9/11, New York just recently took it back after Brexit happened.

New York City has so much to offer to adventurers and families. You can spend the day by touring at the Met, strolling through Central Park, shop at the stylish boutiques, and watch a Broadway show. Get a chance to experience the vibrant culture of the city. Eat the delicious dishes at the famous “it” restaurant. Enjoy the beautiful nightlife in the city that never sleeps to create your city adventure.

events festivals in NYC

Let's start this list of some of the most noteworthy upcoming events in NYC this Fall with the much-anticipated holiday festivities of the season.

1. Passover Seder

The Passover Seder has fifteen steps to it, and these steps are done by all Jewish communities everywhere in the world, regardless of what languages they speak or from what communities they may have originated in the long exile. But the Seder may be done in any language, while most communities continue to read it in Hebrew and Aramaic, as has been done for millennia.

Persian Jews may hit each other with long green onion stalks or with leeks, and they may serve rice. Ashkenazi families do not eat rice or lentils on Passover, while others do eat kitniyot (beans, lentils, garbanzo, etcetera). So slight variations in custom may exist, but they all keep the fifteen steps and drink four glasses of wine to commemorate the biblical commandment of Passover. America has all types of Jews, and so does Israel.

Date: April

2. Manhattanhenge

The jury is still out whether Stonehenge is a giant astronomical calendar or whether the alignment of its stones was for some other purpose, but it is true that at the solstice the sun rises and sets between two stones when you stand at a particular place. And, in Manhattan, due to the alignment of east-west streets, the same thing happens a couple of times a year.

In other words, you can be standing way over on the east side of the island and see the sunset perfectly framed by the street you’re looking down. In this case, it’s 42nd Street, roughly at 6th Avenue. However, the phenomenon can be seen in most of Manhattan four times a year. This wasn’t planned of course.

It’s just the result of Manhattan’s streets being fairly short, very straight, fairly flat, and having tall buildings on both sides with one unobstructed view. The view is better on the double width streets - 14, 23, 34, 42, and 57.

Date: May 28, July 13, December 5 and January 8

3. Open Cube

New York City is especially known for its one-of-a-kind events, much like Open Cube. Having opened its doors this past June, this futuristic under-sea world experience is one of the latest immersive pop-up exhibits in Soho, one of the most eclectic areas in Lower Manhattan. Towels not included.

Date: September

4. New York Film Festival

The Film Society of Lincoln Center hosts the New York Film Festival. This festival has a line up of approximately 20-30 feature films and is one of the most distinguished film festivals in the United States.

Date: September - October

5. Brooklyn Book Festival

This book festival attracts local, national and international authors, publishers and booksellers. Through a series of programs, readers and book lovers can read, discuss works and deepen their understanding of literature and its genres. This free festival might be the day you find out the hidden meanings of Gatsby's green light at the end of the dock.

Date: September - October

6. National Pickle Day

National Pickle Day is the ever-so unusual holiday in honor of a vegetable that goes by many names and can be eaten in a thousand different ways. Pickle Day is an annual event that takes place in the city’s Lower East Side. This event is dedicated to all things pickle, specially catered for all the pickle-lovers venturing the busy New York City streets. Be prepared to be pickled pink at this event.

As we continue to run-down the list of events happening this season, there are also a few interesting festivals held this year in the tri-state area. Not to mention, new exhibitions and special openings also worth visiting this Fall.

Date: 14 November

7. Comedy Festival

This whimsical event includes an entertaining line-up of up-and-coming stand-up performers as well as some big-time seasoned comics.

Date: November

8. Halloween

New York City holds its infamous Village Halloween Parade celebrating one of the nation’s most creative, inspired and down-right spooky events. It is a perfect event to find out why this chilly town is also known by some as Gotham City.

Date: 31 October

9. Thanksgiving Day

The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held on Thanksgiving Day. This event is now a much-cherished holiday tradition in the United States after which the Christmas preparations start. It has become a staple in the NYC event calendar as the three-hour parade is broadcast on national television in honor of Thanksgiving Day.

Date: 4th Thursday in November

If you are someone who wishes to immerse themselves in the chaos-but-wonder that is New York City, we recommend staying in midtown to get a better feel for your surroundings – like at the Radisson Hotel New York Midtown-Fifth Avenue. But if you prefer a calmer environment, a little further from the ‘chaos’, there is always the downtown option - like at the Radisson Hotel New York Wall Street.

Where to stay in New York City?

The St. Regis, New York: In midtown Manhattan and overlooks Fifth Avenue, near Rockefeller Plaza, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and upscale shopping. They have complimentary chauffeured transportation available for within a 10-block radius. Astor Court offers seasonal dining, and they also have King Cole Bar.

Conrad, New York: A contemporary all - suite hotel. You can see views of the Hudson River and it has a convenient location. It's close to NYC tourist spots such as the statue of liberty. Since it is all - suite, you can expect that its rooms are wider than usual hotels.

Four Seasons Hotel: Also in a good location, it's close to SoHo, Seaport District and North Cove Marina. You can use an app to communicate with the staff, which is pretty convenient. Amenities include a spa, pool, massage, laundry service, etc. The Ty Warner Penthouse has the highest glass balconies in the world for a 360 degree view of NYC.

Mondrian Park Avenue: It's located in the heart of Manhattan's NoMad and is close to the Empire State Building and Madison Square Park. Has a rooftop lounge that has views for great scenery. Also has a full-service spa with a Thai Yoga Suite and Tea Lounge, a fitness center and a 75-foot pool.

Fall is the perfect season to visit a city like New York and these events are just a small mix of handpicked noteworthy activities in an endless list of events held this season. So, as our last piece of advice to you, we suggest you get ahead of the masses of tourists by deciding early on what events you will be attending and what sights you will be visiting so you can book your stay ahead of time.
Kalyan Panja