People often ask me when is a good time to visit New York City, and I have to admit that if I were to pick just one favorite time, it would have to be fall. It’s not just the beautiful colors that take over the city, but also the shift in energy. Though I find that we always have something to celebrate, no one gears up for cooler weather better than New Yorkers.

The following is a short list of events that I look forward to every year, though I assure you the list is almost endless. Nonetheless, if you will be in the city this or any other year, these fun activities are a good way to really experience fall NYC style.

Discover Little Italy

The annual Feast of San Gennaro (the Patron Saint of Naples) takes place every year around the third week of September. This celebration of Italian culture and faith is the first major festival to welcome fall in the Big Apple. The Cannoli Eating Contest kicks off the festivities. This week-long feast includes parades with floats and entertainers, religious processions by local priests, and an official Feast Day, where the flavors of Italy are served up for all to enjoy.

Film Festivals

Viewfinder Tip: Some planning may be required for a lot of these events, whether it be to purchase tickets, or to get a good viewing spot. Most tickets can be purchased or reserved online.

Lincoln Center comes alive with the New York Film Festival, which every year premieres a series of movies and celebrates the year’s most acclaimed films from every genre. The festival features screenings, including indie and family film nights, as well as commentaries from well-respected directors and industry artists. Lincoln Center is also where New Yorkers go to enjoy the opera, ballet, and other theatrical performances. The newest products for the season are showcased in the fall. 

If you like good eats when enjoying your favorite films, then don’t miss the Food Film Festival, another annual event that takes place in the fall, where filmmakers compete for award titles, such as Best Film Made Locally, Best Feature, Best Food Porn, and the Audience Choice Award, just to name a few.

Halloween for all

Halloween

Halloween in New York City is not just for the little ones. There’s not just one, but two major Halloween events that happen every year. Both are equally entertaining, even if you are just a spectator. The first, Village Halloween Parade, has been taking place since 1973 and has always been welcoming of anyone and everyone with a costume. The Halloween Extravaganza and the Procession of the Ghouls, while not ideal for little ones who might scare easily, is a fun pre-Halloween festivity that often sells out quickly, since pre-registration and tickets are required to attend.

Families with little kids will be thrilled to know that different venues host events throughout the month welcoming kids to wear their costumes and celebrate, some even offering free admission for the little monsters, princesses, pirates, and others who decide to come through their doors.

New York City Social Media Week

Geeks, nerds, techies, and all who love them own the fall season with a series of social media and techie events taking place during Social Media Week. This event is held in different cities around the globe, but New York City has surpassed them all in registration, participation, and engagement. So, if you’re going to do it – and you know you wanna – then there’s no better place to be.

Other fall events that get us all excited are the New York City Marathon and the much later Thanksgiving Day Parade. These two events draw thousands of spectators from all over the world every year and are ones that we look forward to the second we feel a hint of change in the air. I encourage you to check them out if you happen to be in New York City during any of these events.

What fall events and celebrations get you excited for the season?