New York City Fall Calendar 2018

Vernon Duke (1903-1969), né Vladimir Dukelsy, wrote the music and lyrics for "Autumn in New York," the jazz standard that originated in the 1934 Broadway musical Thumbs Up!. The bittersweet lyrics call forth the sight of autumn in the big city, "the promise of new love," and a grateful acceptance of inevitable change and loss.

Autumn in Central Park, New York City

No wonder Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Billy Holiday, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, and a hundred of other crooners wanted to record such a wistful song. The notes themselves, falling like leaves, were enough for the likes of Charlie Parker and the Modern Jazz Quartet. Read more, and listen.

The calendar includes most major events through the fall season. A New York City Winter Calendar will be published in December.

Seasonal Changes

• Peak fall foliage
The peak fall foliage in NYC usually occurs in late October and the first two weeks of November, coinciding with Halloween festivities and the New York City Marathon.

The NYC Parks website maintains a list of fall foliage events around the city’s parks.

Autumn colors uptown. At the Met Cloisters with a view of the George Washington Bridge

Great places to enjoy fall colors include the Bronx Zoo, Wave Hill, Fort Tryon Park, Inwood Hill Park, Central Park, and Prospect Park.

• First frost date
According to the Victory Seeds company website, the average first frost in NYC is October 27.

• Fall bird migration
September and October are the months to watch for fall bird migration. Keep an eye our for hawks and bald eagles as well as song bird migration.

• Weather maps
The National Weather Service has issued 3-month probability maps for temperature and precipitation in the U.S. The maps indicate the probability of a warmer and wetter season than normal. 

Major Fall Events in NYC 2018

• Metropolitan Opera
The 2018-2019 season opened September 24, 2018 with Opening Night Gala for Samson et Dalila at 6 p.m. website

The Metropolitan Opera House, Lincoln Center

• New York Film Festival
Film Society of Lincoln Center
September 28-October 14, 2018 website

• Bronx Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo
weekends, September 29 - October 28, 2018 website

normal attire at the Medieval Festival in Fort Tryon Park

• Medieval Festival
Fort Tryon Park
September 30, 2018 website

• 15th Fall for Dance Festival
NY City Center
October 1-13, 2018 website

New York City Center

• New York Film Festival
Film Society Lincoln Center
September 28-October 14, 2018 website

• New York Comic Con
Javits Center
October 4 - 7, 2018 website

• Rockefeller Center Skating rink opens
October 8, 2018

The famous rink at Rockefeller Center


• Columbus Day Parade
October 8, 2018

• New York City Wine & Food Festival
October 11-14, 2018 website

• Open House New York
October 12-14, 2018 website

• White Light Festival
Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts
October 16 - Nov. 18, 2018 website

• Wollman Rink in Central Park opens for ice skating
October 20, 2018

A jack-o'-lantern contest in Isham Park in the Inwood neighborhood of Northern Manhattan.

• Winter Village Bryant Park
October 27, 2018 - January 2, 2019 website

• Halloween in Central Park: Pumpkin Flotilla
October 28, 2018 4 to 7 p.m. website

• Halloween
Village Halloween Parade
October 31, 2018 7–10:30 pm. website

Spooky Halloween decorations on the Upper West Side

• Daylight Saving Time ends
November 4, 2018

• New York City Marathon
November 4, 2018 website 

Winter Village Bryant Park opens October 27
• Election Day
Tuesday, November 6
Voter information at NY State Board of Elections

• Veteran’s Day
November 11, 2018

• Grand Central Holiday Fair
November 12 - December 24, 2018 website

Balloon inflation on the eve of the parade

• Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Thursday, November 22, 2018 website
On Wednesday, November 21, 2018 watch the balloon inflation near the American Museum of Natural History, Columbus Ave. & W. 74th St.

• Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting
November 28, 2018 website

Religious Holidays

• Sukkot Sep 24-25, 2018 M‑Tu and Sep 26-30, 2018 W‑Su.

• The first Sunday in Advent falls on December 2, 2018.

• Chanukah December 3-10, 2018 M‑M

Fall Museum Exhibitions of note:

Delacroix on the Met Steps, Fifth Avenue

Delacroix
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Fifth Avenue
Through January 6, 2019

Sarah Lucas: Au Naturel
The New Museum of Contemporary Art
Through January 20, 2019

Charles White: A Retrospective
The Museum of Modern Art
Through January 13, 2019

Andy Warhol - From A to B and Back Again
Whitney Museum of American Art
November 12, 2018- March 31, 2019
First Warhol retrospective in the U.S. since 1989

Chagall, Lissitzky, Malevich: The Russian Avant-Garde in Vitebsk, 1918-1922
Jewish Museum
Through January 6, 2019

Additional exhibitions listed here.

Grand Central Terminal at holiday time

More:

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, the novella by Truman Capote, begins in October and follows Holly Golightly through the four seasons. See this walk from the WOTBA archives to visit her New York.

• You want more wistful with your autumn in New York? When December rolls around, you’ll want to remember September. So says this great song from The Fantasticks (1960) sung by Jerry Orbach, the original El Gallo in the Sullivan Street Playhouse production.

Winter is coming to a city near you. The New York City Winter Calendar 2018-2019 will be published in time for the winter solstice, Friday, December 21, 2018 at 5:22 pm.

• Plan a fall foliage day cruise up the Hudson River.  See Sailing Off the Big Apple for details.

Images by Walking Off the Big Apple.

Fall Foliage Day Cruises from NYC

Fall Foliage Day Cruises from NYC
Read more on Sailing Off the Big Apple.

New on Sailing Off the Big Apple

New York City Fall Calendar 2018

New York City Fall Calendar 2018
List of seasonal and cultural events for autumn

New on Walking Off the Big Apple

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About Walking Off the Big Apple



Walking Off the Big Apple features self-guided tours to neighborhoods, streets, cultural history, good books, architecture, museums, parks, landscapes, and offbeat travel experiences in New York City.

Older posts will sometimes be updated to reflect relevant changes in the city, i.e. store or restaurant closings or transit information.

Writer and editor Teri Tynes created Walking Off the Big Apple in the summer of 2007. Email: teritynes@gmail.com.