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Best Things To Do with NYC Kids: October GoList

The Art of the Brick — Corona, Queens
Opening Saturday, September 28 and on display through January, 2020
A 20-foot tall T. rex dinosaur made of Lego bricks, in addition to Lego versions of famous artworks like the Mona Lisa and The Scream, headline a new exhibit at the New York Hall of Science. Nine different activity centers let kids get elbow-deep in bricks, designing and building race cars, bridges, mazes, and music boxes, among other Lego creations. 

Little Red Lighthouse Festival — Washington Heights
Saturday, October 5
Hear a reading of the classic children's book The Little Red Lighthouse and The Great Gray Bridgeand get an up-close, inside view of its inspiration with Urban Ranger-led tours of the lighthouse. Other shoreline fun includes fishing clinics, live entertainment, and on-site food vendors. FREE, but tickets for the tours go fast, so arrive early!



Enjoy the blessing of the animals at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Photo by Raven Snook

Blessing of the Animals and Feast of St. Francis — Morningside Heights
Sunday, October 6
A celebration for animal lovers of all faiths. Bring your pet to the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in honor of the feast of St. Francis for a procession of exotic animals—including alpacas, tortoises, bees, and a camel—at noon, then hit the Pulpit Green to have your pets blessed at a fair with food trucks and kid-friendly performances that runs from 1-4pm. While day-of passes for the service itself are distributed in the morning on a first come, first served basis, it's fun and less stressful to just hang outside and watch the animal parade. FREE

Randall's Island Park Alliance celebrates the bounty of the earth at the Harvest Festival. Photo courtesy of the park alliance

Harvest Festival – Randall's Island
Sunday, October 6
Live musical performances, pumpkin decorating, face painting, kite flying—if it can be crammed into a fall afternoon, it's happening here. Hit the Urban Farm for pumpkin hunting, face painting, fresh apple cider tasting, and tours of the crops. Afterward, explore the attraction-packed isle. FREE

Bindlestiff Cavalcade of Youth — Coney Island, Brooklyn
Sunday, October 13
Kids can run away and join the circus (or just watch) at this youth variety show at Coney Island. All of the performers in this one-day-only showcase are younger than age 21 and perform a variety of feats, including juggling, hula hooping, tumbling, clowning, plate spinning, and even snake charming.

Nooma — Midtown West
Monday, October 14–Friday, October 15
Carnegie Hall presents a brand-new, interactive opera especially for babies and toddlers up to age 2, featuring beautifully flowing parachutes that little ones get to touch and play with as music and performers co-create a story with the tiny audience. FREE

The family-friendly Night of the 1,000 Jack O'Lanterns features jack o'lanterns on display that are carved by professional artists using REAL pumpkins. Photo by Mike Pollock

Day of the Dead Festival — East Village
Saturday, October 26–Sunday, October 27
Mexican culture organization Mano a Mano throws one of the best Day of the Dead events in NYC at St. Mark's Church in the East Village. The weekend-long fest includes live performances, a traditional dance procession, and a communal altar where you can place photos and other remembrances of loved ones. FREE

All sorts of characters meet at the Queens County Farm Museum's Children's Fall Festival. Photo courtesy of QCFM

Children's Fall Festival — Floral Park, Queens
Sunday, October 27
Celebrate the season at the Queens County Farm Museum's massive bash, featuring traditional amusements such as sack races and pig races, live music, bouncy houses, a haunted house, pony rides, and a petting zoo. Families are encouraged to attend in costume, and this is the last day to hit the farm's Amazing Maize Maze and pumpkin patch.

Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla — Central Park
Wednesday, October 30
Bring your jack o' lantern to the Dana Discovery Center in Central Park and then watch it sail away at dusk on the Harlem Meer. Crafts, spooky stories, live music, and a costume parade around the northeastern edge of the park are also on tap. FREE

Halloween — Citywide
Throughout October
We can't curate a list of the best things to do with kids in October without mentioning Halloween! But there are so many parades, parties, and celebrations around town it's impossible to pick just one. That's why we have an entire Halloween Guide. Our annual posts about Halloween parades, FREE Halloween events, and the top Halloween celebrations for NYC kids have got you covered like a sheet on a ghost.

Honorable Mentions

NYC always has so many incredible things going on, it's difficult to choose. So here are 10 additional cool events that are worth considering for your October calendar.

Luna Park's annual Halloween Harvest Festival runs all month long through Saturday, October 27 with a pumpkin patch, tractor races, dance contests, a dog costume parade, and more. Plus, get out your costumes a few days early to join the fun at the FREE annual Coney Island Children's Halloween Parade on Saturday, October 26.

Feeling a little pumpkin-ed out? At the annual Pickle Day festival on Sunday, October 6, you can taste a selection of pickles, plus enjoy face painting, dancing, and games. FREE

There's always a good reason to visit the American Museum of Natural History, and on Saturday, October 12, it's the annual reopening of the much-loved Tropical Butterflies exhibit.

Catch the exciting return of our hometown's homegrown circus when Big Apple Circus kicks off its 42nd season at Lincoln Center on Saturday, October 12 with a brand-new female ringmistress, plus America's Got Talent finalists the Savitsky Cats.

Swim over to see The Pout-Pout Fish, a new musical based on the bestselling children's books by Deborah Diesen, playing at the New Victory Theater weekend for two weekends October 12 through October 20, and also on Monday, October 14.

Head to Brooklyn Bridge Park for its Harvest Festival on Pier 6 Saturday, October 19. The usual seasonal thrills await, including a pumpkin patch, arts and crafts, face painting, music, and games, all with that jaw-dropping view of Lower Manhattan. FREE

Celebrate fall super-old-school style at NYC's only living history museum, Historic Richmond Town, with the return of Old Home Day on Sunday, October 20.

Amaze your littlest family member at Nest, a multisensory experience created specifically for babies up to 14 months featuring music, movement, puppetry, and play, at Lincoln Center from Wednesday, October 23-Sunday, October 27. 

Celebrate the many spirits of Halloween at a unique Halloween Harvest Festival at Socrates Sculpture Garden inspired by the Haitian Festival of the Ancestors, with drum and music performances, face painting, costume making, and even a pet costume contest with a blessing of the animals, on Saturday, October 26. FREE

Marvel at massive gourds at the New York Botanical Garden's Giant Pumpkin Weekend on Saturday, October 26 and Sunday, October 27.

Make sure to join Kids Party Characters on Facebook for daily tips on raising happy and healthy kids, along with our best strategies for work at home moms, and updates on our magical children’s parties.

And when it’s time for your next celebration, head to and check out our selection of over 200 of the most popular characters waiting to show up as your child’s special guest. We also provide all the extras to make the party complete such as face painting, balloon artists, cotton candy, and our new bouncy castles.

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