curated by Sara Maher

The heat broke, the warm humidity turned to cool clamminess, and the Pumpkin Spice Latte reared its frothy head – fall is here! Enjoy the city’s two weeks of pleasant weather with festivals, festivals, festivals (and one Halloween event … I couldn’t hold off any longer).

Pasta Meets Potstickers

The Marco Polo Festival started in 2009 as a celebration of the designation of the Chinatown & Little Italy National Register Historic District. Now in its eighth year, the festival honors the unique relationship between the Chinese and Italian American communities of Manhattan. It interprets the story of the Silk Road and the encounter between Italian explorer Marco Polo and Mongolian ruler Kublai Khan through music, food, and performances from both cultures, starting with a parade featuring large-scale marionettes.

F downtown to Delancey St and walk southwest to Grand St between Mott and Mulberry Sts. Sat Oct 15, 11am-3pm. Free with the exception of vendors. Info and schedule:

Light of Life

Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, rejoices in the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance. You can choose to worship Ganesha, the Hindu deity that represents wisdom and overcoming obstacles, in one of two ways: with a family art workshop, or going crazy in Times Square. The Rubin Museum hosts Celebrate Diwali! as part of its Family Sundays series with Diwali story time, a Ganesha scavenger hunt, and arts and crafts. If you want to focus on the “lights” part, head to Diwali Times Square for the “largest Asian-Indian event in the US.” The eight-hour party includes fashion shows, dance competitions, digital fireworks and diya-lighting, and a concert with Bollywood stars.

Celebrate Diwali: F downtown to 14th St and walk northwest to the Rubin Museum of Art (150 W 17th St). Sun through Oct 30, 1-4pm. Free for children and their accompanying adults. For ages 3+. Diwali Times Square: F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and walk west on 42nd St to Times Square. Sun Oct 16, 2-10pm. Free with the exception of vendors. Info and schedule:

Trick or Trivia

“Haven’t you heard of peace on earth and good will toward men?” When it comes to kicking butt on trivia night, your answer better be “NO!” Get into the Halloween spirit with five rounds of The Nightmare Before Christmas Trivia from Trivia, AD. Round up your Locks, Shocks, and Barrels for team play, or sign up as a single to be slotted in (though you might end up with Oogie Boogie Man). Dressing up is encouraged, so start scouring Pinterest for ways to turn an old rat into a most delightful hat!

Oct 20: F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and walk southwest to Gotham Bistro (326 W 40th St, inside the Four Points by Sheraton). Sun Oct 23: F downtown to Delancey St and walk north on Essex to Essex Restaurant (120 Essex St). Both 8-9:30pm. and free, but reservations required. Info and tickets:

Pass on the Popcorn

Well, now we’ve seen (and smelled) it all. The Food Film Festival lets viewers “taste what you see on the screen” by showing you a movie about food while feeding you the food the film is about. The four themed nights are “Best of a Decade,” which includes everything from fondue to fried pig tails; “Taste of Louisiana,” about pickles, pastrami, and something called Volcano Bread; “The Food Porn Party,” which I’ll let you explore on your own; and “Eat Japan!” with films about mochi and iced coffee. Mind (and mouth) blown.

F downtown to 42nd St-Bryant Park and walk west on 42nd St to the AMC Empire 25 (234 W 42 nd St). Thu Oct 20-Sun Oct 23; various times. All festival events are ages 21+. Tickets $75-125. Info and tickets:

Apple of Your Eye (and Tongue)

In case you haven’t heard, hard cider is in. Join the cider revival at Cider Week New York City, an event that connects cideries with NYC restaurant, bar, and retail buyers. Even if you aren’t one of said buyers, Cider Week lets you sample ciders and attend events and tastings, all to help raise awareness of and demand for local ciders. Basically, you can go to restaurants and your meal will come with cider instead of wine or beer, but hey, I bet it’s good.

F-accessible venues include Eataly NYC Flatiron (downtown to 23rd St and walk east on 23rd to 200 5th Av); Taproom307 (downtown to 23rd St and walk east on 23rd to 307 Third Av); Murray’s Cheese (downtown to W 4th St and walk west to 254 Bleecker St); Tertulia (downtown to W 4th St and walk north to 359 Sixth Av); Wassail (downtown to Delancey and walk northwest to 162 Orchard St); Foragers Market DUMBO (downtown to York St and walk northwest to 56 Adams St); Krupa Grocery (downtown to 15 St-Prospect Park and walk south on Prospect Park West to 231 Prospect Park West); Stinky Bklyn (downtown to Bergen St and walk south on Smith to 215 Smith). Oct 21-30, various times. Tickets $0-250. Full list of events, info, tickets:

Tags: Adventures Off-Island entertainment Sara Maher

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