1. Medieval Times
Hear ye! Hear ye! Come one, come all to The Medieval Festival at Fort Tryon Park (10/1). This annual gathering attracts 60,000+ revelers and brings to life the customs and spirit of the Middle Ages (minus that pesky Black Plague nonsense). From 11:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., Fort Tryon Park is entirely transformed into a medieval market town, complete with bright banners and processional flags. Naturally, costumes are strongly encouraged. Diversions include authentic medieval music, dance, magic, minstrels, jugglers, and jesters. Don’t miss the final mounted joust on horseback, best enjoyed with a mug of meade and a turkey leg in hand.
(Fort Tryon Park, Riverside Dr. at Broadway)
2. Glory Days
Over the past 40 years, iconic rocker Bruce Springsteen has played some of the world’s largest stages. He has something distinctly more intimate in mind for Springsteen on Broadway, which begins previews on October 3 and officially opens on the 12th. With a handful of exceptions, the 960-seat Walter Kerr Theatre is the smallest venue Bruce has played in four decades, setting up an unusually private night with his fans. Billed as “just me, the guitar, the piano, and the words and music,” this spoken-and-sung spectacle followed the life work of the artist, bringing fans and first-time listeners alike closer to him than ever before. (Walter Kerr Theatre, 219 W. 48th St. at Broadway)
3. Slice and Dice
Live out your wildest NYC pizza fantasy – and help hungry New Yorkers at the same time! – during Slice Out Hunger (10/4), a benefit that donates 100% of its proceeds directly to hunger-relief organization within the five boroughs. Here’s how it works: at the door, purchase $1 red tickets (up to 10), good for a slice apiece, and $1 blue tickets (unlimited), good for drinks, desserts, and raffle prizes. Head inside and choose slices from such luminaries as Emily, Keste, Lombardi’s, and Roberta’s. Then, chow down on the ultimate NYC pie, knowing that each slice purchased feeds 20 hungry New Yorkers. (155 Sullivan St. at W. Houston St.)
4. Geek Out
Bust out your best cosplay and get your game[r] face on: New York Comic Con is back in town October 5-8. Billed as the largest pop culture convention on the East Coast, this annual affair brings nearly 200,000 fans to the Javits Center for four days of colorful characters and star- studded panels. Sure, you could also find costumed characters in Times Square a few blocks away; but at Comic Con, they’re the real thing. Last year’s viral sensation was a live Peter Griffin (yes, really), so keep your eyes out for this year’s can’t-stop-talking-about-it, can’t- believe-they-did-that performers and features.
(The Javits Center, 655 W. 34th St. at 11th Ave.)
5. Don’t Call It a Comeback
When hometown hero Jerry Seinfeld announced his 2016 residency at The Beacon Theatre, we were overjoyed. Tickets went like hotcakes, and the limited run was summarily extended into 2017. It continues this month, with two performances (7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) on Thursday, October 5. Dubbed “The Homestand Extended,” this ongoing series of stand-up shows brings Seinfeld back to what he calls his favorite theater – located just a couple dozen blocks south of the diner that will forever cue slap- bass solos playing in the heads of his many, many fans. Tickets start at $85. (The Beacon Theatre, 2124 Broadway at W. 75th St.)
6. It [Was] Quiet Uptown
Pop stars love show tunes, and Broadway stars love pop music. So, it was only a matter of time until someone was smart enough to get them together. That event is New York’s annual Elsie Fest (10/8), which brings Broadway’s biggest names onstage with top pop talent to sing one another’s greatest hits. This year’s headliners are Alan Cummings, Lea Michele, and Darren Criss, and they’ll be joined by Ingrid Michaelson, Norm Lewis, and Jeremy Jordan. GA tickets are just $59.99, which gets you in the door at 5 p.m. for the four-hour show.
(Summerstage, Central Park, enter at E. 72nd St. and Fifth Ave.)
7. Our Favorite Things
Did you know that New York is home to Food Network headquarters? They’re right inside Chelsea Market, which is why we’re lucky enough to host the annual New York Wine & Food Festival (10/12-10/15) each year. Rub elbows with your favorite Food Network personalities, including Ted Allen and Robert Irvine, along with an all-star line-up on NYC chefs that hits all of the city’s greatest restaurants. Events range from chef-hosted dinners to culinary demos to walk-around tastings, and tickets are available on an a la carte basis, as well as in packages.
No, that’s not a typo: this year, the best Oktoberfest celebration in New York isn’t in September, and it isn’t in Manhattan. Rather, it’s the first-annual Brooklyn Oktoberfest (10/20-10/22), with five sessions over three days at Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse. Expect imported furniture, colorful blue-and-white Bavarian décor, exclusive beers from Germany’s Reinheits Boten, authentic German fare, and live music from Alex Meixner Band, The Heimatklance Band, and The Bratwurst Boys. Tickets start at $40 per person for GA, and include enter and a liter of beer. (Greenpoint Terminal Warehouse, 73 West St., Brooklyn)
Scare yourself silly during the annual Halloween Extravaganza at The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine (10/27-10/28). The church will screen the original 1925 production of The Phantom of the Opera, with accompaniment played live on their organ, followed by an immersive performance by Ralph Lee’s Mettawee River Theater Company. Costumed as creatures of the night, the performers will provoke ghostly mischief and ghoulish tricks, with visitors warned in advance that seats closest to the Nave at the center of the Cathedral are especially fright-provoking. (The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave. at W. 112th St.)
10. Run Amok (Amok Amok Amok)
Fans of a certain age will always harbor a deep and abiding fondness for classic Halloween film Hocus Pocus. The movie is especially near and dear to New Yorkers, starring as it does two of our grand dames, Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. Which is why Barrel & Fare’s Hocus Pocus Trivia and Costume Contest (10/28) is so damned brilliant. Show up in costume (there will be prizes for the best ones) with your coven and test your knowledge of young Thora Birch’s adventures in 1990s Salem. Calling all sisters! (494 Fourth Ave., Brooklyn)