Halloween, fire safety, Mardi Gras, and fun fall events all await us in October! Watch a giant Marco Polo walk through Chinatown, dance along to jazzy music, and get your pet blessed— these are just a few of the free happenings in NYC this month. (This doesn’t even include all the Halloween celebrations—stay tuned for our complete roundup of Halloween events in NYC!)

Street Hockey Lessons at NYC Parks

Learn life skills like teamwork while getting some exercise and having fun with street hockey. Free lessons for kids ages 8-12 are being held in parks across the city, held weekly in October and November. Check the NYC Parks website to find a location near you!

Various times and locations
Online: nycgocparks.org

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Fall Festivals Across the Boroughs

Fall is the season of crunchy leaves, pumpkins, and festivals! Join your local park for a celebration of autumn with free themed crafts, activities, music, pumpkin carving, and so much more.

Various times and locations
Online: nycgovparks.org

Fireboat Workshop at Home Depot

October is National Fire Safety Month, and Home Depot wants everyone to stay safe! Locations around the city will be hosting free workshops for children where kids can build a fireboat, decorate and name it, and learn about fire safety in the process. All participants will get to keep their craft as well as a special certificate, an apron, and a special pin to display with pride.

Various times and locations
Online: homedepot.com (enter your zipcode to find a participating Home Depot near you)

Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards at Lincoln Center

Celebrate Mardi Gras with Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards! Influenced by New Orleans, this hopping music will get kids moving to the beat and learning about the different musical styles of the city of jazz. Recommended for ages 2-5.

Sat., Oct. 6
11 a.m.
David Reubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center
61 W. 62nd St.
Hell's Kitchen
Online: lincolncenter.org

Bus Festival at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Hosted by the NY Transit Museum, this is a must-see for budding bus enthusiasts. See and step aboard vintage busses from over 80 years of NYC's history, meet-and-greet some bus drivers, and more.

Sun., Oct. 7
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
11 Water St.
DUMBO
Online: nytransitmuseum.org

The Blessing of the Animals at St. John the Divine

Join St. John's annual Feast of Saint Francis, where you can witness a stunning procession of animals. Then join in the celebration outside on the Pulpit Green with pet blessings, performances, food trucks children's activities, and more. While registration is not required, the line to get in forms early, so try to arrive around 8:30 a.m. and be prepared to wait. No pas is required for the outdoor fair, which begins at 1 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 7
10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Doors open 9:45 a.m.)
St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St.
Harlem
Online: stjohndivine.org

Pickle Day in the Lower East Side

Pickles for everyone! While the event is free, the pickles aren't — buy a pickle from one of over 20 local picklers, or just enjoy the neighborhood feel and silly fun. Hug the giant pickle mascot, play some giant games, enjoy carnival games, or get a pickle painted on your face. Even if you're not a fan of pickles, this event has something for everyone!

Sun., Oct. 14
12-5 p.m.
Orchard st. between Delancey and E. Houston
Lower East Side
Online: pickleday.nyc

Marco Polo Festival at Chinatown and Little Italy

Celebrate the merging of cultures that NYC makes possible at this 10th annual Marco Polo festival. This festival starts with a fun giant puppet parade and leads into cultural Chinese and Italian performances.

Sat., Oct. 20
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Chinatown and Little Italy
Parade begins at 62 Mott St.
Performance on Grand Street stage, between Mott and Mulberry Sts.
Online: facebook.com/twobridges

Big Apple Crunch at Union Square

Celebrate the joy of apples and the farmers who bring them to us by taking a collective bite of an apple on October 25. Join the main event at Union Square or find a local participating spot for a fun (and healthy) crunch time. As a bonus, share your photos under the #bigapplecrunch for a chance to win $1,000!

Thurs., Oct. 25
2 p.m.
Main event at Union Square Greenmarket, starting at 12 p.m.
Online: bigapplecrunch.squarespace.com

Winter Village at Bryant Park

You know it's officially winter when the Bryant Park winter village opens! Visit the park after October 27 for the yearly festivities, shops, free ice skating, and more.

Shops and rink open 12 p.m., Sat., Oct. 27
Bryant Park
Midtown
Online: bryantpark.org

Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla at Central Park

Celebrate Halloween at Central Park by sending some pumpkins adrift on the Harlem Meer! Bring your own (large) pumpkin for a family evening of pumpkin carving, Halloween-themed arts and crafts, listen to scary stories, and parade around in your costumes. Then, send the lit pumpkins afloat and light up the evening with spooky jack-o-lantern faces on the water.

Sun., Oct. 28
4-7 p.m.
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park
110th St. between 5th and Lenox Aves. (inside the park)
Online: centralparknyc.gov

—Yuliya Geikhman

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