2018 Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival, Brooklyn Ballet, Photo by Giles Ashford

So far this fall in New York City has been bursting with activity. This week, see one of the many free dance performances taking place around the city, take part in an artistic scavenger hunt, see a diverse array of boats sail along the Hudson River and so much more! Check out our picks of things to do:

Friday, October 4th

Take part in the Downtown Brooklyn Arts Festival, an annual weekend long celebration of the borough’s art and culture. There will be a variety of free performances at The Plaza at 300 Ashland, including theater, poetry, dance, music, and more! The whole event kicks off this evening with Soul Summit Music and a performance by Soul Tigers Marching Band.

Take part in a PoP Up: An Artistic Treasure Hunt. As part of the Cultural Service of the French Embassy’s Brooklyn Falls For France Cultural Season, PoP Up will bring audiences to follow poetic clues and a map to find a series of pop up performances. Inspired by interviews with local residents, PoP Up will be performed by a collective of multidisciplinary performers in public spaces scattered around the neighborhood. A collaboration between the Strike Anywhere Performance Ensemble (NYC) and the Tours Soundpainting Orchestra (France). This is a free experience! Audiences will be emailed the secret start location prior to the show.

The Illuminati Ball is back in New York City for an exciting immersive affair inside a secret temple. The Illuminati Ball is a thrilling and surreal masquerade with fire performers, provocative dancers and interactive experiences unfolding continuously throughout three sprawling floors. All tickets are VIP and include a unique mask, a signed copy of The Illuminati Ball graphic novel, unlimited speciality cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres. Only a select number of tickets are on sale, so grab yours!

Saturday, October 5th

Explore an innovative new waterfront hub on the site of a former Navy Yard in Kearny Point. On this special tour of Kearny Point, guests will gain access to raw industrial areas that are still under construction, as well as renovated spaces. During World War I and II, Kearny Point was once one of the world’s most prolific shipyards. Today, Hugo Neu is transforming the 130-acre industrial complex into a new mixed-use, sustainable waterfront destination – one that embraces the site’s history and provides opportunities for the businesses of the new economy. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this tour for free! Not an Insider yet? Become a member today to gain access to free behind-the-scenes tours and special events all year long!

Already a member? Book here!

Hear live poetry readings from The Poetry Society of America inside Shantell Martin’s The May Room at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church on Governors Island. Puerto Rico en mi corazón will feature poets Ricardo Alberto Maldonado and Raquel Salas Rivera giving public poetry readings in conversation with the Martin’s immersive art project.

Explore the lighthouse of the Lower Hudson River on a boat tour with the National Lighthouse Museum. Setting off from Staten Island, the Majestic Princess will cruise up the Hudson River to see the Little Red Lighthouse at Jeffrey’s Hook, Ambrose Lightship, Frying Pan Lightship, Lilac Light Tender and the Tarrytown Light. Presenters on board will also note significant New York City sites and relate historic tales as you see the magnificent Palisades and enjoy your time aboard the boat with food and drinks.

Sunday, October 6th

It’s Lower East Side Pickle Day! Every year New York’s historic Lower East Side neighborhood celebrates the world’s first pickle festival. A variety of merchants will line Orchard Street with pickles on a sticks, ice cream churned with dill and garnished with gherkins, and more creative pickle creations. Local restaurants like The Pickle Guys, Guss’ Pickles, Market Line and Essex Market and picklers from all over the U.S. will be there!

Fall for Birds this Sunday at the New York Botanical Garden. This day-long series of events includes bird walks, live music, crafts, and conversations friendly for beginners and experts alike which will allow visitors to get acquainted with the owls, woodpeckers, chickadees, herons, and countless other bird species that share the city with us.

Watch a free dance performance inside the Winter Garden at Brookfield Place. Monica Bill Barnes & Company will perform the world premiere of Days Go By. Made up of a large ensemble cast of dancers, actors, musicians, and non-performers, Days Go By explores the otherwise lost moments in our days.Shows will take place at 7 p.m. from October 3rd to October 6th. Admission is free and guests are encouraged to arrive at 6:30 p.m

Monday, October 7th

Photograph by Jon Ortner, Courtesy of  United Palace

Take part in a special event featured both a movie screening and live dance performance followed by a Q&A at the United Palace. The movie, High Strung Free Dance, is a dramatic film which follows the story of a young choreographer and innovative pianist as they work on New York’s most anticipated new Broadway show. The film will be accompanied by a live dance performance featuring members of cast like Juliet Doherty and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Proceeds from the night will benefit American Dance Movement and United Palace of Cultural Arts. If you are an Untapped Cities Insider, you can attend this show for free! Already a member? Book here!

Watch a Parade of Boats sail down the Hudson River in honor of the Waterfront Alliance’s ‘Heroes of the Harbor’ Award Dinner. This free public viewing, from  6:00PM to 7:00pm at Pier 62, will allow spectators to see historic tall ships, work boats, ferries, magnificent classic yachts, a fireboat, kayaks, sailing ships and rowing gigs. More than 18 vessels will come together in salute as the sun sets over the Hudson River. Live narration and a souvenir color program of each boat will make the evening a memorable one for the entire family.

Treat your dog to the Best Dog Day Ever with a Halloween event from The Dodo. From October 4th through October 27th, you and your furry friend can enjoy two hours of fall fun. Get your pup in costume and join the costume parade, let your pup frolic through the pumpkin patch, stop by the trick-or-treat shoppe for some dog-friendly ice cream and venture into the happy and haunted house packed with adorable rescue pups. Best Dog Day Ever will take place at 25 Kent, a brand-new office building and innovation hub located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Tuesday, October 8th

It’s Reservation Day for Open House New York! At exactly 11:00am, tickets for Reservation Required Sites like the Javits Center Green Roof, The Academy of Medicine, the Treasure in the Trash Collection and more exciting New York City sites, will become available. Be sure to pick which sites you want to see ahead of time and check out OHNY’s tips.

Uncover the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal on an expert led tour with Untapped Cities. Discover hidden tennis courts, speakeasy style bar, and more treasures hidden in plain sight. Along the way, learn about the turbulent history of this beloved and iconic landmark.

Tour of the Secrets of Grand Central Terminal

Wednesday, October 9th

Dive into the depths of the New York City Subway System to uncover the secrets of the underground. Using the 6 train as your personal time machine, travel through abandoned and functioning stations, uncover overlooked art installations, and hear tales of the early days of the revolutionary system.

Underground Tour of the NYC Subway

Thursday, October 10th

Take a peek at The River Project’s Wetlab Look-in Art Show. The combined lab look-in and art exhibition will feature Hudson River artwork from local artists including Andrew Paul Leonard, Mai La Thai, and Ingrid Staats. Wetlab Look-ins are free public education programs at the Wetlab on Pier 40 in Hudson River Park where visitors are given tours of the Wetlab aquarium. This Look-in only, you will have the opportunity to view and buy artwork that captures the beauty and intricacies of the Hudson River, with a portion of all art sales will going toward The River Project’s education programs, ongoing marine science research, and keeping community events free to all.

Watch a magazine come to life at Pop-Up Magazine inside David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center. This live magazine created for the stage is on its first-ever themed tour: The Escape Issue. At each show, contributors tell vivid, never-before-told, multimedia stories accompanied by illustration, animation, photography, and an original score performed onstage by our musical collaborators, Magik*Magik Orchestra.

 Check out all of our upcoming public tours and Insider events!

 events, things to do, things to do in NYC

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