It’s the first official weekend of fall! After an intensely hot summer, temperatures are due to hit the (high) 40s on Saturday. Don't reach for your scarf just yet, but you can say goodbye to sweating on the subway, and say hello to sweater weather!

If the past two years of the pandemic have left you missing the city’s IRL fun, you’re in luck – this weekend is packed with free things to do in person and in every borough. Explore banned books in Brooklyn, comic books in the Bronx, and books turned into movies all over town. To get your wheels turning, here’s a sampling of what’s on this weekend.


Enjoy a film festival, under the stars

The city’s parks department invites you to grab a blanket and check out the TIDE Film Festival Evening of Short Films at Commodore Barry Park in Fort Greene. Bring a blanket and some eats – but don’t bring booze or glass bottles. The event is on Friday, September 23rd, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and the film will start at dusk. You can find more information here.

Celebrate Picture Books (and meet Santa)

Authors and illustrators of picture books are kicking off the Brooklyn Book Festival at the Jalopy Theatre with live music and readings. Even more fun? Santa will be there. (He’s reading from his new book.) It’s on Sunday, Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. For more information about this and other events during the week, check out the Brooklyn Book Festival.

The Bronx

Celebrate Banned Books Week

To mark Banned Books Week, the Castle Hill Library is showing "The Color Purple," starring Whoopi Goldberg. The film is based on Alice Walker’s classic 1982 novel, which has been banned by some schools all over the country for more than 30 years. You can catch it Saturday, Sept. 24 from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Know a comic book nerd? Check out Batman history
Comic book aficionados may know that the birth of Batman was in Detective Comics #27 in 1938. But do they know that it all began on a park bench in the Bronx? Head to the Poe Park Visitor Center on Saturday, anytime from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to see Batman illustrations from contemporary artists and to learn more about the comic book’s history.


Get artsy at the Common Ground Festival

Organized by Friends of Morningside Park, the Common Ground Festival offers fun for the whole family, including a kite-making workshop, a fashion show, and a puppet show. The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24. Most activities will take place on the lawn near the Morningside Park pond.

Enjoy the parade of lanterns (or bring your own!) in Morningside Park

It’s the 11th year of the Morningside Lights parade! Watch beautiful handmade lanterns light up the sky. The event starts Saturday at 8 p.m. at Morningside Park and the route is about 1 mile, ending on the Columbia campus.


Get psyched about soil health at Compost Pa-Looza

Learn how to compost – and why you’d want to! – at the Queens Botanical Garden’s Compost Pa-Looza on Sunday, Sept. 25, from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Gothamist editor Steve Smith says he took his family last year and it was “a blast.” Registration is encouraged; walk-ins are welcome. Tickets are $6 for adults and $2 for kids ages 4-12. Children under 4 can attend for free.

Sip ‘n paint at the Central Library
The whole fam is invited to bring a drink (nonalcoholic, please) and start painting with instructor Erica Purnell at the Central Library in Jamaica. The fun starts at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, and runs for two hours.

Staten Island

Celebrate Black Girl Magic

Billed as a “Back to School Jamboree,” this event will feature edutainment and motivational speakers at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. It’s geared toward girls ages 8-15 and their guardians, and takes place on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and registration is encouraged.

Catch Vin Diesel in the latest "Fast & Furious" movie

Michelle Rodriguez, Vin Diesel, Jordana Brewster, and crew are reunited in the ninth (!) installment of the “Fast & Furious" franchise. Bring your blanket, and head to the Lower Parking Lot in Greenbelt Recreation Center. The event, sponsored by the city’s parks department, starts on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. and the movie will begin at dusk.

For more fall-fun-planning: