Do you love pun competitions? What about costumed dog parades? Free workouts in unlikely city spaces? Well, you’re in luck, because all these events, and more, are happening in the city in the next few days. There’s also an incredible Edward Hopper exhibit at the Whitney, the Carnegie Hall debut of a Mexican pop star, and more.
Once again, the weather’s looking good on Saturday for fresh air activities: mostly sunny with highs in the mid-60s. If you plan to head outside Sunday, bring your umbrella as it's likely to rain.
Check out dogs in cute costumes. Because you can.
The 32nd Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Festival kicks off the “season of costumed dog parades” on Saturday, Oct. 22. (Believe it or not, there are more costumed dog events next weekend, too.) Pups can compete in nine categories, including Best Current Event Costume (last year’s winner was Bark Obama). The competition begins at 1 p.m. and you can learn more here.
Take a 'body snatching' tour of Lower Manhattan – it’s a real thing
Tour guide James Henry describes himself as a “NYC Cemetery expert.” He’s on staff at Green-Wood Cemetery and also the head tour guide at the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn. Let him take you on a walking tour of “astonishment and terror” as you learn about New York City’s horrific practices of body snatching and phrenology. Tours happen Oct. 22, Oct. 23, Oct. 29, and Oct. 30 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Monday Oct. 31 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. You can learn more, and book a tour here.
Get your kids fired up about classical music in Queens
New York’s classical music station, WQXR, is heading to Queens for its inaugural Classical Kids Fair at the Queens Theatre. (WQXR, like Gothamist and WNYC, is owned by New York Public Radio.) It will feature an “instrument petting zoo,” live performances from the Queens College Brass Quintet, musicians from the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and bilingual song stylists Musiquita, plus arts and crafts. The event is Sunday, Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. It’s free, and recommended for children ages 4-12. You can learn more here.
See New York City through Edward Hopper’s eyes
You don’t want to be the only one among your friends who hasn't seen "Edward Hopper's New York," a new exhibition that opened this week at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Hopper is probably best known for his 1942 painting “Nighthawks.” He was born in Upper Nyack in 1882, but spent nearly all of his mature career here. Hopper’s images of New York City are the focus of this powerful new show, in which the quieter corners of our metropolis are depicted with all the melancholy and luminosity we associate with his work. It’s on through March 5 at the Whitney Museum.
Check out a Pun 'Compuntition' in Park Slope
Who says puns are the lowest form of comedy? Not Fred Firestone, who has hosted this pun competition for over a decade. The Halloween-themed version happens Tuesday, Oct. 25 at the Littlefield Performance + Art Space in Brooklyn. Previous pun champs, including Daft Pun, Lexi Kahn, and Lingo Starr will battle it out in the All-Star Tournament. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets start at $12. The event is for 21 and up.
Celebrate Korean culture (and K-pop) in Union Square
The 43rd annual Korean Festival kicks off in Union Square Park on Sunday, October 23 and runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’ll be live music from an NYU K-pop band, a traditional wrestling demonstration (the organizer described it as similar to Sumo wrestling), plus photo-ops in Korean wedding attire. A 22-person group specializing in traditional Korean music is flying in from South Korea. Admission is free; food costs extra.
Catch the Carnegie Hall debut of a Mexican pop superstar
Natalia Lafourcade, a wonderful pop and folk singer-songwriter from Veracruz, Mexico, has released a string of successful records, filling her shelf with Grammy and Latin Grammy awards in the process. She’ll make her Carnegie Hall debut one day before the release of her new album, “De todas las flores.” What’s magical about Lafourcade is the way her songs can sound nostalgic and contemporary at the same time – she knows her music history, and she’ll honor it by sharing this prestigious stage with two iconic predecessors and past collaborators: Uruguayan pop genius Jorge Drexler, and legendary Cuban balladeer Omara Portuando. It’s on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m.
Log a 5K in Long Island City
This is the final installment of the On&On series, in which MoMA PS1 and artists collaborate to create movement experiences – and it’s all sponsored by the Swiss running shoe company On. Local running groups will join forces with filmmaker, food expert, and Queens native Jaeki Cho. The run will start and end at MoMA PS1 on Saturday, Oct. 22 at 10 a.m, and culminate with free juice and Jamaican patties on the terrace. It’s free, and you can register here.
Get your sweat on in Seton Park
Head to the basketball courts in Seton Park, Bronx for a cardio kickboxing workout. Instructor Tonya Montero says this is a martial-arts inspired workout designed to boost strength and stamina. All ages, backgrounds are welcome as she aims to make her classes inclusive. It’s Saturday, October 22, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. The class is free, and participants are encouraged to register with ShapeUp NYC.
Enjoy pumpkins and whiskey in Jamaica, Queens
The King Manor Museum in Queens invites families to attend their fall festival. It features a pumpkin patch (for everyone) and whiskey tasting (for grownups). Admission is free but guests are asked to register here. You can take home a pumpkin for around $2, and the whiskey’s free. It’s Saturday, Oct. 22 from noon to 5 p.m.
Bring the kids to a dance club in Midtown – because maybe then they’ll nap?
Sometimes, you want someone else to entertain your kids. If that time is this Saturday, you’re in luck. The Hugh, a food hall in Midtown, is hosting a “happy dance club” for children, toddlers, and their grownups. A DJ will lead the group through different genres of music – this week’s theme is “Lady Gaga + Madonna.” It’s Saturday, Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s free, and registration is encouraged.
Head to Pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights for a harvest festival
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy is hosting a Harvest Festival with free events for kids and families on Saturday Oct. 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will feature live music from Stoop Kidz Brass Band, $5 face painting, lawn games, Drag Queen Story Hour, and a read-aloud with a children’s librarian. The event is free and open to the public. Coffee, cider, and other treats will be available for purchase.
Get your heart rate up on Governors Island
The public is invited to a free “Sunset sculpt” class from the boutique studio, the ness. After the workout, there will be a tasting of non-alcoholic aperitivos and participants are welcome to relax by the outdoor fire pits and enjoy the view. It’s hosted at the Collective Governors Island, and will take place Saturday, Oct. 22 at 5:45 p.m. If you’re interested, don’t forget to check the ferry schedule.
Take the fam to 'Treats in the Streets' in Meatpacking
Grownups, kids, and dogs are invited to take part in Meatpacking’s annual Treats in the Streets. This year’s festivities include live music, read-alouds, and a dog costume contest where pups can walk the runway to strut their stuff. (The winner will receive a stay at the Gansevoort Hotel.) It all happens Saturday Oct. 22, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hear the British orchestra known for launching star conductors
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra might not convey the glamor of its better known London counterparts, but this British ensemble has been a proving ground for some the world's most exciting conductors: Simon Rattle, Sakari Oramo, and Andris Nelsons are three of the more prominent stick-wavers to emerge from that post. For its first Carnegie Hall appearance in 30 years, the orchestra is led by the exciting Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, who recently completed her term as the orchestra's music director. They'll perform Elgar's grandly romantic Cello Concerto with soloist Sheku Kanneh Mason, the young superstar who captured the world's attention at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in 2018. It’s Saturday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m.