New York Culture & Arts

HarvestFestivalatBethelWoodsCultural festivals ‘harvest’ the power of the arts in local communities and are joyous celebrations of the changing seasons. In autumn, it’s time to enjoy the nice weather and a celebration du jour.

Labor Day weekend, Saranac Lake kicks off fall with a little “hobo spirit:” This musical gathering is gathering indie steam for its thumbs-up to railroad culture.

September’s Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy runs 11 days and features all your favorite Italian foods: you will not leave hungry. Arts Alive Long Island has a three-pronged approach – the arts, families and food – to sustain your passion for a month of celebrating. Moving around the state, there’s a Fiber Festival in Greenwich, Hunter Mountain’s Octoberfest, an Autumn Festival on Wellesley Island, and even a baseball-themed film festival in Cooperstown.

Want to see a theater troupe perform haunting tales at the historic SonnenbergGardens&Mansion? Reserve early for these ‘whodunits’ – the actors in period attire, light refreshments and unsolved mysteries always attract a sold-out crowd. Many historic estates keep their doors open throughout the season for tours and special events, from the Hudson Valley to the Thousand Islands. Their autumn gardens are of special interest to anyone with a natural creative flair. Some have been tended since New York’s early European settlers arrived here.

New York’s museums, galleries and historic sites are inspiring places to learn something new or deepen your appreciation for the creative process and intriguing periods in history. You can explore the compelling relationships between the arts and technology; examine traditional handweaving techniques; or get a grasp on a Utopian community’s civic contributions. On First Fridays, the Albright-Knox Gallery offers free admission and select events, plus art classes, tours and more. Visit this Western New York gem during regular museum hours, too.

NYC Halloween Parade - Photo by © NYC & CompanyMidway through autumn, it’s time to dress up – for NYC’s annual Halloween Parade! Don a costume, or not, but just go. You won’t see anything like it again . . . it’s a freefall form of expression every year.

Each November, Ithaca artists open their studios to Art Trail visitors and, as a prelude to Thanksgiving, Glen Cove’s feast features authentic Native American foods and a celebration of culture.

Events and concerts at Carnegie Hall, Guild Hall, Proctor’s, Bethel Woods, and Utica’s Stanley Center are reliably enriching experiences. Keep your eyes and ears tuned to the Roxbury Arts Group: They’re blazing an artistic trail through the Catskills. Jamestown’s native trailblazer, Lucille Ball, was a master of the comedic arts as anyone who watched the “I Love Lucy” show will attest. Visit the Center for Comedy and absorb a little comedic flair to help laugh off autumn’s falling leaves and temperatures.


Carnegie Hall
881 Seventh Avenue at 57th Street
New York, NY 10019
World’s most famous concert hall; opened 1891

Feast of San Gennaro (September)
Mulberry Street between Canal and Houston Streets
New York, NY 10019
Famous 11-day Italian feast in Little Italy celebrating faith, food and redemption

Village Halloween Parade
6th Avenue between Spring & Canal Streets
New York, NY 10019
The nation’s most wildly creative public participatory event


Arts Alive Long Island Festival(October)
Locations throughout Suffolk and Nassau Counties, NY
Local visual and performing arts, family and foodie events

Annual Thanksgiving Native American Feast (weekend before Thanksgiving)
Garvies Point Museum and Preserve
50 Barry Drive
Glen Cove, NY 11542
Celebration of northeastern Native American culture; pottery-making, primitive fire-building; on-site cooking of authentic cuisine

Guild Hall
158 Main Street
East Hampton, NY 11937
Center of visual and performing arts for eastern Long Island since 1937


Copland House
1538 Washington Street
Cortlandt Manor, NY 10566
Home where Aaron Copland lived & worked (1960-1990); National Historic Landmark; only composer’s home in US devoted to America’s musical heritage; broad offerings

Home & Library of Franklin Delano Roosevelt
4097 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538-1997
National Historic Site; home, library, museum, private collections, grounds/gardens; only US President elected to four terms

Vanderbilt Mansion National Historic Site
c/o National Park Service
519 Albany Post Road
Hyde Park, NY 12538
Remarkably complete example of a Gilded Age country place; one of the region’s oldest Hudson River estates


Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
200 Hurd Road
Bethel, NY 12720
Site of 1969 Woodstock Festival; large amphitheater, grounds, performances, museum

Octoberfest at Hunter Mountain
Route 23A
Hunter, NY 12442
Two weekends in October; celebration of German Heritage with German-American & Austrian music, pumpkin painting & crafts

Roxbury Arts Group
5025 Vega Mountain Road
Roxbury, NY 12474
High-quality, multi-arts programming (also at additional locations) in rural Western Catskills


Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180
Where the arts, sciences, and technology interact

Proctor’s Theatre 
432 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305
Film, dance, comedy, music performances; National Register of Historic Places; restored vaudeville theater

Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival(September)
Washington County Fair Grounds
392 Old Schuylerville Road
Greenwich, NY 12834
120 vendors; demonstrations, animals & finished fiber products


Herkimer County Arts & Crafts Fair (November)
Herkimer County Community College
Robert McLaughlin College Center
100 Reservoir Road/GPS: 100 Lou Ambers Drive
Herkimer, NY 13350
Annual juried show and fundraiser

Hobofest (Labor Day weekend)
Town Depot
19 Depot Street
Saranac Lake, NY 12983
Annual free music festival “at the tracks” to celebrate railroad culture & the “hobo spirit”

Intuitive Development and Paranormal Weekend (October)
Fort William Henry Hotel
48 Canada St.
Lake George, NY 12845
Led by holistic health practitioners and including a tour of Ft. William Henry


Minna Anthony Common Nature Center
Autumn Festival (October)
44927 Cross Island Road
Fineview, Wellesley Island, NY 13640
Popular festival includes scarecrow making, music, hiking trails and more; nature center showcases the animals and habitats of the Thousand Islands

Richardson-Bates House Museum
Oswego County Historical Society
135 East Third Street
Oswego, New York 13126
National Register of Historic Places; distinctive landmark and house museum

Thousand Islands Arts Center -- Home of the Handweaving Museum
314 John Street
Clayton, NY 13624
Preserves heritage arts; year-round curriculum; 100 regional artists’ work


Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The Baseball Film Festival
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326
Reserve free tickets for a showcase of newly-released films of any genre with a baseball focus

Oneida Community Mansion House
170 Kenwood Avenue
Oneida, NY 13421
Showcases Utopian community’s history and civic contributions; National Historic Landmark

Stanley Center of the Arts
261 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501
Historic grand theater, innovative programs


Clemens Center for the Arts
207 Clemens Center Parkway
Elmira, NY 14901
The region's premier performing arts center

Greater Ithaca Art Trail (Early November)
Various locations
Annual fall weekend; visit area artists in their working studios

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park
Fall Mansion Mysteries (October)
151 Charlotte Street
Canandaigua, NY 14424
Theatrical enactment of haunted mansion stories


Albright-Knox Art Gallery
First Fridays
1285 Elmwood Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14222
Many free classes, music, special exhibits; founded in 1862, one of the oldest public arts institutions in the US; more than 6,500 works in Collection

Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum
180 Thompson Street
North Tonawanda, NY 14120
Two fully operational antique carousels; carving demos, woodcarving classes for all levels; horse restoration; band organ roll production

Springville Center for the Arts
37 North Buffalo Street
Springville, NY 14141
Galleries, theater, film, exhibits, workshops, more


Lucy Desi Center for Comedy
2 West Third Street
Jamestown, NY 14701
“I Love Lucy” sets; exhibits, museum, special events; celebrate comedy in Lucy’s hometown!

Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts
St. Bonaventure University
3261 West State Street
St Bonaventure, NY 14778
Regional hub; fall to winter performing arts series; visual art galleries; artist talks

Seneca-Iroquois National Museum
814 Broad Street
Salamanca, NY 14779
“This Is Where We Walked” Exhibit examines Seneca communities and people impacted by the building of the Kinzua Dam; longhouse replica, more


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