Why You Should Go to New York City This Fall

Annual September events like the U.S. Open and New York Fashion Week draw people to New York year after year. But there’s so much more to do in the city this fall—especially for art and music fans.

Why You Should Go to New York City This Fall

Late October is the time to visit New York if you want to see peak fall foliage in Central Park.

Photo by Shutterstock

If you haven’t been to New York City recently, it’s time to book a return trip this fall. For starters, have you heard that Times Square is cool again? Also, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is reopening in October after going through a major expansion this summer. There’s plenty to check out beyond Midtown this September and October, too. Here’s what’s on our to-do list in New York City over the next few months.

Visit the new MoMA

When MoMA reopens on October 21 after a four-month closure, visitors will be able to explore 40,000 square feet of new gallery space, including free street-level galleries, and a redesigned store. The highlight of the expansion will be the new Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio, a dedicated space for live and experimental art, which will be inaugurated with David Tudor’s installation Rainforest V (Variation 1), which MoMA calls “a forest of sound that performs itself.” Exhibits featured in the fall 2019 season include a show dedicated to modern Latin American art and others encompassing the work of artists Betye Saar and Pope.L.

MoMA’s midtown Manhattan location isn’t the only newsworthy spot this season, either. Over in Queens, MoMA PS1 not only reopened a James Turrell installation called Meeting in August but will also debut its revamped restaurant space later this fall. Mina’s will serve Mediterranean-inspired food by chef Mina Stone. In other NYC museum restaurant news, the Morgan Library & Museum recently announced that it will introduce a new modern American menu by chef Tom Colicchio this fall at both the Morgan Dining Room and Morgan Café.

Fotografiska New York will take over the 1894 building at 281 Park Avenue South.

Fotografiska New York will take over the 1894 building at 281 Park Avenue South.

Courtesy of Fotografiska

Get your photography fix Even if your travels take you to New York before MoMA reopens, there’s still art to see in the city in September. On September 12, Photoville will return to Brooklyn Bridge Plaza for its eighth year until September 22, 2019. The immersive photo exhibit is set in nearly 100 shipping containers that will be transformed into gallery space for the show’s limited run.

Just before MoMA returns, Fotografiska New York opens on October 18, in a six-story space on Park Avenue South near Madison Square Park. The Stateside expansion of the Stockholm-based photography museum will open with inaugural exhibits from the likes of Ellen von Unwerth, Tawny Chatmon, Helene Schmitz, and Adi Nes.

Buy two-for-one Broadway tickets

During NYC Broadway Week, you can pick up two-for-one tickets to Broadway shows between September 3 and 16 this fall. Tickets went on sale August 14, but there’s still a chance to get discounted seats at shows like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Come From Away, and Oklahoma! To purchase tickets, visit nycgo.com/broadway-week and use the code BWAYWK.

Order some bubbles and watch the show at Special Club, the new music venue from the team behind Tokyo Record Bar.

Order some bubbles and watch the show at Special Club, the new music venue from the team behind Tokyo Record Bar.

Photo by Gary He

Catch a show at Special Club Over the last three years, 31-year-old Ariel Arce opened several bars and restaurants—Tokyo Record Bar, Air’s Champagne Parlor, and Niche Niche—along a strip of MacDougal Street that is home to such Greenwich Village classics as Minetta Tavern. Now Special Club, Arce’s fourth venture on MacDougal Street, is welcoming guests below the wine bar at Niche Niche. An ode to 1940s social clubs, the underground space features live music from jazz, soul, and blues artists at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. shows Tuesday through Saturday for just $20 cover. The drinks menu features champagne, sake, and cocktails, and there are also small plates from chefs Zach Fabian and Aaron Lirette. To save yourself a spot, make reservations via Resy.

Take a classic New York food tour

Can’t get off the waiting list for the $1,275 Ferran Adrià x Fredrik Berselius dinner at Aska on September 26? For a more wallet-friendly alternative, sign up for Context Travel’s Chinatown and Little Italy Food Tour. For $85 per person on Fridays this fall, a local food expert will walk you and a small group capped at six people through the historic neighborhoods for 2.5 hours while you taste everything from espresso to steamed dumplings along the way. Private tours are also available.

How many slices can you eat in one weekend?

How many slices can you eat in one weekend?

Courtesy of New York Pizza Festival

Eat your way through the second annual New York Pizza Festival If you’re looking for a major pizza fix, head up to the Little Italy of the Bronx on Arthur Avenue. On October 5 and 6, 2019, the second annual New York Pizza Festival will bring together 25 of the best pizzaioli from Italy and across the United States, including the pizza pros from Best Pizza in Brooklyn, Forno Rosso in Chicago, and a consortium from Naples, Italy. Tickets start at $25 for three slices, but the $100 VIP pass gets you 10 slices of pizza, five drinks, and access to special lines.

Try a tipple at Amor y Amargo’s second (bigger) location

During the first week of September, the second location of acclaimed East Village cocktail bar Amor y Amargo is opening in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. Instead of being a small cocktail den like the original, the new location will have 24 seats inside, another 10 outside, and a range of bar snacks. Fans of the bitters-focused bar will find that two drinks, the 8 Amaro Sazerac and Sharpie Mustache, will make their way from the Manhattan location to Brooklyn. The rest of the drinks menu will be brand new, while remaining focused on amaro, bitters, spirits, and vermouth, Eater reports.

>> Next: Plan Your Trip With AFAR’s Guide to New York

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
More From AFAR