With fall full on, the focus turns from music festivals to events surrounding art, books, food and films, from food truck awards and comic books in NYC to a book fair in DC and a citywide art tour of LA.

7th Smithsonian Museum Day
September 24
Across the US in participating museums

Smithsonian magazine is sponsoring its 2011 Museum Day, offering two free admissions to more than 1,000 select museums with advance registration. Since the Smithsonian museums in Washington DC offer free admission everyday, this annual event extends the policy to museums across the US with Museum Day Tickets.


7th Vendy Awards
September 24
Governors Island, NYC, New York

The Vendy Awards determines the winner of the Vendy Cup as food carts and trucks nominees participate in a massive cook-off of nominated sidewalk vendors from New York City - a mecca for street food. The Most Heroic Vendor was added to this annual event along with prizes for Rookie of the Year, Best Dessert and the People's Taste. Judges include food bloggers and a citizen foodie. An offshoot in LA started up last May, also as a fundraiser to protect vendors' rights.

11th National Book Festival
September 24-25
Washington DC

This literary celebration, sponsored by the Library of Congress, features more than 100 authors, graphic novelists and poets who will make presentations on the National Mall on several stages. Authors include actress Julianne Moore who has written children's books about Freckleface Strawberry, Brian Selznick who wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabret adapted on film by Martin Scorsese, and Toni Morrison, the Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, who receives the festival's Creative Achievement Award.

4th New York City Food & Wine Festival
September 29-October 2
New York City, NY

Presented by the Food Network and Food & Wine magazine, the food fest features more than 120 events including walk-around tastings, culinary demos and seminars from the Meatpacking District and beyond. Dozens of chefs participate including Jacques Pépin, Emeril Lagasse, Anthony Bourdain, Alain Ducasse, and Masaharu Morimoto, as well as Martha Stewart, Whoopi Goldberg, His Royal Highness Prince Robert of Luxembourg and Hervé Deschamps of Perrier-Jouet. This fund-raiser benefits the New York Food Bank.

12th New Yorker Festival
September 30-October 2
New York, New York

An annual cultural arts festival from The New Yorker magazine features a range of authors, actors, musicians, scientists, and other notable guests, including Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, director David Cronenberg, Ralph Fiennes, Jonathan Franzen and Malcolm Gladwell for panels, conversations and screenings. A unique idea with literary leanings, most events sell-out quickly and include culinary and museum visits on Sunday.

49th New York Film Festival
September 30-October 16
New York City, NY

The New York Film Festival, organized by the Lincoln Center Film Society, presents a non-competitive showcase for international films and provocative cinema from emerging and experimental filmmakers as well as renowned directors - such as this year's Pedro Almodovar, Roman Polanski and David Cronenberg. Special screenings of historic classic films, tributes and panels are included in the program of more than 50 films, drawing an audience of 75,000 to the event.

Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980
October 1 launch
Los Angeles, California

An expansive collaboration of 60-plus shows and exhibits at most of the museums and many galleries in Los Angeles as the surrounding communities celebrate regional artists and artwork made in Southern California. Major surveys open at the Getty Center, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA) as well as Santa Monica Museum, art and design schools and more.

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour
October 2, 2011-2012
North America

Cirque du Soleil, the Quebec-based performance troupe that fuses dance, music and acrobatics will bring Michael Jackson's musical legacy to the stage again. The fantasy production showcases Jackson's musical repertoire and dance routines. The show opens October 2 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and travels across 47 cities in North America.

October 4-6
Austin, Texas

The same group that creates the music/film/interactive South-by-Southwest extravaganza every March, are launching SXSW Eco, a three-day conference addressing the need for a concentrated, cross-section approach to the environmental challenges facing the world today.

Chicago Marathon
October 9
Chicago, Illinois

One of the major international marathons, the Chicago Marathon came to prominence in the 1970s and 80s following the increased popularity of long distance running thanks to the New York Marathon and an American gold medal in marathon at the 1972 Munich Olympics. In 2011, the event celebrates its 35th edition.

Degas and the Nude
October 9, 2011-February 5, 2012
Boston, Massachusetts

Co-organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, this exhibition offers approximately 175 paintings, drawings, pastels, monotypes, and sculptures by Degas and some of his 19th century peers. It is the first Degas exhibition devoted to this theme. It analyzes the evolution of the treatment of the nude from his early years, through the 1880s and 1890s, to the last decades of his working career.

New York Comic-Con
October 13-16
New York City, NY

It is the East Coast's biggest pop culture convention. The fair hosts the latest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. With a selection of sessions reserved for industry professionals, New York Comic Con is a marketplace that brings together the major players in the entertainment industry.


16th Pan American Games
October 14-30
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

The second largest multi-sport event after the Summer Olympics, this international competition between athletes from 42 countries countries in the Americas, from Canada to Chile is held every four years before the Summer Olympic Games. More than 5,000 athletes will compete in 36 different sports at almost 400 events. The Torch Relay of the flame starts at the Teotihuacan pyramids to the opening ceremony at the Omnilife Stadium.


OpenHouse New York
October 15-16

For the ninth year, America's largest architecture and design event hosts tours of 350 sites and buildings in every neighborhood for 200,000 visitors. Inspired by Open House events in London and Dublin, access is free of charge to spaces normally closed to the public, including artists' studios and guided tours of landmarks, such as the Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal and Radio City Music Hall. With walks, talks and workshops, the weekend peeks inside historic and unique residences.

31st CMJ Music Marathon & Film Festival
October 18-22
New York City, NY

The CMJ ( College Music Journal) Marathon fills 80 New York City clubs and theaters with over 120,000 fans, musicians, bloggers and filmmakers. With a focus on breaking bands, 1,300 artists will perform and more than 70 events are scheduled, from panels to parties to premieres. Centered in Greenwich Village, this year's lineup includes Portugal. The Man, Dum Dum Girls. For the 17th year, a film fest features filmmakers and actors in discussions. Past showings included Pulp Fiction, Fight Club and Walk the Line.