Halloween festivities abound this weekend in New York City, but there are also plenty of non-macabre things to do. Following is our short list of what to do in New York City starting Thursday night through Sunday. 

1. Jewish Museum Art and Politics Talk

Multimedia artists Andrea Bowers, Sharon Hayes, and artist and Raqs Media Collective curator Shuddhabrata Sengupta will be on a panel titled “Dialogue and Discourse: Confronting the Political” at the Jewish Museum on Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The discussion, centering on how art and politics have evolved together from the early 20th century onward, is presented with the museum’s exhibition, “The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film,” on view until February 7, 2016. Moderating will be Nato Thompson, a former curator at MASS MoCA and the current Chief Curator of Creative Time, which commissions and presents public art projects worldwide.

“Dialogue and Discourse” is a regular series of conversations related to museum exhibitions, with more programming planned. RSVPs recommended. Admission is pay-what-you-wish. The talk is in the Schuer Auditorium of the museum, located at 1109 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10128. www.thejewishmuseum.org.

Click here for event details.

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"Stairs" by Alexander Rodchenko, 1929–30. Gelatin silver print. Sepherot Foundation, Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Artwork © Estate of Alexander Rodchenko (A. Rodchenko and V. Stepanova Archive) / RAO, Moscow / VAGA, New York. Image provided by the Sepherot Foundation.

"Stairs" by Alexander Rodchenko, 1929–30. Gelatin silver print. Sepherot Foundation, Vaduz, Liechtenstein. Artwork © Estate of Alexander Rodchenko (A. Rodchenko and V. Stepanova Archive) / RAO, Moscow / VAGA, New York. Image provided by the Sepherot Foundation.

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2. "The Color Purple" Conversation

Alice Walker, author of the 1982 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Color Purple—which returns to Broadway in a new production on December 10, 2015—joins Tony Award-winning director John Doyle, Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Hudson and British stage actress Cynthia Erivo for a panel discussion on the upcoming production on Thursday, October 29, 2015 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the New School. Erivo performed in the 2013 London production; both actresses will make their Broadway debuts.

The event is presented by TimesTalks, The New York Times' conversation series, in collaboration with The New School. Times theater reporter Michael Paulson moderates. Admission is $45. The talk is in The New School's John L. Tishman Auditorium, located at 63 Fifth Avenue, New York NY 10003. www.timestalks.com.

Click here for event details.

Note: The event is now sold out. There will be a live stream available here.

3. John Zorn Festival

A month-long festival celebrating avant-garde composer John Zorn at Brooklyn’s National Sawdust culminates with two concerns on Halloween evening.

The first, at 8 p.m. and titled “Magikal Chamber Music,” features the works "Walpurgisnacht," "Gri Gri," "All Hallows Eve," Hexantarot," and "Ghosts." The concert also sees a world premier. Inspired by Zorn’s fanaticism of writer Aleister Crowley, the program features violinist Chris Otto, violist Kyle Armbrust, cellist Jay Campbell, pianist Steve Gosling and percussionist William Winant. 

The second, at 10 p.m., is a performance of Zorn’s 2015 album, “Simulacrum,” featuring organist John Medeski, guitarist Matt Hollenberg and drummer Kenny Grohowski.

Admission is $25 in advance, $30 at the door. National Sawdust is located at 80 North 6th Street, Brooklyn NY 11249. www.nationalsawdust.org.

Click here for details on the first concert and here for the second.

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Image courtesy National Sawdust.

Image courtesy National Sawdust.

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4. Village Halloween Parade

The 42nd annual Village Halloween Parade in downtown Manhattan is set to crawl up Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street on Saturday, October 31 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Those who wish to march alongside the more than 50,000 costumed street performers, dancers, and those manning larger-than-life masks and puppets must assemble in costume on Sixth Avenue and Canal Street at 6:30 p.m. Artistic and Producing Director Jeanne Flemming announced this year’s theme is "Shine a Light.”

Artists have a long history in the parade: Organizers commission three artists or groups to conceive and make giant puppets for the year’s theme. The art and performance space HERE Art Center presents The Dream Music Puppetry Program—led by HERE co-founder Barbara Busackino and puppeteer and MacArthur Foundation fellow Basil Twist—which enlists volunteer puppet creators. This year, Twist’s “Giant Spider” returns to dangle off the parade-side Jefferson Market Library after a five-year hiatus during library construction. Free. The parade begins on Sixth Avenue and Spring Street, New York NY 10013. www.halloween-nyc.com.

Click here for event details. 

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An image from a recent rehearsal for this year's New York City Halloween Parade, which has the theme, "Shine a Light." Organizers have been sharing updates on the parade's official Facebook page. Facebook photo.

An image from a recent rehearsal for this year's New York City Halloween Parade, which has the theme, "Shine a Light." Organizers have been sharing updates on the parade's official Facebook page. Facebook photo.

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 Skeleton puppets bounce around a preview Village Halloween Parade. Photo courtesy Spencer Barrett

Skeleton puppets bounce around a preview Village Halloween Parade. Photo courtesy Spencer Barrett

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5. Halloween Ball at MoMA PS1 

The fairy tale-esque theme for the fourth annual Halloween Ball at MoMA PS1—on Saturday, October 31, 2015 from 8 p.m. to midnight—is "The Poison Big Apple." Once again curated by event producer Susanne Bartsch, the party will have dancing, costumes, pageantry and DJ Sets by Valissa Yoe and W Jeremy. The ball is part of the museum’s “Sunday Sessions,” a weekly programmed series of music, performance, moving images, dance, and more.

Hosting the event will be ALLGOLD, Korakrit Arunanondchai, Klaus Biesenbach, Telfar Clemens, Douglas Crimp, Maria Cornejo, Simon Denny, Peter Eleey, Genesis Breyer P. Orridge, Angela Goding, curator Mia Locks, Lypsinka, Ryan McNamara, Kembra Pfahler // The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black, Mauricio Padilha, Roger Padilha, Desi Santiago, Jenny Schlenzka, Casey Spooner, Michael Stipe, Carl Swanson, David Velasco and Zaldy.

Expect to see performances by Marzia Aloisi, Aquaria, Archie and his Prince, Dolly Dharma, Renato Dicent, Misc Allaneous Domtop, Jarrett Edwards, Exquisite, Jeanise Piggy Huggums, Kiss, Jessica Love, Danielle Mahoney, Dylan Monroe, Lily Munroe, William Noguchi, Brandon Olson, Duo Raw, Rify Royale, Beverly Sage, Sussi, Sateen, Jordan Stawecki, Zac Weiss and Casey Yalater.

Admission is $15 and $13 for members. The event takes place at the VW Dome of the museum, located at 22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City NY 11101. www.momaps1.org.

Click here for event details.

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MoMA PS1 will present its fourth annual Halloween Ball at its Long Island City space. Photo courtesy Elk Studios, 2012.

MoMA PS1 will present its fourth annual Halloween Ball at its Long Island City space. Photo courtesy Elk Studios, 2012.

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