What to do in Amsterdam in October

Never was there such a diverse month to get out and about in Amsterdam.

Actually, that’s not totally true.  Each month kicks our ass with how cool it is in the city.  But where the summer was all about being outside, this month there is simply no theme.  No method in the madness.  It’s all chaos and fun and diversity.

So let’s get to it.


Oct 1 – 11: Driving North

A good old-fashioned drive-in cinema, right up in Amsterdam Noord, which face it- is the only place with enough space for a drive-in cinema.  The program is a mix of classic and newer releases, with most films being suitably car-themed (Thelma & Louise, Easy Rider, you get the picture).  Food and drink tents on site, so bring your blanket, snuggle up with your date and get ready for a great night out.  And oh yeah- don’t forget the car.  It’s just not the same on a bike, trust us.


Oct 2: Avondmarkt at Roest

A night market bringing you the best that the city and surroundings has to offer as far as hand crafted goods, as well as music and of course food and drink.  So support your local craftsman/woman, and have a drink while you’re at it.  Check the facebook event page to see who will be there selling their wares.


Oct 3 & 4, 24 & 25: Ij Hallen

Time for the Ijhallen market with 750 stalls crammed full with things you never knew you never needed, but suddenly want VERY BADLY!  Summer is over, so it’s back to being an indoor event until next year.


Oct 7 – 10 : AfroVibes Festival in Amsterdam

In its the twelfth edition, Afrovibes brings young pioneers and established talent in theater, dance, music and design from Southern Africa to the Netherlands, in a ten days festival which lands for the first 3 days in Amsterdam. The program is full of performances rooted in young urban Africa: raw, colorful, current, innovative, and presents the dynamic cultural life of young urban Africa & local Dutch artists. This year’s festival theme is focused on looking ahead, on Moving in Time, connecting past, present and future. Full program here.


Oct 9 & 10: Strawberry Earth Fair at Roest

A market-slash-expo which brings together 40 brands that have a conscious and consumers who care about aesthetics while they save this fragile place called Earth.  Strawberry Earth was born in Amsterdam and has since grown to be a force to reckon with.  Their motto? ‘Making sustainable living a piece of cake.’ <- They said cake, we love them.  Go check it out.


Oct 14 – 18 : Amsterdam Dance Event

Hey, are you ready for the city to positively EXPLODE? Cool, then stick around for mid-October when ADE hits the city’s venue and blows each and every roof off.  Over 2,000 artists, 350 venues, and 5 days makes it the world’s biggest club festival for electronic music, and just a really great time to be in Amsterdam if you like music (and who doesn’t?).  (Tip: Amsterdam company 22tracks is hosting their 6th birthday at Waterkant on October 15th.  Bound to be a good party; after all they’ve built their brand on knowing and sharing good music, right?  And it’s free. SCORE.)


Oct 17 – 23: CineKid Festival

The Cinekid Festival is an annual film, television and new-media festival for children which includes installations, workshops, and a 48 hour film contest specifically for children.  Definitely one to check out with your budding little Spielberg or Coppola.

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Oct 24: 24H Noord

Every dog has it’s day, and every neighborhood has it’s 24H festival.  Now it’s time to head North.  For 24 hours over one weekend, Amsterdam Noord will turn into a big playground with lots of activities and fun for all ages.  The agenda is massive, but some jewels that we spotted were: a treasure hunt, karaoke, a sleepover at the bar Pllek, a skateboard tour through the neighborhood, and lots of art and music.  What’s not to love?  Oh yeah…the ferry. (Ha! Sorry Noorders!)  Just kidding, it’s definitely worth the short ride over the Ij.


Oct 24: Street Art Market Amsterdam

Urban Art NOW and RADION curate a unique selection of Amsterdam’s top artists, designers and craftsmen for an affordable art market full of street art, street wear, handcrafted jewelry, music and photography (most things will be priced between 10 and 1000 Euro).  There will also be 2 free group exhibitions for those who are all about the “Kijken, kijken, niet kopen.”


Oct 27 – Nov 1: KLIK! Animation Festival

A festival celebrating all things animation, including shorts, features, workshops and parties.  If it’s your thing, there is also a 5-day workshop on scriptwriting for animations called Scriptease which culminates in an award for best presentation (prize being the coveted “Golden Waffle”).


Oct 29-31 : Halloween

No one owns Halloween in this city, but for sure the folks behind Spook Amsterdam (of All-Night Horror Movie Marathon fame) and Amsterdam Halloween (of Halloween Parade fame) would go head-to-head for that title if there was one.  No one does it so fervently and passionately with so much (fake) blood and gore like these two groups do.  So if you want to see what’s on for Halloween, check both the Spook Amsterdam agenda and the Amsterdam Halloween agenda first.  But be sure to peep the other usual ‘haunts’ (<- see what we did there?) such as Paradiso and Melkweg among others, who usually also throw a Halloween-themed party or event.


So there you have it, from drive-in cinema to markets to music festivals to Halloween, it’s going to be an amazing month.  Have fun!


the V crew

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