Halloween in New York City is very different from the way I celebrated Halloween, growing up in the Californian suburbs. Yes, you can trick-or-treat in the city from apartment, to brownstone, to bodega and restaurant, filling up a full bag of treats in a one block radius. However, in NYC Halloween is not just one day, New York City offers entertaining experiences for families celebrating Halloween from trick-or-treating pumpkin carving, haunted houses and parades. Whether celebrating locally or visiting from out of town, all five boroughs have an abundance of Halloween activities that are open to the public the whole month of October.
One of New York City’s most well-known Halloween events is the Village Halloween Parade, in its 41st year this October. Starting at 7pm on All Hallow’s Eve with the theme “The Garden of Earthly Delights,” hundreds of bands, dancers, puppets and all sorts of costumed ghouls and goblins will hit the streets of Greenwich Village. The parade takes place on 6th Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street. Participants in costume must enter the line-up on 6thAvenue, between Canal and Spring Streets (halloween-nyc.com).
Halloween events and activities taking place throughout New York City’s five boroughs in October include:
- Boo at the Zoo at the Bronx Zoo: Get into the Halloween spirit with magic shows, scary storytelling, costume parades, a hay maze, pumpkin painting and more. Kids can also get an up-close look at all the creepy critters on display (bronxzoo.com).
- Enchanted Wave Hill Weekend: Step into a world of magic at Wave Hill, where little ones can participate in crafts inspired by local folklore and fairy tales, such as building tiny houses out of sticks, leaves and some pixie dust magic (wavehill.org).
- Haunted Pumpkin Garden at the New York Botanical Garden: This crowd-pleaser is back. Hundreds of intricately carved pumpkins are on display at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, where kids can play inside the Pumpkin House, put on a puppet show and more (nybg.org).
- Boo at the Zoo at the Prospect Park Zoo: Celebrate Halloween with arts and crafts, face painting, a trip through a haunted barn, and a costume parade and dance party (prospectpark.org).
- Halloween Haunted Walk & Carnival: Prepare for all sorts of monsters—headless horsemen, ghosts, zombies and more—at Lookout Trail in Prospect Park. Meanwhile, carnival fun and seasonal treats can be had at the sprawling Nethermead meadow (prospectpark.org).
- Monster Mash at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum: Take part in a costume parade, dance party, not-too-scary storytelling sessions and more. The event is appropriate for all ages, and children are encouraged to arrive in theirHalloween finest (brooklynkids.org).
- Halloween Harvest Weekends at Luna Park: Coney Island’s Luna Park kicks off this annual weekend series on September 20. Celebrations include family-friendly activities, fall decorations, pumpkin picking and more, concluding on October 26 (lunaparknyc.com).
- LED Tower Light Show at the Empire State Building: The iconic landmark’s second-annual Halloween celebration returns this year, with a spectacular LED tower light show, synchronized to classic Halloween songs streamed on Clear Channel radio (esbnyc.com).
- Día de los Muertos at El Museo del Barrio: Partake in this 3,000-year-old Mexican tradition of honoring the dead with face painting, storytelling, dance performances and a lively procession around the Harlem Meer (elmuseo.org).
- Wall Street Walks’ Downtown New York Ghost Tour: This tour takes guests through the Financial District’s “Underworld,” including the Trinity Church cemetery, haunted sites and dark corners and alleys (wallstreetwalks.com).
- Halloween Celebration at the American Museum of Natural History: Trick or treat inside the museum’s hallowed halls while taking in live performances, participating in arts and crafts and mingling with beloved children’s characters in costume (amnh.org).
- Hansel and Gretel’s Halloween Adventure: City Parks Foundation and the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre present a Halloween-themed show inspired by the adventures of the fairy tale siblings (cityparksfoundation.org).
- Procession of the Ghouls at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine: After a screening of the 1925 silent-film classicThe Phantom of the Opera, a thrilling parade of ogres and boogeymen will be performed by the Mettawee River Theatre Company (stjohndivine.org).
- Amazing Maize Maze at the Queens County Farm Museum: Kids of all ages can make their way through a 3-acre cornstalk labyrinth, pick out their own pumpkins and more (queensfarm.org).
- Boo at the Zoo at the Queens Zoo: Go trick-or-treating, create crafts, watch pumas and bears tear into treat-filled pumpkins, and enjoy a haunted habitat in the zoo’s Wild Room (queenszoo.com).
- Halloween Harvest Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park: Make a costume alongside artists, listen to music and enjoy seasonal foods from local restaurants. Face painting and a canine costume contest are also on the agenda (socratessculpturepark.org).
- Halloween Extravaganza at the Conference House Museum: Festivities include a costume parade, a magician, haunted kitchen, hay rides and face painting (conferencehouse.org).
- Halloween in Richmond Town: The usual fun—crafts, games, costumes, and friendly ghouls and ghosts—is in store at this historic colonial village. And on weekends throughout October, kids can pick pumpkins at Decker Farm, the oldest continuously operating family-style farm in New York City (historicrichmondtown.org).
For more information on Halloween activities taking place throughout New York City, including a full list of dates and times, visit nycgo.com.
Thank you NYC & Company for this great Halloween in NYC list