If you are looking for hair-raising fun or family-friendly events, New York City’s five boroughs offer something for everyone to enjoy during the month of October with festive and spooky Halloween activities.
“From pumpkin decorating and scary storytelling to corn mazes and haunted houses, there are countless ways to celebrate Halloween in New York City,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “Each borough adds its own special flavor to this spooky holiday, so locals and visitors can find engaging activities for all to enjoy.”
New York City’s Halloween-themed events and activities take place throughout the month of October. One of the highlights not to be missed is the 42nd Annual Village Halloween Parade on October 31. Visitors are invited to join thousands of New Yorkers decked out in creative costumes as hundreds of puppets, 53 bands, dancers and artists make their way through Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.
Other Halloween fun taking place around the five boroughs includes:
The Bronx Zoo presents Boo at the Zoo: On select weekends throughout October, kids receive free admission for wearing a costume, and guests of all ages can enjoy creepy critters, musical performances, trick-or-treating, storytelling and more Halloween and fall fun (bronxzoo.com).
Dia De Los Muertos Weekends at The New York Botanical Garden: On Saturdays and Sundays from October 24 through November 1, the gardens will hold a celebration in honor of the Mexican tradition of bringing together family and friends to remember loved ones with a parade of giant skeletons and butterflies. Guests can create their own masks and have their faces painted to get into costume for this fiesta (nybg.org).
Enchanted Wave Hill Weekend: The weekend of October 3–4, families can bring their little fairies and gnomes to roam around the fall foliage while listening to fairy tales and enchanting music. Kids will be able to build their own tiny woodland dwellings using sticks, leaves and other fallen materials (wavehill.org)
Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Ghouls & Gourds: Kids can showcase their costumes alongside giant puppets in a parade complete with live music by Terry Dames Science Music Roadshow. Also available are arts and crafts activities and a stuffed animal petting zoo (bbg.org).
Brooklyn Bridge Park hosts Haunted Brooklyn Heights: On October 21, owner and founder of Boroughs of the Dead, Andrea Janes, will lead a tour through Brooklyn Heights’ bone chilling sites and discuss the legends that accompany them (brooklynbridgepark.org).
Brooklyn Bridge Park Harvest Festival: On October 24, visitors can celebrate Halloween and fall on Pier 6 with pumpkin picking, face painting, mask making and old-time trolley rides (brooklynbridgepark.org).
Halloween Haunted Walk at Lookout Hill: On October 24, all ages are invited to take part in this haunted walk atop the highest point in Prospect Park, where silly ghouls and goblins come out to play (nycgovparks.org).
Prospect Park hosts Creepy Crawly Halloween and Boo at the Zoo Weekend: On October 24–25, the park will display its creepiest crawlers, as well as an owl pellet dissection, a spine-chilling walk around Prospect Park and an animal encounter where guests can assist with an actual snake feeding. There will also be pumpkin treats, a costume parade and a dance (nycgovparks.org).
Subway Shindig for Families: Halloween Central Station at the New York Transit Museum: On October 29, visitors can join this underground Halloween costume party for face painting, a “glow-in-the-dark zone” and a shadow puppet show (transitmuseumeducation.org).
American Museum of Natural History’s 20th Annual Halloween Celebration: Visitors can see more than 30 museum halls and enjoy trick-or-treating, live musical performances, arts and crafts activities, magic shows, circus acts, and more (amnh.org/Halloween).
Haunted High Line Halloween: On October 24, guests can take a haunting tour of the High Line, hear about its spooky history, and participate in a trick-or-treat quest where the right answers will be rewarded with sweet treats (thehighline.org).
Mount Vernon Hotel: Guests and locals are invited to be a part of the Halloween Murder Mystery on October 23–24 where an historic newspaper account comes to life and guests must collect clues to discover the truth (mvhm.org).
The Children’s Museum of Manhattan: Visitors can celebrate the week leading up to Halloween with events like Rock’n Halloween and Pumpkin Patch, as well as arts and crafts, treat bags, interactive musical performances highlighting ghostly songs and a costume parade (cmom.org).
Tales from the Crypt: Horror on Hallowe’en at the Merchant’s House Museum: All are invited to hear dramatic readings of 19th century Gothic literature and true ghost stories. From October 23–24, hear chilling tales of paranormal activity from those who actually experienced it at the Candlelight Ghost Tours of Manhattan’s Most Haunted House(merchantshouse.org).
Hansel and Gretel’s Halloween Adventure at The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre: Throughout the month of October, children can experience marionette Hansel and Gretel as they encounter mermaids, monsters, pirates and vampires (cityparksfoundation.org).
Players Theater presents Sleepy Hollow the Musical: Ages 10 and older are invited to view this frightening musical based on Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” from September 27–November 7 (hollowthemusical.com).
Pumpkin Painting at 92nd Street Y: For a more art-themed Halloween, guests can make hand-painted jack-o’-lanterns on October 4 (92y.org).
Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade: On October 24, locals can bring their dog in his or her best costume and come experience an amazing puppy procession (tompkinssquaredogrun.com).
Central Park Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotila: On October 25, all are invited to come join this Halloween celebration, and watch your lit jack-o’-lantern float into the Harlem Meer. Before the main event, dance in a kids costume parade with live monster jams (centralparknyc.org).
The Cathedral of St. John the Divine’s Crypt Crawl: Those seeking a spooky experience can bring a flashlight and hear stories of the entombed, learn the origins of Halloween and creep into the cathedral’s crypt as you shake your spirits loose on October 30.
Haunted Lantern Tour and Halloween Festival at Fort Totten Park: On October 23–24, visitors can celebrate Halloween with a lantern tour of the historic Water Battery at Fort Totten. The free day includes games, rides, craft projects, a costume contest, pumpkin patch and goodie bags (nycgovparks.org).
Queens County Farm Museum’s Amazing Maize Maze: Kids and adults alike will have fun finding their way out of this 3-acre corn labyrinth. On certain days, enjoy Maze by Moonlight, when the maze stays open until 9:00pm (queensfarm.org).
Canine Costume Carnival at Rockaway Freeway and Beach Channel Drive: All types of creatures celebrate Halloween including dogs. On October 31, locals can bring their dogs for a canine costume contest as well as face painting and a photo booth for the human partygoers (nycgovparks.org).
Socrates Sculpture Park’s Halloween Harvest Festival: On October 24, kids can make their own costumes and masks with the help of the Free Style Arts Association. Families also can listen to live music and munch on food from local restaurants, all while being surrounded by the great sculptures on display (socratessculpturepark.org).
Queens Zoo presents Boo at the Zoo: On October 31 and November 1, families are invited to see spooky animal presentations and enjoy pumpkin picking, as well as a haunted habitat animal exhibit all decorated for Halloween (queenszoo.com)
Joe Holzka Community Garden Pumpkin Patch: On October 18, all are invited to come to this community garden for pumpkin carving, arts and crafts, and other community entertainment (greenthumbnyc.org).
Staten Island Zoo Spooktacular: On October 18, guests can enjoy performances by the Susan Wagner High School Theatre Department, carnival games, craft tables, costume contests for the youngsters and much more family fun (StatenIslandZoo.org).
Decker Farm Pumpkin Picking at Historic Richmond Town: On October weekends, bring the family out for a fun-filled day at the historic early 1800s Decker Farm, complete with a farmhouse tour, hayrides, cornstalk maze, arts and crafts, and pumpkin picking (historicrichmondtown.org)
With so many options in all five boroughs, visitors and residents are sure to have an enthralling Halloween in New York City. For more information on kid-friendly Halloween events in New York City, visit nycgo.com/Halloween. October. For other don’t miss events this October, visit nycgo.com/October.