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15 free things to do in NYC with kids this weekend: Oct 26–27

This weekend, head to Halloween events, harvest fests, spooky parties and canine costume contests—for free!

No need to fear these Halloween happenings—they’re all free! Plus, we’ve got the scoop on a double dose of doggy costume contests, a pumpkin sail in Central Park, a book reading with actor John Lithgow and huge fests in the Meatpacking District and the Lower East Side. Click through the slide show to find more free fun this weekend.

RECOMMENDED: 50 best Halloween events for kids

  • Photograph: Filip Wolak

    1. Uncover the spooky truth behind the thoroughfare’s old nickname, “Death Avenue,” at Haunted High Line Halloween.

  • Photograph: Eric Harvey Brown

    2. Cheer for the cutest (and kookiest) costumed canines at the most fabulous of furry festivals: the annual Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade.

  • 3. See live Quidditch, circus performers and a zombie haunted house, then decorate pumpkins at Central Park's Pumpkin Fest.



  • 4. Send your jack-o'-lanterns afloat in the Harlem Meer at the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail.

  • Courtesy Hudson River Park Trust

    5. Head to the Halloween Kidz Karnival and take a spin on rides, make spooky crafts and giggle at a live performance by the Story Pirates at Pier 26.

  • Photograph: Ethan Ries

    6. Look back on the nabe's past with immigration-era pickles, a kids’ costume contest, DJs and badminton at Daylife and LES Pickle Day.

  • 7. Celebrate the most magical season with fairy-themed music, stories and crafts at Enchanted Wave Hill Weekend.

  • Photograph: Clay Williams

    8. Sample tasty neighborhood grub at the Meatpacking District's Harvest Fest at Gansevoort Plaza.

  • 9. Dress up your pup for a costume contest at the Fort Greene Halloween Festival.

  • 10. Go trick-or-treating and decorate pumpkins at the Halloween Party at Le Carrousel.

  • 11. Hear holiday-themed stories at the powerHouse Arena's Halloween Party.

  • 12. Catch a reading of actor John Lithgow's newest book for kids with the star himself at McNally Jackson.

  • Courtesy Penguin Group

    13. Honor the 50th anniversary of the kid detective at Encyclopedia Brown Day at the NYPL.

  • 14. Snap spooky shots in the Freaky Photo Station at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab's Wonderween.

  • 15. Snack on fair trade goodies, march in a parade and swap costumes at the World Financial Center's Screamin' Green Halloween.

Photograph: Filip Wolak

1. Uncover the spooky truth behind the thoroughfare’s old nickname, “Death Avenue,” at Haunted High Line Halloween.

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