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50 best Halloween events in NYC for kids in 2013

This October, get spooked with frightening films, creepy candy and crazy costume contests at one of our 50 best Halloween events in NYC for kids.

  • 1. Ascarium Weekend

     

  • 2. Asphalt Screams!

  • 3. BAMboo!

  • Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher

    4. Boo at the Zoo: Dragons and Dinosaurs

  • 5. Brooklyn Bridge Harvest Festival

  • 6. Central Park Pumpkin Fest

     

     

  • Photograph: Matthew Adam Photography

    7. Citibabes Halloween Spooktacular

  • Photograph: Courtesy The Scholastic Store

    8. Clifford's Halloween Parade

  • 9. Day of the Dead Celebration at NMAI

  • 10. Dead or Alive

     

1. Ascarium Weekend

 


The wind is wilder, the days are darker and something wicked’s coming our way—and by that, we mean something wicked awesome: It’s Halloween! This year, celebrate every kid’s favorite holiday (which was, sadly, canceled in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy hit the city) at one of these Halloween events in NYC for kids—think costume parades,  cultural celebrations like Oiche Shamhna and Day of the Dead and city traditions like the Haunted Pumpkin Garden at NYBG. Many of our can't-miss Halloween events in NYC—BAMboo, the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail and our Fall Kids Fest in Madison Square Park—are even free!

RECOMMENDED: All Halloween events in NYC for Kids

Scroll through our list of the 50 best Halloween events in NYC to find holiday-themed activities for every type of kid, whether your child prefers painting pumpkins or getting seriously scared inside a haunted house. Happy Halloween!

1

Ascarium Weekend

  • Price band: 2/4

This annual Halloween fest is be a treasure trove of fun for everyone in the family: After catching performances like "Wizards of the Waters Academy" and "The Sea Witch Spooky Show", little adventurers can groove to the terrifying tunes of Barry G and Ramblin' Davey from the Dream Jam Band, meet a few sea lions, paint pumpkins and go trick-or-treating. All ages.

  1. New York Aquarium Surf Ave, at 8th St
  2. Until Sun Oct 27
More info
2

Asphalt Screams!

  • Free

Have a healthier Halloween with the folks at Asphalt Green (at both the Upper East Side and Battery Park City locations!) with candy-free alternatives, like zombie freeze tag, mummy basketball, Spooktacular Soccer Shoot-Outs and other scary twists on heart-pumping activities. All ages.

  1. Asphalt Green, Battery Park City 212 North End Ave, Between Murray and Warren Sts, 10282
  2. Fri Oct 31
More info
3

BAMboo!

  • Free

This annual outdoor bash is one of Brooklyn's hippest Halloween hangs. Costumed cuties can take in street performances by stiltwalkers, a rock band and table-turning DJs, hop through an obstacle course and compete for the most creative attire. This year's theme, Ancient Egypt, brings hieroglyphics art, sphinxes and sarcophagi to the block party. All ages.

  1. BAM Peter Jay Sharp Building 30 Lafayette Ave, between Ashland Pl and St. Felix St
  2. Thu Oct 31
More info
4

Boo at the Zoo: Dragons and Dinosaurs

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This Halloween celebration takes over the Bronx wildlife spot every weekend in October, as well as the weekend following Halloween. This year, it will overlap with the zoo's animatronic Dinosaur Safari adventure, which has been extended through Nov 3. Also new this year: a komodo dragon exhibit, which will open at the Zoo Center in time for the holiday. Following in the tradition of years past, kids can venture through the Museum of UnNatural Mysteries (located by the Somba Village; 11am–5pm); catch a magic show (noon, 2, 4pm) or a musical theater performance of Beasts of the Magical World (12:30, 1:30, 2:30pm); take in live music from Gigi and the Lend Me a Hand Band (11:30am, 1, 3pm); explore a hay maze (11am–5pm); learn about all kinds of creatures at the extinct-animal graveyard; check out demonstrations by professional pumpkin carvers (11am–5pm); and, of course, rock their outfits in a Halloween procession (noon, 2pm). Boo in the Zoo is free with zoo admission; Dinosaur Safari (10am–5pm) and the Museum of UnNatural Mysteries require the purchase of a Total Experience ticket. All ages.

  1. Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society 2300 Southern Blvd, at Fordham Rd, 10460
  2. Sun Nov 3
More info
5

Brooklyn Bridge Park Harvest Festival

  • Critics choice
  • Free

This family-focused fest on Pier 6 features pumpkin-picking, face painting, mask-making crafts, plus an old-timey trolley bus that'll escort families down Atlantic Avenue to Fourth Ave, making occasional stops for more family fun at the Hoyt Street Garden. Meanwhile, be sure to head back to Brooklyn Bridge Park for Zumba at 11am, a Halloween costume parade at 11:45am and music by AudraRox at noon. Ages 1 to 8.

  1. Brooklyn Bridge Park Main St, at Fulton Ferry Landing, 11201
  2. Until Sat Oct 19
More info
6

Central Park Pumpkin Fest

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Head to the park for this annual fall celebration. Little ones will be entertained by the likes of Big Apple Circus, the Kidrockers and Beetleguy, as they decorate a free pumpkin. Plus, live Quidditch matches and a zombie-themed haunted house make this year's fete more thrilling than ever. Fearless kids can get a sneak peak of the NY"Z" Scream Haunted House the evening before. All ages.

  1. Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park 72nd St, at Fifth Ave
  2. Sat Oct 26
More info
7

Citibabes Halloween Spooktacular

  • Price band: 3/4

This spooky bash offers a full day of entertainment, including live musical performances, spooky storytime, cupcake decorating, crafts, face painting and professional photography among other ghoulish fun. Ages 10 and under.

  1. Citibabes 52 Mercer St, between Broome and Grand Sts, third fl
  2. Sun Oct 13
More info
8

Clifford's Halloween Parade

  • Free

The most famous of Big Red Dogs leads this ghoulish gathering, where kids (dressed in festive attire, of course) can craft goody bags to take trick-or-treating, follow Clifford in a parade and compete for the best costume. Ages 3 and up.

  1. Scholastic Store 557 Broadway, between Prince and Spring Sts
  2. Until Sat Oct 26
More info
9

Day of the Dead Celebration

  • Free

Honor your ancestors at this celebration of Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. The festivities include music and a dance performance by Cetiliztli Nauhcampa of the Mexica and lots of hands-on workshops for the kids. All ages.

  1. National Museum of the American Indian Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, 1 Bowling Green, between State and Whitehall Sts
  2. Until Sat Nov 2
More info
10

Dead or Alive

In honor of Halloween and the Mexican Day of the Dead, the NYSCI is offering holiday-themed fun on two fall weekends (Oct 26–27 and Nov 2–3). Families can meet a live Arctic gray wolf and learn about the plight of wolves from the Wold Conservation Center (Oct 26, 27); watch Chuck, the NYSCI catapult, hurl pumpkins in the air; encounter live bats and learn why we need to conserve these amazing rodents (Nov 2, 3); and take part in a Dead or Alive Party (Nov 2 3–6pm), offering locally made treats, forensic science activities and Halloween-inspired creative workshops. Come in costume and you'll also be in the running for prizes. Note that the animal encounters require a small, yet-to-be-determined fee. All ages.

  1. New York Hall of Science 47-01 111th St, at 47th Ave, 11368
  2. Sun Nov 3
More info

  1. 1–10
  2. 11–20
  3. 21-30
  4. 31–40
  5. 41–50

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