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Best kid-friendly Halloween events in NYC: October 22 to 28

Halloween events in NYC kick into high gear this week, with everything from ghoulish parades to a bewitching slumber party.

  • Monster Mash at the Brooklyn Children's Museum

  • Historic Richmond Town

  • Queens County Farm Museum Haunted House

  • Photograph: Bernardo Nunez

    Procession of the Ghouls

  • Puppetry Arts Haunted Halloween Carnival

  • Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher

    Puma at the Queens Zoo

  • Ascarium

  • Prospect Park Halloween

  • World Financial Center Screamin' Green Halloween

  • Photograph: Jason Gardner

    Ghouls and Gourds

  • Halloween Open House

  • Oiche Shamhna

  • Ripley's Believe It or Not

  • Fall Fiesta

  • Photograph: Fiora Watts

    Children's Carnival at Queens County Farm Museum

  • Morningside Montessori's Fall Festival

  • LES Pickle Day

  • Photograph: Adam Hume

  • Central Park Pumpkin Sail

  • Monster Mash at the Brooklyn Children's Museum

  • Historic Richmond Town

  • Queens County Farm Museum Haunted House

  • Photograph: Bernardo Nunez

    Procession of the Ghouls

  • Prospect Park Halloween

  • Puppetry Arts Haunted Halloween Carnival

  • Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher

    Puma at the Queens Zoo

  • Ascarium

  • Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher

    Boo at the Zoo at the Bronx Zoo

  • World Financial Center Screamin' Green Halloween

  • Photograph: Jason Gardner

    Ghouls and Gourds

  • Oiche Shamhna

  • Halloween Open House

  • Ripley's Believe It or Not

  • Fall Fiesta

  • Photograph: Fiora Watts

    Children's Carnival at Queens County Farm Museum

  • Morningside Montessori's Fall Festival

  • LES Pickle Day

  • Photograph: Adam Hume

  • Central Park Pumpkin Sail

Monster Mash at the Brooklyn Children's Museum


Since the holiday falls on a weekday this year, your family can celebrate this weekend with tons of Halloween events in NYC. The high volume of happenings guarantees that there will be tricks and treats of all varieties, from the Central Park Pumpkin Sail and other classic city traditions to the slightly more off-beat activities (think turnip carving, a pickle party and upcycled disguise-making sessions).

Lumpy Bumpy Pumpkin
Shadow Box Theatre's annual production of this Ugly Duckling-esque musical gets kids hyped for Halloween while teaching lessons about individuality and self-confidence. Young audience members will root for the funny-looking pumpkin hero as they bop along to original guitar music and participate in a Halloween sing-along. Mon Oct 22, Thu Oct 25, Fri Oct 26 at 10:30am; Tue Oct 23, Wed Oct 24 at 10, 11:30am. The Bedford Village School. $15, in advance $10. Ages 3 to 7.

The Haunted Pumpkin Garden
Get a spooky fix in this scary patch, where frightening spirits lurk in between the gourds. Kids can play in the Pumpkin House, stage a show in the Pumpkin Puppet Theater, dissect owl pellets, collect fallen fruits and leaves, and get some extra mileage out of their costumes at a daily parade. Meanwhile, older kids learn the tricks of pumpkin carving from the masters and pot buckwheat seeds to grow at home. Tue Oct 23—Sun Oct 28 10am—6pm. New York Botanical Garden. Free with all-garden pass. All ages.

Hansel and Gretel's Halloween Adventure
In this spinoff of the classic fairy tale, the brother and sister duo find themselves in New York City on Halloween night, where they meet mermaids, monsters and more as they explore Central Park and Belvedere Castle. The production features handmade marionettes by the master puppetmakers of the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. Tue Oct 23, Thu Oct 25, Fri Oct 26 at 10:30am, noon; Wed Oct 24 at 10:30am, noon, 2:30pm; Sat Oct 27, Sun Oct 28 at 1pm. Central Park Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. $8, children under 13 free. Ages 3 to 9.

House of Ghostly Haunts
Join Cardone the Magician as he takes audience members for a thrill ride with a classic spook show. Drawing inspiration from favorite cult classics, Cardone induces chills with a magic show full of strange and bizarre happenings. Tue Oct 23 at 7pm. Canal Park Playhouse. $20. Ages 7 and up.

Intrepid Museum Fall Festival
Little ones who find their way through the giant corn maze at Pier 86 will be rewarded by stepping into a pumpkin patch. Kids can then pick out their own gourd to take home and, on Saturday and Sunday, they can paint a silly or spooky face on their find. Thu Oct 25–Sun Oct 28 10am–5pm. Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. Free. All ages.

Gravesend Inn
Brave this creepy hotel designed, constructed and operated by City Tech's Theatreworks troupe. The high-tech haunt will thrill the toughest of tweens with jumping skeletons, pirate ghosts and more. Thu Oct 25 1—5pm; Fri Oct 26 10am—3pm, 6—9pm; Sat Oct 27 1—5pm, 6—9pm. New York City College of Technology, Voorhees Building. $6, students $5. Ages 6 and up.

Syfy HalloweeNYC Fest
The sci-fi channel hosts a weekend filled with supernatural family-friendy fun. Performers will include the cast of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, the Gazillion Bubble Show, kindie rockers the Jimmies and Princess Katie & Racer Steve, magicians Cardone and the Amazing Max and balloon artist Mike Gold. When kids aren't rocking out or marveling at sleights of hand, they can get their faces painted, decorate a pumpkin or say cheese in a green screen photo booth. Fri Oct 26—Sun Oct 28 11am—6pm. Flatiron Plaza North, 23rd St between Broadway and Fifth Ave. Free. All ages.

Monster Mash 2012
Start your Halloween festivities a few days early. Known as Brooklyn's best Halloween party, the Monster Mash features music, games, costume parades—and a "Thriller" tribute! Secure your spot at the bash by purchasing tickets in advance starting October 1. Fri Oct 26 3—7pm, Sat Oct 27 3—8pm. Brooklyn Children's Museum. $10. All ages.

Halloween in Richmond Town
Families are welcome to trick-or-treat in this historic Staten Island nabe...er, village. Kids can also participate in traditional games, like bobbing for apples, and make holiday-related crafts. Reservations required. Fri Oct 26 3:30—5pm. Historic Richmond Town. $5, children $10. All ages.

Central Park Pumpkin Festival
Head to the park for this annual fall celebration. Little ones will be entertained by the likes of Big Apple Circus, the Kidrockers and Laura Osnes, star of the upcoming Broadway musical Cinderella, as they decorate a free pumpkin. Plus, live Quidditch matches and a space-themed haunted house make this year's fete more thrilling than ever. Fearless kids can even get a sneak peak of the Haunted House Space Chase the evening before. Fri Oct 26 4–7pm, Sat Oct 27 11am–3pm. Naumburg Bandshell, Central Park. Free. All ages.

Queens County Farm Museum Haunted House
Kids should keep an eye out for ghosts at this 17th-century site; while they look, they can hop aboard a hayride, sip on cider and pick farm-grown pumpkins. Fri Oct 26—Sun Oct 28 4—7pm. Queens County Farm Museum. $4. Ages 4 to 12.

Bats at Belvedere
Biologist Bill Schutt leads a lecture that introduces young explorers to the batty flying creatures that call Central Park home. Fri Oct 26 5—6:30pm. Central Park, Belvedere Castle. Free. Ages 5 and up.

Halloween Movie Night — CANCELED
This haunted celebration features a creepy organ demonstration and screenings of Halloween flicks like It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Fri Oct 26 5:30—11pm. Trinity Church Wall Street. Free. All ages.

Spooky Nighttime Adventure
The Everett Children's Adventure Garden gets scary after dark. Brave kids (with flashlights in hand) navigate around the eerie sculptures, listen for creatures of the night, dig for decomposers and go trick-or-treating along the garden paths. After exploring, decorate a pumpkin to take home. Fri Oct 26—Sun Oct 28 6:30—8pm. New York Botanical Garden. $20. Ages 5 to 12.

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