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Best kid-friendly Halloween events in NYC: October 29 to 31

October ends with a bang thanks to trick-or-treating, costume parties and other wicked Halloween events in NYC.


Lumpy Bumpy Pumpkin


NYBG Haunted Pumpkin Garden


Yo Gabba Gabba Live!

Photograph: Grace Chu

Jam on DUMBO

Photograph: Marielle Solan

American Museum of Natural History Halloween Party 2011

Photograph: Marielle Solan

American Museum of Natural History Halloween Party 2011


Asphalt Screams


From Peter Stuyvesant to Edgar Allan Poe: The Ghosts of the East Village


Village Halloween Parade

It's time to break out those costumes (we know you've tried them on already!) and plan your night of trick-or-treating, whether it's in one of our favorite neighborhoods or at another safe, family-friendly spot. Plus, kids looking for an alternative to knocking on doors all night can celebrate All Hallows' Eve at a parade, costume party or haunted hike.

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 29, Tue Oct 30 at 10, 11:30am; Wed Oct 31 at 10:30am. P.S. 3. $15, in advance $10. Ages 3 to 7.

Haunted Halloween Hike
Sip hot chocolate and listen to ghost stories as you embark on a guided walk through Alley Pond Park's spooky wooded trails. With two sessions—an earlier one for ages 5 to 7 and a later one for ages 8 to 12—kids will be appropriately creeped out without being scared out of their wits. Don't forget your costume—and a flashlight! Preregistration is required; call to reserve a spot. Mon Oct 29 4:30—6pm, 6:30--8pm. Alley Pond Environmental Center. $13. Ages 5 to 12.

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 30, Wed Oct 31 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 Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. Tue Oct 30 at 10:30am, noon; Wed Oct 31 at 10:30am, noon, 2:30, 4:30pm. Central Park Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. $8, children under 13 free. Ages 3 to 9.

Little Language Playhouse Children's Enrichment Workshop
In this week's session at the Dyker Heights Italian-language space, kids learn how to make spooky Halloween spider brownies. Tue Oct 30 4—6pm. Little Language Playhouse. $25. Ages 4 and up.

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 30 at 7pm. Canal Park Playhouse. $20. Ages 7 and up.

Discovery Programs' Giant Halloween Festival
Costume-clad toddlers will enjoy an array of activities, from Halloween-themed crafts and open gym time to spooky sing-alongs and puppet shows, at this fun family event. R.S.V.P. by phone or by e-mail at info@discoveryprograms.com. Wed Oct 31 9:30—11am. Discovery Programs. $5. Ages 6 months to 4 years old.

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.

Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go! Halloween Double Feature
Join Dora and Diego as they go on two Halloween adventures. First, in "Dora the Explorer: Boo," Dora needs help bringing a lost Little Monster home; then, in "Go, Diego, Go: Freddie the Fruit Bat Saves Halloween," Freddie helps a few stranded llamas cross the broken bridge to get to Diego's party. Wed Oct 31 at 11am. Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Free.Ages 6 and under.

Spooky Story Time
The connection between yoga and Halloween may seem a little tenuous, but every excuse to celebrate is a good one! Join this special storytime, which combines tales, puppets and yoga poses inspired by Halloween—both you and your infants will learn to do creepy poses like the bat, spider, witch and ghost, to get you in the holiday spirit. Costumes are welcome, and surprises can be expected! Wed Oct 31 at 11:30am. Karma Kids Yoga. Free. Ages 1 to 6.

Yo Gabba Gabba Halloween Double Feature
In this double feature, young Gabba fans can watch "Halloween," in which citizens of Gabba Land celebrate everything about the spooky holiday, and "Scary," where kids learn not to be afraid of things they might find scary.Wed Oct 31 at noon. Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Free. Ages 6 and under.

Family Workshop: Ghostly Goo
This Halloween, science and spooks collide. Little ones can channel their inner specter as they make gooey ghost slime. When they're done mixing the creepy concoction, they can take it home for some ghoulish fun. Wed Oct 31 noon—1pm. Sony Wonder Technology Lab. $5. All ages.

Teeny Tiny Trick or Treaters
The tiniest tots are invited to celebrate a scare-free Halloween with crafts, games and snacks at this toddler-friendly carnival. Preregistration is required; call to reserve a spot. Wed Oct 31 1—2:30pm. Alley Pond Environmental Center. $16. Ages 18 months to 4 years.

When three scientists lose their jobs and set up shop as professional ghost exterminators, they soon find themselves on a citywide hunt of other-worldly dimensions. Seating is limited; call to reserve your ticket. Wed Oct 31 at 3pm. Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Free. Ages 6 and up.

Trick or Treat at RoboFun
Brave tykes trick or treat among haunted 'bots to score candy, pencils and stickers at this robotics center's Halloween shindig. Wed Oct 31 3—7pm. RoboFun. Free. All ages.

Jam on Dumbo Halloween Concert
Get pumped for trick-or-treating with a concert by the Rockdoves and a kiddie costume contest. Doors open at 4pm, and families are invited to stick around for dinner after the show so your little ones can fuel up, on pizza or pasta, before their Halloween hijinks begin. Wed Oct 31 4:30—5:30pm. Superfine. Suggested donation $10. All ages.

Halloween Celebration at AMNH
As if the usual dinosaur skeletons and other bones weren't haunting enough, more than 30 of the museum's halls will sport chilling decor for this holiday event. Kids can trick-or-treat and make arts and crafts. Wed Oct 31 4—7pm. American Museum of Natural History. $11. All ages.

Village Halloween Costume Ball
At this glamorously spooky gala, nonstop theater, a costume competition and ballroom dancing bewitch the East Village on Halloween. Outside, bluegrass and jazz bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storytellers, stilt dancers and a medieval ritual show entertain passersby free of charge (starting at 4:30pm). In addition to continuous entertainment, partygoers can enjoy graveyard dirt-cheap food and spiritual sessions with a Wiccan aura reader. Costumes are required for this festive event. Wed Oct 31 at 4:30pm. Theater for the New City. 4:30—7:30pm free, after 7:30pm $20. All ages.

Asphalt Screams!
Have a fun, safe Halloween with the folks at Asphalt Green, a group that offers a fitness-friendly alternative to the candy-based holiday. After taking a tour through the haunted house, kids head to the field for some fun activities, like Zombie Freeze Tag, Maniacal Martial Arts, Spooktacular Soccer Shoot-Outs and Mummy Basketball. With plenty of music and treats appropriate for little monsters, the happening is the perfect way to begin or end your family's Halloween night. Wed Oct 31 5—7pm. Asphalt Green. Suggested donation $20 per family. All ages.

From Peter Stuyvesant to Edgar Allan Poe: The Ghosts of the East Village
On this family-friendly walking tour, little history buffs step back in time to meet the quirky cast of characters who once called the East Village home: writers Edgar Allan Poe, Mark Twain and O. Henry; journalist Nellie Bly; magician Harry Houdini; Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor; and New Amsterdam leader Peter Stuyvesant. The walk starts at the lion sculpture in front of St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery and is less than one mile in length. Wed Oct 31 7—8:30pm, 9—10:30pm. St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery. $25, in advance $20. All ages.

39th Annual Village Halloween Parade
With a different spooky theme every year, the city's largest Halloween extravaganza runs up Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street. This year's theme is "Tick! Tock!"—the parade will feature physical symbols of the passage of time and will be led by Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit (he's late, he's late, for a very important date!) and a fleet of winged alarm clocks. Make sure your tots are comfortable with crowds before setting out: Typical attendance tops 2 million revelers. Wed Oct 31 7—10:30pm. Sixth Ave. Free. All ages.