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Best kid-friendly Halloween events in NYC: October 8–14

From costume parties and parades to harvest festivals and pumpkin patches, these Halloween events in NYC get families into the spooky spirit.


NYBG Haunted Pumpkin Garden


GrowNYC's Halloween Costume Swap


Fall Kids Fest


Queens Farm Pumpkin Picking



Photo: Julie Larsen Maher/Wildlife Conservation Society

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


Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Patch

Continue to get into the spooky spirit this week with family-friendly Halloween events in NYC that will appeal to kids of all ages. Pumpkin patches and puppet shows are sure to delight little ones, while older kids seeking amped-up thrills can get their fix with macabre magic shows and ghoulish ghost tours. Plus, stop by Madison Square Park on October 13 to say hi at our annual Fall Kids Fest!

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. Mon Oct 8—Sun Oct 14 10am—6pm. New York Botanical Garden. Free with all-garden pass. All ages.

The Spooktacular Pumpkin Party
Dance with master puppeteer Ralph Lee's costumed creatures and meet the largest bat in the world, the gigantic flying fox of Malaysia, in the Haunted Pumpkin Garden. Spooky storytelling and live performances by Fisher Price's Little People Live! are also in the mix at this Halloween bash. Mon Oct 8 noon—5:30pm. New York Botanical Garden. Free with all-garden pass. Ages 5 and up.

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 9, Thu Oct 11, Fri Oct 12 at 10:30am, noon; Wed Oct 10 at 10:30am, noon, 2:30pm; Sat Oct 13, Sun Oct 14 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 9 at 7pm. Canal Park Playhouse. $20. Ages 7 and up.

GrowNYC's Halloween Costume Swap
Still looking for a Halloween costume? Check out GrowNYC's costume swap. Come find a new-to-you costume, or donate your clean, gently used costumes to the swap. Items to bring are limited to clothing, costumes, accessories, decorations and other Halloween-related items. Swapping is free, and you can take or give as much as you like. Fri Oct 12 noon—4pm. Ottendorfer Library. Free. All ages.

Fall Kids Fest presented by World Class Learning Academy
Madison Square Park and Time Out Kids partner up for this annual free fall festival. Little ones can bound through the park, stopping for seasonal craft sessions with the Rubin Museum, apple seeds and the Museum of Mathematics, or enjoying concerts by KBC Kids and the Pop Ups. Families will get a sneak peak at the upcoming Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Musical Mystery and hear book readings courtesy of the DiMenna Children's History Museum. After parading around in their adorable costumes in a clown-led procession, kids can pose for pictures in the Time Out Kids photo booth and pick a pumpkin to take home. Sat Oct 13 11am—2pm. Madison Square Park. Free. All ages.

Pick Your Own Pumpkin
Get in the Halloween spirit by hunting down the gourd of your dreams in the farm's pumpkin patch. Sat Oct 13, Sun Oct 14 11am—4:30pm. Queens County Farm Museum. Pumpkin prices vary based on size. All ages.

Ascarium: A Pirate Adventure
This annual Halloween fest will be a treasure trove of fun for everyone in the family. After embarking on a Haunted Sea-fari in the "Explore the Shore" exhibit, little swashbucklers can groove to the terrifying tunes of the Brigands, catch a one-man vaudeville show and meet such creepy critters of the deep as goblin sharks and vampire squid. Buccaneer-themed games, collages and trick-or-treating round out the nautical festivities. Sat Oct 13, Sun Oct 14 11am—5pm. New York Aquarium. $14.95, children under 13 and in costume free with purchase of adult ticket. All ages.

Boo at the Zoo
This Halloween celebration takes over the Bronx wildlife spot every weekend in October. Kids can venture through the Haunted Habitat Mansion, hold on tight for a spooky hayride, catch a magic show or Boo Revue concert, and check out demonstrations by professional pumpkin carvers. While brave kids meet live spiders, bats and snakes, more timid guests can check out the extinct-animal graveyard, where they'll learn about endangered and extinct species. Bonus: Kids under 13 who show up in costume receive free admission and can rock their outfits in a Halloween parade. Sat Oct 13, Sun Oct 14 11am—5pm. Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society. Free with Total Experience pass, children under 13 and in costume free. All ages.

Dr. Blood: Losing His Patients
David Kaye, who is perhaps better known as the clown Silly Billy, debuts a show dedicated to his alter ego, Dr. Blood, and it is as gory as it sounds! His show is not for the faint of heart—he performs scary experiments and magic tricks that will keep even the most gore-loving children at the edge of their seats, including arm chopping, eyeball poking and people sawing. At the end, audience members are invited to adorn themselves with fake blood and learn some of Dr. Blood's scariest tricks. Sat Oct 13, Sun Oct 14 1—2:30pm. Times Scare. $10, children under 13 $15. Ages 7 and up.

Drive Me Batty
Prepare to be amazed by high-flying aerial stunts and zany circus acts in this Halloween-themed benefit show by the Espaa-Streb Trapeze Academy. Don't be scared to show up in costume—kids who do earn a special treat!Sat Oct 13 at 3, 8pm. Streb Lab for Action Mechanics (SLAM). $20, children under 13 $15. All ages.

Your tweens will venture into the woods of 18th-century New York to meet Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman in this creepy new musical based on Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Sat Oct 13 at 5:30pm. Players Theatre. $35—$50. Ages 10 and up.

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. Sat Oct 13 7—8:30pm. St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery. $25, online in advance $20. All ages.

Harvest Fest and Pumpkin Patch
At this seasonal event, families can check out live music, go for a nature or garden walk, make crafts and, of course, peruse the pumpkin patch for the perfect Halloween crop. Sun Oct 14 11am—4:30pm. Queens Botanical Garden. Free with garden admission; additional fee for pumpkin patch. All ages.