Timeout New York Kids

Make the most of your city

Best ways to celebrate Halloween in NYC on October 31 (slide show)

Have the spookiest, scariest and sweetest Halloween ever! We’ve got the scoop on where to score candy, see parades and attend awesome events this October 31.


What’s scarier: the spooky spirits of All Hallow’s Eve or the fact that you still haven’t made plans for October 31st yet? Have no fear (besides the fun kind, of course), we’ve rounded up the best things to do with kids on Halloween this year, including all the details on where to go trick-or-treating, march in parades and even last-minute costume ideas.

RECOMMENDED: Halloween in NYC for kids

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Go trick-or-treating
    Claim your right as a reveler and load up on sweets around the city. While trick-or-treaters will find tons of great nabes to score candy, we recommend heading to these especially sweet spots: This year, over 40 Dumbo vendors will hand out treats, including Brooklyn Cupcakes, Dewey’s Candy and even Jane’s Carousel (the perfect excuse for a spooky spin). Or, if you’re in Manhattan, head downtown to Torly Kid in Tribeca, Economy Candy on the Lower East Side and Trinity Wall Street, all of whom encourage trick-or-treaters. Feeling a little luxurious? Stroll down the designer shops on Bleecker Street (just be sure to steer clear of the parade if you’ve got skittish tots), who will be handing out candy and showing off their spooky décor. Uptowners, we recommend trying your luck at 69th Street on the West Side or the block of townhouses between 92nd to 95th Streets and Madison to Lexington Aves.

  • Photograph: Susan Fox

    March in a parade
    The best way to show off your duds? Join a costume parade (and no, we’re not just talking about the very big, very loud, and kid-questionable one in the Village—although little ones are welcome, of course!) like the "Other Halloween Parade," or the 23rd annual Greenwich Village Children’s Halloween Parade, which meets at the Arch in Washington Square Park right after school. We also recommend the Park Slope Halloween Parade, too, which this year celebrates literature with the theme “Too Boo or Not to Boo.” Elsewhere in Brooklyn, there’s the Flying Squirrel’s annual hurrah, where kids can also expect free hot chocolate and maple milk (!), plus a parade in Cobble Hill Park. Upper West Siders can snag free cider and donuts at the Hippo Playground Halloween Parade, which will be led by a festive team of bagpipers.

  • Watch street performances at BAMboo!
    The 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.

  • See the AMNH get decked out in spooky decor
    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, try origami or other art projects and mingle with cartoon characters. As they explore the exhibits, partygoers will be treated to live musical performances as well as puppets, magicians and stiltwalkers.

     

     

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Scout out spooky sweets
    Sink your fangs into one of these Halloween-themed treats at city bakeries around the city, including Ghouls Boogers cake pops, candy corn macarons and pumpkin crisped rice.

     

  • Photograph: Anna Simonak

    Burn off the sweets at Asphalt Screams
    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.

  • Photograph: John Huntington

    Brave a haunted house
    New York’s most high-tech haunted house, the Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel, also has an educational element: Every year, students in City Tech’s Theatreworks program produce the attraction from the ground up, with skeleton pirates, talking paintings and a grisly bathroom. Tough tweens can trigger the hotel’s spooky surprises (think jumping skeletons and pirate ghosts) with a series of hidden sensors that respond to their movements. Can't get tickets? There's always Times Scare, New York's year-round haunted house.

  • Head to a Halloween event
    Have a historic Halloween at the DiMenna Children's History Center's Spirits of Halloweens Past, where kids can dress up as their favorite character from yore and hear scary stories from the Gilded Age. Live uptown? Groove outdoors at HarlemWeen, a giant dance party (and of course, a tribute to "Thriller")! Brooklynites, brave the crowds at Halloween 313, an annual al fresco performance in Clinton Hill; this year's show puts a Steampunk spin on 2,000 Screams Under the Sea.

  • Photograph: Beth Levendis

    Visit the Haunted Pumpkin Gardenbefore it closes
    Get a spooky fix in this annual patch at the New York Botanical Garden, where frightening spirits lurk in between the gourds. Hurry—it closes on October 31!

  • See 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. Be sure to see it before Saturday, November 2, when it closes.

  • Photograph: Jessica Lin

    Snap a photo of your little one
    Our Halloween costume contest closes November 2, so be sure to send us your kid's cutest photo for the chance to win four Blue Man Group tickets! Not sure what she'll wear? Check out these last-minute ideas from the New Victory Theater.

Photograph: Jessica Lin

Go trick-or-treating
Claim your right as a reveler and load up on sweets around the city. While trick-or-treaters will find tons of great nabes to score candy, we recommend heading to these especially sweet spots: This year, over 40 Dumbo vendors will hand out treats, including Brooklyn Cupcakes, Dewey’s Candy and even Jane’s Carousel (the perfect excuse for a spooky spin). Or, if you’re in Manhattan, head downtown to Torly Kid in Tribeca, Economy Candy on the Lower East Side and Trinity Wall Street, all of whom encourage trick-or-treaters. Feeling a little luxurious? Stroll down the designer shops on Bleecker Street (just be sure to steer clear of the parade if you’ve got skittish tots), who will be handing out candy and showing off their spooky décor. Uptowners, we recommend trying your luck at 69th Street on the West Side or the block of townhouses between 92nd to 95th Streets and Madison to Lexington Aves.


What do you think? Tell us below!

Share your thoughts
  1. * mandatory fields

Events for kids by date

  1. Anne and Bernard...

    The former Human Biology and Evolution Hall has ev...

  2. Arthur Ross Hall of...

    This exhibit explores our 4.5-billion-year-old sol...

  3. Art Island Outpost...

    Hop on board the ferry to Governors Island, where ...

56 more events »