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Free Halloween events in NYC for children

Get in on ghostly games, creepy crafts and spooky spectacles at these free Halloween events in NYC…if you dare

Photograph: Courtesy Ryan Muir/Arts Brookfield

RECOMMENDED: Halloween for kids

Boo! It’s time for corn mazespumpkin picking, and candy scarfing—and we've got the devilish deets on where to find the best spooky happenings for families. In addiiton to our picks of the 50 best Halloween events for kids, there are many celebrations that are completely free, including BAM’s annual bash, a haunted party on the High Line and (three!) costume competitions for dogs. Hit up a Day of the Dead celebration, trick-or-treating parties and a creepy storytelling session, all without dropping a dime!

Jefferson Market Garden Children's Harvest Festival

Kids can scoop up mini pumpkins, then paint and adorn their finds with Halloween decoration during a day of autumn-themed activities. They can close out garden season with magic tricks and entertainment from the New York Public Library. Past offerings have included cookie decorating and storytelling. Rain date is October 11. Ages 3 to 8.

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10 Oct 2015

Carl Schurz Park Conservancy Harvest Festival

Tots can pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch to decorate, ride a horse-drawn carriage along the river and bop along to a concert from the Funkytown Playground in this scenic Upper East Side park. Enter on East End Ave. between 87th and 88th Street. All ages.

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17 Oct 2015

Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival

Hunt for the perfect pumpkin, go for whirl on the carousel, catch free puppet shows from the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre (1 and 3pm) and marvel at the fall foliage at the Staten Island park's annual fete. Rain date is Sunday October 3. All ages.

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10 Oct 2015

Halloween HOWL & Healthy Hound Fair

Your family pup can join in the Halloween spirit too. Grab a doggie costume and enter him in the annual Halloween HOWL, where more than 200 dogs will strut their stuff in front of a panel of judges. The event takes play on the hockey/basketball court. All ages.

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18 Oct 2015

Halloween Harvest at Luna Park

October weekends mean fall-themed fun at Luna Park, normally a summery destination. Kids can guess the weight of an enormous pumpkin for the chance to win up to $1,000 (Sept 20–Oct 26), and then watch it get carved by master Marc Maniac on October 26. Costumed characters will roam the park, where kids can also embark on a scavenger hunt and practice their trick-or-treating skills with free sweets from Welch's Fruit Snacks (10/12, 10/19, 10/26). And of course, there'll be rides a-plenty. All ages.

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Until Sun Nov 1

Brooklyn Bridge Park Harvest Festival


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.

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Brooklyn Bridge Park , Brooklyn Heights Saturday October 29 2016

Wednesday Night Tours: Haunted Brooklyn Heights

These scholarly strolls through Brooklyn Bridge Park turn spooky to prep families for Halloween in NYC. Wander the nabe as Boroughs of the Dead founder Andrea Janes enlightens you about Brooklyn Heights' historical sites and the ghastly stories behind them. All ages.

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Until Wed Oct 21

Halloween Harvest Festival


Get in the spooky spirit at this annual festival, where kids can make their own Halloween costumes with a helping hand from the Socrates artists, get their faces painted and join in on an art workshop with the Free Style Arts Association. Families can listen to live music and chow down on food from local restaurants while they play the day away. As an added bonus, pups are even welcome—enter your retrievers, terriers and more in the Juried Canine Contest. All ages.

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Socrates Sculpture Park , Astoria Saturday October 29 2016

Haunted High Line Halloween

Spirits are lurking at this elevated park's Halloween festivities, where kids are encouraged to dress up in costume and learn about the history of hauntings along the Hudson. Trick-or-treaters can decorate pumpkins, journey through a spooky train tunnel and join characters like the Mad Cookie Man and the West Side Cowboy in a trick-or-treat quest where they'll answer riddles in exchange for yummy goodies. All ages.

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Until Sat Oct 24

Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail

Of all the Halloween festivals in the city, Central Park’s is the only one that involves sending your homemade jack-o’-lanterns afloat into the Harlem Meer. Before the main event at dusk, kids are invited to show off their most creative costumes in a parade, dance to "Monster Mash" and other Halloween songs by live musicians, ogle live pumpkin-carving demos and work on creepy crafts. See website for pumpkin decoration restrictions. All ages.

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25 Oct 2015
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