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The best things to do in NYC with kids this week

Look no further for the best things to do with kids this week including festivals, concerts, museum exhibits and more

Photograph: Courtesy Vinnie Amessé

Wow! There are so many amazing ways to enjoy this week with the kids! It's time to visit your favorite NYC playgrounds, cruise amazing local carousels and check the very best things to do in the fall with kids.

For more things to do, check out our favorite 101 things to do with kids in New York City and our favorite free activities for kids too.

Things to do with kids Oct 17–21


The best things to do in the fall with kids

Finding great things to do in the fall is easy as (apple) pie! Take the kids out for fun fall activities like fall festivals, apple picking and even a visit to cool local pumpkin patches when October rolls around, or plan some spectacular family vacations from NYC.

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By: Allie Early

Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel


New York’s most high-tech haunted house 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. Ages 6 and up.

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New York City College of Technology, Voorhees Building , Downtown Brooklyn Until Monday October 31 2016

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

There's nothing else quite like the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze for experiencing the magic and wonder of Halloween with your family. The attraction is set along the beautiful 18th century riverside landscape of Van Cortlandt Manor, and you can stroll along the Pumpkin Promenade to take in over 7,000 Jack O' Lanterns (are all hand-carved)! This delightfully eerie walk is also set to cool sound effects, synchronized light displays and an original soundtrack. Expect to see spiders and snakes, animals of all kinds, a Jurassic Park-themed area containing life-size dinosaur sculptures, a huge sea serpent alongside the Croton River and so much more on this spooky stroll. Don’t miss out on the tri-state area’s biggest and most unique Halloween event! All ages.

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Van Cortlandt Manor Until Sunday November 13 2016

Scarecrow Nights for Families at NYBG

Gear up for an eerie good time at the New York Botanical Garden’s exhibit Scarecrows: From the Heartland to Horror. On Scarecrow Nights, the exhibit comes to life at this moonlit interactive walk, where families can snag a flashlight and take a journey along the trail to see animatronic scarecrow sculptures that have moving eyes, hands and limbs. They’re all made of natural materials, and you’ll get to learn about the history of the scarecrow. This exhibit by artist Ray Villafane takes a closer look at scarecrows through his larger than life creations, and kids will be able to trick-or-treat as they make their way down the path. All ages.

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New York Botanical Garden , The Bronx Until Saturday October 29 2016

Giant Pumpkin Weekend at NYBG

What could be more Halloween than visiting the big kahuna of giant pumpkins? These orange heavyweights make their way to the New York Botanical Gardens from around the country, and some of them weigh in at more than one ton! The pumpkins on display are winners of the global pumpkin weigh-offs and will be displayed for families to marvel at—be sure to bring your camera, since NYBG guests can take photos with these giant gourds. Last, visitors will also have the chance to meet the growers to learn more about the growing process during Q&A sessions, just in case you were curious about how these giants are grown. All ages.

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New York Botanical Garden , The Bronx Until Sunday October 23 2016

"I Approve This Message"

Just in time for this year's election, the Children's Museum of Manhattan opens a new exhibit featuring presidential penmanship. In addition to seeing artifacts like Richard Nixon's resignation letter, a two-page legal document handwritten by Abraham Lincoln and checks signed by Harry Truman, Calvin Coolidge and Theodore Roosevelt in a 40-foot display, kiddos can practice their own signatures and participate in fun educational activities like mock elections. All ages.

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Children's Museum of Manhattan , Upper West Side Until Saturday December 31 2016

Free-Fridays Program at the South Street Seaport Museum

The last Friday of every month from August through October the South Street Seaport Museum invites families to view its Street of Ships: The Port and its People exhibit free of charge, plus partake in special tours, artisan demonstrations, talks and hands-on educational activities. Each month features a different theme and reservations are required; visit the museum's website to sign up. All ages.

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South Street Seaport Museum , Financial District Friday October 28 2016

Boo at the Zoo


This Halloween celebration takes over the Bronx wildlife spot every weekend in October (plus Rosh Hashanah and Columbus Day). This year, see zoo creature–inspired 3D carved pumpkins and venture through a dark tunnel filled with over 1,000 illuminated jack-o-lanterns (located in World of Darkness; 10am–5pm). Head to the tent at Grizzly Bears to catch a magic show with David Levitan (12pm, 2pm, 4pm) or a live musical performance with Gigi and the Lend Me a Hand Band (11:30am, 1pm, 3pm), then explore a hay maze (located in Butterfly Patio, 11am–5pm). Kids will love checking out demos by professional pumpkin carvers (located in Dancing Crane Plaza, 11am–4pm); and, of course, rocking their outfits in a Halloween procession alongside handmade puppets and characters from the Alice Farley Dance Company (starts at Rhino Garden noon, 2pm). Nourish your little ghouls with snacks from treat stations situated around the park (11am-5pm). All activities are free with zoo admission, except for the Jack O'Lantern Illumination, which requires the Total Experience ticket. All ages.

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Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society , The Bronx Until Sunday October 30 2016
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