Best Halloween events for kids in NYC

'Tis the season to be spooky. NYC's epic Halloween events for kids are chock-full of ghoulishly good fun!
Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Park Harvest Festival
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It's the most wonderful time of the year! Of course, we're referring to the creepiest, spookiest day on the calendar: All Hallows' Eve. To get into the spirit, check out the best Halloween events for kids in NYC. 

Whether it's a costume contest in Prospect Park, out-of-this-world pumpkin carvings at New York Botanical Garden or not-so-spooky offerings for wee little monsters, Gotham's ghouls will be out in full force. We're going to have to call those Ghostbusters. 

RECOMMENDED: Guide to Halloween for kids in NYC

Enjoy sweet candy, let out a few screams and take advantage of the horrifyingly fantastic Halloween events for kids NYC is rounding up for 2018. Don't forget to rock out to these jam-worthy Halloween songs for kids, binge on these scary movies for kids and bake these delicious Halloween treats

Halloween events for kids

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Halloween at the Bronx Zoo
Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher
Things to do, Festivals

Boo at the Zoo

icon-location-pin The Bronx
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This Halloween celebration takes over the Bronx wildlife spot each weekend from Sept 29 to Oct 28 (including Monday, Oct 8). Kids can hold on tight during the Haunted Pirate Hayride, get spooked at the Extinct Animal Graveyard, show off their best ensemble during the costume parade, explore the epic pumpkin carvings and so much more. Don't forget to look out for the Spooktacular Night Walks, too...if you dare. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy RISE of the Jack O'Lanterns
Things to do

Night of 1,000 Jack O'Lanterns

icon-location-pin Long Island
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Get in the Halloween spirit at this massive jack o'lantern bonanza featuring more than a thousand hand-carved pumpkins, The orange works of art are transformed by hundreds of carvers into movie characters and pop culture icons, plus impressive multi-pumpkin sculptures of dinosaurs, dragons, safari animals and more. The whole family will love exploring these intricately carved pumpkins (some of which weigh over 100 pounds!) while listening to festive Halloween tunes. Be sure to check out the live-carving stations, where tykes can watch the artists in action. Check online before booking, as some time slots might be sold out. All ages.

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Things to do

Not-So-Scary Days at Bayville Scream Park

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This Halloween theme park in Long Island delivers screams on demand for your older kids, but for the little ones, we'd recommend their Kids "Not So Scary" Days, where things are brought down a notch. The experience offers less scary versions of their beloved nighttime haunted houses, and there are also no live actors present to give them nightmares! Visit the pumpkin bounce, Halloween Express train ride, pirate adventure mini golf and spooky tree-top adventure during your visit. All ages.

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Things to do

Watson Adventures: Wizard School Scavenger Hunt

icon-location-pin Central Park
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Potterheads will be treated to a Harry Potter-themed scavenger hunt through the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Find art and objects that are reminiscent of the magical items scattered throughout the beloved series and learn about magicians, a sorceress, giants and creepy creatures of folklore. Ages 10 and up.

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Photograph courtesy Luna Park
Things to do, Quirky events

Luna Park Dog Parade

icon-location-pin Brooklyn
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Get in the Halloween spirit in Coney Island this October. Every year dogs from around Brooklyn and beyond gather at Luna Park to show off their best costumes. The four legged friends even have a chance to win awards for categories like cutest, mister/miss congeniality, and for originality. The dog parade and contest is part of the amusement park's Halloween Harvest festival. All pooches much be pre-registered here. All ages.

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Photograph: Carl Schurz Park Conservancy
Things to do

Halloween HOWL & Healthy Hound Fair

icon-location-pin Upper East Side
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Your family pup can join in the Halloween spirit, too thanks to this annual event. Grab a doggie costume and enter Fido 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. May the best pup win! All ages.

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Procession of the Ghouls
Photograph: Bernardo Nunez
Things to do

Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of the Ghouls

icon-location-pin Morningside Heights
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Before Edward Cullen, there was the much less sparkly but undeniably gruesome Nosferatu. Take in a screening of Murnau’s 1922 horror gem, accompanied by creepy tunes played on the cathedral’s great organ. But the nightmare’s not over once the credits roll—the movie will be followed by Ralph Lee and the Mettawee River Theatre Company’s annual procession of the ghouls, in which demons and witches infiltrate the church in a ghostly parade down the aisles. Visitors can also catch a later performance at 10pm. All ages.

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Things to do

Asphalt Screams!

icon-location-pin Upper East Side
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For free spooky thrills this Halloween, head to Asphalt Green’s annual hit event Asphalt Screams. The sports and fitness organization hosts families in both campuses on the Upper East Side and in Battery Park City. All ages are encouraged to don their costumes and gather around for scary stories, dancing and trick-or-treating. Halloween-themed sports like Spooktacular Soccer Shootout will wear out little ones bouncing off their sugar high. The first 500 kids to arrive at each location will be treated to a goodie bag. Times have yet to be determined. All ages.

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Things to do

Halloween Celebration at AMNH

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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As if the usual dinosaur skeletons and other bones at this iconic museum weren't haunting enough, the halls of the American Museum of Natural History sport chilling decor for its annual Halloween party. Kids dressed in ghoulish garb can trick-or-treat, make arts and crafts and mingle with cartoon characters and stilt walkers. Special live shows include Gazillion Bubble Show appearance, the Big Apple Circus and more. Reservations recommended. All ages.

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Village Street
Things to do

The Ghosts of Greenwich Village Family Scavenger Hunt

icon-location-pin Greenwich Village
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Kids and grownups join forces as they track down the storied neighborhood's spooky secrets. During the journey families will discover such Village haunts as hidden cemeteries, bat-adorned buildings, Harry Potter’s foe and the one-time homes of Mark Twain and Edgar Allan Poe. Advanced ticket purchase required. Ages 7 and up.

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Photograph: Courtesy Julie Markes and Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Things to do

Ghouls & Gourds

icon-location-pin Prospect Park
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With harvest and All Hallows’ Eve festivities galore, Brooklyn Botanical Garden’s annual bash promises spooky good fun. Come flaunt your witchiest looks in a parade through the garden, then do the “Monster Mash” to live musical performances. Kids will love the giant puppets, nature-themed activities, hands-on workshops that star creepy-crawly insects and, of course, pumpkins aplenty. All ages.

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Things to do

Halloween Harbor

icon-location-pin Staten Island
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One of Staten Island's most beloved attractions is transforming for Halloween. Prepare for fun performances, a few tricks and treats and all-things spooky and sweet. Learn more here. All ages. 

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Prospect Park Halloween
Things to do, Quirky events

Prospect Park Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair

icon-location-pin Prospect Park
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Each year, Prospect Park puts on a whole weekend of holiday fun for both thrill-seekers and their white-knuckled younger sibs. On Saturday, Lookout Hill gets a ghoulish makeover at the annual Haunted Walk (noon–3pm), while those less inclined to ghosts and goblins can play games on the Nethermead or hang out in the Lefferts Historic House, where master storyteller Tammy Hall’s will share spooky tales of 19th-century Flatbush ($3 suggested, 2–4pm). Meanwhile, families take a spin on the Haunted Carousel ($2.50) and grab snacks from over a dozen food trucks. All ages.

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Halloween Harvest Festival
Things to do

Halloween Harvest Festival

icon-location-pin Astoria
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We love a good spooky theme—and good thing, because this year’s Halloween Harvest Festival theme is Fet Gede, the Haitian Festival of the Ancestors! There will be a performance by the New York chapter of Konfederasyon Nasyonal Vodouyizan Ayisyen (K.N.V.A), card readings, mini altars and a special dance and drum performance. Kids can also enjoy some hands-on fun with costume making, face painting and art projects. Dogs are invited to join in the fun with the annual canine costume contest. All ages.

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Photograph: Filip Wolak Central Park Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail
Things to do

Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla

icon-location-pin Central Park
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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 6pm, 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, listen to scary stories and work on creepy crafts. Learn more about the ghoulishly good events' lineup here. All ages.

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Photograph courtesy Diana Natal
Attractions, Farms

Fall Harvest Festival Weekends

icon-location-pin Midtown West
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Escape the concrete jungle for a crisp slice of autumn at Fishkill Farms. Every weekend from the second week in September through the last in October, the whole family can enjoy apple pickings, wagon rides, live music and fresh treats like cider, donuts, and homemade pies. Starting in late September you can even pick your own pumpkin. Stop by the farm’s grill for barbecue classics, and be sure to check out the farm store before you leave to pick up some maple syrup, honey, artisanal cheeses and more. All ages. 

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Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Patch
Things to do

Queens Botanical Garden's Harvest Fest and Pumpkin Patch

icon-location-pin Queens
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Looking to carve a Jack-o-lantern? Look no further! On weekends in October, the Queens Botanical Garden will let you choose your own ghourds from 11am–5pm, so you'll be able to secure one that's just right for your family. Make sure to swing by the annual Harvest Fest (Oct 14 from 11am–5pm). At this seasonal happening, families can go on nature walks through the garden, meet furry friends in the petting zoo, catch a puppet shows, and get in on composting demos. Round up the gang and enjoy live musical performances. Then take a break to nosh on treats (including beer for parents). All ages.

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Halloween Family Fun at the Voelker Orth Museum
Things to do

Halloween Cartoon Magic & Fun

icon-location-pin Queens
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The gorgeous, ghoulish Victorian provides the perfect setting for a Halloween-themed event. This year, take a trip back in time with animation historian, Tommy Jose Stathes, who will screen not-so-spooky films from the '20s and '30s. Before the 5pm showing, make sure kiddies participate in the mask-making (which they'll be able to wear when the movies start) and flip books. Little ghouls can enjoy sweet snacks, too. Ages 12 and under.

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Photograph: Courtesy Luna Park
Things to do

Halloween Harvest at Luna Park

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Head to Coney Island for some Halloween fun! The annual event kicks off mid-September and runs on weekends through October with kid-friendly activities and fall fun. Little ones can get their faces painted, ride ponies, participate in arts and crafts, magic tricks, karaoke, games, story time and dance. And no need to head to a farm to find your Jack O’Lantern—the park will have a pumpkin patch onsite. Head to Luna Park's website for more event information as its announced! All ages.

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Things to do

Halloween Costume Parade and Party

icon-location-pin Tribeca
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Little ghosts and goblins will line up and march down to the park, dressed head-to-toe in costume. Following the parade, eager tykes can wander their way through a hay maze, search for a penny in a haystack and munch on tasty treats, rain or shine. All ages.

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Halloween at the Bronx Zoo
Things to do

Boo at the Zoo

icon-location-pin The Bronx
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Boo at the Zoo takes over this Bronx wildlife haven every weekend from Sept 29–Oct 28 (and Oct 8, too!). There's so much to see that we're never really sure where to start, but expect your experience to be action packed. Hop on a Halloween Hayride, explore the Haunted Forest if you dare , see the Extinct Animal Graveyard, trick-or-treat, walk in a costume parade and see the Zoo's animals get some of their favorite autumnal treats! All ages.

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Photograph: Courtsey Prospect Park Alliance
Things to do

Halloween in Prospect Park

icon-location-pin Prospect Park
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Prepare for ghoulish happenings all over Prospect Park! Boo at the Zoo, which takes place every weekend in October (10am–5:30pm), will feature  a costumed scavenger hunt plus Halloween-themed games and projects, all of which provide frighteningly good fun. Gather the goblins for a truly hair-raising Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair (Oct 27 from noon–3pm)—just beware of the spooky creatures you encounter! End your afternoon at the family-friendly after party BKLYN BOO! at City Point (make sure to RSVP online, and note this is ideal for families with children ages 7–12). While you're making a trip to the park, make sure you take a spooky spin on the Haunted Carousel (Oct 27 from noon–5:30pm, $2.50 per ride) and then enjoy Scary Stories with Tammy Hall (2–4pm)...if you dare. For those tots who aren't inclined to be spooked, opt for the Halloween Cut-Outs, crafts based on a Lefferts family design (1–4pm). Head to the park's website for more details about the Halloween happenings! All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Ben Hider
Things to do

Spooky Pumpkin Garden

icon-location-pin The Bronx
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The blooms at NYBG are given a spooky touch during this seasonal extravaganza. The Everett Children’s Adventure Garden will transform into a Halloween hotspot with pumpkins, scarecrows, puppets and eye-popping pumpkin carving demonstrations. Guided activities will be held on weekdays from 1:30–5:30pm and on weekends from 10:30am–5:30pm. Giant Pumpkin Weekend (Oct 20–21 from 10am–6pm) and Spooky Pumpkin Nights (Oct 26 and 27 from 6:30–8:30pm) are other can't-miss Halloween happenings. Check out NYBG online to learn more about the offerings. All ages. 

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Photograph: courtesy Children's Museum of Manhattan
Things to do

CMOM's Halloween Celebration

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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Spend the spookiest day of the year at CMOM, which will celebrate the holiday with a variety of ghoulishly good activities, including a musical Halloween costume runway (Oct 27, 28 and 31 at 11:30 am and 3:30pm), tricks with Justin the Magician during a ticketed event (Oct 27 at 2 and 3pm) a magical Halloween S.T.E.A.M lab where kids will learn a few science experiements in the name of All Hallow's Eve. Head online for a full lineup of offerings. All ages.

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Things to do

Friendly Boo Halloween Open Play Celebration

icon-location-pin Upper West Side
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Who says big kids get to have all the fun on Halloween? This event is especially designed for little ones under age 4. Kids can trick-or-treat in a safe setting (no knocking on strangers' doors), enjo a trick-or-treat obstacle course, get seasonal spooktacular hand stamps, play in the interactive maze and much more. Make sure to purchase your tickets ahead of the not-so-spooky festivities. The event will take place at Riverside Park at the W 80th St Lawn. Ages 0-4.

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