kids on halloween
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best Halloween activities near me: events for NYC kids

Typing "Halloween activities near me" into Google? We're here to help you find the creepiest, kookiest fun, NYC!

By Danielle Valente
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Aren't you scared? Well, that's just fine! When typing "Halloween activities near me" in Google, that's exactly what you want! 

There are many a fall festival that boast creepy and kooky fun: Boo at the Zoo has magic tricks, mind reading and walks through a "graveyard." The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze (which now has a second location) boasts 7,000+ expertly hand-carved jack o' lanterns that are worthy of a display. There's tons to choose from. 

RECOMMENDED: Guide to Halloween for kids in NYC

While things are looking a little different this year, the party will still go on (safely). Be sure to rock out to our favorite Halloween songs for kids while pumpkin picking, wandering through a corn maze and more. 

Halloween events

time out market halloween
time out market halloween
Photograph: Time Out

1. Halloween at Time Out Market New York

Things to do Event spaces Time Out Market New York, DUMBO

2020 has indeed been scary enough so Time Out Market has created a way for your family and friend group to safely celebrate Halloween. We will be taking reservations for socially-distant seatings throughout the day on Oct 31. Get into the spirit by dressing up for photo opps (and perhaps some impromptu prizes). Your ticket will grant you a bag of responsibly packed candy—for kids and adults with a sweet tooth. Each ticket purchased also comes with a $5 credit to use in the Market on that day. Vampire accent: “Come in for a bite, muhahaha!” All ages. 

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queens county farm fall florals
queens county farm fall florals
Photograph: Courtesy The Queens County Farm Museum/@wedo_production

3. Halloween on the Farm

Things to do Queens County Farm Museum, Queens

The Queens County Farm is wrapping up its holiday festivities with one big celebration: Halloween on the Farm allows little ones to enjoy the Amazing Maize Maze, hayrides, crafts and, of course, trick or treating with the farm animals. Advanced tickets are required. All ages.

pumpkins scarecrows
pumpkins scarecrows
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Pumpkin Path at the New York Botanical Garden

Things to do New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY, The Bronx

The New York Botanical Garden is putting an autumn twist on its rustic displays. Beginning Oct 3, visitors can take a gander at gourds of all sizes and eccentric scarecrows adorning the Great Pumpkin Path. Some of the largest pumpkins in the world will arrive on Oct 24, so be on the lookout for the record-breaking sights! All ages.

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photo by Trey Pentecost
photo by Trey Pentecost
Photograph: Courtesy Trey Pentecost

5. Pumpkin Point

Things to do Festivals Governors Island, Governors Island

To enjoy the pumpkin patch of your dreams, hop aboard the ferry to Governors Island. The annual Pumpkin Point extravaganza in Nolan Park will feature thousands of gourds, and guests are invited to take one home, free of charge. Social distancing and face masks will be required. Trick or treating and concessions will not take place this year. At the end of the event, leftover pumpkins will be composted at Earth Matter NY’s Compost Learning Center on Governors Island or donated to local food pantries. All ages. 

Boo at the Zoo
Boo at the Zoo
Photograph: Courtesy Julie Larsen Maher

6. Boo at the Zoo

News City Life

Thursday through Sunday from Oct 1 to Nov 1 is your chance to revel in the Halloween fun, from magic shows and pumpkin carving demonstrations to mind reading and trips through the spooky extinct animal graveyard. Each day, animal-themed costumed stilt walkers and Halloween animal puppets will put on a "MASKerade" while the Wildlife Theater will pull out all the stops with performances in Astor Court. Advanced tickets are required before attending and reentry is not permitted.

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halloween costumes
halloween costumes
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. BAMboo!

Things to do Remote, Midtown West

This annual bash is one of Brooklyn's hippest Halloween hangs. This year, it's going virtual. Costumed cuties can participate in a costume contest, let a magician wow them with neat tricks, sit in for stories, boogey at the digital dance party and more. Ages 4–12.

William Vale Pumpkin Patch
William Vale Pumpkin Patch
Courtesy: The William Vale

8. Pumpkin Patch at The William Vale

Things to do Festivals The William Vale, Williamsburg

Fall is in full swing at the William Vale! In its 15,000-square-foot elevated green space, Vale Park, the Williamsburg destination will host a pumpkin patch with gourds of all sizes. Stop by to find the perfect pumpkin, let Brooklynite Lauren Gabrielson help the kids craft scarecrows and other projects and sip some cocoa or cider (or mulled wine for the 21+ crowd) while enjoying the beautiful autumn weather. All ages.  

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queens county farm museum
queens county farm museum
Photograph: Courtesy The Queens County Farm Museum/@wedo_production

9. "The Fall Escape"

Things to do Exhibitions Queens County Farm Museum, Queens

Take a walk on the floral side! The Queens County Museum's gorgeous autumn display provides plenty of fun photo ops for you and your little New Yorkers—from the Blooming Enchanted Fall Forest to the life-sized Pumpkin Spice Latte! Be sure to stay for other fun activities like the Amazing Maize Maze, hayrides, pumpkin picking and more. All ages. 

Photograph: Courtesy Jennifer Mitchell

10. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

Things to do Quirky events Van Cortlandt Manor,

Like a well-stocked candy stash, the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze is an essential part of Halloween in New York. The attraction is set along the beautiful 18th century riverside landscape of Van Cortlandt Manor and boasts a pumpkin promenade like none other: There are over 7,000 hand-carved jack o'lanterns waiting to impress visitors. As you tour the grounds, expect synchronized lighting, spooky music and more dazzling, Instagram-worthy features like the Pumpkin Carousel and the Pumpkin Windmill. What's new in 2020? A pumpkin fire truck and a coven of witches cooking up a spell! New safety measures will be in place in 2020. Read all about them online. Be sure to snag tickets early; the event is likely to sell out. Check out the event's second location on Long Island, opening Oct 2. All ages.

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Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson on September 27, 2018.  (Photo by Tom Nycz)
Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson on September 27, 2018.  (Photo by Tom Nycz)
Photograph: Courtesy Historic Hudson Valley/Tom Nycz

11. The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze: Long Island

News City Life

New Yorkers' favorite fall event, the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze, will illuminate a second location with its stunning pumpkin art. In addition to operating at Van Cortlandt Manor in the Hudson Valley, the Halloween happening will set up shop at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration on Long Island from Oct 2–Nov 1. Expect another 7,000+ pumpkins glowing in the autumn evening. Similar to the original event, the Long Island Blaze will also have synchronized lighting and seasonal tunes to accompany the hand-carved installations. You'll want to snag a spot quickly—tickets (starting at $24) are now on sale for both locations!

jack o lantern
jack o lantern
Courtesy: Sour Patch Kids

12. Sour Patch Kids Reverse Halloween Experience

Things to do Various locations, Hell's Kitchen

Halloween is looking a little different this year, but that doesn't mean the spookiest day of the year has been canceled. In fact, Sour Patch Kids wants to make it sweeter than ever! The candy brand is reversing trick-or-treating by making pitstops in 12 cities (nominate yours on social media) and delivering sour, sweet goodies to families. One lucky city will be able to snag candy from the Jack O’Lantern Mobile! More details to follow this October. Stay up to date with the hashtag #SourThenSweetHalloween. All ages.

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camp stores hudson yards
camp stores hudson yards
Courtesy: CAMP

13. Trick-or-Treat Door to Door Scavenger Hunt at Hudson Yards!

Things to do Hudson Yards, Midtown West

Go trick or treating door-to-door at your favorite toy store! CAMP Hudson Yards will host a touchless scavenger hunt, both indoor and outdoors, where kids can collect treats (or tricks) from 18 different mystery doors. Kiddos will receive a map, candy bag (which unlocks each door) and mystery code. Ages 5–12. 

hogwarts
hogwarts
Photograph: Shutterstock

14. Halloween at Hogwarts

Things to do Classes and workshops Remote, Midtown West

Ready your wands, witches and muggles: It's time to celebrate a very Harry Potter Halloween! Tiny Broadway will host an interactive storytelling class, "Halloween at Hogwarts," that will focus on charms, potions, divination and transfiguration! Check the supply list to see what you need for the virtual workshop. Ages 5–12. 

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Museum of Ice Cream
Museum of Ice Cream
Photograph: Time Out/Ali Garber

15. “Trick or Sweet Experience” at the Museum of Ice Cream

Things to do Museum of Ice Cream, Soho

The Museum of Ice Cream will make the Halloween season extra sweet—"No tricks, just treats." Head to the foodie attraction in costume to enjoy a few spooky delights during your visit to the themed wonder land. You'll receive candy, fun prizes and MOIC merch! All ages. 

headless horseman
headless horseman
Photograph: Shutterstock/Benjami

16. Headless Horseman Haunted Hayrides and Haunted Houses: Children's Day

News Transport & Travel

The Headless Horseman and his creepy counterparts are toning it down for the kids this Halloween. (So sweet!) In Ulster Park, New York, the Headless Horseman Haunted Hayrides and Haunted Houses is gearing up for a fright-filled drive-thru experience for adults. However, it's more about smiles than screams during its Children's Day event, which will take place Oct 11 and 24 from 11:30am–3pm. (Rain dates are Oct 11 and Oct 25.) Families can expect to drive through an I Spy-like Halloween game in their vehicles and encounter spooky (but fun!) characters along the way. Then they'll be able to park their cars and enjoy more fall festivities, including a maze, a haunted garden, seasonal tunes and more cool things to do. Like most Halloween events this year, reservations are required ($11.95 tickets are available online) and new safety protocols will be in place.

 

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Hocus Pocus - 1993
Hocus Pocus - 1993
Disney/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

17. Nightmare at the Movies

News Movies

Come for the treats and stay for the screams: Adventureland debuted its Nightmare at the Movies drive-in experience. For $40 per car, the whole family can cash in on the ghoulishly good fun. The package includes a chicken fingers and fries dinner, a $10 Adventureland Arcade card, movie-style popcorn and a choice of beverages, trivia on select evenings and, of course, some of the our favorite scary movies for kids. The series will kick off on Friday Sept 25 with a classic, Hocus Pocus, beginning at 7pm. Feel free to drive by sooner, as gates open at 5pm and festivities like trivia will begin at 6:30pm. Even better news? If you're in search of a spooky date night, leave the kids with a sitter and enjoy the late screening at 10pm (gates open at 8:30pm). First up? Nightmare on Elm Street. The series will continue on Oct 9 with Hotel Transylvania and Friday the 13th, as well as Oct 23 and 30. However, a full schedule has yet to be released, so check back in for the latest updates!

 

Laurie Berkner
Laurie Berkner
Courtesy: Jaime Thornton + Katie Messer

18. Laurie Berkner's Halloween Party Family Concerts

Things to do Concerts Remote, Midtown West

Laurie Berkner is ready to celebrate the spookiest time of the year! Join the queen of kindie music for a virtual performance of frighteningly fun jams like "Monster Boogie," "The Cat Came Back" and "Choc-o-lot In My Pock-o-lot." A meet-and-greet ad-on package is available for those who are interested! All ages. 

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asphaltscreams26.jpg
asphaltscreams26.jpg
Photograph: Anna Simonak

19. Asphalt Screams!

Things to do Asphalt Green, Upper East Side, Upper East Side

For free spooky thrills this Halloween, head to Asphalt Green’s annual hit event Asphalt Screams. The sports and fitness organization hosts families on the Upper East Side campus for the festivities. All ages are encouraged to don their costumes and gather around for music and trick or treating. Social distancing measures will be in place. RSVP online. All ages.

the dynamite shop
the dynamite shop
Courtesy: The Dynamite Shop

20. Dynamite Shop Weekend Workshops

Things to do Classes and workshops Remote, Midtown West

The Dynamite Shop is helping families improve their culinary chops, right from the comfort of their own kitchen. Online weekend workshops cover a wide variety and range from $40–$50 per family. On Halloween at noon, you and your kiddos can learn how to make caramel apples with all the toppings! 

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21. Spooktacular at the Staten Island Zoo

Things to do Staten Island Zoo, Staten Island

The entire zoo is transformed into a Halloween paradise for thrill seekers and tame trick-or-treaters alike. This year, families can embark on an outdoor adventure on a one-way path across the eight-acre grounds. Say hello to the princesses, escape the villains, get your sillys out at the scare zone and take photos in your cool costumes. You'll need about an hour to get through this ghoulishly good time. All ages. 

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