The best Halloween events for kids in NYC

Searching for Halloween events for kids? NYC has plenty of spooky shenanigans to go around, so start planning!

Photograph: Shutterstock
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NYC's best Halloween events for kids are lurking (just like those creepy monsters) and you'll want to RSVP to all of the spooky shenanigans!

Find a horrifyingly cool costume, map out the best route for trick or treating in NYC and perfect those "Monster Mash" moves (make sure to add our go-to Halloween songs for kids to your Spotify list). The spooky season is here, and you can't afford to miss a thing!

RECOMMENDED: Guide to Halloween for kids in NYC

From sweet spectacles like The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze to festive celebrations at Industry City, complete with costume contests and face painting, there's something for everyone in your brood. After you've attended Gotham's Halloween events, make sure to gather your little goblins for a screening of scary movies for kids (if you dare)! 

Halloween events for kids

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Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel
Photograph: John Huntington
Things to do

Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel

icon-location-pin Voorhees Theatre, Downtown Brooklyn
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The high-tech haunted hotel will give a good spook to even the toughest guests. Designed and constructed by the City College of Technology’s Theatreworks group, this eerie house features motion sensors that activate creepy creatures and sounds, gruesome scenes and other dark brouhaha. Ages 10 and up.

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Photogrpah: Courtesy of Amanda Gentile
Things to do, Quirky events

Halloween Haunted Walk + Fair

icon-location-pin Prospect Park, Nethermead, Prospect Park
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The Nethermead in Prospect Park is transformed into a spooky setting (but not too spooky: it's the middle of the day, after all), with decorations and performers in costume and a haunted walk on Lookout Hill. Some of Brooklyn's best food trucks will be there—and handing out candy to trick or treaters. Oct 26 noon-3pm. All ages, but best suited for ages 7-12.

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Photograph: Courtesy Jennifer Mitchell
Things to do

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze

icon-location-pin Van Cortlandt Manor,
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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 thousands of Jack O' Lanterns (all of which are 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 on this spooky stroll. Be sure to get your tickets early—they sell out fast and required to gain access to the event! Also note that the tickets you purchase are for specific times. 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 Governors Island, Governors 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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Halloween at the Bronx Zoo
Photograph: Julie Larsen Maher
Things to do, Festivals

Boo at the Zoo

icon-location-pin Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society | Bronx, NY, The Bronx
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This fall-tacular Halloween celebration takes over the Bronx Zoo spot on weekends from Sept 29 to Nov 14 (plus the school holiday on Monday, Oct 14). Kids can hold on tight during the Haunted Pirate Hayride, get spooked at the Extinct Animal Graveyard, pick up sweets on the Candy Trail, show off their Halloween getups at the costume parade and so much more. Tiny kids will love the mini corn maze, and you'll love all the adorable photo ops. Go on the Spooktacular Night Walks (separate ticket costs $45 per person, $35 for members), and you'll see what happens in the zoo after hours...if you dare! All ages.

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Photogrpah: Courtesy Horgan Daniel
Things to do, Festivals

Dia de Muertos at St. Mark's-in-the-Bowery

icon-location-pin St. Mark's Church in-the-Bowery, East Village
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The annual Dia de Muertos festivities are this weekend at St. Mark's in-the-Bowery. It's a joyous event, a party put on by Mano a Mano with live music and delicious food, and a marketplace with crafts, sugar skulls and pan de muerto will set up over the crypts in the East Yard. Bring a photo of a loved to place on the ofrenda, the altar that honors the dead. Find a full schedule of activities here.

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Dead or Alive at New York Hall of Science
Photo courtesy Andrew Kelly/NY Hall of Science
Museums, Science and technology

Spooky Science: Fake Blood, Prosthetic Wounds and More at the New York Hall of Science

icon-location-pin New York Hall of Science | Queens, NY, Queens
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Here's one for the little mad scientist in your life: The New York Hall of Science's annual Dead or Alive weekend has some amazing DIY activities that mashup methodical inquisitiveness and gross-out fun. We're talking fake blood, and realistic-looking wounds (you use chocolate!), and spooky-sounding instruments. You'll find a full list of workshops here. Activities are included in the price of admission, which is $16, $13 ages 17 and under. All ages.

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Photogrpah: Jon Simon
Things to do

Trolleween at DreamWorks Trolls The Experience

icon-location-pin DreamWorks Trolls the Experience, Midtown West
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It's always Halloween in Troll Village, but the Trolls the Experience here in New York is adding something for the holiday with Trolloween makeovers. The new hair and face paint will be available for a limited time. There are also special Halloween-themed surprises: Expect the unexpected.

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The Met Pajama Party: Lights Out at The Met!
Photograph: Darian DiCianno/BFA.com
Things to do, Quirky events

The Met Pajama Party: Lights Out at The Met!

icon-location-pin The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park
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The Met becomes a little spookier and a whole lot sillier at this Halloween-inspired evening of activities and treats. Not only do you get after-hour access to the museum, there will be art stations, a theme dinner with mocktails for kids and a dance party at the Temple of Dendur with music by the Fuzzy Lemons. Best of all, your little one gets to wear PJs–or a Halloween costume–to the Met! Tickets are available online here. Ages 3-10.  

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Photograph: Courtesy Brooklyn Bridge Parents
Things to do, Festivals

BKLYN BOO!

icon-location-pin City Point, Downtown Brooklyn
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There will be pumpkin carving, crafts, face painting, spooky selfies and more this Saturday at City Point in Downtown Brooklyn. Hosted by City Point and Brooklyn Bridge Parents, the event is free. That's right, a pumpkin patch grows in Brooklyn. Ages 10 and under.

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Photograph: Courtesy Industry City
Things to do, Festivals

Kids' Halloween Parade at Industry City

icon-location-pin Industry City, Greenwood
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Industry City and Beyond are maximizing the spookiness with a variety of Halloween activities for the whole family. The second annual Kids' Halloween Parade is more than just that: The celebration includes a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, a pumpkin patch, a mural painting and much more. Enjoy the frighteningly fun festivities for the best October yet! Don't forget to wear your costume! All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Ben Hider
Things to do

Spooky Pumpkin Garden

icon-location-pin New York Botanical Garden | Bronx, NY, The Bronx
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The blooms at NYBG are given a spooky touch during this seasonal extravaganza. Expect pumpkins, scarecrows, puppets and eye-popping pumpkin carving demonstrations. Giant Pumpkin Weekend (Oct 26–27 from 10am–6pm) is one of the ground's other can't-miss Halloween happenings. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Alliance for Coney Island
Things to do, Quirky events

Coney Island Children's Halloween Parade

icon-location-pin MCU Park, Brooklyn
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This Halloween party starts at MCU Park with games, and songs, and goodie bags, and a bounce house. An annual costume contest will crown the Best Handmade, Most Creative, Funniest Costume, and Best Group, but all the kids are winners—a boardwalk parade will take the tots from MCU Park to Luna Park, and every child will be given a complimentary wrist band good for two hours of play. Free registration through the Alliance for Coney Island is mandatory on the day of the event. October 26, 11am. All ages, costume contest open to ages 3-14.

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Halloween Harvest Festival
Things to do

Halloween Harvest Festival at Socrates Park

icon-location-pin Socrates Sculpture Park, 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 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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asphaltscreams16.jpg
Things to do

Asphalt Screams!

icon-location-pin Asphalt Green, Upper East Side, 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 on the Upper East Side campus for the festivities. 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. RSVP online. All ages.

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Photograph Courtesy: Monarch Rooftop & Indoor Lounge
Things to do, Event spaces

Monarch Rooftop & Indoor Lounge’s Annual Pumpkin Carving & Decorating Contest

icon-location-pin Monarch Rooftop Lounge, Midtown West
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Come for the pumpkin carving, stay for the skyline: The Monarch Rooftop and Indoor Lounge’s Annual Pumpkin Carving and Decorating Contest is this Saturday afternoon. A ticket entitles you to a carve-ready pumpkin, plus all the tools and decorations you'll need to give your Jack-O-Lantern some swagger. There will be a raffle, and you can purchase food and drinks. Oh, and you'll have sweeping view of all of Midtown Manhattan. $20, $10 ages 18 and under, free ages 4 and under. All ages.

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Photograph: Courtesy LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester
Things to do, Games and hobbies

Brick or Treat at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center

icon-location-pin Legoland Discovery Center Westchester,
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The LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Westchester is getting spooky this fall with Brick or Treat. The special event at the "Ulitmate Indoor LEGO Playground" features a haunted Miniland, Halloween-themed building competitions and an immersive ghost-hunting experience called "Hidden Side" that lets you use an app to find and capture spooky apparitions. Costumes encouraged! 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, Harlem Meer, 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 online. All ages.

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39th Annual Village Halloween Parade
Photograph courtesy Virginia Rollison
Things to do, Festivals

Village Halloween Parade

icon-location-pin Various locations, Hell's Kitchen
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Get over to Sixth Avenue to see thousands of costumes, dancers and floats, including giant skeletons that dance above your head and hordes of zombies jamming out. See creative costumes you’d never glimpse anywhere else, since some people spend all year making theirs! This year's theme will be “Wild thing”.  Such a spectacle doesn’t come without crowds, though; partygoers are advised to get there early and stake out a spot. If you can’t make it in person (or don’t feel like braving the masses), never fear: The parade is broadcast live for all to see on NY1 from 7pm. Sixth Ave from Spring to 16th Sts. All ages.

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Things to do, Walks and tours

Spooktacular Night Walks

icon-location-pin Bronx Zoo Wildlife Conservation Society | Bronx, NY, The Bronx
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What happens when the zoo closes? Now you'll get a chance to find out! Once all visitors take off for the evening, you'll be invited to join the Spooktacular Walks and get up close and personal with some creepy creatures, enjoy a night walk of the grounds and refuel with a pizza dinner. All ages. 

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Photograph: Courtesy Brookfield Place
, All ages

Brookfield Place Halloween Bash

icon-location-pin Brookfield Place | Manhattan, NY, Battery Park City
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Enjoy exciting science activities with gooey pumpkins, play with temporary tattoos and watch performances that celebrate the spookiest time of year at Brookfield Place! Halloween costumes are encouraged, so dress to impress (there's a catwalk, after all). There will also be trick-or-treating throughout Brookfield Place. All ages.

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