From harvest festivals to spooky shindigs, these free Halloween parties for kids won't cost you a dime.
Fall Kids Fest presented by World Class Learning Academy
Madison Square Park and Time Out Kids partner up for this annual free fall festival. Little ones can bound through the park, stopping for seasonal craft sessions with the Rubin Museum, apple seeds and the Museum of Mathematics, or enjoying concerts by KBC Kids and the Pop Ups. Families will get a sneak peak at the upcoming Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Musical Mystery and hear book readings courtesy of the DiMenna Children's History Museum. After parading around in their adorable costumes in a clown-led procession, kids can pose for pictures in the Time Out Kids photo booth and pick a pumpkin to take home. Sat Oct 13 11am–2pm. Madison Square Park. Free. All ages.
2012 Harvest Fest
Embrace the coming of fall with games, face painting, a dress-up photo booth and pumpkin painting. Plus, kids can take apple picking to the next logical step by making their own applesauce! Sat Oct 20 10am–4pm. Gansevoort Plaza. Free. All ages.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Harvest Festival
Head down to Brooklyn for an afternoon of harvest-themed fun. Families can prepare for Halloween by perusing the pumpkin patch, making masks and leaf rubbings, or visiting the face-painting booth. Make sure to stick around for performances by kid-friendly acts like the Pop Ups. Sat Oct 20 10:30am–1pm. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 6. Free. All ages.
Jefferson Market Garden Harvest Festival for Children
After scooping up free mini pumpkins, little ones head to a decorating table to adorn their finds with stickers and crafting supplies. Rain date is October 21. Sat Oct 20 11am–2pm. Jefferson Market Garden. Free. Ages 3 to 8.
Halloween Harvest Festival
Kids are invited to craft costumes with park artists, participate in art-making workshops, listen to live music and sample local harvest foods from area restaurants. Plus, creative pet owners can enter Fido in a canine costume contest and kids can exchange their old Halloween costumes for a new getup. Sat Oct 20 11am–3pm. Socrates Sculpture Park. Free. All ages.
The Brownstone School's Annual Halloween Fun Fair
Enjoy an early Halloween with the folks at the Brownstone School. Munch on some free treats while kids take a turn on the bouncy castle and bouncy slide, decorate a pumpkin or cupcake, and enjoy arts and crafts. While families marvel at the life-size Candyland course, they will also enjoy live musical performances. Admission is free; rides and activities are $2–$4 each. Rain location will be at the Holy Trinity Church (213 W 82nd St between Amsterdam Ave and Broadway). Sat Oct 20 11am–5pm. MS 44. Free. All ages.
Super Sábado! Da de los Muertos
Families can check out the ambitious new exhibition "Caribbean: Crossroads of the World," an exploration of the Caribbean's diversity and cultural history, then take part in the 3,000-year-old Mexican tradition of the Day of the Dead. Celebrate the far-from-morbid holiday with the Calaveras Callejeras procession through Central Park, skull face painting,pan de muerto and champurrado tastings, and more. Sat Oct 20 11am–6pm. El Museo del Barrio. Free. All ages.
Syfy HalloweeNYC Fest
The sci-fi channel hosts a weekend filled with supernatural family-friendy fun. Performers will include the cast of Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark, theGazillion Bubble Show, kindie rockers the Jimmies and Princess Katie & Racer Steve, magicians Cardone and the Amazing Max, and balloon artist Mike Gold. When kids aren't rocking out or marveling at sleights-of-hand, they can get their faces painted, decorate a pumpkin or say cheese in a green-screen photo booth. Fri Oct 26–Sun Oct 28 11am–6pm. Flatiron Plaza North, W 23rd St between Broadway and Fifth Ave. Free. All ages.
Costumed kids watch monster-themed TV shows (screenings include Elmo Says Boo, Go, Diego, Go and Dora the Explorer), make ghoulish crafts and stuff their pockets with sweets. Sat Oct 27 10am–4pm. Sony Wonder Technology Lab. Free. Ages 2 to 6.
Ben Rudnick and Friends CD Release Party & Halloween Bash
Show off your Halloween costume and get ready to sing and dance to this award-winning acoustic band's latest CD, Love Is a Superpower. You might even hear Ben Rudnick originals like "Macaroni & Cheese" and "A Frog Named Sam." Plus, special guests Karen K and the Jitterbugs give tots a sampling of their forthcoming album Big Ol' Truck, due out in January, as well as some spooky favorites. Sat Oct 27 at 11am. J and R Music World. Free. All ages.
Ghoulish Gourmet Halloween Cuisine
Little goblins can hone their creepy cooking skills with a menu of eerie-sounding (peanut-free) dishes including evil eyeballs, gingerbread skeletons and putrid worm punch. Best of all, guests leave with their own treats, plus recipes with which to re-create the Halloween-themed meals at home. Mistress of Scarimonies Yvonne Brooks presides, and McNally Jackson's intrepid troupe of puppeteers stages a show at 1pm. Sat Oct 27 noon–2pm. McNally Jackson Books. Free. Ages 3 to 10.
Fort Greene Halloween Festival
At this annual fete, kids can enjoy hayrides, games, face painting, entertainers and free pumpkins to decorate, as well as a kiddie costume parade. Rain date is Sunday October 28. Sat Oct 27 noon–3pm. Fort Greene Park. Free. All ages.
World Financial Center Screamin' Green Halloween
For the first time ever, this annual Halloween extravaganza is moving outside! The Plaza will be transformed into a Halloween Village, complete with a 30-foot-high scarecrow, roaming characters and game booths. Eco-minded tykes can craft costumes from repurposed materials and snack on organic and fair-trade goodies. Costumed kids can also take part in a Ghosts and Goblins parade through Battery Park City. Sat Oct 27 noon–3pm. World Financial Center Winter Garden. Free. All ages.
Get ready for Halloween with this festive concert at the Brooklyn Public Library. Kids can boogie with costumed characters playing haunted instruments, get their face painted and score some sweet treats. Sat Oct 27 at 1pm. Brooklyn Public Library, Dweck Center. Free. All ages.
Tricks and Treats
Costumed kids can join resident amphibian entertainer Flaubert Frog for an hour of spooky stories and songs, followed by Justin the Magician's spine-tingling illusions. Afterward, go for a spin on Bryant Park's iconic merry-go-round. Rain date is October 28. Sat Oct 27 1–2pm. Le Carrousel. Free. All ages.
Halloween Craft Workshop at the Louis Armstrong House
The onetime abode of jazz legend Louis Armstrong invites Halloween lovers to its garden for candy (for costume wearers), an arts project and live music from the Louis Armstrong House Stompers. While the event is free, admission to the museum costs extra. The rain date is Sunday, October 28, from 1 to 4pm. Sat Oct 27 1–4pm. Louis Armstrong House Museum. Free. All ages.
Morningside Montessori's Fall Festival
Moey's Music Party headlines the school's outdoor festival with an interactive Halloween-themed performance (11:30am). Spooky hijinks ensue: ghost and goblin bowling, biting doughnuts off a string, pumpkin decorating, face painting and a haunted house tour. Meanwhile, grown-ups can peruse the goodies on sale at the Bargain Boutique, Caf Morningside and Bialas' Farmer's Market. Sun Oct 28 11am–4pm. Morningside Montessori. Free. All ages.
Halloween Kidz Karnival
Hudson River Park throws its fourth annual family-friendly Halloween party at Pier 46, featuring such kid crafts as mask decorating and wax-hand making, plus rides, face painting and plenty of cotton candy. Sun Oct 28 at noon. Hudson River Park, Pier 46. Free. Ages 2 to 8.
If you're bored of the same old Halloween celebrations, check out this multifaceted party, which celebrates the Day of the Dead, Halloween and All Saints Day all at once. Hands-on crafts, activities, treats and giveaways await. Sun Oct 28 at noon. Flushing Town Hall. Free. All ages.
Kids Halloween Party
Come in costume for an afternoon of festive readings featuring Patty Bowman. The author shares her new picture book, The Amazing Hamweenie, about a precocious top hat–wearing cat who knows how to dream big. Sun Oct 28 4–5pm. The powerHouse Arena. Free. Ages 3 to 8.
Spooky Story Time
The connection between yoga and Halloween may seem a little tenuous, but every excuse to celebrate is a good one! Join this special storytime, which combines tales, puppets and yoga poses inspired by Halloween—both you and your infants will learn to do creepy poses like the bat, spider, witch and ghost, to get you in the holiday spirit. Costumes are welcome, and surprises can be expected! Wed Oct 31 at 11:30am. Karma Kids Yoga. Free. Ages 1 to 6.
Have a fun, safe Halloween with the folks at Asphalt Green, a group that offers a fitness-friendly alternative to the candy-based holiday. After taking a tour through the haunted house, kids head to the field for some fun activities, like Zombie Freeze Tag, Maniacal Martial Arts, Spooktacular Soccer Shoot-Outs and Mummy Basketball. With plenty of music and treats appropriate for little monsters, the happening is the perfect way to begin or end your family's Halloween night. Wed Oct 31 5–7pm. Asphalt Green. Free. All ages.