Whether they're aiming for sweet, silly or just plain offbeat, your little ones can flaunt their Halloween getups at these harrowing happenings, all of which feature costume contests for kids.
Spooktacular at the Staten Island Zoo
The entire zoo is transformed into a Halloween paradise for thrill seekers and tame trick-or-treaters alike. Rub shoulders with clowns, cave people and aliens at the spooky shows and exhibits before trying your hand at carnival games and competing in a costume contest. Sat Oct 20 6--9:30pm, Sun Oct 21 5:30--9pm. Staten Island Zoo. $17, children under 3 free. All ages.
Citibabes Halloween Spooktacular
This spooky bash offers a full day of entertainment, including concerts, readings, cookie decorating and a costume contest, among other ghoulish fun. Sat Oct 27 10am--1pm. Citibabes. $35 per family.Ages 10 and under.
Cido's Halloween Spooktacular
The carousels in Forest Park and Flushing Meadows celebrate a successful first year with a magic show by Cido the Clown, a costume contest and birthday cake for all. Plus, kids in costume get buy-one-get-one-free rides on the merry-go-round. Sat Oct 27 2--5pm. Forest Park. Sun Oct 28 2--5pm. Flushing Meadows--Corona Park. Free. All ages.
A Mermaid's Tale
Little theatergoers are invited to dress up as underwater creatures for a special performance of the musical adapted from L. Frank Baum's The Sea Fairies. In addition to scoring half-price tickets for arriving in costume, kids will receive Halloween giveaways and be entered in a costume contest. Sat Oct 27 at 3pm. The Triad. $15, children in costume $10. All ages.
Ripley's Boolieve It or Not Times Square Slumber Fest
Inspired by the company's famed Extreme Sleepovers, this overnight experience isn't your average Halloween party. Brave guests can peruse such eerie displays as the world's largest collection of shrunken heads and a Transformer statue made from car parts. Then, at midnight, grab your flashlight for a haunted scavenger hunt around the building. The spooky stay also features a movie screening, a costume contest and live entertainment. All children must show up equipped with a sleeping bag, pillow, pajamas, a flashlight and (of course) their most creative costume. One adult required for every four children attending. Sat Oct 27 at 7pm--Sun Oct 28 at 8am. Ripley's Believe It or Not! Odditorium $129. Ages 6 and up.
DayLife featuring Lower East Side Pickle Day
An area rich in history with more unique traditions than can be documented, the Lower East Side smiles back on the past today. In the heart of the old Pickle District, this Orchard Street fair features samples of the green delicacy from India and Haiti to Malaysia, Brooklyn and, of course, those good old-fashioned kosher dills from the LES. Plus, in keeping with the spirit of Halloween, kids will get their faces painted and compete in a costume contest. Sun Oct 28 noon--5pm. Orchard St between Delancey and E Houston Sts. Free. All ages.
Eloise Costume Contest and Trick-or-Treat
Little fashion divas can flaunt their rawther fancy costumes in a contest, then go trick-or-treating among the Plaza Food Hall vendors. Reservations required for costume contest. Wed Oct 31 3--5pm. The Plaza Food Hall. Free. All ages.
This annual outdoor bash is one of Brooklyn's hippest Halloween hangs. Costumed cuties can take in street performances, jump in a bouncy castle and compete for the most creative attire. Plus, this year's medieval theme means that plenty of knights, princesses, jesters and wizards will be on hand to provide tricks and treats. Wed Oct 31 4--7pm. Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Free. All ages.
Jam on Dumbo Halloween Concert
Get pumped for trick-or-treating with a concert by the Rockdoves and a kiddie costume contest. Doors open at 4pm, and families are invited to stick around for dinner after the show so your little ones can fuel up on pizza or pasta before their Halloween high jinks begin. Wed Oct 31 4:30--5:30pm. Superfine. Suggested donation $10. All ages.
Village Halloween Costume Ball
At this glamorously spooky gala, nonstop theater, a costume competition and ballroom dancing bewitch the East Village on Halloween. Outside, bluegrass and jazz bands, fire eaters, jugglers, storytellers, stilt dancers and a medieval ritual show entertain passersby free of charge (starting at 4:30pm). In addition to continuous entertainment, partygoers can enjoy graveyard dirt--cheap food and spiritual sessions with a Wiccan aura reader. Costumes are required for this festive event. Wed Oct 31 at 4:30pm. Theater for the New City. 4:30--7:30pm free, after 7:30pm $20. All ages.