RECOMMENDED: Halloween for kids
Spirits lurk at NYC's haunted houses for kids and kid-friendly haunted walks—are you ready to face them? These ghoulishly great picks range from semi scary to pretty mild, so there's really something for everyone (even your tiniest)! Don't forget to pay a visit to these pumpkin picking spots and grab your best Halloween garb at these costume shops.
If you're in the mood for other autumnal adventures, don't miss our list of top-notch fall and winter getaways from NYC.
Haunted houses for kids and fun haunted walks
New York’s most high-tech haunted house also has an educational element: Every year, students in City Tech’s Theatreworks program produce the attraction from the ground up, with skeleton pirates, talking paintings and a grisly bathroom. Tough tweens can trigger the hotel’s spooky surprises (think jumping skeletons and pirate ghosts) with a series of hidden sensors that respond to their movements. Ages 6 and up.
Immerse yourself in history as you stroll along the winding paths of National Historic Landmark, Greenwood Cemetery. With this guided tour lead by historian Jeff Richman, you’ll find a perfect spooky activity for families, tweens and teens. This cemetery is truly a sight to behold (as it well should be since it was designed by the architects behind Central Park) and there are new sights to see around every bend. Take in the stunning fall foliage as you hear tales of murder, mayhem and spirits. You’ll visit the graves of the actor Frank Morgan, who played The Wizard of Oz, George Washington’s Dentist, the founder of Spiritualism and more. You’ll also get to step inside the rarely opened catacombs. These walks always sell out, so get your tickets in advance. Green-Wood Cemetery, 25th Street at 5th Avenue, Brooklyn; meet inside the main gate. Ages 12 and up.
Join a professional storyteller and actor in period dress as you traverse the streets of some of NYC’s most haunted neighborhoods. On the Children’s Ghost Hunt in the Haunted East Village, guide Robin and her raven Edgar on a ghost hunt. You’ll learn all you (This tour is suitable for children 5 and up.) You’ll learn all about conducting a paranormal investigation and becoming a ghost hunter (Oct 23-30 at 4pm). On the Edgar Allan Poe and His Ghostly Neighbors of Greenwich Village tour (Everyday in Oct at 7:30 or 9:30pm) you will visit the home of macabre poet Edgar Allan Poe, Aaron Burr and other famous historical figures. You’ll also hear the ghost stories of the NYU Public Library, Washington Square park and Arch (known as “ghost central”...for good reason) and more. For those looking to hear spooky tales of one of our city’s namesakes, there’s the Peter Stuyvesant and His Ghostly Friends of the East Village tour (every Fri and Sat night in Oct.) Go in search of Peter Stuyvesant and his ghostly friends including Edgar Allan Poe, Washington Irving, Tredwell sisters of the Merchant House Museum, Samuel Clemens, Harry Houdini, and many others in the East Village. Various dates, times and starting locations. Please book and find tour starting locations on the Ghosts of NY website. (646-493-7092, ghostsofny.com). Adults $20, children and seniors $15. Tours are 1.5 hours long and less than a mile in length. Regular tours are recommended for ages 8 and up.
This Halloween theme park in Long Island delivers screams on demand for your older kids (ages 10 and up), 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.
Prepare for ghoulish happenings all over Prospect Park! Gather the goblins for a truly hair-raising Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair (noon to 3pm) at Lookout Hill and Nethermead. At the Audubon Center, there’s Creepy Crawly Halloween, where kids can learn about all sorts of shiver-inducing creatures, find bitty bones during an owl pellet dissection (1 to 2pm), or take a Creepy Crawly walk (3 to 4pm) in search for park-dwelling critters. Over at Children’s Corner, visit Lefferts Historic House for scary storytelling and crafts (2 to 4pm; suggested donation $3), then spin to spooky music on the Haunted Carousel (noon–5pm; $2 per ride or five tickets for $9). Various locations in Prospect Park. All ages.
Spirits are lurking at this elevated park's Halloween festivities, where kids are encouraged to dress up in costume and learn about the history of hauntings along the Hudson. Trick-or-treaters can walk the High Line to get their faces painted, learn about characters like the Mad Cookie Man and the West Side Cowboy and see live performances. On the High Line between 14th and 16th Sts. All ages.