RECOMMENDED: Halloween for kids in New York City
Stock up on ghoulish getups at your favorite Halloween costume stores and get ready to party! There are tons of fun-filled Halloween festivals for kids in NYC to help you celebrate the most haunted holiday. Your family will love getting dressed up for these Halloween events for kids, where they can pick pumpkins, see live performances and get a head start on trick-or-treating.
Halloween festivals for kids in NYC
Tots can pick a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch to decorate, ride a horse-drawn carriage along the river and bop along to a concert from the Funkytown Playground in this scenic Upper East Side park. Enter on East End Ave. between 87th and 88th Street. All ages.
At this seasonal event, families can listen to music, go on nature walks through the garden, meet furry friends in the petting zoo, ride ponies, and get in on composting demos. Round up the gang and enjoy live musical performances and crafts, then take a break to nosh on treats (including beer for Mom and Dad). They can also, of course, peruse the pumpkin patch for the perfect Halloween crop. All ages.
This annual Halloween bash will a treasure trove of fun for everyone in the family: After munching on fall treats like pumpkin donuts and cider near the sharks, little adventurers can whip up pumpkin snacks for an aquarium animal and decorate a gourd to take home. The costumed little ones will then parade through the aquarium and feed the squid and fish in Glovers Reef. Ages 2–8.
Your family pup can join in the Halloween spirit too. Grab a doggie costume and enter him in the annual Halloween HOWL, where more than 200 dogs will strut their stuff in front of a panel of judges. The event takes play on the hockey/basketball court. All ages.
Bring little ones to enjoy the "Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life" exhibit at dusk, when your family can snap photos with larger-than-life skeletons, dressed up in celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Con Edison will provide flashlights to help find your way along the Whole Foods Market Trick-or-Treat Trail, where you'll hear ghost stories and encounter giant pumpkin displays on the Mitsubishi Wild Wetland Trail. Timed entries at 6:30 and 7:15pm, advance purchase recommended. All ages.
Your little goblins can showcase their costumes alongside gigantic puppets at this daytime parade and festival. They can also dance to live music by Terry Dames Science Music Roadshow, craft wearable insect antennae and visit stuffed creatures at the Pretend Petting Zoo. Grab your camera and deck your kids our in their best ensembles—they'll show them off in a parade and drum circle! All ages.
This family-focused fest on Pier 6 features pumpkin-picking, face painting, mask-making crafts, plus an old-timey trolley bus that'll escort families down Atlantic Avenue to Fourth Ave, making occasional stops for more family fun at the Hoyt Street Garden. Meanwhile, be sure to head back to Brooklyn Bridge Park for Zumba at 11am, a Halloween costume parade at 11:45am and music by AudraRox at noon. Ages 1 to 8.
The New York Botanical Garden's typical Halloween festivities get some Mexican flair this year, in honor of the grounds' featured exhibit "Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life," The life-size diorama, inspired by the painter's own home, will host families for a colorful celebration of the Mexican holiday Day of the Dead. Kids will design detailed masks or have their faces painted in preparation for a whimsical parade, when La Calavera Catrina puppets—elegant females skeletons—and butterflies will stroll through the garden. Enjoy stilt dancing from Los Zancudos de Zaachila and traditional Mexican tunes from the Villalobos Brothers (Oct 30, Nov 1). All ages.
Each year, Prospect Park puts on a whole weekend of holiday fun for both thrill-seekers and their white-knuckled younger sibs. On Saturday, Lookout Hill gets a ghoulish makeover at the annual Haunted Walk (noon–3pm), while those less inclined to ghosts and goblins can play games on the Nethermead, hang out in the Lefferts Historic House, where they’ll cut out autumn and Halloween scenes or listen to master storyteller Tammy Hall’s spooky tales of 19th-century Flatbush ($3 suggested, 2–4pm). Meanwhile, families take a spin on the Haunted Carousel ($2) and get up close with creepy crawlers at the Audubon Center (1–4:30pm) before grabbing snacks from over a dozen food trucks. All ages.
Get in the spooky spirit at this annual festival, where kids can make their own Halloween costumes with a helping hand from the Socrates artists, get their faces painted and join in on an art workshop with the Free Style Arts Association. Families can listen to live music and chow down on food from local restaurants while they play the day away. As an added bonus, pups are even welcome—enter your retrievers, terriers and more in the Juried Canine Contest. All ages.