Monsters and ghosts are definitely scary, but these uncertain times are scarier.
Navigating holidays like Halloween can be difficult, but not impossible. NYC trick or treating is on—Governor Andrew Cuomo gave the activity the green light—but the annual tradition still falls under a high-risk category according to the CDC.
Creativity is key this year: Some families are doing candy hunts at home or virtually, others are forming small trick or treating groups and some New Yorkers are opting to snag those sweets at a fall festival (like Boo at the Zoo). Whatever you decide, don't forget the masks—and not just the festive ones.
In addition to enforcing mask usage, experts are also offering tips about sweets. Dr. Purvi Parikh, allergist/immunologist withAllergy & Asthma Network said, "Consider giving your own candy to your child rather than collecting from homes."
Sure October 31 is going to be a bit unusual, but it'll still be spooky. We've outlined a bunch of in-person (socially-distant) NYC trick or treating events, virtual activities and other ways to keep little ghosts and ghouls entertained. (Call ahead before venturing anywhere, as advanced tickets are likely required.)
Things to do
Time Out Market New York, DUMBO
2020 has indeed been scary enough so Time Out Market has created a way for your family and friend group to safely celebrate Halloween. We will be taking reservations for socially-distant seatings throughout the day on Oct 31. Get into the spirit by dressing up for photo opps (and perhaps some impromptu prizes). Your ticket will grant you a bag of responsibly packed candy—for kids and adults with a sweet tooth. Each ticket purchased also comes with a $5 credit to use in the Market on that day. Vampire accent: “Come in for a bite, muhahaha!” All ages.
Go trick or treating door-to-door at your favorite toy store! CAMP Hudson Yards will host a touchless scavenger hunt, both indoor and outdoors, where kids can collect treats (or tricks) from 18 different mystery doors. Kiddos will receive a map, candy bag (which unlocks each door) and mystery code. Ages 5–12.
Update: You can snag 50 percent off a child's ticket (with the purchase of one adult ticket) when children where their costumes to Boo at the Zoo. Use "COSTUME" at checkout to claim the offer.
The Bronx Zoo's annual Boo at the Zoo is chillingly wicked—in a good way! Thursday through Sunday from Oct 1 to Nov 1 is your chance to revel in the Halloween fun, from magic shows and pumpkin carving demonstrations to mind reading and trips through the spooky extinct animal graveyard. Plus, you'll be able to snag treats—and learn all about animals' favorite snacks—every day from 11am–4pm along Candy Trail (located at Mouse House Lawn)
The Museum of Ice Cream will make the Halloween season extra sweet—"No tricks, just treats." Head to the foodie attraction in costume to enjoy a few spooky delights during your visit to the themed wonder land. You'll receive candy, fun prizes and MOIC merch! All ages.
Things to do
Asphalt Green, Upper East Side, Upper East Side
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 music and trick or treating. Social distancing measures will be in place. RSVP online.All ages.
The Queens County Farm is wrapping up its holiday festivities with one big celebration: Halloween on the Farm allows little ones to enjoy the Amazing Maize Maze, hayrides, crafts and, of course, trick or treating with the farm animals. Advanced tickets are required. All ages.
Forget the ghosts and goblins: The scariest part of Halloween 2020 is wondering if it will take place at all. No matter how families plan to celebrate the spookiest time of the year, Mars Wrigley will make sure that little ones snag some sweets with the help of its new app, Treat Town. The candy maker's creation brings the trick or treating experience to families virtually, however, it lets kiddos reap the benefits IRL (naturally). Here's the deal: Download the app (on iTunes, Google Play or online), decorate your virtual house in Halloween decor and snag virtual candy credits that can be redeemed for real candy from the likes of Snickers, Skittles, M&Ms and your other favorites. Oh, did we mention this is happening all month long? No need to reserve the fun for October 31.
Halloween is looking a little different this year, but that doesn't mean the spookiest day of the year has been canceled. In fact, Sour Patch Kids wants to make it sweeter than ever! The candy brand is reversing trick-or-treating by making pitstops in 12 cities (nominate yours on social media) and delivering sour, sweet goodies to families. One lucky city will be able to snag candy from the Jack O’Lantern Mobile! More details to follow this October. Stay up to date with the hashtag #SourThenSweetHalloween. All ages.
Talk about creativity: chocolate giant Reese's just announced the unleashing of a pretty cool robot that will roam neighborhood streets to dispense free peanut butter cups. The best part? The entire ordeal will be hands-free. Officially named Reese's Trick-or-Treat Door, the moving robot is powered by three motors that can be directed by a remote control up to 5,000 feet away—which means that other humans don't even have to be nearby for the gimmick to work. All you have to do to activate the 9-foot door is say "trick or treat." Once you do that, the built-in Bluetooth-enabled speaker will prompt the system to dish out a king size Reese's candy bar. Also expect a Halloween soundtrack to blast from the speakers while the door is rolling around. How cool does that sound?No word yet on where the movable door is set to land, but you can actually submit a neighborhood request on Instagram, using the hashtag #ReesesDoor.
It looks like candy lovers' favorite season won't be quite as sweet this year. States are responsible for proposing their own trick-or-treating rules, but the CDC has provided guidance to lead holiday merrymakers in the right direction when it comes to safety. There are three categories—low-risk, moderate-risk and high-risk activities—and unfortunately, trick-or-treating falls in the high-risk zone. *Sigh* Although it's no surprise that the tradition is raising red flags, there are still ways for kiddos to safely get a sugar high this year.