Get us in your inbox

Photograph: Shutterstock

20 spooktacular things to do in NYC this weekend

Jennifer P

Fri 28

So Far Gone: Drake Night Baby’s All Right; midnight; $10
DJs Dirty South Joe and Gun$ Garcia spin beats like “One Dance,” “Started from the Bottom” and “Take Care” at this wild tribute to the king of YOLO.

Halloween Extravaganza and Procession of the Ghouls Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine; 7pm; $25, student and senior $20
Take in a screening of the German expressionist film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, accompanied by creepy tunes played on the cathedral’s great organ. But the nightmare’s not over once the credits roll—the movie will be followed by Ralph Lee and the Mettawee River Theatre Company’s annual procession of the ghouls, in which demons and witches infiltrate the church in a ghostly parade down the aisles.

Fred Thomas Midnight Funk Dance Party Freddy’s Bar; midnight; free
Show up to boogie to all the best in blues and soul at this shindig helmed by James Brown's longtime bassist. Thomas steps up to the microphone, bass in hand, twice each month at the popular South Slope watering hole to deliver spirited renditions of J.B. hits like "Hot Pants," "Papa Don't Take No Mess" and "Pass the Peas," alongside classics from other artists. Get ready to sweat it out and soak up the soul power.

Supercinema’s Inferno at the McKittrick Hotel; 10:15pm; $115–$700
A monster mash gets the Sleep No More treatment during this spooky interactive dance party, which is, appropriately, named after the hotel in Alfred Hitchcock’s fright-night classic Vertigo. In keeping with the venue’s creaky antique charm, this Halloween shindig has a classic Hollywood movie monsters theme, and revelers are asked to dress up like the Wolf Man, the Creature from the Black Lagoon and other iconic old-school freaks. (Big spenders can book the VIP Studio Tour package, and the pros at the hotel put together your ghastly wardrobe and makeup for you). Plus, there’s an all-night open bar and wandering performers, so you’ll feel like a party devil soon enough. 

Artcade Con La MaMa Experimental Theatre; 8pm; $15
This isn't your parent's arcade. This isn't even your childhood arcade. Art and technology center Culturehub returns with its second-annual celebration of nontraditional and indie video games, like the fourth-wall-breaking The Temple of No and squad-based post-apocalyptic survival game Overland. Get first crack at Owlboy, a new adventure game set to be released in November, plus attend panel discussions with industry experts about the future of games at this gathering of innovative—and playful—minds. 

The Phantom of the Opera on 16mm Morbid Anatomy Museum; 7pm; $12
Before Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical became the stuff of Broadway legend, there was this haunting 1925 movie adaptation beloved for its spectacular sets, shadowy visuals and original Phantom, Lon Chaney. While you revisit the tale of lost love in catacombs on 16-millimeter film, the daring minds of the Underworld Oscillator Company present their arrangement to the silent flick. 

Sat 29

BangOn!NYC: Warehouse of Horrors East Williamsburg Warehouse; 9pm; $50–$130
BangOn!NYC is packing a secret Williamsburg warehouse with mesmerizing, horrifying and totally entrancing art, performances and silent disco sets. There will be freaky performers, delicious food vendors, a bouncey house, a flesh-suspension zip line show, a haunted house and more ghastly curiosities. Just make sure your costume has room for headphones.

PhantasmaGorey: The Haunted Ballroom Prospect Hall; 10pm; $35–$59
Dances of Vice hosts its annual Edward Gorey–themed bash in a transformed Victorian space; partygoers are allowed to roam fully costumed through cobwebbed French Renaissance balconies and cobwebbed candelabras. While Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra performs, join a ballroom of old-school ghouls reminiscent of the dancing scenes in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and grab a near-fatal shot of absinthe. 

Shake, Rattle & Roll Dueling Pianos The Bar at The Pennsy; 10pm; $20 plus two-item minimum
Two piano men battle it out to prove which one is truly the master of all 88 keys, with a playlist decided entirely by the audience. Whether you’re in the mood for Billy Joel, Christina Aguilera or current chart toppers, these pianists are up for the challenge. But they’ll expect you to do your part by dancing and singing along. 

Harry Potter Trivia Barrel and Fare; 8pm; free
The Dark Mark will be out over Brooklyn this Halloween, as die-hard fans of the Harry Potter books gather for several rounds of complex trivia. Study up on your Quidditch rules, Order of the Phoenix membership rosters and charms if you want to be ready to duel with the city's fiercest Potterheads and be sure to serve up your best Lestrange realness at the costume contest.  

Stranger Things Halloween Brooklyn Warehouse; 9pm; $20–$30, after 1am $15
Gemini & Scorpio are bringing Hawkins, Indiana circa 1983 to a two-floor warehouse in Brooklyn! Celebrate your love for Netflix's horror smash Stranger Things by getting lost in the "forest" of the Upside Down. Have a face-off with a mind reader, play some Dungeons & Dragons, relax in a blanket fort and eat Eggos until you puke. There will even be a séance to track down all those missing kids. Note: You must wear a costume for entry. Might we suggest everyone’s favorite missing home girl, Barb?

MoMA PS1 Halloween Ball; 8pm; $18, $20 day of
Since the first Moma PS1 Halloween ball in 2012, Pussy Rioters, Catwomen and heaping armadas of bedraggled nightlife essentials have indecently exposed themselves with gusto on PS1's grounds. Past guests have included Robyn, Ladyfag and Chloe Sevigny. If you've been planning on doing a drag Kim Davis look, this is the place to premiere it.  

Jekyll & Hyde Halloween Party The Cannibal; 9pm; $125
Ring in All Hallow's Eve with a high-style Manhattan bacchanal. The Cannibal space will be split in two for the wild night: enjoy a masterful feast and open bar worthy of Hannibal Lecter in the Butchery; then get down like you're in Byron's London with a three-piece band, classy cocktails and vittles. Be sure to wear a costume: you don't want to bring out the Cannibal's dark side. 

Nightmare on 12th Street McCarren Hotel and Pool; 7pm; $10
Head to the McCarren Hotel & Pool for a tasteful night of Halloween raging, featuring DJs LoveStory and Jay Xero, a costume contest hosted by America's Next Top Model's Stacy Ann and an open bar from 7–9pm. Indulge in scream-themed food specials like Crispy Blood Pops ($7) and Pig Head Bahn Mi ($10). 

Halloween Harvest Luna Park; noon; ticket packages vary
NYC’ s largest amusement park has been transformed into a spooky fun zone with Halloween Harvest, a family-friendly festival going on at Luna Park on weekends through October 30. They'll be crafts, raffles, entertainment, and of course, the Luna Park rides that make the park so special. With the beach and the Cyclone set as the backdrop, the southern coast of Brooklyn makes for a great holiday experience.

Brew at the Zoo Bronx Zoo; 7pm; $45, designated driver $30, VIP $75
Party animals come together for a wild night of drinking at the Bronx Zoo’s first-ever Halloween rager. More than 40 beer vendors set up shop outdoors and let you try unlimited beer samples from your commemorative souvenir cup. Between sips, hit up food trucks, get acquainted with snakes, sea lions and lemurs, and dance like a maniac with costumed revelers. If you’re down for a jungleworthy jam, opt in for the VIP glow-in-the-dark party. Partygoers abstaining from alcohol can join the fun at a reduced price. Time to unleash the beast. 

Kickstarter Ghost Arcade BRIC House; 11am; free
Kickstarter invites NYC game creators to show off their fun new tabletop and video games for you to try and buy. Cards Against Humanity fans can rejoice while playing the new Metagame, which raises arguments about pop culture with every flipped card. Old-school–arcade devotees will love the gentrification-smashing Treachery in Beatdown City, along with Super Russian Roulette, designed specifically for the original Nintendo system. 

Sun 30

Illuminated Mausoleums Night Tour Woodlawn Cemetery; 9pm; $17
NYC’s most ornate, lush cemetery lights up on Halloween Eve, when some of its grand 1,300-plus mausoleums illuminate to guide your trek through the otherwise dark expanse of tombs and gravestones. Be on the lookout for the resting places of famous residents—jazz icons like Miles Davis and Duke Ellington and suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton are three of the 300,000 people buried there—and enjoy the creepy yet pretty darn cool sensation of seeing ridiculously ostentatious tombs give off ghostly glows.

An Evening with The Americans 92nd St Y; 7:30pm; $60
Stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys join showrunners Joe Weisberg and Joel Fields to discuss the taut, thrilling FX spy series. 

Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla Central Park; 3:30pm; Free
Celebrate the Halloween season at one of the best park’s in the city for fall foliage: Central Park. Listen to ghost stories, check out a costume parade and get creative by carving a pumpkin. After the festivities, the Central Park Conservancy will partake in a traditional Pumpkin Flotilla, where 50 gourds (possibly your creation) will take a sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight. 

Popular on Time Out

    Latest news

      Read next