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The best things to do near the Village Halloween Parade

Looking for something to do before of after the Village Halloween Parade? Here are the best spots to check out.

Photograph: Filip Wolak
Village Halloween Parade

If you’re planning to march during the Village Halloween Parade, you might be looking for something to do before NYC’s biggest ghoulish procession. That’s why we’ve rounded up some awesome New York attractions in surrounding neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village, Soho and Chelsea. On this list, we included one of the city’s best French bakery spots, lovely NYC parks and a recommendation for a Halloween store—just in case you need to pick up any last-minute accessories or costume makeup.

RECOMMENDED: Guide to the Village Halloween Parade in NYC

Best things to do near the Village Halloween Parade

Oblige your sweet tooth at Dominque Ansel Bakery

Dominique Ansel honed his skills as executive pastry chef at Daniel for six years before opening this American and French patisserie. Caramelized croissants, miniature pastel meringues and madeleines make up the sweet selections at the counter. But the café also serves savory offerings, like roasted butternut squash soup and a pork club sandwich with pickled eggs, tomatoes and spicy mayo on sourdough.

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Check out the Rubin Museum of Art

Opened in 2004, this six-story museum (once home to Barneys New York) houses Donald and Shelley Rubin’s impressive collection of Himalayan art and artifacts, as well as large-scale temporary exhibitions.

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Laugh out loud at the Comedy Cellar

Claustrophobes, beware: It gets crowded down here, especially on weekends, thanks to the immense popularity of this Village standby. Big names from Louis CK to Aziz Ansari will just drop by for a set and on any given night, you can expect to see other local greats whose acts are more X-rated than at other clubs.

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Greenwich Village

Enjoy free entertainment at Washington Square Park

The hippies who famously turned up and tuned out in Washington Square Park are still there in spirit, and indeed often in person. In warmer months the park—which was once a potter’s field—is one of the best people-watching spots in the city, hummings with musicians and street artists, while skateboarders clatter near the base of the iconic 1895 Washington Arch (a modest replica of Paris’s Arc de Triomphe). Plus, kids can splash in the area’s new fountain on sweltering days.

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Greenwich Village

Sample fromage at Murray’s Cheese Shop

This temple to curds has been selling quality cheeses to New Yorkers for years. If the overwhelming smell of delicious fromage has you salivating, ask the friendly man behind the counter to give you a few samples of your favorites. Just make sure to purchase some cheese for the road in case you find something you really, really like.

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West Village

Grab food and drinks at Umami Burger

This bi-level 128-seat space burger joint—decked out with red leather banquettes and a framed portrait of umami-discovering scientist Kikunae Ikeda—features two full bars stocked with eight tap beers (Sixpoint Sweet Action, Allagash White) and17 location-specific cocktails: The 21-U Club is a tribute to the supposed birthplace of the Bloody Mary, while the Bobcat—a mix of cognac, black-cherry soda and lemonade—is named after NYU’s mascot.

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Greenwich Village

Nab last-minute Halloween makeup or accessories

Still need to find a last-minute getup for the parade? Peer into any one of Ricky’s bazillion (okay, there are actually 10) Halloween pop-ups and you’ll find so much budget-friendly polyester bounty, including sexy, er, everything. If you’re looking for the perfect accessory to finish your look, the shop sells wigs, animal ears, fangs—you name it.

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Greenwich Village

Looking for more Halloween fun?