No tricks, just treats! We’ve rounded up New York City’s spookiest neighborhoods and events to score candy for Halloween
Halloween in NYC is a month-long celebration! Explore New York City’s spooky side this October with creepy stories, haunted houses, ghouls, and ghosts of all kinds. Join costume parades (or have your dog join one), make Halloween-themed crafts, learn about the traditions and animals that are associated with the holiday, carve some pumpkins, and so much more. We’ve also rounded up some of the best neighborhoods for trick-or-treating in New York City. Check out the best spots to see the spookiest decorations, walk in the most family-friendly parades, and, of course, score the best candy. Note that things start early, with some gatherings happening as early as 3:30 p.m. Now go forth, be safe, and get that candy!
Halloween Parades and Events in New York City
Bronx Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo
Sep. 30-Oct. 29: Don your Halloween costume and visit the zoo on weekends for spooky happenings, like magic shows, mind-reading demonstrations, pumpkin carving workshops, costume parades, arts, crafts, and puppets, and so much more. Best of all, the Halloween celebrations are included with your zoo admission. Event details.
Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade
Oct. 21: For a little while it looked like this beloved puprade wasn’t happening this year, but thanks to community involvement and a last-minute sponsor, the Halloween dog parade is back on! Dress your pupper in your favorite costume and join the parade, then try your luck in the costume competition (which is free but has limited spaces). Event details.
Bleecker Playground Annual Halloween Parade and Festival
Oct. 22: The whole neighborhood is pitching in for this family fun festival, where kids can try different Halloween decorating (from cupcakes to shoes!). There are plenty of other activities, as well, like kid-friendly chess matches, face painting, a trading post for toys and books, themed arts and crafts, and more. Event details.
Halloween Howl at Carl Schurz Park
Oct. 22: Stop by with your costumed pups for the annual dog parade at Carl Schurz Park. Join over 200 other doggos putting their best foot forward before a panel of judges. Event details.
Central Park Pumpkin Flotilla
Oct. 26: Send your jack-o-lantern floating down the Harlem Meer in this magical evening event. To be a part of the flotilla, your pumpkin should weigh about 8 lbs. (post-gutting, with the lid), and don’t use anything to decorate the pumpkin that could be potentially hazardous for the wildlife. Event details.
Williamsbridge Oval Haunted House
Oct. 27: This haunted house is more like a spooky house, but it’s still recommended that you don’t bring kids under 10 years old to this event. Get moderately scared by the witches, ghosts, and ghouls of the Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center. Event details.
Halloween Harvest Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park
Oct. 28: What do you do with your pumpkins after you’re done carving them? You launch them in a catapult, of course! Socrates Sculpture Park’s annual “Flight of the Gourds” is back and better than ever, featuring a dog costume contest, live music, delish food, workshops, and high-flying pumpkins headed straight for the compost pile. Event details.
The Great Pupkin in Fort Greene Park
Oct. 28: Think your pup has what it takes to win over the crowd in all his costumed glory? Then head over to the Great Pupkin Parade, where costumed pooches strut their stuff. Now in its 25th year, this event features some of the most extravagant and ridiculous(ly cute) dog costumes in the city. Event details.
Fall Fad Market at the Invisible Dog Art Center
Oct. 28-29: If you’re searching for a more relaxed and crafty Halloween celebration, the Fall Fad Market is the perfect place for you. Featuring over 50 small businesses and designers, this craft fair is a quaint and cozy way to spend your pre-Halloween weekend with smaller kids or kiddos who’ll appreciate the goodies and trinkets. Plus, it’s a great place to pick up some unique holiday presents. Event details.
Corlears Hook Park Trick or Treating
Oct. 29: Corlears Hook Park invites the whole neighborhood to come out and play in this community event. Stations will be set up around the park, presented by local businesses and families, and featuring tricks and treats for the kids. Event details.
Washington Market Park Halloween Parade and Concert
Oct. 29: This community event is led by the spectacular Queer Big Apple Corps Marching Band, making it a boisterously good time for everyone. Put on your Halloween costume and join the procession through the spooky decorated park grounds. Event details.
Brooklyn Bowl’s Halloween Spectacular
Oct. 29: Presented by the Rock and Roll Playhouse, this live music event is kid-friendly and a spooky good time. It’s also a good cause: the Playhouse will be supporting UNICEF and requesting donations to help children and families around the world access basic human needs. Event details.
Halloween on the Farm at Queens County Farm
Oct. 29: The fall festival at Queens County Farm culminates in this Halloween extravaganza, which features a DJ dance party, Halloween hayrides, spooky crafts, and other fun for the whole family. Don’t miss the Amazine Maize Maze and the spooky farmhouse experience. Plus, go trick or treating among the animals! Event details.
American Museum of Natural History’s Spooky Space
Oct. 31: Space might not be the first thing you think of when you think of Halloween, but outer space is a pretty spooky and magical place. This special Hayden Planetarium screening is led by scientist Jackie Faherty and takes audiences through the eerier side of space. Explore the chilling mysteries of the universe! Event details.
Halloween Boo Bash at the Ulmer Park Library
Oct. 31: Smaller kids can sing and dance with “Bubbles” in this silly and cute Halloween celebration for tots. Stick around for the Halloween carnival, which will feature games, crafts, and prize giveaways. And if this event isn’t within reach for you, check out your local library’s events leading up to Halloween—chances are, there are some fun themed activities happening at a library near you. Event details.
BAMboo! at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
Oct. 31: At the annual BAM Boo! event, costumed kids will enjoy music, carnival games, arts and crafts, and, of course, plenty of candy and trick-or-treating! After, you can hit up the shops at Atlantic Terminal for a few more goodies. Event details.
Annual Children’s Halloween Parade in Washington Square Park
Oct. 31: If the big Village Halloween parade is too much for your little ones (and we don’t blame them), this smaller, kid-oriented version might be a better option for them. Come out to enjoy live performances, play games, snag treats, and, of course, show off your awesome costume. Event details.
Boo!KCM at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
Oct. 31: The night of the living drums is upon us, and the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music has wrangled them into a fun evening event. This free celebration has spooky musical performances, candy giveaways, and a haunted instrument garden. Event details.
Park Slope Halloween Parade
Oct. 31: For Park Slope’s somewhat legendary parade, bring your costume A-game and join in at any point along the route, or enjoy the creative and creepy costumes as a spectator. While you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to hit some of the brownstone-lined streets, where residents are known for their out-of-this-world decorations. Event details.
NYC Village Halloween Parade
Oct. 31: This is the big one. Starting at 7 p.m., this famous parade is loud, crowded, and rowdy—it’s a mainstay of the holiday so we feel like we have to mention it, but it’s not the most kid-friendly spot. Save this one for the older children, or celebrate earlier with the Washington Square Park kids’ parade. Event details.
Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
Oct. 31: This is the other big one. This Queens neighborhood’s wildly popular Halloween Parade is the second-largest Halloween kids parade in NYC. As if marching in that wasn’t enough reward in itself, at the end of the procession, all kids get goodie bags. After the parade, kids can hit the apartment buildings in the area to score big. Event details.
The Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods in Manhattan
Governors Island usually hosts a Halloween event during the two weekends leading up to the holiday. Here, you’ll find arts and crafts, pumpkin picking, photo-ops, and trick-or-treating on the historical island. Kids parade around Nolan Park, stopping by every participating house, where the people are friendly and dressed up, and the candy is plentiful.
The Meatpacking District is a top destination for trick-or-treaters this year, thanks to the neighborhood’s “Treats in the Streets” event. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 21, participating vendors will be handing out candy and treats to costumed revelers. The block party will feature live music, a doggie costume contest, and a bunch of treats and activities for kids. Walk the High Line for a birds-eye view of the festivities and for more opportunities to get treats from volunteers. Download a map on the website and head out for a big haul!
Kick off trick-or-treating in Clement Clarke Moore Park—known by locals as “Seal Park”—on 10th Avenue at 22nd Street, then walk up and down the decorated brownstone blocks around the General Theological Seminary. The west side neighborhood’s most popular streets for gathering the goods are 21st and 22nd Streets between Ninth and Tenth Avenues; for less of a crowd, head to the houses between Eighth and Ninth Avenues. Stop by Chelsea Market for a break from the cold and some more treats, as the space usually hosts trick-or-treating events on Halloween.
The East Midtown Partnership is bringing trick-or-treating back to the streets of Midtown, and promises the event will be bigger and better than ever. Visit on Halloween from 3-7 for a packed schedule of events and candy. Families can pick up a trick-or-treating bag at Sunrise (139 East 56th Street at Lexington Avenue)—where you can also participate in free pumpkin painting—or the plaza outside 919 3rd Avenue (at East 56th Street). Check out the spooky photo booth at the plaza, then make your way around the neighborhood’s businesses. You can view a map of participating locations on the website.
Uptown in Hamilton Heights, head to 141st to 145th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam, where residents deck out their townhouses in a new theme each year, making for an especially festive treat gathering.
In Harlem, you can’t go wrong with 121st Street, starting at Marcus Garvey Park and hitting the brownstones all the way to Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Another great spot is Strivers Row, at 138th and 139th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard as well as a bit further north, at Hamilton Terrace between 141st and 144th Streets, where houses are decked out each year with impressive Halloween displays.
Stores around Washington Market Park will be decorated in style and handing out candy on Halloween, as will storefronts and houses along Duane, Reade, and Church Streets.
Upper West Side
Walk up Columbus Ave between 68th and 77th Streets for some great trick or treating (the streets might also be closed to traffic that day, but check ahead to be sure!), or switch over to Amsterdam Street around 111th Street.
Upper East Side
The best spots for trick or treating in the Upper East Side seem to be 78th and 82nd Streets, but make sure to leave time to take in the sights: The neighborhood is known for spooky and over-the-top Halloween decorations. Check out hot spots on East 78th, between Park and Lexington Avenue as well as East 67th, 72nd, and 74th between Fifth Ave and Madison. Stop by for some impressive skeletons, painted pumpkins, smoke-breathing dragons, and more spooky fun.
Queens: The Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods in Queens
Forest Hills Gardens will make you doubt you’re in NYC. The leafy and historic enclave is a trick-or-treater’s paradise, with tree-lined streets and stately single-family houses. There’s always activity on the busy thoroughfare of Continental and 71st Avenues, and if you prefer to visit businesses and storefronts over houses, Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills proper has a lot to offer for costumed kids.
For an authentic, suburban, small-town vibe, head to Middle Village. Highly residential, with mostly single-family homes, this neighborhood contains lots of houses spooked up for the holidays (think big inflatables) and pedestrian-friendly streets for tiny trick-or-treaters. Juniper Valley Park is a beloved neighborhood park that often hosts Halloween goodies for the kids, which in the past have included tables full of candy and decked-out car trunks that would compete with any house decor display.
For a similar feel to Middle Village that’s a little easier to get to by subway (it’s a short walk from the 46th St./Bliss St. stop on the 7 line) try Sunnyside Gardens. One of New York’s first planned communities, this cohesive landmarked area’s streets of charming houses and oversized trees make for manageable and picturesque candy collecting.
The Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods and Events in Brooklyn
This community is so organized it has a map of Halloween hot spots and blocks welcoming kids, and orange and black balloons to let you know where to go. There will be candy for kids and even dog-friendly treats! Don’t miss the Theme House on Jefferson Avenue between Throop & Tompkins. The fun begins at 4:30. Find the Halloween 2023 map here!
It’s hard to find more festive blocks in The Heights than Garden Place and Grace Court Alley, which are typically blocked off from traffic in honor of the holiday. Residents go all out, constructing elaborate Halloween displays in front of the street’s historic brownstones—fake coffins, life-size mummies, smoke machines, jack-o’lanterns en masse, etc. It’s a festive and very busy scene, so go early if you want to come out of it with treats in the bucket. For a quieter but still lovely trick-or-treating experience, head to nearby streets Remsen and Joralemon.
Costumed kids and parents cram into this small Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood for the annual Halloween parade. Afterward, the main drag of Court Street and the surrounding blocks are filled with trick-or-treaters. (Venture further down Court to Carroll Gardens for even more candy and brownstones with large front gardens tricked-out for the holiday.) Be on time: It’s not uncommon for businesses and homes to have their candy stash completely cleared out by the festive, costumed throngs early on.
Not only does Ditmas Park bring the candy and the spooky decor, but with its huge Victorian homes and wide, tree-lined streets, it’s a lovely place to revel in Halloween fun. Young ghosts and goblins gather in front of the Halloween House on the intersection of Argyle and Albemarle Roads before heading out to the rest of the nabe. Franklin Street is a popular destination for commercial trick or treating, while the brownstones between Franklin Street and Manhattan Avenue are all dressed up in spooky decor and welcoming candy-seeking children.
Dumbo usually hosts an annual DUMBOween event, in which costumed participants make their way through Dumbo and Brooklyn Bridge Park, led by live music and puppets. The parade is followed up by family-friendly activities in the Archway. Additionally, more than 40 Dumbo businesses will offer trick-or-treating at their storefronts on Halloween!
You can feel the excitement mounting in this residential neighborhood as Halloween approaches, as more and more decorations are added to the single-family homes. Head to the numbered blocks (3rd, 4th, 5th) between Caton and Albemarle, and make sure to hit Fourth Street, which is closed to traffic and rocks out hard, with music, games, and scores of families.
South of Park Slope and north of Kensington, Windsor Terrace is a neighborhood of residential streets with lots of houses that also really get into the holiday. Head to blocks between Vanderbilt Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway and don’t miss Third Street between Vanderbilt and Greenwood Avenues, which in the past, has been closed to traffic on Halloween.
The Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods in the Bronx
The upscale ‘hood of Riverdale always makes for some good candy collecting, but the area’s neighbor, the community of Fieldston, is worthy of destination trick-or-treating. With much of it recognized as a landmarked historic district, the positively suburban-feeling area is filled with trees and beautiful houses that set the perfect backdrop for Halloween activities. (The varied architectural styles range from Tudor and Art and Crafts, to “manor” and “castle.”) There’s a good chance you’ll forget you’re in New York City.
Whether you take part in City Island’s Halloween Parade or just visit for the trick or treating, City Island is worth a visit on Halloween. The community feel is generally strong on City Island, and many doors are open to parade goers: Storefronts and homes along the parade route hand out candy to costumed partiers.
The Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods in Staten Island
The suburban feel of Staten Island lends itself to more room and creativity, resulting in some absolutely incredible Halloween displays. Some of the best can be found in and just outside of Bulls Head. Check out the houses on Caswell Ave between Willowbrook Road and Woolley Avenue—in fact, 278 Caswell Avenue is known as “The Halloween House” and attracts tourists each year who marvel at their extravagant displays. Another hot spot are the streets that branch out from Gannon Avenue N, near Ingram Woods.