NYC’s Best Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating

kids in costume trick or treating on sidewalk iStock

No tricks, just treats! We’ve rounded up New York City’s spookiest and sweetest neighborhoods to score candy on Halloween night

Although Halloween in NYC is a month-long celebration (if you need evidence, just look at all these Halloween events for kids happening throughout October), trick-or-treating on All Hallow’s Eve is the main event. We would never say there are bad places to trick or treat in the Big Apple, but we did round up some of the traditionally prime neighborhoods for peak trick-or-treating in New York City. From Staten Island to City Island, 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 soon as 3:30 p.m. Now go forth, be safe, and get that candy!


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The Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods in Manhattan

Meatpacking District
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 22, 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!

Chelsea
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.

Greenwich Village
Traditionally, Washington Square park holds a kids’ costume parade around the park. This year, the Halloween event won’t be happening, but you can still join the kids Halloween party on October 28 or enjoy dressed up doggos on the Dog Day Halloween Costume Party and Parade on October 30. You can still trick-or-treat your way through the surrounding streets of stately townhouses. Just keep in mind that starting around 6:30 p.m., the more raucous ghouls and goblins (and naughty nurses) begin to descend on the area for the neighborhood’s legendary grown-up version of a Halloween Parade.

Midtown
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 here.

Hamilton Heights
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.

Harlem
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.

Tribeca
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. The Hippo Playground will also be holding its annual Hippo Playground Halloween Parade on October 31, so swing over at 3:30 and join the festivities and dance along to the Ramblin’ Dan’s Freewheelin’ Band.

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.

Related: Orange Bounty: The Best Pumpkin Patches Near NYC

The Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods in Queens

Forest Hills
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.

Jackson Heights
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. Lineup starts around 12p.m. at 37th Avenue and 86th Street and ends at PS 69. After the parade, kids can hit the apartment buildings in the area to score big.

Maspeth
Kick off the evening with the annual Ragamuffin Parade sponsored by the Maspeth Lions Club. Gather at the gate of the Mt. Olivet Cemetery and parade down Grand Avenue to the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank. The bank gets in on the festivities, as well, with hay rides, costumed characters, spin art, snacks, and more. Everyone leaves with a treat bag!

Middle Village
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.

Sunnyside Gardens
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.

Related: Ear You Go! Amazing Corn Mazes Near NYC

The Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

Fort Greene
The Brooklyn Academy of Music keeps the neighborhood lively with its annual BAM Boo! event, where costumed kids will enjoy music, carnival games, arts and crafts, and, of course, plenty of candy and trick or treating! The event kicks off at 4 p.m. on October 31 at 30 Lafayette Ave between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street. After, you can hit up the shops at Atlantic Terminal for a few more goodies.

Bay Ridge
Although all the big Halloween celebrations happen early this year—the neighborhood’s “Trunk or Treat” event takes place on the 29th and Owl’s Head Halloween party is on October 30—there’s still plenty of candy to go around on October 31. The stores on 3rd and 5th Avenue are particularly welcoming to costumed kids.

Bedford Stuyvesant
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 2022 map here!

Brooklyn Heights
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.

Cobble Hill
Costumed kids and parents cram into this small Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood’s Cobble Hill Park at 4 p.m. for the annual Halloween parade and then progress down Congress to Henry, around to Warren Street and back to the park. Live music thanks to the Brass Queens! is back by popular demand. 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.

Ditmas Park
Not only does Ditmas Park bring the candy and the spooky decor, 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 around 4 or 5 p.m. before heading out. 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 to candy-seeking children.

DUMBO
DUMBO is holding its annual DUMBOWeen “March to the Arch” on Halloween. The festive parade of costumed participants makes its way through Dumbo and Brooklyn Bridge Park to the Dumbo Archway, led by live music and puppets. Post-parade family-friendly activities in the Archway from 4:30-7 p.m. include arts and crafts with Creatively WILD Art Studio, a photo booth, costume contest with prizes for best costumes, and lots of candy! Additionally, more than 40 Dumbo businesses will offer trick or treating at their storefronts on Halloween from 4-7 p.m.

Kensington
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.

Park Slope
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. If you’re marching, gather at 6 p.m. at 14th Street and 7th Avenue. The parade will start at 6:30 and conclude at the Old Stone House in Washington Park on Fifth Avenue. You can get started early here: in the late afternoon area businesses pass out Halloween candy to trick-or-treaters. 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.

Windsor Terrace
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.

Related: Your NYC Fall 2021 Bucket List

The Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods in The Bronx

Riverdale
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.

City Island
If you miss the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum Trick or Treat Trek on October 29, you can still take part City Island’s Halloween Parade on the day of the holiday. The parade begins at Hawkins Street Park at 5:30 and ends in the fittingly spooky Pelham Cemetery on King Avenue. 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

Mid 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.

You can also get a head start on your trick or treating at the Staten Island Mall, where kids are encouraged to visit in costume on October 29 and visit participating stores for plenty of candy and goodies.

—additional reporting by Ashly Grzyb

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