NYC’s Best Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating

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Halloween is back in NYC! (Need evidence? Here’s a look at Halloween events for kids happening all month long. While we would never say there are bad places to trick-ot-treat in the Big Apple, below are some of the traditionally prime neighborhoods for trick-or-treating in New York City. Note that things start early, with some gatherings happening as early as 3:30. (Also: Details on specific neighborhood celebrations are still trickling in, so check back here for updates!) Now go forth, be safe and get that candy!

Manhattan

photo: Carnegie Hill Neighbors

Chelsea

Clement Clarke Moore Park
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. Things kick off around 6 p.m.

21st-22nd St. between 8th and 10th Ave.
Online: nycgovparks.org

photo: iStock

Greenwich Village

Trick or Treat in Washington Square Park

They get the party started early in the Village. Gather by the iconic Washington Square Arch at 2 p.m., when traditionally, they hold a kids' costume parade around the park. Currently scheduled is a treats-filled afternoon at the park with plenty to do for kids ages 2-10. In addition to candy, there will be activities that you can do on-site or take home. You can then 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.

Washington Square Park
Fifth Ave. between Waverly Place and W. 4th St
Online: nyu.edu

photo: Charles Parker via Pexels

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 especially festive treat gathering. 

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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 Douglas Boulevard. 

Another great spot is Striver's Row, at 138th and 139th Street and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard. 

photo: iStock

Tribeca

Families in this downtown 'hood hit up streets like Duane, Reade and Church to score big from local businesses and residents.

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Upper West Side

West 69th Street Block Association Trick-or-Treat
Trick-or-treaters flock to West 69th Street where police close the thoroughfare from Central Park West to Broadway from 4-10 p.m. Residents of the street deck out their historic townhouses with incredible displays, from ghoulish to fantastic and fun. (This tradition has been going on for a long time, and has its roots in block inhabitant and Broadway legend Gwen Verdon's desire to take her daughter trick-or-treating on the once rough-and-tumble street.) Get there early and be prepared for big crowds! (Note: the organization's website is outdated, but we checked out the block — it's on!)

Held Oct. 31st
Cost: Free
Central Park West to Broadway
Online: w69st.com

Upper West Side: Hippo Playground Project Halloween Parade

This event is TBD for Halloween 2021.

This popular park hosts events throughout the year, and Halloween is no exception. Gather at the Soldiers and Sailors monument at 89th Street and Riverside Drive and march to the sounds of bagpipes all the way to the park. 

89th Street and Riverside Dr./Hippo Playground
Online: facebook.com/HippoParkNYC

photo: Carnegie Hill Neighbors

Upper East Side

Carnegie Hill Neighbors Spooktacular
Every year, Carnegie Hill Neighbors hosts a spooky block party with a costume procession, art projects, candy treats and dancing in the streets to a lively DJ set. Trophies and prizes are awarded for best costumes by age, family and pet, and the neighborhood's most festively-festooned townhouses and storefronts are recognized as well. If your little pirates and princesses aren't sated by the gathering, wander the east 90s between Fifth and Lexington Avenues for good candy collecting and spooktacular decorations.

PS: We also hear East 78th between Park and Lexington is a hot spot. 

Held Oct 31, 4-6 p.m.
92nd St between Madison and Park Ave.
Online: carnegiehillneighbors.org

Queens

Forest Hills Gardens

Yet another area that will make you doubt you're in NYC, this leafy and historic enclave is a trick-or-treater's paradise, with tree-lined streets and stately single-family houses. And, there's always activity on the busy thoroughfare of Continental and 71st Aves. 

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
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 89th Street. After the parade, kids hit the apartment buildings in the area to score big. 

12 p.m.
37th Ave., 89th Street to 76th Street
Online: jhbg.org

Maspeth

This event is TBD for Halloween 2021.

Maspeth Lions Club Parade 
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. Everyone leaves with a treat bag and there will be prizes for the best costumes! 

6:30-8p.m., Oct. 31
6450 Grand Ave. (Remsen Place and Grand Avenue)
Maspeth 
Online: facebook.com

photo: Pexels

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. Check out the areas to the South and East of Juniper Valley Park for prime door-to-door action.

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.

Brooklyn

photo: Peter Lopez

Bay Ridge

Halloween Festival at Owl's Head Park

Bay Ridge takes Halloween very seriously, and its Halloween Festival is back for 2021! Head to Owl's Head Park for free games, face-painting, costume contests by age, kids' concerts, a magic show, and of course—treats! Enter at Colonial Road and 68th Street. 

1-5 p.m.
Owl's Head Park
53 68th St.
Bay Ridge
Online: facebook.com/events

Brooklyn Heights

Halloween in the 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.

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Cobble Hill

Cobble Hill Halloween Parade
Costumed kids and parents cram into this small Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood's Cobble Hill Park and then process. This year, there will be live music thanks to the Brass Queens!  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.

Held 4-6 p.m
Clinton St. between Verandah Place and Congress St.
Online: facebook.com

photo: Philip Greenberg

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 3-6 p.m. include arts and crafts with Creatively WILD Art Studio and Loop of the Loom, legos activities with Brooklyn Bridge Parents, 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 3-8 p.m.

Sun., Oct. 31, 3 p.m.
Meet Washington Street between Front & Water Streets
Online: dumbo.is

photo: Mimi O'Connor

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

2021 Details TBD

Park Slope Halloween Parade
For this 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 6:30 p.m. (or earlier) at 14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues. The parade will conclude at the Old Stone House in Washington Park on Fifth Avenue with a community gathering and dancing with the parade bands, winding down at 9 p.m. 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.

Held 6:30-9p.m.
7th Ave. at 14th St. to Washington Park on 5th Ave.
Online: parkslopeciviccouncil.org

photo: Mimi O'Connor

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. 

The Bronx

photo: Pexels

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.

feature image: Elena Olivo

—Mimi O’Connor

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