28 Spookily Fun Halloween Events in NYC for Kids

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From costume parties to pumpkin carving (and catapulting!), check out more than 20 Halloween events in NYC for family-friendly, spooky fun

Hey, boo! Explore New York City’s spooky side this October. Halloween is coming, which means that New York City is about to be filled with festive events where you and the kids (ahem, you and your little superheroes, witches, monsters, and princesses) can celebrate with gusto! And by celebrate, we of course mean 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!

Or, if you’re looking for something a bit different, participate in some more unconventional Halloween activities, like spooky slime making and pumpkin flinging. Whatever you decide to attend, you can be sure that the kids will get a kick out of 2022’s spooky Halloween NYC family events! Pro tip: remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint, to All Hallow’s Eve!

Halloween Parades and Parties around NYC

Halloween Festival at Bleecker Playground
The Friends of Bleecker Playground are hosting a fundraising Halloween festival, raising money to benefit the community. Join a mini-parade perfect for the little ones, that starts at Abingdon Square at 10. The playground will be decked out with entertainment for the kids, including face painting, crafting, music, and more.

Cost: Free, but donations are appreciated
Sun., Oct. 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Bleeker Playground
Bleecker St. & W 11th St.
West Village
Online: bleeckerplayground.org

Halloween Extravaganza at Franz Sigel Park
Get tricks and treats at the annual Halloween Extravaganza. In addition to the usual Halloween fun—cool costumes, pet parade, and creepy crafts—this park party also has slime making, Tarot readings, and an interactive Story Walk from Emit Theatre.

Cost: Free
Sat., Oct. 29, 1-5 p.m.
Franz Sigel Park
East 158th St.
Concourse
Online: eventbrite.com

The Music of Halloween Spooktacular at Brooklyn Bowl
Have a rocking good time with the Rock and Roll Playhouse, where the sounds of classic rock meet Halloween classics. This family-friendly concert encourages kids to dance and sing along, and is a great first introduction to classic rock.

Cost: $15, free for those 1 year old and younger
Sun., Oct. 30, 12 p.m.
61 Wythe Ave.
Williamsburg
Online: brooklynbowl.com

Boo Bash at Randall’s Island
Pre-party on Randall’s Island for an extra chance to show off your cool costumes. Dress up and visit the island for the annual Boo Bash, which features themed crafts, games, treats, and more.

Cost: Free
Sun., Oct. 30, 12-3 p.m.
103rd Street Footbridge
Randall’s Island
Online: randallsisland.org

Halloween Harvest Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park
Heads up: This Halloween Harvest will send your pumpkin creation soaring to great heights… literally! Carve out an epic pumpkin then send it flying with the pumpkin catapult at the second annual “Flight of the Gourds.” It’s pumpkins galore, with pumpkin art workshops, a creative spin on costume creation, and face painting. Plus, bring your pooch in his best costume and join the dog costume contest—or just stand back and watch other people’s dapper doggos!

Cost: Free
Sat., Oct. 30, 12-5 p.m.
32-01 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City
Online: socratessculpturepark.org

Halloween Costume Party at Westchester Square
Don your favorite costumes and head over to this costume party for a fun family bash. Kids ages 2-15 are invited to participate in games, win prizes, make arts and crafts, and more. There will be vendors on site for food, drinks, and, of course, dessert and candy.

Cost: $28.38 ages 2-15, $12.41 ages 15+
Sun., Oct. 30, 2-6 p.m.
1450 Commerce Ave.
Westchester Square
Online: eventbrite.com

Kids Costume Party at Dazzled Art
Join the Dazzled Utopia Art Studio for a pre-Halloween costume party. Kids will create art, dance, sing, chow down on pizza, and have the chance to win prizes. The party is open to kids ages 3-12 years old.

Cost: $30
Sun., Oct. 30, 3-5 p.m.
1261 Ralph Ave.
East Flatbush
Online: dazzledart.com

Dumboween at the Dumbo Archway
This charming Halloween mini-parade and party is, by its own admission, “sometimes spooky, always adorable.” March over to the Dumbo Archway and kick off with a children’s party, complete with a lively brass band, arts and crafts from the Creatively WILD Art Studio, a photobooth, and more. Enter costume competitions, go trick or treating among over 50 participating businesses in the area, and take spooktacular photos throughout the evening.

Cost: Free
Mon., Oct. 31, 4:30-7 p.m., march to the Archway begins at 4 p.m.
Dumbo Archway
155 Water St.
Dumbo
Online: dumbo.is

Related: NYC’s Best Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating

Monstrous Museums, Gardens, and Centers around NYC

Halloween Costume Dog Show at Williamsbridge Oval
Watch costumed pooches strut their stuff at the Pet Fashion Show at the Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center. Bring the family pet, or just come and watch as dogs show off their costumes, participate in obstacle courses, and pose for furry photo-ops.

Cost: Free
Fri., Oct. 14, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
3225 Reservoir Oval East
West Bronx
Online: nycgovparks.org

Hands on History: Spooky Season at King Manor
This month’s Hands on History features a spooky twist. Learn about the author Washington Irving and his famous 1820 story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Make a craft to take home inspired by the scary story: Headless Horseman paper pumpkin masks!

Cost: Free
Sat., Oct. 15, 1-4 p.m.
150-03 Jamaica Ave.
Jamaica
Online: kingmanor.org

Monster Bash at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan
CMOM has a packed October, full of creepy and fun Halloween fun and activities. Here’s just a small sample:

  • Oct. 22 & 23: Ghouls Just Wanna Have Fun, according to MakerSpace! Create your very own monster using “junk” like socks, boxes, fabric, and other mixed media materials.
  • Oct. 25-28: Dress up with PlayWorks in the Monster Party Hats event, where kids can design hats and headbands, then wear them as they play and pretend.
  • Oct. 25-28: Make some fancy eyewear with Inside Art, at the Monster Vision Goggles workshop.

Every day has different events to explore! Plus, throughout the Monster Bash, kids can participate in scavenger hunts, listen to read-alongs of scary (but not too scary!) stories, play Halloween-themed party games, and much more.

Price: Free with admission
Tues., Oct. 18-Sun., Oct. 31
The Tisch Building
212 West 83rd St.
Upper West Side
Online: cmom.org

Hallowscream at Chelsea Recreation Center
This Halloween event is a scream—literally! The Chelsea Recreation Center has been spookified, turning it into a haunted house. Brave the “Fright Walk,” where scary special effects, frightening images, jump scares, spooky audio, and an eerie fog cover the path. Only bring your bravest family members for this one! Adults are urged to make sure their little ones are handling the frights fine, especially if they’re under 13 years old.

Cost: Free
Sat., Oct. 22, 1:30-6 p.m.
430 West 25th St.
Chelsea
Online: eventbrite.com

Living History: Cooking Spooky Treats at the NY Historical Society
Go back in time with historical interpreter Cheyney McKnight and make your own treats to enjoy this Halloween. Families will work together to create an edible cookie dough “sandpit” that hides yummy surprises. No baking required! Then, dig in while you listen to family-friendly scary stories.

Cost: Free with admission
Sun., Oct. 23, 1-3 p.m.
170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th St.)
Upper West Side
Online: nyhistory.org

Haunted House at the Williamsbridge Oval
Oh no! The Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center has been overtaken by ghouls, witches, ghosts, and other creepy critters that go bump in the night. Visit the space for a haunted house event that’s appropriate for all ages.

Cost: Free
Fri., Oct. 28, 7-9 p.m.
3225 Reservoir Oval East
West Bronx
Online: nycgovparks.org

Irish Halloween at the Irish Arts Center
Learn about Irish traditions and the annual Halloween / Oíche Shamhna festival through this interactive experience held by the Irish Arts Center. The Arts Center’s new building appears to be haunted! Kids (and their caretakers) are invited to dance, sing, and scare the ghosts away. Browse the spooky location and explore Ireland’s myths, legends, language, and history. This hour-long program is free but requires a timed entry ticket.

Cost: Free
Sun., Oct. 30, 12-1 p.m.
726 11th Ave.
Gramercy
Online: irishartscenter.org

Halloween at the Garden at Queens Botanical Garden
Wear your costume to the Queens Botanical Garden for an afternoon full of Halloween fun. Walk along the Trick-or-Treat Trail, make themed arts and crafts, learn about creepy crawlies that live in your compost pile,  listen to live music, and watch a magic show. Adults can enjoy harvest beers and ciders from the Beer & Wine Garden, and purchase food and refreshments for the family from local food vendors.

Cost: $7.39/adult, $3.18/child, free for those 3 years old and under
Sun., Oct. 30, 12-5 p.m.
43-50 Main St.
Flushing
Online: queensbotanical.org

Fall-O-Ween at the NY Botanical Garden
The New York Botanical Garden has a packed Fall events calendar, with tons of seasonal harvest- and Halloween-themed programs and special attractions:

  • Oct. 15 & 16: Join the Pumpkin Carving Face-off Weekend to design your own pumpkin or watch three pumpkin carving masters face off for the most intricate—and terrifying—creation.
  • Oct. 22 & 23: It’s the Pumpkin Parade Weekend! Wear your best costume and participate in a festiva parade in the garden. Kids can help decorate before the parade, then check out giant pumpkins, watch a pumpkin carving demonstration, and learn about how growers get their pumpkins to grow to such enormous sizes.
  • Oct. 22 & 29: Stay after hours for the Spooky Pumpkin Garden Nights, and explore the gardens by flashlight, meeting giant skeletons and spooky scarecrows along the way.

In addition to these events, throughout autumn the children’s garden will be decorated with cute and scary scarecrows, and pumpkins of all shapes and colors will be on display.

Cost, date, and time varies; events throughout October
2900 Southern Boulevard
The Bronx
Online: nybg.org

Spooky Crafts, Readalongs, and More at Your Local Library
If you’re looking for a free Halloween- or fall-themed activity for your little ones, look no further than your local library. Various branches across all the boroughs have scheduled festive events and workshops for kids (and adults) of all ages. Make spooky crafts (either at the library or through to-go kits), listen to scary stories, watch movies, make slime, and much more!

Cost: Free
Various times and locations
Online: bklynlibrary.org, queenslibrary.org and nypl.org (for Manhattan, Bronx, and Staten Island)

Related: The Best NYC-Themed Costume Ideas For Your Kiddos

Halloween Animal Adventures around NYC

Halloween Programs at Alley Pond
Alley Pond has a full weekend of spooky events planned for kids, starting with the Not-So-Spooky Spiders and Snakes—an exploration of these amazing and often misunderstood animals and arachnids, with some live guests! Other events include chances to meet more animals considered “scary,” make Halloween-themed snacks, read spooky stories, create themed artworks and crafts, and participate in a Halloween party.

Cost, date, and time varies by program
224-65 76th Ave.
Oakland Gardens
Online: alleypond.org

Halloween on the Farm at the Queens County Farm Museum
Celebrate Halloween on NYC’s oldest working farm. Get lost (or rather, try not to) in the Amazing Maize Maze, a three-acre labyrinth among corn stalks. Your ticket also includes access to a spooky farmhouse, Halloween hayrides, a DJ dance party, an Adopt-a-Worm composting program, and a trick-or-treating event with the farm animals, which sends you on a hunt to find nine special stations throughout the farm. Local food vendors are on hand to feed hungry tummies and fresh produce will be available to purchase at the Farmstand.

Cost: $22.16, free for those 3 years old and younger
Sun., Oct. 30, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
73-50 Little Neck Pkwy.
Little Neck
Online: eventbrite.com

Spooky Fitness Opportunities around NYC

Haunted Island Race at Governors Island
Celebrate in style and stay in shape at the same time at the annual Haunted Island Race. The race offers both a 5K and a 10K option, and awards will be given out to the best runners by gender (male, female, non-binary) and age brackets. The race will take you all around Governors Island, giving you a chance to take in the views as you go. After the race, you’re welcome to explore the island and enjoy Halloween goodies. Your ticket nets you a ferry ride, a t-shirt, and a post-race meal. Costumes are encouraged!

Cost: Starting at $40
Sat., Oct. 29, 5K begins at 8:30 a.m., 10K begins at 9 a.m.
Governors Island, Colonels Row
Online: nycruns.com

Spooky Castle Yoga at The Skyscraper Museum
What do castles and yoga have in common? Both can be spooooky! At least, they can when you join this all-ages event for families. Discuss what makes up the architecture of a castle, then use what you learned to form yoga poses that draw inspiration from spooky castles and Halloween. RSVP is required and costumes are encouraged!

Cost: Free
Sat., Oct 29, 10:30 a.m.
39 Battery Pl.
Battery Park City
Online: skyscraper.org

Related: Praise the Gourd: Where to Go Pumpkin Picking near NYC

Haunted Cruises around NYC

Haunted Halloween East River Dinner Cruise
The National Lighthouse Museum’s Haunted boat tour will regale you with spooky stories as you enjoy a three-course dinner. The cruise will take you from Lighthouse Point, through Hell Gate, to Execution Rocks—all while sharing tales of the haunted history of key points along the way.

Cost: $97.54/adult, $54.98/child
Fri., Oct. 28, 6:30-10:30 p.m.
National Lighthouse Museum
200 The Promenade at Lighthouse Point
Staten Island
Online: eventbrite.com

Halloween Kids Spooky Cruise
See the city from a different perspective at this Halloween-themed and kid-oriented spooky cruise. Trick or treat on the water as you enjoy incredible views of the Manhattan skyline. The ship will be decked out in seasonal decor, have plenty of candy on board to satisfy little trick-or-treaters, and will keep the kids entertained with performances from costumed characters. Food and drink will be available to purchase—or you can upgrade to the Premium experience for a complementary food and drink package that also gets you a children’s goody bag with party favors and treats.

Cost: Starting at $45/adult and $40/child
Mon., Oct. 31, 1:30 p.m.
Departs from Pier 36
299 South St.
Lower East Side
Online: eventcruisesnyc.com

Halloween Activities Worth the Drive from NYC

The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor
This amazing display features over 7,000 lit Jack o-Lanterns, arranged into sculptures from architectural marvels to dinosaurs and the Statue of Liberty. Expect bright synchronized lights, jaw-dropping displays, and an original soundtrack. And yes, they’re real: The pumpkins are designed and carved by a team of artists. This year, the Blaze features an animated “Jack” Smith Shop and glowing bees.

Tickets are selling out fast, with some nights already unavailable or limited to a small number of tickets. If you’re considering attending this event, you’ll want to secure your tix sooner rather than later! The Blaze is coming to Long Island, too—buy tickets for that here.

Cost: Starting at $44/person, free for those 2 years old and younger
Select evenings, Sep. 16-Nov. 20
525 S. Riverside Ave.
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
Online: hudsonvalley.org

Halloween Fest at the Liberty Science Center
The Halloween Fest is back and it’s better than ever, full to the brim with both indoor and outdoor activities. Pick out your favorite pumpkin at NJ’s largest indoor pumpkin picking patch—or just take a peek inside of one with an endoscope! Beyond the patch, you’ll learn about creepy crawlies like roaches, spiders, scorpions, and millipedes, as well as traditionally “spooky” Halloween icons like bats and skeletons. Then, head outdoors to make your way through the spider maze, dig for fossils, and find fall drinks and treats (no tricks here!).

Special events for the season are available for an additional fee.  catch a spooky planetarium show that highlights the Monsters of the Night Sky, like the Witch Head Nebula and the Medusa constellation. Hop into a Halloween-inspired laser show, or watch a creepy 3D movie, “Haunted House,”and get delightfully freaked out. If you visit on Oct. 30 or 31, make sure to wear your best Halloween costume, because the Center is hosting it’s wrap up party all weekend long with trick or treating, costumes, and more excitement.

Cost: $29.99/adult, $24.99/child, $26.99/senior
Throughout October during center hours
222 Jersey City Blvd.
Jersey City, NJ
Online: lsc.org

The Count’s Halloween Spooktacular at Sesame Place
A good choice for the tiniest of trick-or-treaters, Sesame Place is turned into a family-friendly Halloween haven between September 17 and November 6. Guests can trick-or-treat around the park, take in Halloween-themed shows and parades, participate in an interactive Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt, and take advantage of unique photo opportunities with Sesame’s furry friends dressed up in costume on Halloween-themed floats! Kids can also meet and greet Spookley, the square pumpkin, as he makes two weekend visits from Holiday Hill Farm.

For even more fun, check out the Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Drive-Through, enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle!

Cost: Starting at $42
Sep. 17-Nov. 6
100 Sesame Rd.
Langhorne, PA
Online: sesameplace.com

Brick-or-Treat Presents Monster Party
LEGOLANDs across the nation are partying for Halloween, but unique to the New York location is that it will be debuting the world’s first wheelchair-accessible giant LEGO pumpkin! Without stairs, all guests will be able to join in on the photo opportunities. Not only that, the Monster Party will transform the Dragon Coaster into the “Disco Dragon Coaster” complete with a groovy monster soundtrack and party lights. There’s also a ghostly scavenger hunt in MINILAND where you can wander through the Haunted Nature Maze and discover candy along the LEGO Friends Nature Trail. And, of course, grab loads of sweets at trick-or-treating stations located along dedicated paths. Don’t forget your costume!

Cost: Starting at $85
Sep. 24-Oct. 30
1 LEGOLAND Blvd.
Goshen, NY
Online: legoland.com

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