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Get yourself in the mood for ghosts and goblins with this not-too-scary list of Halloween songs for kids. Don your Halloween costumes and queue up your playlist with old favorites like “Ghostbusters,” “Monster Mash” and “I Want Candy.” You just might find some new favorite tunes to get you in the Halloween spirit!

The Great Pumpkin Waltz by Vince Guaraldi

This is a classic you'll want to add to your playlist for sure! 

Something's Brewing

By Purple Fox and the Heebie Jeebies

Something's brewing in the basement
That's where, the basement
Down, down, down, down, down
Something's spooky on the stairs
There's an empty chair
I think this house is haunted
Look around, look around
What's that sound? 
Don't look now
Is that a blob?
Or is it Bob?

You can find the whole Something's Brewing  . . . It's Halloween album here

Haunting Days of Halloween

By Lucy Kalantari & the Jazz Cats

Haunting days of Halloween
Nothing's quite as it may seem
All the tales you’ve been told
All the creatures you know
Have been walking with you hiding under your nose
But now now now now 
It’s time time time
To be free!

Disney Halloween Songs

This medley of Disney Halloween songs includes "This Is Halloween," "Vive La Vi," "The Haunted Mansion Opening Title," "It is Halloween-lo-ween," "I put a spell on you," and "Grim, grinning Ghosts."

Witches' Brew by Hap Palmer

Dead leaves, seaweed, rotten eggs too
Stir them in my witches' brew
I got magic
Alakazamakazoo

Spider web, moldy bread, mucky mud too
Stir them in my witches' brew
I got magic
Alakazamakazoo

Haunted House

Oh no, here we go
Walking through the haunted house
Haunted house, haunted house
What do you see?
I see skeletons!

Oh no, here we go
Walking through the haunted house
Haunted house, haunted house
What do you see?
I see a witch!

Halloween Rules by Bounce Patrol

Whatcha wanna be for Halloween
A ghosty or a goblin or the fairy queen
A superhero red and blue
A monkey or a mouse
It's up to you

Ding dong, trick-or-treat
Walking up and down the street
Halloween night is way too cool

Ding dong, trick-or-treat
Candy and make believe
Can you shout it out? 
Halloween Rules!

Five Little Ghosts

Five little ghosts went out one night
Haunting, spooking what a fright
Mother ghost said, "Booooo, boo!"
But back to the house only four ghosts flew
One, two, three, four

Four little ghosts went out one night
Haunting, spooking what a fright
Mother ghost said, "Booooo, boo!"
But back to the house only three ghosts flew
One, two, three

Down by the Spooky Bay

Down by the bay
Where the pumpkins grow
Back to my home
I dare not go

For if I do
My mummy will say
Did you ever see a ghost
Eating some toast
Down by the bay

Down by the bay
Where the pumpkins grow
Back to my home
I dare not go

For if I do
My mummy will say
Did you ever see a vampire
Making a campfire
Down by the bay

Trick or Treat Nursery Rhyme

By Blippi

Every 31st of October there's a day
Where the people all come out onto the streets and like to play

All dressed up in costumes in all shapes and every size
It can be a little spooky but no need to close your eyes.

Five Little Pumpkins

Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
First one said "Oh my, it's getting late!"
Second one said "There are witches in the air,"
Third one said "but we don't care!"
Fourth one said "Let's run and run and run."
Fifth one said "I'm ready for some fun!"
Ooo ooo went the wind, and out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Halloween Sharks

By PinkFong

Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Baby shark (BOO)

Halloween, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Halloween, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Halloween, doo doo doo doo doo doo
Halloween!

Ghost In My House

By Jumpin' Jamie

My homework's missing
There's holes in the sheets
He pushed my sister
And blamed it on me
Always turning on and off the lights
And making noise so I can't sleep at night

There's a ghost in my house
And he's really annoying
And he needs to get a job
But no one will employ him

Monster Mash

By Bobby Pickett

I was working in the lab, late one night
When my eyes beheld an eerie sight
For my monster from his slab, began to rise
And suddenly to my surprise

He did the mash, he did the monster mash
The monster mash, it was a graveyard smash
He did the mash, it caught on in a flash
He did the mash, he did the monster mash

Skeleton Dance

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

The toe bone's connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone,
The ankle bone's connected to the leg bone,
Now shake dem skeleton bones!

I Want Candy

By The Strangeloves

I know a girl who's tough but sweet
She's so fine, she can't be beat
She's got everything that I desire
Sets the summer sun on fire

I want candy
I want candy
I want candy
I want candy

Monster Boogie

By Laurie Berkner

I'm the biggest monster that you've ever seen
My eyes are purple and my teeth are green
I'm big and I'm scary, you know what I mean
This is what I like to do

I do the monster boogie, the monster boogie
The monster boogie round the room
Everybody does the monster boogie
The monster boogie, the monster boogie

Ghostbusters Theme Song

By Ray Parker, Jr. 

Ghostbusters!
If there's something strange
In your neighborhood
Who you gonna call?
Ghostbusters!

If there's something weird
And it don't look good
Who you gonna call?
Ghostbusters!

The Addams Family Theme Song

By Vic Mizzy

They're creepy and they're kooky
Mysterious and spooky
They're all together ooky
The Addams family
Their house is a museum
Where people come to see 'em
They really are a scream
The Addams family

Choc-o-lot in My Pock-o-lot

By Laurie Berkner

When I walk, I walk a lot
And when I talk, I talk a lot
And when I’m not, what do I got?

Choc-o-lot! I got choc-o-lot!
I got choc-o-lot in my pock-o-lot!

I wear my shoes and my socks a lot
And when I paint, I wear a smock a lot
But when I’m not, what do I got?

Choc-o-lot! I got choc-o-lot!

The Purple People Eater

By Sheb Wooley

Well, I saw the thing comin' out of the sky
It had the one long horn, one big eye
I commenced to shakin' and I said "ooh-eee"
It looks like a purple eater to me

It was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater
(One-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater)
A one-eyed, one-horned, flyin' purple people eater
Sure looks strange to me (one eye?)

This Is Halloween

From The Nightmare before Christmas

Boys and girls of every age
Wouldn't you like to see something strange?

Come with us and you will see
This, our town of Halloween

This is Halloween, this is Halloween
Pumpkins scream in the dead of night

Costume Party

By The Popups

Went to the closet to put on some costume clothes
and there it was just hanging right above my head
my sister grabbed the tie that grandpa used to wear
and I only had eyes on that lavender dress (really had my eye)

(It's a costume party!) maybe it's the way some things button in the back
some are really scratchy some are silken thread
it's ok to try things on to see how it feels
because clothes I suppose are just the way that you're dressed

Scooby Doo Theme Song

Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you?
We got some work to do now
Scooby-Dooby-Doo, where are you?
We need some help from you now

Jump in the Line (Shake Senora)

By Harry Belafonte

Shake, shake, shake, Senora,
Shake your body line
Shake, shake, shake, Senora,
Shake it all the time
Work, work, work, Senora,
Work your body line
Work, work, work, Senora,
Work it all the time

Little Red Riding Hood

By Sam the Sham

Owoooooooo!
Who's that I see walkin' in these woods?
Why, it's Little Red Riding Hood
Hey there Little Red Riding Hood
You sure are looking good
You're everything a big bad wolf could want
Listen to me
Little Red Riding Hood
I don't think little big girls should
Go walking in these spooky old woods alone

The Ninjas

By Barenaked Ladies

I woke up this morning
And everything was different
Something was strange in the air
I woke up this morning
And everything was different
I knew that the ninjas had been there

Skeletone

by Caspar Babypants (aka Chris Ballew from the '90s band Presidents of the United States of America)

On Halloween he can be seen dancing to and fro
play your bones, Skeletone
In the mist he will insist on a long solo
play your bones, Skeletone

—Kate Loweth

Featured photo: boophotography via iStock

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It might seem early to be thinking about getting tickets to 2021 holiday shows, but we’re here to tell you it’s not. Fun holiday shows and light festivals in NYC kick off as early as the first week of November, and dates are already selling out. From classics like the Rockettes’ Radio City Christmas Spectular to the return of the Big Apple Circus, and  dazzling light shows like the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights, LuminoCity, Glow at the New York Botanical Garden and a debut at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, there’s a lot to see! Get those tickets now so you aren’t left out in the cold this winter!

 

photo: MSG Productions

Radio City Christmas Spectacular with The Rockettes

The Rockettes are back, baby! And they’re even bringing back a beloved number to celebrate. The addition of “Snow”, which turns the stage into a winter wonderland, brings the total of numbers in the classic, 90-minute holiday show to nine. The Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes runs from November 5 to January 2, 2022, and tickets are on sale now.

$49 and up
Nov. 5, 2021- Jan. 2, 2022
Radio City Music Hall
1260 Sixth Ave.
Midtown
Online: rockettes.com

photo: Julie Larsen Maher

Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights 

This popular animal-themed light and lantern display returns to the zoo starting November 19. See 260 lanterns representing almost 70 animal and plant species from around the globe. This year, 79 new lanterns representing 30 new animal species will make their debut at the zoo. But the Bronx Zoo Holiday Lights is more than a display: activities and entertainment include ice-carving demonstrations, stilt-walkers, puppet shows, a holiday train and even treats like s’mores. Tickets must be purchased in advance. 

Select dates Nov. 19-Jan. 9, 2022
Tickets: $40/adults; $25/kids 3-12, $34.95/65 and up
Bronx Zoo
2300 Southern Blvd.
Bronx
718-220-5100
Online: bronxzoo.com

photo: LuminoCity Festival

LuminoCity Festival

The LuminoCity Festival, a spectacular display of larger-than-life figures lit from within returns to Randall’s Island this winter. ‘Shine Again’ is the theme of the event, which features exhibitions of spectacular light art displays inspired by the traditional art of Chinese lantern festivals. “Lumio”, the LuminoCity Festival mascot serves as your guide through the fantastical landscape, which features new displays for 2021. The all-new ‘Lumi’s Utopia” will include 3D sculptures made from drawings by six young artists, while “Lumi’s Friends” will feature light sculptures of social media pets @smoothiethecat & @turboroo. 

Nov. 12 - Jan., 2022
Tickets: $22-$76, timed entry 
Whitney Pond Park
133 Valley Rd.
Manhasset, NY
Online:  luminocityfestival.com

photo: Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Lightscape at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Lightscape is coming to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden this winter. A new after-dark, illuminated spectacular lightscape celebrates the beauty of nature in winter with a festive one-mile trail winding through the garden’s 52-acre landscape, animated by dazzling light, color, and sound. More than 18 distinct works of light art will be on view, among them the Cathedral of Light tunnel, a Fire Garden on Lily Pool Terrace, and the Field of Light, an animated light installation covering Cherry Esplanade.  A series of new light-based artworks by local artists will be featured as well.  Lightscape was launched at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew in London in 2014, and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is the show’s only U.S. East Coast venue.

Select dates, Nov. 19- Jan. 9, 2022
Tickets: $34/adults; $18/ages 3-12, free/age two and under 
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
150 Eastern Pkwy.
Prospect Heights
​​718-632-7200

Online: bbg.org

photo: Robert West

Big Apple Circus

Heads up: Big Apple Circus is returning to Lincoln Center with a new show, “Making The Impossible, Possible!”, helmed by world-renowned aerialist, high wire artist and Guinness World Record holder, Nik Wallenda. Acts joining Wallenda include Johnny Rockett, a combination of Evel Knievel & Charlie Chaplin (shown here), and Alan Silva from America’s Got Talent who will act as the circus' Ringmaster. Plus: an incredible cast of circus acts from around the world. Snag your tickets now—the show debuts on November 11!

Nov. 11 - Jan. 30, 2022
Tickets: $25 and up
Lincoln Center 
Midtown 
Online: bigapplecircus.com

photo: NYBG

NYBG Glow

This walk-through light experience debuted in 2020, and it’s back and bigger for the 2021 holiday season. Glow is billed as “an outdoor color and light experience”, along a 1.5-mile winding path. Expect washes of brilliant color, thousands of dazzling LEDs, illuminated plant stories, and whimsical, picture-perfect installations that reflect the surrounding gardens and collections. Make it a double feature and check out the popular New York Botanic Garden Holiday Train Show while you’re there. (The garden offers a combo ticket.) 

Select dates, Nov. 24, - Jan. 22, 2021
Tickets: $35/adults; $20/kids
2900 Southern Blvd.
Bronx
718-817-8700
Online: nybg.org

 

photo: Courtesy of the Apollo Theater

30th Annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic

The 30th Annual Double Dutch Holiday Classic presented by the National Double Dutch League, returns to the Apollo stage—bringing together national and international communities of jumpers. Act fast! This sells out and tickets are getting snapped up! 

Sun., Dec. 5, 1 p.m.
Tickets: $25/individual, groups of 10 or more $25/person 
253 West 125th St.
The Apollo Theater
Harlem
1-800-745-3000
Online: apollotheater.org

— Mimi O’Connor

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All Aboard! Holiday Train Rides to Take This Season

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Holiday train outings, or rides on the “Polar Express” can be a magical and festive event for kids. Some of these train rides are directly inspired by the “Polar Express” book and movie, some are all about Santa and his little helpers and most have some form of refreshment, singing, performance, and even a little gift. But take note! These rides tend to sell out pretty early, so if you want to take a train trip to the North Pole this holiday season, you’ll need to start looking now. We’ve picked the best holiday train rides to take in 2021, and all are located less than two hours (give or take 10 minutes!) away from central Manhattan by car. Book now and enjoy the ride!

Wayne Tristate Santa Train

Location: Wayne/Route 23 Transit Center, Wayne NJ (1hr from NYC) 

Date: Saturday, December 18

Price: TBD 

Online: tristaterail.org

Details are still being determined for this trip; "Like" Tristate Rail's Facebook page to get updates. This hour-long experience will give kids a chance to meet Santa, who will also be giving each child a present and a candy cane. The trip will also have a few special guest appearances by other characters, and children will receive a small toy and an activity book. The train is equipped with bathrooms and is wheelchair accessible. See Covid-19 protocol here.

Whippany NJ Polar Express

Location: 1 Railroad Plz, Whippany NJ (1hr 15m from NYC) 

Date: Select dates Nov. 1-Dec. 31

Price: $42-$80/depending on class and date

Online: whippanythepolarexpressride.com

A popular holiday train ride option, this Polar Express has been refreshed during its year off in 2020. Seating has also been adjusted to improve the visibility of the show for passengers. Choose from Coach Class or First Class for your two-hour journey (First Class is in a restored 1940s car). This spectacular train ride is themed around "The Polar Express" movie, and it sets the mood by playing the sweeping soundtrack during the ride. Passengers make their way to "the North Pole," where hot chocolate and cookies are served, "dancing chefs," perform, and there is a readalong of the children's book that the movie was based on. A small gift is included in the price—a silver sleigh bell (and a ceramic Polar Express mug if you're in First Class)—and throughout the ride, families can enjoy musical performances by characters from the movie. First Class passengers get the benefits of larger windows, plush seating, and plenty of space for legs and little ones.

See Covid-19 protocols here

Santa Express

Location: 242 E Main St, Thomaston CT ( 1hr 50m from NYC)

Date: Every weekend (Fri.-Sun.) between Thanksgiving and Christmas

Price: Santa Express - Coach: $29.50/person; First Class: $59.50/person; $1 for kids 2 and under

Online: rmne.org

This train ride lasts about an hour and 20 minutes and gives families a chance to interact with Santa and his elves. Each child will receive a small gift from Santa's toy bag while elves and other characters lead passengers in carols and singalongs. First class travelers will also be served hot cocoa and get more comfortable seating. Afternoon and evening rides are available, with evening rides being lit up with Christmas lights. Keep in mind that there are no restrooms on the trains.

Phillipsburg Polar Express

Location: 100 Elizabeth St, Phillipsburg NJ (1hr 50m from NYC)

Date: Nov. 26-Dec. 19, various times & dates 

Price: $42/adult, $32/child, $5/lap sitters (under 2)

Online: 877trainride.com

The Phillipsburg rendition of the Polar Express train ride includes music from the movie, a reading of the book, hot chocolate and cookies, a gift of a sleigh bell, and more. There will be performances and jugglers, as well as visits from Santa and other characters. Travelers are encouraged to wear their pajamas to this whimsical ride. Tickets for certain dates have already sold out, so if you're interested in this one, act fast to get your tickets! 

Essex Steam Holiday rides

Location: 1 Railroad Ave, Essex CT (2hr 10m from NYC)

Date: Nov. 19-Dec. 23, various dates & times 

Price: $45-$75 

Online: essexsteamtrain.com

[Editor's Note: Sadly, this train trip is already sold out for the 2021 season!] The North Pole Express is an hour and a half ride that turns each train car into an interactive musical performance of "The Night Before Christmas." Expect cookies and cocoa and visits from Mrs. and Mrs. Claus. First Class tickets for the North Pole Express are already sold out, so get your tickets soon to ensure a spot.

—Yuliya Geikhman

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NYC Kids Weekend Events: Oct. 29-31

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Let’s get spooky! Gather up your tiny, costumed ghouls and goblins and get ready to strut your stuff this Halloween weekend.  This Halloween block party is always a good time, this parade through DUMBO features live music, and this Dia De Los Muertos workshop lets you honor those special to you. There’s also plenty of other chances for candy, costumes, and crafts, too. Scroll down for more of our top event picks!

Photo: iStock

Wonderful Webs and Spectacular Spiders

Weave, wrap, and warp yarn and string to help build a spiderweb installation in the Inside Art exhibit. Then head over to PlayWorks to create a creepy little friend that can crawl up walls. Event Details.

Brick-or-Treat

Scary fun awaits at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester! Get into the Halloween spirit with all types of spooky activities. Event Details.

Playday Halloween Party

Head to Playday dressed in your Halloween finest and be ready for some themed art projects and a dance party! Event Details.

Making a Halloween Haunted House

From frosted candy corn roofs to gummy windowpanes, you and your creative chef will love the endless decorating options as you work together to design and decorate your very own gingerbread house masterpiece. Event Details.

Dia De Los Muertos

Celebrate this special Mexican cultural holiday as you explore nicho boxes, small shadow boxes filled with meaning and purpose that honor a lost loved one. Decorate your box with objects and found natural materials. Event Details.

Pumpkin Face Treats

Have a delicious Halloween with The Creative Kitchen! Use a variety of decorative and healthy ingredients to design your own funny pumpkin face. Families receive portioned ingredients to make-and-take their recipes home. Event Details.

DUMBOWeen

Parade through DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park en route to the Dumbo Archway, led by live music and puppets, participate in hands-on arts & crafts, then grab your pumpkin bucket: the DUMBO BID sponsors storefront trick-or-treating for the little ones. Event Details.

Spooky Bazaar Halloween Special

Expect to be greeted by creepy crawly and ghostly decorations and explore the 120+ spooky vendors – many in costume! There will of course be a fantastic selection of scary sweet treats from artisanal food vendors. Event Details.

23rd Annual Dog Costume Contest

The costumes get pretty outrageous at this annual event, and winners will get the Great Pupkin rosettes and bragging rights. You can come to watch the madness, or even enter your dog (or dogs) into the contest at $12 per dog. Event Details.

BAMboo!

BAM’s Halloween block party is back on the streets of Brooklyn! Start your trick-or-treating off right at this free outdoor festival, featuring candy giveaways, carnival games, arts and crafts, a costume contest, and more. Event Details.

 

There are tons more events on our calendar – be sure to check them out all week long!

 

–  Jesseca Stenson

 

featured image: iStock

 

Hey, Boo! Where to Find Halloween Fun in NYC

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Ladies and gentlemen (and superheroes, witches, monsters and princesses), start your engines! Halloween is nigh, which means that New York City is about to be filled with festive events where you and the kids can celebrate with gusto! We’ve rounded up the best Halloween events and activities happening in NYC and beyond, so you can check out what’s happening in your borough, or venture forth for even more Halloween fun. And remember: it’s a marathon, not a sprint! (This post will be updated frequently as new events are announced. Events below are organized by borough, and then date.)

P.S. Wondering where to go on Halloween? We think these are the best neighborhoods in NYC for trick-or-treating!

Seasonal Favorites

photo: iStock

Go Pumpkin Picking in and Around NYC
Still need a pumpkin? Good news: many pumpkin picking spots also offer additional seasonal activities for families, like apple picking, hay and corn mazes, and wagon rides. Check out our favorite NYC-area pumpkin patches here! 

Navigate a Corn Maze
Get lost, solve riddles, and then come out the other side for a cider and a donut! Check out this year's crop of amazing corn mazes

Load Up on Apples at a Local Farm
The apples are still ripening on the trees, and most you-pick farms will tell you when your favorite variety is ready. We love these farms near NYC where you can pick your own apples!

 

NYC Area: Upstate, New Jersey, Pennsylvania

photo: Tom Nycz for Historic Hudson Valley

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 a new underwater theme as well as the beloved NYC skyscape display. 

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.

Price: Starting at $24/person, free for 2 and under
Select evenings, Sep 17-Nov 21
525 S Riverside
Croton-on-Hudson, NY
Online: hudsonvalley.org

photo: LEGOLAND

Theme Park Fun

Area theme parks bust out the Halloween decor and activities in October, making for a fun weekend or day trip! (Bonus: Many are offering deals and discounts now.) Check out: 

Brick-or Treat at LEGOLAND New York: Saturdays and Sundays in October bring trick-or-treating throughout the park, a costume contest and parade, meet and greet with Miniland figures, photo ops, a hay maze and more! (A visit Thursday and Friday offers many of the same activities.)

Goshen, NY 
Online: legoland.com

photo: Great Wolf Lodge

Howl-O-Ween at Great Wolf Lodge: Great Wolf Lodge in the Poconos goes big for Halloween throughout the month of October, with spooky fun like a Monster Bash Dance Party, a Trick-or-Treat Trail, Halloween craft kits, storytime, Boo Bingo and even Halloween-themed yoga! (Plus, of course, an indoor water park and lots of other activities.) 

Scotrun, PA 
Online: greatwolf.com

Halloween at Camelback Resort: For families seeking thrills and chills, head to Camelback Resort for high-impact weekend fun at Camelback Mountain Adventures. Zip down the Mountain Coaster in the dark, scale the illuminated climbing wall and do some Euro Bungee after dark to the sound of sick beats. Other Halloween-themed activities on weekends include magic shows, pumpkin carving and a silent disco. 

Tannersville, PA
Online: camelbackresort.com

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 through November 7. Guests can trick-or-treat around the park, take in Halloween-themed shows, 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! For even more fun, check out the Not-Too-Spooky Halloween Drive-Through, enjoyed from the comfort of your own vehicle! (Through Oct. 27.)

Langhorne, PA 
Online: sesameplace.com

photo: LSC

Fall Fest at the Liberty Science Center

The Fall 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 onw 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. Hop into the dance party at the Monster Mash or watch a Halloween-inspired lazer show. Then, head outdoors to make your way through the spider maze, dig for fossils, and find fall drinks and treats (no tricks here!). 

If you visit on October 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. 

Covid info: Visitors over the age of 12 are required to show proof of vaccination, and everyone 2 and over is required to wear a mask

Price: $27.99/adult, $22.99/child, $24.99/senior
Oct 9-31, during center hours 
222 Jersey City Blvd. 
Jersey City, NJ
Online: lsc.org

The Bronx

photo: WCS

BOO at the Zoo at the Bronx Zoo

Put on your Halloween costume and make a spooky trip to the Bronx Zoo for the annual Boo at the Zoo event. Throughout the zoo, you'll find themed events, performances, and activities, like magic shows, pumpkin carving workshops, trick-or-treating opportunities along the trails, a Halloween show, arts and crafts, a spider maze for tots, and much more. Advanced ticket purchase is required for entry.

Covid info: Guests over 12 are required to show proof of vaccination (at least 1 shot). All guests are required to wear masks in indoor spaces.

Tickets: $39.95/adult, $29.95/child, $34.95/senior, free for kids under 2
Sat. and Sun., Oct. 2-31 & Mon., Oct 11
2300 Southern Blvd.
Bronx Zoo
Online: bronxzoo.com

Scarecrows and Pumpkins at the New York Botanical Garden
The NYBG is bursting with fall cheer in October! Stop by at various times in the month for many different kinds of events and activities. See an exhibit of some wonderfully whimsical scarecrows, watch a puppet parade, participate in pumpkin-carving demonstrations, sing along to a Halloween musical story, and more fun fall festivities. 

Tickets: Free with garden admission
Sep. 18-Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Conservatory Lawn
2900 Southern Blvd
Bronx
Online: nybg.org

36th Annual Bronx Halloween Parade
While the famous Village Halloween parade might not be entirely kid-friendly, the Bronx Halloween parade is perfect for the little ones. Join the march or just watch as costumed revelers are joined by marching bands in a boisterous parade through the Bronx. A costume contest will take place, grouped by different age ranges, and there will be plenty of candy given out to kids along the way. This year's theme is "Day of the Soul — Celebrating Our Loved Ones," so along with your Halloween cheer, bring some love to share with those who mean the most to you!

Free
Sat., Oct. 23
11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Parade starts at Simpson Street between East 163rd Street and Westchester Ave and ends at Tiffany Plaza in front of St. Athanasius Church
Bronx
Online: eventbrite.com

photo: Target

Día de los Muertos Family Art Project at Wave Hill
Take a moment away from Halloween to celebrate Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday honoring the dead. Wave Hill's family project will teach you how to make small shadow boxes, called nicho boxes. These boxes are meant to honor a loved one you've lost, and are made with found objects and other materials. Wave Hill will provide all the materials you need and stations will be disinfected between uses.

Covid info: Proof of vaccination is required inside for 12 and over (at least 1 shot). Masks are required for all visitors when entering and leaving the garden, and when visiting indoor spaces.Limited space is available, but anyone turned away for lack of space will receive a card that'll give them top priority in the next session.

Tickets: Free with garden admission
Sat. & Sun., Oct 30 & 31, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
at the Kerlin Learning Center
Garden entrance: 4900 Independence Ave.
Riverdale
Online: wavehill.org (Saturday) and wavehill.org (Sunday)

Kids Grand Concourse Halloween Extravaganza at the Andrew Freedman Home
Get to know your community and have some family-friendly fun at the Concourse Halloween Extavaganza! Take art in (somewhat) spooky activities like a haunted house, arts and crafts, themed games, and more. Watch performances and grab some chow and drinks. And don't forget to wear your costumes! 

Though this event is free, it's entirely volunteer-run and donations are welcomed — the money will go toward buying materials and organizing the event. Donate here.

Covid info: All guests ages 12 and up will need to show proof of vaccination.

Tickets: Free
Sat., Oct. 30, 1-5 p.m.
Andrew Freedman Home
1125 Grand Concourse
Concourse
Online: eventbrite.com

Pumpkin Party at the Williamsbridge Oval
Visit the Williamsbridge Oval to partake in the annual pumpkin party. This year is bringing back the Halloween fun with an outdoor celebration featuring arts and crafts, carnival games, and free giveaways. Stop by the photo booth to take home some memories, or strut around decked out in full Halloween costume!

Tickets: Free
Sat., Oct. 30, 1-3 p.m.
Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center
3225 Reservoir Oval East
Norwood
Online: nycgovparks.org

Halloween Discovery Hike and Craft at Van Cortlandt Park
Go on a fall family hike guided by the Urban Rangers through Van Cortlandt Park. Search for spiders and other "creepy crawlies," and participate in nature-themed carts and crafts themed around Halloween and fall.

Tickets: Free
Sun., Oct. 31, 1-2 p.m.
Van Cortlandt Nature Center
246th Street and Broadway
Van Cortlandt Park
Online: nycgovparks.org

Brooklyn

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Halloween Harvest at Luna Park
Back by popular demand, the Halloween Harvest is a seasonal addition to the usual park fare. Add the "Halloween Harvest" package to your Luna Park wristband, and you'll receive one entry each to the pumpkin decorating station, tractor racing and trick or treating. In addition, during your visit, you'll have a chance to spot stilt walkers and special characters, balloon artists and expertly decorated pumpkins. Stop by on October 23rd to watch the masters carve out the park's giant pumpkin into a work of art!

Price: $10 additional fee with a purchase of an "Extraordinary Wristband"
Holidays and weekends Sept 25-Oct 31
During park hours
1000 Surf Ave.
Coney Island
Online: lunaparknyc.com

photo: Industry City

Industry City 
Industry City is going all out with programming for everyone to celebrate their own way. Kicking off on Saturday, October 23 from 10am – 4pm, Industry City is hosting a Kids Monster Mash Halloween Parade throughout campus.

Additionally, Sahadi’s will be hosting pumpkin-decorating parties throughout the week, which include a pumpkin, decorating materials, hot apple cider and a goodie bag to-go. Cost is $25; reservations can be made here.

Sat., Oct. 23, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Industry City 
Sunset Park 
Online: industrycity.com

photo: Great Pupkin Fort Greene

Halloween Candy Hunt at Aviator Sports Center
For two weekends, Green Meadows Farm is pulling out all the stops for the little ones. Kids are encouraged to come in costume, and admission will get you access to a candy hunt, hayrides, 10 tractors to climb around on, a bulldozer, a playground, tons of photo-ops, and more! You're also welcome to walk around the farm to greet all the farm animals or feed them for an additional fee. 

Stop by on weekends and Wednesdays in October for more fall fun, including a free pumpkin included in your entry fee!

Covid info: All visitors over 2 must wear a mask, and most activities will be socially distanced and limited capacity (ie only one person on a ride at a time)

Tickets: $12/person, free for 2 and under
Oct. 23, 24, 30, & 31
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
3159 Flatbush Ave.
Floyd Bennett Field
Online: greenmeadowsfarmbrooklyn.com

The Great Pupkin Dog Costume Contest at Fort Greene Park
Come to the 23rd year of the Great Pupkin dog costume contest to see tons of pups in costumes. The costumes get pretty wonderfully outrageous, and winners will get the Great Pupkin rosettes and bragging rights. You can come to watch the madness, or even enter your dog (or dogs) into the content at $12 per dog. Plus, your entry fee will be going to the Fort Greene PUPS charity, so it's for a good cause!

If you can't make it out to Fort Greene, you can still join the fun: The event will be live-streamed on the Fort Greene PUPS Facebook page.

Tickets: Free to attend, $12 entry fee for dogs
Sat., Oct. 30 (rain date: Sun, Oct 31), 12-2:30 p.m.
Washington Park St. (bottom of monument stairs)
Fort Greene
Online: fortgreenepups.org

Halloween Spooktacular at the Brooklyn Bowl
The Rock and Roll Playhouse has teamed up with Brooklyn Bowl for a rocking Halloween event. Enjoy some awesome music, get your face painted and participate in a costume contest.

Covid info: Guests over 12 must show vaccination proof of at least 1 shot, while anyone under 12 must wear a mask. (Anyone over 12 is strongly encouraged to wear a mask, as well.)

Price: $12/person, 1 and under are free
Sun., Oct. 31, Noon (doors at 11 a.m.)
61 Wythe Ave.
Williamsburg
Online: brooklynbowl.com

photo: Prospect Park Alliance/Jordan Rathkopf

Prospect Park Haunted Carousel
Take a spin to the sounds of Halloween-inspired tunes for the low cost of $2.50, Thursdays through Sundays starting October 21. 

Prospect Park Carousel
Prospect Park
Online: prospectpark.org

Creatively Wild Spooky Wooky Halloween Party
This DUMBO art studio is hosting a free party with pizza, cupcakes, crafts and treats! Come in costume for your chance to win a prize, including a free half-day of camp on November 2. Open to kids 16 and under. RSVP is required

Fri., Oct. 29, 3-5 p.m.
98 Water St.
DUMBO
917-543-8130
Online: creativelywildartstudio.com

Halloween Parade on the Promenade
The Brooklyn Heights Association is holding its traditional parade on the Promenade. Gather at the entrance to the promenade on Clark Street and parade down to the cul-de-sac on Remsen, then collect a goodie bag! 

Sat., Oct. 30, 10: 30 a.m.
Brooklyn Promenade
Brooklyn Heights
Online: thebha.org

photo: Dumbo Improvement District

DumboWeen
Dumbo is holding its annual Halloween “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.

For grownups, The Dumbo Station—the beer and wine kiosk in the Dumbo Archway—will be open with seasonal beers on tap. Masks are kindly requested.

For a festive photo experience all weekend (Oct. 29-31 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.) head to Washington Street at Water Street and the Dumbo Archway, to capture a special holiday pic!

March to the Arch: Sun., Oct. 31, 3 p.m.
Meet Washington Street between Front & Water Streets

Oct. 29-31
Online: dumbo.is

Brooklyn Boo! at Albee Square 
Albee Square is hosting a free early Halloween celebration with music, performances, and treats! 

Sat., Oct. 30, 2-5 p.m.
Albee Square
Downtown Brooklyn
Online: downtownbrooklyn.com

photo: BAMBoo!/Elena Olivo

BAMboo! at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
BAM's taking Halloween to the streets, block party style! Perfect for kids ages 4-12 (though all, of course, are welcome), this outdoor event is a perfect spot to celebrate trick or treating in style. Besides some goodies for the bag, this event also features carnival games, spooky arts and crafts, a costume contest, and much more. RSVP is available but not required. 

Free
Sun., Oct. 31, 2-5 p.m.
30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street
Fort Greene
Online: bam.org

Halloween Party at PLAYDAY
PLAYDAY is hosting a three-hour Halloween party for kids five and up with themed art projects, costumes, music, dancing and more. A portion of proceeds from the event will go to arts non-profit The Blue Bus Project. 

Tickets: $90
Sun., Oct. 31, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
269 Baltic St. 
Cobble Hill 
844-752-9329
Online: playday.com

Manhattan

 

photo: Chelsea Market

Chelsea Market Halloween Celebrations 
On October 29, Chelsea Market will be having on-site pumpkin carvers work on a giant pumpkin from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

On Halloween day, the Market will hold trick-or-treating fun, with stilt walkers roaming around the Market handing out candy. Parents can drop by Li-Lac Chocolates for some grown-up Halloween chocolates.

Oct. 29 & Oct. 31
75 Ninth Ave. at 15th Street
Chelsea Market 
Chelsea
Online: chelseamarket.com

Little Island
Little Island will be hosting a free paper collage workshop with teaching artist Georgie Flores. Kids can make fun pumpkin and Halloween-themed crafts and scenery. All materials are provided, and all ages are welcome.

Fri., Oct. 29, 3 p.m.
Little Island 
Pier 55 Hudson River Park 
Online: littleisland.org

photo: NYC Parks

The Ghosts of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt
Watson Adventures presents a scavenger hunt with a twist — instead of finding and bringing back objects, you'll be solving riddles and figuring out hints together. Each hunt is led by Hunt Hosts and their assistants, whose job will be to guide you on your path to completing the hunt. In this Halloween edition of the scavenger hunt, you'll be discovering the history of some hidden spooky spaces and creepy spots. The hunt will take you to the haunted homes of Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain, help you spot bats on buildings and Dickensian door knockers, and more silly spooks. 

Winners will receive Watson Adventure medals for the whole team (as well as bragging rights), but the point is the journey, not whether you win or lose! This event is recommended for ages 7 and up and all teams must include at least one adult.

Tickets: $21.50/adult, $17.50/child ages 7-17
Sat., Oct. 16 & 30, 4-6:30 p.m.
Greenwich Village, exact location to be announced
Online: watsonadventures.com

Halloween on the Harlem Meer
The yearly tradition returns: Bring your carved pumpkin to the Harlem Meer on October 28 and watch it join other lit and carved pumpkins in a flotilla on the water in a magical experience. Note that you don't need to bring a light — that'll be provided for you. Directions to the drop off point will be provided at the Charles A. Dana Discovery Plaza.

Stop by on Tuesday and Wednesday as well for more seasonal fun, including a Halloween show for kids, arts and crafts, and a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt. Costumes are encouraged on all three event days!

Covid info: Full vaccinated guests don't need a mask but unvaccinated visitors are required to mask up.

Tickets: Free
Tue.-Thurs., Oct. 26-28, 4-6 p.m.; Tue. and Wed., 4-6:30 on Thurs. 
199 Central Park N.
Central Park
Online: centralparknyc.org

Haunted Island 5k and 10k Race
Run for your lives — this place might be haunted! Governors Island has a military history and plenty of ghosts, as NYC Runs, the hosts of this race, helpfully points out. Spooky! Runners will have a chance to try the 5K or 10K race, open to all ages. After the race, Halloween goodies and candy will be handed out to participants. Runners are encouraged to wear their costume to get into the spirit of things (no pun intended). 

Your fee covers the ferry ride to the island, a race t-shirt, and a meal following the race. If you'd rather stay closer to home but you still want to take part in the race, you can run or walk anywhere with the virtual option, then submit your time by December 13.

Covid info: Unvaccinated runners are required to wear a mask except when running. During the race, masks can be removed if you're distanced, but need to be secured somewhere on or around your head for easy access if you're unable to distance.

Tickets: Starting at $40, depending on when you register, free for kids 5 and under
5k starts 8:30 a.m., 10k starts 9 a.m.
Colonel's Row
Governor's Island
Online: nycruns.com

Spooky Bazaar: Halloween Special at the Grand Bazaar
The vendors at the Grand Bazaar are getting into the Halloween mood by decking out their stalls and themselves with spooky costumes and decor. Visit the Spooky Bazaar and check out over 120 local vendors, selling everything from yummy eats to spooky treats — and everything in between! Visitors are also encouraged to come in costume.

Visiting the bazaar is completely free, but anything you purchase will come at a price. Shop away! All proceeds from the sales go to four local schools, so it's going to a good cause.

Tickets: Free
Sun., Oct. 31, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Grand Bazaar NYC
100 West 77th St.
Online: grandbazaarnyc.org

Make a Gourd-geous Pumpkin at CAMP
Decorating pumpkins is fun, but throwing them out when they rot isn't. That's why CAMP is presenting this artsy version of the Halloween classic, with an artificial pumpkin that you can keep forever as a keepsake. Kids ages 4 and up can decorate the pumpkin to their hearts content (minus the part where you have to scoop out pumpkin guts). Visitors over 12 must show proof of vaccination, kids over 2 are required to wear masks

The Shops at Columbus Circle
10 Columbus Circle # Suite 202
Midtown

Hudson Yards
20 Hudson Yards Fl 2
Hudson Yards

City Point
1 Dekalb Ave.
Downtown Brooklyn

Price and more info:

Tickets: $25/child, accompanying adults enter free

Various Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays in October
Online: camp.com

photo: Mimi O'Connor

Halloween Dog Parade at Tompkins Square
Everything's better with dogs! See pooches dressed in their Halloween best at the 31st annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Bring your dog or come solo and watch dogs in costumes parade around and compete for a chance to win some prizes. Be forewarned that this event draws huge crowds every year!

Tickets: Free
Sat., Oct. 23, Noon-3 p.m.
East River Park Amphitheater
East River Promenade
Lower East Side
Online: tompkinssquaredogrun.com

Movies Under the Stars: "The Nightmare Before Christmas" at J. Hood Wright Park
It's the best time to watch a spooky movie with your family and community! Bring a blanket for an evening screening of the Halloween (and Christmas!) classic "The Nightmare Before Christmas." Sing along with your favorite songs, or just enjoy the spooky atmosphere. The movie will begin at dusk (roughly 6:30 p.m.) but get there early if you want to secure a spot.

Covid info: Unvaccinated guests are encouraged to wear a mask, and social distancing must be maintained.

Tickets: Free
Fri., Oct. 22, 6:30-9 p.m.
Central Lawn in J. Hood Wright Park
Hudson Heights
Online: nycgovparks.org

Pumpkin Carving at the Cauldron
The Cauldron is the most magical and perfect place to have a Halloween event — the entire pub is a magic- and fantasy-themed popup spot. Carve some pre-gutted pumpkins while you sip on the Cauldron's homemade whipped-cream-topped HalloCream drink (an option without alcohol is available for the kids). Participants will also get carving tools and a template. It's a perfectly cozy and magical atmosphere for the fall season!

Kids are welcome but they must be 5 or older to participate, and one adult is required per every two kids.

Covid info: To be seated indoors, visitors over 12 must show proof of vaccination.

Tickets: Starting at $20
Fri., Sat., & Sun., Oct. 8-10 & 15-17, Noon-3 p.m.
The Cauldron NYC Magical Pub
47 Stone St.
Online: eventbrite.com

Halloween Kids Spooky Cruise 
Come aboard the spooky cruise ship, all decked out with Halloween decor. Kids will dig trick-or-treating onboard the cruise ship and watch costumed characters perform for their entertainment, while adults can enjoy the great views of the city. General admission tickets will get you a spot on the cruise, while premium admission will also net you a "spooky goodie bag" as well as complimentary food and drinks.

Covid info: Face coverings are required at all times while on board the cruise ship.

Tickets: $39/adult, $35/child for general admission; $55/adult, $49/child for premium admission
Oct 16, 23, 30, & 31
Boarding at 1 p.m., cruise lasts 1:30-3 p.m.
Departs from Pier 36
299 South St.
Lower East Side
Online: eventcruisesnyc.com

Halloween Boo Bash at Randall's Island
Hop on over to Randall's Island for the Boo Bash, to pre-game for trick or treating. Participate in Halloween crafts, games, and more fun before you head out for candy collecting. In addition the Boo Bash, Randall's Island is also having their beloved free Harvest Festival this year. Visit for seasonal fun including pumpkin carving, cookie decorating, live music, a read-along, and a Latin dance class! Plus, the first 500 visitors can enter their email for a chance to win a raffle. 

Harvest Festival
Tickets: Free
Sat., Oct 2, Noon
-3 p.m.
Fields 62 & 63 and the Urban Farm
Randall's Island
Online: randallsisland.org

Boo Bash
Tickets: Free
Sun., Oct. 31, Noon-3 p.m.
103rd Street Footbridge, RI side
Randall's Island
Online: randallsisland.org

Pumpkin Point at Governors Island
Back by popular demand, Governors Island will be transforming into a pumpkin haven for the last two weeks of October. Visitors can pick a pumpkin to take home for a suggested donation, and can even decorate their pumpkin right there and then. Other activities include live music, stories, seasonal arts and crafts, and more. Don't forget to stop by the vendors for some fall eats and drinks.

Covid info: Visitors are required to show proof of vaccination to enter indoor spaces on the island (but Pumpkin Point is an outdoor event). All visitors, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face masks while in line for or on the ferry.

Tickets: Free
Sat. & Sun., Oct. 23 & 24 & 30-31, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Nolan Park
Governors Island
Online: govisland.com

Cocktails & Culture: Halloween Masquerade at the Museum of the City of New YorkIf you have kids who are 13 or older, or you're looking to celebrate Halloween on your own before you and the kids hit the streets for trick or treating, then the MCNY Masquerade is the event for you. The social gathering will have specialty cocktails for the adults and West African food for all attendees to purchase. Take part of a Halloween take on the red carpet (bring your A-game and wear your favorite costume!), jam out to a sunset DJ set, or participate in a sketch-and-sip activity (for an additional fee). Or, stroll through two of the museum's current exhibits, which will be open late for the event.

Covid info: All visitors over 12 must show proof of vaccination, and attendees of the event are required to wear masks when indoors.

Tickets: Free with museum admission
Fri. Oct. 29, 6-10 p.m.
1220 Fifth Ave .at 103rd St.
Upper East Side
Online: mcny.org

 

photo: The Great Pupkin

Manhattan West Woof Fest: HOWL-Oween
Dress your doggie in his or her finest costume and head to Manhattan West's Woof Fest. The free event will include time to enjoy the doggy playground, the chance to learn a few tips and tricks from a trainer, showcasing costumed pups and awarding prizes. Attendees must sign a waiver and advance registration is recommended. 

Sat., Oct. 30, Noon-4 p.m.
Manhattan West Plaza
Ninth & 31st St. 
212-417-7143
Online: manhattanwestnyc.com

Queens

photo: Onderdonk House

Halloween Fun at the Vander Ende-Onderdonk House
Visit the historic Vander Ende-Onderdonk House for some spooky (but age-appropriate) Halloween fun, recommended for ages 6-10. Kids will have a blast making paper plate Jack-o-Lanterns, listening to ghost stories and decorating themed coloring pages — all set to fun seasonal music and sounds. Make sure to wear your costume, as there will also be a costume parade and trick or treating goodie bags!

Tickets: $10/adult, $5/child under 12
Sat., Oct. 30, 1-4 p.m. (timed entry at 1, 2, and 3)
1820 Flushing Ave.
Ridgewood
Online: onderdonkhouse.org

photo: Socrates Sculpture Park

Halloween Harvest Festival at the Socrates Sculpture Park
From doggie costumes to bedazzled pumpkins, the Socrates Sculpture Park has all the fall fun you'd expect, with a twist. Check out the Rocky Horror Doggie Show, where dogs and their owners dress up for a chance at prizes. Kids and adults go head to head in the pumpkin carving and decorating contest, where the more sparkle and flair, the better. Winning pumpkins will be catapulted into fame — literally. Still have an inner artist to unleash? Join the palm leaf-making workshop, led by artist Levan Mindiashvili. Finally, enjoy some chill jazz performances… performed on stilts. 

Tickets: Free
Sat., Oct. 30, Noon-5 p.m.
32-01 Vernon Blvd.
Astoria
Online: socratessculpturepark.org

photo: Queens County Farm Museum

Halloween on the Farm at the Queens County Farm Museum
Halloween has come to the farm, and you're invited! Families will have a blast at the Halloween on the Farm event, which has tons of activities to try. Tickets include admission to the three-acre Amazing Maize Maze, which is themed around Andy Warhol's "Cow" this year! Once you're done getting lost in the maze, you can take part in Halloween-themed hayrides, trick-or-treating among the animals, a haunted farmhouse, a compost station where you can "Adopt-a-Worm," and even a dance party. For an additional fee, you can also purchase food from local vendors set up at the farm or buy some farm-fresh (literally!) produce to take home. Come in your costume!

Covid info: Unvaccinated visitors must wear a mask when outdoors. If you're entering an indoor space for a brief moment, no vaccination proof is required (but if you plan to stay indoors for a while, you'll need to show proof).

Tickets: $20/person, free for 3 and under. Advance tickets are required, no tickets will be sold at the door.
Sun., Oct. 31, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
73-50 Little Neck Pkwy
Bellerose Manor
Online: queensfarm.org

Halloween at the Garden at the Queens Botanical Garden
Halloween is in full bloom at the Queens Botanical Garden. It's spooky harvesting season! The kid-centric event has a Trick-or-Treat Trail for little ones to explore, as well as plenty of performances, including a magic show. Adult visitors can enjoy some harvest beers and ciders. 

In addition to this event, the garden is screening Halloween-themed movies all month, which come at an additional price but include access to the space after hours. Check out the movies screening here.

Covid info: Vaccinated guests aren't required to to wear a mask or socially distance outdoors. Indoor, all guests must wear a mask.

Tickets: Free with garden admission, $6/adult, $2/child ages 4-12, 4$/student and senior, free for kids ages 3 and under
Sun, Oct. 31, Noon-4 p.m.
43-50 Main St.
Flushing
Online: queensbotanical.org

photo: PLAYDAY NYC

Halloween Party at PLAYDAY
PLAYDAY is hosting a three-hour Halloween party for kids five and up with themed art projects, costumes, music, dancing and more. A portion of proceeds from the event will go to arts non-profit The Blue Bus Project. 

Tickets: $90
Fri., Oct. 29, 6-9 p.m.
5-37 51st Ave. 
Long Island City
844-752-9329
Online: playday.com

Staten Island

photo: Julie J. via Unsplash

Village Ghost Tours at Historic Richmond Town
Get to know the ghosts and ghouls around us with this immersive tour of the historic locations around Richmond. Rooted in real history and folktales, visitors are led by a guide in costume who'll lead you through historic structures in the dark and share the mysteries of the village. Learn a bit about the history of the area as well as some spooky stories. Though this event is meant for participants ages eight and older, but the guides can accommodate younger children, as well.

Covid info: Proof of vaccination for 12 and over is required, since the event enters historic buildings.

Tickets: $10
Sat., Oct. 2-Sat., Oct. 30
7 and 8:30 p.m.
441 Clarke Ave.
Staten Island
Online: historicrichmondtown.org

Urban Wildlife: Nocturnal Creatures at Conference House Park
Learn all about the things that go bump in the night with this Urban Rangers-led nature exploration. The Rangers will teach visitors all about Halloween-themed animals and critters, like bats, spiders, and nocturnal residents of nature. 

Tickets: Free
Sun., Oct. 31, 4-5 p.m.
Conference House Park
Hylan Boulevard and Satterlee Street
Staten Island
Online: nycgovparks.org

—Yuliya Geikhman

RELATED STORIES: 

The Best NYC-Themed Costume Ideas, Halloween 2021 Edition

NYC’s Best Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating

Praise the Gourd: Where to Go Pumpkin Picking near NYC

 

35 Easy & Fun Paper Crafts for Kids

Read next

When it comes to crafting with kids, there’s one magical material that always comes through: paper. Whether it’s construction paper, computer paper, or yesterday’s newspaper, your art supply drawer isn’t complete without this particular DIY ingredient. That’s why we’ve gathered up 35 crafts that spotlight paper in a big way, from paper painting to garlands and festive hats.

Classic Plate Pumpkin

No scissors or glue means minimal cleanup for this super easy pumpkin project from The Simple Parent. Great for crafters of all ages, find all the materials you'll need here.

Negative Space

Kids can get artsy with negative space. And, of course, fall leaves. Okay, so you’re not really making art out of leaves. Your child is actually making art out of the absence of the leaves. Of course, if your creative kid wants to keep the leaves she’ll remove from her negative space painting, she can always collage them onto another piece of paper or hang them together with yarn to make a garland. Get the full instructions from Mini Monets and Mommies.

photo: courtesy Mini Monets and Mommies

Cardboard Airplane

This cardboard airplane is a simple way to get your budding aviators up and flying. Let them decorate it with markers, and then the construction is simple. Head over to Hands On As We Grow for details. 

photo: Wee Gallery

Finger Puppets from Wee Gallery

How cute are these finger puppets from Wee Gallery? Not only are the designs adorable, but the hardest part will be cutting them all out after the kids color to their heart's content. Which means this is an easy one! Get the tutorial here. 

Paper Pig Painting

Set out enough materials so each kid can paint their own pig! It's very easy, and you probably already have everything you need. We love the easy tutorial from Oh Creative Day. Click here for the tutorial.

Paper Rainbow

A 3D rainbow is a perfect and easy St. Patrick's craft. Creative mama Arena of The Nerd’s Wife provides a tutorial even a preschooler can master. Got a kid who likes to mix it up? Tell them to arrange the strips of paper in their own rainbow form. Get the low-down from The Nerd’s Wife.

Under the Sea

If your kids are fans of The Little Mermaid, they’ll have a blast making this adorable origami from Pink Stripey Socks. Pop the movie on in the background while you make them, and you’ve got a great afternoon in store. Click here to get the step-by-step instructions.

Beautiful Bouquet

Make a colorful bouquet that'll never wilt, all with a few simple supplies: eye droppers, food coloring, paper napkins and plate and pipe cleaners. We especially love the look when neon colors are used. Get the full tutorial here

Fork Tulips

Who says your crafty kid needs a brush to paint? This paper art activity celebrates spring with a paint print and a fringe of green, green, green grass. Learn how to make these oh-so-cute tulips with Growing Up Gabel’s easy to follow how-to.

Paper Plate Dragons

Take to the skies when you engineer flying dragons. To complete this simple project, you need paper plates, paints or markers and a downloadable template designed by pinkstripeysocks.com. Print, cut, color, play! Like dragons? Check out these other dragon crafts you can make. 

Origami Transformers

We’re obsessed with these transforming ninja stars from What Do We Do All Day?, and chances are your kids will feel the same way. You’ll first make eight parallelograms into a wheel, then push and pull on the sides to turn it into a star. Click here to get all the details, plus video instructions. Like origami? We've got more perfect origami for kids right here

Book Monsters

If you’ve got a budding bookworm in your family, you’ve got to make this adorable project from Easy Peasy and Fun. There’s lots of room for creativity with these since you can add eyes, teeth, horns ... the sky’s the limit. To get the instructions, click here.

Fireplace Paper Bag

This warm fireplace from Crafts by Amanda is a homey addition to a dollhouse or a kid's room to make them feel like real grownups (without the fire hazard, of course!). It will be fun for the little ones to search out sticks in the woods or at your local park for their very own mini fire place! Thanks to Crafts by Amanda for this awesome idea!

Holiday Card Bookmarks

Upcycle this year's holiday cards, turning them into this year's crafty presents! Follow the directions from Hands On As We Grow and learn how to make these artfully amazing bookmarks. Keep a few of your kiddo's creations for yourself or give them out as holiday gifts. 

Picasso-Style Pumpkins

Get creative and mix things up with this Picasso-inspired collage. Your kiddo can create the perfect plump pumpkin, and then cut it into puzzle-type pieces. Place the rearranged jack o' lantern on a larger piece of paper, creating a cool collage that looks entirely artsy. Get more artsy, spooky paper ideas for Halloween here

Go Batty

These crafty cardboard and paper bats from Buggy and Buddy are 3D cuties that can hang almost anywhere. Decorate a party table centerpiece with these winged creatures or turn this Halloween craft into a an imaginative accent to your fall foliage or floral arrangement. 

Modular Bracelets

File this under “coolest idea ever”: origami you can wear! These modular bracelets from Paper Kawaii are so much fun to make and can be made in any color combination or size your little ones desire. Click here to see the video tutorial. And if you like origami, check out these awesome origami projects for kids.  

Stamped Sheep

Make sweet sheep with paint, paper and a few of your child’s other favorite art materials. This spring-time craft is perfect for preschoolers. And bonus, it’s easy to adapt to your toddler or grade schooler. Get the details on how to get artsy with DIY stamping from Buggy and Buddy.

Bunny Hat

Hop to this hat craft that you can make any time of year (not just Easter!). Directions from our friend Alpha Mom call for scissors, one pink marker, and one paper plate. The site offers other great ideas for paper plate hats like decorative crowns and heart hats so check it out. For more great simple and fun hat crafts click here. 

Dragon D Craft

Educate your preschoolers with this Dragon D craft. Designed by Allison at notimeforflahshcards.com, it’s as simple as A-B-C-D to make!

Giant Paper Airplane

We love this jumbo-sized paper airplane the crafty mom behind Fireflies & Mudpies made for only $1! Have the kids decorate the wings before heading outside for an afternoon of flight lessons. See these fierce flyers in action, and learn to make your own here.

Simple Apple Tree Craft

This craft involves a little bit of twist and a little bit of curl. And remember there are many fruits out there that you can jazz the branches up with. Maybe add a bird or a squirrel or two! Check out Creative Jewish Mom for the full low down on how to twist, curl, and create this fun paper bag craft.

For more paper bag crafts click here. 

Medieval Crown Craft

This craft from First Palette is fit for the pint-sized royalty in your life. With construction paper, crepe paper, and as much sequin bling as you can find, you'll have a new addition for the dress-up bin. Head here for the full instructions.

For more great paper hat crafts click here. 

Paper Doll Chain Ballerinas

Paper doll chains are a pretty classic paper craft and we think this one from Mer Mag has a particularly irresistible charm. It's perfect for your aspiring prima ballerina's room decor or next birthday party. Learn more here.

Animal Masks

Props to Handmade Charlotte, who came up with this super cute and easy idea for critter-inspired masks. All you need is repurposed paper bags, sharpies, and some imagination to get a house full of wild animals. Click here for all the inspiration you need.

For more easy masks that'll transform your day, click here. 

Bright Cat Garland

This one goes out to all the itty bitty kitty lovers out there. Thanks to A Subtle Revelry, you can whip up a DIY garland that's totally cat-tastic. The shapes and gluing are pretty simple and you can customize colors and whiskers too. Find the how-to here. For more easy garland ideas, click here.

Crumpled Paper Art

Are you digging the tie dye effect of this art from Buggy & Buddy? This activity is all about cheery watercolor and the perfection of imperfection. Get all the info you need here.

Homemade Harvest Herb Paper

Okay, so this craft is less crafting-with-paper and more make-your-own-paper. It’s an educational combo of art, science, and design and a great way to teach the littles about where paper comes from. Head here to Babble Dabble Do for step-by-step instructions for all kinds of homemade paper.

Dinosaur Hat

Here’s something to roar about: an ultra-easy dinosaur hat from Cutting Tiny Bites. Great when you need a quick prop for pretend play or a special accessory for that dinosaur party. Learn more here.

For 9 more dinosaur activities for kids, click here

Paper Houses

Your budding architects will get a kick out of creating their own paper town. After some adult prep (for the x-acto knife steps), this turns into a paper coloring and gluing activity that’s sure to entertain for an afternoon. Snag the free house template at Babble Dabble Do here.

Shark Catcher

You know those cootie catchers you couldn’t get enough of when you were a kid? They’ve gotten a shark twist from Easy Peasy and Fun. Get the kids prepped for beginning origami and then get the template and instructions here.

Newspaper Sun Hats

Your teatime will be extra stylish with a DIY newspaper hat. This is a great way to use up old newspapers–and your little miss can go wild with whatever flowery, feathery toppers she wants. Find out more here.

For more fun and easy hat craft ideas for kids, click here.

Dragon Marionette Puppet

This idea from Create in the Chaos is one of those deceptively easy crafts. It only needs a few materials, there’s a free printable involved, and we’re willing to bet that your kid will be glad to color away. Get everything you need here.

Kirigami Water Blossoms

This idea from Babble Dabble Do is one part science lesson, one part paper project, and totally amazing. It involves paper flowers that expand in water–mimicking the real-life natural phenomenon. Click here for the full instructions.

—Abigail Matsumoto

Feature photo: iStock 

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NYC Kids Weekend Events: Oct. 22-24

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Get an extra chance to use those Halloween costumes this weekend with one of these festive events, like this annual costume parade, this super popular dog parade, or this spooky carousel.  Those are just some of the exciting events happening this weekend for kids, pups, and you, too. Scroll down for more of our top event picks!

Photo: iStock

Haunted Carousel

Don’t be scared when you enter the “haunted carousel”! Take a spin on the spooky ride while they play your favorite Halloween jams. Event Details.

NYBG’s Scarecrows & Pumpkins Takeover

Discover plentiful pumpkins and hordes of gourds by the Mertz Library Building and Haupt Conservatory Plaza, and keep an eye out for displays of whimsical scarecrows throughout the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Event Details.

Pumpkin Point at Governors Island

Visitors can pick a pumpkin to take home for a suggested donation, and can even decorate their pumpkin right there and then. Other activities include live music, stories, seasonal arts and crafts, and more. Event Details.

Halloween Candy Hunt

It’s that exciting time when your little ghouls and goblins get to dress in their costumes and participate in this candy hunt.  In addition, they can run and roam throughout the farm greeting animals, climbing on playgrounds, and enjoying the fall decorations. Event Details.

Harvest Festival

Don’t miss the kick-off procession, arts and crafts, storytelling, lawn games and more—including a signature pumpkin patch at the return of this Brooklyn family favorite. Event Details.

Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

See pooches dressed in their Halloween best at the 31st annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Bring your dog or come solo and watch dogs in costumes parade around and compete for a chance to win some prizes. Event Details.

36th Annual Bronx Halloween Parade 2021

All ages are welcome at this Halloween parade! The theme this year is Day of The Soul – Celebrating Our Loved Ones. There will be special prizes for toddlers, and cash prizes for kids ages 4 to 17, adults 18 and up, over 55 senior categories. Event Details.

Hike-toberfest

Hike in the park followed by a classic Oktoberfest celebration, complete with local beer, German food, live music, lawn games, and more. Event Details.

Family Day: SoHo Cast Iron Architecture

Explore SoHo’s historic cast iron buildings to see how this new material and construction system transformed SoHo from a residential area to the commercial hotspot it is today. Back at the Center, kids will design their own building facades in the SoHo style. Event Details.

Halloween Harvest

Your Halloween Harvest pass includes Pumpkin Decorating, Tractor Racing, Trick or Treating and more! Event Details.

 

There are tons more events on our calendar – be sure to check them out all week long!

 

–  Jesseca Stenson

 

featured image: iStock

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Fall in NYC is glorious, but it’s also a good time to get away and enjoy some time outside of the city. Looking for a day trip with kids but don’t have a car? No worries: we rounded up day trips you can get to by train. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning—it’s time to get away, even for a day!

LONG ISLAND RAILROAD (LIRR)

Oyster Bay
A quick 90-minute train ride can transport you to this hamlet on the North Shore of Long Island in Nassau county. Visit the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, dedicated to our Former President who was once a frequent commuter on the LIRR himself.

Families with train-lovers should check out the Oyster Bay Railroad Museum (open Saturdays and Sundays) and learn the important role railroads played in America's history. A quick taxi ride will bring you to the Planting Fields Arboretum, a 400+ acre 1920s Gold Coast estate with gorgeous gardens and landscapes designed by the Olmstead brothers, two greenhouses and a preserved Tudor Revival mansion showcasing the art and artistry of its time. Planting Fields offers lots of free resources for kids and families to make exploring the natural landscape even more engaging. 

You can also take a trip back in time at the Raynham Hall Museum, home of George Washington's secret agent Robert Townsend!

To eat and drink try Cooper Bluff at Oyster Bay Harbor (open through October), Oyster Bay Brewing Company, or Bonanza's Stand, for Italian ices and hot dogs any which way. 

Get there: Take the LIRR Babylon line to Oyster Bay Station

Farmingdale, NY
Fall is a great time to visit Long Island amusement park Adventureland, which opened in 1962, and offers rides for little ones and kids a bit older who want some thrills. The park is open on weekends until Nov. 7, and is hosting Halloween shows and events in October. 

Get there: Take the LIRR Ronkonkoma line to Farmingdale

2245 Broad Hollow Rd.
Farmingdale, NY 
631-694-6868
Online: adventureland.us

Melville, NY

Enjoy fall fun at Schmitt’s Family Farm Annual Fall Festival, happening now on weekends until October 31st. It’s accessible by a 1-hour train ride followed by a 10-minute taxi ride. Admission fee of $10 a person includes a hayride, playground, mini-golf and photo ops. The farm also offers pumpkin picking, vegetable picking, a haunted house, a corn maze, petting zoo, a farm stand and more all priced separately.

Get there: Take the LIRR Ronkonkoma line to Pinelawn Station or the Port Jefferson line to Huntington Station and catch a 10-minute cab ride. 

26 Pinelawn Rd.
Melville, NY
631-271-3276
Online: schmittfarms.com

METRO-NORTH RAILROAD 

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Beacon, NY & Storm King Art Center 

Sit on the left side of your Metro-North train car for spectacular views of the Hudson River. Shop local and support handmade at one of the many shops or pop into an art gallery. Beacon is home to celebrated contemporary art center Dia: Beacon. If you want even more art, take advantage of this package deal which includes a short shuttle ride and admission to Storm King Center (shown here) where you and the kids can take in the oversized sculptures among incredible foliage across 500-acres. 

For food, we'd recommend Melzingah Tap House on Main Street in Beacon for a sit down meal, and Beacon Pantry, is a good stop for sandwiches or fancy picnic supplies on the go. Don't leave Beacon without visiting Glazed Over Donuts, where you'll find all kinds of extreme confections.   

Get there: Take the Metro-North Hudson Line to Beacon Station

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Cold Spring, NY

The Village of Cold Spring offers gentle hiking trails at the West Point Foundry Preserve as well as the Little Stony Point trails along the Hudson River. Through November 11, you can hop a trolley to get to the nearby Boscobel House and Gardens to view decorative arts and furniture from the Federal period, or check out the Mid-century home of designer Russel Wright known as Manitoga. The  Cold Springs Tiny Tot park is a fun stop, as is The Gift Hut on Main Street. 

For food, try Hudson Hil's for American classics done well, Brasserie Le Bouchon for French fare with the option of outdoor seating, and Moo Moo's Creamery for ice cream. 

Get there: Take the Metro-North Hudson Line to Cold Spring Station
 

photo: Wikimedia Creative Commons

Poughkeepsie, NY 
Experience walking across the world's longest pedestrian elevated walkway with a view of peak fall foliage. You can get to The Walkway over the Hudson Historic Strate Park by train in under two hours from Manhattan. Walk across and back for a stroll just under three miles, or turn around at any time. Be sure to stop by the seven-foot bronze statue of Sojourner Truth, an American Abolitionist and women's rights activist. This monument commemorates the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage.

For food, we recommend Farmer's & Chefs for yummy farm-to-table, Lola's Cafe for good food and major convenience (it's located right next to the stairs to the walkway), and its sister restaurant Lolita's Pizza, also nearby. 

Get there: Take the Metro-North Hudson Line to Poughkeepsie Station

NJ TRANSIT 

Jackson Township, NJ
Got kids hankering for some Halloween thrills? Check out this NJT deal that includes a round-trip bus trip and admission to Six Flags Great Adventure. (Yes, this is a bus, not a train.) Little ghouls and goblins will enjoy a "Thrills by Day" adventure that includes areas decorated for Halloween, a Trick-or-Treat Trail and live shows.

Get there: Take the 308 Express Bus to Six Flags Great Adventure from either New York Port Authority Bus Terminal or Newark Penn Station

Online: njtransit.com

photo: American Dream Mall

American Dream Mall, East Rutherford, NJ
If you want to do something fun with your family but can't decide on what, then head on over to the American Dream Mall where you'll find lots of choices!  Some options include Legoland Discovery Center, SeaLife Aquarium, an Olympic-size ice-skating rink and indoor amusement park Nickelodeon Universe which is hosting Halloween-themed fun through October 31. Halloween weekend will feature a costume contest, trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, and spooktacular fun for everyone. Other Halloween fun at American Dream includes a huge 50-spider installation and Spooky Skate at The Rink.

Get there: there are several ways to get to American Dream Mall including their official rideshare partner: Lyft.

Online: americandream.com

photo: Liberty Science Center

Jersey City, NJ
While we realize that some of our readers may live in Jersey City (we know why—it's nice!), it's also a fun day trip for NYC-area non-residents. Head straight for the Liberty Science Center (you must buy tickets in advance) which boasts several floors of hands-on exhibits and impressive climbing structures. They celebrate Halloween with gusto here, with a giant spider web maze, just for starters. If you want to relax afterward bring a picnic and enjoy Liberty State Park, which has tons of green space for the kids to run around and an incredible view of the NYC skyline. 

Get there: Take the PATH to Pavonia/Newport or Exchange Place station and transfer to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR). LSC is just five rail stops from the World Trade Center.

Closed on Mondays 
Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Blvd.
Liberty State Park
201-200-1000
Online: lsc.org

—Wai Sze Zara

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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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27 Black History Books to Read with Your Kids

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Did you know that African-American inventors are responsible for the modern-day supermarket and cell phone mikes? Or that a nine-year-old was arrested at a Civil Rights protest in 1963? Here are 27 Black History books that will teach children the rich history of African Americans and enlighten, encourage and inspire your kids. Scroll down to see the list.

The 1619 Projects - Born on the Water

This picture book is a kid-appropriate version of the New York Times' groundbreaking 1619 project. Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones, bestselling author Renée Watson, and Artivist Nikkolas Smith, it chronicles the consequences of slavery in America. Pre-order it here

Recommended age: 7-10

photo: Bloomsbury Children's Books

A Voice Named Aretha

In this gorgeous picture book by award-winning Author Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrator Laura Freeman, kids are introduced to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. The story follows the life of Franklin as she overcomes shyness as a child to the legend she became, and she earned a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T along the way. Get it here.

Recommended age: 4-8

photo: Harry N. Abrams

A Ride to Remember

The summer of 1963 was an important time in America. Not only did Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington take place, but the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Maryland became desegregated and open to everyone. As the first African-American child to ride the carousel at the park that day, co-author Sharon Langley shares her story in this new book all about how a community came together for positive change. Buy it now on amazon.com.

Recommended age: 6-9

photo: Versify

The Undefeated

A poem about the reality of slavery and all of its trauma, the power of the civil rights movement and the determination of some of our country's greatest heroes, this historical book is a must for your bookshelf.  Kids will not only get a deeper insight into an integral period of our nation's history but learn the words of change-makers like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gwendolyn Brooks. Get a copy here.

Recommended age: 6-9

photo: Little Brown Library

A Computer Called Katherine

African-Americans didn't have the same rights as others, and Katherine Johnson knew that was wrong. As wrong as 5+5=12. And in A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon, Katherine fights for equality as she surpassed her classmates and went on to make history by helping NASA to put America's first manned flight into space and the world's first trip to the moon. Buy it now on amazon.

Recommended age: 6-9
 
 

photo: Macmillan

Black Is a Rainbow Color

When debut author Angela Joy set out to teach her children their first Black History lesson she was not expecting her preschooler to say, "But Mama, we're not black, we're brown." It was then that she realized that she wanted her children, and all children, to understand that being Black was about culture as much as color. Vibrant, stained-glass-like artwork by Coretta-Scott King Award-winning illustrator Ekua Holmes accompanies Joy's poetic text as we join a little girl on a journey to discover all the wonderful things that Black is. Includes a suggested playlist as well as an expanded explanation of the historical references in the text to allow parents to explain Black history to their kids. It's an exceptionally designed, written and thoughtful new book appropriate for kids of all ages and ethnicities. Get your copy here

Recommended age: Suggested age, 4-8, but we think even older kids can benefit from this book due to the important historical talking points at the back of the book

photo: Sterling Publishers

A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks

Celebrate the life and voice of poet Gwendolyn Brooks with this thoughtful story that combines Brooks' legacy with her life story. Known for being one of the most foremost poets on the Black experience and the role of women in society, Gwendolyn Brooks went from a young child writing all the time to become the first Black author to win the Pulitzer Prize and authoring 20 books of poetry, two autobiographies and one novel. Celebrated author and children's librarian Alice Faye Duncan makes Brooks come to life on the page for the young reader. Find a copy here

Recommended age: 5 and up 

photo: Penguin Random House

The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA

Written by Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author Brenda Woods, The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA tells the story of a unique friendship between a young white boy and a black WWII veteran. Mr. Meriwether Hunter returns to Jim Crow South in 1946. When he saves little Gabriel’s life during a bike accident, Gabriel’s father offers Meriwether a job as a mechanic at their family garage. Gabriel and Meriwether form a friendship that endures in spite of the extreme prejudices in the world around them. A beautiful read. Get it here.

Recommend age: 10 and up

photo: Chronicle Books

The Quickest Kid in Clarksville

Little Alta is the quickest kid in Clarksville, Tennessee, and tomorrow is the big parade where three-time Olympic gold medalist Wilma Rudolph will be riding on a float. Just like Alta, Wilma was once the quickest kid in Clarksville, and just like Alta, Wilma once had holes in her shoes. What will happen when a new girl comes to town, a new girl with shiny brand new shoes, and challenges Alta to a race? This clever story teaches kids about Wilma Rudolph and the power of dreams and grit, in a manner that they'll get (and remember). Get your copy here.

Recommended age: 5-8

photo: Little Brown/Hatchett

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

This little book packs a big punch! Featuring forty trailblazing women in African-American history, each entry is accompanied by a beautiful illustration. From pilot Bessie Coleman to crooner Nina Simone to poets, inventors, athletes and more, this book will inspire children of any gender to be bold, beautiful and make history. Get it here.

Recommended ages: 3 and up, but we think you should read it to your baby. 

photo: Penguin Random House

Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil deGrasse Tyson

As a young boy, Neil deGrasse Tyson was starstruck when he first visited his local planetarium in New York City. His quest for knowledge knew no bounds and this is the story of how young Neil went from stargazer to one of the most respected astrophysicists in the world. Beautifully illustrated, excellent for young readers. Find your copy here

Recommended age: 4-8

We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders

Sixteen award-winning children's book artists illustrate the civil rights quotations that inspire them in this amazing book. With an introduction by Harry Belafonte, words from Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the book includes illustrations by Selina Alko, Alina Chau, Lisa Congdon, Emily Hughes, Molly Idle, Juana Medina, Innosanto Nagara and many, many more. Order it here.

Recommended age: 8-12

photo: Chronicle Books

Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten

Singer-songwriter Laura Veirs brings the story of the folk singer Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten to life in this beautiful book illustrated by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. Libba, best known for the song g Freight Train, taught herself to play guitar as a child: upside down and backward no less (Libba was left-handed and did not have a left-handed guitar). She wrote the song Freight Train when she was just 13 but wasn’t really “discovered” until she was in her 60s. Learn about the woman behinds the song and teach your children that creativity and productivity are important no matter your age. Find it here.

Recommended age: 5-8

Martin Luther King: The Peaceful Warrior

Originally published in 1964, this new edition is as important and relevant today as it was then. It features a foreword from the Xernona Clayton, the wife of the late author Ed Clayton, as well as illustrations by Donald Bermudez, who had close ties to Dr. King's family. Learn the message of equality and all about the man behind the message, his early life and career. An excellent example of what it really is to be a true and powerful leader. Get your copy now. 

Recommend ages: 8-12

photo: Simon & Schuster

You Should Meet: Katherine Johnson

Who was Katherine Johnson? This brand new hardcover book will tell you: she is said to be one of the greatest minds of all time! She worked in the 1950s for the NASA space program and was such a brilliant mathematician that she figured out the math needed to send a rocket to the moon in her head. She didn't even use a computer or a calculator. This book will teach kids about her early life as a child growing up in a small town in Virginia that didn't even have a high school for African Americans (schools were segregated then), how her family moved to a town with a high school she could attend, and her incredible career as a scientist and mathematics marvel. Find a copy here.  

Recommended age: 6-8

photo: Candlewick Press

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library

Afro-Puerto Rican immigrant and hero Aturo Schomburg was a law clerk with a passion: he collected books, letters, art and music from Africa and the African diaspora. When the collection got too big for his own shelves, he turned to the New York Public Library where, in 1905, he curated a collection known then as the "Negro Division." Not only does this book take you through the life and times of the amazing Arturo Schomburg, it details critical and often overlooked African Americans and African American history throughout major events in the forming of the United States of America, including revolutionaries, the woman who wrote poems in praise of George Washington, the powerful writings of Frederick Douglass and the whitewashing of African history. A must-read for kids from all walks of life. Find your copy today. 

Recommended age: 9-12

photo: Chronicle Books

Marvelous Cornelius: Hurricane Katrina and the Spirit of New Orleans

This heartwarming book tells the story of a real garbage man who took care of the city streets of New Orleans. He danced in the streets, and the barbers, bead twirlers and beignet bakers followed him in a one-man parade; then came Hurricane Katrina. Find out how this humble man made a lasting impact in the aftermath. Get it here.

Recommended age: 5-8

photo: Candlewick Press

42 Is Not Just a Number: The Odyssey of Jackie Robinson, American Hero

Jackie Robinson was an all-star from a young age: baseball, basketball, football, he excelled. With talent like that, it seemed likely he'd go pro except for one thing: the color of his skin. So Jackie joined the Negro Leagues, setting records and impressing the manager of the major league team, the Brooklyn Dodgers. In 1946, Jackie became the first African American EVER to play in MLB. He faced cruelty, protests and violence. But he persisted: he displayed courage, determination, restraint and an incredible ability to win the game. This detailed chapter book will help parents and kids alike to remember never to give up. Buy it now

Recommended ages: 8-12

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

If you want to talk about Black History with your kids, this book will take you back to the beginning. Told from the point of view of a 100-year-old African-American woman, Heart and Soul takes kids on a journey through the history of slavery to Jim Crow laws to the quest for equality and freedom in our schools and beyond. It teaches them about the reality and the inspiring truth: the men, women and children of all colors who rallied to change education laws and end segregation and who fight still for truth, justice and the true American way. Kadir Nelson is an award-winning author and illustrator, whose honors include the Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator Award. Find it here

Recommended age: 6–10

photo: Barnes & Noble

I Am Harriet Tubman

Brad Meltzer’s latest release (Jan. 16) in his Ordinary People Change the World series, we learn the story of Harriet Tubman and her bravery as she fought to abolish slavery. She helped hundreds of African Americans escape slavery and find freedom through the Underground Railroad and is and this is one book that will inspire your kids to become heroes themselves. Find it here.

Recommended age: 5-8

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

Written by President Barack Obama as a letter to his own daughters, this is the story of 13 key players in American history. From Jackie Robinson to Georgia O’Keefe to George Washington,  Obama illustrates how his own children—and all kids—have these heroic traits in themselves. Uplifting and encouraging, your kids will gain an understanding of the history of the United States and know that “yes!” they can. Illustrated by Loren Long. Click here to find your copy.

Recommended age: 5 and up

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Both a picture book and a biography, this intro to the life, times and actions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a bestseller for a reason. Illustrated with stunning, lush pictures by Bryan Collier, author Doreen Rappaport has hit the sweet spot with telling the true history and making a book kids won’t want to put down. Shop here for your fam’s copy.

Recommended age: 5–8 years

Maya Angelou (Little People, Big Dreams)

Like the “I Am” series, the Little People, Big Dreams series explores amazing men and women of history, from artists to scientists to activists, teaching kids that one person can make a difference. This book covers the inspiring Maya Angelou’s journey, from a traumatic childhood to one of the world’s best-loved authors. If you thought you knew who Maya Angelou is, you are in for a treat: this book will leave you even more in awe than you already were. Written by Lisbeth Kaiser and illustrated by Leire Salaberria. Buy it here.

Recommended age: 5–8 years

Making Changes: Poems About Great African Americans

This collection tells the story of influential African Americans through poetry. From Gwendolyn Brooks to Thurgood Marshall to Mae Jemison, each poem gives kids a memorable and relatable description of the important contribution of these individuals. Photos throughout. Written by Dina Anastasio. Find out more at Reading A-Z. 

Recommended age: 8–10 years

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist

was arrested! Cynthia Levinson brings this true tale of the youngest known child to be arrested at a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama. Kids will cheer for Audrey, equality and the rights of all children. Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Order your copy here

Recommended age: 5–10

What Color Is My World?: The Lost History of African-American Inventors

Co-authored by NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, learn about 16 inventors who not only broke the color barrier, they created some of the most widely used and extraordinary things in the world. From refrigerated trucks to the ice cream scoop to open-heart surgery, join Kareem and his team as you explore the history you use every day. Co-authored by Raymond Obstfeld and illustrated by Ben Boos and A.G. Ford. Find it now

Recommended age: 8–12

photo: Amazon

I Am Rosa Parks

You are never too young to learn about real-life heroes and Brad Meltzer’s “I Am” series proves it.I Am Rosa Parks shows kids how Rosa Parks dared to stand up for herself by staying seated and refusing to give up her seat. Not only will they learn about her courage and her role in helping to end bus segregation and fight for Civil Rights, but they will also be empowered with the idea that one person, one small act, can change the world. Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos. Also in the collection are I Am Jackie Robinson and I Am Martin Luther King Jr. Order your copy here.

Recommended age: 5–8

photo: Chronicle Books

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

This book for older readers tells the story of a landmark civil rights case. Richard and Mildred Loving met in 1955 in Caroline County, Virginia, during a time when segregation, prejudice,  injustice and cruelty were the norm. They fell in love and their love was at the heart of the Supreme Court case that legalized marriages between races.

Recommended age: 12 and up

—Amber Guetebier

All book covers courtesy Goodreads unless otherwise specified; photo of Mae Jemison courtesy Wikimedia commons.

 

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Prepare for Arrival: Where to Host a Baby Shower in NYC

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Having a baby is definitely cause for celebration and NYC moms-to-be get festive in all kinds of ways. New Yorkers host baby showers in tea parlors, restaurants and spas, of course, but that’s just the beginning. Check out our favorite venues for baby showers in NYC, no matter what type of mom (and babe) are being feted! (Want something really out of the ordinary? Try these unique locations for NYC baby showers! In Queens? These are our top baby shower venues for your borough!)

FOR A PROPER TEA PARTY

photo: Lady Mendl's Tea Salon Siyi L. via Yelp

Alice’s Tea Cup
A reasonably-priced tea can be tough to find. At Alice’s Tea Cup, your shower can enjoy a full English tea service without running up a huge bill. This local chain has three locations, one on the Upper East Side one on the Upper West and one in Brooklyn Heights. Depending on your party size and preferred location, you can reserve a spot in the main dining room or rent a private room. Guests will get their fill on sweets, savory sandwiches and teas from around the world. Make a morning reservation before 11:30 a.m. on weekdays or 3 p.m. on weekends to take advantage of their Mad Morning Tea and get the best price. It includes popular breakfast foods for just $32 for one person and $44 for two people.

Alice’s Tea Cup
Two locations in Manhattan, one in Brooklyn
Online: alicesteacup.com

Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon (pictured)
If your goal is an authentic high tea with the mom-to-be, try Lady Mendl’s. Up the street from Gramercy Park, located inside The Inn at Irving Place, you’ll find a beautiful room with Victorian style architecture and finishings. The inn offers a five-course tea with fresh baked scones and classic finger sandwiches. There is just one downside: the experience isn’t cheap. Pricing for the main tea salon, which holds up to 50 people, starts at $5000 for four hours on weekends. A more reasonable, yet still pricey, option is hosting the party in their formal library, which holds up to 20 guests. You can rent it starting at $2000 for up to 2.5 hours.

Lady Mendl’s Tea Salon
Inn At Irving Place
56 Irving Pl.
Gramercy
212-533-4466
Online: www.innatirving.com

Bosie Tea Parlor
Starting at $34 per person, Bosie Tea Parlor in the West Village is a less expensive option for a high tea fête. It can accommodate up to 30 guests for seated service. In addition to its over 80 tea options,  a la carte picks include soups, salads, entrees, quiches and paninis. On weekends, it has a few brunch options that include French Toast, Baked Eggs and other continental breakfast items. It also has a small collection of tea cocktails for the non-pregnant guests.

Bosie Tea Parlor
10 Morton St.
West Village
212-352-9900
Online: bosieteaparlor.com

photo: The Parisian Tea Room

Parisian Tea Room: For a Tea Party with a Twist
You can hold a proper high tea at the brand new Parisian Tea Room (opens September 10), the decor of which is inspired by owner Karen E. Lozner's visits to tea rooms in the French capital. But, Lozner's other passion (fashion) means you can hold a tea and sewing party as well! Three-hour events are for 8 to 12 people, with high teas including waitstaff, finger sandwiches, sweets and more. 

The Parisian Tea Room
347 W. 36th St. 
Garment District
Online: theparisiantearoom.com

FOR A BABY BRUNCH

 

photo: Eataly USA

SERRA by Birreria at Eataly
Escape to the Italian countryside on Eataly Flatiron's rooftop.  A dining space that changes with the seasons, it transitions from a "flowering greenhouse" resplendent in bright pink blooms in spring to a celebration of winter beauty dubbed "Serra Alpina." (It's not as traditionally "girly" as the spring/summer iteration, but it's still gorgeous.) The springtime iteration opens April 15 this year. Reservations can be made for groups up to 25 people. 

200 fifth Avenue at 23rd St.
Flatiron
212-229-2560x311
Online: eataly.com

Jane 
This Greenwich Village bistro is the spot to host a bridal or baby shower. Many happy customers leave declaring it the best brunch in Manhattan. The Green Room, Jane’s private space, holds 40 guests for a seated, three-hour party. For $45 per person, everyone will get a starter, main course, family style sides, coffee, tea, juice, & soda. The events coordinator will work with you to customize and personalize your menu. There is no shortage of delicious entrees; we recommend including the Farm House Popover, featuring scrambled eggs, smoked ham, Gruyère and caramelized onions or the Vanilla Bean French Toast on the menu. Note: for a weekend brunch event, there is no room rental but there is a $2,600 minimum to be met before taxes and fees.

Jane
100 West Houston St.
Greenwich Village
212-254-7000
Online: janerestaurant.com

photo: Maman

Maman
If you want your shower to have that certain je ne sais quoi (in this case, effortlessly chic rustic French charm) then head to Maman. The cafe/bakery has numerous NYC locations, all of which host events. Its newest, Maman King (pictured above), opened late January and is the largest Maman location yet!  You'll find others in Tribeca, Soho, Greenpoint, Nomad, Cobble Hill and the Upper East Side; Marche Maman on Centre Street has an intimate outdoor garden space. In addition to romantically charming decor, you'll dine on delectable French bites and pastries which can be served family style or as finger foods. Brunch, lunch, and dinner are available. Events can be booked for 15 guests or more; brunch rates start at $35 per person, and lunch is $40 per person. More info on events here. (Look good? Get cracking! This place is popular!)

Online: mamannyc.com

photo: Simon Brown Photography

The Crosby Street Hotel Sculpture Courtyard
For a truly luxurious, yet intimate experience with European flair, book The Crosby Street Hotel's Sculpture Courtyard. The Soho hotel's serene space features a tall organic tree sculpture, suspended pendant lights, and the greenery of a mix of small trees and shrubs including magnolia, hydrangea and other native plantings. Private events, held from noon-4 p.m., are capped at 25 guests, and there is a food and beverage minimum of $95/person. Rates are $6,000 for weekdays, $7,500 on weekends. Another stunning option at The Crosby Street Hotel is The Meadow Suite, which, as the name implies, has its very own garden terrace for a special celebration. 

The Crosby Suite Hotel 
79 Crosby St.
Soho
212-226-6400
Online: firmdalehotels.com

photo: The Bonnie/Oleg March

The Bonnie
This Astoria restaurant is known for its delicious fare and unique cocktails. The layout of the restaurant includes multiple rooms and intimate spaces that can accommodate both small and large groups. The 3 most popular areas for baby showers are The Snug Room, The Oak Room, and the outdoor Bar Garden. It has an extensive array of customizable food and drink packages available, including various party platters and open bar options. Prices vary on time and day of party.

The Bonnie
29-12 23rd Ave.
Astoria
718-274-2105
Online: thebonnie.com

photo: Noah Fecks

Olmsted
This award-winning, popular Prospect Heights restaurant recently opened a chic private event space in the storefront next door. Featuring stylish floral wallpaper and a custom bookshelf stocked with cookbooks and collectibles, the room can host a seated affair or cocktail party for up to 30 people. The restaurant also has a charming garden open year-round thanks to heat lamps (where some of its food is grown) that can be booked. The icing on the cake?: the hallway that leads to the garden, which features an immersive, floor-to-ceiling installation of fragrant, preserved plants, moss, and lush greenery on every surface. Rates start at $95/person.

659 Vanderbilt Ave.
Prospect Heights
718-552-2610
Online: olmstednyc.com

photo: Sunday in Brooklyn

Sunday in Brooklyn
Home to some of our favorite pancakes (and a happening brunch scene), Sunday in Brooklyn also has several event spaces ranging from casual to refined funky, and you can host a party for as few as nine people and as many as 200. (That would be a big baby shower.) Choose from an intimate private dining room for 16 on the third floor, a second floor sunroom (for 50 people, pictured), a second-floor rooftop covered garden (more casual) and more. Brunch is served family style, with creative takes on hearty classics, starting at $45 per person (unlimited drip coffee included); beverage packages offered separately. And yes, you can add on the famous malted pancakes. 

Sunday in Brooklyn
348 Wythe Ave. 
347-222-6722
Williamsburg
Online: sundayinbrooklyn.com

FOR FLORAL FUN

photo: Flower Girl NYC

Flower Girl NYC

This sweet Lower East Side flower shop will host your baby shower on site, or come to you. You can host a gathering of up to 24 people in the shop, with the option of catering from equally-chic cafe, Maman (see above). Add on an activity such as making floral crowns, terrariums, seasonal bouquets and more, as well as botanically-inspired favors and special decor. Showers include staff member to assist with setup and lead class. 

Showers are two hours and if on site are $900 (outside of business hours) and $2,000 during business hours. Off site showers are $1,250 with a 20 percent delivery fee. 

245 Eldridge St. 
Lower East Side 
212-777-0050
Online: flowergirlnyc.com

FOR A SWEET ACTIVITY

Milk Bar
Moms-to-be with a sweet tooth will love learning how to bake cakes and truffles at Momofuko Milk Bar. Guests learn all the steps for assembling Milk Bar’s most popular layer cake flavor combinations and will learn how to transform cake scraps into delectable bite sized cake truffles. (This will be great practice for all the upcoming kids’ birthday parties!) Small group classes for 2-20 people last approximately 3 hours and start at $2,500.

Momofuko Milk Bar
55 Hope St.
Williamsburg
855-333-6455
Online: milkbarstore.com

Sprinkles Cupcakes
At Sprinkles, $900 will get you two hours, four dozen full sized cupcakes, or six dozen mini cupcakes, and you have the choice of having them frosted or unfrosted. If you choose the unfrosted option, you can select up to three cakes and frostings and host a frosting party upstairs!  If you'd like to add on any additional time, the rate is $100 per hour. Sprinkles doesn't provide any food or beverages, but you can bring any kind of outside food or drinks, or even have them delivered to the store. The space holds about 35 people seated, and then an additional 10-15 people standing comfortably.

Sprinkles Cupcakes
780 Lexington Ave.
Upper East Side
212-207-8375
Online: sprinkles.com

FOR SOME TIME AT THE SPA

photo: Sundays

Sundays
A salon that uses only 10-free, vegan, non-toxic, and cruelty-free products, Sundays is a logical choice for a shower event. Studios are in NoMad, Saks Fifth Avenue 49th Street, and the newest is located in Hudson Yards. Treat everyone to the 2 in 1 Guided Mediation Manicure, which includes a guided meditation from Inscape and an essential oil treatment. 

51 E. 25th St.
646-998-5711
NoMad
Online: dearsundays.com

611 Fifth Ave., 2nd Fl.
646-998-5711
Midtown
Online: dearsundays.com

 

500 W. 33rd.
Hudson Yards
212-695-5711
Online: dearsundays.com

SoHo Sanctuary
A little TLC might be just what Mom needs before baby arrives. This SoHo spa boasts an extensive list of pre- and post- natal services and offers party packages for groups. Expecting moms will love the signature Mama Massage, which focuses on relaxing the lower back muscles and feet. The Body Buff is another blissful treatment that features gentler alternatives to the usual harsh scrubs. There are three party packages available. The Pamper and Primp program includes a group class in the fitness studio or treatment in the spa followed by mani/pedis and makeup application. If you have less time, opt for the Spa Splurge package, which just includes a massage or body treatment. For larger parties, Beauty Blast is ideal: your group will get access to the lounge in the spa’s Beauty Loft and receive manicures, pedicures and makeup application — plus all the champagne they can drink.

SoHo Sanctuary
119 Mercer St.
SoHo
212-334-5550
Online: sohosanctuary.com

SPARTY!
This is a truly customizable experience that comes to you. Pick what spa services your guests will receive, as well as add-ons that include monogrammed robes and slippers, tarot card readings, DJ, goodie bags and more.

SPARTY!
646-736-1777
spa-party.com

TO GET COOKING

My Cooking Party
Want to throw a co-ed shower with an interesting twist? Get the group together for a cooking lesson at My Cooking Party. This culinary company with locations in the Flatiron District and Chelsea offers a selection of fun courses. It’s the perfect bonding experience for guests that are just meeting for the first time. Their three-hour cooking class offers hands-on instruction, plus a three course meal served by the staff. You can also make the event more competitive and split the guests up into teams. Each team will invent and create Hors D'Oeuvres that are judged based on creativity and taste. Pricing starts at $119 per person, plus 20 percent gratuity, but varies greatly depending on your party size and package.

My Cooking Party
212-686-2433
Online: mycookingparty.com

FOR WILLIAMSBURG CHIC

Fandi Mata

For the boho-chic baby shower of your dreams (in Williamsburg, no less) consider Fandi Mata, where "Brooklyn industrial meets the Mediterranean." Choose to be seated on the main level, the mezzanine or in the outdoor heated pergola—you'll be surrounded by plants, vibrant hues and maybe even some macrame. Parties can snack on creative brunch items, large and small plates like breads, pizzas and spreads (lots of varieties of hummus here), and the restaurant specializes in creative cocktails for those who wish to sip a little something. Rates for groups start at $1,000 for a party of 10. 

74 Bayard St. 
Williamsburg
718-388-8877
Online: fandimata.com

Brooklyn Winery

On first thought, wine tasting might not seem like the best activity for a baby shower. After all, the guest of honor can’t indulge in the house specialty! But before you poopoo the idea, check out Brooklyn Winery’s beautiful private space. This boutique urban winery located in Williamsburg provides a rustic setting decorated with antique glass candle holders and vintage china. The venue offers two packages: The Afternoon Bites menu, which is well-suited for a cocktail style event, and the Afternoon Luncheon, which features a more traditional lunch service of salads and sandwiches. You’ll also get to enjoy some of Brooklyn Winery’s best reds and whites. The space holds anywhere from twenty to 160 people, and you can reserve it for up to three hours. Pricing will vary depending on the number of guests and package you choose.

Brooklyn Winery
213 North 8th St.
Williamsburg
347-763-1506
Online: bkwinery.com

FOR AFFORDABLE OUTSIDE IDEAS

Throwing a baby shower doesn’t have to break the bank. These NYC spots are perfect if you want to host a casual, free, outdoor event. 

Mad. Sq. Music
Is the mom-to-be a music fan? Get a small group together and spend an evening at Madison Square Park listening to some of the world’s top performers. The Oval Lawn Series is held on Wednesday evenings all summer and features a mix of genres. If you’re throwing a Fall shower, The Studio Series is held on Saturday afternoons all autumn and includes folk, blues and Americana acts. The concert is entirely free. Just make sure you arrive early so that you can snag a good spot.

Madison Square Park
Madison Ave. at 23rd St.
212-786-5733
Online: madisonsquarepark.org/music

Hudson River Park Pier 63
There is no shortage of parks in this city; many of them perfect for hosting a picnic lunch. This lush, grassy lawn with unique stone seating and a charming view of the Hudson is one of the best for a laid-back, outdoor shower. It’s still not well-known, so it doesn’t get as crowded as the Sheep’s Meadow or other popular spots. Plus, it offers ample room for younger guests to run around. For adult-only events, the dads will volunteer to take the kids next door to Chelsea Piers. If you need to put together a menu, nearby Chelsea Market is full of gourmet eateries and bakeries.

Hudson River Park Pier 63
C or E line to 23rd St.
Online: hudsonriverpark.org

—Mimi O’Connor & Bethany Braun

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