Written by: Natalie Fuertes
Get ready for an epic Halloween in NYC! We've compiled a guide of the best costume parties, haunted houses, Halloween festivals, and pumpkin-packed events. Happy Halloween!
Spooktacular Night Walks — Bronx Zoo
October 5th, 11th, 18th, and 26th from 5-7pm
Get ready for a 'Spooktacular' evening as your family stays behind in the zoo while everyone else leaves! You and your family will gather in their program space for a visit from some creepy, crawly animal guests then enjoy a pizza dinner. As the sun sets you’ll head out on a night walk in the zoo to see what happens when the gates close and the last of the visitors leave.
Ghosts of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt — Greenwich Village
October 19th and 26th from 6-8:00pm
Tickets: $21.50/adults and $17.50/children
Kids and adults work together to uncover the stories of creepy places and the ghosts that have haunted them. As a team, you’ll follow clues in search of answers to tricky, humorous questions about hidden cemeteries, looming skeletons, the haunted homes of Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain, bats on a building, Dickensian door knockers, Harry Potter’s nemesis, and a gorilla in a window.
Halloween Haunted House — Queens County Farm
October 26th from 1-7pm
Advanced Tickets $4/all ages and Door Tickets: $7/all ages
Prepare for a scare inside this not-too-scary haunted farmhouse. Afterward, go for a hayride, drink some cider, buy your pumpkins and apples, and navigate the Amazing Maize Maze for an extra fee.
A Halloween Wonderland in LIC - Vernon Blvd., LIC
October 26th beginning at 11:30am
Join LIC Dental and LIC Kids Gymnastics for a pre-party at 11:30am on 5th Street & 50th Avenue. Then the join the parade kickoff at noon at the 108th Precinct. Walk down Vernon Blvd. and see the neighborhood kids rocking their adorable costumes while trick-or-treating at all of the local businesses. Parade leads to the PS/IS 78 Fall Fest at Plaxall Gallery. ‘Escape From Wonderland’ haunted house and new costume contests this year!
October 30th from 4-7pm
Bring the whole family and celebrate Halloween in Central Park! Enjoy pumpkin carving, Halloween crafts, spooky stories, a costume parade, a festive pumpkin patch, and the Conservancy’s signature Pumpkin Flotilla, which sets sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight.
Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade - East River Park Amphitheater
October 20th from 12-3pm
All ages & dogs!
Pooches let their alter-egos shine, putting on some of the cutest and most creative costumes you've ever seen at the annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. CNN calls it "the largest dog costume parade in the world” with hundreds of dogs in costumes and thousands of spectators. The London Guardian says “It’s Barkin’ Mad.” This year's parade contestants will be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes!
Halloween at Hogwarts - LIC Kids Gymnastics
October 19th from 6-8:30pm
Get your trunks packed and tickets for the Hogwarts Express, because you're a wizard Harry! Even Uncle Vernon would enjoy this amazing party. Your child will be magically transported to Hogwarts for a night of potion lessons, learning new spells, training for the Tri-Wizard Tournament and many more magical surprises. Wizards may arrive in their best harry potter outfits or Halloween costumes. Light snacks, beverages and treats from the trolley will be served.
The Great Jack O’ Lantern Blaze - Van Cortlandt Manor
Until November 30th
Tickets: $23/adults, $17/children 3-17, Free/children 2 & under
Discover a breathtaking display of more than 7,000 illuminated jack o’lanterns—all designed and hand-carved on site! Tour the brand-new Museum of Pumpkin Art, where classic paintings get the gourd treatment, see who let the (pumpkin) dogs out, listen for the Headless Horseman—and watch out for swooping jack o’lantern bats! See the Pumpkin Carousel twirl and the Pumpkin Windmill whirl and step inside the Pumpkin Planetarium for a star show like you’ve never seen. You’ll certainly hold a torch for the 25-foot-tall jack o’lantern Statue of Liberty and get personal with Instagrammable signs of the zodiac. Complete with synchronized lighting and an original soundtrack, this one-of-a-kind event is not to be missed!
Day of the Dead — East Village
October 26-27 from 11am-6pm
Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) is a time to honor and revere our deceased family members and ancestors. This tradition is rooted in the native Mexican belief that life on earth is a preparation for the next world and of the importance of maintaining a strong relationship to the dead. The two-day fest includes a marketplace with Mexican eats and wares, live music and dance performances, paper craft workshops, and a communal altar, where you can place photos and other remembrances of your loved ones.
Halloween Teen Night — Whitney Museum
October 25th from 5-7:30pm
Free for Teens
NYC teens are invited to Halloween Teen Night at the Whitney Museum for a night of music, dancing, costume making, tarot card readings, snacks, and more! Refreshments and art materials provided.
Halloween Murder Mystery — Upper East Side
October 19th, 25th, 26th @ 6:15pm and 7:30pm
Tickets: $25/adults & $15/children
Join this murder mystery game, loosely based on an actual newspaper account of an unidentified skeleton discovered at the Mount Vernon Hotel. Who was killed? By whom? With what? Explore the Museum by candlelight and collect clues to unravel the mystery and solve the case. Collaborate with others or go it alone, and find out how quickly you can uncover the truth.
Six Flags Fright Fest — Jackson, NJ
September 13th - November 3rd (Fridays 5:30pm-midnight, Saturdays & Sundays 11am-midnight)
Tickets: Starting at $50
It's a spooky time of year as zombies and ghouls take over the park. Enjoy thrills and activities for the whole family throughout the day and come back for a truly frightening evening of fun after the sun goes down. Fright Fest offers a wide variety of places to get your scare on including seven haunted mazes and five scare zones located throughout the park. The stuff of nightmares lurk around every corner as the dark of night washes over the park. The ghouls are set free for their daily hunting rituals. BEWARE! There is no place to hide!
If you visit Salem, Massachusetts in October, you'll get the full-fledged Halloween experience. Visitors to Salem can expect trial re-enactments, guided tours of infamous witch trial locations, magic shows, seances, parades, fireworks, and even witch’s circles. You also won’t want to miss visiting the Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre's Witchcraft and Ghost Experience and Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery, or dancing the night away at the Salem Witches’ Halloween Ball.
Halloween is a month-long event in Sleepy Hollow! Home of the legend of Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, it’s the perfect place to get your creepy on! Visit the Horseman’s Hollow haunted attraction at the 300-year-old Phillipsburg Manor where you will discover a town driven mad by the Headless Horseman, wander the ruins of Ichabod’s schoolhouse, and finally come face-to-face with the terrifying Horseman himself.
If you’re looking for something a little more family-friendly, head to the Lyndhurst Mansion for a Halloween-themed tour or visit Van Cortlandt Manor where thousands of illuminated jack o’lanterns are on display throughout October and November. There’s live music, hayrides, street fairs, lantern tours, and parades all around town.