After a month of anticipation, the day has finally come for your little ghosts and goblins to put on their costumes (again) and trick-or-treat ‘til they drop. In NYC, the candy bowl runneth over when it comes to options of where to door-to-door it on October 31st. We’ve rounded up the hottest hoods for trick-or-treating complete with spooky decorations, costume parades and candy galore!
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. Get there early and be prepared for big crowds! (Note: the organization’s web site is outdated, but we checked out the block — it’s on!)
Held Oct. 31st
Central Park West to Broadway
photo: Carnegie Hill Neighbors
Upper East Side
Carnegie Hill Block Party
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.
Held Oct 31, 5-6:30 p.m.
92nd St between Madison and Park Ave.
photo: Carnegie Hill Neighbors
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.
21st-22nd St. between 8th and 10th Ave.
Washington Square Park Halloween Parade
They get the party started early in the Village. Gather by the iconic Washington Square Arch at 3p.m. for a kids’ costume parade around the park followed by some spooky fun with trick-or-treat bags, games and rides. 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.
Held 3-6 p.m.
Washington Square Park
Fifth Ave. between Waverly Place and W. 4th St
Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
Now in its 27th year, 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.
37th Ave. and 89th St.
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.
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.
photo: Peter Lopez
Bay Ridge takes Halloween very seriously. Gather at Owl’s Head Park for the Haunted Halloween Walk and Fairy Tale Forest for games, facepainting, costume contests by age, “Dracula’s Food Court”, rides and more. The later in the afternoon evening, the scarier the haunted walk gets!
3 – 9 p.m.
53 68th St.
Owl’s Head Park
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.
7th Ave. at 14th St. to Washington Park on 5th Ave.
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, where the streets are closed off for trick-or-treating fun.
In addition to the big Park Slope parade, the Nitehawk Cinema, which will be taking over the old Pavilion movie theater in winter of 2018, is opening its doors for a preview Halloween night. The entrance to the theater will be transformed into a haunted house and Fall Open House event for one night only. Expect seasonal beer and giveaways provided by Brooklyn Brewery for parents, a reading with acclaimed Frank Einstein series author Jon Scieszka by partner Community Bookstore from 3-5 p.m., arts and crafts activities, free candy and a chance to win a prize from Nitehawk Cinema. All items while supplies last. Click here to register.
Oct. 31, 3 -7 p.m.
188 Prospect Park West
Cobble Hill Halloween Parade
Costumed kids and parents cram into this small Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood’s Cobble Hill Park and then process. Afterwards, 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 to have their candy stash completely cleared out by the festive costumed throngs.
Clinton St. between Verandah Place and Congress St.
Bed-Stuy Neighborhood Parade and Trick-or-Treat
When it comes to Halloween, Bed-stuy is an equal opportunity treat provider: the neighborhood encourages both kids and dogs to dress up and load up on treats at area houses and businesses. The Stuyvesant Heights Parents Association is sponsoring a spooky Story Patch, dance contest, and parade at Fulton Park on Stuyvesant Avenue, with festivities kicking off at 4:30 p.m. Afterwards, pick up a trick-or-treat map created by Bed-Stuy homeowners and block association members for the locations of eager candy distributors. Should there be any doubt where the treats are flowing, just look for the orange and black balloons along the way. (Now that’s full service!)
Held at 4:30-7:30p.m.
Near 179 Erasmus St.
Halloween in the Heights
It’s hard to find a more festive block in The Heights than Garden Place, which is 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.
Clinton Hill Children’s Halloween Walk and Performance
The Clinton Hill Children’s Halloween Walk and Performance is a favorite local event, with trick-or-treating on the streets and musical performances out in front of homes. Head to Pratt-Clinton Hill Community Garden for the beginning of the parade at 5:30p.m. Parents are asked to accompany costumed kids, and the event is for children up to age 12. Be prepared and download a map of all the neighborhood hot spots and happenings!
Begins at 5:30 p.m.
Dekalb Ave. at Hall St.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music hosts a free outdoor street fair party with music, arts and crafts, a bounce house, candy giveaway, costume contest and more!
Peter Jay Sharp Building
30 Lafayette Ave.
photo: Chris Franko via Halloween 313
While you’re in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area, make sure you check out the house at 313 Clinton Avenue – the residents go above and beyond the Halloween call every year to produce a kid-friendly original theatrical performance for the locals. This year’s production is dedicated to Marie Laveau, the legendary voodoo queen of New Orleans who is heading to Brooklyn to stir up some mischief. Performances run every 30 minutes starting at 5p.m. and run until 9 p.m.
313 Clinton Ave.
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.
Have a recommendation? Share your favorite trick-or-treating hot spot in the comments below!