Trick or treat! The only thing scary about making Halloween plans in NYC is trying to figure out how to be in 10 places at once. The city will be full of ghosts and ghouls this month, and we’ve gathered the best Halloween events for kids and families that are must-visit this year. (That weekend before Halloween is PACKED with options.) Put on your best costume, stay safe, and have a happy Halloween!

Tompkins Square Park Dog Halloween Parade

THIS IS NOT A DRILL: The Tompkins Square Park Annual Halloween Dog Parade is back ON! After insurance woes led the cancellation of the beloved Lower East Side event, local community group Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) stepped in to help out. Note the change of location: this year, it’s at the East River Amphitheater. (Enter through Corlears Hook Park at 451 Cherry St.)

Sun., Oct 28, Noon - 3 p.m., rain or shine
East River Amphitheater
East River Park
Online: https://www.facebook.com/tompkinssquarehalloween

ADVERTISEMENT

photo: Liberty Science Center

Halloween at the Liberty Science Center

Head on over to this massive science center in Jersey City for special Halloween exhibits and activities. Its popular Spider Maze is a 4,000-square-foot web maze that is guaranteed not scary—no jumping spiders at all. Visitors solve puzzles as they move through the maze and learn about arachnids in the process. (Plus: enjoy great views of NYC!) For those wanting a terrifying experience, check out the Doom Zoo (for real, it’s not meant for kids 13 and under). The center is offering more Halloween fun or varying scariness all month long—and don’t forget to check out its latest exhibit, dedicated to Doc McStuffins!

Spider Maze open through Oct. 31; select days for other activities (see schedule)


Tickets: $22.75/adults; $18.75/kids 2 -12
Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Blvd.
201-200-1000
Online: lsc.org

photo: Emily Meyers

Harry Potter Historical Halloween Family Party

Spend Halloween weekend (or Halloween itself) with Harry Potter and the New-York Historical Society, which is currently hosting the British Library Exhibition of Harry Potter: A History of Magic.

On Sunday, stop by the Historical Hallowe’en Family Party. Kids and parents can explore the magical past through Victorian-era fortune-telling, creepy crafts, Gilded Age ghost stories, and candy. Tickets include timed tickets to the exhibition that evening.

Sun., Oct. 28, 5-7 p.m.
Tickets: $20/person for families with children 18 and under, $15 for members

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West at 77th St.
Upper West Side

Online: harrypotter.nyhistory.org

Pumpkins and Monsters, Oh My! at Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling

Pumpkins and Monsters, Oh My!

The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is bring Halloween fun and magic to families. Decorate your very own pumpkin in the Studio Labs, build your costume and march in the Monster Mash, but most of all, don't forget to catch the balloons as they drop!

From 3 - 3:45 p.m., check out a special performance by magician Alexander Boyce!

Sun., Oct. 28, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tickets: $7/adults; $4/kids 9-17, free/kids 0-8
Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling
898 St. Nicholas Ave. @ 155th St.
Sugar Hill
212-335-0004
Online: https://www.sugarhillmuseum.org/

Spooky Pumpkin Garden at the NY Botanical Garden

Frolic among spooky scarecrows and frightening pumpkins in this silly garden that's fun for all ages. Put on scary story puppet shows, learn all about bats, and visit on weekends to see pumpkin carving demonstrations by experts that will inspire you to make your own awesome creations. Stop by on October 20 and 21 for the Great Pumpkin Weekend, when some truly impressive huge pumpkins will be on display for photo ops and Q&A with the growers.

Sat., Sept. 22-Wed., Oct. 31
10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Activities take place on weekdays 1:30-5:30 p.m. & weekends 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Free with admission
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd.
Bronx
Online: nybg.org

Halloween Harvest at Luna Park

Luna Park is transformed into Treasure Island where families will encounter stilt walkers, performers, magicians, and more. Interactive pirate stories, Halloween-themed events, and attractions make the amusement park come alive. Enjoy face painting, pumpkin arts and crafts, impressively intricate pumpkin carvings, costume contests, and more! And this year, let your kids drive around in mini-tractors in the new attraction, Tillie's Tractor Race.

Weekends Sept. 29-Oct. 28
11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Free admission, various event prices
Luna Park
1000 Surf Ave.
Coney Island
Online: lunaparknyc.com

photo: Julie Larsen Maher

Boo at the Zoo in Prospect Park Zoo

Separate myth from fact and learn all about bats and their homes — including Prospect Park's urban bats. Go on a scavenger hunt and participate in Halloween-themed spooky arts and crafts.

Sat. & Sun. in October
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Free with admission
Prospect Park Zoo
Children’s Corner near the Willink Entrance, at Flatbush Ave. and Empire Blvd.
Prospect Park
Online: prospectpark.org

The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze

Over 7,000 jack o' lanterns make the Great Blaze an amazing spectacle to behold. Pumpkins adorn just about everything, from the windmill to a pumpkin Statue of Liberty. Behold pumpkin owls, castles, a sea serpent, and other incredible sights — all hand-carved. We recommend that you buy your ticket online ahead of time, as there's a $2 per ticket fee for tickets bought on-site or over the phone.

Oct. 4-31 & Nov. 1-4, 7-11, 15-17, 23-24
Weekdays: $22/adults, $16/children 3-17
Weekends: $27/adults, $20/children 3-17
Members and kids under 3 are free
Van Cortlandt Manor
525 S. Riverside Ave.
Croton-on-Hudson
Westchester
Online: hudsonvalley.org

UNICEF #ScaryGood Carnival at The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center

Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is hosting a #ScaryGood Carnival at The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center. Kids and families can come in costume and join in Halloween activities including a scavenger hunt, a life-size Haunted Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Box, and other fun family activities. (The Trick-or-Treat box will be up throughout the weekend if you want to stop by another time.) Plus: UNICEF will be giving away free prizes throughout the event! Pick up your very own Trick-or-Treat box in-person at NYC’s premier destination at the Concierge desk in the Oculus.

Sat., October 27, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.
Tickets: free
Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center
Church and Dey St.
Online: unicefusa.org/form/trick-or-treat-unicef

Super Sábado at the Museo Del Barrio

Celebrate the Day of the Dead with el museo through crafts, face-painting, a special concert, and some art. Learn about the 3,000 year old tradition and browse the art and cultural exhibits on display in the museum. Families of children on the autism spectrum can register for a calmer preview of the museum before it opens to the public.

Sat., Oct. 20
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Free
El Museo Del Barrio
1230 5th Ave. at 104th St.
Upper East Side
Online: www.elmuseo.org

Fall Fest at the Hudson River Park

Visit Pier 25 for an old-school carnival celebrating all things fall! Enjoy cotton candy, magic shows, face painting, themed story time, pumpkin decoration, rides, and more.

Sun., Oct. 21
11 a.m.
Free
Hudson River Park Pier 25
West St.
Tribeca
Online: hudsonriverpark.org

Halloween Cutouts and Scary Stories at Lefferts Historic House

History and Halloween meet in the Lefferts Historic House, where kids can create Halloween cut-outs inspired by an old design passed down in the Lefferts family. Then, get ready to get goosebumps at Tammy Hall's expert storytelling as she regales her audience with tales from the Flatbush of 200 years ago.

Sat., Oct. 27
1-4 p.m.
Free, $3 suggested donation
Lefferts Historic House
452 Flatbush Ave.
Prospect Park
Online: prospectpark.org

Ghouls and Gourds at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden

This popular fall event brings in the fun with a quirky costume parade, giant puppets, stilt dancing performances, and general fun for the whole family.

Sat., Oct. 27
Gates open 10 a.m.; festival begins @ 12 p.m.; last admission @ 5:30 p.m.
$20/adults, $15/seniors (65 and over) and students 12+, kids under 12 are free
Brooklyn Botanical Garden
Entrances: 990 Washington Ave., 150 Eastern Pkwy., or 455 Flatbush Ave.
Online: bbg.org

Halloween Harvest Festival

For a different take on Halloween, visit Socrates Sculpture Park. This year's festival is inspired by Fet Gede, the Haitian Festival of the Ancestors. Learn about the culture through performances, card readings, song workshops, and more. And, of course, enjoy the traditional Halloween fare, too: costumes, face painting, pet blessings, and, of course, the annual dog costume contest.

Sat., Oct. 27
12-4 p.m.
Free
Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City
Online: socratessculpturepark.org

Halloween Celebration at the AMNH

Find your favorite characters among the dinosaurs at the annual AMNH Halloween celebration. Beloved children's icons like Clifford, Curious George, Miffy, and others will be wandering around the museum for meet-and-greets. Live performances by the Gazillion Bubble Show, the Big Apple Circusm, and others will bring the museum to life for an afternoon… so to speak.

Sat., Oct.27
2-6 p.m.
$16/person, $13 for members
Central Park West at 79th St.
Upper West Side
Online: amnh.org

Halloween in the Harbor on Governor's Island

Pick a pumpkin out of a patch of thousands in this second annual Governor's Island Halloween event, celebrating the holiday and marking the end of the Governor's Island open season. Enjoy seasonal treats like mini-pumpkin pies, "ghoulash," and more. Pumpkin Point will be open October 20-21, and 27-28. But the big event is the Halloween celebration on the 27th, when kids can go trick-or-treating through the historic houses, where volunteers and staff will hand out treats and candy. 

Sat., Oct. 27
1-3 p.m.
Free, small fee for pumpkins
Nolan Park
Governor's Island
Online: govisland.com

Haunted House and Fall Festival at Queens County Farm

Queens County Farm gives you plenty of reasons to visit this fall! Get spooked in the haunted house or enjoy a fun fall day complete with pony and tractor rides, a petting zoo, and a corn maze.

While the fall festival is perfect for all ages, the haunted house is recommended for kids ages 6-12.

And stop by on weekends, October 6-27 to pick a pumpkin out from the farm's large pumpkin patch. Exploring the patch is free, but purchasing a pumpkin can cost anywhere between $4 and $50, depending on the size.

Haunted House:

Sat., Oct. 27
1-7 p.m.
$4/person

Children's Fall Festival

Sun., Oct. 28
11 a.m.-4 p.m.
$20/person

Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park
Online: queensfarm.org

Halloween Haunted Walk & Fair in Prospect Park

Participate in the 39th annual Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair in Prospect Park, courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance. The fair is perfect for all ages, complete with some fun family-friendly activities and some spooky costumes. Want to get pleasantly scared? Check out the haunted walk through Lookout Hill, recommended for kids ages 7-12. Still not enough fun for you? Stop by the BKLYN BOO! event at City Point for the second annual official after party!

Sat., Oct. 27
12-3 p.m.
Free (RSVP recommended)
Lookout Hill in Prospect Park
Online: prospectpark.org

City Point
Downtown Brooklyn 
Online: citypointbrooklyn.com

Halloween at the Garden at Queens Botanical Garden

Unite nature and Halloween with a themed botanical craft, watch a magic show, and go trick or treating in your costumes at the Queens Botanical Garden. Arts and crafts, a costume dance party, and an impressively creepy carnivorous plants display make this a fun event for everyone. 

Stop by the pumpkin patch October weekends to snag the perfect pumpkin for you, or drop by on the 14th to celebrate fall at the annual Harvest Fest for live music, children's activities, lawn games, and more.

Halloween at the Garden

Sun., Oct. 28
12-4 p.m.
Free with admission

Harvest Fest

Sun., Oct. 14
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
$12/adult, $10/child ages 4 and up


Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main St.
Flushing
Online: queensboranical.org

Trick or Treat at the Terminal

Celebrate Halloween inside at one of NYC’s major hubs! Grand Central Terminal is hosting Trick or Treat at the Terminal, with family activities such as face painting and pumpkin picking and decorating! Participating Grand Central shops and restaurants will be giving away candy and other surprises to children in costume during the event. (Get there early--it’s while supplies last!) Festivities will also include a free trick or treat tote bag at check-in as well as a raffle tote bag giveaway with gifts from participating shops.

Sun., Oct. 28, 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Tickets: Free
Grand Central Terminal
89 E. 42nd St.
Midtown
Online: grandcentralterminal.com

Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla at Central Park

Create a floating jack o' lantern display in Central Park's Harlem Meer. Pumpkins are BYO so come with the best pumpkin you cam find and spend an evening carving it together and show off your costumes. Then, send the pumpkins floating on the water and watch them light up the evening with spooky lit smiles.

Sun., Oct. 28
4-7 p.m.
Free
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park
110th St. between 5th and Lenox Aves. (inside the park)
Online: centralparknyc.gov

Trick-or-Treat with East Midtown

East Midtown invites all children 12 and under (and their families) to go trick-or-treating with local businesses. Bring your best costume and a a trick-or-treating bag and hit the stores! Visit the website for a map of participating local stores.

Wed., Oct. 31
3-7 p.m.
Free
Tues., Oct. 31, 3 – 7 p.m.
Second Ave. btwn 59th & 60th St.
East Midtown
Online: eastmidtown.org

Annual Halloween Parade in Park Slope

While the main Halloween Parade is notorious for its adult nature, the Park Slope Halloween parade is planned specifically with kids in mind. Bring your little one in their favorite costume and parade around the neighborhood together!

Wed., Oct. 31
6:30 p.m.
Free
Park Slope
Starts: 14th St. and 7th Ave. Ends: J.J. Byrne Playground
Park Slope
Online: parkslopeciviccouncil.org

BAMboo! at the Brooklyn Academy of Music

Come trick-or-treat with BAM for a fun neighborhood block party. Play games, make crafts, show off costumes, and, of course, get some candy.

Wed., Oct. 31
4 p.m.
Free
BAM
30 Lafayette Ave.
Fort Greene
Online: bam.org

Spooky City at the Museum of the City of NY

The museum turns into a haunted scavenger hunt for the afternoon, calling on kids to explore and find spooky tales and yummy treats among the museum's exhibits. Advance registration is recommended.

Wed., Oct. 31
2-6 p.m.
Free with admission
Museum of the City of NY
1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St.
Upper East Side
Online: mcny.org

—Yuliya Geikhman

RELATED STORIES:

Our Favorite NYC-themed Costume Ideas

Get Pumped: The Best Pumpkin Patches Near NYC

Most Awesome Autumn Ever: Our NYC Fall Must-Do List for Families