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 31. We’ve rounded up the hottest hoods for trick-or-treating complete with spooky decorations, costume parades and candy galore!
photo: Carnegie Hill Neighbors
Upper West Side
19th Annual Halloween Celebration at American Museum of Natural History
Trick-or-treat in one of the most popular destinations for kids. In addition to loading up on candy amongst the pterodactyl, this early evening event will feature live musical performances, a magic show, arts and crafts and characters like Clifford, Curious George, Miffy and Cookie Mouse!
Cost: $12/person; $11/museum members
Central Park West at 79th St.
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. Kiddos can safety gather candy in the decorated building lobbies until 7 p.m. Should you feel like supporting the community organization’s work, volunteers will be on hand selling glowing necklaces to raise funds to beautify West 69th Street. Be prepared for big crowds!
Ends at 7p.m.
Central Park West to Broadway
Upper East Side
Get some activity in before hitting the sugary streets at this event benefiting non-profit Asphalt Green’s “Fit Kids Fit City” campaign. Costumed kids can play Zombie Freeze Tag, Spooktacular Soccer Shootout and much more! Get there on time: The first 400 kids to arrive receive a goody bag. The event is free and open the public, although a suggested donation of $20/family is welcome. Interested? RSVP is requested.
Cost: Free, but donation of $20/family is welcomed
555 E 90th St
photo: Carnegie Hill Neighbors
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.
92nd St. between Madison and Park Ave.
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.
Washington Square Park
Fifth Ave. between Waverly Place and W. 4th St
The downtown counterpart of the Upper East Side Asphalt Screams, this gathering geared toward keeping kids active includes activities such as Zombie Freeze Tag, Spooktacular Soccer Shootout and much more. The first 400 kids to arrive will receive a goody bag. It’s free, although a donation of $20 per family is suggested. RSVP is requested.
Cost: Free, but donation of $20/family is welcomed
212 North End Ave.
photo: via makelessnoise on Flickr Creative Commons
Hometown Halloween at Trinity Church Graveyard
Meet a friendly ghost in Trinity Church’s historic graveyard. All ages are welcomed to the Trinity church yard to trick-or-treat with the “permanent residents” (John Astor! Alexander Hamilton!) of Lower Manhattan. Also on tap: hot apple cider, a photo booth and a chance to win a prize. Costumes encouraged!
74 Trinity Place
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.
37th Ave. and 89th St.
Astoria Community Trick or Treat
Astoria’s Connection Church hosts a “Trick or Treat Extravaganza” at the Astoria Heights Playground behind IS 10. Great for one-stop shopping (with security on site!) the event will feature trick or treating stations, games, costume contests, door prizes and a family photo booth.
6 – 8p.m.
45th St. and 30th Rd.
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.
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 5:30 p.m. at 14th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues in preparation for a 6:30 p.m. kickoff. 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.
photo: Peter Lopez
Cobble Hill Halloween Parade
Costumed kids gather at this Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood’s Cobble Hill Park and then hit the main drag of Court Street and the surrounding blocks to score big. (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!)
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.
Fort Greene/Clinton Hill
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 5p.m.
Dekalb Ave. at Hall St.
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. Performances run every 30 minutes starting at 5p.m. until 9:30 p.m.
313 Clinton Ave.
The Witches’ Walk
Now a Greenpoint tradition, this Halloween parade hosted by the popular neighborhood children’s store The Flying Squirrel is a good choice for younger ghouls and goblins. In addition to strutting in costume, you can expect face painting, arts and crafts and pizza courtesy of Two Boots. En masse trick or treating at neighborhood businesses ensues following the procession.
The Flying Squirrel
87 Oak St.
Fieldston and 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.
Halloween in Richmond Town
Staten Island can offer you a trick or treating experience like none other in the NYC area: going door-to-door in a village from the 1600s! Halloween at the island’s historic museum complex also features tasty treats for costumed kiddies as well as crafts, apple bobbing and games.
Historic Richmond Town
Have a recommendation? Share your favorite trick-or-treating hot spot in the comments below!