Last year, Hurricane Sandy sidelined the city’s Halloween festivities, and while the problems that ensued were bigger than missing out on trick-or-treating, we know your kiddos are beyond ready to celebrate in full this year! Some costume parades happen the weekend before Halloween, which means you might be able to attend a couple and get extra mileage out of that costume you worked so hard to perfect. So put on your witch’s hat and head out to these free Halloween parades and events in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. Want candy too? Read our guide to the best trick-or-treating neighborhoods in NYC.
When: Sat., Oct. 26, 11:00 am
Where: MCU Stadium (Surf Avenue & West 17th Street)
This is the 4th year for the Coney Island Children’s parade. Festivities begin at 11:00 am with music, magicians, face painting, costumed characters and more. At noon, enter the Halloween Costume Contest – there’s even a special baby stroller decoration contest. We hear they give extra points for homemade or Coney Island themed costume ideas. Then, lineup for the parade at 1:15 pm. The parade kicks off at 1:30 pm and travels down the boardwalk to Luna Park, where every kid who marched in the parade can enter for free!
When: Sat., Oct. 26, 11:00 am
Where: Carroll Park, President Street and Smith Street
Dress up your little ones for a bedtime-friendly parade that starts in the morning. Lineup in the park then costumed cuties will parade up Smith Street to Douglass Street and back to the park down Court Street.
When: Sat., Oct. 26, 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Where: Fort Greene Park, Myrtle Avenue and Cumberland Street
Show off your costume at Fort Greene Park’s parade and afterward you can enjoy a whole festival of fun. Go on a hayride, pick a pumpkin in the patch, get your face painted or meet a creepy critter. There’s even a dog costume contest that’s bound to be filled with cuteness! Rain date is Sun., Oct. 27.
When: Thurs., Oct. 31, 6:30 pm
Where: 14th Street and Seventh Avenue
You’ll want to be ready for the start of this parade, as the two ambulances that start off the procession are known to have bags of candy and other sweets that they pass out by the handful. As you snack on your treats, check out the giant puppets and costumed residents of Park Slope — both of which are known for over-the-top and festively decorated outfits. This year’s theme is literary characters. Stay for spooky marching bands and other entertainers as the procession continues all the way to the Old Stone House and Washington Park on Fifth Avenue between Third and Fourth Streets.
When: Thurs., Oct. 31, 1:00 pm
Where: The Polish & Slavic Center, 176 Java Street
Lineup at 176 Java Street for this parade. Then, you’ll march down Manhattan Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard, ending back at the Polish & Slavic Center. Once there, enjoy a festive Halloween party with music, snacks and crafts.
When: Sun., Oct. 27, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Where: CitiGroup Plaza (Greenwich Street at North Moore Street)
Line up for the parade at 12:45 pm at CitiGroup Plaza. Then, the parade will travel down Greenwich Street towards Washington Market Park. Once there, you’ll hear the lively sounds of Princess Katie and Racer Steve coming from the gazebo. Then it’s up to the kids whether they want to make arts and crafts, do a bone dig in the sandbox, go through a hay maze or choose one of the other activities going on.
Note: Strollers will not be permitted in the park during the event, but a stroller-check will be available at Duane and Greenwich streets.
When: Sun., Oct. 27, 12:00 pm
Where: 200 Vesey Street, Battery Park
Celebrate Halloween the eco-friendly way. Here you can bob for apples, pin a face on a pumpkin, make an eco art project and marvel at large scale, locally crafted puppets. Swap last year’s costume at the Costume Exchange and finish off the party with a parade through Battery Park City led by a marching band at 3:00 pm.
When: Wed., Oct. 31, 3:00 pm
Where: 557 Broadway (Between Prince & Spring Streets)
Trick or Read with the Scholastic Store in SoHo. Strut your spooky stuff in the annual Halloween Costume Parade, where you’ll venture outside the store and around the block as a fabulous cohort of princesses, goblins, pop-stars, and ghouls!
When: Thurs., Oct. 31, 3:45 pm – 5:45 pm
Where: Soldiers’ & Sailors’ Monument (89th Street & Riverside Drive)
This parade will be a grand occasion for every ghoul and ghost. Follow the bagpipe-led procession through the park to Hippo Playground. Once all the monsters and witches have arrived, hot cider and donuts will be on offer. Make sure to bring your camera, Riverside Park has some sweet spots to snap a photo or two of your costumed kids in their Halloween finest.
When: Thurs., Oct. 31, 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Where: Washington Square Park
This spookishly festive parade will lead kids around Washington Square Park where they can romp to their hearts content as the parade snakes its way toward LaGuardia Place at Washington Square South. Once the parade reaches its destination, get ready for the real fun, as free trick-or-treat bags, games and rides will be open to all costumed kiddos. This event is totally free, so don’t miss out!
When: Sat., Oct. 26, 12:00 pm
Where: Ditmars Avenue and 31st Street
Lineup in front of CVS pharmacy for this super-popular neighborhood Halloween parade. The march will end at Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden (29-19 24th Avenue) for a family-friendly party.
When: Thurs., Oct. 31, 5:00 pm
Where: 89th Street along 37th Avenue
Toted as the largest children’s parade in NYC, this annual celebration brings out thousands of kids to the Jackson Heights neighborhood. Anyone who wishes to march in the parade should line up at 4:30 pm. But those who are spectating are first in line to receive a real treat – over 3000 goodie bags filled with Halloween sweets will be thrown out to the crowd. This event is always high anticipated and always kid-friendly, so be sure to check it out…and don’t forget your costume.
Looking for other Halloween activities? Check out our October events calendar.
We know there are tons of Halloween parades going on throughout the city. Where will you be taking your little ones this week?
— Scott Wardell & Julie Seguss