Boos You Can Use: NYC Halloween Events for Kids

Looking for NYC Halloween events for kids? You’re in luck! 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 is full of ghosts and ghouls throughout October, 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.) Kid still needs a costume? Head to one of these NYC shops.) Want quick inspiration? Click here.
photo: Alex W. via Yelp Pumpkin Festival at the Greenbelt

It's pumpkin season and the Greenbelt will have their very best on display at this yearly family festival. Go pumpkin picking, meet the horses from the city Parks department, learn about the local flora and fauna, and more! Stop by at 2 p.m. for a pumpkin-side performance by Music with Patrick.

Sat., Oct 5
12-4 p.m.
Willowbrook Park
Staten Island


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. Big kids can climb an eight-foot haystack, while little ones can navigate a hay maze. Additional weekend activities include an indoor pumpkin patch ($2 donation), a petting zoo, ballistic apple picking (use a bow and arrow to knock apples out of a tree)—plus tasty fall treats like apple cider a pumpkin spice baked goods. What's inside at LSC? The new Dinosaur Train traveling exhibit and Angry Birds Universe: The Art & Science Behind a Global Phenomenon! Click here for our full guide to visiting Liberty Science Center with kids! 

Spider Maze open through Oct. 31. Note that LSC is closed Mondays. 

Tickets: $24.99/adults; $19.99/kids 2 -12; special exhibits additional fee
Weekdays: 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.; weekends: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.; closed Mondays
Liberty Science Center
222 Jersey City Blvd.

photo: The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling Facebook page Halloween Festivities at the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling

The Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling is bringing Halloween fun and magic to families on not one but two days! 

The big fun happens on Sunday, October 27, when activities include mysterious stories, a pumpkin patch, costume making and a slime library. The Bindlestiff Family Cirkus stops by for a spooktacular 45-minute Vampire Variety Show with Count Keith. Over at the museum's Heather Hart's exhibition, "The Oracle of Amplitude", kids can take part in a hands-on circus skill workshop. 

Then, on Halloween, the museum hosts more holiday fun with spooky stories and costume-making. 

Sun., Oct. 27, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Thurs., Oct. 31, 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

photo: New York Botanical Garden Spooky Pumpkin Garden at the NY Botanical Garden

Spooks on at the New York Botanical Garden until Oct 31, when the winding trails of the children's garden gets decorated with carved pumpkins, gourds and more. Special events and activities happen all month long, including potting up a ghostly dusty miller plant to take home, investigating a mysterious Victorian playhouse, and putting on a own bone-rattling puppet show. Meet creatures like snakes and bats at Noon and 2 p.m. the weekends of October 12, 19 and 26th and catch the carving face-off weekend on Oct. 19 and 20, or Giant Pumpkin Weekend Oct. 26 and 27.

Through October 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.
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Blvd.

photo: Luna Park Halloween Harvest at Luna Park

Luna Park's Halloween Harvest back and bigger than ever. In addition to all the rides, the park busts out tons fall fun with magic shows, trick or treating, face painting, pumpkin arts and crafts, impressively intricate pumpkin carvings, costume contests, stilt walkers, mini tractors to ride, live shows and more! Plus, new this year hyper-realistic temporary tattoos and character appearances. Love dogs? Don't miss the doggie Halloween Parade on October 13!

Weekends through October 27
11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Free admission, various event prices
Luna Park
1000 Surf Ave.
Coney Island

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
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Free with admission
Prospect Park Zoo
Children’s Corner near the Willink Entrance, at Flatbush Ave. and Empire Blvd.
Prospect Park

photo: Hudson Valley 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.

Through Nov. 30
Weekdays: $23/adults, $17/children 3-17
Weekends: $29/adults, $22/children 3-17
Members and kids under 3 are free
Van Cortlandt Manor
525 S. Riverside Ave.

photo: Alex Fitzpatrick via Flickr Halloween Dog Parade at Tompkins Square

Dress your pooch in his best costume or come pooch-less to see the festivities at this yearly Halloween pup parade. The whole family will enjoy seeing all the costumed dogs as they strut their stuff on the runway. Come early for best viewing spots, as this is a popular event!

Sat., Oct. 19
12-3 p.m.
East River Park Amphitheater
Alongside the FDR Grand St. in East River Park
Lower East Side

photo: El Museo Del Barrio 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. 19
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
El Museo Del Barrio
1230 5th Ave. at 104th St.
Upper East Side

photo: Karen Green via Flickr Pumpkitecture 2019

Kick off Halloween weekend by seeing some of NYC's top architecture and design firms battle it out to create the most amazing pumpkin display. Now in its third year, this friendly competition invites New Yorkers to watch these pros live carve with a deadline,. 

Fri., Oct. 25, 6-8:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15
Center for Architecture 
536 LaGuardia Pl. 
Greenwich Village

photo: Prospect Park Facebook page 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. And on Saturday or Sunday, don't forget to hop the "Haunted Carousel", which spins to the sounds of Halloween tunes for $2.50 a ride

Sun., Oct. 27, 2-4 p.m.
Free, $3 suggested donation
Lefferts Historic House
452 Flatbush Ave.
Prospect Park

photo: Socrates Sculpture Park 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. 26
12-4 p.m.
Socrates Sculpture Park
32-01 Vernon Blvd.
Long Island City

photo: American Museum of Natural History 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 Circus, and others will bring the museum to life for an afternoon.

Sat., Oct. 26
2-6 p.m.
$16/person, $13 for members
Central Park West at 79th St.
Upper West Side

photo: Richie S. via Flickr Night of 1,000 Jack O'Lanterns

Another stunning display of incredibly-carved pumpkins, Night of 1,000 Jack O'Lanterns takes place on Governors Island. Wander among pumpkin works of art on an illuminated path to fun and festive music, check out live pumpkin carving demonstrations and sculpted pumpkins,  and see New York's harbor at night!  Tickets must be purchased in advance. 

Tickets: $26/adults; $22/kids; free/kids under two
5 - 10 p.m., Thurs., Oct. 17-Sun., Oct 20 & Thurs., Oct. 24 - Oct. 27 
Governors Island

photo: Queens County Farm Museum Haunted House and Halloween Festival at Queens County Farm

Queens County Farm gives you plenty of reasons to visit this fall!

Its Children's Halloween Festival invites people to don their favorite costume and come on down to the farm, where they can Two-step to live country western music, take a hayride,  and enjoy pony rides and a seasonal petting zoo. Navigate The Amazing Maize Maze,  and then check out the Con Edison Ecology booth for recycling tips and get crafty with the farm's educators.

For a fun scare, try the haunted house, recommended for kids ages 6-12.

And stop by on weekends through October 26 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
1 - 7 p.m., Sat., Oct. 26
Tickets: $4/in advance; $7/at door

Children's Halloween Festival
11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sun., Oct. 27
Tickets: $20/person

Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Floral Park

photo: Prospect Park Alliance Halloween Haunted Walk & Fair in Prospect Park

Participate in the 40th annual Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair in Prospect Park, courtesy of the Prospect Park Alliance. The fair is perfect for all ages, complete with 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. Then hit up one of the food trucks for a bite to eat. 

Sat., Oct. 26
12-3 p.m.
Free (RSVP recommended)
Lookout Hill in Prospect Park

photo: Queens Botanical Garden Halloween at the Garden at Queens Botanical Garden

Celebrate the season two ways at the Queens Botanical Garden. 

Attend it Fall Fest for live music, children's activities, petting zoo, face-painting, lawn games, composting demonstrations, a beer and wine garden, and more.

Celebrate Halloween on Sunday October 27 with a themed botanical craft, a magic show, and go trick or treating in your costume. Check out the creepy carnivorous plant display, then boogie down at the Halloween dance party! 

Halloween at the Garden
Sun., Oct. 27
12-4 p.m.
Free with admission

Harvest Fest
Sun., Oct. 13
11 a.m.-5 p.m.
$15/adult, $13/child ages 4 and up

Queens Botanical Garden
43-50 Main St.

photo: Grand Central Terminal Facebook page 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!)

Sun., Oct. 27, Noon - 3 p.m.
Tickets: Free
Grand Central Terminal
89 E. 42nd St.

photo: Central Park NYC Halloween Activities and Pumpkin Flotilla at Central Park

Create a floating jack o' lantern display in Central Park's Harlem Meer. Pumpkins for the flotilla are BYO so come with the best pumpkin you can find (here are some handy guidelines) and spend an evening carving it together and show off your costumes. Additional fun includes arts and crafts, storytelling, and an expert carver. The big finale is sending the pumpkins on to the water and watching them light up the evening. 

Wed., October 30, 4-7 p.m.
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center in Central Park
110th St. between 5th and Lenox Aves. (inside the park)

photo: East Midtown Partnership Trick-or-Treat with East Midtown

A tradition now five years old, East Midtown invites all children 12 and under (and their families) to go trick-or-treating with local businesses. The starting point is the plaza at 919 Third Avenue, where you can take a snap at the photo booth, get your face painted and then grab a bag and go! Visit the website for a map of participating local stores. (It's a lot!) 

Thurs., Oct. 31, 3-7 p.m.
919 Third Ave. 
East Midtown

photo: Brooklyn Academy of Music 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.
30 Lafayette Ave.
Fort Greene

photo: Museum of the City of NY 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. Plus: a monster mash dance party with DJ. Advance registration is recommended.

Thurs., Oct. 31
2-5:30 p.m.
Free with admission
Museum of the City of NY
1220 Fifth Ave. at 103rd St.
Upper East Side

—Yuliya Geikhman


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