Halloween doesn’t just happen on October 31. In New York City, the whole month is dedicated to the spooky, scary, and supernatural. There are both hair-raising and family-friendly adventures happening all over town, all month long. Whether you enjoy dressing up in costume, carving a pumpkin, or screaming your face off, there’s something for you.
Tales from the Grave: Ghosts & Hauntings of Greenwich Village
(Anytime) Have you heard of Sidewalk? It’s an app that provides free, guided walks around town, and luckily there’s a great one that’s perfect for setting a spooky tone this month. Check out Tales from the Grave: Ghosts & Hauntings of Greenwich Village and “explore the dark histories of haunted churches, taverns, firehouses, parks and even a subway station.” Be forewarned, this walk is not suitable for kids.
(Oct 11, 18, 25, 31) Satisfy your taste for spine-tingling stories and make a weekly visit to Village East Cinema for Hitchcocktober. They’re showcasing the best films from the dark mind of one of the industry’s best directors, and it all ends on Halloween with a screening of Psycho.
The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
(Through Nov 24) If you want to get out of the city for a kid-friendly adventure, head to the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze at Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. More than 7,000 illuminated pumpkins will be on display in this 18th century landscape, complete with synchronized lighting and soundtrack. To get there, take the Metro-North Hudson Line from Grand Central to the Croton-Harmon station. The location is a short five-minute cab ride away.
(Oct 11-14, 17-21, 23-31) For something truly scary, check out Blood Manor, a terrifying, 5,000 square foot haunted house in the Hudson Square District full of themed rooms, dark corridors, and disorienting passageways. You will be scared. You will scream. And then you’ll go back for more.
Merchant’s House 1865 Funeral Reenactment
(Oct 14) In the olden days, funerals took place at home. Discover what that was like at the Merchant’s House 1865 Funeral Reenactment. Afterward, talk with characters from history about death and dying, funeral customs, and how it all affected the servants in the home. There will even be a coffin available for photo ops, so you can freak out your friends on Instagram.
Hudson River Park Fall Fest
(Oct 21) For something less spooky, head to the Hudson River Park Fall Fest. Suitable for the whole family, this annual festival offers pumpkin painting, fishing, carnival rides, a magic show, and cotton candy. Kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes. Entrance is free and the activities begin at 11am.
Monster Ball 18
(Oct 27) If you’re looking for the adult version of trick-or-treating, this is it. Monster Ball is billed as the biggest and scariest Halloween party in New York City. It takes place at the enormous STAGE48 in Times Square, and prizes will be awarded for best costumes. If you want to “lose yourself surrounded by decadent debauchery, hellfire energy, sinful escapades and naughty masquerade,” then this event has your name written all over it.
Night of the Crawling Dead Bar Crawl
(Oct 27) Night of the Crawling Dead is the pub crawl to end all pub crawls. Visit the hottest bars and pubs in town and enjoy tasty drinks and live entertainment all night long. Located in Murray Hill, this event encourages costumes so you can drink in style.
Ghouls and Gourds
(Oct 27) Head to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for Ghouls & Gourds, a family-friendly event that features stilt dancing, caterpillar feedings, rutabaga Skee-ball, and Brooklyn’s wackiest costume parade. Gates open at 10am and the festival begins at noon; kids under 12 get in free.
NYC Village Halloween Parade
(Oct 31) Finally, it wouldn’t be Halloween in NYC if you didn’t check out the Village Halloween Parade. 2018 marks the 45th year of this must-see event, and you MUST wear a costume in order to join in on the fun. There will be hundreds of puppets, dozens of bands, dancers, and artists of all stripes participating in this wildly creative public event. It happens at 6th and Canal between 6:30-8:30pm. Watch it on TV: NY1 at 8pm.
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