Looking to go beyond trick-or-treating this year? Lucky for you and the kids in your life, the city offers a multitude of family-friendly Halloween celebrations, from costume parties at museums to free parades through brownstone Brooklyn.
Boo at the Zoo
2300 Southern Blvd.
Bronx, NY 10460
Little ones and teens alike will enjoy Boo at the Zoo, the annual Halloween celebration at the Bronx Zoo. New this year is the spooky Haunted Forest, located in the World of Darkness (also known as the place where the bats live). You can also take a hayride, learn how to carve pumpkins, catch a performance of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and head to the graveyard of extinct animals. Weekends through Sunday, October 29, see website for details and ticket info.
Night of 1,000 Jack O’Lanterns
New York, NY 11231
More than 1,000 pumpkins, some weighing over 100 pounds and all specially carved by artisans, will transform Governors Island into Halloween central this October. You and your family will walk on paths lined with jack o’lanterns, past long abandoned buildings, reveling in the night and the soft candlelight. You’ll be able to get some tips for carving a gourd masterpiece of your own too. Thursday, October 26, through Sunday, October 29, see website for details and ticket info.
American Museum of Natural History’s Halloween Celebration
Central Park West and 79th St.
New York, NY 10024
Now’s your chance to wander through the halls of the American Museum of Natural History, bag in hand, collecting goodies among the gorillas, tigers, elephants, birds, dinosaurs, etc. who call this museum home. All told, 30 halls will be available for exploring, along with trick-or-treating, crafts, live performances, and cartoon characters like Clifford the Big Red Dog and Curious George. Come dressed to scare, thrill, delight, or entertain. Saturday, October 28, 2 to 6 pm, $12-15, tickets required.
313 Clinton Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11205
In 1994, neighbors in Clinton Hill got together and decided to put on a homegrown Halloween spectacle for local kids. Fast forward through the years, and today Halloween 313 draws spectators from Brooklyn and beyond. It’s a one-night only performance, featuring zombies and ghouls and goblins and good fun. Get there early, then head off into the dark, dark night, ready for mayhem and marauding (or, ahem, maybe not). Tuesday, October 31, shows run on the half-hour from 5 to 9 pm, free.
Park Slope Halloween Parade
14th Street and 7th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11215
When did Halloween get co-opted by college kids? These days even bars have Halloween parties, drawing costumed revelers for a no-holds-barred night of debauchery. The Park Slope Halloween Parade puts the focus back on kids, offering family-friendly fun in a lovely, tree-lined neighborhood. The parade ends at a playground, so your kids can burn off their sugar highs before getting down to the serious business of trading Twizzlers for Twixes, Gobstoppers for Blow Pops. Tuesday, October 31, parade begins at 6:30 pm, free.