Throughout the month of October, there are numerous events and things to see that will bring the spirit of Halloween to everyone. From the spookiness to the costumes and parties, here are some of the best things to do leading up to Halloween. By John Friia/CBSNewYork.com Staff
163 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013
Halloween is the season of pumpkins, ghost stories and haunted houses. For people looking to unleash a scream, they can head to Blood Manor. The 5,000-square-foot haunted house is filled with different-themed rooms, corridors and a myriad of passageways to maximize visitors’ fears. Known as one of the most intense and creepy haunted houses in the area, Blood Manor offers a Lights Out Night, which makes people face their fears of the dark. They will go throughout the manor with just one glow stick per group and minimal lighting as the creatures of the night lurk in the darkness.
New York Botanical Gardens
2900 Southern Boulevard
Bronx, NY 10458
As people walk through the New York Botanical Garden, they will enter a pumpkin wonderland. The Halloween season is in full bloom with over 30 friendly scarecrows placed throughout rare and unusual pumpkins in the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. Children can explore their imaginative by putting on a festive fall puppet show or have a spooky tea party in the Victorian playhouse.
Haunted Lantern Tours at Water Battery
Fort Totten Park
Once a vital fort during the Civil War, Fort Totten Park is a window into New York’s past and offers a Haunted Lantern Tours at Water Battery. The NYC Parks Urban Rangers mix history with Halloween fun with this outdoor haunted lantern tour of the park on October 28. To ensure a creepy night, people are advised to arrive no later than 8:15 p.m.
The Attic Rooftop
251 West 48th Street
New York, NY 10036
Whether people decide to be a vampire or a superhero, it’s time to find the best costume and head to The Attic Rooftop for their Haunted Rooftop Party on October 28. People will dance the night away as the DJ spins spooky tunes for party goers, and the best costume will receive complimentary bottle service.
Village Halloween Parade
6th Avenue North of Spring St.
New York, NY 10012
Oct. 31, 7 p.m.
The 43rd annual Village Halloween Parade is something you don’t want to miss. With bands, puppets, dancers, artists and thousands of New Yorkers dressed up in their most creative Halloween costumes, it is a great way to spend your Halloween. This year’s theme is “Reviere” which you can read more about on the parade’s official website. Thinking of participating with your own costume? Make sure you get to Sixth Avenue and Canal Street in costume between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. for the line-up.
Webster Hell Halloween Party
125 E. 11th St.
New York, NY 10003
Oct. 31, 8 p.m.
After showing off your costume at the Village Halloween Parade, you’ll want to head to the Webster Hell Halloween Party. In fact, Webster Hall will be walking in the parade with a Halloween float equipped with lustful zombies, undead DJs and music with some thumping bass beats. Follow the float over to Webster Hall for the party of a lifetime, where all four floors will be open with flying flesh-eaters, fire-wielding performers, and much more. Make sure to order your ticket in advance online before they sell out!
Candlelight Ghost Tours
Merchant’s House Museum
29 E. 4th St.
New York, NY 10003
Oct. 21 – 22, Oct. 27 – 30
Ready to be spooked? Take a Candlelight Ghost Tour at the Merchant’s House Museum, a landmark building in New York City built in the 1800s. History tells us that eight family members died in the house, and their funerals also took place in the front parlor. Come and tour Merchant’s House by candlelight, where you will learn all about the voices that can be heard throughout the building and other out-of-this-world occurrences experienced by visitors themselves. Choose from two tours — the Spooky Tour, or the Super Spooky Tour, which includes the 4th floor servants’ quarters. Make sure you visit the museum’s website for specific times for each individual tour.
Crossroads Haunted Masquerade Party
The Paper Factory Hotel
37-06 36th Street
Long Island City, NY 11101
For a frightful night of dancing and Halloween fun, people can head to The Paper Factory Hotel for their Crossroads Haunted Masquerade Party on October 28. The hotel transforms into an interactive haunted house, which allows guests to choose their spooky adventure. While roaming through four different musical spaces, guests will immerse themselves in theatrical experiences. As they travel throughout the hotel, they will find themselves in the basement bars and courtyard to witness fire breathers, drummers and burlesque performers.
Halloween Pub Crawl
New York is home to numerous Halloween traditions, but there is none that last longer than the annual Halloween Pub Crawl. Taking place on October 28th, 29th and 31st, the pub crawl offers discounts on beers, well drinks and cocktails at over 100 bars including Village Pourhouse. As the drinks flow, it will be entertaining seeing all the different and creative costumes.
63 West 38th Street
New York, NY 10018
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It is time to celebrate Halloween above the streets of Manhattan at Refinery Rooftop’s second annual Refined Masquerade on October 29. Guest are asked to showcase their finest masks while dancing and enjoying an open bar with Halloween-themed cocktails, passed food, magic tricks and other thrilling entertainment.
2nd Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest
71 W 35th St
New York, NY
Oct. 29, 1 p.m to 4 p.m.
Children and adults of all ages are welcome to stop by Monarch on Oct. 29 to take part in their 2nd annual Pumpkin Carving Contest! Put your skills to the test carve your own creation, while sipping on one of Monarch’s signature cocktails (mocktails for kids!) and competing for the grand prize — tickets to catch a birds-eye view of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade from Monarch’s rooftop lounge.
Game of Thrones Halloween Celebration
132 West 47th Street
New York, NY 10035
People will be transported from the hustle and bustle of Times Square to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros at Haven Rooftop’s Game of Thrones Halloween Celebration on October 29. Whether guests try their best Jon Snow or Catelyn Tully costume, partygoers will have the chance to win the midnight costume contest, which includes dinner for two at the rooftop bar and specialty bottles of vodka and Prosecco. The first 100 guests receive a complimentary cocktail.
Howl at the Moon
240 West 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019
People can unleash their inner werewolves this Halloween at Howl at the Moon on October 28. If you arrive in costume, you can receive free entry and are entered to win $500 prize in their costume contest. Dancing the night away to spooky tunes by the house band, people can enjoy $4 Angry Orchard drafts, $5 Jim Beam apple cocktails and $25 86 oz. Black Widow buckets. The thrills last all night, which gives partygoers enough time to master howling at the moon.
The Halloween Ball
127 Middle Neck Road
Sands Point, NY 11050
There is no better way to celebrate Halloween than at a historical castle along Long Island’s Gold Coast. Sands Point Preserve Conservancy hosts their annual Halloween Ball on October 21, that morphs the estate into a haunted experience with a tented mausoleum in a garden of dead roses. Partygoers will begin the evening with cocktails in the palm court and explore the two frightful floors of the Hempstead “House of Horrors.” Adding to the frightful atmosphere, the mansion’s organ will play spooky melodies and a DJ will provide a mix of Halloween music. Proceeds of the events benefit the Sand’s Point Preserve Conservancy, which aims to provide cultural and educational programming for children and adults while maintaining the mansion.
John Friia is a freelance journalist and native New Yorker writing about food, drinks and lifestyle. You can follow his adventures on Instagram.