If you’re wondering where to go for the best trick-or-treating in New York, look no further than our list of excellent neighborhoods in Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. All we ask is that you save us a miniature Snickers bar or tiny pack of Twizzlers from your haul. By Jessica Allen.
Clement Clarke Moore Park
195 Tenth Avenue
New York, NY 10011
Locals call it Seal Park, but on October 31, the area in and around Clement Clarke Moore Park becomes Halloween headquarters, at least as far as Chelsea is concerned. West 22nd Street between Ninth and Tenth Avenue, in particular, goes all out with the decorations— in past years, the townhouse-heavy block has been so crowded that the gathering almost becomes a parade of ghouls, goblins, clowns, superheroes, and everything in between. The fun really starts around 6 p.m.
313 Clinton Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
In 1994, a group of concerned parents and residents banded together to ensure that trick-or-treating would be full of fun for neighborhood youngsters. Some 22 years later, the celebration is still going strong. This Halloween, you and your favorite costumed tikes will be entertained by the volunteers behind Abra-Cadaver, a show about “magic, mystery, and murder.” The “Halloween-themed theatrical extravaganza” runs every 30 minutes or so, beginning around 5 p.m., rain or shine, and is suitable for kids of all ages. Stick around to call upon the townhouses and apartments nearby to see what sweets they’re handing out.
East 59th Street and 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10022
The second annual “Trick or Treat with East Midtown” event runs from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and features all kinds of family-friendly programming designed for kids 12 and under. Don’t have a costume? Don’t worry: you can get your face painted, then get yourself photographed in the “spooky” photo booth. After collecting the various treats and giveaways at Tramway Plaza, you and your wee sidekicks can fan out into East Midtown to collect even more loot from a ton of participating businesses, among them TD Bank, Insomnia Cookies, Mon Petit Café, and Bloom’s Tavern.
37th Avenue from 89th to 76th Street
Jackson Heights, NY 11372
Jackson Heights hosts one of the city’s largest kid-focused Halloween parades each year—and most everyone who attends stays behind to trick or treat in the huge apartment complexes sprinkled around the neighborhood. Parade participants, who often perform while marching, receive goodie bags at the parade’s end, courtesy of various local business. Marchers begin lining up at around 4:30 p.m., and the parade starts at 5 p.m.
Upper West Side
West 69th Street at Central Park West
New York, NY 10023
Given the number of families who call the Upper West Side home, it’s no surprise that this neighborhood does an awfully awesome Halloween. In past years, West 69th Street between Central Park West and Broadway has featured many jaw-dropping scenes, many filled with fog machines, colored lights, and inflatable creatures. The block is closed to vehicle traffic, so you can wander at will. The candy distribution usually starts around 7 p.m. Be prepared to donate a few bucks to the West 69th Street Block Association, members of which make sure the decorations, etc. are up to snuff.