If you've been a New Yorker for any time at all, then you know the 2022 Village Halloween Parade is coming up on Monday night, but that doesn't mean you should sit on your hands until then! We've already shared opportunities for trick-or-treating, as well as 11 fun options that have nothing at all to do with the eeriest night of the year; now, here are seven destinations to get into the Halloween spirit, building toward the big event.
"Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience"
Every Halloween sees plenty of muggles roaming the streets as wizards — but now, hardcore Harry Potter fanatics can take their costumes to the next level at the newly opened Forbidden Forest experience in Westchester County. An outdoor trail in Roosevelt State Park has been transformed to evoke the worlds of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series, complete with popular characters, creatures and atmospheric lighting. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet up with a centaur, bow to a hippogriff, and cast a Patronus spell. Tickets start at $55 for kids and $66 for adults, and you'll definitely want to book in advance, since some time slots are sold out already. Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park, 2957 Crompond Rd., Yorktown Heights; dates and times vary; hpforbiddenforestexperience.com (Precious Fondren)
The Amazing Maize Maze
If you want to lose yourself literally in the Halloween spirit, pop over to the Queens County Farm Museum for the Amazing Maize Maze before it ends its run on Saturday. This year the museum fashioned a chunk of its annual corn-crop labyrinth to resemble Georgia O’Keeffe’s iconic painting “Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory.” The day’s adventure begins with a “stalk talk” that’ll prepare you for the challenge of finding clues and solving puzzles. You’ll know you’ve successfully completed the maze when you get a 360-degree view from the Victory Bridge. Tickets cost $8 for kids aged 4 to 11 and $12 for adults; tots 3 and under get in free. Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park; Friday, Oct. 28, noon-4:30 p.m. & Saturday, Oct. 29, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; queensfarm.org (Precious Fondren)
12th Annual Coney Island Children’s Halloween Festival and Parade
On Saturday morning, Coney Island will be flooded with kids in the cutest and most creative costumes at the 12th Annual Coney Island Children’s Halloween Festival and Parade. This year's experience will include magic shows, inflatable mazes, caricature art, face painting, arts and crafts — and food, of course. The festival is also handing out goodie bags and wristbands to the first 1,200 kids to arrive at Maimonides Park. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative costume, best group costume, funniest costume, and best Coney Island-themed getup. Admission is free. Maimonides Park, Coney Island; Saturday, Oct. 29 at 11 a.m.; coneyislandfunguide.com (Precious Fondren)
The Rock and Roll Playhouse Halloween Spooktacular
If your kid likes to dress up and rock out, Brooklyn Bowl is the place to be on Saturday. Founded in 2014 by uber-promoter Peter Shapiro and educator Amy Striem, The Rock and Roll Playhouse specializes in kicking out the jams for the 10-and-under jammies crowd — at a thoughtfully reduced volume, with hearing protection encouraged. This Halloween show incorporates games, stories, and lots of movement; masks aren't required, but costumes are welcome, and kids under 1 attend free. Brooklyn Bowl, 61 Wythe Ave., Williamsburg; Saturday, Oct. 29 at noon; brooklynbowl.com (Steve Smith)
Zombie Opera: Circus
Didn’t think opera singing and Halloween were a match? Think again! What began as impromptu performances during the pandemic lockdown has grown into a destination affair during Halloween weekend in Jersey City. The third annual Zombie Opera will hold court at Hamilton Park in downtown Jersey City, with undead opera singers belting out repertoire from deathless operas including "Faust," "La Traviata," "La Boheme," "Carmen," and "Rigoletto." Admission is free. Hamilton Park, Jersey City; Saturday, Oct. 29 at 6 p.m.; instagram.com/zombieopera (Precious Fondren)
Evan + Zane Present Halloween V
Performing together as Evan + Zane, actor Evan Rachel Wood and musician Zane Carney have been glamming up and rocking out with an adult-oriented Halloween party in Los Angeles for several years now, and took their show online for some screaming streaming during the pandemic shutdown. This year they've taken the show on the road for the first time, and on Halloween night they'll hold court for a costumed throng. It's a standing-room show, but close-up V.I.P. seating is available, too. Chelsea Music Hall, Manhattan; Monday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.; someday.fm (Steve Smith)
NYC Village Halloween Parade
This over-the-top annual popular celebration returned to the streets with a vengeance in 2021 after its forced absence the previous year, and momentum is building toward the 49th annual affair on Monday. The route runs up Avenue of the Americas, from Canal Street to West 15th Street, and you'll want to show up plenty early to get a view of the ghouls and goblins, earnest cosplayers, and zombies busting moves from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video. Sixth Avenue, from Canal St. to W. 15th St.; Monday, Oct. 31 at 7 p.m.; halloween-nyc.com (Steve Smith)