If you like packed sidewalks, kids in costumes, and sugar-infused screams, you’ll love Halloween in New York City.
And there’s no need to get inside apartment buildings: Plenty of trick-or-treating action happens on stoops or at storefronts, where folks hand out treats.
And while the city allegedly never sleeps, trick-or-treating in town starts early – some folks set out as early as 4 p.m. In many neighborhoods, the action winds down when it gets dark.
This year, the city is trying to make the holiday safer, too. Halloween is a notoriously dangerous day for kids; an analysis of federal highway safety data by the Washington Post found that it’s the day children are most likely to be fatally struck by a car.
Under the mayor’s new plan, dubbed “Trick-or-Streets,” dozens of areas across town will be car-free from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Halloween. You can find a map of these pedestrian zones here. And for more safety tips, the NYPD provides a one-sheet guide on Halloween for parents and guardians.
No matter your neighborhood, there’s likely to be some Halloween action nearby. Here’s a sampling of some festivities around town. Events take place on Oct. 31 unless noted otherwise. Have fun, and stay safe. And let us know what to add for next year – we’d love to hear from you!
Trick-or-treating kicks off at 4 p.m. at 31st Avenue Open Street. They’ll also have holiday festivities Saturday and Sunday with a costume contest, a pet parade, a haunted photo booth, and a spooky storytime. About 2 miles away, the local businesses at 30th Avenue between 31st and Steinway streets go all out for trick-or-treating.
Local Andrea W. says Owl’s Head Park is a great bet for Halloween. This year the community is hosting its Halloween Festival on Sunday, Oct. 30 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. but the area around the park is typically great for trick-or-treating on the day of Halloween, too, says Andrea.
Battery Park City
Go trick-or-treating at Louis Vuitton and Gucci! Kids and families are invited to Brookfield Place on Saturday Oct. 29 from noon to 3 p.m. for the annual Halloween Bash, plus trick-or-treating throughout the mall. They’ll also feature live performances from juggler Jester Jim and children’s musical artist Snooknuk.
Bed-Stuy goes big for Halloween, and locals put together a Halloween map of great blocks for trick-or-treating. This year’s fun happens between Throop Avenue and Tompkins Avenue, on Hancock Street, Putnam Avenue, and Jefferson Avenue.
Head to Garden Place, “a nexus of Halloween mania,” according to local Josh G. Many residents go all out with decorations, dress up, and sit on their stoops to hand out candy. Another highlight is Grace Court Alley, where you’ll find creative displays and even more candy. On Saturday, Oct. 29 at 10:30 a.m., the neighborhood hosts its annual Halloween Parade. Families can start at the entrance to the Promenade on Clark Street, and head down to Remsen Street. (Rain date is Sunday, Oct. 30 at 10:30 a.m.)
“It’s pandemonium in the streets and on the sidewalks,” says local Stephen N of Carroll Gardens during Halloween. “They even closed streets themselves even before the city did it.” The action happens all over the neighborhood, but the stretch along Clinton Street is usually a good bet. On Sunday, Oct. 30, there’s the annual Scarroll Park! Halloween Celebration, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. with music, dancing, treats, and a scavenger hunt.
The annual Spooktacular – featuring a DJ, dancing, and a costume contest – happens on Halloween, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Everyone is welcome, and you can RSVP here. It takes place on 92nd Street, between Park and Madison avenues.
The Society for Clinton Hill’s Annual Halloween Walk is back on Monday, Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Myrtle Avenue. It will feature the Dead Zombie Band on Waverly Avenue. There’s also a Halloween dance party, the Myrtle Monster Mash, on Myrtle Avenue from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with treats, a DJ, and a Thriller Dance-off.
The Cobble Hill Halloween Parade starts in Cobble Hill Park on Monday at 4 p.m., rain or shine. A brass band, the Brass Queens, will lead a procession down Congress Street to Henry Street, then Warren Street, and back at the park. Everyone is welcome, and many families head out after to trick-or-treat in the homes nearby. The neighborhood is typically very festive and has loads of candy.
The 12th Annual Children’s Halloween Festival and Parade returns on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Maimonides Park. The event is free, and open to the public. It’s recommended for children ages 3 to 14. It will feature magic, caricature art, crafts, and automatic entry into the costume contest.
Go trick-or-treating at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This year’s event will feature a Super Hero Training Camp, where Spider-Man will show kids how to climb, Wonder Woman will offer lasso lessons, and Batman and Robin will teach juggling. Kids (and grownups!) are encouraged to wear their costumes. Admission isn’t free; tickets start at $13, with discounts for grandparents. Children 1 and under are free.
The center of the action is 1306 Albemarle Road, where the parade starts, says Ave Carillo. “Then all the houses with porches go all out and the trick-or-treating is insane. We have to buy about 20 pounds of candy.”
This year’s Dumboween is advertised as “scary good.” It begins at 4 p.m. with the annual “March to the Arch.” Start at Washington Street (between Front and Water streets), then a brass band (and puppets) will lead the procession. The pet costume contest kicks off at 5 p.m. and local stores will hand out candy until 7 p.m. And before you go trick-or-treating, stop by the Adams Street library from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. for some Halloween fun.
Local businesses will hand out candy from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m as part of Trick or Treat with East Midtown. There will also be free pumpkin painting and a “spooky photo booth.” Most of the action takes place between 55th and 61st streets, between Second Avenue and Park Avenue.
The 10th annual Miss Abbie’s Halloween Health Fair kicks off at 11 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 31 and runs until 6 p.m. It aims to marry “health and Halloween” with an outdoor, safe, and informative event. Last year’s event featured live music, dance performances, a bouncy house, healthy treats, and superheroes.
Fort Greene’s annual dog costume contest, the Great Pupkin, happens Saturday, Oct. 29 at noon. Also that day, the Fort Greene Halloween Fest runs from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Organizers invite you to “bring everyone you know” for musical and dance performances, arts and crafts, and more.
This year’s Halloween Parade, Spooktacular Party, and Zombie Nerf War takes place on Saturday, Oct. 29. The parade kicks off at noon at 176 Java Street, between Manhattan Avenue and McGuiness Boulevard. The parade is free; the Zombie Nerf War and party cost $20 if you buy in advance, more at the door. The party will feature arts and crafts, carnival games, a bouncy house, and more. Greenpointers, a news outlet covering North Brooklyn, also publishes some Halloween routes here.
One local advises that the stores up and down Broadway go all out for trick-or-treating. Another spot that’s fun: Hamilton Terrace between 141st and 144th streets, according to Kelly Moffitt-Hawasly, writing on Columbia University’s Neighbors website. She says “the row houses will dazzle you with Halloween spirit.”
Halloween in Harlem is amazing, says local Sage Ramadge. The block of 120th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenue is the heart of the celebration and is closed down as a play street. The houses are decked out and there’s usually music. Ramadge also recommends the brownstone blocks on 119th to 123rd streets between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Lenox Avenue. Harlem resident David C. says Striver’s Row, located at 138th and 139th streets between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard and Frederick Douglass Boulevard is “the place to be.”
Organizers ask if you’re “ready for a good scare,” because they say this is one of the scariest haunted houses in the Bronx. Come for On Point Haunted House, stay for the activities, including games and a dance contest. It’s at the Hunts Point Recreation Center, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’s free, but you have to register.
The Inwood Monster March kicks off at Isham Park, behind Bruce’s Garden, at 4:45 p.m. Organizers advise participants to bring shakers, instruments, or something to “make a spooky noise for the parade.” The procession heads to Inwood Hill Park, ending with the Candy Exchange, so bring individually wrapped treats to share. Over at Quisqueya Plaza, on Dyckman Street between Broadway and Seaman Avenue, there will be a Halloween Parade Spooktacular from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. with games, treats, and prizes for the best costume.
The annual Halloween Parade returns to Jackson Heights this year with a marching band. Organizers bill the event as the “largest children’s Halloween parade in NYC,” and expect to hand out 2,300 trick or treat bags at the end. The procession runs along 37th Avenue from 89th Street to 76th Street. To join the parade, meet at 4:30 p.m. on 89th Street and 47th Avenue.
One resident tells us that East Fourth Street in Kensington is “the place to be.” The area from Caton Avenue to Albemarle Road will be blocked off for the city’s Safe Streets program.
On Saturday, Oct. 29, head to Maple Grove Cemetery with canned goods for “Trunk or Treat,” which runs from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Billed as a safe Halloween event, “the kids get candy and those in need get some extra help! WIN WIN!” If you’d like to decorate your car, there’s also a prize for Best Decorated Vehicle.
Long Island City
The 12th Street Plaza between 44th Avenue and 43rd Road will feature crafts, candy, and fun from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Lower East Side
Head to Economy Candy (108 Rivington Street), where they’ll be passing out candy to all trick-or-treaters from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. As of this writing, they said they hadn’t finalized what candy they’ll be passing out, but noted they “always GO BIG!” (A rep for the store said they’ve handed out as much as 1,000 pounds of candy in previous years.) On Sunday, Oct. 30, the Market Line will offer trick-or-treating for kids, plus free face painting and tattoos on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Whitney Museum invites you and your family to take part in its Halloween celebration on Saturday, Oct. 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Magical Masquerade Family Day. The museum will host an Edward Hopper-themed scavenger hunt, a mask-making activity, and more. Wear your costume to get the most out of the special Halloween photo booth. This one’s not free: tickets start at $25 for adults, kids 18 and under are free. Timed tickets are required without a membership.
The Third Avenue Business Improvement District will host Halloween fun on Willis Avenue, from East 147th Street to East 148th Street. It will have a pumpkin patch, face painting, live music, and treats. On Friday, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. over at 138th Street and Alexander Avenue, several community organizations will host a festive Halloween event with music, goody bags, and more fun.
The Caldwell Enrichment Program, a local youth organization, will host Halloween festivities at Jennings Street, from Prospect Avenue to Chisholm Street on Saturday Oct. 29 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. There will be activities, games, and treats for children between the ages of 4 and 13. Families are invited to come in costume.
If you’re trick-or-treating here, start early, advises Park Slope resident Audrey C. “On our block last year, the candy ran out in about 90 minutes.” Also, the Park Slope Civic Council hosts a Halloween parade from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Queuing for the parade starts at 5:30 p.m. The procession moves down Seventh avenue, starting at 14th Street, turning on Third Street, and culminating at Old Stone House.
The Audubon Center at Prospect Park is hosting “Creepy Crawly Halloween” on Sunday, Oct. 30 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. They invite children to “take a second look at the creatures that give you the creeps, you may find you like them!”
Head to the Harvest Festival at the Riverside Church, where you’ll find free trick-or-treating from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. To RSVP, and for more information, go here.
Check out the Oakwood neighborhood, in the blocks from Charleston Avenue down to P.S. 50. One resident advises there are “no hills and many generous houses.”
The Sunnyside Post reported that 44th, 45th, 46th, and 47th streets between Skillman Avenue and 39th Avenue were particularly popular with trick-or-treaters. Residents go all out with decorations, and last year one homeowner set up a projector to play scary movies on his lawn and on the exterior of his home.
Upper East Side
East 82nd Street from Third Avenue to Lexington Avenue will be blocked off for a Halloween party.
Upper West Side
West 69th Street between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West is known for rambunctious fun. Further uptown, West 78th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues will be open for trick-or-treating, and participating in the city’s open streets program. West 90th Street and West 95th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue are also supposed to be fun.
The Hall des Lumieres is hosting Halloween Children Craft Sessions on Sunday, Oct. 30, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Come in costumes, stay to decorate a pumpkin. Guests will also be able to view the entire Gustav Klimt: Gold in Motion exhibit. The event is not free; tickets start at $33 for grownups and $22.75 for kids.
Washington Square Park
On Friday, Oct. 28, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. head to Washington Square Park for a Halloween party. Guests can enjoy pumpkin painting, score temporary tattoos, and get artsy at a coloring station. On Halloween, NYU and CB2 are once again hosting their Annual Children’s Halloween Parade after a two-year hiatus. Families are invited for live performances, games, and treats. For the parade, meet at 3 p.m. at the arch in Washington Square. Activities will be held at LaGuardia Place.
This Queens neighborhood is known for being a great trick-or-treating spot. Last year, QNS, a news outlet covering Queens, singled out the house at 149th Street and 18th Avenue as being extremely spooky.
One local parent tells us that Sherman Street is particularly fun and known for impressive displays. A Reddit commenter advised getting there around 5 p.m. and noted that the neighborhood is “filled with happy families.”