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The Best Places in New York to Celebrate Halloween

by Tayebah Malik
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As the crisp autumn air sweeps through the streets of New York, a sense of anticipation fills the hearts of its residents and visitors alike. Halloween events in New York are fast approaching, and the city is gearing up for a spooktacular season. 

What follows is a guide to the Best Places in New York to Celebrate Halloween, ranging from spooky attractions in NYC to family-friendly Halloween activities in New York, ensuring that everyone can embrace the magic of this spooky season.

New York City, with its vibrant energy and diverse neighbourhoods, transforms into a Halloween wonderland that caters to all tastes and ages. In this guide, we’ll take you on a thrilling journey through the best places to celebrate Halloween in New York

From iconic parades to haunted houses, pumpkin-lit lakes to bewitching botanical gardens, New York City offers a kaleidoscope of experiences to ensure your Halloween is nothing short of unforgettable. So, grab your costume, your sense of adventure, and prepare to immerse yourself in a world of ghouls, ghosts, and glorious festivities.

When Is Halloween In New York?

Halloween, the spookiest day of the year, is just around the corner in New York! Mark your calendars for October 31st, which conveniently falls on a Monday this year. But wait, you might be wondering, “A Monday? How can I fully embrace the spooky vibes when I’ve got work or school the next day?”


Fear not, dear Halloween enthusiast! New York City has you covered. While the official date is October 31st, the Halloween celebrations kick off in full swing the weekend before. In fact, you’ll find a delightful array of Halloween shenanigans scattered throughout the two weeks leading up to the big day. It’s like a giant Halloween sandwich of fun that stretches from mid-October to the grand finale on October 31st. So, get ready to unleash your inner ghoul and enjoy the extended Halloween festivities!

Best Places In New York To Celebrate Halloween

Now that you know where to find the best Halloween experiences in New York City, it’s time to pick your favourites and start planning your spooky adventures. 

Best neighbourhoods for Halloween in NYC ranging from the iconic Greenwich Village Parade to the heart-pounding thrills of Blood Manor, for every kind of enthusiast. So, put on your costume, grab your friends and family, and get ready for a Halloween in the Big Apple that you’ll never forget!

Greenwich Village Halloween Parade

No list of Halloween celebrations in New York City would be complete without mentioning the iconic Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. This annual event, which started in 1974, is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the true spirit of Halloween in the city.

Halloween parades in NYC typically feature thousands of participants dressed in elaborate costumes, including puppets, dancers, and musicians. The route winds through the historic streets of Greenwich Village, offering plenty of opportunities for spectators to soak in the creative and spooky atmosphere.


Pro Tip: If you plan to attend, make sure to come in costume – it’s an essential part of the experience! You can join the parade as a participant or simply enjoy the spectacle from the sidelines.

Sleepy Hollow

Just a short train ride from Manhattan, Sleepy Hollow is a legendary destination for Halloween enthusiasts, where you can experience spine-tingling haunted hayrides in New York. The town, made famous by Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” embraces its spooky reputation with open arms.

Visit Philipsburg Manor, a historic site that transforms into a haunted landscape during October. Take a lantern-lit tour through the cemetery where Irving himself is buried, or attend one of the many special events and performances held throughout the month.


Don’t forget to catch the annual Sleepy Hollow Halloween Parades in NYC, featuring elaborate floats, costumes, and a spectacular firework display over the Hudson River.

Manhattan House Museum

The Merchant’s House Museum has a rich history dating back to the 19th century, and it is believed to be haunted by the Tredwell family, who lived there for nearly a century. 


During the ghost tours in NYC, knowledgeable guides regale visitors with chilling tales of the Tredwells and the eerie occurrences that have been reported within the house over the years.

Bronx Zoo

When it comes to celebrating Halloween in the Bronx, the Bronx Zoo’s “Boo at the Zoo” is undoubtedly the best place to be. This family-friendly event features a Haunted Safari Adventure, a pumpkin-lit trail, live entertainment, and fantastic opportunities for picking out your favourite pumpkins at local pumpkin patches in New York.

It offers a unique blend of Halloween fun and wildlife exploration, making it the top destination for families looking to enjoy the holiday in the Bronx. 

With its diverse range of activities and the chance to experience the magic of Halloween amidst the zoo’s captivating animal exhibits, Boo at the Zoo is unforgettable among the Best Places in New York to Celebrate Halloween.

Central Park Pumpkin Flotilla

If you’re looking for a family-friendly Halloween celebration in the heart of Manhattan, the Central Park Pumpkin Flotilla is the perfect choice. This enchanting event takes place at the Harlem Meer, where you can carve your own pumpkin and watch it set sail on the water.

The Pumpkin Flotilla is a beloved tradition that attracts both locals and tourists. Families gather to enjoy live music, storytelling, and, of course, the magical sight of hundreds of lit pumpkins floating on the water. It’s a delightful way to celebrate Halloween with children of all ages.


American Museum of Natural History

The American Museum of Natural History is renowned for its captivating exhibits and educational experiences, and during Halloween, it transforms into a unique and exciting celebration. Visitors of all ages can enjoy a special Halloween event that blends science with spookiness. 

From fascinating exhibitions about creatures of the night to hands-on activities and even a Halloween-themed dance party, the museum offers a wide range of activities that entertain and educate. 

It’s a fantastic way for families and individuals alike to embrace the spirit of Halloween while exploring the wonders of the natural world in the heart of New York City.

Ghoul and Gourds

“Ghouls and Gourds” at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a uniquely enchanting Halloween celebration in the heart of New York City. This family-friendly event, typically held in late October, combines the beauty of the botanical garden with the spirit of Halloween. 

Visitors of all ages can enjoy pumpkin decorating, imaginative costumes, live performances, and botanical wonders amidst the stunning fall foliage. 


It’s a delightful way to immerse yourself in the Halloween spirit while surrounded by the wonders of nature in this urban oasis.

Blood Manor

For those seeking haunted houses in New York, for a truly terrifying Halloween experience. Blood Manor stands as premier haunted house attractio. Located in the heart of Manhattan, this immersive experience will test your nerves and leave you screaming for more.

Blood Manor features a series of themed rooms and corridors filled with gruesome creatures, special effects, and jump scares that will keep you on edge throughout your visit. While it’s not recommended for the faint of heart, it’s a must-visit for thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline rush.

Horseman’s Hollow

Another fantastic Halloween attraction in Sleepy Hollow is Horseman’s Hollow. This haunted house experience takes you deep into the heart of Ichabod Crane’s terrifying nightmare.

Set in the historic Philipsburg Manor, Horseman’s Hollow brings to life the legends of Sleepy Hollow with a cast of actors, special effects, and intricate sets. As you journey through the dark woods and encounter the Headless Horseman and other eerie characters, you’ll experience Halloween like never before.

Village Halloween Costume Ball

If you’re in the mood for a more glamorous and artistic Halloween celebration, the Village Halloween Costume Ball at Theater for the New City is a dazzling event to attend. This annual gathering brings together New Yorkers from all walks of life for a night of creativity and performance.

Dress in your most elaborate and imaginative costume, and join the festivities, which include live music, dance performances, and a costume competition. It’s a chance to see and be seen while revelling in the Halloween spirit.

Top Things To Do For a Halloween in the Big Apple

As you embark on your Halloween journey in the Big Apple, dive into the world of creative costume crafting, channel your inner artist through pumpkin carving, explore professionally designed haunted houses for spine-tingling thrills, and settle in for a spooky movie marathon. 

And don’t forget to indulge your sweet tooth with Halloween baking and send shivers down spines with bone-chilling ghost stories. Embrace the spirit of Halloween, make memories, and let the enchantment of this season fill your heart with joy and excitement.

Creative Costume Crafting

Dive headfirst into the enchanting world of costume crafting for Halloween activities for kids in New York, where every detail matters. Start by perusing fabric stores, hunting for the ideal textures and colours that will bring your DIY Halloween costume ideas to life.


With needle and thread in hand, immerse yourself in the intricate process of sewing, carefully stitching together each piece to ensure a flawless fit. 

Accessorising becomes an art form as you search for just the right embellishments, from whimsical hats and sparkling jewellery to dramatic makeup and hair styling. 

Pumpkin Carving

Gather loved ones around a well-lit table, provide a range of intricate carving tools, and select pumpkins of various sizes and shapes to create spooky, humorous, or intricate artistic creations through pumpkin carving.

Haunted House Exploration

Brace yourself for heart-pounding encounters as you navigate through dimly lit, winding corridors filled with eerie sounds and unexpected scares in a professionally designed haunted attraction.

Spooky Movie Marathon

Dim the lights, pop some popcorn, and select a lineup of horror classics for scary movie screenings in New York, from Hitchcock’s suspenseful masterpieces to modern supernatural thrillers, creating an atmospheric cinematic experience.”

Halloween Baking

Whip up a batch of sugar cookies in the shape of ghosts and ghouls, decorating them with meticulously piped frosting details and sprinkles for a deliciously spooky treat.


Once your ghostly sugar cookies are ready, share them with friends and family while relishing in the delightfully eerie atmosphere of Halloween.

Apple Boobing

Apple Bobbing is a time-honoured Halloween game that involves participants trying to grasp apples with their teeth as they float in a tub of water, often without using their hands.

It’s a festive and often challenging activity that adds a touch of traditional fun to Halloween gatherings. New York Halloween traditions

Witchcraft and Superstitions:

Witchcraft and superstitions have long been entwined with New York Halloween traditions. Some revellers delve into activities like crafting potions, consulting tarot cards, or exploring divination methods. 


Superstitions, like avoiding black cats or walking under ladders, add an extra layer of mystique to the Halloween experience, as people embrace the supernatural and unknown.

Ghost Storytelling

Gather around a flickering candle or a roaring fire, letting the crackling flames set the mood as you share bone-chilling ghost stories, pausing for dramatic effect to send shivers down spines. 

Imagine the shadows dancing on the walls, the eerie creaks of an old house, and the hushed whispers of spectral tales, creating an atmosphere that transports you to the heart of a ghostly mystery.  

Horror-themed bars and restaurants in NYC: Satisfy Your Spooky Appetite

Are you brave enough to dine in the midst of monsters and mad scientists at the Jekyll and Hyde Club, or does a menu inspired by ‘The Shining’ at The Cannibal Liquor House pique your curiosity? 

Explore horror-themed bars and restaurants in NYC for a spine-tingling culinary journey like no other. Which eerie dining adventure will you embark on first?”

Immerse yourself in a macabre world of monsters, mad scientists, and interactive dining. This iconic establishment offers a thrilling dining experience.


Here costumed staff interact with diners, haunted animatronics surprise you at every turn, and you can even enjoy their secret laboratory room for more eerie excitement.

This monk-themed bar offers a hushed atmosphere, where talking too loudly is forbidden, adding an eerie and unique twist to your night out. 


As you savour your brews in near silence, you’ll find that the subdued atmosphere adds an uncanny charm to your visit, making it a perfect spot for those seeking an unusual and atmospheric experience.

Manhattan, among the Best Places in New York to Celebrate Halloween offers the “Dead Rabbit,” a renowned Irish bar in Lower Manhattan, is famed for its exquisite craft cocktails, offering a menu that’s a masterpiece of mixology. Step inside and savor a unique blend of history, ambiance, and an exceptional selection of drinks.

Golden Nugget! During Halloween, this treasured Irish bar in Lower Manhattan turns into an enchanting, haunted haven, hosting legendary costume contests in the heart of NYC.

Step into a magical realm inspired by wizards and witches, where your cocktails are concocted with a hint of sorcery. 


This immersive bar experience combines mixology with a dash of fantasy, allowing you to become a part of your drink’s creation process, making it an enchanting destination for fantasy and magic enthusiasts.

A Wrap Up

In the heart of New York City, as the shadows grow longer and the moonlight casts an eerie glow over its iconic skyline, Halloween parties in NYC and other festivities come to life like nowhere else on Earth.. Whether you’re a devoted fan of spine-tingling haunted houses, a family seeking enchanting adventures, an art enthusiast yearning for a touch of glamour, or simply someone who revels in crafting the perfect costume, the Big Apple has something special in store for you. 

The celebration stretches from the historic streets of Greenwich Village to the mysterious depths of Sleepy Hollow, from the botanical wonders of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to the spine-chilling thrills of Blood Manor. These are the Best Places in New York to Celebrate Halloween, embrace the magic, feel the shivers run down your spine, and create memories that will linger long after the last jack-o’-lantern flickers out.

Happy Halloween, and may your adventures in the Big Apple be filled with the most delightful and hair-raising surprises!

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