Halloween in New York, the original Celtic custom is always celebrated on the last day of October. Every year in October, countless children in their favorite costumes go out on the streets of NYC and go door to door, “scare” people and call out “Trick or Treat!”
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But, there’s way more than just children running around when it comes to Halloween in New York. NYC is adorned with pumpkin head lanterns, house entrances are decorated to the point where it looks like it’s from a horror movie and there are lots of crazy events and parades. In this article, we’ll let you know where to celebrate Halloween, where you can buy the craziest costumes and where you can watch the annual Halloween Village Parade.
The 28 Best Things To Do During Halloween in NYC
There’s a lot of things going on during Halloween in New York and these are just some of our favorites:
Be part of the world famous Halloween Parade in NYCParade in West VillageAdd to myNY added
The main event for Halloween in New York is New York’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade on October 31st. There are usually more than two million viewers. The parade was organized in 1973 and about 50,000 participants in costumes and bands ensure an unforgettable experience through the streets of New York. This is our number one tip in case you were wondering what can adults do for Halloween in New York.
The parade takes place at 6:30 PM on 6th Avenue and Spring Street. The actual start of the parade is at 7 PM. If you want to have a good view of the spectacle, you should come early and secure a place along the route. The Village Halloween Parade ends north of 6th Avenue and 16th Street. Please note that many roads are closed during the parade and subways will be crowded.
It is very much worthwhile to watch this parade, especially if it’s your first time experiencing New York City. The creativity of the participants is limitless!
Halloween HouseOther Events in Financial DistrictAdd to myNY added
Halloween House at Oculus is the #1 Halloween attraction in New York! It’s a Halloween experience for all ages – and it’s completely scare-free. There won’t be any actors or jump scares. Halloween House is all about giving visitors an unforgettable experience. Each room is authentically decorated in a different Halloween theme.
- Friday, September 29 – Wednesday, November 1, 2023
- The Oculus – 185 Greenwich St
Celebrate on a Boat at the Pirates of the Caribbean Halloween Sunset CruiseCruise in West VillageAdd to myNY added
Get ready to embark on a swashbuckling Halloween adventure like no other as you set sail on a spine-chilling Sunset cruise through the waters of Manhattan. This spook-tacular journey will have you encountering ghostly apparitions, ghastly spirits, and even becoming a notorious pirate yourself. Join the party on October 28 at Pier 40 Hornblower Cruises & Events from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. for an evening of high-sea frights and fun. Remember, you must be 21+ with a valid ID to board this haunted ship. You’ll be grooving to the beats of Hip Hop, RnB, Afrobeats, and more! Don’t miss out on the Pirates of the Caribbean Halloween Cruise in New York—get your tickets now and prepare for an unforgettable voyage!
Spend the evening in one of the halloween themed barsBar in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
We’re here to make sure you ghouls and gals have the best possible time, so we’ve put together our favorite Halloween bars in NYC. So check out our guide to the best Halloween Bars NYC.
Have Dinner in a spooky Halloween Theme Restaurant in NYCAmerican Restaurant in Hell's KitchenAdd to myNY added
Looking to have yourself a scary, sit-down dinner for Halloween in NYC? Then get ready to dig in, because there are a bunch of deliciously demented Halloween theme restaurants in New York City.
My tip: here you find my list of my favorite Halloween Themed Restaurants in NYC.
Ghost Tours in New York CityWalking Tour in Greenwich VillageAdd to myNY added
This is for you aspiring ghost hunters. Make sure to check out the “Ghosts of Greenwich Village.” This tour is one of the best ghost tours in New York City. It’s a very nice introduction to get you ready for Halloween in New York and at the same time, you’ll take a trip into the spooky past of the city.
You will be guided on this tour mainly in Greenwich Village and experience scary, historical backgrounds of the area. Discover NYC’s dark side. Here are a few other great tours to do during Halloween in NYC.
Visit Bronx Zoo for Boo at the ZooOther Events in BronxAdd to myNY added
Family-friendly Halloween tradition at the Bronx Zoo – visit the zoo in your best Halloween costume! Boo at the Zoo is perfect for anyone who wants to give their kids a special Halloween experience. Listen to scary stories, marvel at the costume parade or be enchanted by a magician. You can also check out countless professionally carved pumpkins on the pumpkin trail or participate in exciting Halloween games.
- Saturdays & Sundays; September 30 through October 29, including Monday, October 9 (Columbus Day)
Pumpkin Nights at Bronx ZooOther Events in BronxAdd to myNY added
While Boo at the Zoo is practically a Halloween tradition at the Bronx Zoo, Pumpkin Nights are a brand new event. On select evenings this fall, you can follow a lighted lantern path at the zoo and learn about animal behavior in the dark. Over 5000 lighted pumpkins create a festive Halloween atmosphere for the whole family. You can watch pumpkin carvers create stunning animal images or enjoy some treats at local food trucks.
- Thursdays-Sundays, September 28 – October 29 | 6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Enjoy the Halloween LED animations of the Empire State BuildingBuilding in Midtown ManhattanAdd to myNY added
The Empire State Building will also be decorated in typical Halloween colors. The tower lights will be lit up in various red-purple-and-pink colors to celebrate Halloween. In addition, there will be LED lighting effects with witches, pumpkins and ghosts – so once again it’s worth watching this beautiful building after dark.
Another great thing to do for adults during Halloween in New York: Catacombs by CandelightWalking Tour in NolitaAdd to myNY added
Also, did you know you could go into the catacombs of the St. Patrick’s Cathedral? During the New York Catacombs by Candelight tour, you’ll go behind-the-scenes at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral and see parts of the church that are otherwise off-limits to visitors.
Enjoy Beautiful Halloween Decorations in NYCOther Events in West VillageAdd to myNY added
As Halloween is fast approaching, New Yorkers will soon begin decorating their houses, apartment buildings, and brownstones into spooktacular works of art. From spider webs and skeletons to ghosts, graveyards, and other frightful things, New York does not disappoint with scary decor.
My tip: here you find the best Halloween Decorations in NYC.
Visit the Grand Spooky Bazaar (Halloween, October 29, 2023)Christmas Market in Upper West SideAdd to myNY added
During Halloween, Grand Bazaar hosts a very special version of its iconic flea market – called Spooky Bazaar. The curated market takes place on Sunday, October 29, 2023. Anyone interested in furniture, vintage clothing, jewelry, and crafts will feel like they are in a Yuletide paradise here. Each week, the bazaar features a variety of merchants on rotation, offering tchotchkes, antiques, and delicious local cuisine. Be sure to come hungry!
Things to Do in Brooklyn during Halloween: Come To Dumboween’s March To The ArchOther Events in DumboAdd to myNY added
Looking for somewhere to celebrate Halloween in Brooklyn? Then come enjoy crafts, costume contests, live music, and candy as a part of the Dumboween March to the Arch. This Brooklyn Halloween parade starts on Washington Street and heads through DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park before ending up at the Dumbo Archway.
There, the Dumbo Archway Kids Party and the Neighborhood Trick or Treat will take place as kids (and kids of all ages) can enjoy a number of Halloween activities.
- Tuesday October 31, 2023 | 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Try pumpkin ice cream at the Museum of Ice CreamMuseum in SoHo
Go Pumpkin Picking At Decker FarmOther Attraction in Staten IslandAdd to myNY added
For one of the most traditional Halloween NYC activities, head out to Decker Farm in Historic Richmond Town, Staten Island.
Each year, Decker Farm does the Halloween season right with plenty of family-friendly activities. On October weekends, the farm offers hay rides, a corn maze, arts and crafts, face painting, and pumpkin picking. And at just a ferry ride away from Manhattan, adding this NYC Halloween stop is easy.
Pumpkin picking at Decker farm starts October 1st and goes through October 30th, 2022. Find out more information at the official site for Historic Richmond Town.
One of our favorite things to do on Halloween: See The Enchanting Pumpkin Flotilla at Central ParkOther Events in Harlem & Washington HeightsAdd to myNY added
Especially if you are celebrating Halloween in New York with kids, one of the best events for you to attend is the Pumpkin Flotilla in Central Park. Every year on the day before Halloween, Central Park offers lots of fun activities for kids, including pumpkin carving, spooky storytelling, and a Halloween Parade.
Here you find everything you need to know about the Annual Pumpkin Flotilla NYC.
Watch a spooky movie at Rooftop RedsOther Attraction in DumboOur HighlightAdd to myNY added
On a roof of the Brooklyn Navy Yards you can sit in a real winery: Rooftop Reds grows wine here, which you can taste and enjoy at their Rooftop Red Tours & Tastings!
In October you can watch movies with a view of the skyline and a glass of wine in your hand. So why not watch a spooky movie on Halloween here? Visit the official Rooftop Reds website for tickets & the full list of movies.
Some of the movies in October 2023:
- October 20: Hocus Pocus
- October 22: Bram Stroker’s Dracula
- October 26: The Ring
- October 27: Hocus Pocus
- October 31: Hocus Pocus
Take The Little Ones To A Kids Halloween Concert on October 28, 2023Other Events in Downtown BrooklynAdd to myNY added
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly show to take the kids to on Halloween weekend in NYC, this Mozart for Munchkins Kids Halloween Concert is a delightful option.
Themed for the holidays, this event features world-class musicians playing through both a classical repertoire with some more modern tunes mixed in. This relaxed, engaging environment also allows kids to wander, sing, and dance along to the music, so be sure to get them dressed up so they can enjoy the event to the fullest!
To get your tickets for the event, head to the official event page for the Kids Halloween Concert.
Enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Cocktail at Loreley Beer GardenBar in Lower East SideAdd to myNY added
From Oct. 18 to 31, you can expect an outdoor, autumn-decorated, and heated beer garden with no admission charge. Starting Oct. 1, specials include Halloween cocktails, hollowed-out pumpkin kegs of Southern Tier Pumking beer, Pumpkin Spice cocktails, hot bourbon cider and German mulled wine, seasonal craft ciders and cider cocktails, and a rotating list of Oktoberfest craft beers and Oktoberfest specials. Pumpkin barrels are available every day of the week, and the beer garden is open weekdays from 5 p.m. and weekends from noon.
Visit Color Factory's Haunted HuesMuseum in SoHoAdd to myNY added
The Color Factory New York is a museum where all ages can embark on an interactive journey through 14 colorful art exhibits. From the bright yellow of New York’s famous cabs to the creamy brown of a delicious street pretzel, the Color Factory celebrates the city’s vibrant colors.
There’s a little surprise for visitors each time they visit, and you can take great photos in the diverse exhibits. All of this was developed by local and international artists and collaborators.
- From September 14 to November 1 you can visit the exhibition “Color Factory’s Haunted Hues”. For tickets, visit the official website of the Color Factory.
Amazing Pumpkin Sculptures and Displays at The Great Jack O’Lantern BlazeOther Events in Outside of New York CityAdd to myNY added
Taking a stroll through the NYC boroughs to see the carved pumpkins is a tradition. But if you want to see something truly impressive, it’s worth making the short trip out to either Long Island or Hudson Valley for the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze.
Featuring thousands of hand-carved pumpkins alongside impressive displays, the Blaze is a great all-ages event. Though some elements can be considered spooky, families can rest assured that there aren’t any shocking or scary elements.
For more information on the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze and to reserve your tickets, check out the Pumpkin Blaze website.
Get Your Scream On At The Bayville Scream ParkPark in Outside of New York CityAdd to myNY added
For some of us, Halloween is as much about the screams and scares as it is about the costumes and candy. If that sounds like you, you should head straight for the Bayville Scream Park. Featuring six themed haunted houses, including the Bloodworth Haunted Mansion, the Bayville Haunted Asylum, and Uncle Needle’s Funhouse of Fear, you’ve got plenty of ways to scare yourself silly.
Plus, it’s open on the weekends and most days throughout the week so you can schedule your scares accordingly. Get up-to-date information and buy your tickets at the Bayville Scream Park’s official website.
Learn About New York’s Haunted HistoryWalking Tour in Greenwich VillageAdd to myNY added
As one of America’s oldest cities, New York has plenty of history. It won’t surprise you, then, that much of it could be considered… haunted! Experience the spooky side of New York City as NYC Ghost Tours explores up to 12 of the city’s most haunted spots. Learn the hidden history that’ll make your NYC Halloween hauntingly unforgettable.
They currently offer both a 60-minute tour that includes 8 stops over a mile and an extended tour with 12 total stops over a mile and a half through Greenwich Village.
Learn About The Ghosts Of BroadwayWalking Tour in Theatre DistrictAdd to myNY added
No trip to NYC for Halloween is complete without a stop by Broadway. If you’re looking for a unique way to experience this legendary part of New York, you’ve got to try out the Broadway Up Close Ghostlight Tour.
Inspired by the ghost light superstition, which is a single bulb left on whenever a theater is left dark, this haunted Broadway tour reveals stories of the spirits still lurking with exclusive backstage tours, actual documents from the past, and gripping stories. Stops include the Empire Theatre, the Lyric Theatre, the Palace Theatre, and several more.
Book your own Ghostlight Tour through the official website.
Monster: A Halloween Party at McKittrick HotelOther Events in ChelseaAdd to myNY added
Monster: A Halloween Party is an event for those who like to dress up on Halloween and let loose on the dance floor. Discover the monster in you and get dressed up in your best costume or show your inner darkness by dressing completely in black. The party is for ages 21 and up.
- October 27,28 & 31, 2023.
- McKittrick Hotel | 530 W 27th St.
Trolley Through Brooklyn’s Dark HistoryOther Tours in WilliamsburgAdd to myNY added
Halloween wouldn’t be complete without a little haunted history of your favorite borough. If you’ll be staying in Brooklyn or stopping by the hip area during Halloween weekend, consider Madame Morbid’s Trolley Tour.
During your 90-minute tour, you’ll learn about 400 years of Brooklyn’s sordid past, including mob murders, alien abductions, and more before visiting hidden cemeteries and unmarked graves.
For more on the dark side of Brooklyn, book your Madame Morbid History Trolley Tour here 👇
Live New York’s Macabre Dark HistoryOther Tours in East VillageAdd to myNY added
If you’re looking for a classic New York ghost tour, look no further. Boroughs of the Dead offers a wide selection of the spookiest NYC history tours.
For a taste of terror in Manhattan, they offer haunted history of the East & West Village Ghosts and the Forgotten Dark Histories of Lower Manhattan. In Brooklyn, let yourself be spooked by the Spiritualists of Green-Wood Cemetery and Haunted Brooklyn Heights.
Interested in the dark underbellies of Queens and Roosevelt Island? They have their histories covered, too. Check out Boroughs of the Dead’s current offerings and book your tours here 👇
Have you ever seen a Halloween Dog Parade?Parade in Alphabet CityAdd to myNY added
Every October, New York City hosts the famous Village Halloween Parade – I’m sure you’ve heard of it. But besides this traditional parade with people in costumes, New York City also has a a slightly more unusual parade to offer: the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade!
Yes, that’s right – a parade where dogs in creative and partially very extravagant costumes compete for prizes and thrill the spectators. Don’t miss this free Halloween spectacle.
- Saturday, October 21, 2023 | from 12:00 p.m.
Frequently Asked Questions About Halloween in New York
Is NYC having a Halloween Parade in 2023?
Yes, the famous Village Halloween Parade will be taking place on Tuesday, October 31st, 2023. It begins at 7pm.
What is the weather like in New York for Halloween?
Halloween weather in New York usually finds the city a bit cooler. Temperatures average a high of 64F (18 C) during the day and a low of 50F (10 C) during the night. While it’s still advisable to check the weather before your arrival for Halloween weekend in NYC, it is normally pleasant to spend time outside.
Is it possible to trick-or-treat in NYC on Halloween?
Yes! If you are traveling with little ones and you would like to experience trick or treating in the Big Apple, you can. One of the best ways to do that is look up the park nearby where you’re staying at the NYCGovParks website to see what Halloween events they are hosting.
Another possibility is to search “trick or treat” and the neighborhood you’re staying in to see family-friendly neighborhoods or zones.
Where to buy Halloween Costumes in New York?
Everyone will mostly be dressed up in different disguises. The best costumes can be found in the Abracadabra Superstore. The great thing is that you can borrow the costumes there as well. It’s perfect if you don’t want to keep a costume you bought or if you’re a last-minute visitor.
Address: 19 W 21st St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves) | Website
What are the lights on the Empire State Building during Halloween?
The Empire State Building is known to light up in different colors depending on what’s going on in the world. On October 31st the building delights New Yorkers with a Halloween LED show.
Will restaurants be open on Halloween in New York?
Yes, restaurants will be open on Halloween in New York. Though Halloween is a big celebration across the country, it is not a national holiday, meaning stores, businesses, and restaurants will continue to operate normally.
Do people dress up for Halloween in New York?
The main Halloween tradition is for children to dress up and go door-to-door asking for candy. Adults will often dress up for Halloween-specific events and parties, especially if Halloween falls on a weekend.
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I'm a true New York fan! Not only have I visited the city over 25 times but also have I spent several months here at a time. On my blog I show you the best and most beautiful spots of the city, so that you have a really good time! You can also find lots of insider tips in our New York travel guide. Also check out my hotel finder for New York!