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 go door to door, “scare” people and call out “Trick or Treat!”
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 16 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 NYC
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 starts 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!
Spend the evening in one of the halloween themed bars
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 NYC
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 City
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.
What can adults do for Halloween? Enjoy a spooky broadway show!
Besides everything that I just mentioned above, there are a couple of other great things to do for adults during Halloween in New York. If you’re into Broadway Shows, the spookiest one is Phantom of the Opera. It’s also the longest playing show on Broadway and an absolute classic.
Another great thing to do for adults during Halloween in New York: Catacombs by Candelight
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 NYC
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.
Things to Do in Brooklyn during Halloween: Come To Dumboween’s March To The Arch
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.
Attention: This halloween event in NYC hasn’t been officially announced, yet.
Go Pumpkin Picking At Decker Farm
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 Park
Harlem & Washington Heights
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.
Take The Little Ones To A Kids Halloween Concert
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.
Amazing Pumpkin Sculptures and Displays at The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze
Outside of New York City
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 Park
Outside of New York City
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 History
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 Broadway
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.
Trolley Through Brooklyn’s Dark History
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 History
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 👇
Frequently Asked Questions About Halloween in New York
Is NYC having a Halloween Parade in 2022?
Yes, the Village Halloween Parade will be taking place on Monday, October 31st, 2022. 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?
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.