Boo York City: Halloween for Kids


by Heather Liang, 10/16/2013

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Make New York City your Halloween haven this fall and enjoy kid-friendly events across the five boroughs. Though the holiday isn't until the very end of the month, the City is famous for celebrating all October long. Below is a grouping of some favorites, all of which are appropriate for the younger set. From the long-running Boo at the Zoo celebrations to other spookalicious events like Dia de los Muertos and Hansel and Gretel's Halloween Adventure, the City has it all. Read on for our picks of the creepiest, crawliest and eeriest Halloween happenings for kids.

Haunted Pumpkin Garden
New York Botanical Garden
Through October 31
The crowd-pleasing Haunted Pumpkin Garden is back at the New York Botanical Garden. Hundreds of intricately carved pumpkins are on display at the Everett Children's Adventure Garden, where Halloween Parades take place throughout the month. On weekends, kids can confront bugs, bats and other creatures in the garden.

Boo at the Zoo 
Bronx Zoo
Through November 3 (weekends)
Get into the Halloween spirit with Bronx Zoo's Boo at the Zoo. Enjoy family and kids' activities, including magic shows, scary stories, costume parades, a hay maze, pumpkin painting and more. Kids can also get an up-close look at all the creepy critters on display. 

Monster Mash 
Brooklyn Children's Museum
October 25–26
Come to the Brooklyn Children's Museum for a kid-friendly Halloween bash. Take part in a costume parade, a DJ dance party, not-too-scary storytelling sessions and much more. This event is appropriate for all ages, and children are encouraged to arrive in their Halloween finest.

Halloween Haunted Walk & Carnival 
Prospect Park
October 26
Prospect Park's Lookout Hill is the site for one of City's most haunted Halloween scenes. Prepare for all sorts of monsters—headless horsemen, ghosts, zombies and the rest of the gang—at this delightfully spooky Brooklyn trail. Meanwhile, carnival games and various tricks and treats take place on the sprawling Nethermead meadow.

Boo at the Zoo
Prospect Park Zoo
October 26–27
For two days, Prospect Park Zoo celebrates Halloween with bats, baboons and various live-animal encounters. This kid-oriented Halloween event also offers arts and crafts, face painting and the opportunity to watch zoo critters gobble down Halloween food. Don't be afraid to dress the part: the event ends with a costume parade and dance party.

Hansel and Gretel's Halloween Adventure
The Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre
Through November 2
Created specifically for Central Park's Marionette Theatre, Hansel and Gretel's Halloween Adventure begins with the children safe at home. They have vivid dreams—with Belvedere Castle and the park in starring roles—that set the scene for an NYC Halloween adventure in which the duo encounter mermaids, monsters, pirates and vampires. 

Dia de los Muertos 
El Museo del Barrio
October 19
El Museo del Barrio celebrates Halloween with Dia de los Muertos (the "Day of the Dead"), a 3,000-year-old Mexican holiday in which living family members celebrate and pray for those who have passed on. El Museo encourages participants to add their own offerings to its altar; face painting, storytelling, dance performances and a lively procession will also take place. 

Halloween Celebration 
American Museum of Natural History
October 31
The museum's halls remain open until 7pm for trick-or-treating, crafts, live performances and cartoon encounters. Characters such as Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog will be on hand, as will circus acts and kid-oriented musicians.    

Amazing Maize Maze 
Queens County Farm Museum
Through October 27 (weekends)  
One of New York's hidden treasures, the Queens County Farm Museum is the five boroughs' only honest-to-goodness working farm—a welcome refuge of agrarian bliss tucked away in our vast metropolis. The farm's annual Amazing Maize Maze finds kids of all ages making their way through a three-acre cornstalk labyrinth. (It's like The Shining, but dread-free!) Kids can also pick pumpkins at the Pumpkin Patch.

Halloween Harvest Festival
Socrates Sculpture Park 
October 19
Outdoor arts space Socrates Sculpture Park hosts its seasonal artistic celebration. Prep for Halloween by crafting a costume alongside the park's artists, listen to music and enjoy seasonal foods from The Queens Kickshaw. Face painting and a canine costume contest are also on the agenda.

Boo at the Zoo

Queens Zoo
October 26–27
Go trick-or-treating at treat stations around Queens Zoo at its Halloween celebration. Create your own crafts, get close with the animals, pick a pumpkin, get your face painted and enjoy a "haunted habitat" in the zoo's seasonally decorated Wild Room. Kids in costume get in free!

Staten Island
Halloween Extravaganza 
Conference House Museum
October 19
The Conference House Association invites you to Staten Island for its Halloween Extravaganza, featuring a costume parade, magician, haunted kitchen, hay rides, face painting and many other activities. Admission is $10 per child and the event runs noon–4pm.

Halloween in Richmond Town 
Historic Richmond Town
October 25
Add some period style to Halloween at Historic Richmond Town. The usual fun—crafts, games, costumes and some friendly ghouls and ghosts—is in store, in the confines of a colonial village that preserves hundreds of years of early American history. Reservations are required: call 718-351-1611 ext. 281. Kids can also pick pumpkins at Decker Farm on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October.

related venues/(9)

  1. 1
    New York Botanical Garden
    2900 Southern Blvd.
    Bronx – Bedford Park
    NY 10458
  2. 2
    Bronx Zoo
    2300 Southern Blvd.
    NY 10460
  3. 3
    El Museo del Barrio
    1230 Fifth Ave.
    Manhattan – East Harlem/El Barrio
    NY 10029
  1. 4
    Socrates Sculpture Park
    32-01 Sculpture Park at Broadway; mail: P.O. Box 6259
    Queens – Long Island City
    NY 11106
  2. 5
    Historic Richmond Town
    441 Clarke Ave.
    Staten Island – Richmond Town
    NY 10306
  3. 6
    Brooklyn Children's Museum
    145 Brooklyn Ave.
    Brooklyn – Crown Heights
    NY 11213
  1. 7
    Prospect Park
    95 Prospect Park West
    Multiple Locations
    NY 11215
  2. 8
    Queens Zoo
    53-51 111th St.
    Queens – Flushing
    NY 11368
  3. 9
    American Museum of Natural History
    Central Park West at 79th St.
    Manhattan – Upper West Side
    NY 10024

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