Staycation Guides: Halloween in NYC staff

As New York City moves along the road to recovery, more shops, restaurants, attractions and hotels—at limited capacity, with new health and safety protocols in place—are opening up. Locals and visitors can help support them and in doing so remind themselves what makes NYC the most exciting destination in the world. In this edition, we explore things to do across NYC this fall, paying special attention to activities for Halloween. (For more on how the five boroughs are celebrating the spookiest time of year, see our Halloween roundup.) Wherever in the boroughs you may decide to go, make sure to follow the guidelines from the Stay Well NYC Pledge and check each individual business’ own rules.

Bronx Zoo's Boo at the Zoo. Photo: Julie Larsen Maher

The Bronx

The Bronx Zoo’sBoo at the Zoo returns, ready for visitors to show off their spookiest costumes. Featuring Halloween-themed activities for the entire family to enjoy, the ongoing event includes mind reading, a costume MASKerade, candy trail, scavenger hunt and more. The event runs Thursdays through Sundays until November 1.

Pumpkin Path. Courtesy, New York Botanical Garden

Visitors to the New York Botanical Garden canexplore the Great Pumpkin Path. Be on the lookout for scarecrows lurking throughout and, come October 24, some of the largest pumpkins on the planet. (Certain specimens weigh as much as 2,000 pounds.) For a fun weekend activity for children, stop by Hello Harvest! in the Edible Academy where young ones can learn all about fall harvesting, participate in a scavenger hunt and even take seeds home with them to plant. Visitors can also enjoy vibrant autumn foliage in the attraction’s Thain Family Forest. Guests can save 20% on Garden Pass tickets through All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways.

Green-Wood Cemetery. Photo: Tagger Yancey IV


National Historic Landmark Green-Wood Cemetery celebrates El Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead) with a large-scale altar designed by Dominican painter Scherezade Garcia. From October 23 through November 1, visitors can bring personal offerings to place at a community altar inspired by this centuries-old tribute to the departed.

Courtesy, The William Vale

Enjoy screenings of cult classics and new films at Experiences in Vale Park outside The William Vale Hotel in Williamsburg. Movies on offer include Pan’s Labyrinth on October 22, Kindred on October 28 and The Rocky Horror Picture Show on October 29. Vale Park will also be home to a family pumpkin patch on October 18 and 25, and visitors can make it a staycation at the hotel with a 40% discount on rooms through All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways.

Beat the Bomb, an immersive video game experience in Downtown Brooklyn featuring the World’s Largest Paint Bomb, will be hosting a special Halloween Edition experience with some extra spooky surprises from October 22 through November 1.

116 Waverly Place, Greenwich Village, where Edgar Allan Poe reportedly first read "The Raven." Photo: Molly Flores


On the NYC Ghosts tour of Greenwich Village, visit some of the City’s most haunted houses, including Mark Twain’s House of Death and Edgar Allan Poe’s former residence.

Museum of Ice Cream. Photo: Figure 8

In Soho, meanwhile, the Museum of Ice Cream is celebrating Halloween with a Trick or Sweet experience, where for an additional $10, visitors can come in costume and receive candies, prizes and merchandise. “Trick or Sweet” runs October 29 to 31.


Courtesy, Arlo SoHo

For hotel options downtown, try the Arlo SoHo, which provides hotel guests with a boutique open-air experience in The Courtyard, offering a unique oasis and cedar cabins that are heated for colder days and ideal for enjoying an autumn dinner outdoors. Or take advantage of Wine Down at the Walker Hotel Greenwich Village, part of All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways, and receive a complimentary bottle of wine per stay.

For an interactive theatrical experience, Tour Noir takes visitors to landmarks in Lower Manhattan to solve a mystery of a man’s disappearance. The tours begin daily at 1pm. Guests can enjoy a 20% discount on a Tour Noir experience through All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways.

Uptown in Washington Heights, Morris-Jumel Mansion is rumored to be home to the spirit of Eliza Jumel, second wife of Vice President Aaron Burr. Paranormal Historical Investigations at the historic home are open to the public, ages 18 and older, on October 23, November 7 and 14.

On October 30 and 31, Madame Tussauds New York in Times Square is offering free admission with purchase of a full-price ticket to kids 14 and under. From noon to 3pm each day, employees will award prizes for the best costumes and distribute candy.

Also in Midtown, ExperienceFirst offers Haunted Broadway: A Halloween Pop-Up Event. Led by theater professionals, this tour walking showcases some of the spooky legends of the Theater District. A family-friendly version runs during the day, while adults will want to sign up for the more mature version at night.

After the tour, guests can make a night of it and retire to nearby accommodations at Le Méridien New York, Central Park, which offers fall foliage views.

Escape Virtuality features a Halloween-themed virtual reality escape room called Ghost Collector, where guests save Manhattan from being overtaken by evil spirits.

The Amazing Maize Maze. Courtesy, Queens County Farm Museum


Queens Botanical Garden hosts its annual Halloween at the Garden on October 31. Kids can show off their Halloween costumes as they walk along the trick-or-treat trail and enjoy multiple performances. The pumpkin patch at the attraction also will be open the weekend of October 24–25, as well as on Halloween.


Queens County Farm Museum has a full lineup of autumn activities through the end of October, including the only corn maze in NYC, weekend hayrides and a Halloween celebration on October 31.

Photo: Maike Schulz

The Queens Drive-In hosts a series of scary movies the week leading up to Halloween that include Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and The Birds on October 24; Nosferatu (with live music by the Flushing Remonstrance) and Young Frankenstein on October 25; Get Out and The Babadook on October 29; Halloween and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on October 30; and Little Shop of Horrors and Beetlejuice on October 31. Tickets start at $45 for the double features; organizers encourage purchasing tickets in advance.

Enjoy an overnight staycation in Queens at the Boro Hotel in Long Island City and savor the autumn weather on the rooftop with stunning views of Manhattan. The hotel is offering a Cheers to NYC Package through All In NYC: Neighborhood Getaways, where each guest receives a complimentary cocktail and 2pm late checkout.

Historic Richmond Town. Photo: Jen Davis

Staten Island

Historic Richmond Town celebrates its annual Old Home Day on Sunday, October 18, from 11am–5pm. Expect family-friendly activities including historic trades demonstrations, music, food and crafts. The 100-acre historic village is also home to Decker Farm, which offers pumpkin picking until October 31.

Spooktacular returns to the Staten Island Zoo, offering patrons the opportunity to meet princesses and villains, sing songs and enjoy performances. For the outdoor-only event, the zoo encourages families of all ages to dress in their favorite costume. Spooktacular 2020 takes place October 23–25 from 6–9:30pm.

Spend the night with accommodations at the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island, nestled within 415 acres of protected woodland, providing plenty of opportunity for leaf-peeping in NYC this fall.