Your Ultimate Guide to Free Family-Friendly Halloween Events in New York City (And Which Neighborhoods Are Most Kidtastic for Trick-or-Treating)

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October 19, 2018

Prospect Park’s Annual Haunted Walk & Fair (courtesy of Prospect Park Alliance)

The Village Halloween Parade, now in it’s 45th year, is legendary. But it’s not necessarily the most family-friendly event if you have young kids. Not only do the swollen crowds along Sixth Avenue make it hard for small children to see much, the parade doesn’t get started until 7 p.m. — which, frankly, can be late for little ones, especially on a Wednesday night.

Luckily, there’s no shortage of free neighborhood Halloween events — on the holiday and beforehand — focused on family fun in the coming days., a website that provides insights for every address in New York City, curated a list of kid-centric costume parades and other activities on streets, parks and community gardens.

The list spans the boroughs, from a Harvest Festival at Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City inspired by the Haitian Festival of the Ancestors to a Dia de Los Muertos event in Mott Haven’s St. Mary’s Park.  It includes major events, like Prospect Park’s famed Haunted Walk and Central Park’s Pumpkin Flotilla, as well as smaller scaled ones in community gardens of Harlem, Red Hook and Forest Hills.

On Halloween itself, a few neighborhoods stand out as particularly kidtastic when it comes to trick-or-treating in an urban environment.

In Brooklyn, the tight knit community of Cobble Hill has its longstanding tradition of a parade around Cobble Hill Park, and Bed-Stuy’s Stuyvesant Heights 15th annual haunted house crawl has grown even bigger. Park Slope attracts families from all over for its trick-or-treating as well as its parade that culminates in J.J. Byrne Park. The hippest events though are in Clinton Hill and Fort Greene: You can bring your best Michael Jackson moves to a “Thriller” dance party at Myrtle Avenue Plaza and Brooklyn Academy of Music’s BAMboo! brings out the artsy side of the holiday.

Manhattan’s children’s parade in Washington Square Park offers a family-friendly alternative to the big event, but the most special local Halloween events are block parties. Sure there’s one in Carnegie Hill, but the Upper West Side takes the cake, with four block parties on Halloween, showing off the community spirit of the neighborhood. Plus, there’s the annual Halloween parade and party at Hippo Playground at the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at 89th Street and Riverside Drive.

In Queens, families in Long Island City are following suit, with a block party in this growing neighborhood. Astoria also has a community trick-or-treat event at a local playground.

And in the Bronx, Norwood families come out to the Williamsbridge Oval for a big party. has an “Insight Engine,” created by data scientists and urban planners, that includes information about streets, parks and community gardens near every address. The Insight Engine even tells you which areas are most popular for block parties. If you want to stay posted on things happening near you, click “update me” on your address.

Here’s a roundup of free family-friendly Halloween events:

Saturday, Oct. 20


Red Hook Harvest Festival
Where: Red Hook Community Farm, Red Hook
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Join the fun with food, DJs and pumpkin carving. Come in costume.

Harvest Hang at the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Where: Building 77, 141 Flushing Ave., Navy Yard
Time: noon to 3 p.m.
Pumpkin picking, costume-making and crafts for kids ages 5 to 12.


Halloween Festival at Juniper Valley Park
Where: 80th Street entrance of park, Middle Village
Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
A pumpkin patch, face painting, bouncy houses and more at this local event.

Sunday, Oct. 21


Halloween Howl
Where: Carl Schurz Park, Upper East Side
Time: noon to 3 p.m.
More than 200 dogs are expected to show off their costumes.

Hudson River Park’s Fall Fest 2018
Where: Pier 25, TriBeCa
Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Put on your Halloween costume, paint a pumpkin and watch a magic show.


Astoria Halloween Parade
Where: Ditmars Boulevard and 31st Avenue, Astoria
Time: noon
This popular community event started as a small scale affair started by a group of moms 13 years ago.

Third Annual “Batty Over Halloween” Celebration
Where: Astoria Park, Astoria
Time: 12:30-2:30 p.m.
Scavenger hunts, face painting and children’s performances.

Halloween Gathering at Project Eden Community Garden
Where: Yellowstone Boulevard and Kessel Street, Forest Hills
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Children 10 years old or younger are encouraged to come in costume.

Saturday, Oct. 27


Kids’ Halloween Parade at Industry City
Where: 51 35th Street, Sunset Park
Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to the parade, there’s a trick-or-treat scavenger hunt, pumpkin patches and mural painting.

13th Annual Halloween Party and Parade
Where: Mother Cabrini Park, President and Van Brunt Streets, Columbia Street Waterfront District
Time: Starts at 11 a.m.
Wear your costume and bring an instrument to this local parade.

UPDATE: CANCELED DUE TO WEATHER Prospect Park’s 39th Annual Haunted Halloween Walk and Fair
Where: Nethermead in Prospect Park, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens/Park Slope
Time: noon to 3 p.m.
This 38th annual event has a lot of family-friendly activities for all ages.

Brooklyn Boo! Prospect Park Afterparty
Where: CityPoint, 445 Albee Square, Downtown Brooklyn
Time: 2-5 p.m.
Music, face painting and “wicked” nail art are among the offerings.

Pitkin Avenue BID Halloween Parade and Harvest
Where: Pitkin Avenue between Strauss and Osborn streets, Ocean Hill-Brownsville
Time: Starts at noon
Costume contest, puppet show and pumpkin giveaway.

Halloween Parade at Thomas Greene Playground
Where: Third Avenue and Douglass Street, Gowanus
Time: 2 – 4 p.m.
A costume contest and pumpkin painting at this local event.


33rd Annual Halloween “Peace” Parade
Where: Simpson Street between East 163rd Street and Westchester Avenue, Longwood
Time: starts at noon
Prizes awarded for best costumes and candy for kids marching in this long-running South Bronx parade.

Arts, Culture & Fun: Dia De Los Muertos
Where: St. Mary’s Park, St. Ann’s Avenue and 147th Street, Mott Haven
Time: 12:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Dance performances, mariachi music, face painting and more at this event organized in partnership with the Mexican Coalition for the Empowerment of Youth and Partnership for Parks.


Halloween Festival at Harlem Grown Community Garden
Where: Harlem Grown, 34 W. 134th St., Harlem
Time: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Face painting, arts and crafts and a cooking demo with healthy treats.

Halloween Extravaganza
Where: Marcus Garvey Park, neary 124th Street and Mount Morris Park West, Harlem
Time: noon to 2 p.m.
Magic show, face painting, a costume parade and more.

Halloween Parade & Extravaganza
Where: Main Street, Roosevelt Island
Time: noon to 3 p.m.
The parade leads to a carnival with games, rides and food.

Halloween in the Harbor: Governors Island Pumpkin Patch and Trick-or-Treating
Where: Governors Island
Time: 1-3 p.m.
Families are encouraged to dress up while trick-or-treating at the historic houses in Nolan Park.

Second Annual Halloween Event
 2150 Broadway, at 76th Street, Upper West Side
Time: 1 – 4 p.m.
This event, presented by real estate firm Compass, will have face-painting and lots of goodies and prizes. Rain or shine.


Fort Totten Halloween Festival
Where: Fort Totten Park Parade Ground, Bayside
Time: noon to 3 p.m.
Family fun with hay rides, a pumpkin patch, relay races, costume contests and more.

Halloween Harvest Festival
Where: Socrates Sculpture Park, Long Island City
Time: noon to 4 p.m.
Event includes a doggie costume contest and a fet gede performance inspired by the Haitian Festival of Ancestors.

Howard Beach Kiwanis 32nd Annual Halloween Parade
Where: Cross Bay Boulevard, from 159th Street to 165th Avenue, Howard Beach
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Food, rides and more.

Creedmore Civic Association’s Halloween Parade
Where: Starts at Breininger Park, Braddock Avenue at 239th Street, Bellerose
Time: Starts at 1:45 p.m.
Event is for kids up to 12 years old.

Sunday, Oct. 28


Pierrepont Playground Halloween Parade 2018
Where: Pierrepont Playground, Brooklyn Heights
Time: Starts at 10:30
After the parade of this local favorite, kids play in the playground. (This was moved from Saturday because of weather.)

Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest and Halloween Festival
Where: Fort Greene Park, between Myrtle and Dekalb avenues, Fort Greene
Time: 11:30
See the borough’s best dressed pups and visit a pumpkin patch.

Halloween Costume Contest and Mini-Parade
Where: Old Stone House, Third Street and Fifth Avenue, Park Slope
Time: noon to 3 p.m.
Kids can make their own pizza, paint pumpkins and participate in a costume contest.

Greenpoint Children’s Halloween Parade
Where: Manhattan Avenue and Java Street, Greenpoint
Time: Starts 12:30
Parade is free, but there’s a “spooktacular” party and “zombie nerf war” after at 176 Java St. that costs $5 – $25.


Trick or Treat the Terminal
Where: Grand Central Terminal, Vanderbilt Hall, 89 E. 42nd Street, Midtown East
Time: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Get your trick-or-treating done early at Grand Central, with free treats and other giveaways.

Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla at Central Park
Where: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues), Harlem
When: 4 to 7 p.m.
Pumpkin carving, crafts, spooky stories, a costume parade and a flotilla across the Harlem Meer at twilight.

Halloween Party and Costume Parade
Where: Washington Market Park, TriBeCa
Time: 1 to 3 p.m.
Parade lineup begins at 12:50 p.m. at Beach and North Moore streets and travels south to Greenwich Street to the park.

St. Vartan Park Playschool Annual Halloween Party
Where: St. Vartan Park at First Avenue and East 35th Street, Murray Hill
Time: noon to 2 p.m.
Crafts, clowns, a costume parade and free food and drinks at this local event.


First Annual Fall Halloween Parade
Where: Yellowstone Park, Forest Hills
Time: 10 a.m. to noon
Crafts, games and help make a giant collaborative “spider web.”

Shocktober Fest
Where: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Playground for All Children, Corona
Time: noon to 3 p.m.
Music, games, rides, a pumpkin patch and more.

Halloween Family Fun Day
Where: 41st Street and Bell Boulevard, Bayside Village
Time: noon to 4 p.m.
Bouncy houses, stories, magic and music.


Ocean Breeze Halloween Festival
Where: Franklin D Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach, Splaza Great Lawn/Gazebo, Dongan Hills
Time: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Live music, crafts, a pumpkin patch and more.

Wednesday, Oct. 31


Cobble Hill Halloween Parade
Where: Cobble Hill Park, Cobble Hill
Time: Starts 4 p.m.
This hour-long parade that starts and ends in the park is popular with local families.

Second Annual Thriller Dance Party on Myrtle Avenue
Where: Myrtle Avenue Plaza, at Myrtle and Emerson Place, Clinton Hill
Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Learn the moves for Michael Jackson’s Thriller and then participate in a big group dance of the legendary song. Self-serve face painting and giveaways.

Where: 30 Lafayette Avenue, between Ashland Place and St. Felix Street, Fort Greene
Time: 4 – 7 p.m.
The Brooklyn Academy of Music family-friendly event has candy, pumpkins, crafts and more.

Where: March to Arch starts at Brooklyn Roasting Company, 25 Jay St., Dumbo
Time: 4:30 – 7 p.m.
In addition to the annual march, participating neighborhood businesses will be giving out candy to trick-or-treaters until 8 p.m.

15th Annual Haunted House Crawl
Where: Stuyvesant Heights, Bedford-Stuyvesant
Time: 5 – 7 p.m.
Residents and others come together for this popular event, with houses doling out candy and community gardens hosting activities.

Society for Clinton Hill’s 25th Annual Halloween Walk
Where: Maps available at 321 Dekalb Ave., near Washington Avenue, Clinton Hill
Time: 5:30 – 9 p.m.
This neighborhood favorite has lost a legendary stop at 313 Clinton Ave., where Janna Kennedy-Hyten had been staging elaborate shows for two decades before leaving the neighborhood this year. But other shows are happening, including Pam Fleming’s Dead Zombie Band, which is always a hit on Waverly Avenue (between Willoughby and DeKalb avenues), said the walk’s originator Roslyn Huebener. New additions include stops at Pratt Institute.

Masquerade on Macon: A Halloween Party
Where: Macon Library, 361 Lewis Ave., Bedford-Stuyvesant
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Outside the building, the library presents a show about a boy’s quest to save Halloween.

Annual Park Slope Halloween Parade
Where: Seventh Avenue, from 14th Street to 3rd Street
Time: Starts 6:30 p.m.
This neighborhood favorite event culminates in a big party at J.J. Byrne Park on Fifth Avenue and Third Street.


Williamsbridge Oval Pumpkin Party
Where: Williamsbridge Oval , 3225 Oval East, Norwood
Time: 4 – 6 p.m.
Carnival games, prizes and candy for  kids 12 and under.

City Island Halloween Parade
Where: Hawkins Park, 281 City Island Ave., City Island
Time: 5:30 p.m.
The parade culminates in Pelham Cemetery on King Avenue.


Fall Fest at Sherman Shriek Park
Where: Sherman Creek Park, Dyckman Street and 10th Avenue, Washington Heights
Time: 2:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Pumpkin decorating, crafts, free cider and candy and more at this family-friendly event.

28th Annual Children’s Halloween Parade March
Where: Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village
Time: 3-4 p.m.
After the parade, kids can find free trick-or-treat bags, rides and games.

Halloween Fun at Randall’s Island Park
Where: Randall’s Island, 103rd Street Footbridge, East Harlem
Time: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Make a trick-or-treat bag or mask and score some candy at this event.

Hippo Playground Halloween Parade
Where: Riverside Park, Soldiers and Sailors Monument at 89th Street and Riverside Drive, Upper West Side.
Time: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Families enjoy this kid-friendly parade which culminates in the playground with cider, donuts and performances.

Carnegie Hill Neighbors’ Spooktacular
Where: East 92nd Street, between Madison Avenue and Park Avenue, Carnegie Hill
Time: 5 – 6:30 p.m.
Treats, prizes and a live DJ at this block party. Donations suggested and appreciated.

West 69th Street Halloween Party
Where: West 69th Street, between Central Park West and Broadway, Upper West Side
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
This block celebrates Halloween in style.

West 95th Street Halloween Party
Where: West 95th Street, between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, Upper West Side
Time: 5:30 – 8 p.m.
Families celebrate together at this block party.

West 90th Street Halloween Party
Where: West 90th Street, between Columbus Avenue and Central Park West, Upper West Side
Time: 5:30 – 8 p.m.
At this party, kids can trick-or-treat on a car-free street.

West 78th Street Halloween Party
Where: West 78th Street, between Amsterdam Avenue and Columbus Avenue
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
Kids can also run around on the street at this this Halloween block party.

Trick-or-Treating near Marcus Garvey Park
Where: Harlem
Time: 5 – 8 p.m.
Visit the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association for details:


Halloween Party on 45th Avenue
Where: 45th Avenue, between 21st and 23rd streets, Long Island City
Time: 3 – 8 p.m.
Kids can enjoy trick-or-treating at this block party.

Jackson Heights Halloween Parade
Where: 37th Avenue, between 89th to 76th Streets, Jackson Heights
Time: Lineup 4:30 p.m.
Families turn out in force for this children’s parade.

7th Annual Community Trick or Treat
Where: Astoria Heights Playground
Time: 6 -8 p.m.
This family event has been growing in popularity over the years.

Maspeth Lions Halloween Ragamuffin Parade
Where: Starts at Mt. Olive Cemetery main gate, 65-40 Grand Ave., Maspeth
Time: 7 p.m.
This children’s parade is a local favorite.


Halloween Hoopla

Where: Bloomingdale Park, Prince’s Bay
Time: 2 – 5 p.m.
Pony rides, bouncy houses, costume parade and more.



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