Here are our top choices, and as always, nothing on our list is over $25, so you and the kids can enjoy more NYC for less money.
The price cap is just one part of what makes NYC on the Cheap different from all other NYC websites posting NYC events.
This much-anticipated exhibit is now open at the New York Historical Society, until January 27, 2019, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the first book, capturing the traditions of folklore and magic at the heart of the Harry Potter story through rare books, manuscripts and a ‘s treasure of magical objects.
Explore the subjects studied at Hogwarts and see original drafts and drawings by J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay. There’s also a long list of special events, including HP trivia and more, for fans of all ages.
Even if you aren’t one of the few people on the planet who is not a Harry Potter fan, there’s a lot to enjoy, because this exhibit is a history of magic, so you’ll learn about the original mermaids and mer-men, why owls and unicorns are thought to be magic, and more.
- Adults $21, children (ages 5-13) $6, ages 4 and under free.
This annual celebration includes haunted hayrides, magic shows and pumpkin carvings, every weekend in October. Most activities are included in the price of a General Admission Ticket. All activities are included with the purchase of a Total Experience Ticket.
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Head to the Queens County Farm Museum for a three-acre interactive corn maze, the largest within NYC. The adventure begins with a “Stalk Talk” to prepare you for the challenge of finding clues, solving puzzles, and making your way out of the maze. Saturdays and Sundays, 11am to 4:30pm, through October 27.
Tickets are $10 / adult; $5 / child (ages 4-11); children 3 and under are FREE. The final Moonlight Maze tour of the season is Oct. 20.
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FREE Halloween events for kids
Ninth Annual Harvest Fest – Pumpkin patch, arts and crafts, face painting, music, games and more, at Brooklyn Bridge Park, Sat. Oct. 20, 11am to 2pm.
March in a Halloween parade at Brookfield Place on Sat, Oct. 27.
Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla in Central Park, Sunday, Oct. 28, 4pm to 7pm.
Enjoy pumpkin carving, Halloween crafts, spooky stories, a costume parade, and most of all the Conservancy’s signature Pumpkin Flotilla, which sets sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight in this popular annual event.
- Click here for a full schedule of events and Pumpkin Flotilla Guidelines.
- Location: Charles A. Dana Discovery Center (inside the Park at 110th Street between Fifth and Lenox Avenues).
28th Annual Washington Square Park Children’s Halloween Parade – Gather at the fountain for a march around the park, plus games and rides. 3pm-6pm, Wed., Oct. 31
Halloween Hoopla – Hay maze, pony rides, inflatable attractions, sidewalk chalk and a bubble zone, photo spots, music, a costume parade and trick-or-treating, and more, 2pm to 5pm on Wed. Oct. 31.
- Location: Staten Island’s Bloomingdale Park
Ticketed Halloween events for kids
Trick-or-treat among the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History
Learn about Halloween’s Irish origins at the Irish Arts Center on October 28.
Dress up for Historical Hallowe’en at the New York Historical Society.
Aviator Sports’ Green Meadows Farm Halloween Fun Days on October 27 and 28.
Spooky City at the Museum of the City of New York, on Oct. 31.
More FREE events for kids
FREE events at the David Rubin Atrium include music and storytelling, including such popular groups as Jazzy Ash and the Leaping Lizards, and dance parties fueled by pioneers of NYC’s Latin music scene. Events are usually at 11am on Saturdays, and seating is first come first serve.
The Saturday Morning Show is two hours of FREE musical acts and performers, just for kids, to Brookfield Place. Starting at 10 a.m. in the Hudson Eats food court, catch kid-friendly musical acts for an hour of funny and interactive songs. There’s an hour of funny and interective songs starting at 10am, and from 11am to noon, it’s a rotating cast of performers including magicians and pupeteers. music and Then at 11 a.m., various performers from magicians to puppeteers will wow kids and adults alike.
- Every Saturday through Dec. 15. 230 Vesey St., Lower Manhattan
Ticketed live shows for kids
This series of live Saturday music and dance performances and animated films includes Michael and the Rockness Monsters, the Not Ready for Naptime Players, and Rainbow Fish. Each Saturday through January at Symphony Space on the UWS.
- Tickets are $14.
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This popular one-ring circus returns to Lincoln Center on October 20 with a female ringmaster, Stephanie Monseu, who is a NYC native, plus jugglers, acrobats, clowns and more. Plus, no seat is more than 50 feet away from the show so everybody can have a great view.
Like seeing real-life superheroes in action, Big Apple Circus’ latest show brings together some of the world’s top circus acts and sets them lose in an intimate one-ring setting. What in the world could the impossible-sounding horizontal juggling be? Find out when Victor Moiseev debuts the dazzling feat for American audiences at NYC’s Lincoln Center. What would it look like if Superman and Wonder Woman danced? Maybe something like the poetic aerial choreography of Desire in Flight. Is it possible for a person to pull off four somersaults midair “and” time it so perfectly that another guy dangling upside down on a swing can catch him? Just watch the Flying Tunizianis. Throw in beautiful horses, trick-performing dogs and hilarious clowns, and you’ve got one jaw-dropping, fun-filled show for the whole family.
Plus, no seat is more than 50 feet away from the show so everybody can have a great view.
This Broadway-quality musical plays at Atlantic for Kids, in Brooklyn, October 20 to November 11. It’s a Broadway-quality musical, with music from the Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award-winning team of Pasek and Paul and a book by the writer who brought you Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka and The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley.
- Recommended for ages 5+. Tickets are Adults $20, kids $15.
This new pop-up from Dreamworks opens in November, with previews starting on October 22. It’s a 12,000-square-foot interactive space with a 3D dance party hosted by resident DJ Suki, a sing along with Poppy and her friends, Trolls collectibles, plus plenty of photos opportunities along the way.
- Preview tickets start at $25; regular tickets will be $40 and up.
- The Trolls Experience is in the same space in Midtown as the Downton Abbey Exhibit which closed recently.