Boo! Trick or treat at these family-friendly NYC Halloween events this weekend, nearly all of which are FREE, as is the Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead celebration on our list of what’s spook-tacular and fang-tastic.
NYC on the Cheap works overtime to share events and deals $25 or less, so you have fun in the greatest city on the planet without sending your budget into outer space.
SEE ALSO Our roundup of best NYC Halloween events for grownups only, including crypt crawls, haunted houses and the famous Village Halloween Parade.
Through Oct. 31
Hansel and Gretel’s Halloween Adventure – This annual show at the historic Swedish Cottage Marrionette Theatre in Central Park follows the brother and sister dynamic duo after their adventure with the wicket witch. Multiple shows daily, tickets are just $8 for kids, $12 for grown-ups.
Shocktober Fest is a continuation of the summer-long FREE Movies Under the Stars series in NYC parks. Shocktober Fest films are all family-friendly, all FREE, and all and begin at dusk.
- The Addams Family at Thomas Jefferson Park, Manhattan
- Bride of Frankenstein is the 1935 classic starring Elsa Lancaster, at Carroll Park, Brooklyn –
- Caspar The Friendly Ghost at Leif Ericson Park, Brooklyn
- Poltergeist at Sunset Park, Brooklyn
- Ghostbusters at Bensonhurst Park, Brooklyn (unfortunately, the universally-panned recent remake, not the iconic and brilliant original)
- Hotel Transylvania 2 at Kelly Park, Brooklyn
Saturday, Oct. 28
22nd Annual Halloween Celebration at AMNH – Curious George, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Miffy, Franny K. Stein, Danny’s Dinosaur, and Little Critters and other favorite characters greet costumed children, who also can prowl more than 30 museum halls to wander among “ferocious” dinosaurs, “eerie” elephants, and the “mysterious” universe for trick-or-treating, arts and crafts, and fun with roaming cartoon characters, stilt walkers, and balloon artists. Tickets are $15.
- Activities and giveaways include School of Rock, SpongeBob SquarePants, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Balloon artist Nick the Balloonatic.
- Live performances by David Grover and Grover’s Gang, Louie Miranda and His Band, The Magic of Robert Austin, BIG NAZO Intergalactic Creature Band, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Maniac Pumpkin Carver, and more.
Halloween Harvest Festival – FREE. Costume- and art-making with local artists, face-painting with Agostino Arts, add your mementos and relics to ancestral altars set up throughout the landscape and more. Urban Shaman Mama Donna will be offering harvest animal blessings for pets, and dogs is in costume you can participate in a Canine Costume Contest for prizes. Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, 11am to 3pm.
Haunted Halloween on the High Line –FREE. Travel back in time and learn the history of the High Line. Get into character with artistic face painting, capture memories with our old-time photo booth, dance, go on a scavenger hunt with candy, and watch live performances. , 11am to 3pm. Note this program takes place at two locations between 14th St. and 16th St. RSVP required – which does not guarantee participation since entrance is first-come, first-served.
Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead – FREE. Traditional dances honoring ancestors willl be performed by Cetiliztli Nauhcampa around the community ofrenda, or altar. Hands-on activities include embellishing paper skull masks, decorating skeleton puppets, creating paper flowers and painting plaster skulls. , Noon to 5pm at the National Museum of the American Indian, at the northern tip of Battery Park.
Halloween Game Expo – Video games take over the Microsoft office in Times Square for an all-out Halloween game expo celebrating local developers. More than 100 game developers will be showing off their latest games one-on-one, plus there’s pizza, treats and prizes as kids and the grown-ups they bring along try out the games.. Costumes are encouraged. Kids can trick-or-treat for candy from booth to booth, too. Click here for comp tickets, and avoid paying the walk-up price of $10
38th Annual Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair – FREE Noon to 3pm in Prospect Park, followed by the first-ever !BKLYN BOO! taking place at City Point in downtown Brooklyn to 5pm.
Halloween Bash at Brookfield Place – FREE, Noon to 3pm, Includes:
- Quiet Clubbing: Grab some headphones and let the DJs transport you to a high energy costumed dance party on the Waterfront Plaza
- LEGO Photo Op: Snap a photo with a larger-than-life original LEGO sculpture
- Mysterious Cauldrons: Visual and sound installation that features a series of interactive, large format ice blocks that play music when touched.
- Costume Catwalk: Walk “red carpet style” on a kid-size Costume Catwalk
8th Annual Harvest Festival – FREE Haunted marsh, pumpkin patch, arts and crafts, face painting, music, and games, including a popular Thriller dance for kids. . 11am to 2pm at Pier 6 Lawns, Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Halloween Surprise at Tompkins Square Park includes tricks and treats for the kids, plus a Time Warp Zine-sponsored “City of the Dead” music event with performances by Scott Skitzo with Skitzopolis, The Bowery Boys, Straight To Hell: A Clash Tribute, and Avant Duel. FREE, 1pm to 6pm.
Friday to Sunday, Oct. 27-29
Day of the Dead – FREE Celebrate the Mexican tradition of honoring lost souls with live music, arts and crafts projects, food, and more. St. Marks-in-the-Bowery, East Yard, 1pm to 6pm daily. The church is at 10th St. and Second Ave.
Sunday, Oct. 29
Halloween Flatiron Walking Tour – Take a FREE Halloween themed guided tour through the historic Flatiron District, and learn about spooky history including New York’s Eden Musée, once the home of the wax display “Chamber of Horrors,” and the city’s most popular Halloween destination, Abracadabra’s. The tour is rain or shine at 11am, starting at 11:00 a.m., and begins at the southwest corner of Madison Square Park (in front of the William Seward statue) at 23rd Street and Broadway. No advance registration is required. There are FREE walking tours every Sunday at 11am, but only this one on Halloween weekend focuses on the area’s spooky history.
Central Park Pumpkin Flotilla – Enjoy live music, spooky stories, pumpkin carving demonstrations, a costume parade, and Central Park Conservancy’s annual signature Pumpkin Flotilla, which sets sail across the Harlem Meer at twilight. FREE at Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, 110th St. between Fifth and Lenox Aves. The website also tells you how you can submit your own carved pumpkin to the flotilla.
The Addams Family – Halloween fun in this classic and hilariously funny film starring Angelica Huston (as Morticia), Raul Julia (as Gomez), Christopher Lloyd (as Uncle Fester) and Christina Ricci (as Wednesday). Based on the characters created by Charles Addams. Also an Addams Family Dress-up Contest with prizes for the best look-alike, for kids 12 and under. At the Film Forum, 209 Wewst Houston St., 11am. All tickets are $9.
Kidz Karnival at Hudson River Park – Despite the mis-spelled words, it’s traditional FREE trick or treating, face-painting, storytelling and more, Noon to 5pm, at Pier 26 at No. Moore St. Note that Some rides and other attractions are ticketed, at $1 or $2 per ride.
Seaport Halloween Block Party – Dance to the music of kid-friendly band “Ramblin’ Dan & the Freewheelin’ Band, check out the stilt walkers, visit with face painters and enjoy a fun day at the Seaport. A children’s mini-pumpkin station will be available (while supplies last), for decorating and kids get to take their mini pumpkins home. Attendees are encouraged to dress in costume. At the historic Seaport District, 11am to 2pm. FREE but RSVP requested.
Tuesday, Oct. 31
Spooky City – FREE Third Annual Halloween Party at the Museum of the City of New York. Kids can wear a costume and make a mask, then “trick or treat” on a haunted New York scavenger hunt throughout the museum, complete with spooky tales. There’s also pumpkin decorating inspired by the exhibitions to take home, treats that originated in New York City., and a DJ’d monster mash dance party, 2pm to 5pm. FREE with registration, for ages 6-12.
Nov. 4 and 5