Family-Friendly Things to Do in This Season of Spooky Fun


With October’s arrival, the spooky fun can begin! If your family loves Halloween, you will be happy to find there are tons of Halloween events that are not-too-scary for even the youngest kiddos happening all around New York City all month long. Today, I am highlighting the many different ways New York City families can celebrate Halloween during October.

Trick or Treat

The first (and most obvious) way NYC families can celebrate Halloween is to get dressed up in costumes and go trick or treating. If your neighborhood or apartment building isn’t Halloween-friendly, take your kids to a trick or treat event such as Trick or Treat at the Terminal at Grand Central Station.

Halloween Parties

Throughout the month of October, there are several Halloween parties for kids, including the Hip Hop Halloween Celebration (October 12th, Rockaway Queens) and the Halloween Boo Bash (October 31st, Randall’s Island).

Halloween Parades

New Yorkers love parades, so we take any excuse to throw one – including Halloween! There are numerous Halloween-themed parades beginning this weekend and continuing until October 31st. Families can enjoy the 34th Annual Bronx Halloween Parade or the Coney Island Children’s Halloween Parade.

Harvest Festivals

With the cooler temperatures, the autumnal colors, and the pumpkins, the month of October is the ideal time to celebrate fall. And what better way than a traditional fall festival? NYC families will have their pick of harvest festivals in their communities. Typically, these festivals include food, entertainment, and kid-friendly activities.

Pet-Friendly Halloween Events

If you have a dog, then you definitely should take advantage of the dog-friendly Halloween events happening around NYC, such as the Halloween Howl & Healthy Hound Fair and the 21st Annual Great PUPkin Dog Costume Contest. Even if you do not have a dog, these events are fun to attend because you get to see all these adorable dogs in costumes.

Events All About Pumpkins

If your favorite thing about Halloween is all the jack o’ lanterns, then take your kids to check out the intricately carved and decorated pumpkins at the Spooky Pumpkin Garden at the New York Botanic Gardens taking place all month long. PS. This is the perfect place for Insta-worthy pics! If you are a pumpkin carving pro, then consider entering your carved pumpkin in the 5th Annual Carved Pumpkin Contest in Tribeca.

Boo at the Zoo

An annual family favorite is Boo at the Zoo happening at Bronx Zoo weekends all month long through November 3rd. This fun event includes a little of everything – trick or treating, pumpkin carving, entertainment, storytime, and more.

Host Your Own Kid-Friendly Halloween Party

Last but not least, consider hosting your own kid-friendly Halloween party. I think these are one of the easiest parties to host because the kids are happy just to be dressed up in costumes, so you don’t have to do too much entertaining! Plus, the rules about healthy eating are forgotten for one night only.

For more specific NYC events for families, check out Mommy Poppins Halloween Event and Activities Guide.