Having nothing to do come Halloween night? Now, that’s a scary thought. From wholesome fall festivals to wildly dressed debauchery, there’s a holiday celebration for every New York City character. Here are our top 10 picks for feeling festive—or letting your freak flag fly—this Halloween in the Big Apple.
The Village Halloween Parade
Manhattan’s Greenwich Village boasts a bounty of curiously clad individuals any day of the year; however, come Halloween, and the area is flooded with all things fabulous, festive, and just plain freaky. For 44 years, the Village Halloween Parade has delighted locals and tourists alike with 53 bands, dancers, and the city’s most entertaining people-watching (no easy feat in New York City).
TEFAF New York Fall Fair
No costume? No problem! At TEFAF New York Fall Fair, attendees can discover treasures from times gone by—or at the very least, snag the perfect piece to top off an impressive flapper, or for the freakier, Lizzie Borden ensemble. More than 90 exhibitors will set up shop at this international art fair, where reasonably priced art and jewelry from antiquity to the early 20th century provide more style than spooks.
Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Ave, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 616 3930
Kickoff to Fall
Count on a 17th-century-era farm to deliver the best classic fall fun in New York City. At Queens County Farm Museum’s Kickoff to Fall, autumn enthusiasts may peruse the pumpkin patch, lose themselves in the Amazing Maize Maze, and savor spooks at the on-site Haunted House. Hosting events and attractions from October 28th to October 29th, the Kickoff makes a weekend out of your inner child’s favorite holiday.
Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Queens, NY, USA, +1 718 347 3276
Dare to be scared at Blood Manor, New York City’s “premier haunted attraction.” Here, approximate 5,000 square feet of space turns into a terrifying collection of themed rooms and creepy corridors, complete with grotesque creatures and scream-inducing sights. Happily, for spook seekers, the Manor is open all month long before culminating in a final fright fest on Halloween night.
Blood Manor, 163 Varick St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 290 2825
Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade
Why should humans have all the fun? This October, let your canine companion get in on the festivities at the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade. Entering its 27th year, this parade of pooches is a must-attend event for animal-loving locals, drawing thousands of spectators—and hundreds of dogs—each year.
Tompkins Square Park, E 10th St, New York, NY, USA, +1 718 813 8971
Webster Hall: historic concert venue, hopping nightclub, and—hellish Halloween party host? With Webster Hell, the famed East Village establishment transforms itself (all four floors of it) into a super-sized dance party complete with “gyrating lustful zombies and undead exhibitionists.” Tip: for one delightfully dressed partygoer, this Hell promises a taste of Heaven—a $5,000 cash prize for the night’s best costume.
Webster Hall, 125 E 11th St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 353 1600
Day of the Dead
Honor Mexican culture at Day of the Dead, a free festive event presented by Mano a Mano: Mexican Culture Without Borders. In Mexico, Día de los Muertos is a time to pay respect to one’s deceased loved ones and ancestors. Bowery-bound celebrants can look forward to fashioning their own tributes, perusing Mexican crafts, and digging into authentic Mexican food just like Abuela used to make.
St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, 131 E 10th St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 674 6377
Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball
’Tis the season—for creativity, that is. Indulge your inner artist at the Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball, a one-night-only affair uniting 450 artists and over 1,400 costumed celebrants. Cuisine from your favorite East Village eateries, a curious costume contest judged by celebrity personalities, and nonstop theater held across all 30,000 square feet of the Theater For The New City’s property round out the evening’s attractions.
Theater For The New City, 155 1st Avenue, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 254 1109
Costumed kiddies will love the American Museum of Natural History’s Halloween Celebration. The whole family is invited to explore a famous institution in a brand new light, as more than 30 of the museum’s halls open their doors to pint-sized celebrants. Trick-or-treating, cartoon characters, live performances, and much more await at this wholesome holiday celebration.
The McKittrick Masquerade: Inferno
It should come as no surprise that The McKittrick Hotel, home to New York City’s favorite fantasy event Sleep No More, plays host to one of the city’s most hopping Halloween parties. Expect debauchery, decadence, and nary a tacky decoration in sight at The McKittrick Masquerade: Inferno, New Yorkers’ pick for an haute Halloween celebration.
The McKittrick Hotel, 530 W 27th St, New York, NY, USA, +1 212 904 1883