13 Things to Do in NYC this Halloween

As the leaves turn to fiery hues and a crisp chill fills the air, New York City embraces the eerie enchantment of Halloween. From haunted houses to pumpkin patches, the city that never sleeps comes alive with a bewitching array of activities.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here’s your guide to the most thrilling and chilling things to do in NYC this Halloween!

1. Join the New York’s Village Halloween Parade

If I could recommend one only reason to visit NYC in Halloween, joining the Village Parade would be it.

Joining the Village Halloween Parade, the largest Halloween parade in the world, is the most exciting and fun thing to do in NYC in Halloween. You can choose wether watching the parade from the side or joining on your own costume!

If you want to watch the Parade from the side, you can from both sides of 6th Ave from King St to 15th St.

If you want to join the Village Parade, the only requirement is wearing a costume! Dress up and march alongside other newyorkers. The NYC Halloween Parade starts from Canal St and 6th Ave and ends at 6th Ave and 15th St. It’s a long way so wearing comfy shoes is recommended!

It’s a breathtaking display of Halloween spirit that’s not to be missed. I can’t recommend it enough- it was one of the best things I’ve ever done in NYC!

2. Discover spooky stories on a themed tour

Kick off your Halloween theme vacation by exploring some of NYC’s most famous haunted spots. Take a guided ghost tour through Greenwich Village and learn about the area’s eerie history. Or, dare to enter haunted houses where ghosts await around every corner.

These are our recommended Halloween themed tours in NYC – book them in advance!

Haunted Village of New York City walking tour

Greenwich Village Ghost Tour

3. Celebrate Dia de Muertos at the Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center in New York City annually hosts a vibrant Dia de Muertos event, paying homage to the Mexican holiday that honors the departed. Centered around a beautifully decorated altar, or ofrenda, the celebration features flowers, candles, art installations, live performances, workshops and culinary offerings – including authentic Mexican cuisine.

This celebration not only educates visitors about Dia de Muertos but also serves as a cultural bridge, promoting unity and understanding among diverse attendees.

4. Dance on a Halloween party cruise

Are you looking for a Halloween party? Wear your costume and step aboard the annual Like a MonSTAR party cruise around NYC.

Such a cool way to celebrate Halloween!

5. Visit the Halloween stoops

In the Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Murray Hill and Geenwich Village, Halloween stoop decorations have become a tradition. Some of them are really impressive! They’ve become an integral part of the annual festivities that make these neighborhoods truly special.

Watch the kids play trick or treat: just like the movies!

6. Rooftop party

NYC takes Halloween quite seriously and many famous rooftops and observatories such as Edge feature unique installations and menus dedicated to the festivity.

Highly recommend visiting Magic Hour rooftop, on top of Moxy Times Square. This rooftop features one of the best views to the Empire State Building and I’d recommend visiting it anytime, but they go beyond for Halloween with spooky decorations and a delicious themed menu that will leave you speechless.

One of the best rooftop bars in NYC is 230 Fifth – they have one of the best views to the Empire State Building and Halloween decorations, too!

Related post: Discover the best rooftop bars in NYC

7. Enjoy pumpkin decorations in South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport’s pumpkin arch located at Pier 17 is a Halloween classic – it’s literally picture-perfect with lots of pumpkins, fall leaves and an amazing view to Brooklyn Bridge in the background.

Walking around South Street Seaport you’ll find other pumpkin locations that are well worth the visit. Do not miss it!

8. Broadway and off-Broadway spooktaculars

If you’re a theater enthusiast, there’s no better time to enjoy the show Wicked!

Broadway and Off-Broadway productions often get into the Halloween spirit with themed shows. Enjoy spooky twists on classic tales or immerse yourself in a horror-themed performance that will send shivers down your spine.

PS: do not miss the Halloween installations in Times Square!

9. Savour the Halloween flavours

Halloween is a perfect excuse to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte and a themed foods. Highly recommend paying a visit to the Krispy Kreme

Can you think of a better combo for the season?

10. Party time in Times Square

I was staying right in Times Square for Halloween so I had to check out the vibe… and I must say it was wild! It’s always an interesting place for people watching, but it’s even crazier on Halloween with people on costumes. Definitely check it out!

11. Halloween shops

If you need a Halloween costume, accessories or make up, check the shops below:

  • Abracadabra NYC: 19 W 21St
  • Halloween adventure: 104 4th Ave
  • Spirit Halloween: several locations
  • Party city: several locations

12. Great Jake O’Lantern Blaze

If you have time enough during your trip to NYC – and if you manage to get tickets in advance, you might want to take a trip outside the city to visit the Great Jake O’Lantern Blaze, an installation full of pumpkins and lights.

It’s located in Croton-on-Hudson, an hour away from NYC.

13. Dog Parade

New York City’s Halloween celebrations aren’t just for humans! Every year, the city comes alive with good boys dressed in costumes at the annual NYC Dog Parade. This is by far, the most adorable way to celebrate Halloween!

The New York City Dog Parade takes on Saturday a week before Halloween in Tompkins Square Park, East Village. It’s the world largest dog costume parade.

2023 confirmed dates and times: October 21st at 12pm.

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