Halloween NYC: Your Spooky Guide For 2015 Halloween Fun In NYC
There are, of course, a hundred viable options for celebrating Halloween in this city, for kids, for grown-ups, for kids and grown-ups together, starting pretty much right now and running through the big night which, because it's on a Saturday this year, promises to be gig indeed. On Halloween itself there are always a number of heavily-attended block parties, particularly on the Upper West Side for some reason (on 69th and Central Park West, for example; and on 87th and West End), and the excellent Children's Halloween Parade on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope (preceded by massive trick-or-treating at the stores along the route) is just one of many free, family-friendly parties around town. Mommy Poppins has a good, constantly updated list of kid-centric Halloween events, and there are scads of far-more-adult parties as well (Gemini and Scorpio's sexed-up boozed-up bash looks particularly fun this year), but here are a few suggestions of things we like to do.
The Blaze, Now – November 15th
Held on the grounds of historic Van Cortlandt Manor up in Croton-on-Hudson, The Blaze is totally, wonderfully, bonkers. Basically: upwards of 10,000 jack-o-lanterns are used as building blocks for all manner of tremendous sculptures (dinosaurs, scarecrows, spider webs, snakes), then they're all lit every single night (it takes three hours before opening to get every ready), and you get to roam around amid a fantastic spectacle unlike any other. Most nights are already sold out, so act fast to get your tickets, but there are usually some popping up on Craigslist throughout the month as well.
The Village Halloween Parade, October 31st
The granddaddy of them all, the 42nd annual Village Halloween Parade is expected to attract more than two million people to the mile-long route up Sixth Avenue, so stay far away if crowds make you uncomfortable. In fact, the best way to enjoy this great NYC institution is to participate rather than spectate, but either way, you will no question see the most amazing costumes of any Halloween event anywhere.
Tompkins Square Dog Parade (October 24th) and Great PUPkin (October 31st)
Dog Halloween parades and costume contests have become increasingly abundant in recent years, but the two best, creativity-wise, are still these two. In Tompkins Square Park on October 24, East Villagers will gather in the dog run for a wild, jam-packed afternoon (if you can't deal with the mayhem, a good spectator strategy is to hang out nearby the actual event and watch the doggies arrive). The Great PUPkin, in Fort Greene Park, is more spaciously laid out and equally entertaining, dog-costume-wise, and they're having it this year at noon on the 31st itself, which is either good or bad news depending on your other plans.
Haunted High Line (October 24th) and Brookfield Place Halloween Party (October 31st)
Two more ideas for those with kids in tow. The High Line is throwing its annual party on Saturday the 24th, and though it'll probably be a bit of a mob scene, they've spread out the activities and performances over a three-block area (14th to 17th Streets), so that should ease congestion. Expect puppet shows, face-painting, a scavenger hunts, lots of costumed volunteers, and a "spooky train". And then on Halloween itself Brookfield Place in Battery Park City is throwing a neighborhood bash, probably in the soaring Winter Garden space, that seems like a low-stress early-afternoon activity for families with young kids in the area.