Halloween is the perfect time to build family traditions. One can never fully outgrow trick-or-treating, so it’s a great way for kids and parents to spend some time together. However, it can be easy to fall into the habit of going from store to store or even just trick or treating in your own immediate neighborhood or building. Why not branch out a bit and explore the city while munching on your hard-earned treats? Here are some suggestions to help you plan a unique New York City Halloween with your kids!
Upper West Side
From West 69th Street to West 95th Street, the Upper West Side is a great spot for kids to start their trick or treating this year! As a very family-friendly neighborhood, residents band together to provide a safe and fun Halloween evening for kids each year. Brownstones are decorated from door to windows with wispy cobwebs, tombstones, pumpkins and more. Doormen are cheery and equipped with candy. It’s an uptown Halloween paradise. West 69th Street between Central Park West and Broadway even has an annual Halloween block party that is always popular with families!
Harlem’s historic streets are a sight to see with the gorgeous brownstones and eccentric business owners handing out candy to trick-or-treaters. One Harlem resident and MommyPoppins reader suggests visiting between West 141st and West 144th Street and Hamilton Terrace to stroll through the spooky townhouses. There is also a map of participating houses that’s shared by the Mount Morris Park Community Improve Association closer to Halloween.
Clinton Hill is another great neighborhood where kids can go the scenic route and receive a generous amount of candy. Or visit nearby Bed-Stuy, where the Bedford Stuyvesant Annual Halloween Trick-or-Treat Block Map Facebook page offers a map of participating houses that trick-or-treaters can visit in the neighborhood. Take a break from the store-to-store trick-or-treating and make a point to stop by these quieter spots of New York City.
Start your evening off at the Jackson Heights Halloween Parade and end it in the nearby neighborhoods to score some great candy. The Jackson Heights Halloween Parade is one of the largest New York City kid-focused Halloween parades in NYC. It begins at 89th Street and 37th Avenue at 5pm and ends with goody bags for everyone! If you’re in the area, bring your kids to join in on the fun!
Park Slope is known for being super family-friendly, and this carries into their annual festivities as well! As it is a more residential area of Brooklyn, it can be more dependable for safety and great family fun. Even local businesses like to get involved and give out candy to the little ghouls passing by.
Chelsea is a great neighborhood for meeting new families on Halloween night. Parents and kids gather at Clement Clarke Moore Park in the early evening before beginning the night’s festivities. Though it can get pretty busy, the homes in this area are known for giving out great treats. They can also stop by the Chelsea High Line for some Halloween fun and partake in a trick-or-treat quest.
Midtown East is one of the few places in NYC where it is actually recommended to visit storefronts for their candy. They have an annual trick-or-treating event that culminates in Tramway Plaza where you can get your face painted, have fun in their photo booth, and get free trick-or-treat bags to use as you go from business to business. This event typically takes place from 3-7pm and is for kids ages 12 and under.
This Queens neighborhood is known to take Halloween very seriously. There’s some friendly competition between neighbors as they try their best to out-do each other in decorations and candy. This is a go-to destination for kids who want to score huge amounts of sweets and for parents who want to dress up and have fun. Just 30 minutes out of the city by train, it’s easily accessible to families who are looking for a more suburban night out this Hallow’s Eve.