With its endless options for nightly entertainment and overwhelming seasonal events, New York doesn’t provide any easy answers to the question: What should I do on Halloween? Luckily, we do have the answer to just that question, with an edited line-up of the city’s best holiday events. If you’re tired of handing out candy to trick-or-treaters and you can’t face the prospect of another year at your coworker’s dreadful (in a bad way) Halloween party, here are the best Halloween parties and events to keep you spooked and entertained on October 31.
Go on a ghost tour
With 8 million people living in New York, and hundreds of years of crazy, violent history, it should come as no surprise that the city is home to its fair share of ghosts. If you’re too afraid to explore some of the city’s famed haunted spots on your own, sign up for a guided tour operated by New York’s best spectral experts like the Haunted Broadway Walking Tour or the app-based Tales from the Grave tour of Greenwich Village.
Hit up happy hour at a spook bar
Beetle House, the year-round homage to Tim Burton’s macabre oeuvre, doesn’t need to dress up for Halloween. Drawing inspiration not just from Burton but also Hitchcock and Bram Stroker and a host of other horror icons, the bar is decorated with tongue-hanging-out-of-cheek goth fun. Order up the especially autumnal cocktail called This Is Halloween (Fireball, Sour Apple, Pumpkin Liqueur, Apple Cider) and soak in the ambiance.
308 E 6th St, New York, NY 10003
Watch (or march in) the Village Halloween Parade
The yearly costumed romp through the streets of NYC is one of the best Halloween parades in the nation, and it draws quite a crowd on Halloween night. The parade is free to enter for anyone who comes in costume, but if you want to attract any attention for your costume, you’ll need to go all out to compete with the next-level diehards who walk every year.
Party the Sleep No More way
Each year the McKittrick Hotel’s dark and chic Sleep No More theater experience gives way on Halloween to one of the most epic holiday bashes in the city. No matter the theme, the party is always the costumed bash you always imagined you’d attend in New York, complete with performers and bumping tunes well into the wee hours of November 1.
530 W 27th St, New York, NY 10001
See dogs with better costumes than you
The annual dog costume in Fort Greene Park, named the Great PUPkin, draws dapper dogs and their owners from the surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods for a superior show of canine pageantry.
Admire a pumpkin flotilla
Were you to happen to walk by the Harlem Meer (the body of water at the north end of Central Park near Harlem) just before Halloween, you might think you were hallucinating as you watched a glowing trail of Jack-O-Lanterns floating across the water. This is, in fact, the annual pumpkin flotilla, which sees dozens of carved and gleaming pumpkins set afloat on small rafts all trailed behind a small boat. It’s certainly a sight to behold.