The Best Halloween 2017 Events in New York City

halloween activities in new york city guide
{Article Updated  October 12, 2017}

Are you looking for the best Halloween 2017 events in New York City? You’ve arrived at the right place! No other city celebrates Fall and Halloween like New York. Get yourself ready for spook-tacular events, giant Corn Mazes, K-9 Halloween costume competitions, Jack’ O Lanterns, and haunted houses.

Gothamists and visitors alike, are you ready for the best Halloween 2017 events and activities in New York City?

1. Boo at the Bronx Zoo!

Credit: Julie Larsen Maher © WCS

One of the most cherished Halloween traditions in New York City takes place at the Bronx Zoo, with an all-new line-up of activities designed for all ages.

The annual Halloween celebration takes place weekends and holidays through Sunday, October 29. The intrepid explorers daring to mix Halloween with the wilderness can expect a Haunted Forest, hayrides, a corn maze, pumpkin carving, candy trail, and a Bootoberfest filled with Oktoberfest delicacies (some restricted to those over 21) and a concert.

What does a Halloween in the zoo event look like, you might ask? A very good source told us that guests will have an opportunity to meet animals often associated with Halloween folklore including vultures, owls, and ravens. What’s more, this year’s walk-through experience takes an eerie turn through a Haunted Forest. The spooky sounds, creepy crawlies, bats, spiders will keep guests on their toes as no one knows what (or who) may be lurking around the corner. While I personally hope that spiders don’t take this opportunity to run on the loose, it is a wonderful activity for animal lovers of all ages!

For more information and a full list of the Boo at the Zoo activities, visit

Spookiness level: Family-friendly Halloween activities. The Haunted Forest is for guests aged +12.
Price: $  (Adult general admission is $19.95. Children: 3-12 years old, $12.95; children under 3 are free. Seniors (65+) are $17.95. Total experience tickets include most of the activities. The Haunted Forest is a ticketed activity that costs $6 for ticket buyers and $4 for Premium/PLUS membership holders.)

2. Take a Candlelight Ghost Tour at NYC’s Most Haunted House

best halloween 2017 events in New York City: merchant's house halloween candlelight tour
Source: Photopin

I bet you have visited many haunted houses with props, actors, and likely lots of fake blood. You won’t find this at Merchant’s House, a real brick-and-mortar haunted house where the spirits of its 19th-century inhabitants still scare visitors and workers alike. 

Starting October 20, the Merchant’s House Museum offers a 50-minute candlelight tour where they unveil the dark secrets of Seabury Treadwell and his family, who lived and died in the house. The knowledgeable staff will share, preserved room after preserved room, tales and real stories about ghostly presences, unexplained voices, and paranormal activity.

Care to try something else? Other spooky activities and events, such as the recreation of a 19th-century funeral and graveyard procession or a macabre concert with songs from the crypt, are available under reservation.

Spookiness level: Very Spooky, especially at the servant’s quarters.
Price: $$$  (From $25 for Members, $40 for non-members.)

3. Trick-Or-Treat with Other Adults at the Village Halloween Parade

Best Halloween 2017 events in New York City, Village Halloween Parade

Who said Halloween is just for kids? Gotham adults love costumes and candy as much as anybody else, including their furry friends. New Yorkers will celebrate the 42nd annual Village Halloween Parade on Saturday, October 31, and participate once more in what has become America’s largest public Halloween event. This year’s theme, “Shine a Light”, will surely attract masses to dance and parade along with over 50 bands, puppets, and dancers.

Are you in costume and want to take part in the fun? Great, because anybody can participate! Just go to Sixth Avenue at Canal Street between 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. for a spooktacular night. Note to the Beginners in New York: Though the parade starts at 7 pm, take your spot early! Last year, over 2 million people filled the sidewalks to spot their favorite costumes, and it gets pretty crowded.

For more information about the New York City Village Halloween Parade, click here.

Spookiness level: Very Spooky (especially as the spirits get drunk)
Price: $  (Free!)

Don’t you have a costume, or is your budget so low it is scary? Check out my Easy Halloween Skull Makeup Tutorial here for a dazzling look that you can achieve with just a black eye pencil. Friends, it doesn’t get any cheaper than that!

4. Celebrate a Spawtacular Halloween with your Furry Friend

Tomkins Square park dog halloween parade 2017

Where can you find what is probably the biggest Halloween pet costume competition in the Globe? Only in New York City! Bring your best four-legged friend to Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade on Saturday, October 21 from noon to 3 pm to enter a competition where you can win thousands of dollars in prizes, aside from having lots of fun. Are you a reptile person, or don’t you just have the creativity to craft a costume for your dog? Worry not! This is a public event in which you can just stroll down to admire the creativity of both humans and critters.

Spookiness level: Family-friendly Halloween activity.
Price: $  (Free for visitors, suggested $5 donation for contestants)

5. Ghosts of New York Walking Tour

Are you the walking type? You might pass by the spirits of Edgar Allan Poe, Houdini, or even Walt Whitman with this 90-minute Ghosts Of New York Guided Walking Tour. But beware! Once you have heard the chilling ghost stories of your beloved neighborhood, you might not want to go back alone at night.

The New York For Beginners pick, you ask? The Ghosts of the American Museum of Natural History Tour for sure! The combo of Jurassic Park and Halloween is a winner in our book.

Spookiness level: Moderately spooky.
Price: $$  ($20 for adults, $15 for children)

So many events to fit in a New York minute! Trick or Treat?


1 Comment

  1. Anonymous
    October 12, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    Thanks for this list! I want to go to the Ghost Walking Tours in the museum with my children!

Leave a Reply