Places to Trick or Treat in NYC Besides the Duane Reade

Halloween 2009

Do you know that city kids trick or treat at the drug store?  They do.  I have tried to battle the feeling that this is one of the most depressing things I have ever seen.  As I often have to tell myself when I think about my daughter’s big city upbringing versus my rural one…just because it is not my experience doesn’t mean it’s not a valid experience.  Lots of apartment buildings offer Halloween parties and trick or treating right just steps from home.  Including ours.  I remember so nostalgically walking the neighborhood until my feet were frozen, trying to be game when my dad said, “Just one more, kids!” Seeing real live jack-o-lanterns with real live candles flickering in the chilly wind.  But I also remember having to wear my winter coat over my costume which flat out stunk.  The temperature is regulated in an apartment building.  And lots of apartments per floor means a higher ratio of candy to distance covered.

But there are unique and wonderful opportunities for Halloween in the city.  Of course.  Here are a few picks for terrific NYC Halloween destinations and activities:

The American Museum of Natural History – I kinda can’t think of anywhere creepier than the Museum of Natural History…in a good way!  Head there on Sunday for trick or treating, arts and crafts, pumpkin carving, music and more!  $9 for non-members and $8 for members!

The Empire Hotel – While you’re on the West Side, stop by the newly renovated Empire Hotel on 63rd and Central Park West for a fun trick or treat experience in a decorated NYC hotel!

Kids Night on Broadway Kids ages 6 to 18 can see a Broadway show for free when accompanied by an adult at full price.  Also, any kid holding an eligible ticket is invited to a pre-show costume party at Madame Tussaud’s, plus Broadway trick or treating.  Getting candy from a Broadway theater is pretty cool.  I gotta say.

Wonderween at the Sony Wonder Technology Lab – Celebrate Halloween at the Lab and experiment with some spooky fun! Between 12 and 4 on Sunday you can catch a monstrous movie, have some hauntingly hands-on fun, and go home with gobs of ghoulish goodies! Screenings include the children’s features Elmo Says Boo, Dora The Explorer, and Go, Diego, Go. No reservations required. All activities and screenings require general admission to the Lab and are available on a first come first served basis.

Hudson River Park Halloween Kidz Karnival – Head down to Pier 46 on the West Side (at Charles St.) from 12 – 6 tomorrow for a fun day of free Halloween activities for the kids (a few select activities cost $2 but that’s it).  Prepare for fun-filled attractions including face painting, mask decorating, wax hands, cotton candy, rides and more that will keep you in the Halloween spirit all day long.  In addition to these spooktacular activities, The Striking Viking Story Pirates will perform Halloween-themed improv shows for children and adults of all ages throughout the day.  All ages are invited. Most attractions will appeal to kids aged 3–12 years.

Participate in a Halloween Parade – Once you’ve donned your costume, you want to show it off!  Check out Mommy Poppins’ list of 13 Halloween Parades for New York City Kids for the parade closest to you!

City Treehouse Halloween Festival and Parade – ($25 reservation, $30 at the door) I’ve been wanting to check out this neat Chelsea destination for kids and Halloween looks like a great opportunity.  If it’s freezing outside you’ll be toasty and warm in the treehouse enjoying all kinds of Halloween activities!

Boo at the Zoo –  Celebrate Halloween at the Bronx Zoo or the Central Park Zoo.  Both of these events are packed with fun activities all Halloween, but consider the trip to the Bronx where Boo at the Zoo will take place every weekend in October and one child ages 3 – 12 in costume admitted free with the purchase of one full-price adult ticket.

Happy Halloween everyone!


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