Halloween in New York 2023
Halloween in New York is big! It falls annually on October the 31st and every year people go all out for this spooky holiday. New Yorkers decorate their houses and put on their most outlandish costume while the kids go trick or treating, door to door through their neighbourhood or apartment building for sweets and treats. Read on for my fun tips for what you can do on Halloween in New York!
What can you do on Halloween in New York?
Halloween in New York is fun to experience; from ghost stories to dogs in funny costumes, and from trick-or-treating to elaborately decorated houses. There are several things to do in New York during Halloween.
The Village Halloween Parade in New York
In the evening, at 19:00, the (Greenwich) Village Halloween Parade takes place in New York. Anyone (in costume) can participate in this parade, including tourists. Up to 50.000 people participate in the parade each year. There is live music, creepy decorations and people dressed up in their wildest Halloween costumes.
Another great way to spend Halloween in New York is to attend a Halloween party in one of the fancy clubs or rooftop bars in the city. Join local New Yorkers dressed up in their best costumes and party all night long!
A tour taking you through New York’s most haunted locations is the Ghost Tour of Greenwich Village. Discover some of the spookiest spots in the city, like the Jefferson Market Library and the Hanging Tree in Washington Square Park.
A spooky thing you can do in New York is visit the catacombs of an old church in Manhattan. Walk through parts of the church that are otherwise off-limits to public and see the graves of New Yorkers who lived in the 18th and 19th century. During the Catacombs Tour you will learn more about the city’s history.
Do you want to discover New York’s dark past? Go on the Gangsters and Ghosts Tour. Along the way, your guide will tell everything about crimes, gangsters, and haunted places. Hear the chilling stories while you stroll through Little Italy, Chinatown, and the West Village.
Halloween for Kids
If you are travelling to New York on Halloween with kids, there is plenty for them to do. For the American experience, visit a museum that organises trick or treating, see the Halloween dog costume contest in Washington Square Park, or have fun at the Halloween Harvest Festival in Luna Park.
Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade
The Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is organised annually in New York. Here you can see hundreds of dogs in all kinds of costumes, entering the stage one by one in the hope of winning the prize for best costume. See a corgi dressed as french fries and a chihuahua as Pinhead.
What is Halloween?
Originally, Halloween was a pagan festival. It was considered the day on which spirits could contact the physical world. Nowadays, people celebrate by dressing up and going out in their creepy costumes. Children go door to door, trick or treating in their local neighbourhoods to collect bags full of candy. Most households are well prepared with treats but if no sweets are available, a trick may be played! All this is done in fun, it is not the intention to pull nasty pranks.
What can you expect on Halloween?
During, and in the weeks leading up to, Halloween in New York, some houses and shops are decorated with Halloween memorabilia. Examples of which are: bats, spiders, witches, skeletons, blood, tombstones and, of course, ghosts and pumpkins that have been carved in to ghoulish shapes. These symbols can also be seen in people’s Halloween costumes.
The shops in New York are open for business as usual during Halloween, as it is not a public holiday. You also won’t experience problems with traffic or irregular subway schedules.
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