All the Ways to Celebrate Halloween Without Dressing Up
Plus the “Stranger Things” party of our dreams
There was once a time when you spent weeks perfecting that Sporty Spice costume (which you totally nailed, by the way). Lately though, all you have the energy for is raiding the half-price candy on November 1. No need to miss out: We found nine activities, ranging from spooky to sweet, that are just as fun in your regular clothes.
See Creepy Scarecrows
What’s so scary about a scarecrow? It’s just a life-size doll…filled with straw…with an evil, evil face that’s definitely watching you… Anyway, you can see plenty of them at artist Ray Villafane’s installation at the New York Botanical Garden through October 30. (See also: Disturbingly over-the-top pumpkin displays.)
Go to a Dog Costume Parade, Obviously
Just because we don’t feel like dressing up doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate a pug in a wig. (We’re human, after all.) The Tompkins Square parade (October 22) is the most well known, but there will be even more adorableness at the Great PUPkin in Fort Greene and the Halloween Harvest Festival in Astoria (both October 29).
Take a Ghost Tour
And you thought the scariest thing in this city was the price of Hamilton tickets. Join Boroughs of the Dead for a stroll through the city’s most haunted sites (like Greenwich Village and Green-Wood Cemetery) and their accompanying tales of murder and mysticism. Good luck ever sleeping again.
Catch a Scary (or Not So Scary) Movie
Sure, you could find the creepiest stuff on Netflix, but it’s so much more fun to shriek along with a crowd. And between Nitehawk Cinema, Syndicated (where we’ll be seeing The Witches on October 28), Videology and NYC Parks, there are screenings to keep you quaking in your boots every day for the rest of the month.
Have a Spooky Sleepover
Or, to really relive those childhood slumber parties—you know, the ones where you watched the movie you weren't supposed to and then had nightmares for a week—head to Sleep-In Cinema at the Standard Hotel, where you can cozy up on a Casper mattress for screenings like Psycho, Hocus Pocus and The Shining. (Bonus: excuse to wear pajamas.)
Watch Pumpkins Set Sail
Carving a jack-o'-lantern is fun…until you realize you live in an apartment and don’t have a porch to put it on. Bring it to Central Park for the annual Pumpkin Flotilla and watch it float across the Harlem Meer with 49 of its brethren.
Learn the “Thriller” Dance
You know you want to. Head to Banana Skirt Productions on October 29 to learn MJ’s supernatural moves and get a workout in the process. Full disclosure: Costumes are encouraged…but we tend to look pretty (un)dead after a workout anyway.
Honor the Dead
All this talk of ghosts and zombies getting you down? Turn your attention to more sentimental but no less festive Day of the Dead celebrations, including a prix-fixe feast at Pampano, a film series at Metrograph and a lecture and party at the Morbid Anatomy Museum. We’ll be pouring one out for Great-Grandma Ruth.