The Best Halloween Events in NYC, from Dogs in Costumes to Haunted Houses for Scaredy Cats

Halloween may be just one day, but we plan to celebrate spooky season all month long. And NYC is perhaps the best place of all to do exactly that with events and activities planned in all five boroughs. From haunted houses (some truly terrifying, some decidedly less so) to movie nights and multiple opportunities to dress up, here are 12 frighteningly fun Halloween activities to check out this month to keep those spooky vibes going.

44 Classic Halloween Costumes That Will Never Go Out of Style

village halloween parade nyc halloween activities2023

1. Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Village Halloween Parade

  • Location: Sixth Avenue between 15th Street and Canal
  • Date: Tuesday, October 31

Few Halloween events are more iconic than the Village Halloween Parade, and this year it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary, so you better believe it’s going to be extra fun. The parade is free and open to the public, but you can buy tickets for special events or to participate in the parade itself if you’d like. Festivities start at 7 pm, rain or shine, and this year’s theme is Upside/Down : Inside/OUT! for those who want to go in costume.

village costume ball nyc halloween activities 2023
Rebecca Nelson/Getty Images

2. Compete at the 47th Annual Village Halloween Costume Ball

  • Location: Theater for the New City, 155 First Avenue
  • Date: Tuesday, October 31

For those who take great pride in coming up with the best Halloween costume every year, why not put those skills to the test? In fact, costumes (or formal attire) are required in order to attend the Village Halloween Costume Ball, which starts at 3:15 pm on October 31. The event kicks off with an outdoor festival featuring live performances, dancing and, of course, costume competitions for both kids and adults. Then, at 8 pm, the crowd can mosey indoors for more performances so you can dance until the wee hours of the morning. Tickets are required for all events, and cost $20 for the indoor soiree, but are free for outdoor events.

3. Check Out the Brooklyn Horror Film Festival

  • Location: Nitehawk Cinema’s Williamsburg and Prospect Park locations
  • Date: Thursday, October 12 though Thursday, October 19

Get your spooks with showings of all the best horror movies with this multi-night film festival. Catch cult favorites like “Messiah of Evil”, a zombie drama from 50 years ago, or the original “Ring” movie, the Japanese “Ringu” (one horror movie-obsessed PureWow editor says it’s significantly scarier than the American version). There are also some brand new films like the Satanic Panic documentary “Satan Wants You” and the feature “Where the Devil Roams” about killer sideshow performers in the Catskills. Festival passes are, unfortunately, sold out but you can still buy individual tickets to any and all screenings for $19 a pop.

terrorvision times square nyc halloween activities 2023

4. Get Spooked at the Immersive “TerrorVision”

  • Location: Horrorwood Studios, 300 W. 43rd Street
  • Date: Select dates now through Sunday, November 5

If it’s a real scare you’re after, “TerrorVision” may just be the thing to scratch that itch. The immersive horror experience in Times Square packs 20,000 square feet with spooky twists and turns, scary rooms and haunted passage ways to explore. There are also more than 100 actors dolled up in the creepiest costumes one can imagine hiding in wait to scare your pants off throughout it all. Not quite sure you’re up for a jump scare? A Chicken Ticket will provide you with an amulet so monsters won’t target you. Ticket prices start at $59 per person.

creature from the black lagoon
Movie Poster Image Art / Contributor/Getty Images

5. Watch an Old Classic with the Whole Family

  • Location: Film Forum, 209 W. Houston Street
  • Date: Monday, October 29

Looking for something a bit more kid-friendly? The Film Forum will be doing a matinee showing of “Creature From the Black Lagoon” (1954) in 3-D on Sunday, October 29 at 11 am. The family-friendly showing, put on in partnership with the Children’s Museum of the Arts, will also be accompanied by a showing of “Spooks”, the Stooges classic.

saw the musical
courtesy of SAW The Musical

6. Sing Along at SAW The Musical

  • Location: AMT Theater, 345 W. 45th Street
  • Date: Saturdays and Sundays now through Monday, January 1, 2024

Blur the lines between horror and comedy with this delightfully deranged musical homage to the “SAW” movie franchise. Tickets start at $38 and the show runs on Saturdays and Sundays now through the end of the year, with additional holiday showings on Halloween and Black Friday. Viewers be warned: Those who opt to sit in the first and second rows may very find themselves in the splatter zone, so are encouraged not to wear anything they wouldn’t want potentially stained.

hitchcock pyscho
Photo by Archive Photos/Getty Images

7. Enjoy Orchestral Performances of Your Favorite Horror Soundtracks

  • Location: The Sheen Center for Thought and Culture, 18 Bleecker Street
  • Date: Friday, October 13

There are two Friday the 13th performances, one at 6:30 pm and one at 9 pm, by the Highline String Quartet, both featuring songs from some of the most iconic horror movie soundtracks. We’re talking Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and the incredibly eerie “Suspiria” score, among other popular favorites. Tickets start at $50

halloween in NYC 2023 Woof Fest HOWL oween 2023
Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

8. Dress Up Your Dog for Woof Fest: HOWL-oween 2023

  • Location: 385 9th Avenue
  • Date: Sunday, October 22

If you want a second dog-theme event to add to your October in addition to the iconic annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade, this is just the ticket. The Woof Fest: HOWL-oween 2023 event features lots of pup-approved Halloween-theme activities, like a Haunted Dog Walk and contests for best costume and best trick. And where there are tricks there’s also plenty of free treats, at least of the dog variety. The event is free to attend and runs from noon to 3 pm.

smythe tribeca murder mystery

9. Solve a Murder Mystery at Smyth Tribeca

  • Location: Smyth Tribeca, 85 W Broadway
  • Date: Thursday, October 26 at 7 pm

If you can’t resist a good puzzle or the opportunity to dress to the nines, then a showing of “Bullets on Broadway” should absolutely be on your radar. The murder mystery event has a strict dress code—black tie of your favorite decade—and tickets include two cocktails plus hors d'oeuvres from the Smyth Tavern to fuel you as you and your friends try to crack the mystery. And, yes, there will be prizes awards to best amateur detectives in attendance. (Tickets start at $60 and attendees must be over 18.)

st patricks old cathedral
courtesy of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

10. Explore the Catacombs at the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral

  • Location: The Chancery, 266 Mulberry Street
  • Date: Thursday through Monday now through the end of 2023

This 90-minute walking tour takes you deep into the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral to explore the catacombs below. Expert guides lead you through otherwise off-limits sections of the church to fill you in on the fascinating, if spooky, history of two walled cemeteries. Oh, and did we mention the whole thing is lit by only candle light? B e sure to pick up your tickets in advance for $37 per person.

halloween house nyc 2023
Erik Freeland / Contributor/Getty Images

11. Walk Through a (Not So) Haunted House

  • Location: The Oculus, 185 Greenwich Street
  • Date: now through Wednesday, November 1

For the scaredy cats among us who still want to get into the holiday spirit, Halloween House is a perfect blend of festive and fun with minimal scares to be had—as the website puts it, “no fear, just fun.” The haunted house is appropriate for all ages and features multiple immersive rooms including a Vampires’ Lair and the Horror Movie Graveyard. Tickets start at $35 for anyone 13 and under or $40 for adults, but you can also save more by buying a group pass for any combination of four guests or more.

12. Explore Fall-O-Ween at the New York Botanical Garden

  • Location: The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Blvd
  • Date: now through Sunday, November 12

The New York Botanical Garden has a slew of family-friendly events as part of its Fall-O-Ween celebration this year, with holiday-specific activities like pumpkin decorating as well as more generally autumnal events like a fall foliage tour. Folks of all ages can hone their Jack-O’-Lantern skills with workshops led by master pumpkin carver Adam Bierton, of you can simply sit back and enjoy the show at a giant skeleton parade featuring puppets by Lucrecia Novoa. General admission tickets for adults cost $35 or $15 for children ages 2 to 12 (anyone under 2 gets in free).

boo at the zoo bronx zoo nyc halloween 2023
courtesy of the Bronx Zoo

13. Attend Pumpkin Nights at the Bronx Zoo

  • Location: The Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Blvd
  • Date: Thursdays through Sundays now through October 29

Boo at the Zoo is back on Saturdays and Sundays through October 29, with costume parades, Halloween crafts and magician performances suitable for all ages. But this year, the zoo is also introducing Pumpkin Nights, Thursdays through Sundays, starting at 6 pm. Visitors can walk through more than 5,000 illuminated animal-theme Jack-O’-Lanterns, check out live pumpkin carving demos, play outdoor games and more. Tickets for Pumpkin Nights evens cost $25 for kids ages 3 through 12, while tickets for adults cost $35 each.



Abby Hepworth is an RRCA-certified running coach who has worked in fashion for over 10 years. Want to know what shoes are in this season? She's got you. Need recommendations on...