Your Smarter Halloween in NYC

By Alison Durkee

As the Halloween season gets into full swing, there’s nowhere better to be than NYC. Don your costume for a bash or simply get into the spooky spirit with these upcoming city events.

The city’s most famed Halloween celebration, is, of course, the Village Halloween Parade, which will take place once again this Halloween night starting at 7pm. Those wanting to check out a parade while avoiding the Village crowds can head north for the South Bronx Halloween Parade October 26. For more stationary Halloween fests, consider bringing the family to one of the city’s museums. The Museum of the City of New York hosts a Spooky City Halloween Party on October 31, and the Intrepid Museum’s Free Friday on October 25 will have a Halloween theme, complete with cupcake decorating and slime making. Also on October 25, the New York Public Library will host a special after-hours Halloween Masquerade, featuring a costume contest judged by none other than Tim Gunn. Nonstop theater, a costume competition, and ballroom dancing will bewitch the East Village at Theater for the New City’s 42nd annual Village Halloween Costume Ball, on Halloween night.

Brooklynites can have a spooky celebration over at the Green-Wood Cemetery, where their Nightfall party on October 25 and 26 will offer the opportunity to stroll through the cemetery after dark guided by candles and musical performers.

Looking on the culture side of things, perennial Halloween inspiration Frankenstein provides the basis for an Olio Breakfast Club at Threes Brewing in Greenpoint on October 27. Caveat is hosting a several days of creepy programming, including Masters of Social Gastronomy: The World’s Most Terrifying Food Stories (ergotism and beyond) on October 28thThe Science of Monsters on October 29th, and Comedians with Ghost Stories on Halloween night. Halloween afternoon into evening, check out the Metrograph and This Halloween: Two by Laika, presenting the exquisite craftsmanship that went into the hand-drawn animation of films Missing Link and Coraline.

There are also plenty of ways to celebrate Halloween through the performing arts, whether you’re taking in a performance of the macabre Beetlejuice on Broadway. BAM will be marking the holiday with a full selection of NYC-set horror films, which will screen from October 31-November 5 (that’s 1977’s The Sentinel above).

Jose Guadalupe Posada, El Gran Fandango (The Big Party), Print, 1890.

In addition to Halloween, revelers will also be able to celebrate Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos with family-friendly events around the city. Green-Wood Cemetery will hold a family celebration on November 1, while the Museum of the American Indian will hold their annual festivities on November 2. For a twist on the holiday, the American Museum of Natural History’s November 2 festival will stay in line with the museum’s mission, paying tribute to extinct animal species. Over at the Museum of the City of New York, mark the holiday November 1 with a family program, which will include skeleton puppet-making and Mexican treats.

New Yorkers wanting to get into the Halloween spirit can also take advantage of the city’s most haunted spots. Get an unsteady look at “Manhattan’s Most Haunted House” with regular candlelight ghost tours of the Merchant’s House Museum, including a special tour October 26 that will take place in the dead of night.  The haunted spot will also resurrect its own macabre history with an 1865 funeral reenactment marking the death of former resident Samuel Tredwell, which will take place October 27. Another historic Manhattan spot, the Fraunces Tavern Museum, will mark Halloween with its own haunted history tour of Revolutionary-era Fraunces Tavern on October 31. On October 26, the New York Adventure Club will invite guests into a historic Midtown townhouse, where they’ll host an exclusive paranormal investigation with the Gotham Paranormal Society (of Ghost Hunters fame).

For a haunted tour that ventures a little further out, meanwhile, join the National Lighthouse Museum on October 27 for their special haunted boat tour and party, which will sail up the East River pointing out points of spooky interest. Those more interested in spots extending beyond the reaches of New York City can also put a more galactic spin on their Halloween discoveries at the American Museum of Natural History’s Spooky Space talk. The October 29 event will highlight the universe’s most scary phenomena on a virtual tour of the universe with astrophysicist Jackie Faherty and presenter Mark Popinchalk.

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