New York City moms know that trick-or-treating in the big apple is very different than suburban or small-town trick-or-treating. We have high rise buildings, a crazy amount of traffic and quirky small neighborhoods nestled throughout the city. We have to worry about different things so it's nice to know where the safest places to trick or treat in New York City are.
Whether you stay in your apartment building, stroll through one of the city's most iconic neighborhoods, or visit a museum, there are many places you and your kids can go trick-or-treating. Apartment building trick-or-treating is one of the most efficient ways to get candy if you live in a high rise. In our old building in Riverdale, people signaled if they were willing to have trick-or-treaters ring their bell but placing a candy bag on their door. This saved tons of time and eliminated the standing-there-expectantly-for-no-one-to-answer-the-door part of the holiday. But you can't just go into random apartment buildings, especially the doorman ones, and start ringing doorbells. So make arrangements with friends and neighbors to visit their buildings before you set off.
Neighborhood parades are often the centerpiece of city Halloween celebrations. My only caution is to make sure that the parade is G-rated (or at least PG) before you head there. Anyone who has ever seen the Greenwich Village Parade knows that while it's entertaining, it probably isn't the right place for our kids. Also, many shopkeepers generously distribute candy to the kids who come in on Halloween in a costume, in every neighborhood.
There are Halloween celebrations that don't involve the "grown up" parade. Take your little ones to the Greenwich Village Children's Halloween Parade. It starts at 1pm at the Washington Square Arch and ends at LaGuardia Place, where they are giving out goodies. Continue into the West Village neighborhood for some low-key trick-or-treating on the quiet blocks there.
Park Slope is another kid-parade-friendly neighborhood. Their parade kicks off at 6:30 p.m. on Halloween, from the corner of 14th Street and 7th Avenue and ends with music at the J. J. Byrne Playground at the Old Stone House. Store owners in the neighborhood, especially on 7th Avenue, often provide candy to the kids who come into their shops.
Clinton Hill hosts Halloween 313, a live show that originated as a way to give neighborhood children a safe trick-or-treating alternative. It takes place at 313 Clinton Avenue and shows run approximately every 30 minutes from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Other Brooklyn neighborhoods recommended by local moms include Clinton Street in Cobble Hill, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Park Place in Prospect Heights and Garden Place in Brooklyn Heights.
Sometimes local stores can be a great place to go for easy and safe NYC trick-or-treating. In East Midtown, start at Tramway Plaza on 59th Street and 2nd Avenue. There will be face painting, spooky photo shoots and, of course, treats. Afterwards, visit the many businesses in the neighborhood that will be distributing candy to the kids who come by in costume.
Upper East Side
Many people on the UES will trick or treat in their own high rises, but the brownstone blocks can be the most fun. UES moms recommend hitting up the townhouses on 78th Street between 2nd Avenue and Madison Avenue as well as 92nd Street between Park and Madison.
North Shore — Staten Island
It might not be worth a ferry ride here, but if you live on Staten Island, the North Shore seems to be the place for trick-or-treating. According to the website 6SQFT, not only are the North Shore houses fabulously decorated but they give the best candy, too.
Museum Of The City Of New York
This museum on Fifth Avenue and 103rd Street is having its Third Annual Halloween Party and it's free! There will be treats (of course!) but also a Monster Mash Dance Party, pumpkin decorating and a New York scavenger hunt.
The Plaza Hotel
If your child is more into tea parties than trick-or-treating, take them to The Plaza Hotel for an Eloise At The Plaza themed Halloween party where everything is pink: pumpkins, glitter, lemonade and dessert. The party is from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the cost is $60 per person. Reservations can be made at (212) 546-5457 or by email at EloiseEvents@fairmont.com. There's also trick-or-treating at The Plaza's Food Hall from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
American Museum of Natural History
Another alternative to traditional trick-or-treating is to go to the American Museum of Natural History for an evening of spooky astronomy stories about outer space. If your child wears an "out of this world" costume, they'll get a free prize. Cost is $15 per adult and $13.50 for students and seniors.
There are many places in Queens to trick or treat. Kew Gardens and Forest Hills get high marks, according to the website Mommy Poppins. Stores along Austin Street and Lefferts Boulevard welcome kids in costume with candy and many of the apartment buildings on Austin Street are open to neighborhood trick or treaters. Jackson Heights hosts a Halloween Parade that kicks at from 89th Street and 37th Avenue and goes to PS 69. Other great neighborhoods to try are Astoria, Flushing and Sunnyside Gardens.
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