10 Ways To Get In The Halloween Spirit In NYC

With Halloween right around the corner, you may or may not have had time to take a day trip to Long Island or Jersey, pick a pumpkin, come back to your tiny (yet cozy!) apartment and make a big ol’ mess carving it.  And dare I bring up trying to Trick or Treat with your kiddos around your neighborhood apartment building?  We get it…there’s some things in NYC that just aren’t quite as easy as living in the burbs.  But in the spirit of, well, getting in the Halloween spirit, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite things to do this time of year!  Trust us, you’ll be feeling festive in no time…with or without pumpkin guts all over your studio apartment!



1. Go crazy at a candy store.  NYC is no stranger to sweet shops, and we rounded up 5 of our favorites right here.  Bonus for candy corn, black licorice, and those sugary gummy orange slices!


2. Take a ghost tour and learn about Manhattan’s most scandalous tales.  Led by the most passionate ghost gurus you’ll ever meet, these creepy tours meet at dusk and take you through the East Village’s dark, dark past.

3. Visit a haunted house.  With NYC’s surplus of talented actors and actresses who haven’t quite made their Broadway debut, a haunted house in the city promises to hold some of the very best (and creepiest!) talent!

4. Drink a pint at a NYC haunted pub.  There’s something enticing about knowing that the souls of NYC’s past are lurking right behind you as you sip your pumpkin ale, right?

5. Dress up your four legged friend for the cutest costume parade, ever!

6. …or dress yourself up for the NYC Halloween Parade, a legendary event that’s the largest of its kind in the nation.  Oh heyyy, NYC!  Grand Marshall this year is Whoppi Goldberg, woo hoo!

7. Sleep No More.  Alright, I know I’m ALWAYS telling you guys about a “must do” that is simply THE BEST EVER, right?  (Kinda the point of the website?!)  But promise, this is definitely an event you should add to that list, and no better time than Halloween.  This interactive piece of performance art/theater combines Shakespeare’s MacBeth with a wild and crazy trip through floors of the McKittrick Hotel…we’re talking bodies in bathtubs, secret lairs, haunting music…oh, and you’ll be masked the entire time.  It’s unforgettable.


8. Go to the Haunted Pumpkin Garden.  Because the Boogie-Down Bronx knows scary!


9. Pumpkin pick right here in NYC!  Okay, let’s not kid ourselves and pretend this is quite the same as leaving the city (the pumpkins are already picked for you, but you do get to pick one out!), but while you’re at it you’ll have a lovely day at the Queens County Farm!


10. Watch a free screening of the greatest Halloween movie, ever.  Because we all agree that It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is the best, yes?;-)  And we LOVE when we can give Staten Island a little love on the blog, too!

We’d love to know…how are you getting in the Halloween spirit this year?  Share below!


By: Jessica Tiare Bowen//Photo Credit: 1


This post is part of Travel Photo Thursday at Budget Travelers Sandbox.


  • Heather says:

    Halloween was always my favorite night of the year when I lived in NYC. My friends and I would always dress up and then head out for a night on the town. My most epic costume was Pippi Longstocking!

    • Used York City says:

      Love it! Did you put a coat hanger in your hair to make it stay up? That’s what I did as a kid;-)

  • I’m very intrigued by the Sleep No More concept. I kind of wish that someone would put it on in my town except that I am such a scaredy cat that I probably wouldn’t go. We are beyond excited this year to be in the USA for Halloween. It’s pretty much nonexistent in Malaysia where we’ve been for the last 3 years. We attempted to educate our international friends and arranged for a trick-or-treating expedition in our high rise apartment to families that agreed to hand out candy. It turns out that cramming 20 kids into elevators is no fun and all the other tower residents who weren’t participating did not appreciate our hogging the elevators for a few hours.

    • Used York City says:

      Haha, aww I love that you gave it a try though, Michele! Ya know, I agree though, even trying to trick or treat in NYC apartment buildings is a lot tougher than the suburbs…the building sends around a lost ahead of time of apartments that are willing to participate and hand out candy, and then kids only go to those approved doors…while clogging the elevator, of course;-)

  • Melissa says:

    I’ve done Sleep No More twice. I agree, it’s definitely something people must try. I absolutely love it.

    • Used York City says:

      Totally! Even on the first time around I didn’t feel like I saw everything there is to see…I’d love to go back!

  • Halloween isn’t really celebrated in Korea. Although, that is changing. I love the “Sleep No More” adventure. That sounds like a blast! Thanks for linking up this week! #TPThursday

    • Used York City says:

      It really is, Nancie! And interesting from my travel bloggers’ comments, Halloween seems to be a very much US celebrated holiday!

  • Leigh says:

    We’ve bought the candy, the pumpkins are next and we always hope it won’t snow. Last year my pumpkins got frozen so they didn’t look very pretty by the time the 31st rolled around.
    Looks like there is plenty to do in NYC.

    • Used York City says:

      Woohoo, sounds like you guys are prepped and ready to go! I lived in Washington state for a while as a kid, and remember it snowing on Halloween there! Nothing like an early start to the winter!;-)

  • These all sound like such fun, I’d love to experience Halloween in the US, whether NYC or elsewhere, one day, you sure know how to make it fun.

    • Used York City says:

      It’s a fun time of year to visit the USA, for sure! I’m excited to read about your luxurious day on the beach!;-)

  • I love the Queens Farm. It’s amazing what they’ve done with it and it’s just so cool to be in the city limits and on a working farm. They have some fun evening events, too, for those without kids. (they are fundraisers so are expensive but pretty unique).

    • Used York City says:

      Oh so great to know about the evening events, Eileen! I’ll definitely have to check out the calendar, thanks!

  • Tamara says:

    I’ve never done Halloween in NYC, but I’ve done it in San Francisco and it was a BLAST!
    I always wanted to see Rocky Horror in NYC.

  • Lydia says:

    These are great… I particularly like the haunted pub suggestion!

    I love NYC at Halloween, you Americans go all out unlike us Brits!

    • Used York City says:

      Thanks Lydia! It’s interesting how different cultures get really excited for different holidays…I was just re-watching the British film “One Day” and learned about St. Swithun’s Day, something we don’t celebrate at all here in the US!

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