How To Spend Halloween In New York?

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We are already at the end of September, and Halloween is right around the corner. YAY ! the holidays season is getting closer πŸ˜‰ 

 As an Israeli, we don’t celebrate Halloween here, but there are many Halloween themed parties around Israel that are pretty cool.   

But as an American by heart, I just can’t get over the excitement of October coming up, I love Halloween more than I like the Jewish Holidays πŸ˜‰ 

It just warms my heart and reminds me of the good old days of celebrating Halloween when I lived in the States. 

Anyways, I thought the best way to start this fall season, is talking about Halloween! 

I don’t know about you, but when I think of October, except for thinking about the red and yellow leaves I miss seeing in America, I immediately think about HALLOWEEN.  

Last year I visited New York in the Halloween season, and it was so much fun! So, I wanted to share with you guys all of the best Halloween activities to do in New York.


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1. Walk Around The Upper East Side

The Upper East Side is decorated so beautifully every single year. I had so much fun walking around, checking out and taking pictures of the decorated houses. 

2. Visit Manhattans Most Haunted House

Take a spookly candlelight Ghost Tour at The Merchant’s House Museum, which is known as Manhattan’s Most Haunted House. 

The history behind “Merchant’s House Museum”:

In 1835 Seabury Tredwell, his wife Eliza and their six children moved to the house. They lived there until 1933 when their youngest daughter, died in the house at the age of 93. 

In 1936 the house was opened to the public, serving a perfect preservation of the styles and architecture of its time. The museum contains a large number of the family’s possessions, ranging from examples of 19th-century decor and fashion to more personal items such as bedsheets, chamber pots, and sickbeds. 

The museum’s history isn’t the only thing that attracts so many visitors; reports of paranormal activity at the house have started since the 1930s, shortly after the youngest daughter, Gertrude Tredwell’s death. 

It has been claimed that people felt temperature fluctuation, strange smells, disembodied voices and footsteps, sounds of parties and piano-playing from inside the house were heard by people walking the street outside the house. 

There have also been people who calimed to see ghost sightings. After all these paranormal activities claims, the museum got the title of the Most Haunted House in Manhattan. 

The most frequent report from visitors is of a woman in a brown dress moving about inside the house. There has been a rumor going around that she had interacted with museum visitors. The woman in the brown dress is believed to be the ghost of Gertrude Tredwell. 

Around the Halloween season, the popular activities in the museum is a candlelight ghost tours and also visiting a traditional 19th-century funeral that the museum hosts. They decorate the whole place in Victorian mourning decor.

Picture from:

3. Greenwich Village Ghost Tour

Explore Greenwich Village Ghost Tour after dark. 

The tour starts with scary stories your local guide tells you while visiting the Hanging Tree that is located at the heart of Washington Square Park.

Then, you continue your way over to the Brown Building, the site of the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, where the victims still linger to this day. Moving up to the 5th Avenue and stopping by the Church of the Ascension haunted by John Lafarge.

You will have another tour in the “House Of Death”, home to 22 spirits and the site of several murders. 

Also, hear about the ghost of a former mayor, and pass the famous Stonewall In where the riots that led the birt of gay rights began. Then, cross Christopher Street to visit the infamous speakeasy of Chumley’s.

I recommend booking your tour in advance, because October is obviously Halloween season, and if you don’t book in advance, tickets might sell out. This website offers discount tickets to the tour.

4. Visit Halloween Stores!

I love Halloween stores. And New York City offers many nice ones. I only visited Abracadabra, but i’ve heard that there is another cool store called Halloween Adventure.

These Halloween stores offer many beautiful, cool costumes, accessories, Halloween makeup – anything you need to complete your Halloween costume.

 Also, I know that Abracadabra offers a costume renting service, which is pretty nice.

5. Try Pumpkin Flavored Food!

I love pumpkins. I even have this amazing big pumpkin spice scented candle in my bedroom, I am just obssed with pumpkins by itself and mainly with the smell of it. You feel me ? or am I just weird? πŸ˜‰

I must say it here, out loud (even though you can’t hear me), PUMPKING SPICED LATTE is the love of my life. Wow, I just love it. I drink it in the holiday season and then I just miss it the rest of the year. 

I am obssed with Starbucks’s Pumpkin Spiced Latte, but I also tried the Dunkin’ Donuts pumpkin spice latte and it was good as well. Honestly, I feel like you can’t mess up a pumpkin spice latte. 

UGH, I feel the taste of it in my mouth. I want it so badly !!

Anyways, can you really go through October and not trying any pumpkin spiced food? I don’t think so either.

More To Read:

Top 10 Attractions You Must Visit In Manhattan

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How To Book Cheap Flights On Skyscanner

” Travel More, Pay Less” FREE Email Course

6. The Great Jack O’Lantern

This is a Halloween experience you must visit. It isn’t inside New York City though, it is an hour drive from the city, but it is totally worth it.

More than 7,000 pumpkins are carved and shiny lit in the dark. They create figures, bridges, flying ghosts. You can walk along the pumpkin zee bridge, watch the pumpkin merry-go-round spin, look in awe at the water creatures swimming and the giant Sea Snake mdae of hundreds of pumpkins.

Also, you can discover a towering statue of Jack Lnatern’s Liberty rising into the sky.

I highly recommened buying tickets in advance. Tickets to this event are usually sold out pretty quickly. Here is the offical website where you can buy your tickets.

7. The Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla

Every October 30th, starting at 4:00 p.m. in Central Park, one of the most unique Halloween events is held. I am talking about the Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla. It is the perfect event to enjoy with family, friends, kids. 

A huge plus about this event, is that it’s completely FREE ! It is a very entertaining event with a lot of history behind it.

It is very easy participating in the Halloween Pumpkin Flotilla. You just carry a pumpkin that weighs around 8 pounds with nothing in it, larger or smaller pumpkins are not accepted. 

Also, every pumpkin you want to participate in must be carved at home and cannot have any decorations such as paint, paper, plastic or light bulbs.

So, what do you do at the event ? 

At the park you will get a floating pumpkin device when checking in. The space in the fleet is limited to 50 pumpkins. Your pumpkin will leave according to the turn you arrive.

At the end of the Pumpkin Flotilla in the park, there will be more activities such as the Harlem Halloween Parade, which is an event in which you can listen to spooky stories, see theatrical productions and participate in “spooktacular” sports.

And did I mention that the whole event (Pumpkin Flotilla and the other events after it) is completely FREE?!

8. Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade

This is such a cute parade, I don’t know how I didn’t knew it existedlast year ! 

Anyways, the Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade is exactly how it sounds. People sign their cute dogs in creative costumes and show them off to the world !

The CNN calls this parade “The largest dog costume parade in the world”. Hundreds of cute little (and big) dogs join this parade, wearing beautiful and creative costumes. 

There has been a roumer going around that this year’s parade contestants will be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes!

This year, 2019, the parade will be held at the East River Park Amphitheater, on Saturday, October 19th, starting from Noon – 3:00 p.m. 

Also, I am sure you will be happy to hear that attending this parade is completely FREE as well !!! YAY.

* If you live in Manhattan, or in New York’s area, and you want to bring your dog, you’ll be also happy to know that there is no need to pre-register your pet, just come with your pretty dressed pet and enjoy the celebration!

(These dogs are so cute I am DYING HERE. )

9. Visit A Fall Festival

Fall festivals are such a fun way to celebrate Fall, October, and life in general?

Also, it is perfect for traveling with kids, and even as adults alone. Who dosen’t love pumpkins and fall activities?

The first picture you see here down below, was taken in last year’s Elizabeth, NJ, Fall Festival. It was pretty nice, I wouldn’t recommend going there if you don’t have kids. It was mainly for kids and I went there with my little cousins.

Anyways, here are a few popular Fall festivals that are located in New York’s area:

1. Great Pumpkin Festival:

This fall festival has a corn maze that spans 10-acres, carnival rides, gem mining, pony rides, and so much more that it is easy to spend a whole day there ! 

Date: Through the weekends from September 14th – November 3rd, 2019.

Location: Heaven Hill Farms, Vernon, New Jersey

Admission: 15$ per person, children under 2 years are free.

2. Morristown Festival on the Green:

This fall festival has been going for 25 years already ! it includes more than 150 vendors and attracs more than 60,000 visitors each year.

Date: September 29, 2019

Location: Downtowd Morristown, New Jersey

Admission: Free

3. Randall’s Island Harvest Festival

Celebrating fall on the island with live music, pumpkin carving and decorating, kite making, face painting and much more!

Date: October 6th, 2019

Location: Randall’s Island Park, New York City.

Admission: Free

10. Join The Village Halloween Parade!

The same Greenwich Village we’ve talked about earlier in this post, also hosts New York City’s largest and most famous Halloween Parade. 

Every October 31st thousands of people father together to walk in their costumes through the streets of Manhattan. 

This event is spectacular, the people who Participate in the Village Parade are so creative and every year wear amazing costumes.

The parade is completely free, all you need to do is wear a costume and join. This is one of the most fun activities to do during October, and probably the best way to spend Halloween 2019 (or every year’s Halloween honestly).

I recommend arriving early, to make good places where you can watch the Halloween Parade show comfortably.

The parade is held on 6th Avenue between Spring Street and 16th Street, starting at 7:00 p.m. and ents at 11:00 p.m. 

Have you ever celebrated Halloween in New York ? What are your plans for this upcoming Halloween ? Let me know in the comments below !

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