Free Halloween Parades for New York City Kids 2013
Everyone loves a parade, which means we're all absolutely smitten with Halloween parades. While we think every family should take the kids to the big Village Halloween Parade at least once, it can be pretty scary. It's always insanely crowded and loud, and many of the costumes are risqué, gory or in poor taste (which we happen to love, but we realize not every parent feels that way).
The Village Halloween Parade takes place on Thursday, October 31 (the organizers have raised enough money via Kickstarter to recoup losses from Hurricane Sandy). The procession starts at 7pm and winds its way up Sixth Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street. (Plan to arrive much earlier though if you want to snag a good viewing spot.) But if your family isn't up for that big Hallow-baloo, there are plenty of smaller, kid-friendly NYC neighborhood parades, and many are part of larger fun-filled Halloween festivals.
We've rounded up 30 of these community-driven Halloween processions for families to watch or march in, and most are FREE. If you don't live in a great trick-or-treating area, these parades are also a wonderful way to hunt for candy in another neighborhood. Remember, you can find even more seasonal fun in our Halloween Fun Guide.
Saturday, October 26
Brooklyn Heights Halloween Parade – Brooklyn Heights
Pierrepont Playground, Pierrepont Street and Columbia Heights
Saturday, October 26 at 10am
Put on your costumes and head to this popular neighborhood play spot for a short procession around the premises. Afterward, there will be a bake sale to benefit the playground, face painting and a professional photographer who will snap pics of the kids in their Halloween best. Rain date is Sunday, October 27
Coney Island Children's Halloween Parade – Coney Island
Line up at MCU Park, 1904 Surf Avenue at West 19th Street
Saturday, October 26 11am-2pm. Preregistration required for the parade, which kicks off at 1:30pm.
Costumed marchers will take over the boardwalk between MCU Park and Luna Park at 1:30pm. Beforehand, there will be a ton of family-friendly entertainment including music, magicians, face painters, sideshow performers and a costume contest. After the procession, kids can hit the rides (for a fee) at Luna Park or pick up treats compliments of IT'SUGAR. Weather permitting.
Carroll Park Halloween Parade – Carroll Gardens
Line up in Carroll Park between Smith and Court Streets, President and Carroll Streets
Saturday, October 26 at 11:30pm
The procession heads up Smith Street at noon toward Douglass Street, and then back to the park via Court Street. Treats and photos included!
Pelham Bay Halloween Parade – the Bronx
Saturday, October 26 at 11:30am
Line up at Confetti Party Place, 3190 Westchester Avenue between Wilkinson Avenue and Sands Place
This first annual procession in the boogie down borough is hosted by the Pelham Bay Merchants Association. Participating goblins get treat bags and no-cost breakfast (while supplies last) before making their way down Mahan Avenue. The procession ends at Keane Square at the intersection of Westchester and Crosby Avenues, where there will be a festive street fair with live music and other treats. RSVP required for the parade.
Halloween Family Disco & Costume Parade – Harlem
Line up at the Harlem Center Police Athletic League, 441 Manhattan Avenue at 119th Street
Saturday, October 26 at 11:45am
Parade is free; $20 per family suggested donation for the party
Nonprofit organizations Harlem4Kids and Mocha Moms are throwing their eighth annual Halloween bash from noon to 3pm (buying advance tickets is a must since it always sells out). However beforehand, families are invited to participate in a free costume parade around the nabe. The procession starts at the Harlem Center PAL and heads east on 119th Street to Frederick Douglass Boulevard, then ends on 118th Street. Participants will be singing two songs to the tunes of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." Lyric sheets will be provided.
Halloween Festival – Fort Greene
Line up in Fort Greene Park on the Great Lawn, between Myrtle and Dekalb Avenues, Washington Park and St. Edwards Street
Saturday, October 26 noon-3pm
The park-wide costume parade is one of the highlights of this popular annual fest. Other attractions include a pumpkin patch, two horse-drawn carriage hayrides, games, face painting and a costume contest for dogs (and their owners). Rain date is Sunday, October 27.
Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade – Roosevelt Island
Line up at Blackwell House, 500 Main Street
Saturday, October 26 noon-3pm
Take the tram to the Roosevelt Island's annual Halloween celebration. After a march up Main Street, families can enjoy games, a moon walk, mechanical rides, spin art, cotton candy, popcorn and live music. Afterward, stick around and explore the picturesque isle.
Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association Costume Parade – Harlem
Marcus Garvey Park, toddler playground, 124th Street between Fifth Avenue and Mount Morris Park West
Saturday, October 26 1-4pm
This local community organization is hosting many different Halloween events but the big fest and costume parade take place the Saturday before Halloween. The festivities kick off with a costume contest, after which revelers will make their way in and around Marcus Garvey Park. Bring your noisemakers, drums, rattles and whistles. Other attractions include FDNY and NYPD vehicles, arts and crafts, games and a costume swap.
Halloween Costume Parade – Soho
Line up at the Scholastic Store, 557 Broadway between Prince and Spring Streets
Saturday, October 26 at 3pm
Preschooler favorite Clifford the Big Red Dog leads families on a short neighborhood parade. Afterward, revelers hit the bookstore to create their own treat bags and participate in a costume contest.
Children's Halloween Parade & Party – Greenpoint
Line up near the Polish & Slavic Center, 176 Java Street between Manhattan Avenue and McGuinness Boulevard
Saturday, October 26 3-5pm
Parade is free, $10 per person for the party
This colorful procession heads down Manhattan Avenue past Nassau Street and back to the Polish & Slavic Center, where there will be an indoor party with mask making, mazes, mummy races, zombie games, a bounce house and more.
Sunday, October 27
Bleecker Park Halloween Festival – Greenwich Village
Line up at Abingdon Square Park at 9:20am for the parade, which kicks off at 9:45am
Fest is in Bleecker Street Playground, Hudson and Bleecker Streets
Sunday, October 27 at 10am-2pm
This entertainment-filled fest begins with a toddler-friendly costume parade around the nabe to the Bleecker Street Playground, where there will be live entertainment by kindie pop band Princess Katie & Racer, performers from the Joffrey Ballet School and the American Tap School, games, hayrides, face painting and more. Bonus: A slew of local merchants will be giving out treats to kids who come in costume—look for orange posters in their windows!
Astoria Halloween Parade – Astoria
Line up at Ditmars Avenue and 31st Street in front of the CVS Pharmacy
Saturday, October 27 at noon
Locals don their best costumes for this annual procession, which ends with a kid-friendly fete at one of our favorite family restaurants in Queens, the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden.
Screamin' Green Halloween – Battery Park City
Line up in Brookfield Place, Winter Garden & Waterfront Plaza, 220 Vesey Street near West Street
Sunday, October 27 noon-3pm
At this eco-friendly fete, kids can bob for apples, pin the face on the pumpkin, compete in a gourd roll, hear spooky tales, follow wandering puppets and marching bands, do green art projects, pose for pics in front of a ghoulish green screen and find a new-to-you outfit at the massive costume swap. The afternoon climaxes with a Ghosts & Goblins Parade around Battery Park City led by a marching band.
Halloween Party – Murray Hill
Line up in St. Vartan's Park, First Avenue between 36th and 37th Streets
Sunday, October 27 noon-2pm
Head to the playground in St. Vartan's Park for a costume party complete with arts and crafts, snacks and a small parade led by Looney Louie.
Washington Market Park Halloween Costume Parade & Party – Tribeca
Line up at CitiGroup Plaza, Greenwich Street at North Moore Street at 12:45pm
Sunday, October 27 1-3pm
This very popular neighborhood fete (read: crowded) begins with a parade down Greenwich Street to the park. Once there, kids can groove to a Princess Katie & Racer Steve concert, play games, do arts and crafts, and navigate a tricky hay maze. Leave your stroller at home or check it at the entrance: They're not allowed in the park.
Halloween: Parade & Pumpkin Sail – Harlem
Line up at the Dana Discovery Center in Central Park, enter at 110th Street between Lenox and Fifth Avenues
Sunday, October 27 4-6:30 pm
The festivities begin with spooky music, crafts, and other seasonal activities and entertainment. Afterward, kids can join a cool costume parade around the northeastern edge of the park (that seems to get bigger every year!), followed by the release of a fleet of floating pumpkins in the Harlem Meer. Check our event listing for important info about submitting your jack-o'-lantern. Weather permitting.
Thursday, October 31
Greenwich Village Children's Halloween Parade – Greenwich Village
Line up at the Washington Square Park Arch, Fifth Avenue and Washington Square Park North
Thursday, October 31 3-6pm
At this G-rated version of the Village Halloween Parade (organized by New York University and Community Board 2), costumed children ages 3-12 and their parents march around Washington Square Park. Afterward, stay for treats, rides and face painting.
Forest Hills Halloween Walk – Forest Hills
Line up at the Forest Hills branch of Maspeth Federal Savings at 101-09 Metropolitan Avenue between 70th Drive and Continental Avenue
Thursday, October 31 at 3:30pm
Local Queens bank Maspeth Federal Savings sponsors this Halloween stroll through the neighborhood, which includes raffles and treats.
Hippo Playground Halloween Parade – Upper West Side
Line up at the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, Riverside Drive at 89th Street
Thursday, October 31 3:45-5:45pm
Little revelers can follow bagpipers down the steep slope to Riverside Park's beloved playground, where they'll get into the spirit with complimentary cider and doughnuts.
Witches Walk – Greenpoint
Line up at The Flying Squirrel, 87 Oak Street at Franklin Street
Thursday, October 31 at 4pm
Big news for this annual Brooklyn fave: It's no longer in Williamsburg! Longtime organizer, second-hand baby and kids' shop The Flying Squirrel, has relocated to Greenpoint and the parade has moved with it. Since the shop literally just opened in its new space, the procession will be a brief one on Franklin Street to Greenpoint Avenue and then back for a party. We're glad to hear the tradition will continue!
Halloween Kids Parade and Party – Dumbo
Line up at Brooklyn Roasting Company, 25 Jay Street near John Street
Thursday, October 31 4-5:30pm
Enjoy scary stories, a set by Preschool of Rock, a costume contest and complimentary hot chocolate at the Brooklyn Roasting Company. Then at 4:30pm, head out into the streets for a short procession, which includes trick-or-treating at partcipating neighborhood shops like Dewey's Candy Store.
Cobble Hill Halloween Parade – Cobble Hill
Line up in Cobble Hill Park, Clinton Street and Verandah Place
Thursday, October 31 at 4pm
As in years past, this parade will wind its way through the neighborhood with the Jah Pan Steel Drum Band leading the way. Afterward, families can trick-or-treat on Clinton Street. Make sure you pass by the incredible Halloween pumpkin house on Kane Street especially since this is the last year artist Jane Greengold is creating the display at this location.
Jackson Heights Halloween Parade – Jackson Heights
Line up at 37th Avenue and 85th Street
Thursday, October 31 at 5pm
Did you know that the Jackson Heights Halloween Parade is the second-largest Halloween parade in New York City? But unlike the big Village Halloween Parade, this one is all about the kids—approximately 3,000 of them show up every year. The procession ends at P.S. 69 at 77th Street and 37th Avenue, where goodie bags are distributed.
Prospect Park South Parade – Prospect Park South
Line up at 1306 Albemarle Road near Argyle Road
Thursday, October 31 at 5pm
Local families gather on the corner to snack on seasonal treats and then march through the nabe.
City Island Halloween Parade – the Bronx
Line up at Hawkins Park, City Island Avenue between Fordham and Hawkins Streets
Thursday, October 31 at 5:30pm
Last year this annual tradition was canceled due to Hurricane Sandy. So expect an extra-festive atmosphere at this edition as residents march down the isle's main street.
Halloween Walk – Clinton Hill
Line up at Pratt-Clinton HIll Community Garden, DeKalb Avenue and Hall Street
Thursday October 31st 5:30 to 7:00pm
Bring your treat bags to the Society for Clinton Hill’s 20th annual parade. Show off your costumes and hit houses and shops throughout the neighborhood. Maps will be handed out the night of so you know where to go.
West Midwood Halloween Parade – West Midwood
Line up at Glenwood and Rugby Roads
Thursday, October 31 at 6pm
The procession starts at 6:30pm and heads around the neighborhood
Park Slope Civic Council Children’s Halloween Parade – Park Slope
Line up at Seventh Avenue and 14th Street
Thursday, October 31 at 6:30pm
One of our favorite Halloween events for families has a literary theme this year: To Boo or Not to Boo. Come dressed as your favorite fictional character, Shakespearean or otherwise, or you know, just wear your costume. Little ghouls and goblins march along Seventh Avenue to Third Street, then turn left to Fifth Avenue and end at the Old Stone House, where the party continues with live music, dancing and other festivities. Make sure you pass by 2nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues to check out the amazing Ghost Ship.
Halloween Parade – Ridgewood
Line up at Stop & Shop 64-66 Myrtle Avenue at Cypress Avenue
Thursday, October 31 at 7pm
Sponsored by nonprofit the Kiwanis Club of Glendale, this annual procession includes floats, a costume contest and lots of families wearing their Halloween best.
Halloween Ragamuffin Parade in Maspeth – Maspeth
Line up at the main gate of the Mount Olivet Cemetery, Grand Avenue and Remsen Place
Thursday, October 31 at 7pm
Sponsored by the Maspeth Lions Club, this procession kicks off appropriately enough at a cemetery and ends at the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, where participants enjoy sweets and a costume contest.
There are also Halloween parades at many local family spots. The Bronx Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden's Haunted Pumpkin Garden and Ghouls & Gourds at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden all offer families a chance to show off their costumes with the price of admission. And we'll be doing a small costume parade on our Mommy Poppins Haunted Halloween Sail on Saturday, October 19, too.
Did we miss a parade? Submit it to our Event Calendar or leave the info in the comments.
For more seasonal fun check out our Halloween Guide.
- Halloween 2013 for NYC Kids: Best Halloween Parades, Parties and Trick-or-Treating on Thursday, October 31
- Halloween 2011 for NYC Kids: Things to Do on Monday, October 31
- Ragamuffin Parades: Costume Parades for Westchester Families
- Halloween 2012 for NYC Kids: Yes, There Are Still a Few Things to Do on Wednesday, October 31 Despite the Hurricane