Halloween Haunted Houses for Kids in New York City 2012
[UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 14, 2012]
Every Halloween, NYC manages to scare up new haunted houses. Many are super terrifying and really meant for adults. But others are not-so-spooky and great for kids.
It seems like almost every Halloween festival is hosting a haunted house this year. We've picked out the ones that seem the most interesting and fun. So read on for the scoop on the top nine Halloween haunted houses for NYC kids... if you dare! And check out our Halloween Fun Guide for even more seasonal fun.
The Haunting at Habitat Mansion – Bronx Zoo
Weekends September 29-October 28 plus Columbus Day 11am-5pm
The Bronx Zoo, 2300 Southern Boulevard
Free with Total Experience Ticket: $29.95 for adults, $19.95 for children ages 2-12, free for kids under 2.
Last year's Haunted Safari has transformed into a not-too-scary haunted house. Families can tour the late Dr. Benton Broome’s creepy mansion and conservatory where things aren't quite right. While you make your way through the kooky home, servants of the manor (a.k.a. friendly zoo staff members) remind kids about the importance of protecting wildlife and our environment.
Halloween at the Ascarium – Coney Island
Weekends October 13-14, 20-21 and 27-28 11am-5pm
New York Aquarium, 602 Surf Avenue near West 8th Street
Free with admission: $14.95 for adults, $10.95 for children ages 3-12, free for kids under 3.
Although the Aquarium's website hasn't yet been updated, we confirmed that this haunted seascape will return for 2012. Nothing's scarier than the state of our planet. Visitors can go on a Haunted Sea-fari through a mildly scary shipwreck, then walk the plank, get up close and personal with sharks and other fearsome creatures, and learn how to help save our beaches and oceans from environmental hazards. There will also be Halloween crafts, storytelling, live performances, animal pumpkin-carving demos and magic shows. Don't forget to dress up the kids: For every full-priced general admission adult ticket purchased, one child in costume gets in free.
Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel – Downtown Brooklyn
Thursday, October 18-Saturday, October 20; Thursday, October 25-Saturday, October 27; and Wednesday, October 31. Times vary. Visit the website for a complete schedule.
Voorhees Theatre, 186 Jay Street near Bridge Plaza Court
Ages 8 and up
This spooky haunted house is built by the students and faculty of Theatreworks, City Tech College's department of entertainment technology. Think the type of animatronic houses you see at amusement parks, like Disney.
Haunted Pumpkin Garden Spooky Nighttime Adventures – Bronx
October 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28 6:30-8pm
New York Botanical Garden, 2900 Southern Boulevard
Free with garden admission: $20
The NYBG will be hosting Halloween programming in its pumpkin sculpture garden throughout October. But on two consecutive weekends, families can go on a Spooky Nighttime Adventure by flashlight through the Adventure Garden after dark. In addition to confronting creepy creatures and scarecrows, kids can also trick-or-treat.
Prospect Walk and Haunted Carnival – Prospect Park
Saturday, October 27 noon-3pm
Hike to Lookout Hill, which will be filled with witches, zombies and other creepy characters. Afterward, head to the Nethermead for a Halloween-themed carnival with games, treats and other fun.
Halloween Haunted House – Floral Park
Friday, October 26-Sunday, October 28 4-7pm
Queens County Farm Museum, 73-50 Little Neck Parkway
Ages 4 and up
You never know what you'll find—or what will find you—in the farm’s creepy haunted house. Afterward, go for a hay ride, down some cider, and buy your pumpkins and apples.
American Museum of Natural History – Upper West Side
Wednesday, October 31 4-5:45pm
Central Park West at 79th Street
The AMNH's annual party is really anything but scary, unless seeing your kids hopped up on sugar is your greatest fear. Families hit the tot spot for crafts, candy, live music and costumed characters. Still, you could argue that the eerie halls of the AMNH are like a haunted house all year round!
Inwood Hill Haunted House and Forest – Inwood
Wednesday, October 31 6-10pm
Inwood Hill Park Nature Center, enter the park at 218th St and Indian Road
It's the ninth year that neighborhood residents and businesses are banding together to produce this scary attraction for families. (Even though the website hasn't yet been updated for 2012, we did confirm that it's happening.) Judging from the photos, it's probably best for tweens and up. Just walk right in and come face to face with witches, ghosts and goblins. Afterward, hit the nature center for more spooky fun which is less scary and more appropriate for younger kids.
There are a few haunted houses we enjoyed in previous years that aren't happening in 2012. The Steampunk Haunted House has been replaced with an adults-only show. Nightmare isn't bringing back its kids' days. (We heard they weren't so great, honestly.) Also, Belvedere Castle won't be transformed into a haunted house.