5 Magical Halloween Events for NYC Families

I can't believe how many Halloween events there are in this city. There is cool-sounding stuff to do for Halloween with kids in every corner of the city from now until the 31st. Little neighborhood events can be the best ones, so definitely keep an eye out for what's going on in your hood (and let us know).

I've picked out just five events that each take a different spin on celebrating the holiday, aren't too commercialized, and hopefully bring that Halloween magic that will give you and your family great Halloween memories.

Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Sail
Just as the sun is setting, children launch their lit Jack o' Lanterns out into the Harlem Meer and watch as the flotilla of jack o' Lanterns float across the water. Starting at 4PM there will also be mask-making workshop, lawn games, a costume parade, and costume contest. FREE. When: Saturday, October 28th, 4-7PM

Brooklyn Botanical Garden Ghouls and Ghords
At Ghouls and Gourds kids learn about plants as they engage in freakishly fun activities. In addition to the great big costume parade, carnivorous plant feedings with BBG's very own "Morticia Adams," giant ten-foot-tall puppets, a flying flea circus, mysterious music, and other eerie oddities. Music from Maracatu NY and the rockin' tunes of Audra Rox. Sounds cool.
When: Sunday, October 28 from noon to 6.

Scared Silly: Halloween in Prospect Park
A weekend of Halloween family fun in Prospect Park. There'll be the Haunted Carousel, Scary Stories from the past and period Halloween crafts at Lefferts Historic House, Creepy Crawly Critter Fest at the Audubon Center, Boo at the Zoo, and the Halloween Haunted Walk (Saturday only) and carnival. All free except for carousel and Zoo admission. When: October 27 – 28

Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall will be the site of a weekend full of family fun and events, but the highlight is sure to be the award-winning giant puppets of Ralph Lee. These puppets are just amazing and there's nothing like seeing them up close. It's sure to be some Halloween magic you and your children will remember for years to come. When: October 27-28

Di­a de los Muertos
Not eactly Halloween, but I thought it would be interesting to add a slightly different cultural perspective on this Holiday. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is the Mexican version of our All Saints Day or Halloween. At this Family festival, families are invited to explore the ancient roots and contemporary DГѓВ­a de los Muertos customs through bilingual educator-led altar discussions, artist-led workshops, storytelling, live music and dance performances, and food workshops that teach about ofrendas (offerings) and the traditional foods involved in the celebration. Free, but registration required. When: Saturday, November 3, 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm

The museums come to you at NYC CultureFest

Earlier in the week I wrote about the The Cool Parents’ Guide to All of New York as the NYC book most like the spirit of Mommy Poppins. Today I'm writing about the event that is most in the spirit of this site, NYC CultureFest.

NYC CultureFest is one of those events you might ignore while speeding past the tacky poster taped to the subway wall, but Mommy Poppins is here to tell you this one is a keeper. It's like a pop-up version of a NYC guide - you'll find out about 125 museums, kids' classes, events, performances and more. Add two stages of off-beat entertainment, one dedicated just to kids' shows, and loads of fun activities for kids at all the booths and your "research" couldn't be more fun. I guarantee you'll find out about stuff you had no idea existed. Plus, it's free.

More events for NYC kids this weekend after the jump...

Tid Bits: Events, news and our giveaway winner

I often hear that one of the big problems bloggers have is running out of ideas of what to write about. Luckily I have never faced that issue. In fact, I have just the opposite. There are so many amazing things going on in NYC for kids that I actually have a queue of over 50 posts just waiting to be written at any time. I just wish there were more of me so I could get to all of them.

So, in this post I'm going to throw out a bunch of little snippets that I've had sitting in my queue waiting for their day in the sun...and at the end I'll announce the winner of our Warm Biscuit Bedding Company Giveaway.

Book of the Week: Cool Parent's Guide to All of New York

Some of my very favorite posts to write on this site are the excursions. I love planning a day out in the city with the kids in some great neighborhood to explore, figuring out where to eat and digging up some off the beaten path finds. Unfortunately they are also the most time-consuming posts to write and I don't get to do nearly as many as I'd like to. In fact, I have a very long list of excursions that I'd love to write up, but need to do the leg-work before I feel like I can.

Until I get around to my very long list of NYC kid outings, there's a great book that is very much in the spirit of this site. The Cool Parents' Guide to All of New York: Excursions and Activities in and Around Our City That Your Children Will Love and You Won't Think Are Too Bad Either is a guide book that is just as good for families who live here as it is for visitors. It takes you on fabulous day trips through the city and covers a lot of those spots that even been there done that New Yorkers either haven't been or forgot about.

Dinner for Three: The art of eating out with an infant, toddler or preschooler

All NYC kids should be raised restaurant-ready, but it doesn't happen automatically. My blogger friend, and Izzy's Mom, chronicles her quest to raise her son as a gourmand on her site, Izzy Eats and has been generous enough to share some of her tips for how to eat out at restaurants with kids and enjoy it at every stage of the game. Along the way she recommends some of her favorite restaurants that she's enjoyed with her son. Thanks, Izzy's Mom!

My son, Izzy and I, have been dining out together since he was born. Eating in restaurants was an important part of my life and I wasn’t about to give that up when I became a mother. Instead I wanted to include my son in the pleasures of the table, especially since New York City is a restaurant paradise. Now at age four, dining out is second nature to him. At home or in restaurants, eating with him is a true delight. He is a polite and interested eater which I attribute to his regular exposure to restaurant culture early on. And so, based on my experience I offer the following so that you too can dine out successfully.

Giveaway: $50 Gift Certificate to Warm Biscuit Bedding Company

I'm not much of a soft-y, but there's something about vintage kid stuff that just makes me weak in the knees. I'm not talking about like 1970s hipster let's-put-Atari-decals-on-the-walls vintage. I mean like Dick and Jane 1950s vintage. The innocence and the optimism just thrills me.

And, let's face it, there's nothing more optimistic than having a baby–or decorating a nursery, for that matter. Filling your child's room with beautiful, wholesome toys and artwork is a wish that your and your children's lives will be just as perfect and serene as the room.

If there's any place to stock up on vintage optimism, it's The Warm Biscuit Bedding Company. They sell all kinds of furniture, decorations and of course bedding for lovely kids' rooms, but I have to say my heart lies in their classic toys. And they sell pages and pages of them.

You can really get lost in this site for a long time just checking out all the wonderful things that they have.

OpenHouseNewYork Weekend Guide for Kids

If you're planning on staying in the city for the long Columbus Day Weekend, then you've picked a good time to stay home. Besides the Apple Festivals we wrote about yesterday there's another special free festival this weekend with all kinds of unique activities for kids. The openhousenewyork weekend is America's largest architect and design event, opening 350 doors to off-the-beaten-track locations throughout New York City. And OHNY Kids has special programs designed just for children. You'll find programs that teach kids about sustainable living, discover places you've never heard of, go places rarely open to the public, see artist studios in action and participate in fun activities at one of the many historic sites around NYC. We've picked out some of the highlights for you, but you can see the whole Open House New York program guide online.

Free Swap for Kids Halloween Costumes

I want to thank everyone who has already taken the Mommy Poppins Reader Survey. I'm getting all kinds of great feedback and over the next couple of months we'll be starting to institute lots of them. There's going to be a lot of fun and exciting changes and I'm really looking forward to it.

In fact, one piece of feedback lead to this idea already: One of the things that people were interested in was classifieds. Seeing as it's October now and Halloween is on it's way, I thought we'd start out with a Halloween Costume Swap Board.

It will be a fun, easy way to get rid of old costumes or discover new ones. I'm hoping this will be really fun and lots of people will participate. The Mommy Poppins Halloween Costume Swap will be a great way for this community to come together and find great costumes for our kids this Halloween.


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