Halloween

Where to Donate Leftover Halloween Candy on Long Island

Teeny toddlers, precocious preschoolers, and sassy schoolkids all know that when the leaves start turning to vibrant colors, it's time to dream of Halloween. Nothing is more indulgent than dressing up like your favorite hero, knocking on neighborhood doors, and asking for free sugary treats.

When the hoopla has settled down, many parents are frustrated by the amount of confections overflowing in their pantries, some of which will be thrown out before the winter holidays. Here are some fabulous spots on Long Island to donate leftover Halloween candy. And for more great ways to help the less fortunate, check out our list of places to donate gently used toys and baby gear.

Sweet Ways to Donate Halloween Candy

Got a Halloween candy hangover? Come November 1, parents across the country are wondering how they're going to get rid of all the candy their kids brought home. Some of it will be eaten, sure, but just one look at the amount of calories in an average Halloween haul and you'll want to make sure the bulk of it goes anywhere besides your family's stomachs.

There are a number of creative ways to get rid of Halloween candy, like using it for crafts or science experiments, having the Switch Witch take it in exchange for a small toy, or, you know, saving it until Easter and throwing it in the basket. (Hey, it's only six months away—how stale can that candy get?) But perhaps the best thing to do with Halloween candy is donate it. That way your kids can enjoy a truly special treat: The feeling of helping others. Here are seven charitable organizations who accept donations of unopened candy.

Halloween Weekday Fun for New Jersey Kids

Can't wait for Halloween? You don't have to! There's tons of Halloween fun happening on the days leading up to the big holiday. Put those costumes to good use at farm festivals, parades, and plenty of candy-collecting.

Get the most out of Halloween when you check out our Ultimate Halloween Guide for New Jersey Kids, and get the scoop on the state's Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods, the Best Halloween Events for New Jersey Preschoolers, and 35 Free Halloween Events. And of course, find a complete listing of Halloween happenings in our Event Calendar. Happy Halloween!

Día de los Muertos: What Other City Has This Many Day of the Dead Celebrations?

Hauntingly close to Halloween, El Día de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead – is a magical holiday that's also a living history lesson, demonstrating the tendency of conquerors to absorb indigenous customs into their own. Christian Europeans arrived in Mexico already fans of All Hallows Eve (modern day Halloween), only to stumble upon an ancient tradition celebrated by the Aztecs on November 2, with a spookily similar theme. Day of the Dead is a time when the door between worlds is meant to open, so that celebrants can honor departed loved ones and hopefully lure them back for a visit.

Best Halloween Celebrations for NYC Kids on October 31

As holidays in New York City go, few rival the scope of Halloween. Our 2018 Halloween Fun Guide overflows with parades, FREE fun, and trick-or-treating spots in each of the five boroughs, and Wednesday, October 31, remains the main event when kids score all the candy a parent can responsibly "test" once young trick or treaters have collapsed at bedtime.

Some things are certain: Both the trick or treating in Tribeca and the Park Slope Civic Council Children's Halloween Parade will be packed with amazing costumes. BAM's annual BAMboo! block party will again treat kids to dancing and bounce-house jumping, and the Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel will happily scare your tween or teen. But be sure to check out some new fun stuff, too, like the Haunted Musical Trick-or-Treat at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music or the sweet kids costume contest at Harlem's Sugar Hill Creamery (FREE ice cream to the winners!).

Whatever you decide to do on October 31, arrive early and expect crowds. For the best ways to plan an epic Halloween night with your NYC kids, scroll on. Most of our picks are FREE or inexpensive.

Weekend Fun: Halloween Parties and Parades, Trick-or-Treating, Day of the Dead

Call it "Halloweekend:" The fun-packed build-up to the big day takes over town this Saturday and Sunday, including the Haunted Halloween Walk & Fair in Prospect Park, Trick or Treating on Governors Island and at Grand Central Station, Staten Island's Halloween Harbor, and the Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla, along with smaller-but-equally-fun events like the Children's Halloween Festival at Bleecker Playground, the Irish Halloween fest, and Obake (Ghost World) Family Day at the Japan Society. There are even pet costume parades in Fort Greene, at the High Line Hotel, and at the Little Bay Park Dog Run. Note that due to an expected Nor'easter in NYC this weekend, some Saturday events may be rescheduled or postponed, so check websites and details before heading out.

Halloween isn't the only holiday in town this weekend; don't forget about Day of the Dead celebrations, including a sunset outdoor screening of Coco, Día de los Muertos at Wave Hill, and celebrations at the National Museum of the American Indian and St. Mark's Church in the Bowery. You can also enjoy more fall festivities at the annual Children's Fall Festival in Queens.

For Halloween events on Wednesday, October 31, check out our complete roundup of Halloween Day festivities, plus our comprehensive NYC trick-or-treating guide, highlighting the best neighborhoods to hit in all five boroughs. There's still time to pick the perfect pumpkin before the big day, too, even within the city limits. Don't forget: in the aftermath, you can donate all your leftover candy and, later in November, smash your pumpkins

Need a break from planning your kid's costume? Bryant Park's Winter Village and skating rink and Prospect Park's rink open Saturday.

While it's never easy to whittle down all of NYC's amazing Halloween events to one post, you can check our October GoListEvent Calendar, and Halloween Guide for even more ideas.

Safe, Organized, and Indoor Trick-or-Treat Options for LA Kids on Halloween Night

We may have grown up cruising the streets unchaperoned eating loosely wrapped candy on Halloween night, but we’d no sooner let our own children do that than bounce around the back of a station wagon without a car seat. And while some of us are fortunate enough to have friendly, festive neighborhoods to walk our Moanas and Elsas through, many parents prefer the safety and self-contained nature of a mall, museum, or other organized trick-or-treat event.

Keep an eye on our events calendar and Halloween Fun Guide for complete listings; some venues hold their Halloween celebrations on the weekend, to maximize the holiday. October 31, of course, is the night for ringing doorbells, but for those who prefer to collect their candy in a confined space, we have more than 25 local options below.

Easy Last-Minute Halloween Costumes for Kids

Maybe your daughter changed her mind about her Halloween costume for the bazillionth time. Or maybe your son got an invite to a last-minute Halloween party. Or maybe you're just a proud member of the Procrastination Club. Whatever your case may be, we’ve found the easiest Halloween costumes for kids that even a non-crafty mom or dad can pull together on the fly.

Most of the costumes on our list don't call for an arm's-length list of crafting supplies or Halloween props: Headbands, pom-poms, markers, solid t-shirts, and a glue gun can go a long way with a little imagination. In fact, these DIY kids' costumes are so easy, you might just have time to whip up a few frighteningly tasty Halloween treats, too.

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