13 Not-So-Scary Halloween Events in NYC for the Preschool Set

When my son was a baby, I wondered if he'd ever know the joy of trick-or-treating door to door like his suburban counterparts. But over the years, I've learned that NYC really knows how to celebrate Halloween. There are tons of FREE Halloween celebrations, kid-friendly costume parades, and close-knit communities that dole out copious amounts of candy to trick-or-treaters.

For little New Yorkers, Halloween can sometimes seem more scary than sweet—and a lot of it takes place after bedtime. So we've put together a list of 13 Halloween events perfect for the preschool set, many of them FREE. Enjoy the gentle spirit of these Halloween events while you can—your kids will be celebrating at the Village Halloween Parade before you know it.

For more Halloween happenings, check out our Halloween Guide and our events calendar, which is continually updated with new, fun events as we find out about them.

Halloween in Salem, MA: Spooky, Not-Too-Scary Activities for Kids

If your kids are like mine, they started getting excited for Halloween about the time the 4th of July fireworks ended. From the costumes to carving pumpkins, it’s a whimsical time full of imagination, and revolves around children like no other holiday. And we’re lucky to live very close to what may be the Halloween capital of the country: Salem

But despite what you might have heard about "Witch City," it’s not all scary stuff. Many of the events happening in Salem over the next month are tailor-made for families, replacing most of the tricks with treats. There's a Wednesday program just for kids, and some old favorites have slowly become more fun than frightening over the years. If you've never done fall in Salem, it's time!

6 Restaurants Ideal for Throwing a Kids' Birthday Party in LA & OC

Planning a birthday party for your kid can be tough, no matter how easy-going your little one might be. Beyond balloons and party favors, there's the question of where to have the shindig (unless you have a large home you're willing to clean extensively before and after). The location has to be family-friendly, fun—and has to serve food your kids (and a lot of other kids) will eat. A restaurant is a good pick, but which one will let you bring in a horde of hungry, bouncy kids? We've found six that serve up lunch and a side order of playtime so you can relax (or, more likely take lots of photos) while the kids run off all that great food you didn't prepare.

World's Biggest Bounce House Returns to Houston This Fall

The world's largest bounce house is coming back to Houston in October, and tickets are on sale now! Last year's event sold out, so you'll want to secure your tickets now so you can see what new and exciting bounce houses and activities the event has in store for 2018.

The Big Bounce America makes its third stop in Texas Oct. 26-28, 2018 in Houston at Houston Sportsplex. Tickets range from $12-$17 depending on how long you're looking to jump and play.

20 Free Ways to Celebrate Your Kid's Birthday

Do an internet search for "NYC Birthday Fun for Kids" and you'd think, based on the results, that what city parents really want more than anything is to find the most outrageously expensive ways possible to celebrate their child’s special day. Clowns! Mermaids! Mermaid clowns!

Nothing against mermaids or clowns, of course, but we’ve got 20 super simple and fun ideas to make your kid's birthday as extraordinary as he or she is, without coughing up the equivalent of next month’s rent. All it takes is a bit of imagination and ingenuity to create new traditions that make the birthday child feel special...without spending a dime.

Check out our Birthday Party Guide for more ideas for the big day, or our 100 Things to Do in NYC list for more memory-making inspiration.

LEGOLAND Brick or Treat Returns with More LeGHOULish Surprises

This October, your little one can get spooky with LEGO ghosts and ghouls and skeletons and more at the second annual Brick-or-Treat celebration at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center. Kids are encouraged to wear costumes (making yet another great space for you to get extra mileage out if it!) as they participate in frightening family fun every Saturday (10:00AM-7:30PM) and Sunday (10:00AM-6:00PM) through October 28. We got a chance to check it out along with my LEGO-loving little one. Here's what you can expect!

Want to check out some more Halloween fun in the Philly area? We've got your covered with our Ultimate Guide to Halloween Events.

No Fee When You Join the YMCA Now (And More Reasons to Sign-Up)

When you're a parent, the new year pretty much starts in September. Summer's over, school's back in session, and we're all getting back into our regular routines—or at least trying to, right? If you're one of the many moms and dads still attempting to fill up your kiddo's fall calendar or maybe even make some mid-year resolutions of your own, the YMCA of Greater New York just might be your new best friend.

If you've never stopped by your local YMCA, you may be surprised by just how much you're missing. Lucky for you, all locations are hosting open houses on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 11:00am to 3:00pm, so you can take a look at all of the programs and amenities available at each location. And in addition to waiving their joiner's fee from now until October 8, 2018, we've got plenty more reasons a YMCA membership will be a total family game-changer this fall.

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