Long Island is home to so many great Halloween activities that it can be hard to choose what to do and see with the kids each year. There are FREE parades, great trick-or-treat neighborhoods, and even spooky haunted houses and walks. You can even meet ghosts, attend a boat burning (whaaat??), or don that costume to the aquarium, a museum, or an enchanted forest trail.
Read on our for our top Halloween event picks for Long Island children, and don't forget to peruse our Halloween Guide for more seasonal fun.
Sign up for our weekly newsletter if you'd like to receive more articles like this in your inbox.
Otto the Ghost - Animated Story
Hicks Nurseries, 100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury
September 17-November 1, 2016
Take a picture with Otto the Ghost who returned for 2016 with a new adventure. Enjoy a hayride down a decorated trail and visit with the farm animals. Admission to the show is free; non-perishable food donations for Long Island Cares are encouraged. This attraction is handicap accessible.
Enchanted Forest Trail
Quogue Wildlife Refuge
3 Old Country Road, Quogue
October 16, 23, 30 (various times)
Children are welcome to come dressed in costumes to meander through the refuge trails with a guide and meet whimsical characters along the way. The parking lot at the refuge is filled with kids' games and activities to enjoy before the hike.
Rise Of The Jack O' Lanterns
Old Westbury Gardens
71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury
Various October evenings
Be amazed and inspired as 5,000 hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns light up one of Long Island's most treasured Gold Coast mansions. While an evening stroll through the woods is somewhat spooky, there is nothing haunted about this walk, which is suitable for all ages. This unique experience features the work of dozens of local artists. Limited tickets are available per day and must be purchased in advance.
Halloween Bash and Bag Decorating
Children's Museum of the East End
376 Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton
October 25/October 29
Children will enjoy Halloween games, trick or treating, crafts, a costume contest and more during these fun Halloween events at the Children's Museum of the East End. Advance registration required.
Halloween Boat Burning
Long Island Maritime Museum
88 West Avenue, West Sayville
October 28, 2016
Every year someone donates an old boat to the museum, and it's tradition to burn the vessel in the harbor. At this historical reenactment enjoy entertainment, light refreshments, and a raffle drawing. Children 5 and under are FREE.
Long Island Children's Museum
11 Davis Avenue, Garden City
October 29, 2016
Children come in costume for a fun (and safe) evening of spooky events, including a costume party, face painting, crafting, and trick-or-treating. Advance tickets recommended.
The Great Jack-o'-Lantern Spectacular Sail
Belmont Lake State Park
Exit 38N on Southern State Pkwy, North Babylon
October 29, 2016
The first 50 carved pumpkins to arrive set sail on Belmont Lake. Children can make scary crafts, play games, visit the "Spooky Den," check out the petting zoo and stop at various trick-or-treat stations.
Bats, Barnacles & Broomsticks
October 29, 2016
Long Island Aquarium
431 E Main Street, Riverhead
All “buoys” and “ghouls” in costume will get 50% off admission with a paying adult (one child 12 years and under, per adult). Children will gather sweets and treats by trick-or-treating throughout the Aquarium. The Unearthing Atlantis Dig will be transformed into a spooktacular haunted house by the amazing special effects team at HauntedProps.com. They will have face painting, craft and game stations, hayrides, pumpkins to paint and more!
Wail-ing-Boo-Seum & Festival
Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum
301 Main Street, Cold Spring Harbor
October 30, 2016
Enjoy a spooky scavenger hunt, Spooktacular Zoo with icky things like owl pellets, and meet wandering ghostly historical figures of Cold Spring Harbor, including wailing widows, missing sailors, and roving pirates.
October 31, 2016
Head to your favorite local downtown, your block, or try one of these favorite Long Island neighborhoods to see decked out spooky displays and let the kids fill up their bags with candy.
Top image: Halloween bowling at CMEE.
This article first published in 2012, but is updated every year.