Free NYC Halloween Parades for Kids

New York City's Village Halloween Parade, Witches Walk, Children's Parades

Everyone loves a parade, which means we're all absolutely smitten with Halloween parades. While families with older kids may want to dare to take in the iconic Village Halloween Parade on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, it can be pretty scary—it's always insanely crowded, loud and many of the costumes are risque, gory or in poor taste. If your children aren't up for that big Hallow-baloo, there are plenty of smaller, kid-friendly NYC neighborhood parades, including in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.

We've rounded up community-driven Halloween processions for families to watch or march in, most of which are FREE. If you don't live in a great trick-or-treating area, these parades are a wonderful way to hunt for candy in another neighborhood. Find even more seasonal happenings in our Halloween Fun Guide.

Editor's note: This post will be continually updated as we learn of new, fun events for Halloween 2017 and are able to confirm details on some old favorites, so keep checking back. Also, click through to our listings for all the details, including addresses, times and recommended ages.

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Click through to our listings for all the details, including address and time.

Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23

Children's Halloween Parade & Party — Greenpoint
Saturday, October 22
Hosted by community org Town Square Inc., this annual neighborhood parade starts and ends at the Polish and Slavic Center, which hosts a post-procession party with crafts, games, contests, a bouncy house, and Nerf battles. The parade is FREE, but tickets for the party range from $15-$20 depending on your options. Purchase in advance for a discount.

Bleecker Street Park Halloween Festival — Greenwich Village
Sunday, October 23
This annual celebration begins with a toddler-friendly costume parade around the nabe to the Bleecker Street Playground, where there will be horse-drawn hayrides, entertainment by the zany Looney Louie, face painting, balloon artists, and craft tables sponsored by local merchants, plus trick-or-treating around the hood. FREE

Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30

Children's Halloween Parade — Coney Island
Saturday, October 29
Costumed marchers gather at MCU Park for music, food, and a costume contest before trekking down the boardwalk to Luna Park, collecting treats along the way. Stick around for rides (for a fee) and entertainment. FREE

Fort Greene Park Halloween Festival — Fort Greene
Saturday, October 29
The park-wide costume parade is one of the highlights of the popular annual fest. Other attractions include a pumpkin patch, horse-drawn hayrides, games, face painting and a costume contest for dogs (and their owners). FREE

RELATED: Free Halloween Celebrations for Families

LC Trick-or-Treat. Photo courtesy of Lincoln Center.

LC Trick-or-Treat — Lincoln Square
Saturday, October 29
Don your costume for Lincoln Center's Halloween fete where wee ones can enjoy activities, storytime, and trick-or-treating throughout the culture hub's plazas and parks. Highlights include a costume parade led by jazz band Sammy Miller and the Congregation. FREE

Halloween Costume Parade & Party — Tribeca
Sunday, October 30
Washington Market Park's popular annual fete kicks off with a costume parade from CitiGroup Plaza to the green space. Once inside, a dozen free activities await including penny-in-a-haystack, a bone dig in the sandbox, a hay circle on the lawn and other classics. Take note, strollers aren't allowed in the park but you can check yours at Duane and Greenwich Streets. FREE

Halloween: Parade & Pumpkin Flotilla — Central Park
Sunday, October 30
Celebrate Halloween at the Dana Discovery Center with crafts, spooky stories and live music. Afterward, join the costume parade around the northeastern edge of Central Park followed by a flotilla of jack-o'-lanterns set sail on the Harlem Meer at dusk. FREE

FiDi Families Halloween Festival — South Street Seaport
Sunday, October 30
Head to the South Street Seaport for pumpkin decorating, a concert from Ramblin’ Dan and his Freewheelin’ Band, a Lego build, and a climactic costume parade around this lower Manhattan nabe. FREE

Photo courtesy of Friends of Carroll Park.

Carroll Park Halloween Parade — Carroll Gardens
Sunday, October 30
Costumed kids congregate in the green space and then head up Smith Street toward Douglass Street and then back to the park for treats and photo-ops. FREE

Sugar Hill Children's Museum Halloween Celebration & Parade
Sunday, October 30
The Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling offers four days worth of Halloween fun, beginning with crafting shadow puppets on Thursday, followed by finger puppets on Friday, and costume accessories on Sunday. The fun rounds out with an afternoon fete and costume parade around the uptown neighborhood on Sunday afternoon. Children ages 8 & younger are always FREE; ages 9-17 $4 and $7 for adults.

Monday, October 31

Children's Halloween Parade — Greenwich Village
Monday, October 31
At this G-rated, afternoon version of the Village Halloween Parade (organized by New York University and Community Board 2), costumed children ages 3-12 and their parents march around Washington Square Park. Afterward, stay for treats, carnival rides, and face painting. FREE

Jackson Heights Halloween Parade — Jackson Heights
Monday, October 31
Touted as the second-largest Halloween parade in New York City, this popular Queens procession is all about the kids—more than 3,000 of them show up every year to march down 37th Avenue to PS 69 where goody bags are handed out. FREE

RELATED: Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods

City Island's Halloween Parade. Photo by Ron Terner/courtesy of the parade.

Halloween Parade — the Bronx
Monday, October 31
Residents gather on the lovely City Island to march down its main street in costume. Stick around after the festivities to trick-or-treat. Many families sit on their front porches to dole out sweets. FREE

Children’s Halloween Parade — Park Slope
Monday, October 31
One of our favorite seasonal celebrations for families, this annual procession in Park Slope is considered one of the oldest children's Halloween parades in the whole country! Hit the Old Stone House for activities throughout the afternoon. Be sure to register for the main event, which kicks off at 6:30pm at 14th Street and Seventh Avenue and heads back to the historic house for a party with live music and dancing in the adjacent J.J. Byrne Playground. FREE

Witches Walk — Greenpoint
Monday, October 31
Brooklyn's secondhand baby and kids' shop the Flying Squirrel throws a block-long street fest to celebrate Halloween. With costume fashion show, crafts, trick-or-treating and pizza from Two Boots Williamsburg, it's not to be missed! FREE

Hippo Halloween Parade is led by a bagpiper. Photo courtesy of the Hippo Playground Project.

Hippo Halloween Parade — Upper West Side
Monday, October 31
Little revelers can follow bagpipers from the Soldiers' & Sailors' Monument down the steep slope to Riverside Park's beloved Hippo Playground where they'll get into the spirit with complimentary cider and doughnuts. FREE

Halloween Walk — Forest Hills
Monday, October 31
Local Queens bank Maspeth Federal Savings sponsors this Halloween stroll through the neighborhood, which begins and ends at its Forest Hills branch. Tots can trick-or-treat in the parking lot and raffle prizes are handed out.

Maspeth Ragamuffiin Parade — Maspeth
Monday, October 31
Sponsored by the Maspeth Lions Club, this procession kicks off appropriately enough at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery and ends at the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, where participants enjoy sweets and a costume contest. FREE

Cobble Hill Park Halloween Parade — Cobble Hill
Monday, October 31
This parade kicks off from Cobble Hill Park and winds its way through the Brooklyn nabe. It's a favorite for preschoolers on up to the big kids. Afterward, families trick-or-treat among the Clinton Street row houses and the businesses on nearby Court Street. FREE

March to the Arch — Dumbo
Monday, October 31
Join the Dumbo Business Improvement District for this annual tradition, which begins with a reading of Jack O'Lantern and free hot chocolate at the Brooklyn Roasting Company followed by kids parading through Brooklyn Bridge Park to the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge. Once there, enjoy a costume contest, music from the Funkrust Brass Band, puppets from Great Small Works, crafts, and lots of goodies.

There are also Halloween parades at many local family spots. The Bronx Zoo’s Boo at the Zoo and Ghouls & Gourds at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Scarecrows & Pumpkins offer families a chance to show off their costumes for the price of admission.

Did we miss a parade? Submit it to our Event Calendar. For more seasonal fun, check out our Halloween Guide.

Top image: Expect plenty of parent-approved fun at the Children's Parade at Washington Square Park. Photo courtesy of NYU office of Community Engagement.

This post was originally published in October 2010.