Free NYC Halloween Parades for Kids

New York City: Village Halloween Parade, Jackson Heights Halloween Parade, Witches Walk, Park Slope Civic Council Children's Halloween Parade

Everyone loves a parade, which means we're all absolutely smitten with Halloween parades. While families with older kids may want to dare 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.

Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.

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

Saturday, October 24 to Sunday, October 25

Coney Island Halloween Parade
Hit the boardwalk for this Halloween parade! (Photo courtesy of the Alliance for Coney Island.)

Children's Halloween Parade — Coney Island
Saturday, October 24
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 free entertainment. Bonus: The first 1,500 registered kids receive a complimentary two-hour Luna Park unlimited ride wristband and a goody bag! FREE

Children's Halloween Parade & Party — Greenpoint
Saturday, October 24
Hosted by community org Town Square Inc., this 12th 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. Purchase advance party tickets and RSVP for the parade online. The parade is FREE, but the party is $10 in advance and $15 at the door for kids and free for up to two adult companions.

Halloween Costume Parade & Party — Tribeca
Sunday, October 25
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

Bleecker Street Park Halloween Parade
The toddler-friendly Bleecker Street festival includes a parade, hayrides and face painting. (Photo courtesy the Friends of Bleecker Street.)

Bleecker Street Park Halloween Festival — Greenwich Village
Sunday, October 25
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, face painting, balloon artists and craft tables sponsored by local merchants, plus trick-or-treating around the hood. FREE

Halloween: Parade & Pumpkin Flotilla — Central Park
Sunday, October 25
Celebrate Halloween at the Dana Discovery Center with crafts, spooky stories and live music. Afterward, join the closing 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

RELATED: Free Halloween Celebrations for Families

Saturday, October 31

Brookfield Place Halloween Party — Battery Park City
Saturday, October 31
Hit the lovely Winter Garden glass atrium for a host of high-end Halloween fun including a costume catwalk, geeky tricks by Carmelo the Science Fellow, storytelling, live music from Brooklyn's beloved Deedle Deedle Dees and trick-or-treating. A neighborhood costume parade led by the band closes out the festivities. FREE

Fort Greene Park Halloween Festival — Fort Greene
Saturday, October 31
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

Children's Halloween Parade Washington Square Park
Expect plenty of parent-approved fun at the Children's Parade at Washington Square Park (Photo courtesy of NYU).

Children's Halloween Parade — Greenwich Village
Saturday, 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

LC Trick-or-Treat — Lincoln Square
Saturday, October 31
Don your costume for Lincoln Center's first-ever Halloween fete where wee ones can enjoy activities 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 alongside Big Apple Circus stilt walkers and clowns, plus a special storytime with iconic author R.L. Stine reading from his new book, Little Shop of Monsters. FREE

Jackson Heights Halloween Parade — Jackson Heights
Saturday, October 31
Touted as the second-largest Halloween parade in New York City, this popular Queens procession turns 25 this year. Unlike the Village Halloween Parade, the Jackson Heights Halloween Parade 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

Halloween Parade — the Bronx
Saturday, 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

Halloween Parade Roosevelt Island
Saturday, October 31
Tram over Roosevelt Island for its annual Halloween fete. The parade begins at Blackwell House and winds down Main Street before a big celebration at Capobianco Field. Afterward, explore the picturesque isle. In the event of inclement weather, the party moves indoors to PS/IS 217. FREE

Children’s Halloween Parade — Park Slope
Saturday, 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 parade in the whole country! Hit the Old Stone House for activities throughout the afternoon, like live music from the Treblemakers and the Mash It Up Party Band, complimentary professional pics and a mini parade for tots. 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
Crafts, trick-or-treating and pizza? This Brooklyn "Witches Walk" is loads of fun for Greenpoint families. (Photo courtesy Flying Squirrel.)

Witches Walk — Greenpoint
Saturday, October 31
Brooklyn's secondhand baby and kids' shop the Flying Squirrel relocated to Greenpoint in 2013 and brought its popular Halloween parade along to the new hood. This year enjoy a block-long street fest, costume fashion show, crafts, trick-or-treating and pizza from Two Boots Williamsburg. FREE

FiDi Families Halloween Festival — South Street Seaport
Saturday, October 31
Head to the South Street Seaport for pumpkin decorating, a photo booth, Music for Aardvarks concert and a climactic costume parade around this lower Manhattan nabe. Event is free but RSVPs are encouraged. FREE

Carroll Park Halloween Parade — Carroll Gardens
Saturday, October 31
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

Halloween Walk — Forest Hills
Saturday, 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.

Hippo Halloween Parade — Upper West Side
Saturday, 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.

March to the Arch — Dumbo
Saturday, 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, crafts and lots of goodies.

Maspeth Ragamuffiin Parade — Maspeth
Saturday, 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

Halloween Parade — Ridgewood
Saturday, October 31
Sponsored by the nonprofit Kiwanis Club of Glendale, this annual procession includes floats, a costume contest and lots of families wearing their Halloween best. FREE

Halloween Parade — Brooklyn Heights
Saturday, October 31
Tots head to Pierrepont Playground for a short procession around the premises to show off their costumes. Afterward, hang in the park and purchase yummy treats. FREE

Cobble Hill Park Halloween Parade — Cobble Hill
Saturday, 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

Halloween Parade – West Midwood
Saturday, October 31
This annual procession will lead tots around the neighborhood in their Halloween best. Meet at Glenwood Road off of Rugby at 6pm for treats before strutting your costumed stuff. FREE

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 both 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 or leave the info in the comments.

For more seasonal fun, check out our Halloween Guide.

Top photo by Cherrywood 78722 via Flickr.

This post was originally published in October 2010.