Free NYC Halloween Parades for Kids

The Ragamuffiin Parade takes over the streets of Bay Ridge! Photo courtesy of the event
New York City's Village Halloween Parade, Children's Parades

Everyone loves a parade, but there's nothing quite like a neighborhood Halloween parade. While families with older kids may venture out to the iconic Village Halloween Parade on Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, it can be pretty scary—it's always insanely crowded and 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 in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx, including the Ragamuffin Parade in Bay Ridge, the mega Jackson Heights parade, the famed Park Slope march, and a G-rated Village parade for little ones.

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.

The Ragamuffin parade draws kids from across the city.

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Weekend of October 13-14

Ragamuffin Parade — Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 13
This parade is a neighborhood institution, celebrating its 52nd anniversary in 2018. Revelers don costumes and take to the Bay Ridge streets. All children who march the entire route receive a gift at the end, and there are prizes for creative costumes.

Weekend of October 20-21

Family Halloween Parade — Astoria, Queens
Sunday, October 21
March down Ditmars Boulevard to Astoria Park for the 13th annual Astoria Halloween parade. Gift bags will be given out to early arrivals and a post-march party is planned by the central business district.

Catch a free Halloween magic show at Brookfield Place. Photo courtesy of Arts Brookfield

Weekend of October 27-28

Brookfield Place Halloween Party — Battery Park City
Saturday, October 27
Strut your stuff red-carpet style on the costume catwalk at Brookfield Place's annual Halloween party. In addition to the mini parade, there's plenty of other fun to be had like on-site trick-or-treating, a larger-than-life photo op with a Lego figure, tattoos, storytime, movie screenings in the Hudson Eats food court, and more. FREE

Children's Halloween Parade— Coney Island, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 27
This local parade includes a full festival with entertainment in the morning before the post-lunch parade and contest, which encourages neighborhood-themed, homemade costumes. Bonus: The first 1,500 kids to register receive a two-hour unlimited ride Luna Park wristband. FREE

Halloween Parade Roosevelt Island
Saturday, October 27
Take the tram over to 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. FREE

Bronx Halloween Parade — Longwood, the Bronx
Saturday, October 27
Bronx Community Board 2 hosts this neighborhood march, which winds its way down Southern Boulevard and finishes in front of St. Athanasius Church. A costume contest awards cash prizes in a variety of age-group categories and balloons and candy are also distributed. FREE

Halloween Parade and Trick-or-Treat — Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 27
The shops at Beyond at Liberty View and the culinary minds at Industry City have teamed up for this family-friendly day. Enjoy a Captain American meet-and-greet and store-to-store trick or treating, plus a pumpkin patch photo op at the shopping center, then parade over to Industry City to trick-or-treat from booth to booth. The procession returns to Beyond at Liberty View a couple hours later. FREE

Bleecker Street Park Halloween Festival — Greenwich Village
Sunday, October 28
This annual celebration begins with a toddler-friendly costume parade around the nabe to the Bleecker Street Playground, where there will be entertainment, face painting, balloon artists, and craft tables sponsored by local merchants, plus plenty of treats. FREE

Children's Halloween Parade & Party — Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Sunday, October 28
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 a Nerf gun battle. The parade is FREE, but tickets for the party range from $15–$30. Purchase in advance for a discount.

Halloween Costume Parade & Party — Tribeca
Sunday, October 28
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 and Pumpkin Flotilla — Central Park
Sunday, October 28
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 afloat on the Harlem Meer at dusk. FREE

Costume Contest and Mini Parade — Park Slope, Brooklyn
Sunday, October 28
Kids can show off their costumes at this Park Slope Parents-hosted event at Washington Park's Old Stone House. Best for the preschool set, it gets major props for its afternoon timeframe and the fun winds down well before dark. FREE

RELATED: Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods in NYC

Gather in Cobble Hill Park for the start of the Cobble Hill Halloween Parade. Photo by Meagan Nehart

Wednesday, October 31

Children's Halloween Parade — Greenwich Village
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, Queens
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

Children’s Halloween Parade — Park Slope, Brooklyn
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

Cobble Hill Park Halloween Parade — Cobble Hill, Brooklyn
This parade kicks off from Cobble Hill Park and works 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

RELATED: Best Free Halloween Celebrations for NYC Families

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

Hippo Playground Halloween Parade — Upper West Side
Little revelers can follow bagpipers from the Soldiers and 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

March to the Arch — Dumbo
Join the Dumbo Business Improvement District for this annual tradition, which begins with a reading of Jack O'Lantern 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, arts and crafts, and lots of goodies. Stick around to get your trick-or-treat on at the neighborhood storefronts. FREE

Maspeth Ragamuffiin Parade — Maspeth, Queens
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, a costume contest, and more holiday-themed fun. 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 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 and is updated annually.