Free NYC Halloween Parades for Kids

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

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

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. Be sure to click through to our listings for all the details, including addresses, times, and recommended ages.

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Weekend of October 14–15

Ragamuffin Parade — Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 14
This parade is a neighborhood institution, celebrating its 51st anniversary in 2017. 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 21–22

Bleecker Street Park Halloween Festival — Greenwich Village
Sunday, October 22
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.

Weekend of October 28–29

Brookfield Place Halloween Party — Battery Park City
Saturday, October 28
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 opp with a Lego figure, tattoos, storytime, and more. Rain date: October 29.

Children's Halloween Parade— Coney Island, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 28
This local parade, includes a full festival with entertainment in the morning before the post-lunch parade and contest. Bonus: First 1,500 kids to register will win a two-hour unlimited ride Luna Park wristband. FREE

Halloween Parade Roosevelt Island
Saturday, October 28
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 & Party — Greenpoint, Brooklyn
Sunday, October 29
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 29
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.

Halloween: Parade & Pumpkin Flotilla — Central Park
Sunday, October 29
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.

Family Halloween Parade — Astoria, Queens
Sunday, October 29
March down Ditmars Boulevard to Astoria Park for the 12th annual Astoria Halloween parade. The date is confirmed, but we're still awaiting further details from organizers. Last year, they gave out gift bags to the costumed kids and everything kicked off at noon.

Costume Contest and Mini Parade — Park Slope, Brooklyn
Sunday, October 29
This afternoon shindig has a theme and costumes will be judged within the category: superheroes! Kids can show off their best capes, masks, and super powers at this Park Slope Parents-hosted event at Washington Park's Old Stone House.

Tuesday, 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.

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.

RELATED: Best Trick-or-Treating Neighborhoods

City Island's Halloween Parade ends with trick-or-treating. Photo by Ron Terner/courtesy of the parade.

Halloween Parade — City Island, the Bronx
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.

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.

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.

RELATED: Best Free Halloween Celebrations for NYC Families

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

Hippo Halloween Parade — Upper West Side
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.

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 and a costume contest, plus a selfie booth.

Halloween Walk — Forest Hills, Queens
Another local fete sponsored by Maspeth Federal Savings Bank. This Halloween stroll winds through the neighborhood, beginning and ending at its Forest Hills branch. Tots can trick-or-treat at local businesses, including all the Masbeth Federal Savings Banks, which will stage selfie booths to capture you in your holiday best.

March to the Arch — Dumbo
Join the Dumbo Business Improvement District for this annual tradition, which begins with a reading of Jack O'Lantern and 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.

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.