Haunted Halloween Houses and Not-Too-Spooky Walks for NYC Kids

The Prospect Park Alliance invites all local ghosts and ghouls to its annual Halloween Haunted Walk and Fair.
Haunted Houses and Night Walks: Boo at the Zoo, Halloween Murder Mystery, and More Kid-Friendly Attractions

Looking for a not-too-scary Halloween fright for the kids? A tricked-out haunted house or slightly spooky Halloween trail just might be the right kind of boo for you.

Haunted houses long have been a popular suburban Halloween stapleLong Island and Westchester have dozens. And while NYC has several spooky haunted houses of its own, including Blood Manor, most are definitely grown-ups only. There are, however, a handful of haunted houses in New York City that offer gentler Halloween chills for families.

You're sure to find spooky, family-friendly attractions at pretty much every Halloween festival and fall fair. But we're skipping those to tell you about the best of the city's more elaborate and kid-friendly haunted houses and other spooky attractions for kids this year. Read on for the scoop—and heed the age warnings. While grade-school kids can attend most of these, not all are suitable for preschoolers.

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

Spooktacular Night Walks — Bronx Park, the Bronx
Weekends through October 27
All ages
Select weekend evenings
Stick around the Bronx Zoo after the gates close for this special seasonal event. Guests meet creepy, crawly critters while noshing on a pizza dinner, then set out on a night walk to see what happens among the wild things when the sun goes down. Much milder thrills await during the daytime hours, when you can walk the extinct animal graveyard with little ones, plus participate in costume parades, snag treats, and more.

The upside down room at Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel.

Gravesend Inn Haunted Hotel — Downtown Brooklyn
Friday, October 19–Saturday, October 20; Thursday, October 25–Wednesday, October 31
Ages 8 and older
The students and faculty of Theatreworks, City Tech College's department of entertainment technology, built this spooky haunted "hotel" at the Voorhees Theatre that takes its inspiration from the animatronic houses you see at amusement parks.

Family-Friendly Ghost Tour — Greenwich Village
Saturday, October 20
Ages 8 and older
Venture out on a guided evening walk through Greenwich Village to hear tales of the neighborhood's haunted past. You'll learn the ghostly lore and haunted histories of some well-known spots. Tour lasts 90 minutes and is held rain or shine.

Halloween Murder Mystery — Upper East Side
Saturday, October 20; Friday, October 26–Saturday, October 27
Ages 10 and older
Head to the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden for this Clue-like game. Loosely based on a historical newspaper account, guests hunt the manor for clues to solve a spooky murder mystery. Advance registration required.

RELATED: Best Free Halloween Events in NYC for Kids

Take a nighttime lantern tour in Queens with the big kids.

Haunted Lantern Tours – Fort Totten, Queens
Friday, October 26
All ages
Head to the Water Battery at Fort Totten Park for a haunted nighttime tour. Prepare to be scared—and plan to be in line by 8pm to guarantee admittance! FREE

WBO Haunted House — Williamsbridge, the Bronx
Friday, October 26
All ages
Head to the Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center for some mild thrills as ghosts, zombies, and spooky creatures attempt to scare you. FREE

Meet the ghouls and goblins of Prospect Park at its annual haunted walk.

Halloween Haunted Walk — Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 27
Ages 7–12
Head to Lookout Hill in Prospect Park for this outdoor haunted hike, where you'll be visited by zombies, wolfmen, headless horsemen, good and bad witches, and other creepy characters. Afterward, hit the Nethermead for an all-ages Halloween-themed carnival with games and treats. FREE

Hallowscream — Chelsea
Saturday, October 27
Ages 12 and older
Tweens and teens should heed the warning: Enter at your own risk! (If you dare...) A classic haunted house experience awaits in the totally transformed Chelsea Recreation Center, where fog machines cloud your vision and monsters await at every turn. FREE

RELATED: October GoList: Best Events for NYC Kids All Month

The Halloween haunted house at the Queens County Farm Museum is a spooky but gentle intro for kids.

Halloween Haunted House — Floral Park, Queens
Saturday, October 27–Sunday, October 28
Ages 6–12
You never know what you'll find—or what will find you—in the Queens County Farm Museum's not-too-scary haunted house. The house will be completely dark inside and filled with winding paths and sudden surprises, but is generally considered a good "intro" haunted house for school-age children. Afterward, go for a hayride, down some cider, buy your pumpkins and apples, and navigate the Amazing Maize Maze for an extra fee. If you go Sunday, October 28, the family can enjoy the activity-filled Children's Fall Festival from 11am to 4pm, which includes a journey through the haunted house with each admission.

Spooky City Halloween Party — East Harlem
Wednesday, October 30
All ages
Come clad in costumes to traverse the (not-too) spooky halls of the Museum of the City of New York. You'll hear mildly scary tales along the way, but any fears are soothed by the treats that are doled out.

Photos courtesy of the venues

This post was originally published in October 2010 but is updated annually. Unless otherwise noted, all photos from the venues

The Bronx Zoo
2300 Southern Boulevard
10460 Bronx , NY 40° 51' 1.0368" N, 73° 52' 42.9996" W
New York
Voorhees Theatre
186 Jay Street
11201 Brooklyn , NY 40° 41' 55.8204" N, 73° 59' 14.0424" W
New York
Queens County Farm Museum
73-50 Little Neck Parkway
11004 Glen Oaks , NY 40° 44' 53.43" N, 73° 43' 16.4604" W
New York
Prospect Park
95 Prospect Park West
11215 Brooklyn , NY 40° 39' 55.9692" N, 73° 58' 26.454" W
New York
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden
421 East 61st Street
10065 New York , NY 40° 45' 37.9404" N, 73° 57' 35.0388" W
New York
Fort Totten
Totten Avenue and 15th Road
11359 Bayside , NY 40° 47' 34.062" N, 73° 46' 36.8904" W
New York