Haunted Houses and Halloween Walks in NYC for Kids
Looking for a not-too-scary Halloween fright for your kids? A tricked-out haunted house or slightly spooky Halloween trail just might be the right kind of boo for you. Haunted houses have long been popular suburban Halloween staples—Long 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 offering gentler Halloween chills for families.
Read on for the scoop on these kid-friendly haunted attractions—and heed the age warnings. While grade-school kids can attend most of these, not all are suitable for preschoolers. Find more family-friendly holiday happenings in our Halloween Fun Guide.
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Boo at the Zoo – Bronx Park, the Bronx
Weekends through Sunday, October 31
Don your costumes and head to the Bronx Zoo where mild thrills await, including a candy trail where kids can gather Halloween treats while discovering some of the zoo creatures’ favorite foods. Walk the Pumpkin Trail, which features hundreds of intricately carved gourds and pumpkins.
Scarecrows and pumpkins take over the New York Botanical Garden this month. Photo courtesy of the NYBG
Scarecrows & Pumpkins Takeover the NYBG – Bronx Park, the Bronx
Tuesdays through Sundays, through Sunday, October 31
Wander the Everett Children's Adventure Garden to take in its eye-popping transformation as it's filled with silly scarecrows, professionally carved pumpkins, and seasonal entertainment. Kids can watch a pumpkin carving demonstration or hang out with some larger-than-life pumpkin and skeleton puppets.
Haunted House at Shipwrecked Mini Golf – Red Hook, Brooklyn
Saturday, October 30-Sunday, October 31
Come in costume to explore the haunted halls of Shipwrecked's escape rooms, where costumed characters more silly than scary deliver kid-sized thrills. Plenty of fun, souvenir photo-ops await, plus every child leaves with a goodie bag. A treat for the grown-ups: Adults enter for FREE.
The whole family can participate in a Watson Adventures Ghosts of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt. Photo courtesy of Watson Adventures
Watson Adventures Ghosts of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt – Greenwich Village
Saturdays October 16 and October 30
Ages 7 and older
See this classic New York neighborhood through an entirely new lens. Creepy clues lead you to the haunted houses once occupied by Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain, plus help you find some spooky landmarks. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
Urban Wildlife: Nocturnal Creatures – Staten Island
Sunday, October 31
Commune with creepy crawlies as you explore the lovely grounds of Conference House Park. Along the way, kids learn about nocturnal creatures like spiders and bats that are traditionally associated with Halloween.
The Halloween haunted house at the Queens County Farm Museum is a spooky but gentle intro for kids. Photo courtesy of the Queens County Farm Museum
Halloween on the Farm – Floral Park, Queens
Sunday, October 31
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 it is generally considered a good "intro" haunted house for school-age children. Afterward, go for a spooky hayride, down some cider, buy your pumpkins and apples, and navigate the Amazing Maize Maze for an additional fee.
Halloween Discovery Hike – Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx
Sunday, October 31
Team up with the Urban Park Rangers to wander into the enchanting woods of Van Cortlandt Park. Enjoy the fall colors while searching for spiders and other insects. Then, get crafty by creating some art inspired by nature.
This post was originally published in October 2010 and is updated annually.