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

The Queens County Farm Museum's Haunted Farm House is full of winding paths and sudden surprises.
The Queens County Farm Museum's Haunted Farm House is full of winding paths and sudden surprises.
10/8/23 - By Jody Mercier

When it comes to Halloween thrills with kids, a tricked-out haunted house or slightly spooky Halloween walk just might be the right kind of boo for you. Haunted houses have long been popular suburban Halloween staples, and we've got the scoop on Long Island haunted houses and Westchester's top spooky attractions. For city kids, haunted houses in NYC are more limited. The most spooky picks, like Blood Manor, 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 kid-friendly haunted houses in NYC, plus Halloween walks with more gentle thrills—and heed the age warnings. While grade-school kids can attend most of these, not all are suitable for preschoolers. We've got the scoop on NYC's top Halloween events and plenty more spooky fun in our New York City Kids' Halloween Fun Guide.


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Haunted Attractions and Haunted Houses in NYC in 2023

1. Halloween House at Oculus – Greenwich Village

Daily through Wednesday, November 1
Ages 6+
This immersive experience transports visitors to an all-Halloween world with attractions including trick-or-treat and glow-in-the dark rooms, a horror movie graveyard, a vampires' lair, and an indoor pumpkin patch.

2. Haunted House at the Williamsbridge Oval Recreation – Williamsbridge, the Bronx

Friday, October 27
Ages 8+
Celebrate Halloween at the Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center, which decorates its halls to create a haunted house. Encounter ghouls, witches, ghosts, and more. FREE

3. Ghosts, Murder and Mayhem Along the Hudson River Cruise – St. George, Staten Island

Saturday, October 28
Tweens and up
Journey up the Hudson River past the Little Red Lighthouse to the Tarrytown/Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse while viewing the sights and stories that would establish Washington Irving as one of America’s great writers.

4. Harlem Grown's Halloween Festival – Harlem

Saturday, October 28
All ages
This local community org hosts a day-long festival on its urban farm. Among the family-friendly activities planned is a haunted tent. Come in costume and prepared to be spooked, plus enjoy sweets, pumpkin decorating, and more fun. FREE

5. Haunted Carousel – Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Saturday, October 28
All ages
Prospect Park's beautiful carousel gets a haunting makeover for the pre-Halloween weekend. Don your best Halloween costume and enjoy a spin astride a spooky steed.

6. Halloween on the Farm – Floral Park, Queens

Sunday, October 29
All ages
While the majority of attractions during this day-long event are all-ages friendly, its haunted house is generally considered a good "intro" haunted house for school-age children. You never know what you'll find—or what will find you—in the Queens County Farm Museum's Haunted Farm House. The house is completely dark inside and filled with winding paths and sudden surprises. Afterward, go for a spooky hayride, down some cider, buy your pumpkins and apples, and navigate the Amazing Maize Maze for an additional fee. Speaking of NYC's only corn maze, big kids can conquer it by moonlight on select dates.

RELATED: Best Pumpkin Patches and Harvest Festivals Right in NYC

 Boo at the Zoo – Bronx Park, the Bronx
From magic and mind-reading shows to pumpkin carving demonstrations and costume parades, Boo at the Zoo has it all. Photo by Julie Larsen Maher

Not-to-Spooky Halloween Walks in NYC in 2023

7. Boo at the Zoo – Bronx Park, the Bronx

Weekends through Sunday, October 29; also on Monday, October 9
All ages
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 residents' favorite foods. March in a costume parade, enjoy Halloween crafts, a magic show, pumpkin carving demos, and a showing of The Wildlife Witches Super Scary Halloween Show while you're there.

RELATED: Top Free Halloween Events in NYC

Haunted houses and Halloween walks in NYC Watson Adventures Ghosts of Greenwich Village
The whole family can participate in a Watson Adventures Ghosts of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt. Photo courtesy of Watson Adventures

8. Watson Adventures Ghosts of Greenwich Village Scavenger Hunt – Greenwich Village

Saturday, October 28
Ages 7 and older
See this classic New York neighborhood through an entirely new lens. Creepy clues lead you to these now-haunted houses in NYC, which were once occupied by Edgar Allan Poe and Mark Twain, plus help you find some spooky landmarks. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

9. Ghosts of New York: Greenwich Village Ghost Tour – Greenwich Village

Fridays and Saturdays through Saturday, November 4
Ages 16+
Get spooked and learn something new on this historic ghost tour. Visit haunted cemeteries, learn all about the Headless Horseman, see the hanging tree of Washington Square, and peer through Edgar Allen Poe's window—if you dare.

10. Pumpkin Nights at the Bronx Zoo – Bronx Park, the Bronx

Thursdays-Sundays through Sunday, October 29
All ages
Light up the night on this half-mile jack-o’-lantern trail featuring more than 5,000 carved, animal-themed pumpkins. The evening includes live pumpkin carving demonstrations, games, and festive fall treats. Read our full review.

11. Creepy Crawly Halloween – Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Sunday, October 29
All ages
The Prospect Park Alliance hosts a special Halloween event at the Audubon Center where kids of all ages can take a look at the creepy, crawly creatures. Kids can participate in fun activities and experiments like owl pellet dissection, a creepy crawly walk through the park, and enjoy Halloween-inspired tasty treats. FREE

RELATED: Top Halloween Events in NYC for Families in 2022

Haunted houses and Halloween walks in NYC Scarecrows and Pumpkins at NYBG
Scarecrows and pumpkins take over the New York Botanical Garden this month. Photo courtesy of the NYBG

12. Scarecrows & Pumpkins at the NYBG – Bronx Park, the Bronx

Tuesdays-Sundays through Tuesday, October 31
All ages
Wander the trails of 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. Enjoy a day of pumpkin carving on Sunday, October 8, and visit after dark for Spooky Pumpkin Garden Nights on the last two Saturdays of the month.

This post was originally published in October 2010 and is updated annually.

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