35 Free Halloween Events and Parades for NJ Kids

The popular Ragamuffin Parade in Hoboken features local live music, floats, lots of great costumes, and much more. Photo courtesy of the event
Find Halloween Fun in NJ for the Whole Family—for Free!

No tricks here—just a list of 35 FREE Halloween events happening all around New Jersey. The weeks leading up to your kids' favorite holiday are full of festivals, parades, and plenty of opportunities for them to dress up and score some scary-good treats.

Read on for our top picks, and be sure to check out our Fall Fun Guide for even more seasonal fun. From pumpkin picking and corn mazes to harvest festivals and Halloween train rides, we've got you covered.

Happy Halloween, New Jersey!

Nighttime Scarecrow Stroll – Cranford
Friday, October 19, 2018
Walk around downtown Cranford and check out the homemade scarecrows lining the streets during this 11th annual event. Be sure to cast your ballot for the creepy creation your family thinks is best. 

Costume Pet Parade – Smithville
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Woof! More than 100 pets will show off their best Halloween attire in this family-favorite parade. You can even register your four-legged friend to join in the fun.

Howl-O-Ween Dog Festival & Pooch Parade – Bradley Beach
Saturday, October 20, 2018
This annual canine runway at Riley Park is truly a sight to be seen. Dogs and owners alike dress in costumes and strut their stuff. There's even a talent show, too!  

Strut Your Mutt Halloween Costume Contest – Montclair
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Enjoy another morning celebrating furry friends in costumes at Brookdale Park. Enter your own pet into the contest to win a cool prize.

Cheer for your favorite pumpkin at the pumpkin races at Boo on the Boardwalk at Jenkinson's. 

Boo at the Boardwalk – Point Pleasant Beach
Saturday and Sunday, October 20-21, 27-28, 2018
Take one last family stroll down Jenkinson’s Boardwalk this year for some non-spooky fun. Along with trick-or-treating, crafts, face-painting and a pumpkin patch, for the first time ever, a limited number of amusement rides will be open!

RELATED: Best Halloween Events for Preschoolers in NJ

Find your way out of a hay maze at the Hoboken Annual Harvest Festival. Photo courtesy of the festival.

Hoboken Annual Harvest Festival –  Hoboken
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Get the whole family excited for Halloween's arrival at Pier A Park with pony rides, a petting zoo, pumpkin painting, hayrides, trackless train rides, face painting, a hay maze, and crafts—whew!

Mount Arlington Halloween Bash – Mount Arlington
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Fireman's Field is transformed into Halloween Central, featuring a costume contest, trunk-or-treat, plus a concession stand selling apple cider, pretzels and hot dogs.

Cape May Halloween Parade – Cape May
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Kick off the holiday festivities with trick-or-treating at the Washington Street Mall and then parade down to Physick Estate, where prizes will be awarded for the most creative costumes.

Marty's Place Howl-O-Ween Family Fest  –  Upper Freehold
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Dog lovers unite! With an obstacle course and costume contest, Howl-O-Ween will be just as much fun for your furry friend as it will be for you.

Trick-or-Treat Street and Howl-O-Ween – Seaside Heights
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Head down the boardwalk in costume during the kids' costume parade. There will also be pumpkin painting, trick-or-treating, and a pumpkin chunkin' competition along the way. 

Ocean City Halloween Parade – Ocean City
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Take in the floats, costumes, and other festive sights parading down Asbury Avenue, or come dressed in costume to join in the fun. 

Gardens Aglow – Montclair
Friday, October 26, 2018
Enjoy a walk through the pumpkin-filled Presby Memorial Iris Gardens to see jack-o-lanterns carved by art students from local high schools. Stick around for the live entertainment and refreshments.

Scream on the Green – Summit
Friday, October 26, 2018
Pack a picnic, sit back, relax, and prepare to fly with a screening of Peter Pan at the Village Green. Warm up around the bonfire as you make s'mores and swap ghost stories with fellow moviegoers. There will also be a pre-movie performance by the cast of Broadway and Beyond.

Morristown Halloween Parade – Morristown
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Everyone’s a winner at this costume contest held at Lidgerwood Park. All kids in costume will go home with a treat bag. Additional prizes will be awarded for most original, scariest, and best-looking costume.

Monster Bash and Zombie Walk – Smithville
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Run, walk, or crawl to Historic Smithville Village and join the un-dead. Come already in costume, or let the shopping center's on-site makeup artists make you look truly gruesome. Live music and vendors round out the kooky fun.

A Miller’s Halloween – Chester
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Tour the Cooper Gristmill to listen to scary stories, play Halloween games, and make corn husk dolls. Don't forget to keep an eye out for spiders, skeletons, and other spooky surprises.

RELATED: Harvest Festivals, Hayrides, and Fall Fair Fun for NJ Families

Come in costume to check out Medford's amazing Halloween Parade. 

Medford Halloween Parade – Medford
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Join hundreds of kids dressed in costume, plus the 30,000 spectators lining the one-mile parade route, to see marching bands, cheerleaders, floats, and and other family-friendly entertainment.

Ocean Grove Halloween Parade – Ocean Grove
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Don your scariest or silliest costume—and don't forget to dress Fido, too, as prizes will be awarded for best-dressed pets. Go trick-or-treating downtown after the parade.

Greater Wildwood Elks Halloween Haunted House – North Wildwood
Saturday, October 27, 2018
At this annual family event, trick-or-treaters walk through a “haunted house” and receive treats. The scare factor is very low, but the fun factor is high, so all ages are welcome.

Wildwood Crest Trunk-or-Treat Halloween Block Party – Wildwood Crest
Saturday, October 27, 2018
Skip the door-to-door and let your kids enjoy a fun and safe trick-or-treating experience at they go from car to car. And costumes aren't just for kids! Decorate your vehicle to win a prize. 

Halloween Spooktacular – Trenton
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Experience spooky science fun at the New Jersey State Museum. The day is jam-packed with a costume contest, live performance of Beauty & the Beast, games, temporary tattoos, and a planetarium laser show.

Watch as witches drum up a spell at HalloWheaton. 

HalloWheaton – Millville
Sunday, October 28, 2018 
Enjoy scare-free fun at Wheaton Arts & Cultural Center. Children walking the grounds will have a chance to trick-or-treat and take pictures with traditional costumed characters and see actors performing festive short skits. 

Halloween Spooky Stories & Crafts – Cranford
Sunday, October 28, 2018
The Cranford Historical Society invites little goblins 3 and older with or without costumes to come to the Crane-Phillips House Museum for spooky stories and Halloween crafts.

AddamsFest Halloween Festivities – Westfield
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Celebrate Halloween Addams Family-style at this town-wide festival. Following the traditional Halloween parade and costume content, the parking lot of the South Avenue train station will load up with decorated cars for Westfield's first-ever Trunk-or-Treat.

Point Pleasant Costume & Float Parade – Point Pleasant
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Dress the whole family in their costumes and get in the holiday spirit with floats, dance groups, and musical acts. Candy will be distributed at the end of the parade route in Community Park.

Witch's Day Out – Smithville
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Put on your best black pointy hat and cast a spell to win the witch's hat contest. You can also participate in a scavenger hunt, try the candy corn cauldron guessing game, and snack on sweet treats.

Trunk or Treat – Sparta
Sunday, October 28, 2018
Sparta Evangelical Free Church hosts an afternoon of fun with refreshments, candy, and cars decorated for the holiday. 

Barnes & Noble Fall and Halloween Celebration – Bridgewater
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Celebrate Halloween with a special storytime featuring Lillian Stulich, author of Host a Little Ghost. Guests are invited to wear your costumes during the celebration, and don't miss exciting prizes.

Preschool Trick or Treat – Millburn
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Bring your tiny ghosts and goblins downtown for pint-sized spooks as merchants welcome trick-or-treaters with small treats. Look for the orange flyers in participating store windows.

RELATED: Cool Pumpkin Displays, from Spooky to Funky, in New Jersey

Maplewood Village goes all-out for its annual Halloween Parade. Photo by Live Love Maplewood via Instagram.

Maplewood Village Halloween Parade – Maplewood
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Maplewood’s time-honored tradition returns for Halloween fun for the whole family! Village streets close to traffic for an afternoon of trick-or-treating, music, prizes, and more.

Ragamuffin Parade and Costume Contest – Hoboken
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
This Hoboken tradition features local live music, floats, and, of course, lots of fantastic costumes. Wear your Halloween best, and you might just win a prize.

Halloween Parade – Toms River
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
This is one the largest parades of its kind in the world (according to the Guinness Book of World Records), so be sure to arrive early to see the floats and festive Halloween-themed attractions.

Trick or Treat at Physick Estate – Cape May
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Some spooky costumed characters are waiting for your little trick-or-treaters on the grounds of this Victorian house museum. Pose for pictures in between filling up your bags with candy.

Glassboro Fall Festival Trunk or Treat – Glassboro
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Fill your bags with candy from dozens of cars that have trunks filled with treats. It's like going to 50 houses in 15 minutes.

Fanwood Halloween Celebration – Fanwood
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Kick off this annual spooktacular on the front lawn of the Fanwood Memorial Library, departing for LaGrande Park at 6;15pm followed by a costume contest for kids of all ages.

This post has been updated for 2018.