Where to See Halloween Decorations in New York City
With Halloween on the horizon, city dwellers are digging out the cobwebs and showing off all the skeletons in their closets, setting up fun Halloween decorations for passersby to enjoy. Some neighborhoods go all out with spooky, sweet, creepy, and cool Halloween decorations, and we're sharing some of our favorites below.
So, enjoy the spooky sights we've found and find more ways to celebrate in our Guide to Halloween Activities.
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It's no surprise that some of our favorite spots to see spooky Halloween decorations are also our top trick-or-treat neighborhoods.
This grand, corner-lot mansion in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, has taken Halloween decorations to the next level! Photo by Sara Marentette
Best Bets For Spotting Halloween Decorations
In our experience, the best bets for these homemade displays are the stoop neighborhoods. Spots that usually go all-out with Halloween decorations include the Upper West Side, particularly West 69th Street. The Upper East Side's 78th Street between Park and Lexington is a long-time standout, too. The 90s regularly draw crowds in both the Upper East and Upper West Sides, and Chelsea is good for a few startles, too.
Witches, spiders, and jack-o-lanterns await in the West 90s between Columbus and Central Park West. Photo by author
Perhaps no Manhattan neighborhood does local celebrations better than Harlem, where you'll find decked-out brownstones surrounding Mount Morris Park in the 120s. Hamilton Terrace in the 140s, Astor Row, and Striver's Row are also hot spots.
Residents in Harlem's Mount Morris Park neighborhood have gone all out, dangling skeletons from windowsills and lacing jack-o-lanterns into trees, never mind the cool and cooky stoop decor. Photo by author.
But, for sheer variety and the number of over-the-top displays, Brooklyn really takes the cake when it comes to Halloween decorations. Family-friendly neighborhoods Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, and Fort Greene go all out.
This eye-catching Carroll Gardens display will have you looking up, down, and all around. Photo by Diana Kim
This creepy display in Cobble Hill brings new meaning to airing your dirty laundry... Photo by Sara Marentette
At another Cobble Hill stoop, this zombie baby scene might scare the trick-or-treaters away. Photo by Sara Marentette
If you can only hit one 'hood in Brooklyn, though, make it Ditmas Park, where the neighborhood's Victorian homes play particularly well with spooky decor.
The aforementioned Ditmas Park mansion has a seemingly unending range of vignettes, each creepier than the last. Photo by Sara Marentette
If the skeletons and the vampires don't freak you out, the creepy clowns just might. Photo by Sara Marentette
In Queens, Jackson Heights, known for its long-time parade, really gets into the act, and we were enamored with the over-the-top display put on in Bayside this year, too.
The skeletons outnumber the residents—but not the visitors—at this stunning display in Bayside. Photo by Judith Aquino
This post, originally published in 2020, has been updated. Additional reporting by Judith Aquino, Diana Kim, and Sara Marentette.