This week is full of plenty of spooky events for all ages, from a Frankenstein-themed play date for toddlers at the New-York Historical Society, to a live reading (with orchestral music) of vintage horror stories for older kids, to nature-themed animatronic scarecrows at the New York Botanical Garden, which are certain to charm the whole family.
Need even more ways to get in the spirit of All Hallows' Eve? Be sure to peruse our guide to Halloween Events & Activities, including parades and the best NYC neighborhoods for urban trick-or-treating. And the fun doesn't stop once the candy bowl is empty. Visit our Event Calendar and Fall Fun Guide, which are chockablock with autumnal ideas, both around the city (kid-friendly theater and art) and beyond (apple picking and day hikes).
Click through for all event details, including times and costs.
Kids can join a free basketball game and lesson in Battery Park City. Photo courtesy of BPC Parks.
Monday, October 24
Children's Basketball — Battery Park City
No adults allowed for the second-to-last week of afternoon basketball on the Rockefeller Park courts. Kids ages seven and up can practice their alley-oops and jump shots with adjustable hoops, improving their skills through games and drills run by NYC Parks: fun is emphasized over competition. Closed-toe shoes are required. FREE
See all Monday events.
Tuesday, October 25
Little New Yorkers — Upper West Side
Bring your little monster to the New-York Historical Society to learn all about Frankenstein at this weekly themed event for the toddler set. Make monster masks and play with historical toys while listening to a reading of Frankenstein: A Monstrous Parody by Ludworst Bemonster, a send-up of Ludwig Bemelmans' Madeline. FREE with museum admission
See all Tuesday events.
Wednesday, October 26
Greenmarket Harvest Festival — Bronx
On this final Wednesday of the New York Botanical Garden's Greenmarket Harvest Festival, you and your child can play games, participate in a harvest scavenger hunt, or purchase a pumpkin to decorate together (paints are FREE). Grown-ups can fill their baskets with seasonal produce or take in a cooking demonstration. While you're at the garden, be sure to stop by Scarecrows & Pumpkins, featuring gargantuan pumpkins and larger-than-life animatronic scarecrows crafted from natural materials. FREE with grounds admission, which is FREE on Wednesdays
See all Wednesday events.
Thursday, October 27
The 8th Annual H.P. Lovecraft Festival — East Village
Thrill-lovers ages eight and up will be exhilarated by RadioTheatre's blood-curdling tribute to the grand master of 20th-century American horror writing: H.P. Lovecraft. Expect spine-tingling storytelling accompanied by a live orchestral score.
See all Thursday events.
Friday, October 28
Teens Take the Met! — Upper East Side
Kids ages 13 through 18 take over the museum on these Friday-evening events, featuring living sculpture, dance workshops taught by Martha Graham Dance Company's teen program, spoken-word poetry, digital-music workshops, a participatory art installation, and free snacks and giveaways. Accompanying adults can take part in drop-in drawing and other FREE MetFridays programming. FREE (ID required); advance RSVP suggested for fast-track entrance.
If your kids just can't wait till Monday to get their ghoul on, check out the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery, go on a Haunted Lantern Tour at Fort Totten, attend a Spooktacular Celebration at Queens's Alley Pond Environmental Center, or explore the Celtic origins of Halloween at the Oiche Shamhna event at the New York Irish Center. Need to distract your kids from costumes and candy? Take to the ice on the opening day of LeFrak Center or escape to BAM for a matinee showing of the fairy-tale movie My Neighbor Totoro.
See all Friday events.
Top image: Teens Take the Met. Photo by Flip Wolak/courtesy of the museum.