Trick-or-treating in Brooklyn, via Flickr cc
Once again this year, in addition to the annual Village Halloween Parade, October 31st promises to bring out a veritable parade of pint-sized, adorably costumed youngsters hell-bent on scoring treats and scaring parents and each other. While urban trick-or-treating is nothing like the suburban version, it has its perks (apartment buildings can be like hitting the jackpot)–and its fair share of friendly neighbors, stores, businesses and neighborhood events. Technology–local-social site Nextdoor has a trick-or-treat map that neighbors can add themselves to if they’re handing out candy–makes things easier and safer. Like so many other topics, New Yorkers love to argue over which neighborhoods offer the best bounty. Below are a few picks among the least tricky with the best treats.
Images by Susan Cohen for 6sqft
West 69th Street between Broadway and Central Park on the Upper West Side has a long history of getting downright spooky to entertain kids of all ages. Highlights from previous years include an inflated Stay Puft Marshmallow Man (a Halloween essential), fog and smoke, spiders, zombies, and graveyards.
Trick-or-treating picks on the Upper East Side include the block of 78th Street between Park and Lexington and 94th between Park and Lexington to the north. While in Carnegie Hill, check out the Spooktacular block party on East 92nd Street between Park and Madison Avenues. The block is closed to traffic between 5 and 6:30 P.M. for spooky revelry that includes a costume contest and prizes for the best townhouse, best family, best pet and more. On the upper Upper East Side, at the top of Museum Mile, the Museum of the City of New York is hosting Spooky City–trick-or-treating in a museum sounds like an awful lot of fun.
If you find yourself in Midtown, Trick or Treat with East Midtown gets local businesses into the act. And Greenwich Village has a longtime reputation for being the spookiest neighborhood of them all: In addition to the grown-ups’ version, the Washington Square Park Children’s Halloween Parade is one of the city’s most popular free Halloween destinations for the small fry set. This year’s version is being sponsored by NYU and hip housewares company CB2 and happens on Wednesday, October 31 from 3:00- 6:00 P.M. and promises free trick-or-treat bags, games, and rides after the parade.
Image by Kate on Clinton
Nobody does kid stuff quite like Park Slope, and Halloween is no exception. Festivities for the Park Slope Halloween Parade kick off at 14th Street and Seventh Avenue and end with music in the J.J. Byrne Playground in the Old Stone House. Neighborhood store owners–especially on 7th Avenue–often provide candy for trick-or-treaters as well. In Fort Greene, BAMboo! kicks off the trick-or-treating fun in the afternoon at BAM’s annual free community event with treats, games and a costume contest to get your fright night started.
Other Brooklyn highlights include Halsey Street and Jefferson and Putnam Avenues between Tompkins and Throop Avenues in Bed-Stuy, Park Place in Prospect Heights, Clinton Street in Cobble Hill and Garden Place and Grace Court Alley in Brooklyn Heights.
Image via Pixbay
Our Halloween tipsters in Queens recommend a trick-or-treating trip through Forest Hills Gardens along Greenway North and Greenway South. The neighborhood is known for its large and beautiful homes and incredible decorations.
The Jackson Heights Halloween Parade is the second-largest Halloween kids’ parade in NYC. If that itself isn’t enough fun, the end of the procession means goodie bags for all (kids, that is).
Queens Mama also points out a few other the top spots in the borough including Flushing on 166th Street between 45 and 46th Avenues and Kew Gardens, where a number of apartment buildings host trick-or-treating. For the latter, look for buildings numbered 33-83 on Austin Street and those near Hillside Avenue. In the southern section of Queens, head to Howard Beach. For a more pastoral trick-or-treat experience, try the pedestrian-friendly and picturesque streets of Middle Village–especially the areas to the South and East of Juniper Valley Park–and Sunnyside Gardens.
Image via Stephanie Hoina for 6sqft
Tenbroeck Avenue in the Morris Park section of the Bronx is a go-to destination for families in the borough. As local resident Stephanie Hoina tells us:
“Tudor-style homes decorated with spooky graveyards, friendly pumpkins, and terrifying monsters all add to the allure, making this bucolic street a must-visit Halloween destination for young and old alike. Which is why year after year, even after purchasing hundreds of dollars worth of candy in advance, many of the residents still find themselves making mad dashes to the local CVS to keep up with the ever-growing rush of trick-or-treaters arriving at their door throughout the day and night.”
Family site Red Tricycle tells us that upscale Riverdale always makes for some good candy collecting, but that the neighboring landmarked district of Fieldston is worth a special trip for trick-or-treating. City Island in the Bronx hosts a parade in Hawkins Park, followed by trick-or-treating from one neighborhood porch to the next. In the same borough’s Williamsbridge neighborhood, the WBO Halloween Pumpkin Party includes carnival games and treats at a party hosted by the Williamsbridge Oval Recreation Center.
Image by Total City Girl
For trick-or-treating on Staten Island, head to the North Shore. Residents of Morrison Avenue between Broadway and Bement Avenue take Halloween very seriously, decorating their homes with spooky swag and even creating soundtracks to accompany trick-or-treaters as they roam the neighborhood. For kids looking for a good scare or a bit of theatrics, there is plenty of it here—residents are known to dress up in scary costumes and entertain the kids. But more importantly, this neighborhood is quite generous with candy distribution. If you end up heading to the South Shore, Chesterton Avenue is a great location with lots of young families.
Wherever you’ll be trick-or-treating, remember to scare safely–and, of course, report back to us with any tips for future listings.
A too-spooky-to-miss neighborhood display of Halloween pride on Gates Avenue in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn.
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