Trick-or-treating in NYC on Halloween

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Earlier I wrote a post about where to go Halloween shopping in NYC. If you’re visiting the city or have recently moved to NYC with children, you might be wondering where to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. Everyone’s heard about the wildly popular Greenwich Village Halloween Parade, but from online and second-hand accounts, it is anything but G-rated. As luck would have it, my neighborhood in the UES is wonderfully family-friendly. I just want to give a first-hand review of the streets I visited with my family this Halloween.

Trick-or-treating NYC

I had seen some of the gaudy and very expensive decorations on select townhouses in the UES, but nothing prepared me for what I witnessed as soon as I stepped out on a fairly mild early evening on Oct 31st, 2017. 78th St. between Madison and 3rd Ave was a madhouse in a happy sort of way. There were literally parents, guardians, grandparents, children, tweens, teens, and even some millennials everywhere. This was trick-or-treating in hyper mode.The blocks were closed off to traffic so children gleefully ran from mansion to mansion, squealing to each other mid-candy. The entire street was buzzing with positive energy and sugar highs. Halloween figurines came to life with their LED-charged red glowing eyes and recorded sinister laughs as we walked past coveted townhouses and smiling owners greeting trick-or-treating kids.

We walked further on 3rd Ave and between 78th and 81st but didn’t really see much trick-or-treating on those streets. However, on our way back, we saw throngs of families spilling out on to and in and out from the mansions from Park Ave in that same neighborhood. Someone also told us to visit the ‘super scary’ haunted house on 72nd and Madison, but we missed out this time. Additionally, we got recommendations to visit Prospect Park and family-friendly parades in Brooklyn, but there was simply no time. Clearly, one is spoilt for choice on Halloween in NYC, so my best advice is to

  • Do your research online – in advance
  • Read blog posts such as this 🙂
  • Ask around – doormen, neighbors, fellow parents etc.

And you’ll eventually find the one you want to stick to, or just try out different places. Do you have kids and have you tried trick-or-treating in NYC? What’s your take on it?

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