During the Halloween season, the city of New York changes. Besides the typical decorations (on the streets, houses, and stores), the trees start getting the colors of the fall: Red, brown, orange, and yellow tones. It’s so beautiful! The autumn is coming, and with it, a very exciting event, the Halloween. The official date is October 31, but the “magic” starts way before that, the festivities take place during the whole month.
Take a look at my top 10 things to do in NYC during Halloween
1. Walk through the streets of Manhattan and surrounds: Big part of the New Yorkers get into the Halloween vibe decorating the front of their townhouses, and some of them take the task very seriously. It’s nice to walk around the streets checking out the decorations. If you want to see even more elaborated Halloween decorations, Brooklyn is a good place to go. The closer to the suburbs, the scarier and more extravagant it gets.
2. Take a look at the shop windows: The stores decorate their windows and start selling products related to the event during October. Decoration products, costumes, accessories or clothes with seasonal stamps dominate the stores. I like Urban Outfitters, they have some cool and creative products during the Halloween season.
3. Enjoy the thematic delights: Several coffee shops and restaurants during this time of the year add some seasonal delights to their menu. Starbucks, for example, serves pumpkin lattes and thematic cookies during the whole month. Be ready to find pumpkins everywhere, it’s a true invasion.
4. Buy some costumes: Several costume shops only open their doors during October, they rent a space and transform it into a temporary store. These seasonal places are usually cheaper than the regular stores, and it’s hard to buy only one costume. At the beginning of November, they disappear like magic; you’ll only see them in the next year. But, not all the costume stores are temporary, one that I like is the New York Costumes, which is open all year long and super well decorated during the season.
5. Buy a lot of candy and save it for later: A great place to buy cheap candy during the season is… The pharmacy! The pharmacies sell big packages of candy during the month; it’s hard to resist them. They disappear the day after Halloween. So, buy more for later in case you want to save money.
6. Carve a pumpkin: If you want to have the real Halloween experience as a whole, you have to carve a pumpkin. There are several events related to this activity around town during the season. Or, you can buy yours at the supermarket and give it a try.
7. Party! Party! Party!: Forget about the “Trick or Treat”, leave that to the children in the suburbs, because the night of Halloween in the Big Apple belongs to the adults. You can enjoy Halloween before, during and after October 31, a lot of clubs host a thematic party. In general, all the famous clubs will have at least one of those parties at some point. Check out the official websites to choose the ones you want to attend and the dates.
8. Watch or participate in the official Halloween parade: The official parade happens on the night of October 31, a big part of the 6th Avenue is closed for the event. It’s chaotic, super crowded, if you have claustrophobia then it’s not the place for you. I got out of there as quickly as I decided to go at the first place. I saw a little bit of it (I tried, at least!), and then I went to a bar to enjoy the night.
9. Go to a few bars during Halloween night: The bars in the West Village (where the parade takes off), close to the Washington Square Park, are packed during Halloween night. Get in the area early to avoid the crowds, and test a few of them. All the bars will be very crowded after the parade, and some of them way before that. So, if you want to see the parade before, be aware that finding a place to drink later may be stressful. A big amount of people will be trying to do the same thing as you: Get a drink and have fun!
10. Walk through the West Village during the night of October 31: During the Halloween night, the streets get so alive, full of famous characters and monsters, especially in the West Village, where the parade starts. Just walking on the streets is already a fun activity, in case you don’t have a special plan for the night.