Mommy Poppins Picks for the October 26th Weekend (Manhattan)

To help you plan your busy weekend, we have partnered with Mommy Poppins, the FREE online resource curating the best things to do for kids and families in NYC. Each week they will provide us with their top weekend picks for events and activities in New York City.

Halloween may officially fall on October 31 but many of New York City’s best celebrations for families take place this weekend—and a bunch of them are FREE. Put on your costumes and head to Central Park’s annual Pumpkin Fest, Prospect Park’s Haunted Walk and Halloween Carnival, Battery Park City’s Screamin’ Green Halloween or one of the many kid-friendly Halloween parades taking place throughout NYC. There are also a handful of truly exceptional Halloween events worth paying for like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Ghouls & Gourds fete, the ride-filled Children’s Fall Festival at the Queens County Farm Museum and a spooky after-dark tour of the New York Botanical Garden’s Haunted Pumpkin Garden.

All Weekend:

Halloween Parades – Citywide

On Saturday, costumed kids can march through Fort Greene Park, Harlem, Coney Island, Greenpoint, Marcus Garvey Park and Soho with Clifford the Big Red Dog. Sunday’s processions include Tribeca’s Washington Market Park, Battery Park City and Astoria. See Mommy Poppins’ comprehensive roundup of kid-friendly Halloween parades for even more options.

Saturday:

Spooky Nighttime Adventures at the Haunted Pumpkin Garden – the Bronx

Explore the New York Botanical Garden’s annual Halloween installation by flashlight. The 500 or so jack-o’-lanterns elaborately carved into spiders, scarecrows, bats, snakes and other scary sights are even creepier after dark! Afterward, decorate pumpkins to take home. Friday and Saturday. Advance tickets recommended. $20 per person

Central Park Pumpkin Fest – Upper East Side

Head to the band shell for this massive (and always very crowded) fest. Hit the pumpkin patch, enjoy live entertainment by CityParks PuppetMobile, Kidrockers and performers from the Big Apple Circus, decorate pumpkins, make a creepy creature or get crafty with Scribble Town, play Quidditch and other games, wander through a zombie-themed haunted house and a whole lot more. Go early! The lines for everything get incredibly long. FREE

Encyclopedia Brown Day: Celebrating 50 Years – Midtown East

Celebrate this iconic kit-lit character’s milestone birthday at the NYPL’s Children’s Center at 42nd Street with a slew of sleuth-themed activities including a scavenger hunt, finger printing, creating a code wheel and photo ops. Preregistration required and spots are limited! FREE

Haunted High Line Halloween – Chelsea

Trick-or-treat your way through the elevated park’s creepy past. Brave the haunted tunnel, pose for a pic with a giant “ghost train” made by local students, craft train cars out of recycled materials and fill up on tasty treats. Afterward, hit nearby Chelsea Market to check out all of the creepy decorations. FREE

Sunday:

Halloween Parade & Pumpkin Sail – Harlem

While Central Park’s Pumpkin Fest on Saturday is better known, this celebration is a smaller community affair that tends to be less crowded and stressful. (That said, it seems to become more popular every year so be sure to arrive early!) Enjoy seasonal arts and crafts, not-too-scary stories, live music and no-cost treats. At dusk, watch as a fleet of jack-‘o-lantern are set afloat on the Harlem Meer and join the joyful costume parade around the northeastern edge of the park. FREE

Screamin’ Green Halloween – Battery Park City

At this eco-friendly fete, families can make masks and costumes out of recycled and repurposed household materials, bob for apples, pin the face on the pumpkin, compete in a gourd roll, hear spooky tales and follow wandering puppets and marching bands. There will also be green art projects, photo ops in front of a ghoulish green screen, organic and fair-trade sweets, a costume swap and a climactic parade around the neighborhood. FREE

Visit Mommy Poppins to find more events, activities and things to do with your kids this weekend.

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