Grab your costumes! Halloween is around the corner, and it’s time to make a list of all the spectacular events happening around the city.
The superstitious holiday originates back to ancient Celtic traditions. To mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of the “dark period,” Celts celebrated the festival of Samhain. In it, people would light giant bonfires and wear costumes to ward off wandering spirits. The pagan festival adopted some Christian elements as Romans invaded England, and the Celts converted to Christianity. The phenomenon of trick or treating found its roots in “souling” where the upper class would give out money and food in exchange for prayers. As different cultures molded together, child-friendly activities were incorporated — like bobbing for apples.
In North America, bats and black cats became symbols of Halloween due to poet, Edgar Allen Poe’s, gothic influence. As time went on, Halloween became more secular, and is now a primarily consumer driven event.
Take part in the festivities! Check out our list of events to enjoy everything harvest festivals, pumpkins, and ghosts.
- The Queen’s Night Market – If you’re in mood for something other than trick or treating and costumes, head to the New York Hall of Science for the Queen’s Night Market. Enjoy musical performances and over 100 vendors celebrating the cultural diversity of New York City! Admission is free, but parking is limited.
- Thompson Sq. Park Halloween Dog Parade – Dress up your furry friends for the annual Dog Parade! Take part or simply watch in what is sure to be one of the cutest Halloween events. Hundreds of dogs wear detailed costumes for their chance to win Best in Show. The parade starts at Noon on Saturday, October 21st.
- Giant Pumpkin Weekend – Head to the New York Botanical Garden October 21-22nd for their Giant Pumpkin Weekend. Farmers from across the country present their masterpieces — which can weigh up to a ton! The family friendly event has plenty of activities, meet the pumpkin growers, snap some photos, or wear a costume and go trick or treating in the gardens.
- Ghost Tours of Manhattan’s Most Haunted House – For a chilling experience visit the Merchant’s House Museum on 4th ST! In 1835, a merchant, Seabury Tredwell purchased the home and his family resided in the building for 100 years. Seven family members passed away in the home, leaving behind some supernatural elements. Every Halloween, the museum caretakers host ghost tours from 6:30 – 9:30pm during the weekend of October 21st.